03-27-2017 03:35 PM
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  1. libra89's Avatar
    Who has a Idol 4S?
    What's the good, the bad and the ugly? How long have you had it and what do you think?

    Please post your detailed review here so that you can help fellow members (and visitors) decide if they want to take a whirl on this phone!

    You can find the detailed specifications here: Alcatel Idol 4S Specs & Features

    Quick specs:
    • 5.5 inch AMOLED screen
    • 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM
    • 21MP Main Camera. 8 MP Front Facing Camera
    • Fingerprint scanner
    • 3000mAh battery w/ Quick Charge 3.0


    We want to see your in-depth reviews here.
    Last edited by libra89; 11-10-2016 at 08:47 AM.
    11-08-2016 11:33 AM
  2. Ertonimus's Avatar
    I can't say this is going to be a detailed review but just some quick initial thoughts. I just picked one up from a Tmobile store. It was a typical Windows Phone buying experience. The phone was not on display and I had to convince the sales people that it launched today. After I was able to assure them that I didn't want an Android phone they checked their system for the Idol 4s but there weren't any stock. Most of the stores in my area didn't get the phone today but they eventually found a store that had a few. When I arrived the phone wasn't on display but the sales guys knew what I was talking about as they had been playing with a demo unit in the back of the store throughout the day. They were actually pretty excited about it and seemed to think Continuum was the greatest thing since sliced bread(they had only read about it in training docs).

    Now for the phone: I haven't set it up yet as I'm waiting for my 930 to back up but I can say the build quality is amazing. I thought the 925 was the best looking and feeling windows phone to date but this easily takes the cake. The phone is surprisingly thin, has just enough weight to not feel cheap but is by no means heavy and the glass/aluminum casing looks and feels amazing. The fingerprint reader on the production model does have a raised edge around it so its very easy to find. I'm pretty sure that in some of the reviews I read they said the fingerprint reader was hard to find because there was no rim around it. If I read that correctly the production model has definitely solved that problem. Also, there's zero tmobile branding on the phone so I could definitely see it being sold unlocked at some point.

    Once I get it up and running I'll share my thoughts on the camera, speakers, functionality of the fingerprint sensor, how I feel about the camera button being centered and anything else I think you may find interesting. If you have any questions let me know.

    ***update***
    Finger print reader- Has worked flawlessly so far. I programmed both of my index fingers and when I place them on the reader it unlocks the phone instantaneously. I've never used a fingerprint reader before so I cant compare it to anything but I can say this is so much more functional and useful than the iris scanner on the 950s.

    Speakers- These sound great. I have owned a lot of Lumias and these speakers are a lot better than anything I've had on Lumia. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be an equalizer though.

    Camera- So far so good. I'll play with it more tomorrow but it seems to be taking adequate pictures in HDR mode. I will say I love that they included a camera button but it would have been much better if it wasn't centered on the side of the phone. This makes it a little awkward to use it for taking pics. It's also not pressure sensitive so you can't half depress it to focus before doing a full press to take a pic.

    Double-Tap- Flawless

    Overall performance- The snapdragon 820 makes a big difference with win10. Opening apps and navigating menus is snappy and scrolling is very smooth.

    VR- I'll start with an aside... I couldn't believe Engadget's entire review of the 4s was based on its VR capabilities and mentioned nothing of the phone itself or how far win10 mobile has come since the release of the 950s. Engadget panned the VR but it really isn't that bad. It's very easy to setup and use. For what it is I think it looks pretty good. I use Oculus' at work and the 4s setup can't compete when it comes to clarity or immersion but as an added bonus packaged with a phone I would have bought anyway I think its great. It would be nice if they updated the launcher so hovering the 'view dot' over an item selected it in all the menus and apps. It only seems to work that way in games. Otherwise you have to aim the dot over the item and push one of the capacitive buttons on the headset.

