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Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 unboxing, camera samples, and FAQ

T-Mobile and Alcatel are set to release the Idol 4S next week with Windows 10 Mobile. The phone will retail for $469 on November 10, which is a nice price when you consider the included VR headset that comes in the box.

Before we get to our full review, next week I figured I'd do a quick unboxing and share some initial impressions. Also, I'll share some camera samples and answer a few questions I know many of you have about this impressive device. Let's go!

Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 Mobile

CPUSnapdragon 820 | Quad Core CPU @2.15 GHz
Display5.5-inch FHD AMOLED
Dragontrail 2.5D Glass
180-degree viewing
Memory64GB ROM
Camera21 MP Rear
Dedicated camera button
Dual-tone rear flash
LED front flash
Video4K @ 30FPS
1080P @ 60 FPS
Battery3,000 mAh
Quick Charge 2.0
420Hrs Standby
15Hrs Talk
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
3G/4G BandI, II, IV, V
LTE Bands1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 20
HD VoiceYes
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Calling 1.0
BluetoothBT 4.1

In the box

  • Alcatel Idol 4S
  • VR headset/case
  • Quick Charge 2.0 charger + USB Type-C cable


The Alcatel Idol 4S has surprised me in a good way. I have become accustomed to being underwhelmed by non-Lumia phones in the past, but so far the HP Elite x3 and Idol 4S are bucking those trends.

Here are my quick observations:

  • Performance is outstanding likely due to the Full HD display (fewer pixels), and it does feel slightly faster than the Elite x3 because of that
  • The display is excellent. While the Elite x3 is still better due to the higher resolution and slightly richer AMOLED I cannot complain about the Idol 4S either
  • Button placement is different, but not bad
  • The fingerprint reader is very fast, but the small ridges around it make using it while not looking a little harder than the Elite x3
  • The camera feels very much like the Elite x3 despite having a slight edge on megapixel count. Again, it's not a terrible camera for daylight/standard shots, but it will struggle in low light or fast-moving objects. On the plus side, that camera button is nifty!
  • The phone has no stability or crashing issues like the Elite x3 had during its early release stage (now fixed). It's very reliable with no obvious bugs or flaws either in hardware design or software execution
  • Being glass and metal it will pick up fingerprint quickly; I would consider a case if you a prone to dropping phones
  • The VR experience is OK. I'm not a huge VR fan, and the lower resolution display is noticeable when using the headset compared to the Galaxy S7. I consider the VR experience a bonus add-on, not the core reason to buy this phone so whatever. At the end of the day, phone VR is still just phone VR.
  • You cannot remove the T-Mobile app for whatever reason
  • The dual front firing speakers are tremendous. While the Elite x3 also has the same setup those are tuned high for speaker phone and lack bass. The Idol 4S are much better for media and music and sound fantastic

One day in with the Idol 4S and I'm liking it a lot with little to no complaints. If you are on T-Mobile and are looking for something high end with Windows 10 Mobile, this is a good bet.

Camera Samples

Here are a few quick unedited shots. You can find non-resized on imgur if you want the originals. Most of these were shot at 4x3 aspect with the full 21MP sensor. The outdoor/trees photo is using HDR; the 'selfie' is using the front-facing camera.

