back to article Alcatel Idol 3: Holding its own with a pretty decent 5.5 inches

The phrase “this now the best smartphone below so-and-so quid” is going to get worn out at this rate. idol3_phones Idol 3 has JBL speakers, music app and earphones. All three are rather good The Mk 3 Motorola Moto G, the Wileyfox Swift and the Huawei Honor 7 have each recently been hailed on these very pages as a best buy …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stick your 5.5"..

    where there is no reception !

    That is a slab. We don't want massive slabs, we want a normal-sized phone **LIKE EVERYONE USED TO USE**

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Stick your 5.5"..

      I must admit I tend to agree. Why they have to make the smaller variant less powerful (and it is not just Alcatel that do this, look across the board at other big names like LG, Samsung and Sony). | suspect it's probably because of less space for the battery.

      I don't want a 5.5" phone, but I do want the performance. And that appears to be a combination I can't have.

      1. Adair

        At the risk of appearing a Sony fanboi...

        I'd just like to stick up for Sony by saying they remain one of the only manufacturers that take putting their leading phablet kit into a compact body seriously, and thus also cater for that very market that appreciates a 'normal' sized phone that slips comfortably into a pocket.

    2. Jim 48
      WTF?

      Re: Stick your 5.5"..

      "We don't want massive slabs, we want a normal-sized phone "

      Strange, I don't remember being polled as to whether I want a 'massive slab' or not. FYI I'm more than happy with my 5.5" OPO thank-you very much, and I can't see myself downgrading to a smaller screen any time soon.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Stick your 5.5"..

      I think the sales numbers indicate otherwise. I'm no fan of "bigger is better" for its own sake but, depending on what you're doing, there can be advantages in making your pockets bulge.

      Personally, although I've got small hands and fingers, I find that while a smaller screen fits them well, there are a lot of things which I find too fiddly: using any of the keyboards has to be number one. I don't use maps a lot but when I do I tend to find that you can't have enough screen. Battery life also seems better on the larger devices.

    4. AceRimmer

      "We don't want massive slabs""

      Just because its being sold doesn't mean you have to buy it

      Just like you didn't have to buy that Swedish penis enlarger you also "didn't want"

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stick your 5.5"..

      Oh enough already, if you don't want a phone this size, don't fucking buy one, problem solved.

    6. zb

      Re: Stick your 5.5"..

      Spoken by someone under the age of 50. I recently started to collect my pension and for years have had trouble using small screens. They only reason for me to buy a 5.5" screen is because I cannot find a bigger one.

      Incidentally I was all ready to order the Idol 3 based on this review until I saw the last paragraph. If I wanted a fixed battery I would have tried a iPhone. My wife is never without two spares for her Galaxy S3.

  2. petur
    Meh

    Reversible

    so that you can pick it up either way, and then curse when you're looking for the volume buttons or that the camera is behind your palm....

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Reversible

      Yup, just what I came here to say, speaking as a man who at least 75% of the time has to invert his phone after taking it out and finding it's being held upside down.

      But then again I usually take (at least) two attempts to get a USB plug in on my laptop or phone as well, so perhaps I'm just confused that way (or a reincarnated Australian).

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Reversible

        I have the same problem but I suppose it's 50/50 although it feels as 75 if not more, I also tend to drop them sometimes when using one hand.

      2. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Reversible

        > But then again I usually take (at least) two attempts to get a USB plug in on my laptop or phone as well

        You're doing it wrong if it takes *more* than 2 attempts.

  3. Bassey

    Bloatware

    Slightly ironic that you praise them for keeping Bloatware to a minimum and then praise them for the inclusion of Bloatware (SwiftKey). SwiftKey is still Bloatware. The fact that YOU happen to like it and find it useful doesn't change that.

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: Bloatware

      I define bloatware as something preloaded that you don't need. Good luck using a smartphone without a keyboard.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Bloatware

        swiftkey isn't bloatware as it is very easily switched off. Having O2/3/vodaphone/EE "store apps" and all the crap that comes with it is bloatware as these are very hard to get rid of (short of rooting and killing etc). Ive seen phones with all sorts of shovelware games, gambling apps, own store apps etc.

  4. Shak

    The right way around!

