Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra, is it enough?

Due to Alcatel being largely unheralded from venturing outside of budget handsets, you may view the One Touch Idol Ultra with some scepticism – it’s, however, the biggest surprise of the group. At 115g, the Idol Ultra is remarkably light, but the largely plastic build isn’t overly impressive.

On the front of the device there’s little to get excited about design wise, with just a small speaker located at the top breaking up the familiar black fascia. Turn the device around and there’s a rubberised, nonremovable, backplate that can be bought in a variety of colours. The yellow variant we tested here was a bit of an eyesore. Around the edges are the power and volume buttons and a micro SIM slot. What was really disappointing is the lack of micro SD slot and 3.5mm jack, with Alcatel bundling in a USB to 3.5mm jack instead, which is a little inconvenient to carry around.

For the most part we were impressed with the screen on offer here, and the 4.7-inch, 720 x 1,280 AMOLED display was pretty impressive. Packing in 312ppi, means text looks remarkably crisp, with just the odd colour looking a bit saturated. Another positive is that there’s only a light custom skin implemented into the Idol Ultra, with a large stock version of Android 4.1.1 being used to great effect here. There are some subtle changes that Alcatel has included, but it’s a lot better than the custom skins offered on the Xperia SP and RAZR HD. We appreciated the lack of bloat.

Powering the Idol Ultra is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor alongside a single GB of RAM. It’s a tried and tested combination and thanks to the lack of a custom skin, for the most part, the device ticks along very nicely. Multitasking is a doddle, but it struggles with a few of the more demanding apps on the Google Play store. Although watching movies is a big plus on the screen here, the lack of expandable storage is a pain to say the least.