Hands-on: Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ review

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ is one of the big surprises so far at CES. Looking at the spec sheet it's a powerful smartphone keeping up with the flagships of 2013, but with a low cost that should see it go up against the Motorola Moto G in terms of price. 

It's coming to the UK in February, and Pocket-lint was treated to a behind closed doors briefing ahead of the official announcement at CES in Las Vegas to see what all the fuss is about. 

The specs are these: the Idol X+runs a 2GHz Octa Core processor which, Alcatel claims, offering an 18 per cent power saving over a quad-core chip. But it doesn't stop at eight cores, there's also an impressive 5-inch 1080p IPS 441ppi display that is rich in colours, as you can see from our hands-on photos, and comes with an impressive 170-degree viewing angle. In the hand the screen certainly shines and it's promising to see such a nice screen on such an affordable device. 

On the camera front the Idol X+ comes with a 13.1-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel snapper in the front for video calling. The camera is also capable of 1080p Full HD video, making it ideal for Skype chatting and, of course, selfie Vine videos.

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ is powered by a 2500mAh battery which it manages to cram into a 7.9mm thin body. Even the speakers are at the top level with SACD 24bit/192KHz playback support and a quick listen in a Vegas hotel room (Daft Punk Get Lucky, it's all they had) sounded remarkably good, considering. 

In an attempt to differentiate itself from the vanilla Android crowd, Alcatel has added its own customised skin to the stock Android experience. It's unabashedly a cross between Apple's iOS 7 and Microsoft's Windows Phone operating systems. The Apple OS references are found in the bright colour (the Music logo looks virtually identical) and the folder design and animation, while the Windows Phone influence comes from a vertically scrolling widget page that we've not seen anywhere else on Android. The widgets - which run edge to edge to take advantage of the edge to edge screen - let you display calendar information among other things.

There's also a rather tasty looking photo gallery viewer that runs within the home pages and lets you flick through your photos without going into a dedicated gallery app to  view your latest photos either one at a time or in a panel of three.

It's not going to be enough to single-handedly make you pick this phone over any other, but it's all helps. Certainly for older iPhone users looking to move to Android and into one that will cuddle them on the way.  

The Idol X+ is expected in the UK in the first quarter with a price that is aggressive enough that it makes people stop and wonder why they are paying top dollar for the latest flagship handsets. 



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