Idol 4S FAQ

Alcatel Idol 4S

  • Does the Idol 4S have NFC and tap to pay?- No, the phone does not have NFC, therefore, no tap to pay option
  • Does the Idols 4S have Glance/Equalizer/Gadgets? - No, those features are still Lumia-exclusive
  • Does the Idol 4S have double-tap to wake? Yes, the Idol 4S has double-tap to wake and super-sensitive touch for when wearing gloves
  • Is the Idol 4S SIM unlocked? Update: Unfortunately, the T-Mobile Idol 4S will be SIM-locked for retail; ours is a pre-production unit hence why we can run it on AT&T too. Sorry!
  • Will the Idol 4S be released elsewhere? Alcatel is quiet on a non-T-Mobile version. That makes sense as we are in the carrier promotion stage. The phone is unlocked, has no T-Mobile branding (but it does have a T-Mobile app), and it does work overseas. For now, we'll have to wait and see, but all signs point to an eventual widespread release.
  • What OS version does it ship with? The Idol 4S ships with Anniversary Update 14393.189 and updates directly to 14393.321.
  • What VR content does it ship with? The Idol 4S ships with a VR launcher, which then lets you use a VR Gallery, Video, Store, Tube360, and games like Captain Fellcraft VR and Zombie VR.
  • How is the camera? Much like the HP Elite x3 the Idol 4S has a better than average camera, but it falls well short of the Lumia 950 and XL. The front-facing 8MP camera with flash works quite well. There are no stability or crashing issues observed.
  • Does it have an LED? Yes, there is a tiny white LED for charging near the front-facing camera. Again, it cannot be used for notifications.
  • How is battery life? Battery life is better than the Lumia 950 and probably even the 950 XL, but falls short of the Elite x3's massive 4150 mAh battery. So far, the experience has been great.
  • Are there any deal breakers? Putting aside what is mentioned above, which may be a deal breaker for some, no. The experience with this phone so far is outstanding. Great performance, beautiful display, slim, eye-catching design – there's little to criticize this phone over.

Wrap up

The Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 launches on Thursday, November 10 exclusively on T-Mobile (US) for $469.99.

I'll be doing a full review on this phone next week. If you have questions, leave them in comments or jump into our Alcatel Idol 4S Forums to start chatting with others on this phone!

See the Idol 4S at T-Mobile

You can also read Android Central's review of the Android version of this phone. Do note that the Android variant has a slower processor (Snapdragon 652), less storage (just 32GB), and a weaker camera (16MP).

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.

