Review Alcatel One Touch Idol X Smartphone

Florian Wimmer (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 12/31/2013

Large, colorful and extravagant. The One Touch Idol X is Alcatel's bid on the international smartphone market. The slim model boasts a 5-inch display which offers bright colors. Is that enough to be ranked amongst the high-end smartphones? Let us find out.

In review: Alcatel One Touch Idol X. Provided by Cyberport.

For the original German review, see here.

"Extreme", "extravagant", "unbelievable" - well, at least we know that the marketing department is not holding back. The Alcatel Idol X is praised with these words and it needs the encouragement, as this 5-inch model is picking a fight with the top guns of the smartphone industry. The test model has a slim build and is available in 5 different colors (including Union Jack). It is equipped with a quad-core SoC and a Full HD panel. The only feature clearly lacking is LTE, but those willing to give that up, can purchase this model for 320 Euros (~$436). Should Google and Apple watch out for the new kid on the block? We will find out in our in-depth review.

We have picked competitors appropriate to the high ambitions of the Alcatel One Touch Idol X: the iPhone 5s and the Google Nexus 5. The latter is quite close to our test model in price. Other test models which are priced in this region include: the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, the LG Optimus L7 II, the Acer Liquid S1, the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 and the Huawei Ascend G700.

Case

Slim silhouette, sturdy workmanship.
Slim silhouette, sturdy workmanship.

The side view reveals a lot: Alcatel has built a very slim smartphone. The case measures 6.9 mm which is less than the thickness of the iPhone 5s and Google Nexus 5. In fact it beats most of the competition, except for a mere handful, like the Huawei Ascend P6. Aside from the thickness, the 5-inch smartphone is quite modest in its width as well thanks to its small borders.

Alcatel only uses synthetic materials, but the Idol X still feels very high quality. The rear panel is non-removable, which means that the battery and the back cover cannot be swapped out. The back is slightly roughened and all edges are rounded off. The smartphone feels nice in our hands.

The workmanship is good (nothing creaks) and the gaps between the materials are even. The sturdiness is okay, but heavy pressure on the back will lead to visible deformation on the panel.

Connectivity

Do not expect wonders: the Alcatel Idol X offers a micro USB slot on the bottom (for charging or data transfer) and a 3.5 mm jack on the top. We find the option of dual SIM slots to be quite enticing (placed left and right one each). Users can put in a SIM card for surfing and one for calling, or combine private and business SIMs on one device. Annoying: no Micro SD slot means that the available 12 GB cannot be further increased.

Left: SIM slot 1
Left: SIM slot 1
Right: SIM slot 2, volume rocker
Right: SIM slot 2, volume rocker
Top: power button, headset jack
Top: power button, headset jack
Bottom: micro USB slot
Bottom: micro USB slot

Software

The operating system of the Alcatel One Touch Idol X will be Google's Android version 4.2.2 which is still very popular with developers. Currently, the version 4.4 is catching up in a lot of Android phones but for now, the user will have to forego some comfort apps, like the new telephone app. Thankfully, this choice has a big upside: the battery life will not suffer (an issue currently in 4.4). Furthermore, the customized OS runs well on our test model and updates should be available at a later time. 

Alcatel has chosen a tried and tested OS which means they need only tweak a little: from the start, some apps can be found placed in appropriate folders, which makes the OS a lot easier to navigate. However, it can also be confusing for the user in the beginning, for example, if they were looking for the settings app.

A hoard of apps is preinstalled: the standard office suite from Google as well as Kingsoft Office can be found on the smartphone. Furthermore, AVG AntiVirus, a backup app, Shazam, the "One Touch Live" shop and some games from GameLoft are all preinstalled.

GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors
GPS indoors
GPS indoors

Communication & GPS 

Mobile networks allow users to communicate while travelling all over the world. The Quad-band GSM and Dual-band UMTS modules in our device ensure this functionality. The faster HSPA standard is also included. However, LTE is not available for the Alcatel One Touch Idol X. This may be acceptable to those who only use their smartphones for surfing on the go occasionally, but more demanding users, who may require their smartphones as mobile Hotspots, should look for an alternative with LTE capability.

