Alcatel Idol X+ review: 8-ball game

8-ball game

GSMArena team, 28 April 2014.

Good connectivity set

The Alcatel Idol X+ has quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G connectivity for both SIM cards. There's no LTE antenna onboard, as it's not supported by the MT6592 chipset. Its 3G is DC-HSPA+ enabled and will do up to 42Mbps down and 11Mbps up, while the dual-band Wi-Fi supports the a/b/g/n standards as well as Wi-Fi Direct.

The good news is that either SIM can be used for data connectivity (most devices limit data connectivity to SIM1), so you can mix and match your carrier plans for maximum bang for the buck. If the carrier supports it, the smartphone will use HD Voice too, which offers higher-quality in-call audio than the old standard, and there's also the IP Dial option for VOIP calls.

Wi-Fi is also used to wirelessly mirror the display on a Miracast-enabled TV. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0 and A-GPS. The dedicated Media Share app can take care of this functionality, or you can cast directly from within the video player.

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The Media Share app

You can also use the Wi-Fi transfer app to send images, videos and other files quickly via Wi-Fi Direct, and allows for the other phone to quickly transfer the app from the Idol X+ over Bluetooth if they don't have it.

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The Wi-Fi Transfer app

Stock Android web browser

The Alcatel Idol X+ has both the stock Android browser and Google Chrome. Both are very similar in terms of functionality.

The browsers support both double tap and pinch zooming along with the two-finger tilt zoom. There are niceties such as multiple tabs, text reflow, find on page and so on. A neat trick is to pinch zoom out beyond the minimum - that opens up the tabs view.

Chrome has the added benefit of cross-platform sync capabilities that allow you to retrieve open tabs from desktop sessions, for instance, but doesn't have Labs support for test features.

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Both browsers offer similar functionality

One additional advantage of the stock browser on Android 4.2 is Flash support. You'll have to grab an archived version (available on Adobe's web site) but we tried a Flash game and it worked. Less demanding Flash-based sites (there are still a few of those around) work as well.

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Flash is still alive thanks to the stock Android browser

Apps and more

The calendar is skinned but mostly unchanged. It features four views: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Agenda. The Monthly view shows the days of the month in the top half of the screen and a list of events on the selected day in the bottom half.

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Different views for the calendar

The pre-installed File manager will handle files and folders on the built-in memory. It can copy, rename, delete files and folders, one by one or in bulk. You can sort the file list by type, name, size and age, which is great for finding old unused files that are taking up precious storage.

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File manager

A great tool to have out of the box is the One Touch Cloud Backup app. Despite the name, the app can handle local backups too and you can even schedule them. The app will backup anything from apps through messages to system settings. Dropbox and Box can be used to move the backups to the cloud for safekeeping.

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Backing up to local and cloud storage

The ToDo app will help with simpler organizational tasks. For something more powerful, Evernote also comes preloaded on the X+.

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ToDo app

Finally, Alcatel's new BoomBand fitness tracker gets its own dedicated tracking application. If you purchase a BoomBand, the app will quickly pair with it and provide info on your daily activities and sleeping habits.

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BoomBand fitness app

There's also a number of small helpful tools. Weather pulls info from AccuWeather (it supports multiple locations). Then there's a voice recorder, compass, flashlight, a barcode scanner and a few more.

When it comes to getting around, the Idol X+ comes with Google Maps and Navigation. The app offers much of the same functionality as its web-based counterpart, although you will need a data connection to take full advantage of the navigation features. Street view mode with digital compass enabled is an especially cool trick.

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Google Maps with street view

The best part of owning a smartphone is getting new apps, and when it comes to Android, Google Play Store is the best source for getting your fill. From recommendations to top apps, it features a plethora of ways you can find new apps, and installing an app usually only takes a couple of taps.

The Idol X+ comes with a boatload of preloaded apps, and could be seen as too many by some users' tastes, especially when many of them are available as free downloads from Google Play Store. Fortunately, many of this latter type can be uninstalled easily.

There are a number of paid Gameloft games that come with the Idol X+, which Alcatel is kind enough to provide support for through the Smart Live manager. Smart Live will notify you when there are updates available, and also let you download from a small selection of additional games and applications.

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The Google Play Store and Smart Live app stores

Reader comments

  • Lucky rathor

Finally last three days before I ordered for this(alcatel-onetouch-idol-x plus) phone though flippant. Com so dear's tell me something about this I do wrong & right plzzz gide me for this phone octacore is best & quad core is best

  • AnonD-329337

I am using this phone for 6 months. Very Good Phone and an excellent value for money. (my earlier phone was SONY Experia Z1 & I am Happy with that too). It would be much better if Alcatel can boost accessories ecosystem (especially in North Ind...

  • AnonD-300236

Pls give malaysian user the one touch idol xplus update 4.4 kitkat.