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CNET First Look
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is a budget buyIf you can put up with some minor flaws, the Idol 3 -- which costs less than half the price of a premium smartphone -- is a top contender.
Alcatel phones. They look good but typically underperform. I'm happy to report all that's changed with the OneTouch Idol 3. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, taking a first look at this budget phone. Physically the Idol 3 here is pretty dapper. It's uniformly slim with silvery accents and a dark brushed plastic finish. There's a nice heft, but it isn't overly heavy. The specs pile up pretty high for this 5.5 inch version here. You get a 1080p HD screen and Android 5.0 Lollipop. There's also a 13 mega pixel camera on the back and an 8 mega pixel camera on the front. Low light shots are pretty terrible if you aren't using flash, but in well lit conditions, the photos are actually pretty good. Alcatel also gives us two JBL stereo speakers on the front that turn out a decent sound. Watch this. See how the phone is right side up with the camera at the top? Well when you turn it upside down, the whole display swaps, making the interface completely reversible. You can toggle this on and off in a setting. I also really like the feature that locks and unlock the phone by double tapping the screen. A few other enhances to this to and I find it really fast and effective. That pulse is something you have to turn on in settings. Okay now for the downside. The idle three is noticeably slow especially when navigating around. Not necessarily a deal breaker but just be aware. It also slipped out of my hands once or twice while I was using it. If you've used other phones, you'll also have to train yourself to [UNKNOWN] custom Android layer. Like figuring out how to review a picture you just took in the gallery. It's just not very intuitive. Still, the unlocked handset supports LTE speaks and costs less than half of a superpremium smartphone, so there's that. The price is pretty good for what you get and in fact this is probably the best Alcatel phone I've ever seen. Check your online and retail stores for local prices and go to Cnet.com for all the pros and cons. [MUSIC]