We rode a bicycle to test the GPS module. The One Touch Idol X and a professional navigation device from Garmin accompanied us on the trip. The GPS module of our test model is quite accurate on straight paths but as soon as we take more turns, the GPS accuracy falls and it displays large deviations from our actual path. The professional navigation device was not perfect, but it was much more accurate in this respect. Thankfully, the Idol X is still quite handy when navigating through the streets with pre-defined routes. The model finds enough satellites outdoors to pinpoint our location with a 3 meter accuracy and indoors it can determine our location with an accuracy of up to 7 meters.


Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Bridge
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Bridge
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Overall
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Overall
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Forest
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Forest
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Overall
Garmin Edge 500: Overall
Garmin Edge 500: Forest
Garmin Edge 500: Forest

Telephone and voice quality

The telephone app has been customized a little (with rounder icons), but otherwise it remains identical to the stock Android version.

We like being able to use two SIM cards simultaneously in the device, but installing them can be a little tricky: the flaps on the sides are difficult to open. Furthermore, placing the SIM cards inside is very difficult and requires a lot of force. Thankfully, the SIMs are easy to customize once installed, as expected of Android.

Calling is simple with the smartphone and the voice quality is decent. We can hear the caller clearly and loudly and our voice is also received without major distortions (slight disturbance now and then). The speakers provide good output but at max volume, the sound is a little dull.

Cameras & Multimedia

The camera on the back is tagged "FHD", but offers far more than the Full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels: 13.1 MP translates to 5503x3096 pixels. We find it interesting that the camera does not offer this resolution in the settings and can only capture pictures with up to 9 MP. We found no way of raising the resolution further with the standard camera app. In dark surroundings, an LED helps improve lighting so as to take a better picture.

Overall, the pictures we captured seem a little blurry than in other smartphones, like the iPhone 5s. Auto-focus seems to be a little overwhelmed. The picture quality is good and the colors are strong. The details are also recognizable. In poor lighting, pictures taken with no LED are blurry, which is to be expected and is the same in other smartphones. The front 2 MP camera is good for "selfies" but cannot offer the same level of detail as the rear camera.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Plant
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Plant
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Scene
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Scene
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Surroundings
Alcatel One Touch Idol X: Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5s: Plant
Apple iPhone 5s: Plant
Apple iPhone 5s: Scene
Apple iPhone 5s: Scene
Apple iPhone 5s: Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5s: Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 1020: Plant
Nokia Lumia 1020: Plant
Nokia Lumia 1020: Scene
Nokia Lumia 1020: Scene
Nokia Lumia 1020: Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 1020: Surroundings
Samsung Galaxy S4: Plant
Samsung Galaxy S4: Plant
Samsung Galaxy S4: Scene
Samsung Galaxy S4: Scene
Samsung Galaxy S4: Surroundings
Samsung Galaxy S4: Surroundings
Sony A57 (reference): Plant
Sony A57 (reference): Plant
Sony A57 (reference): Scene
Sony A57 (reference): Scene
Sony A57 (reference): Surroundings
Sony A57 (reference): Surroundings

Accessories

A headset is included in the delivery alongside a USB charger and a cable. The delivery contains nothing more other than a manual. Currently, the Germany website for the test model does not list any accessories.

Warranty

Alcatel provides 12 months warranty for its model. An extension can be bought at the shop.

Input Devices & Layout

The interface of the capacitive touchscreen is simple and easy: the sliding properties could have been better but overall, the device accepts input without delays. We also liked that the device recognized the right way to turn the display despite the angle being very flat.

The keyboard in the Android standard layout offers large keys thanks to the big 5-inch display, and is thus easy and quick to use (portrait and landscape mode). Swift-Flow is provided as an alternative to the standard Google keyboard, but it is a little inconvenient to access, as the user has to first turn it on via a menu. This keyboard offers a slightly different layout and the feature of gliding from one letter to the next and forming words in this fashion.