    Surprises- None yet. The only thing I've noticed that's different than any previous windows phones I've owned is that when I hold back to access the open apps I get 2 rows of 2 apps on the screen and then can scroll to other groupings of four apps. I'm used to seeing a single row of continuous apps to scroll through. I'm guessing that's because the 950 was the largest windows phone I had ever owned and the 1520 and xls do this 2 rows thing?
    Last edited by Ertonimus; 11-10-2016 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Updated after more use
    11-10-2016 04:10 PM
  3. Ertonimus's Avatar
    Also, the phone comes with a USB-C charger and the usb-c cable is detachable. I know I read a review that said the pre-production model didn't have a charger in the box.
    11-10-2016 04:20 PM
  4. fatclue_98's Avatar
    My buying experience was as smooth as could be. The store had it on display, and a very prominent display at that, along with the VR goggles. I played with it for a few minutes and was quickly convinced. I took a couple of quick pics to check the quality since Daniel's hands-on review left me with some doubt regarding the lack of OIS. The camera is quick (as Windows devices go) enough for my tastes and the quality is very nice indeed. The fit and finish is impressive buuuuuutttttt, the back is a fingerprint magnet of the first order. Another worry I had was the Dragontrail glass - nothing to see here folks, it's as good as any Gorilla. Having had a BlackBerry Priv was an advantage for me because the left-sided power button is second nature for me. For others, it will be a learning experience I promise. The camera button looked like it would be a sore thumb based on the images I had seen but this is not the case. It's very unobtrusive yet easy to see and reach. The gold band that runs along the perimeter of the phone was another worry I had based on the images I'd seen but it's probably the nicest touch of all. It's a very subdued shade of gold and I can't say enough about it.

    There's no sense in going over the OS, it's Windows 10 for Mobile. I will say the SD820 is very snappy and even after installing from a restore point and updating all apps, it barely got warm. You will notice the speed at which the Store apps download and install. One interesting point that I don't know if it's been mentioned here before but every single app and even the .448 update was done over LTE. Unless someone snuck in and put a hotspot in my CTS, I was on T-Mobile's network all the way home.

    Now, this older gentleman will need some help from the young whippersnappers out there. For the life of me I can't get this VR contraption to work. I can get past the VR Launcher and I think the phone is connected properly to the goggles but I can't seem to get the buttons on the goggles to register. As I move my head the "cursor dot", for lack of a better word, moves and highlights options but the buttons are constipated (won't do sh*t). I'm not terribly concerned about this since I'm not into gaming but I like to have all my features working.

    That's all for now, see y'all later. Peace, love and hair grease.


    UPDATE: Continuum works flawlessly. I'm doing this update connected to my TV via the Screenbeam Mini Continuum Edition wireless adapter and a Logitech wireless KB. Have I mentioned that Andromium is an unbelievably half-assed attempt at ripping off Continuum?
    Last edited by fatclue_98; 11-10-2016 at 05:38 PM.
    11-10-2016 05:00 PM
  5. mark233's Avatar
    Not really detailed impressions first day of use.

    Display: Fantastic ... Great blacks. Very responsive to touch (not using glove mode).

    Speakers: Wow. Outstanding. Loud. Great clarity. Rich.

    Battery: Very impressive. 100% charge at 7am ... 78% full at 4:30pm ... moderate use (for me) ... 950/XL would be approx. 65% for me at this time.

    Bluetooth connected to my cars Microsoft SYNC, works well ... no problem

    Double tap to wake seemed a bit slow sometimes.

    Using fingerprint wake up very responsive and speedy.

    Camera: Slow to take a picture. Results are very satisfactory -- no OIS so holding steady is a must. Not a bad camera at all.

    No discernable heat from the phone while using Edge, FeedLab, News, Infinity for reddit, myTube, Grin, Liveleak+, Windows Central .....

    Windows 10 runs smooth --- no hiccups at all so far (that I can tell)

    This phone needs to sell unlocked/carrier-free ... this is a very very nice device.
    Last edited by mark233; 11-11-2016 at 05:03 PM.
    11-11-2016 04:45 PM
  6. Roderick Aspiras's Avatar
    Is the camera good enough?
    11-11-2016 08:53 PM
  7. dorelse's Avatar
    Now, this older gentleman will need some help from the young whippersnappers out there. For the life of me I can't get this VR contraption to work. I can get past the VR Launcher and I think the phone is connected properly to the goggles but I can't seem to get the buttons on the goggles to register. As I move my head the "cursor dot", for lack of a better word, moves and highlights options but the buttons are constipated (won't do sh*t). I'm not terribly concerned about this since I'm not into gaming but I like to have all my features working.
    Alcatel has done a very nice job with videos on how everything works, including VR on their Youtube channel. They've really put some time into this device & its support.

    Watch the video of how to load it, etc...and it'll make sense. I couldn't get it to work until I did that too. Good luck!
    fatclue_98 and josh715m like this.
    11-11-2016 11:25 PM
  8. mark233's Avatar
    Is the camera good enough?
    It's good enough. Not the best. Not the worst. It's not at the Pureview, iPhone, Pixel, Samsung S7 level.

