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  1. Philip Hamm's Avatar
    I love Windows Phone. I've been using it since the Lumia 635 came out. My current phone is a Lumia 650 that works OK but has so-so cameras and is slow.

    The Idol 4S is compelling because lightly used/refurbished ones can be had for $120 or lower on eBay. That's a hell of a nice high end piece of phone hardware for a low low low price!!!

    I am a T-Mobile subscriber in the USA.

    My question is - how is the basic software version on this phone? Am I going to have a broken version of the OS that is completely non-upgradeable? My Lumia 650 is an unlocked phone that I purchased at the Microsoft Store, so I get all the upgrades from Microsoft.

    I am not a tweaker I do not get on the "insider" program I just want the tested version of the phone from the provider - I love T-Mobile's "Wi-Fi Calling" feature and miss it on my unlocked phone. The last version of 8.1 that was on my Lumia 635 before T-Mobile abandoned it is very buggy. T-Mobile does not have any upgrades for me even though there are much nicer versions of WP8.1 out there. I don't want to be stuck in that same limbo with Windows 10 on the Alcatel. If there's a way around that let me know.

    I would love to have WiFi calling back and I'd love to play with Continuum.

    The VR goggles thingies - is there anything in Windows Phone land that works with it? Seems like it could be fun.
    08-11-2017 05:08 PM
  2. mark233's Avatar
    Hi Philip.

    If you love Windows Phone and are a TMO customer (as I am) I think you'd really like the Idol. I have one (bought it the day it came out) and this Idol is my go-to Windows phone (I also have and use a 950 and 950XL).

    The Idol is well built and feels solid, looks very nice. Having Wi-Fi calling came in handy last week when storms came thru. Cell signal was affected a bit and became very weak to no service...Wi-Fi calling kicked in (I still had power at my apt.)

    My device has only stock software from MS. I don't subscribe to any Insider builds. The Idol has been exceptional. Windows runs very nicely on it. I've had only one instance where the Photos app froze up for a minute --- soft reset it and all is well.

    Cell reception on TMO is outstanding with it. One of the best for reception of any phone I've used. Battery life is GREAT. The display is really nice. I like it better than my 950/XL even tho the Idol display is a 1080. Great colors, contrast, deep blacks. The front speakers are really good.

    The camera is OK --- not great. It can take good photos for sure. There's about a 1 second delay from the time you tap to take. There is no OIS. If camera isn't a top priority for you you'll really like everything else I'm sure.

    I also had the TMO 635 --- the Idol blows that thing into the last century lol.

    The Idol has been getting Windows updates from MS. No need to go thru the carrier for the software. None of the updates have messed up my phone in any way. It should be getting updates for a while longer.

    I've never used the VR --- doesn't interest me personally.

    I've never used Continuum either.

    I'm not really a power user.

    The Idol has been one of my favorite Windows phones for what I do. Not disappointed at all.
    Guytronic, libra89 and editguy like this.
    08-11-2017 06:54 PM
  3. Philip Hamm's Avatar
    Thanks for the input much appreciated.

    My 635 had wifi calling and my wife's Android phone has it and I've used it for years so I really love it and really miss it!

    One of my complaints with the 650 is that Internet Sharing has stopped working. I don't know if T-Mobile has locked it down or what, but it's an important feature that I'm paying for and want to be able to use. Are there any problems with Internet Sharing on the Idol 4S?
    mark233 likes this.
    08-14-2017 07:16 AM
  4. mark233's Avatar
    Thanks for the input much appreciated.

    My 635 had wifi calling and my wife's Android phone has it and I've used it for years so I really love it and really miss it!

    One of my complaints with the 650 is that Internet Sharing has stopped working. I don't know if T-Mobile has locked it down or what, but it's an important feature that I'm paying for and want to be able to use. Are there any problems with Internet Sharing on the Idol 4S?
    I've never used the Internet Sharing option so I can't give any input.
    08-14-2017 06:01 PM
  5. Drake lagos's Avatar
    Thanks for the input much appreciated.

    My 635 had wifi calling and my wife's Android phone has it and I've used it for years so I really love it and really miss it!