The voice input is processed by the original Google voice engine. It works very well, depending on how clearly each word is spoken. However, it is not yet a replacement for the virtual keyboard.

Standard keyboard in portrait mode ...
Standard keyboard in portrait mode ...
... and in horizontal mode.
... and in horizontal mode.
The alternative: Swift Flow.
The alternative: Swift Flow.

Display

Full-HD is expected nowadays, even from middle-class smartphones. The Alcatel One Touch Idol X supports a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels which is ideal for the 5-inch display. The displayed content is crisp and vibrant.

The average brightness of 484.4 cd/m² is only beaten by the Huawei Ascend G700 in this price range. The illumination of 85% is not as balanced as that of the competition, but thankfully this uneven distribution is hard to notice even when the panel displays a single color.

520
cd/m²
482
cd/m²
460
cd/m²
534
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
461
cd/m²
478
cd/m²
480
cd/m²
454
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 534 cd/m²
Average: 484.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 491 cd/m²
Black: 0.38 cd/m²
Contrast: 1292:1

The relatively low black value of 0.38 cd/m² allows the smartphone to present the user with a satisfying, deep black. Furthermore, the contrast is great at 1,292:1.

The measurements with the Colorimeter and CalMAN software show a different side: the user can see a clear blue tint, which is present in many screens, and many of the blue color tones are far from the optimal value in the reference color spectrum. Aside from this, the gray levels are decent and only very bright tones seem a little washed out.

CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Accuracy
CalMAN Color Accuracy
CalMAN Gray Levels
CalMAN Gray Levels
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation

Despite the high brightness, the reflective display is prone to a myriad of reflections on a bright day. In direct sunlight, the eyes will have to strain themselves to recognize anything on the screen. If the user draws back to a shaded area, the smartphone becomes easier to use and thanks to the high brightness, it is also better suited for reading than most of the competitors.

The viewing angles of the IPS display of the Alcatel One Touch Idol X are great: top, bottom, left and right - regardless of where you look from, the content is clear to recognize. A slight rise in the contrast is noticeable at steep angles, but this is not distracting.

Outdoors use
Outdoors use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Four cores running at 1.5 MHz - the MediaTek MT6589 SoC is well-equipped and offers good performance. However, our test model cannot keep up with high-end models. The graphics chip, PowerVR SGX544, with a core clock speed of 357 MHz is sufficient for the latest 3D games. 2 GB RAM is quite good for this price class, as even the Nexus 5 does not offer more and the iPhone 5s offers less. Finally, 16 GB flash storage rounds off the hardware.

The Acer Liquid S1 is equipped with the same SoC and offers similar performance. All the other devices of this price class also offer similar performance, and only the Google Nexus 5 and the much more expensive iPhone 5s can claim otherwise.

The results in the 3D benchmarks are similar: a few devices, like the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 offer more performance than our test model. We will discuss in "Games" if and how much this surplus affects gameplay.

Surfing the web is fun as websites are loaded fast and scrolling does not cause any lags. Internet videos are buffered quickly and played fluidly. As such, our test model performs on a level with the competition. The LG Optimus L7 II lags behind and the iPhone 5s and Nexus 5 are much faster on the web.

