Skip to main content

Alcatel Idol 4S ships with 'double tap to wake' and 'glove mode' options

Early this morning, I managed to get my hands on the Alcatel Idol 4S for T-Mobile. I'll be sharing a lot more throughout the day including an unboxing and impressions post, but for now just wanted to get this out.

The Idol 4S has "true" double-tap to wake and a super sensitive display. Found under Settings > Extras the feature mirrors that found on Lumia devices. It works just as expected with no tweaking necessary.

Additionally, the Camera button on the site works quite well too.

Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 Mobile

CategoryFeatures
CPUSnapdragon 820 | Quad Core CPU @2.15 GHz
Display5.5-inch FHD AMOLED
Dragontrail 2.5D Glass
180-degree viewing
Memory64GB ROM
4GB RAM
microSD
Camera21 MP Rear
8 MP FF
Dedicated camera button
Video4K @ 30FPS
1080P @ 60 FPS
Battery3,000 mAh
Quick Charge 2.0
420Hrs Standby
15Hrs Talk
ContinuumYes
VRYes
Windows HelloYes (Fingerprint)
AudioDual speakers with Hi-Fi surround sound
Dimensions153.9 x 75.4 x 6.99 mm
Data4G LTE
T-Mobile Extended Range LTE
HD VoiceYes
VoLTEYes
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Calling 1.0
BluetoothBT 4.1
A2DP, OPP, HFP, AVRCP, PBAP

The Idol 4S is turning out to be full of surprises including excellent built quality. Stay tuned as we'll be doing a lot with this phone for the next week.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

