Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 – An awesome budget and T-Mobile friendly smartphone [review]

It was back in March at MWC where I got my first hands-on experience with the new Alcatel OneTouch smartphone. And – for the first time – I was impressed by an Alcatel phone. In the past, the company has perhaps built the wrong kind of reputation for making cheap phones with far too many compromises. But the Idol 3 is the manufacturer’s attempt at making its own flagship at an affordable price. And I have to say, I’ve been impressed.

I’ll not write out my whole review again, you can see it in the video above, but I did want to share some daily real-life usage experiences with you.

I guess the biggest surprise for me was how often I went to grab the Idol 3 instead of my Galaxy Note 4 over the past couple of weeks. Even after I’d spent the usual time testing it and making observations about specific features (for review purposes), I still wanted to use it as my main Android phone. And – as many of you know – I always carry an Android phone alongside my iPhone 6 Plus. It just so happened that the Alcatel was my green robot-powered smartphone of choice.

It’s not like I preferred every feature of the Idol 3 to my Galaxy Note 4. I mean, the display isn’t as good. Neither is the camera, and its performance isn’t quite as smooth. I think it was more about having the right combination of features I enjoyed. I liked the almost stock version of Android, I liked the display size and I liked the thinness and lightness of the device. Technically, it’s not as good, but I’ve really enjoyed using it every day. And I’m a little sad I have to switch my attention to a different Android phone now, for review purposes.

For $249, this is a steal. And it’s compatible with all of T-Mobile’s LTE bands. If you buy one, you’ll miss out on T-Mobile’s built in services like Wi-Fi calling. But if you don’t have a lot to spend on a smartphone or you just want a great backup to your flagship that’ll play nice with T-Mo’s network, I can’t think of much better than this. If you want to, you can pre-order it now from Alcatel’s online store.

As always, let us know if you order and how you get on with the Idol 3 if you did.

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