  • Do you know if we'll be able to buy it at MS stores as we have been able to with other devices in the past?
  • So the "boom key" can't be personalised on this version of the IDOL 4S I assume? 
  • As of now, no.
  • "Unlocked and works overseas" does that mean even if it is not launched in india i can still get it from ebay and use it with no issues, right??? Wow!
  • I believe that's it
  • Aapke muh mein ghee shakkar!!
  • Jao khana pakao
  • Lol
  • Obvio
  • Has Band 3,5 LTE but lacks band 40. It should work but you may have some issues with places where an opeator may only have LTE2300 (Band40) coverage.
  • I believe airtel and jio are well equipped. ..let's c...
  • is it supported by the insider program?
  • Daniel, link to the start screen wallpaper?
  • Main question Daniel. Elite x3 or Idol 4S? I know the differences to be the following: Elite x3 has NFC but not neccesarily Wallet Support, Elite x3 has Qi/PMA, Idol 4S has a higher megalpixel count camera, Elite x3 has larger and better screen, Elite x3 has Iris detection, Idol 4S has VR, Elite x3 has bigger battery, Idol 4S is cheaper... Am I missing anything? Which are you using more? (This may be a question for a week or so from now).  
  • I'll save for the review and/or separate article. Short take: It feels like deciding between 950 or 950 XL. Very similar phones with most personal preference becoming a factor.
  • Looking forward to it! Considering replacing my 950XL. I'm going to physically look at both the Elite x3 and this Idol 4S (If the local T-Mobile stores get them in.)
  • I'm also deciding on giving it a whirl, coming from a 950XL. My biggest fear is the camera not being as great as the 950XL. It's one of the Lumia's greatest achievements (for me). Can't wait to see the full review/picture samples.
  • Basically, at this point, if you have a 950XL I wouldn't think it would be worth it to "sidegrade" to any of these devices... The 950/XL are still good enough to hold out for the next generation of W10M devices. I'd wait.
  • Great point. Some things I'm ready to change about the 950XL tho. It's finicky. My vibration stopped working completely last week. The 950 series gets befuddled and overheats quick with heavy usage. The lack of "full" carrier support is annoying sometimes (no Wi-Fi calling, can't utilize the T-Mobile app, Service is decent but the download speeds pale in comparison to T-Mobile "branded" phones-for instance, my Lumia 640 has a more stable/reliable connection than my 950Xl. Although my 950XL is faster "when" it's performing well.) And a few other things that elude my mind. But overall, I agree with you, but there are some things that I'm ready to change and I think the Idol 4s could help with that without being a "compromise" per se. I'm looking forward to the RAM, processor, VR, carrier support upgrades and such.
  • I do agree about the features lacking compared to Branded phones. My 925 was awesome. Unfortunately rodneyej is right, trading this 950XLw would be not really an upgrade. It will be for my wife's 640 however.
  • I guess I will see in about a week. Lol. My theory is that it will be an "upgrade" for what I'm looking for. If not, no biggie. I can sell it or return it.
  • Understandable... I'm holding out (till 2029) for MS's next mobile concept... By then the finish would've wore off this 950, but looks aren't everything.
  • ...that's a long time
  • Yep. Ok I'm either dedicated, or dumb... Or both.
  • It also share the same parts with its android siblings. So I think the repair/ service in the long run would be less problematic.
  • Good point! Plus decent insurance/coverage.
  • If you factor in the price the answer is quite obvious.
  • we are talking about 2 different phones here. The Alcatel is mid range while the X3 is high end. You cant compare this 2 devices. Price difference is huge
  • Thid Alcatel is not midrange.
  • Not with those specs dude. Midrange price, high end tech.
  • How is the SD820 midrange????????
    4gb ram?
    64gb rom???? Damn, what kind of device do you call high end? Lol
  • Here comes some nonsense LOL. The Alcatel is high end with the right price, the X3 is high end and overpriced that's the only difference.
  • Don't forget the obvious difference.  The Elite X3 is a 6" phone while the Idol 4S is 5.5".  Size does matter....
  • Yepers
  • Yes, 6" is too big
  • That's not what she said... =P
  • Don't forget the Idol 4s has better speakers
  • That looks like a really nice phone. Very clean, good color and seems like it would fit in hand very nicely. Plus, VR, who wouldn't like that? I have the 950XL and love it, but if i had to, i would go with either this phone or the Elite X3.
  • Doesnt the 950XL work with VR?
  • Lol
  • I am using VR on my L535. However its quality is not good due to display. You can download "Virtual reality" app using which you can split video in to 2 parts. However it does not support 360.
  • i wouldnt purchase it, I do remember Alcatel as a brand from 2003 and I wont touch it again in my life. The same goes for Acer.