Finally, AndroBench tests the write and read speeds of the flash storage. Our test model delivers a surprising result: it takes the peak, beating all competitors by a clear margin, and even the Nexus 5 is left behind in the dust.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
399 Points ∼11%
Apple iPhone 5S
1368 Points ∼39% +243%
Google Nexus 5
521 Points ∼15% +31%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
432 Points ∼12% +8%
Acer Liquid S1
398 Points ∼11% 0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
544 Points ∼16% +36%
Huawei Ascend G700
327 Points ∼9% -18%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
1337 Points ∼10%
Apple iPhone 5S
2449 Points ∼19% +83%
Google Nexus 5
1613 Points ∼13% +21%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
788 Points ∼6% -41%
Acer Liquid S1
1425 Points ∼11% +7%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
1291 Points ∼10% -3%
Huawei Ascend G700
1081 Points ∼8% -19%
AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
14463 Points ∼34%
Google Nexus 5
22379 Points ∼52% +55%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R (4.0.4)
13681 Points ∼32% -5%
Acer Liquid S1
15979 Points ∼37% +10%
Acer Liquid S1
15979 Points ∼37% +10%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
21093 Points ∼49% +46%
Huawei Ascend G700
13383 Points ∼31% -7%
AndEBench
Native (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
7990 Iter./s ∼38%
Google Nexus 5
11344 Iter./s ∼53% +42%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
4569 Iter./s ∼22% -43%
Acer Liquid S1
8095 Iter./s ∼38% +1%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
11714 Iter./s ∼55% +47%
Huawei Ascend G700
6354 Iter./s ∼30% -20%
Java (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
417 Iter./s ∼41%
Google Nexus 5
407 Iter./s ∼40% -2%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
199 Iter./s ∼19% -52%
Acer Liquid S1
419 Iter./s ∼41% 0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
265 Iter./s ∼26% -36%
Huawei Ascend G700
317 Iter./s ∼31% -24%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
73.089 MFLOPS ∼11%
Apple iPhone 5S
518.44 MFLOPS ∼76% +609%
Google Nexus 5
95.049 MFLOPS ∼14% +30%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
25.251 MFLOPS ∼4% -65%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
40.382 MFLOPS ∼6% -45%
Acer Liquid S1
72.835 MFLOPS ∼11% 0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
136.536 MFLOPS ∼20% +87%
Huawei Ascend G700
37.61 MFLOPS ∼6% -49%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
142.696 MFLOPS ∼13%
Apple iPhone 5S
931.38 MFLOPS ∼85% +553%
Google Nexus 5
273.81 MFLOPS ∼25% +92%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
146.922 MFLOPS ∼13% +3%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
66.404 MFLOPS ∼6% -53%
Acer Liquid S1
149.263 MFLOPS ∼14% +5%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
281.111 MFLOPS ∼26% +97%
Huawei Ascend G700
128.264 MFLOPS ∼12% -10%
Quadrant Standard Edition 2.0 - --- (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
5492 points ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R (2.1.1)
4557 points ∼19% -17%
Acer Liquid S1
5885 points ∼24% +7%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
6730 points ∼28% +23%
Huawei Ascend G700
3973 points ∼17% -28%

Legend

 
Alcatel One Touch Idol X Mediatek MT6589, PowerVR SGX544, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Apple iPhone 5S Apple A7, PowerVR G6430, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Google Nexus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8930, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
LG P710 Optimus L7 II Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8225, Qualcomm Adreno 203, 4 GB Flash
 