136 Comments
  • If this was on AT&T I'd get it.
  • it comes unlocked.
  • If released on T-Mobile by T-Mobile that it is locked to the carrier at first. I know T-Mobile will unlock the device under their guidelines, for example AT&T will unlock once you pay off the phone. I want this on an AT&T Next plan, because I'm cheap/frugal.
  • Don't assume things.
  • Daniel can you check to see if it has NFC and Mobile payments?
  • @Donny-James I believe it should have NFC considering it comes with the Qualcomm SOC and W10M also supports that feature.
  • I hope Alcatel didn't remove it. T-Mobile's website says it doesn't do Mobile Payments and make no mention of NFC.
  • typo right below the two photos: change "site" to side
  • Hey Dan - thanks for confirming this info. It's stuff like this that really gets us old Lumia fans - fingerprint reader, 21 MP camera, camera button, double tap to wake, super sensitive touch and sunglight readability - not even the 950 range had these. Please confirm NFC and mircast too - but looks like these will be a good stepping stone in the right direction - will be making a purchase soon.
  • 950 range has 21MP camera, camera button and double tap to wake
  • Last week you guys posted that it was unlocked. Is that indeed the case? If not, can you tell us if the Unlock Device app is preinstalled?
  • if you're cheap/frugal, it's best to avoid the next plan. they pretty much always charge you more for the phone over time than if you buy it outright from the manufacturer (or other sources)
  • I was just going to say that. AT&T Next is the opposite of frugal.
  • AT&T anything is the opposite of frugal. The only worse one is Verizon, though at least Verizon tells you outright that you are going to pay.
  • people these days like to buy things even if they don't have the money and even if they pay more, you should know that :D
  • On the Next plan, it costs the rpice of your data plan + $40 per line OR $20 per line + a phone line payment. So keep your phone payment at around $20 per month (or put a down payment and prorate the rest) and the price comes out about the same without having to pay $500 up front. It doesn't cost anymore unless you want a new phone every year. I only need one that will last my reliably for two years. I don't alays need the next best thing. I need a great thing that will last me until I'm ready for the next thing.
  • Re: Stiv X,
    If you are cheap/frugal, you know how to save money and should be "smart" with your money. Just buy it outright, you don't need to trick yourself and pretend that payments over time, saves money.
    Best Wishes.
  • One might not have the funds to buy outright. Paying smaller monthly, even more in the long run, is easier for some people. That's why rent to own places still exist.
  • It's unlocked and off contract
  • Can you post a pic of the phone, does it have T-Mobile logo on it, is it unlocked to work on GSM networks, and do you have to buy a T-Mobile plan with a contract if you buy it?!
  • T-Mobile doesn't do contracts anymore.
  • At least in the U.S. I think. Here in Hungary, they're the biggest carrier, and all they do is contracts :D And yeah, a little bit of prepaid SIM cards too, but every phone that you buy from them is locked by default, no matter what construction you chose. So it's strange to hear :D
  • There's a picture on the t-mobile website. It doesn't have their logo but that could be a prototype. With their payment plan you pay a down payment upfront (if you've paid your bill on time for a year you don't have a down payment) and you make monthly payments for the phone. If you terminate your service before the phone is paid off, you had to pay the remaining balance when you cancel your service.
  • Kinda liking the look of this over the HP Elite x3
  • I have and love my X3, but I agree. And, this phone is a beast focused at consumers.
  • Considering price/quality this is better for most enterprises too, don't buy the enterprises BS please. Only enterprises that should buy the X3 over this are those needing a more resistant phone and those not having a virtualized environment i.e. a very small percentage.
  • Shame Microsoft isn't
  • Like the build, but those bezels...
  • You may need to see it and hold it in person. I have the idol 3s which is virtually the same dimensions and design and it is really quite nice. Also, I just dropped it for the first time getting out of my car yesterday. Just a minor knick on the corner but otherwise looking great.
  • I agree except can't go back to under 6inches after having the 1520. Everything else feels like a toy.
  • If it works as well as the specs imply, the 6" screen will be the ONLY thing I miss. I was shocked when I got my 950XL because I assumed I would barely notice a .3" reduction. Boy was I wrong. The 950XL was returned (for multiple reasons). But the even smaller screen on the Idol will still be worth it to get Continuum and Hello.
  • That's amazing - buying 3 of these!  
  • NFC Dan?  (Looks like no?)
  • Wondering the same. Specs don't show it but that's not always conclusive.
  • Qualcomm SOCs support that and have it built in. Also W10M supports NFC so it should be included already.
  • It's not that simple. NFC requires additional hardware. Like with 950s the chip(?) is on the case and you can lose that functionality with a replacement that doesn't have it.
  • I'm curious as to if it works better than the 950, I want a new phone, this 950 is not right at all.
  • Why is "this 950 is not right at all"? In what way?