  • Every company puts out a crap product or two. I have seen some good Acers in the past for their price.
  • A lot of people felt that way about Hyundai.  They've come a long way. 
  • Look at HP from the 90's, they were on par with Compaq.
  • Then You wouldn't forever touch any Apple or Samsung product after their phones recalls in the recent several years, no? Ask yourself why.
  • Yeah judging a brand for a products released 13 years ago is very clever LOL
  • i dont care for vr... ​i would actually like i f i can purchase the phone with the additional vr headset.  
  • So Daniel.. Is this phone better than the 950?
  • Wow, nice phone. Just wish it were 5.2 inch like the 950. Anyone know if WiFi calling works?
  • It lists WiFi calling and voice over LTE in the specs.
  • Nice, would like to see that tested.
  • lol I was just thinking that I wish it was 6 inch.
  • Let's see.
    4gb ram
    64gb rom
    21mp camera
    8mp ffc
    Sounds like it has more tech..
    The only downsides are
    No W.Charging
    Slightly less imagining quality
    No NFC..... That being said, I wouldn't trade my 950 for this, but if I had to I could definitely live with it. Nice phone.
  • I'm loving my little 950 and at the moment, the only phone that will make me dump it is a Surface Phone 2017!
  • I can't say I love my 950.. I LOVE my 920, and 1520, but this 950 is nice for how it performs. Doesn't look bad (doesn't look awesome either), has a VERY good camera, modern specs... It'll do. It's main limitation is W10M, and it's rough nature, but that can be fixed... Either way, I'm thankful for what God gave me, that's the bottom line, and we're blessed...
    Let's say "Surface Mobile Concept" for now.
  • 20??
  • Think I would choose this over the x3
  • most definitely,totally agree with you there, right dimensions
  • How come a mid-range phone has better processor than 950 flagships? Or am I missing something?
  • 950 is over a year old now. I'd say that device is upper mid range or high range.
  • Thats true but still for that price, that is some good processor.
  • Did you mean:
    "How come a newer phone has a newer processor than the 950?"
  • How is it mid-range? It was a mid-range Android phone, but it has a new/faster processor, more internal memory, and a higher MP camera. 950 is one year old. This is new.
  • Maybe he meant how come price is mid range? I'm done translating for the day.
  • This year, and last year, true premium devices are 2K screen minimum, 1080p is a step backward, visibly. In 2014 1080p was premium, now it's blurry midrange.
  • How can you tell on a less than 6 inch screen unless you are doing VR or something that puts your eyeballs ultraclose to the screen? Maybe my eyesight is just that bad. Probably the latter.
  • Or it is a good way of saving battery... 1080p on a 5.5" is about 412ppi. Do you really need more? Everything above 300ppi is only useful for vr.
  • No, you really don't need more. Sorry, but to me all that "bigger/more is always better" crowd just seems silly
  • Not even for VR, VRs issue is the space inbetween the pixels, those tiny black borders. And they're still there, taking the same amount of space even if you're at 500ppi. Oculus made a big deal about having screens with tiny intra-pixel borders and Magic Leap has patents to take it further by projecting the image from behind to make the borders not exist at all.
  • Well, iPhone 7 is 1080p.
    Is it midrange?
  • Spec-wise is lower to mid end. Performance wise it is the best
  • That's not my intention. My intention was, by using iPhone as an example, we cannot just say 1080p is midrange.
  • I think Mark accuratly reflects the thnking of the general cunsumer. ​I personally think the 1080p is probably the optimal resolution for small devices. For me, faster operation, and better battery life are preferable to bragging rights. We have come to expect that Flagship devices will include eveery possible hardware feature. Manufacturers that evaluate the market and consumer needs may leave out some of the lesser used features for cost or weight considerations. I do not know if this is a Flaship, High end, Mid range, High end of Mid Range. It does not matter. I looks good enough at a fair price.
  • the 950 was released a year ago.
  • At this rate, next year we'll have an 830 processor.
  • I  don't beleive the 820 was available when they launched the 950/XL. It's definiately a compelling reason to get this phone.
  • This isn't a midrange phone
  • This isn't a midrange phone
  • I guess we'll have to get it in India to decide whether it is or not. Keeping our fingers crossed.
  • I must've missed the memo. I didn't know India was now the final arbiter of what's mid-range or high end. Please forgive my Western ignorance.
  • with 4 gigs of ram of course not
  • Because it's NOT a midrange phone
  • It's really good looking device.... And the VR is not bad at all, though! Already on my Christmas gifts list... Also good to know its unlocked!
  • It's on mine too in case you were wondering what to get me.