Acer Liquid S1 Mediatek MT6589, PowerVR SGX544, 8 GB SSD
 
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG Intel Atom Z2580, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Huawei Ascend G700 Mediatek MT6589, PowerVR SGX544, 8 GB SSD
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
3.4 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 5S
25 fps ∼4% +635%
Google Nexus 5
21 fps ∼3% +518%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
5.5 fps ∼1% +62%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
1.5 fps ∼0% -56%
Acer Liquid S1
3.4 fps ∼1% 0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
8.9 fps ∼1% +162%
Huawei Ascend G700
2.6 fps ∼0% -24%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
3.2 fps ∼5%
Apple iPhone 5S
37 fps ∼62% +1056%
Google Nexus 5
23 fps ∼38% +619%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
15 fps ∼25% +369%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
3.8 fps ∼6% +19%
Acer Liquid S1
5.9 fps ∼10% +84%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
9.2 fps ∼15% +188%
Huawei Ascend G700
4.5 fps ∼8% +41%
Epic Citadel
High Performance (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
46.5 fps ∼77%
Google Nexus 5
56.3 fps ∼93% +21%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
52.7 fps ∼87% +13%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
23.7 fps ∼39% -49%
Acer Liquid S1
56.6 fps ∼93% +22%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
59.1 fps ∼98% +27%
Huawei Ascend G700
54.9 fps ∼91% +18%
High Quality (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
43.2 fps ∼72%
Google Nexus 5
55.2 fps ∼92% +28%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
53.4 fps ∼89% +24%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
23.3 fps ∼39% -46%
Acer Liquid S1
55.5 fps ∼93% +28%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
57.7 fps ∼96% +34%
Huawei Ascend G700
52 fps ∼87% +20%
Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
14.6 fps ∼24%
Google Nexus 5
49 fps ∼82% +236%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
48.4 fps ∼81% +232%
Acer Liquid S1
27.8 fps ∼46% +90%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
34.8 fps ∼58% +138%
Huawei Ascend G700
23.4 fps ∼39% +60%
Basemark X 1.0
On-Screen (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
2.827 fps ∼9%
Apple iPhone 5S
27.654 fps ∼85% +878%
Google Nexus 5
17.466 fps ∼54% +518%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
13.111 fps ∼40% +364%
Acer Liquid S1
5.12 fps ∼16% +81%
Acer Liquid S1
5.12 fps ∼16% +81%
Acer Liquid S1
5.12 fps ∼16% +81%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
6.226 fps ∼19% +120%
Huawei Ascend G700
4.367 fps ∼13% +54%
Off-Screen (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
2.797 fps ∼13%
Apple iPhone 5S
21.257 fps ∼100% +660%
Google Nexus 5
14.034 fps ∼66% +402%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2.602 fps ∼12% -7%
Acer Liquid S1
2.73 fps ∼13% -2%
Acer Liquid S1
2.73 fps ∼13% -2%
Acer Liquid S1
2.73 fps ∼13% -2%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
5.906 fps ∼28% +111%
Huawei Ascend G700
2.304 fps ∼11% -18%
Basemark ES 2.0 - Taiji Free (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
9.34 fps ∼15%
Google Nexus 5
59.47 fps ∼98% +537%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
48.99 fps ∼81% +425%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
18.53 fps ∼31% +98%
Acer Liquid S1
17.81 fps ∼29% +91%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
28.14 fps ∼46% +201%
Huawei Ascend G700
14.46 fps ∼24% +55%
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark 2.0
Metal (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
568 Points ∼32%
Google Nexus 5
1092 Points ∼61% +92%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R (2.0.2)
517 Points ∼29% -9%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
321 Points ∼18% -43%
Acer Liquid S1
496 Points ∼28% -13%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
747 Points ∼42% +32%
Huawei Ascend G700
469 Points ∼26% -17%
HTML5 (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
1596 Points ∼51%
Google Nexus 5
1274 Points ∼41% -20%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R (2.0.2)
1721 Points ∼55% +8%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
1407 Points ∼45% -12%
Acer Liquid S1
1691 Points ∼54% +6%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
1949 Points ∼63% +22%
Huawei Ascend G700
1476 Points ∼47% -8%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
686 Points ∼11%
Apple iPhone 5S
1775 Points ∼29% +159%
Google Nexus 5
835 Points ∼13% +22%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
469 Points ∼8% -32%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
302 Points ∼5% -56%
Acer Liquid S1
702 Points ∼11% +2%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
734 Points ∼12% +7%
Huawei Ascend G700
534 Points ∼9% -22%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
1435 Points ∼8%
Apple iPhone 5S
5362 Points ∼29% +274%
Google Nexus 5
3032 Points ∼17% +111%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
1561 Points ∼9% +9%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
755 Points ∼4% -47%
Acer Liquid S1
1555 Points ∼8% +8%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
3857 Points ∼21% +169%
Huawei Ascend G700
1668 Points ∼9% +16%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
1710 Points ∼8%
Apple iPhone 5S
5561 Points ∼26% +225%
Google Nexus 5
4039 Points ∼19% +136%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
1426 Points ∼7% -17%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
672 Points ∼3% -61%
Acer Liquid S1
1776 Points ∼8% +4%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
3546 Points ∼17% +107%
Huawei Ascend G700
1772 Points ∼8% +4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
15641.5 ms * ∼26%
Apple iPhone 5S
5995.9 ms * ∼10% +62%
Google Nexus 5
7852.3 ms * ∼13% +50%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
18650.1 ms * ∼31% -19%
Acer Liquid S1
15546.6 ms * ∼26% +1%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
10624.5 ms * ∼18% +32%
Huawei Ascend G700
17923.7 ms * ∼30% -15%
Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
2377 points ∼33%
Apple iPhone 5S
3365 points ∼47% +42%
Google Nexus 5
2803 points ∼39% +18%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2166 points ∼30% -9%
Acer Liquid S1
2252 points ∼31% -5%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
2157 points ∼30% -9%
Huawei Ascend G700
2040 points ∼28% -14%