  • I said my 950 isn't right, and I don't like the screen size, that's all I had to choose from. My phone must be a defect because it gets super hot still and it stutters almost every time I click on something. I thought it was the preview builds, but others say that there's don't run bad like mines do. So we'll see once I send it back to att and get another one.
  • same thing i wanna know, my 950 works well no doubt
  • It's a mediocre phone
  • I am too. I don't have many issues with my 950XL, however.
  • Glance??
  • I am liking how this phone is looking but one thing the 950 xl has is a equalizer built in. I like messing with EQ settings while listening to music. Do either the HP Elite or this phone have that function? If not then I will keep my 950 XL.
  • You can install system apps like equalizer,touch,glance .etc with the help of sysapp pusher application
  • On this phone? And they work? I think we need to see confirmation before handing over the cash.
  • Interesting never heard of it. I kinda like to have OEMs have their own spin on the audio portion. Like how there was a option for boom speakers for HTC (too much bass). with the Hi-Fi sound of the front speakers I sure there is a setting to modify it. Thanks for the suggestion though.
  • Hey Daniel. When will we see your hands on it?
  • Why do you need to see Daniel's hands?
  • Why else do we watch his videos?
  • He said that it is coming soon, but he wanted to share this with us first.
  • I'm not buying this phone because of (insert random feature here)
  • You're not buying it because you're in the UK and it's not available yet.
  • Damn I hadn't thought of that excuse, I'll add that to the list.
  • Speaking of Double-Tap-to-Wake (DTtW).... Anyone else notice that DTtW will NOT work if the phone is rotated 180^ (i.e. Microsoft logo for 950/950XL is at bottom when holding)?
  • Just tested on my 950XL (Release 10.0.14393.321, latest firmware) and DTtW works with the MS logo at the bottom.  Tried on a few different angles just to make sure.
  • My 950 DTtW works regardless of which way the phone is turned. The only thing that prevents it from working, which is consistent with other Lumia models I've used, is if the proximity sensor is covered. I believe that is so you don't accidentally register a double tap while the phone is in your pocket.
  • Well..whatdoyaknow! I just tried it after reading your replies and it now works! I could have sworn it didn't previously. Will wonders never cease? LOL!
  • Yes they do. Try sync between Phone and PC for calendar or mail. It doesn't sync. Lets wait for a 'wonder' to happen and they will sync again.
  • How exactly do u do that? I use a exchange and several pop3 and imap mail accounts. They all work flawlessly with synced calenders and mails. Or are u talking about some kind of usb sync? (950xl)
  • Probably caught one pf the random times where the feature just doesn't work. Seems to be once every 30 or so times for me.
  • Try waking it when you're covering the proximity sensor in any orientation. I'm guessing its easier to accidentally cover it if you're holding it upside down
  • It works at any dierection on my 950 XL
  • Liking the partial reviews so far... Please provide a yay or nay if we should buy it or not as soon as you can review it enough.
  • yay
  • nay
  • Damn, now I don't know what to do! =P
  • It's actually thinner than the iPhone. I need to see how this feels in the hand.
  • According to the specs listed here: -Thinner than both iPhone 7 -Same screen size as iPhone 7 Plus but must have smaller bezels because it's also smaller width and height. -Has a bigger batter than the iPhone 7 Plus (I think) -$300 dollars cheaper than iPhone 7 Plus with 64GB storage instead of 32GB -Front facing speakers and camera button. -Fingerprint reader & 4k video -Cheaper than any other highend Windows Phone. -I'm on TMobile & one of the few Windows Phone fans I'm pretty darn excited for some reviews on this one. :D
  • How can you view a screen at the 0 or 180 degree mark? :D
  • Look in a mirror. =P
  • No phone you can view screen at 180 degree unless you have phone with curved side. I do see power button and volume button though.
  • Awesome! Looking forward to a full review and unboxing.
  • @daniel can you confirm Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0? There is a lot of confusion regarding this. The 820 chip is 3.0, but the original specs posted here say 2.0. Thank you
  • If this thing has a above average camera it will be a hit
  • Hopefully these Sony lens perform very well :D
  • Very cool! Looking forward to that unboxing.
  • Does the camara have Optical Image Stabilization?
  • Glove sensitivity, the only thing I really miss on my 950XL. It worked so fine with winter moto gloves on L1520 :/
  • Same here. I miss it from Lumia 930
  • Says yes in the article. Maybe it would be a good idea to read it before asking questions?
  • I wonder if it will have glance screen?
  • Will it work on AT&T/Cricket?
  • Fingers crossed it will work on ATT.
  • :)
  • Ohhh I guess a surprise is coming.
  • Double tap to wake and sleep is the mist used feature on my lumia 950XL. I dont use volume and power buttons at all, only tapping, LOL
  • Seems like a round about way to change the volume, especially getting to music control quickly... Is there a shortcut to it I don't see?
  • I think the glove option is very important.  And I asked this a while back this is vital for people who live in areas that are cold.
  • Does it support MS wallet 2.0?
  • Why is it only capable of using 3.5 gb of Ram?
  • 32 bit OS
  • System reserved? That's my guess