    One of my complaints with the 650 is that Internet Sharing has stopped working. I don't know if T-Mobile has locked it down or what, but it's an important feature that I'm paying for and want to be able to use. Are there any problems with Internet Sharing on the Idol 4S?
    Internet sharing as in mobile hotspot? I use mine at home and have no issues (I don't pay for internet service provider so rely on my TMO phone). I will say this though, after swapping my SIM to IDOL 4s for the first time last week (previously was using dual sim 950XL) I received a notification last night that I'd reached 80% of my hotspot capacity for the month.. never happened to me before and am thinking that it's due to the fact that I'm not using a TMO registered phone? Just a guess
    08-16-2017 03:46 PM
  6. Philip Hamm's Avatar
    Follow-up. I bought the phone. I like it a lot. Quite an upgrade from my Lumia 650 which was pretty cool in its own right.
    editguy and mark233 like this.
    08-24-2017 09:01 PM
  7. Adventurer64's Avatar
    I'm considering buying a used 950XL because my Idol 4s camera seems to be getting worse by the week. White balance issues, it locks up when I rotate to landscape and just doesn't work at times. I was never happy with the pictures anyway. Does the 950XL wifi calling work with TMobile? Also, does the wifi hotspot work with the 950XL? I use both these functions daily on my Idol 4s.
    08-31-2017 10:54 PM
  8. Philip Hamm's Avatar
    No wifi calling works for T Mobile unless it is a T Mobile locked phone.
    09-01-2017 07:48 PM
  9. greedo_greedy's Avatar
    I just purchased a used Lumia 950 XL for 8000 pesos. That's about 160 dollars.
    While the camera is drool worthy and the speed more than adequate, the battery just isn't where I want it to be.

    This makes the Alcatel Idol 4S more attractive because of looks and battery. The camera though can't hold a candle to the Lumia 950.
    RumoredNow and mark233 like this.
    09-13-2017 10:30 PM
  10. aximtreo's Avatar
    I just purchased a used Lumia 950 XL for 8000 pesos. That's about 160 dollars.
    While the camera is drool worthy and the speed more than adequate, the battery just isn't where I want it to be.

    This makes the Alcatel Idol 4S more attractive because of looks and battery. The camera though can't hold a candle to the Lumia 950.
    Why not just buy a replacement battery for the 950XL. I wouldn't throw away a good 950XL without giving a new battery a go.
    TgeekB and mark233 like this.
    09-14-2017 06:22 PM
  11. gvp 1995's Avatar
    I am talking about Alcatel Idol 4s unlocked from MS Store. I use it with T-Mobile in USA. I bought 3 of these phones. There are pros and contras.

    Good:
    - excellent battery life (genius decision don't go above 1080 resolution)
    - outstanding stereo sound quality (did not see anything like this since Nokia N73)
    - well built, nice looking
    - fast processor, a lot of memory

    Bad:
    - no wireless charging
    - very buggy software.

    This last point can make it challenging. Among the bugs I found and remember:
    - buggy fingerprint reader. Misses 2-3 out of 10 (whatever tricks I used, like registering the same finger as an additional one). Made this unusable for me
    - Not working properly proximity sensor. This is a very serious one. Read the thread in this forum
    - "Show my caller ID to my contacts" does not work as intended. Only works if you dial from your 'Contacts'. but if you dial from the history, the phone cannot recognize the contact and does not transmit your caller ID
    - A mess if you try to link mailboxes. Streamlining the settings can be problematic
    - A second keyboard infamous "attention required" bug, only present in this phone (I used several Windows phones: 1020, 1520, 950)

    These are the ones I remember. So I gave my own phone back to MS (thinking actually the proximity sensor was a hardware issue), and bought myself HP Elite x3. You can buy it relatively cheap these days (not as cheap as Idol s4 though). What a difference!
    12-28-2017 10:26 PM
  12. gvp 1995's Avatar
    I just bought a replacement battery (the original one from MS) for my 950XL. Pretty much the same. It was never good. Good batteries in windows phones are:
    - Lumia 1520
    - Alcatel Idol 4s
    - HP Elite x3 (the best)
    12-28-2017 10:29 PM
  13. ManofGod1000's Avatar
    Well, I did go ahead and bought one from the Microsoft Store, an unlocked Alcatel Idol 4S for $169 plus tax. Have to say, I love it and it works quite well. I do have a Sony Xperia XA1 that is my goto Android phone and I am content with that as well but, I could never really enjoy it like I do the Windows Mobile and Windows ecosystem.
    mark233 likes this.
    12-30-2017 12:05 PM
  14. stodge's Avatar
    I almost this phone from Microsoft but I've never had a Windows phone before and I wasn't sure if I would miss some of the android apps. I don't use android auto but my car will read SMS messages from my phone while I drive. That's a very handy feature and I don't know if a W10 phone will support this.