  • I am getting this one for my girlfriend.... Size matters for me and I already hinted her for HP Elite X3... I am practicing to pretend surprised in case she got my hint!!!
  • You mean size matters for her. Get your priorities straight young man.
  • How can you see notifications if no Glance and that LED can't be used to notify?
  • You have to wear special contacts.
  • lol...that was pretty funny
  • i like this guy
  • Lockscreen, live tiles, notification centre?
  • The old fashioned way. Check the phone. What about the sysapp someone mentioned? Will that give you the ability?
  • You must be new to Windows. LED notifications have never existed on this current platform. Unless you have it set to always on, Glance shuts off after 15 minutes by default anyway.
  • I don't understand what does it mean "it has VR". There are $10 headsets that you can put any 4-6" phone and watch VR content on. Windows Store already has VR apps, if this phone doesn't come with "special" applications, what is the huge deal about it "having VR"? Edit: "I'm assuming this 'VR Launcher' is just another content player"
  • It's a conspiracy
  • was thinking the same thing!! maybe its a reason its priced like that even tho that aint a bad price at all...Theres not that many good VR apps on windows yet that i would be inclined to get all hyped to get a VR headset that maybe over priced..idk but that dam phone looks nice lol
  • Maybe they meant that it comes with a VR headset?
  • Phone needs some sensors to work with VR. For example I cannot use my 640xl in VR because it lacks gyroscope. That's all I am aware about.
  • Awesome... Thank you so much for the information! Sounds really great. Kind of making me jealous that it is going to my wife and not me. I guess I need to keep telling myself that I have in some ways a better phone in the 950XL.
  • Your phone has an Iris scanner, wireless charging, better screen, better camera, Tap to pay and Glance.
  • Yep, unfortunately none of which I use (could never get the damned iris scan to work after I finally scanned my eyes properly) except for glance. I can wait though, like I said just slightly jealous. At least I can play with her phone! =P
  • Welp. This was going to be my next phone but no NFC is a deal breaker. Guess I'll wait for the Cerulean to come out.
  • That'll be a lonnnggg wait
  • Why is it a deal breaker for you? Faster pairing with devices or because of lack of tap to pay? Just curious. I'd totally understand the pairing reasons - it is so convenient to bump my Lumia to my speaker.
    But if the reason is payments, then I'm not that sure it is a loss. I work in the credit card industry and there are many reasons why not all merchants are accepting contactless payments. What is interesting is the rise of the QR code payments (Walmart Pay, Chase pay), which do not require NFC. This payment type was originally being mocked as ancient and clunky. A year later, not so much anymore.... it has a lot to do with the back end set up for this payment type - the merchant doesn't need to change their terminal and pay exorbitant $$$ to do so. If the terminal has a scanner, it can receive QR, so the population of merchants is instantaneously larger than tap to pay.
  • Awesome answer. Is tap and pay actually secure? Or is more like a RFID card that can be skimmed?
  • RFID is not encrypted to my knowledge, so that cannot even compare to Tap to Pay or QR code peyment method.
    Bear in mind that in contactless payments, the card issuing banks are now using what is called "tokenization". To overly simplify things: your card is added to your bank's mobile wallet app, the bank issues you a token through the app, a quasi-random card number if you will, which is unique to you and is different than your card number. Your bank knows what token they issued to you and compare it to the matching record to make sure it's you and charge your card. This token is used to settle the transaction, so the merchant never knows who you are, or what your card number is. Nil. 
    So, even if tap to pay was somehow hacked at the POS terminal and the adversaries swiped the encrypted data off of it, all they'd get would be a useless one time credit card number, a token, which they could not use for anything. Your data is constantly behind a veil and only your bank can see through it. Not even the acquirer who receives the transaction from the merchant can see it. It's a similar approach to those RSA tokens used to connect to corporate VPN - you have one half of the code (token), your employer  has the other. Tokenization uses a similar idea. 
    Since vast majority of large stores have barcode scanners at their terminals, I would not be worried about no NFC.
    And for those mobile solutions where a phone or tablet is used as a POS terminal because merchant did not want to pay for an expensive contactless terminal - well they all have cameras, so QR code scanning is a no brainer, actually... This is a very complicated topic, so I've oversimplified where I could.
    Very exciting times and we have lots to expect in the coming couple years!!!  