  • that's the amount of usable RAM of course the system has to reserve some of it. Same thing on a PC for example a PC with 8GB RAM might only have 7.9, 7.5 or even 7.2GB of usable RAM
  • Exciting news!!
  • Dan, any chance you could highlight / embolden the text that says in depth comments / comparison coming over the next week. It's blatantly obvious very few read the whole news item. As for Dan saying yes buy one, I don't think he will offer that type of statement. You'll get a good review, if warranted, and pluses and minuses. Due to the litigious nature of certain populations, if he said buy one, and you didn't like it......
  • Yeah, I don't know why I phrased it like that. I kind of just wanted to know if they thought it was worth the price or not. Sounding like it is as of now.
  • I can't wait for the review!
  • ^^This. Although if it doesn't come before release date I might own one before it comes out.
  • Glance support?
  • Dan please get some help on unboxing, not from Zac though! ;-)
  • everything would be "premium"
  • I hope it to come outside US also. Full HD screen instead of a QHD screen will definitely increase battery life and help it to run cooler.
  • Doesnt look like it https://mspoweruser.com/alcatels-idol-4s-not-coming-to-europe/
  • Wow really! I hope that's not true.
  • wowwwww
  • Thanks Dan - this is actually meaningful. With the camera button too, going to buy 3 of these for the fam!
  • This phone seems interesting. If it has NFC the only thing missing would be Qi/PMA Charging. I wonder if there is a attachment made like some do for the iphones.
  • My questions: What is 2.5D glass? Is it the same as, or how does it compare to Gorilla glass? Glance? NFC/Wallet? Will it work with the wireless Q charger that I've been using for my 930? Hey Cortana?
  • No wireless charging.
    Cortana is built into Win10
  • Cortana is built in to Win10 mobile, but Hey Cortana, (not having to first push the microphone icon) is dependent on hardware. I can say "Hey Cortana" to my 930 and "she" will respond. On my 650 I have to touch the mic icon and there is usually a delay before it indicates that "she" is listening for my command.   It's hard to say what built in features will work with which hardware. Like why Hey Cortana and Wireless charging work with my 930 but Wallet won't since it has NFC. And why Wallet works with the 650 but wireless charging doesn't.
  • Dragon Trail glass. Company out of Japan is behind it. That is all I know...
  • Doesn't 2.5d sometimes stand for slightly curved glass? But i am not sure.
  • Possibly. In fact I think you're right. It is not Gorilla Glass 3, rather the Dragon trail type though. If you check out the hands on review of the android IDOL 4s it slightly resembles the S7 Edge design. It also states 2.5D, but it had the Gorilla brand. I caught the review on GSMarena.com back when that variant came out. It is obvious that it has dual glass slabs (front and back) slightly curved on the sides. It should be the identical shell to its Android cousin, just different hw and W10M inside. Daniel Rubino and crew should be able to attest to that seeing they have one in hand by now...
  • Removable Battery please
  • Hmmm looks like a nice phone. Continue buying into the dead platform or jump ship... Decision just got harder.... Not trolling, actually mean this.
  • Can we expect any hands on videos soon since its officially available next week Daniel? Edit: came straight to the comment section without READING first. Question answered. Thanks. Carry on. :D
  • At least you admitted it :-)
  • Yep. Figured I would before getting fried in the comment section.
  • I like how it comes with a recent release of 10AU.  Just a minor question, but I wonder if it works with the Windows Device Recovery Tool?
  • Once released. Microsoft will push an update out for the WDRT. It might not at the moment..some time next week I bet it will.
  • Sysapp pusher can add basic setting apps in extras option in settings menu. You can modify them or delete them by using storage app.
  • I am wondering about the case for this phone. I know it is based on the android version, but is it different in design?
  • If sysapp pusher will let us install glance, this phone will literally give me everything I want since having to abandon my lumia 1020.I'm really damn excited.
  • The oficial specs, sadly, do not mention NFC  http://www.alcatelonetouch.us/idol-4s-vr-smartphone-t-mobile-windows
  • Daniel, post the hand-on! You can breath, drink and do those other things on your own time.
  • The more I read about this phone, the more I like it. If only they would sell it in europe.....
  • Another Windows 10 phone with beastly specs? Awesome! Some this year we had the Acer Liquid Jade Primo, the HP Elite X3 and now this to give users 3 flagship choices. Keep them coming!
  • Lol, those are actually the only Windows Phones released this year at all
  • Lumia 650 came out earlier, along with a few International OEMs.
  • Does it have NFC?
  • Android version of Idol 4S have NFC. I guess Win10 version as well.
  • Very eager to read the review and see the unboxing. Generally excited for Windows phones and Microsoft.
  • Me too. Daniel said yesterday that he would be sharing additional information, including unboxing, etc. later in the day. Obviously not an earth day. I hope its not a Mercury day (or worse). ;) 
  • No one's mentioned the VR.
  • The Moto Z outsold all Windows phones combined last quarter. Does this phone have any chance of being support longer than a couple months? Alcatel won't bother updating a phone they only sold a few hundred of.