* ... smaller is better

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
93.99 MB/s ∼56%
Google Nexus 5
74.9 MB/s ∼45% -20%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
40.34 MB/s ∼24% -57%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
32.51 MB/s ∼19% -65%
Acer Liquid S1
49.05 MB/s ∼29% -48%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
69.6 MB/s ∼42% -26%
Huawei Ascend G700
60.86 MB/s ∼36% -35%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
11.56 MB/s ∼20%
Google Nexus 5
15.52 MB/s ∼27% +34%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2.99 MB/s ∼5% -74%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
3.98 MB/s ∼7% -66%
Acer Liquid S1
8.18 MB/s ∼14% -29%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
13.74 MB/s ∼24% +19%
Huawei Ascend G700
9.75 MB/s ∼17% -16%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
16.16 MB/s ∼77%
Google Nexus 5
9.88 MB/s ∼47% -39%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
6.56 MB/s ∼31% -59%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
7.63 MB/s ∼36% -53%
Acer Liquid S1
12.2 MB/s ∼58% -25%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
10.31 MB/s ∼49% -36%
Huawei Ascend G700
9.69 MB/s ∼46% -40%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Idol X
1.32 MB/s ∼45%
Google Nexus 5
0.84 MB/s ∼29% -36%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
0.31 MB/s ∼11% -77%
LG P710 Optimus L7 II
0.2 MB/s ∼7% -85%
Acer Liquid S1
0.32 MB/s ∼11% -76%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
0.98 MB/s ∼34% -26%
Huawei Ascend G700
0.4 MB/s ∼14% -70%

Games

We expect a middle-class phone to run simple 2D games, but also to squeeze out a few 3D games. The Alcatel One Touch Idol X manages this feat, but the user should not expect more: games like Angry Birds: Star Wars or FIFA 14 are not a problem. Racing games, like Asphalt Heat 7, are a different story: stutters are here to stay.

The controls on the touchscreen and the position sensor work reliably and flawlessly.

Whether in a 3D benchmark ...
Whether in a 3D benchmark ...
... or in a demanding 3D game ...
... or in a demanding 3D game ...
... or in a fast racer with many goals: the performance is adequate.
... or in a fast racer with many goals: the performance is adequate.

Emissions

Temperature

Minus points for the overheating of the case: it is clear that the flat build cannot get rid of the heat well in comparison to other thicker phones. 36.9 °C while idle is far too high, even if it is not uncomfortable. At load, the temperatures can rise up to 39.9 °C. As the competition remains significantly cooler while idle, we have to dock a few points from the test model. Thankfully, the device never gets warmer than the hand.