  • Ok, I think I understand now thanks. RFID is more like a broadcasted magnetic strip (meaning no encryption and can be skimmed) in essence and tap to pay or QR is more like a card with a microchip. Makes me feel a lot better if I choose to start using my phone as payment one day.
  • Even though I'm no longer using Windows 10 Mobile, with tears in my eyes I can finally say we got one. We got one. Good job Alcatel and T-Mobile. Wish this had happened sooner.
  • If only the world cared. At least it will tide us over until the 'next big thing'.
  • Nice to see new devices coming out. They're filing the void Nokia left behind. We still need an icon replacement on Verizon and maybe a smaller device on att.
  • I just wish it happened when I was still committed to the platform and I wish Nokia/Microsoft could've done more to get previous flagships to more carriers besides AT&T. I'm two years removed now and Android has been great especially the app selection.
  • Thanks for your time supporting Windows and for coming here to post.
  • I think thats a fair statement and I dont know why its being voted down. Lets be honest, we've all had our fair share of disappointment with mobile but I would say to you that perhaps its time to come home. Mobile is maturing nicely.
  • All we need now is apps, or at least developers to start to care.
  • I feel the "exclusives" hurt the Windows mobile growth.  But I'm loving the unlocked choices that we're getting now!
  • Come back, you can afford this as 2nd phone ;)
  • I've been very happy with my Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL. That company is a rising star.
  • .
  • I've hated mine I can't wait for this to come out.
  • The XL really doesn't handle Redstone 2 very well. I didn't think the Snapdragon 210 was a great choice. Anyhow, since the Fierce XL has disappeared from the T-Mobile Website, it was probably more of a placeholder for this one. I know that's why I got one....add it to "the drawer"
  • I was hoping the 2gb of ram would really help in performance compared to my 810. I was wrong. Underwhelming.
  • I wanna know how to get those vr apps for my 950!
  • The camera key is in a very odd location. :S
  • Probably because it was not originally meant to be the camera button.  I'll take it still!
  • It's a Boom key.
    Let's hope we can use it for other purposes in the future.
  • Honest question from a tech noob. What are the drawbacks (if any) of it being a 32 bit instead of 64 bit system. Just curious. I'm trying to determine between this an the Lumia 950 XL.  the camera and screen are better on the XL,  but the processor & storage are better on the Alcatel. 
  • As of now, no differences. In theory, 64-bit can be more secure for enterprise. A 64-bit system could also use 4GB of RAM and more. Other than that there are not too many other advantages known. A 64-bit version of Windows 10 Mobile is in the works, but there are no further details at this time.
  • Thanks for the explanation. Since I'm used to my L640 with 1GB of RAM, I'm sure the 3.5GB be more than enough :)
  • @Daniel, @jlwaters11
    How wide the address-, databus and some of the CPU registers are (that's what we're refering to with 32- and 64-bit systems) doesn't have any impact on how secure a computing device is. In this context we're discussing encryption technologies and you can encrypt/decrypt anything you want with any algorithm you want on both 32- and 64-bit systems. However, 64-bit systems can usually do both slightly faster... sometimes.
    When Apple introduced their 64-bit CPU, encryption/decryption speed was the stand-out improvement. However, with the same iteration of their CPU, Apple also introduced new CPU instructions designed specifically to improve ecryption/decryption performance. It was those new instructions that contributed most to the improved benchmarks. Those same CPU instruction based gains could also be exploited using a 32-bit CPU. The 64-bit CPU would still be better, but even for full device encryption not by much.
    In theory there are some additional advantages for 64-bit systems, particularly when it comes to dealing with very large or very precise floating point math, but smartphones aren't used to run the types of software where those things matter. The biggest advantage of a 64-bit CPU is mass-marketability. That will change when mobile tablets and smartphones regularly ship with more than 3GB RAM though, which makes a 64-bit wide address bus absolutely necessary. I think we're pretty close to that now.
    There are actually some drawbacks to the 64-bit variants as well. The most important of those is that the same same program will require on average about 10% more space in memory. Given two smartphones, where everything is identical except for the the "bit'edness" of the OS, the 64-bit device will behave as if it had 10% less RAM.
  • No drawbacks other than the 3.5gb ram limit.
  • Well that really looks beautiful and that display feels super crispy,well done alcatel.
  • Will this phone work on Verizon? That is the question.  