    I must be the only one who thinks this but:

    1) Power/charge sockets SHOULD go at the top - so wires trail away at desk- or tabletop use.

    2) Headphone sockets SHOULD go at the bottom - so that wires trail toward you correctly when using, and orientation of your phone is correct in your pocket.

    1. Ru'

      Re: The right way around!

      Surely if the headphone socket is at the bottom, then when it's in your pocket the headphone lead needs to go down then up to get to your ears? And the 3.5mm jack gets stressed as it's taking some of the weight? And if the lead gets caught there's little chance of just the plug popping out before the whole phone goes airborne?

      1. Edwin

        Re: The right way around!

        Actually, I think they've nailed it - depending on what I'm doing, the headphone jack should be at the top OR bottom. The USB port I don't much care about normally (Qi) but bottom works a little better for me.

        The great idea (IMO) is that I can go from portrait to landscape to portrait and not care which way I'm rotating it. With regard to fat fingers on cameras - I'm still partial to physical camera buttons (handy cue to know you're holding it right), so when they add that, I'll consider it.

      2. Andalou

        Re: The right way around!

        "Surely if the headphone socket is at the bottom, then when it's in your pocket the headphone lead needs to go down then up to get to your ears? And the 3.5mm jack gets stressed as it's taking some of the weight? And if the lead gets caught there's little chance of just the plug popping out before the whole phone goes airborne?"

        Eh? When the phone is in your pocket you want the top facing down so when you pull it out it ends up the right way up in your palm - this seems most natural when it is upside-down. As such headphone sockets should be at the bottom of the phone.

        Power is more variable - if recharging via cable then socket should be at the top so that cable is not stressed or gets in the way when you glance at it or use it when sitting down. (I know, what a lazy weakling, having to rest my wrist on my thigh.) But for docks you want it at the bottom. Because of this interface should always be flippable as docks require upside-down use.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The right way around!

      Answer the phone in the office with it plugged in and charging. Fun for all your coworkers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The right way around!

      "1) Power/charge sockets SHOULD go at the top - so wires trail away at desk- or tabletop use."

      That would be a right PITA in the car holder.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn't "Price: £180 RRP" be "Street price: £180" given that the article says the RRP is £260?

  6. a1exh

    Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 wins

    The vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is pretty much identical specification but it is £125

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 wins

      Maybe, but I'm guessing it's locked to Vodafone?

      1. scruncher

        Re: Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 wins

        It's easily unlocked on ebay. I too was sceptical of the 5.5in screen but after a minute or two gazing at its large awesomeness and enjoying being able to type accurately, my scepticism went away! I have big pockets :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 wins

          But not very deep ones it appears.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power/volume buttons

    Personally I prefer some separation between the power and volume buttons. On my tablet they're adjacent to one another and I always end up turning the screen off when I mean to raise/lower the volume. For me, the ideal is power on top, volume on the sides.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...something that Alcatel touts as an exclusive: 100 per cent reversibility.

    I must be mistaken. I could have sworn that my 2012 Nexus 7 did that?!?

    1. petur

      Re: ...something that Alcatel touts as an exclusive: 100 per cent reversibility.

      Yes, my N7 (2013) does it too...

  9. Nifty

    Talking into the earpiece?

    Does the reversibility mean that it detects which way up, and reverses the mic and earpiece speaker positions also?

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: Talking into the earpiece?

      Yes, The caller comes through on whichever speaker is at the "top" and the microphone/noise cancellation microphone swap functions too. It even works if you flip the phone during a call.

  10. Gene Cash Silver badge

    5.5" is a phablet?

    Seriously? That's only 1/2" bigger than my tiny Moto G

    Too small.

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: 5.5" is a phablet?

      Granted but the general consensus seems to be < 5.4 inches = phone, > 5.5 inches = phablet. But with so many 5.5-inchers on the market now you could argue that the term phablet should be restricted for 5.7 inches and up.

  11. dotdavid

    Updates?

    What is Alcatel's stance on updates? At least the competing Wileyfox phone is based around CyanogenOS, which does get updates to the latest Android version (albeit quite a bit later than the Nexuses and Motos of this world).

    The fact that according to the review this is on Android 5.0.2 and not 5.1 (with the new Android just around the corner) isn't a good sign.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019