The Alcatel Idol 4+ certainly wins the most innovative packaging award, with it arrive enclosed in its own VR headset for packaging!
It was a nice surprise to find you also get a protective case and screen shield as well. The case it a plastic transparent clip on case that has to be removed if you want to use the phone in the VR headset.
At the time of review the Idol 4 was running Android 6.0.1 and it ran it very smoothly. Alcatel have refrained from adding loads to the interface, it’s kept nice and simple.
One thing I liked about the Idol 3 and am pleased to see still present in the Idol 4 is the reversible screen, whichever way you pickup the phone it can be use as there are speakers and microphones at both the top and bottom and the entire interface rotates around.
Around the side is a new addition, the BOOM key. This is part practical, part gimmick, with it basically acting as a short cut key to different functions depending on what screen you’re on.
For example when on the camera it can act as a shutter key or when on the home screen it triggers an animated weather background to appear. There is a settings menu to show you what it can do in different situations.
The camera is good, but not amazing. There isn’t anything wrong with the photos, they’re just not as punchy as something like the Samsung S6, but given how much less this costs that’s to be expected.
There are some really fun photo and video modes to be tried, my particular favourite was Fyuse which allows you to take a sort of bullet time photo, you scan an object with a phone and then you can look around the object on screen (see the video review, it’s a tricky one to explain!).
The gamers out there will be pleased this has front facing speakers, so no chance of your hand muffling the sound as often happens with mobiles that have the speaker on the bottom of the phone.
Games run well, the look good on the screen, and it’s a nice sized screen that means your hands don’t get in the way when using on screen controls.
For those worried about space, the Idol 4 does support microSD cards and these are popped into a small tray that’s shared with the SIM card.
The VR headset is a nice addition, it’s very comfortable but has been designed for use with a naked mobile, in other words you’ll need to remove the protective case if you want some VR action.
The headset isn’t as advanced as the Samsung Gear VR, it’s more like an upmarket Google Cardboard, but for anyone looking to experience VR it does the job and there is now lots of VR content available to try out.
The Idol 4 is a brilliant phone for the price. If you’re use to using top of the range Samsungs or iPhones you might notice the camera isn’t quite as good, and games (while running brilliantly) are just a little less smooth than you’re use to, but you’ll also notice this isn’t anywhere near as expensive!
Alcatel Idol 4+ Android Mobile with VR Goggles Video Review
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- Write protection switch : Yes
- Warranty: Lifetime