Max. Load
 38.5 °C34.1 °C30 °C 
 39.9 °C33.7 °C30.8 °C 
 38.3 °C34.2 °C30.6 °C 
Maximum: 39.9 °C
Average: 34.5 °C
28.7 °C34.2 °C36.1 °C
29.2 °C35.3 °C35.7 °C
29.6 °C34.6 °C37.5 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 33.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38.3 °C | Room Temperature 21.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The right bottom corner of the back is where the speaker is seated. We tested the sound quality with various songs and a movie. We have to praise the speaker a little: it can get quite loud without distorting sound output. The sound is heavy on high notes at max volume. At medium volume, the speaker sounds less impressive and even a little dull. Overall, the sound is decent, but music lovers should use headphones for clear and good sound.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X is not very conservative, which is probably due to the combination of the high-class SoC and large screen. The similarly-sized Google Nexus 5 shows us that, at least while idle, the consumption can be lower: the Alcatel smartphone requires at least 1.3 W while idle, but the Google Nexus 5 can manage with 0.3 W. The max consumption while idle is 2.3 W with the Alcatel model and 1.0 W with the Google smartphone. At full load, the Google Nexus 5 requires much more power than the Alcatel test model, but it does offer much more performance.

The high power consumption is not due to the SoC, as is shown by the Acer Liquid S1 which runs on the same core: larger screen, less consumption! Alcatel seems not to have optimized the power consumption well, and this will not reflect well on the battery life.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.5 Watt
Idle 1.3 / 1.9 / 2.3 Watt
Load 2.9 / 4.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

High consumption yet relatively small battery capacity? This is probably the price for such a small build. The battery of the Alcatel One Touch Idol X offers a mere 7.4 Wh. This is far smaller than the batteries of the competition. Only the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 has a smaller capacity but it also has a smaller screen.

The battery runtimes are modest: while idle, the smartphone runs for 12:26 hours, which is below-average. While surfing via the WLAN, the device suffers even more, and despite only switching websites occasionally, the battery is depleted after 3:10 hours. At full load, the smartphone lasts 1:37 hours.

This is a very disappointing result and it means that the Alcatel One Touch Idol X will have to be charged much more often. The Acer Liquid S1 beats it in the WLAN test by about double the time and the Google Nexus 5 offers 4 times the battery life.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 26min
WiFi Surfing
3h 10min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 37min

Verdict

An extravagant human being may be flawed. So what about an extravagant smartphone? The Alcatel One Touch Idol X excites users with its slim build, great display and the option of using two SIM cards. In other areas, like the performance, it is decent. The OS, the warranty, the accessories and the camera are all okay and offer no major highlights.

The Idol X can be hard to use at times, for example, while installing a SIM card: once the hard-to-access flap is open, the user still has to force the SIM card into place. After all this, the user will not be happy to note that the smartphone has to be charged again within a few hours as the battery life is poor.

Smaller flaws like the relatively high surface temperatures and the (slightly) outdated Android version can be overlooked as they do not disturb the user in everyday use. The camera is far more annoying as it does not allow the user to capture pictures in the max resolution.

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X is a good attempt at a high-end smartphone, but due to the poor battery life, we believe it is a failed one. If the user can live with a short battery life, then this extravagant smartphone with a great screen and slim build is available for a reasonable price. Plus, we finally have a high-performance phone with a dual-SIM option.

In Review: Alcatel One Touch Idol X
In Review: Alcatel One Touch Idol X
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In Review: Alcatel One Touch Idol X. Provided by:
In Review: Alcatel One Touch Idol X. Provided by:

Specifications

Alcatel One Touch Idol X

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
PowerVR SGX544, Core: 357 MHz
:: Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB iNAND Flash, 16 GB , 12.1 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Sensors: aGPS, Position sensor, G-Sensor,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth, GSM Quadband 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS 900/2100, HSPA: DC-HSPA 42 MB/s downlink, 11 MB/s uplink
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.9 x 67.5 x 140.4
:: Weight
0.13 kg Power Supply: 0.048 kg
:: Battery
7.4 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2000 mAh
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 20 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 12 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 320 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 240 h
:: Price
299 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 13.1 MP, Front: 2 MP, Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, Headset, King Office, AntiVirus, 12 Months Warranty

 

