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ALCATEL ONETOUCH Idol 2S review: Mixing it up with the big boys

The ONETOUCH series is growing at an alarming rate, but is the 2S a worthwhile addition?

We’ve been impressed with what Alcatel is trying to do with their smartphones as of late, so we had high hopes when we got our hands on the new ONETOUCH Idol 2S. We’re glad to see that our initial expectations were met, as the 2S is a fantastic looking device. Its rim is brushed with metal, with the plastic back plate having a nice rough finish to it with only minimal flex. As well as the standard volume and power buttons, there are ports for both a microSD card and SIM on the left side of the phone, as well as a micro USB port and dual speakers at the bottom. The speakers are powerful, but the location of them on the bottom of the devices means you’ll cover them up with the palm of your hand more often than not.

Although Alcatel use their own custom skin on the ONETOUCH devices, there’s a lot of similarities between it and Android Lollipop. There are some clever gestures to get around the device, as well as a colourful array of icons and menus. Lets not forget that is one of the few devices in this price range to also offer 4G connectivity. The 5-inch display is another positive, with everything in crystal clear clarity, but some of the colours can look a little oversaturated at times. We’ve certainly seen better displays, but usually on much more expensive devices.

You’ve got a fairly standard quad-core processor configuration here, but being clocked at 1.2GHz means everything runs nicely. Set up seemed to take a while and the processor struggled initially, but from then on in the device runs without any faults. Alcatel have included a plethora of built in games to the 2S, but all can be uninstalled to free up some of the 8GB of internal storage.

One area that we’ve often been disappointed by with Alcatel is the camera they use, but it seems they’ve listened to feedback as the Idol 2S offers great images. The dedicated camera app has an array of different shooting modes, and we highly recommend checking each of them out to see which one works for you. Video recording seemed to lag a little at first, but the issue seemed to fix itself during our time with it.

We’re pleased to say that Alcatel is fast becoming a manufacturer to really consider when making your next Android purchase. The mid-range Idol 2S isn’t perfect by any means, and there’s still work to be done by Alcatel, but a slick design, good camera and 4G connectivity make the Idol 2S a thoroughly good device.


For more phone reviews, make sure to check out the latest issue of Android Magazine.