    Afterthought edit: "good enough" is subjective.
    Last edited by mark233; 11-12-2016 at 06:37 AM.
    11-12-2016 05:49 AM
  9. Ertonimus's Avatar
    Is the camera good enough?
    If you go into the settings of the latest camera update there's an option for digital stabilization. I turned that on and it seems to have made a difference.

    I need to test it more but my issue right now is video. I take a lot of concert videos and I'm realizing I've been spoiled by the array of mics on the high end lumias that reduce distortion. I took a quick video in a club last night and although I was 100 yards from the speakers the audio came out distorted beyond recognition. I also had an issue with the camera not being able to focus while I tried taking a video of some street performers. I took both videos in the Instagram app so I'm hoping(likely illogically) that it had something to do with the app. My 930, 950 and 1020 never had issues even with taking video in apps though....

    I'm still very pleased with the phone and have actually got some compliments on its looks which is a rare for me as a windows phone user.
    11-12-2016 09:47 AM
  10. argenys's Avatar
    At least those apps allow video upload now right? Or am I remembering it wrong? I'd suggest just blasting some music at home real quick as an experiment.
    11-12-2016 11:11 AM
  11. Ertonimus's Avatar
    At least those apps allow video upload now right? Or am I remembering it wrong? I'd suggest just blasting some music at home real quick as an experiment.
    I don't remember ever not being able to upload video but good call on testing the video recording at home. I'll give it a go in a bit and let you know how it goes. Also, I noticed it doesn't record in 4k. (Update: It does do 4k at 30fps)
    Last edited by Ertonimus; 11-12-2016 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Correcting an error
    Darkgift likes this.
    11-12-2016 11:57 AM
  12. argenys's Avatar
    I don't remember ever not being able to upload video but good call on testing the video recording at home. I'll give it a go in a bit and let you know how it goes. Also, I noticed it doesn't record in 4k.
    Weird I read a review that it did have 4k but it wasn't 100% smooth. Maybe they removed it in the recent firmware to fix it before putting it back? Definitely has the resolution and processing power to be able to pull it off. Hmm
    11-12-2016 12:13 PM
  13. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Afterthought edit: "good enough" is subjective.
    What we WinPho users call "good enough" is based on being spoiled by the best overall line of cameras. Samsung, LG, HTC and others may have a really good camera on their flagships but their mid-range and budget offerings are dogsh*t. Even the L640 has an above average camera and it was $30 at one time. I defy anyone to show a better camera at the Idol's price point (in the US). Sure, the iPhone SE is cheaper but there aren't that many people who'd consider a 4" display in 2016 (Libra, down girl. Stay!).
    11-12-2016 12:19 PM
  14. Ertonimus's Avatar
    Weird I read a review that it did have 4k but it wasn't 100% smooth. Maybe they removed it in the recent firmware to fix it before putting it back? Definitely has the resolution and processing power to be able to pull it off. Hmm
    Actually, I take it back. I was slightly inebriated when I was messing with the video settings last night. There is 4k at 30fps.
    11-12-2016 01:17 PM
  15. libra89's Avatar
    What we WinPho users call "good enough" is based on being spoiled by the best overall line of cameras. Samsung, LG, HTC and others may have a really good camera on their flagships but their mid-range and budget offerings are dogsh*t. Even the L640 has an above average camera and it was $30 at one time. I defy anyone to show a better camera at the Idol's price point (in the US). Sure, the iPhone SE is cheaper but there aren't that many people who'd consider a 4" display in 2016 (Libra, down girl. Stay!).
    Lol, going to let you have that as I reply from that very SE. Haha.I know some more friends and people who are down for that too.

    The Android 4s is slightly beat by the Honor 8 which is $400 but I wonder how it compares to this version since the camera is better than that one.

    Anyways, I am enjoying reading all of these thoughts. Please share more!
    fatclue_98 and RumoredNow like this.
    11-12-2016 03:09 PM
  16. argenys's Avatar
    I think the Honor 8 will come ahead in most situations because it uses the same tech as the iPhone 7 plus dual camera.
    libra89 likes this.
    11-12-2016 03:38 PM
  17. dorelse's Avatar
    Ok, I've had the device for 24 hours. Here's my early takes comparing directly against the 950.