  • No. That is the answer.
  • Gotta love people who are quick witted who reply to people's comments... Genius!!
  • Any idea on the aperture size on the camera?
  • Sim Unlocked!!!! This is what I need!
  • When a 6 minute unboxing video you really want to see is released but you have a meeting in 4 minutes. :( Will watch and read later.
  • Ooh, now that I'm out, super cool device. Looking forward to that review!
  • That was a short meeting!
  • LOL! Yeah, it was probably about 30 minutes. Much appreciated on a Friday.
  • Lol Happened to me several times.
  • I want to say that it is the worst, but at the same time, your job allows you to buy pretty things like this so my mind was split. As soon as I got back to my office, that was the first thing I did LOL
  • Is it safe to say that this IDOL 4S is the exact form factor as the Android version and any IDOL 4s case will fit properly?
  • Yup
  • What about the fingerprint reader? Would the case for android cover that up?
  • Android version has a fingerprint reader, so no?
  • Oh, sorry. I thought someone said it didn't. Thanks for the info!
  • I think I didn't hear you say 'Continuum support' ... Or Did I miss anything??
  • He said he will wait for the full review next week.
  • If you look on Amazon, the IDOL 4S cases have all the, flash & fingerprint reader.  Safe to say, those will fit.
  • It's smart play from Alcatel. For once, you will have a phone with lots of accessories available at launch.
  • Is it water resistant or water proof? No NFC is tough to swallow. That means no hope of ever getting tap to pay.
  • Have you ever used tap to pay? The only tap to pay I've ever seen was barcode scan at starbucks. Does anyone even use this?
  • is it possible to install glance via sysapp pusher?
  • All that great hardware and no NFC?!? Always ends up being too good to be true.
  • Yes, there is always something missing. Sigh...
  • It depends really. Not everyone really uses NFC. I had a Galaxy S6 and never used it. Then switched to the Lumia 950. I wouldn't notice the difference.
  • I'm thinking you'll probably notice the difference when tap to pay is supported by more banks and is used more widely.
  • I've never used it, either, and unless they come up with some use other than the current one, I never will.
  • I want that wallpaper, where can I find it?
  • Anybody?
  • Ikea?
  • No NFC is odd, not a deal breaker but odd, I'm leaning towards Idol4s, but i really like the x3 too, but I think I'm rock with the Idol 4s
  • This may be the x3 killer in the US me think.
  • Are we trending #NotDeadYet
  • Probably not.
  • Surprised about the lack of NFC not a deal breaker tho I almost never used it on any of my phones. Tap to pay isn't going to be a thing on mobile no time soon.. Getting this phone day one
  • I've only used NFC a few times on my phones, so it's not an issue to me. I only wish it had wireless charging, but other than that I perfectly happy. I'm pretty sure I'm going to pick up one next week. Can't wait to upgrade from the L640.
  • I'm upgrading my 640 XL. I had the 640 but couldn't get past 5-7 hours of battery life so I got the XL until something better came. It's a great phone but I've been waiting for fast charging, USB type c, and a higher mp camera front and back. It's got everything I want and the latest processor I've been stuck in sd400 hell for years as tmobile hasn't really had much higher end phones
  • That's funny. I been looking for months for a "mid-range" replacement, only to find really options. I like the 950XL, but I'm leaning towards this as it's supports T-MOBILE EXTENDED RANGE tech.  I'm waiting to spend the big money whenever the "surface Phone" finally arrives. (assuming Late 2017/ early 2018)
  • I want to buy this phone and use it with AT&T but I really want the dust and waterproofing of the Elite X3. I have a 950XL and it just seems underpowered when it comes to gaming and it over heats so much, though I do maximize it's use with Continuum daily. I hope Alcatel far exceeds their sales forecast for this phone and if I was a T-Mobile customer still, I would buy this phone without reservation! I may see about switching one of my lines from AT&T to T-Mobile to get this phone. I could use the WiFi calling and texting at work as our IT department is in a basement.
  • Did you look at the video? It is unlocked from TMO. You can use ATT if you really wanted to.
  • He wants dust and waterproof.
  • I hope many eBay sellers ship this intentionally since It's unlocked. Using android form factor means no problem for mass production as long as we are interested in it.
  • Are there any updates on cases besides Incipio? I'm one of the rare ones that love otterboxes and I know they don't like windows phones either, and that is my biggest issue with my 950xl to be honest...I want a good case like an otterbox and it doesn't exist. I am hoping since this phone has 2 flavors, someone makes a good case for it.
  • You can use all their android cases
  • I don't actually have a case to look at, but since USB-C is bigger than Micro-USB, is the hole for the charging oversized on the android cases?
