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Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ gets an eight-core workout (hands-on)

Nothing says 'overachiever' quite like this Android smartphone's octa-core CPU. We check out the phone here at CES.

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LAS VEGAS-- On Monday, lesser-known smartphone maker Alcatel used CES to officially introduce the Alcatel One Touch Idol X+, its very first eight-core smartphone, and one of the world's first in this category as well.

If the name sounds tongue-twistingly familiar, it's for good reason. The Idol X+ upgrades 2013's One Touch Idol X with the octa-core chipset made by MediaTek.

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Unlike Samsung's Exynos 5 processor, which the company unveiled at last year's CES, MediaTek's chipset runs all cores at once, a very different approach to battery management, but one that MediaTek promises will result in longer intervals between charges on its 2,500mAh battery.

In addition to the 2GHz octa-core processor, Alcatel has a full complement of other high-end specs on hand for its marquee smartphone, which will sell in basic black, bright white, and grey. There's the 5-inch 1080p HD display, the 13.1-megapixel camera with autofocus and an LED flash, plus a 2-megapixel front-facing camera; interestingly, both capture 1080p HD video.

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Unfortunately, the Idol X+ stops short of its OS potential with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, rather than 4.4 KitKat or even 4.3 Jelly Bean, though this could change by the time the phone comes to market.

You're looking at 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage, plus 2GB RAM. The GSM quad-band device (850/900/1800/1900) also supports UMTS 900/2100 bands. It weighs in at 4.6 ounces.

Overall, the Idol X+'s design was adequate, but not very exciting. The real cause for a quickened pulse is the potential performance of its eight-core MediaTek processor, and that's something we'll need to keep an eye on as the phone gets closer to launch.