    • Excellent build quality (Very much a Galaxy S6 feel, glass, camera hump, metal band...all very similar.)
    • Screen is very nice
    • Battery life is improved over my 950
    • Love the Boom key, aka camera button.
    • As a right handed person, I enjoy the power button where it is.
    • Everything works as advertised.
    • Offset stereo speakers are great.
    • VR, well, makes me naucious...but its cool!!!
    • Some very slight warmness when installing all the apps, heavy use, VR etc...nothing like the 950 though!


    Con's:

    • Camera issues fixed with a good 3rd party camera app! (ProShot / Camera360 Sight)
      • (fixed) For me, camera is not as great as the 950, but, still passable
      • (fixed) Camera is not nearly as speedy as the 950's. (Mid tier phone, so that's ok.)
      • (fixed) HDR is very slow.


    • Slippery! Needs a case...simply a product of the design
    • I'm not seeing the fingerprint reader accuracy I would expect. The facial recognition on the 950, fingerprinter reader on the GS6 I have to test against both work more consistently than this. I think this will be rectified with a case so I have a more consistent target for my finger.
    • Unless you have really large hands, 1 handed use is tough given its size.


    This is a high quality device from Alcatel and they should be commended for bringing it to the WM10 platform given its current state. Overall its a nice upgrade from my 950.
    Last edited by dorelse; 11-15-2016 at 08:54 AM.
    11-12-2016 10:00 PM
  18. RobbieRobski's Avatar
    When you have small hands the power button on the left is a bigger deal on a large phone. When I got my samsung focus back on the day I preferred power on the left because that device fit perfectly in my hand and I could easily unlock with my right index finger.

    With that said the power button is too high for me to use but I can still unlock with my right index finger using the finger print sensor. As Daniel said in his review it's REALLY hard to know if you are on the sensor because there's no significant bump or anything there. I think after a while muscle memory will kick in but I rarely ever get it on the first try without having to turn my phone over.

    @dorelse Press and hold the windows button for one handed use.
    libra89 likes this.
    11-14-2016 11:07 AM
  19. argenys's Avatar
    When you have small hands the power button on the left is a bigger deal on a large phone. When I got my samsung focus back on the day I preferred power on the left because that device fit perfectly in my hand and I could easily unlock with my right index finger.

    With that said the power button is too high for me to use but I can still unlock with my right index finger using the finger print sensor. As Daniel said in his review it's REALLY hard to know if you are on the sensor because there's no significant bump or anything there. I think after a while muscle memory will kick in but I rarely ever get it on the first try without having to turn my phone over.

    @dorelse Press and hold the windows button for one handed use.
    I think that's something that is solved with a case. Please also remember you can turn on and off your screen with double tap. You technically never need to touch that button other than for screenshots. Which now that I think of it taking screenshots will feel very weird.
    Ertonimus likes this.
    11-14-2016 12:24 PM
  20. dorelse's Avatar
    @dorelse Press and hold the windows button for one handed use.
    Never! I hate that option...seriously, I hate it.
    libra89 and Kevin Rush like this.
    11-14-2016 01:15 PM
  21. fatclue_98's Avatar
    I think that's something that is solved with a case. Please also remember you can turn on and off your screen with double tap. You technically never need to touch that button other than for screenshots. Which now that I think of it taking screenshots will feel very weird.
    Edumacate me on double tap to sleep. I haven't found that setting. I know the M8 had that option on the button area but it's eluding me on this one.

    Sent from Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows via mTalk
    11-14-2016 05:23 PM
  22. patcherd's Avatar
    Double tap to sleep- settings>personalization >Navigation bar
    11-14-2016 05:49 PM
  23. Sedp23's Avatar
    Double tap to sleep- settings>personalization >Navigation bar
    I forgot all about this thanks

    Sent from mTalk
    11-14-2016 06:27 PM
  24. argenys's Avatar
    Double tap to sleep- settings>personalization >Navigation bar
    This
    11-14-2016 07:14 PM
  25. patcherd's Avatar
    I just got the Idol 4 S about 3 hours ago. Finally! It took less than 10 minutes to download the 36 or so apps setting this device up. My 950 wasn't this fast setting up.


    This is one nice device and the speakers are great. Will keep playing with this phone but so far I'm very impressed with how fast this phone set up.

    I will try to report on more features the more I use this like the camera and other features.
    editguy likes this.
    11-14-2016 10:12 PM
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