    I sometimes stream music from my the micro-sd card on my current phone - would this phone also do this?

    Will Microsoft continue to provide updates for W10 on mobile platforms? Or will they stop? I guess this is the million dollar question!

    I also need to determine if this phone works on Videotron's network, though I only have 5 months left on my current contract with them.

    Microsoft is selling these for C$200, which is very tempting as my LG G4 is running quite slowly these days. Even if I bought an Idol 4S and it only lasted two years, that would still be sufficient.

    Thanks
    Last edited by stodge; 01-01-2018 at 04:43 PM.
    01-01-2018 04:04 PM
  15. gvp 1995's Avatar
    Have to take back one bug - 'Show my Caller ID to my contacts'. The same bug is present on Lumia 950XL, which means it is Windows 10 bug (probably introduced recently), not just Idol 4s bug.
    01-02-2018 03:19 PM
  16. Old_Mil's Avatar
    Having lived through Blackberry's abandonment of its OS, I have to say that these things age faster than you think. They will always wok as MMS/SMS/Voice devices of course, and probably email.

    App and browser functionality is another matter though.
    Laura Knotek and OriginalLucy like this.
    01-02-2018 04:14 PM
  17. gvp 1995's Avatar
    Very true. I remember at one point I thought I could keep my Nokia 808 (the best camera in a phone ever) for a long time as I did not use that many apps. Then one day I discovered Nokia stopped supporting 'Internet Radio'. And that was a deal breaker - I threw it in trash.
    01-02-2018 06:29 PM
  18. jasqid's Avatar
    I've got one to sell if interested. VR goggles included.
    01-02-2018 10:57 PM
  19. Paul Verizzo's Avatar
    My experiences and observation about the Idol 4S and 950 XL DS:

    Time to upgrade from my several Nokia 925's. Bought a 4S............initially loved it........then found out it doesn't have Glance. Bzzzzzzt! A non-starter. Lesseeee...........an informative screen vs. ........black nothing. Not even a frickin' flashing LED to indicate you've missed a call or something.

    So I bought a 950XL. It's good, it has Glance, it has replaceable battery, etc. But my 4S, as my backup phone, I pick it up and it just feels so right. When in the left hand, the power button is up there on the left top, falling right into digit place. The 950 XL has the power button almost hidden between the volume up and down buttons.

    The 4S, being a TMO phone, has Band 12 VoLTE and HD voice. The 950XL, not.

    The 4S has suffered a speaker failure, it's hard to understand callers unless I"m on earbuds. As it is now backup, not so important.

    And what's with this VR stuff? I want a toolbox, not an entertainment center.

    If the 4S had Glance, I'd say it's the best WP ever. Since even Android has discovered "Active Display," hard to understand why Alacatel doesn't have their own version. Especially since the 4S has the easier to implement AMOLED display.
    01-08-2018 11:57 PM
  20. gvp 1995's Avatar
    Paul Verizzo, could you do a big favor and test something on your Aclatel Idol 4s -TMo?

    I also love the hardware, the battery live, the sound, and many other things. But there is one bug that is always present at least in 'unlocked' version. I bought one from MS, tested and the bug is there :(

    So here is the test. Put your phone in the pocket, then call from another phone. After the phone rings/vibrates, pull it out, press answer and check if proximity sensor is working. Just put it close to your ear like you want to speak and see if the screen goes black. Or just bring your hand close to the phone and see if it turns off.

    This bug was reported and discussed in another thread on this forum. I am with TMo, and would be willing to buy a TMo phone, but there are conflicting reports whether it is present on TMo phone.
    01-10-2018 11:58 AM
  21. gvp 1995's Avatar
    Never mind. I loaded T-Mo firmware through WDRT. Now it is even worse. Before it did not work when receiving a call with covered Proximity Sensor. Now it does not work even when dialing. No luck.
    01-10-2018 09:29 PM

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