Let us take a look at the Alcatel One Touch Idol X.
Let us take a look at the Alcatel One Touch Idol X.
The screen is impressive.
The screen is impressive.
Contrast, black value and brightness - great.
Contrast, black value and brightness - great.
Flat case.
Flat case.
A flap hides the SIM slot on each side.
A flap hides the SIM slot on each side.
Nothing unusual in the connectivity.
Nothing unusual in the connectivity.
No LTE inside ...
No LTE inside ...
... but a SoC with four cores and 1.5 GHz clock speed.
... but a SoC with four cores and 1.5 GHz clock speed.
The speaker is quite loud.
The speaker is quite loud.
The back is available in a variety of colors.
The back is available in a variety of colors.
The camera on the back offers 13.1 MP. Sadly, we could not use all of them in the standard camera app.
The camera on the back offers 13.1 MP. Sadly, we could not use all of them in the standard camera app.
A flat build which complicates the repair and disposal of the device. Furthermore, the back cannot be taken off.
A flat build which complicates the repair and disposal of the device. Furthermore, the back cannot be taken off.
The flaps for the SIM cards are hard to access.
The flaps for the SIM cards are hard to access.
The controls on the bottom edge are touch buttons.
The controls on the bottom edge are touch buttons.
Is it smart to buy the One Touch Idol X? Sure, if you can live with the small battery.
Is it smart to buy the One Touch Idol X? Sure, if you can live with the small battery.
The OS has not been touched much.
The OS has not been touched much.
A few widgets are placed at the front.
A few widgets are placed at the front.
Alcatel also includes their own app store.
Alcatel also includes their own app store.
Folders are provided from the start.
Folders are provided from the start.
But they are filled with apps already, which can cause confusion at first.
But they are filled with apps already, which can cause confusion at first.
A few preinstalled games are available, but they are either free or demos.
A few preinstalled games are available, but they are either free or demos.
An extra office suite is also included.
An extra office suite is also included.
Surfing the web is fun.
Surfing the web is fun.
The quick access menu is familiar to those who use Android.
The quick access menu is familiar to those who use Android.
The telephone app is visually customized.
The telephone app is visually customized.
The lock screen offers a lot of the frequently used functions.
The lock screen offers a lot of the frequently used functions.
Below are telephone, messages and camera.
Below are telephone, messages and camera.
An alternative keyboard is provided: Swype. It allows the user to type without lifting their finger.
An alternative keyboard is provided: Swype. It allows the user to type without lifting their finger.
Also an option: voice dictation, but this is not perfect.
Also an option: voice dictation, but this is not perfect.
In games, the test model performs decently. Fast racing games with a lot of 3D objects are too much for it to handle.
In games, the test model performs decently. Fast racing games with a lot of 3D objects are too much for it to handle.
Radio is integrated.
Radio is integrated.
The FHD resolution is good for pictures.
The FHD resolution is good for pictures.

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Links

Price Comparison

Pro

+Very slim
+Very light
+Good workmanship
+Dual-SIM support
+Good sound
+Relatively accurate GPS
+Good performance for its price class
+Stable OS
+A few good Apps for free
+A nice and bright screen
 

Cons

-Relatively high power consumption
-Very short battery life
-Battery can not be swapped out
-The Android OS is a bit outdated
-Slightly increased temperatures
-Camera does not take pictures with full resolution per default

Shortcut

What we like

The thin and light case available in a variety of colors. Sturdy, good workmanship and relatively cheap. Decent performance and the option of having two SIM cards.

What we miss

Longer battery life and a faster OS update.

What surprises us

Alcatel beat both Apple and Google in the "thinnest smartphone" hype with its new model.

The competition

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, LG Optimus L7 II, Acer Liquid S1, Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6Huawei Ascend G700.

Rating

Alcatel One Touch Idol X
03/31/2014 v4
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
58 / 75 → 77%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
40 / 60 → 67%
Weight
94%
Battery
82%
Display
85%
Games Performance
50 / 75 → 67%
Application Performance
27 / 65 → 42%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Audio
64 / 91 → 70%
Camera
60%
Average
70%
80%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Alcatel One Touch Idol X Smartphone
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-12-31 (Update: 2014-01- 7)