  • It blows my mind that the Android version has NFC but this one doesn't. Wierd. I hope we get an update later on that enables it. C'mon Alcatel, you can do it.
  • They had a lot of other stuff to stuff in it.
  • If given the choice, most here would pick the faster processor and better camera over NFC.
  • Stabilizer for the camera???  
  • No.
  • See a doctor for medication to steady your hands.
  • Scotch works...
  • Hey Daniel. Since everybody else seems to be only concerned with CPU specs and other geeky things, I'll ask the Windows-relevant question. Did you try Continuum and if so, how was the experience?
  • Not yet, but will save it for the review. I expect it to be the same as Elite x3
  • Thank you Dan. I've been watching this phone since it was 6" and still called the Pro. So come next week mine will be coming my way (as opposed to "Soon). The absolute best new information is Unlocked. I really hope this isn't a fluke with your review unit. But, as always, I'll take your word for it. Personally mine will have a T-Mobile Sim in it. I'll be looking forward to your review. And I hope somehow Steve Litchfield in the UK gets his hands on one to review. Apparently Thurrott already has his. Anyway, I talked with T-Mobile Support today and their people seem genuinely excited about this. I got a comment on how good they thought it looked. I agree. With all the people who bitched about the looks of the 950 I hope they're happy with this one. Alcatel has partnered with Incipio for a couple of cases that actually look nice. Expensive, but nice. Amazon already has them. And they're a few more available. I hope this turns out to be the phone we've been waiting for. Who knows, if we buy enough maybe Alcatel will throw Windows 10 on the 5" Idol 4.
  • We're you able to pre-order it?  I called and was told I couldn't yet...
  • I wish they would allow it on the site! I am checking every day.
  • There's an Order Now number on the listing. The people I talked to didn't have access yet.
  • Funny, I went through the same thing... They shouldn't have the order now number and coming soon listing on the same page when technically you can't order "right now".
  • I'm happy with T-Mobile but the website could use a little help. Right hand has a communication problem with the left hand.
  • It wouldn't be the first time a factory unlocked phone with no carrier branding hits T-Mobile. The BlackBerry Classic they sold was the North American unlocked version and there wasn't a stitch of Magenta anywhere on it. Howeverrrrrr, as Daniel pointed out, the T-Mobile app is there and it's uninstallable.
  • Uninstallable, but ignorable. :-)
  • Especially with 64GB of built-in storage and being able to unpin from start. It practically doesn't exist to me lol :-)
  • This and since it can be removed from your home screen, who cares? lol
  • The good thing with w10m is the start screen and the all app. It can hide perfectly in the all apps.
  • Thanks Dan.  Look forward to the full review. Specs look really good to me.
  • It doesn't matter how many partners Microsoft have and quantities of phones they build. The consumers need to know what they can do with windows phone. I've never seen a commercial TV about Continuum. Students and other people need to see that, it's not only window's fans. Come on Microsoft it's only a litle be of tvs ads.
  • ^^^ This. ^^^ like Jason said.. It's time to start pushing Windows 10. That means ALL DEVICES!!!
  • its been bugging me for a few days now (may be I just haven't been reading phone specs in awhile) why is it 64GB ROM? isn't ROM = read only memory? or does it stand for something else now? I'm assuming that means 64GB internal storage, right?
  • Someone probably rebranded it Recordable Onboard Memory like it didn't stand for something else first.
  • What are the exclusive apps? link?
  • The pictures of it sure made the phone look bad for me, but seeing it on the video made me think "Not to shaby!" Is this phone a big uppgrade compared to lumia 930? (considering Windows 10?)
  • Yes, a big upgrade.
  • Isnt blackberry DTEK60/50 also this phone? (with android and a diffrent color?)
  • 60, android, and different back altogether.
  • We can get close. I've found a Carbon Fiber skin for the 4S. Yes, Amazon.
  • The BlackBerry is almost identical except for the QHD display. I expect the FHD on the Windows version outperforms in every battery metric.
  • Same guts, different OS and trim. It's also the TCL 950 and may join the Android lineup as the Idol 4 Pro
  • so the question is... Who makes the phone since it is sold as Alcatel,Blackbery and TLC? Is it just a chinese(I assume, but I might be wrong!) company that outsources the same model to different companies?
  • TCL is the parent company. They are to Alcatel what Toyota is to Lexus. BlackBerry has farmed out their design & manufacturing to TCL for future hardware. No more Canadian-based BlackBerrys for the foreseeable future.
  • Rumor has it that the Blackberry/TCL relationship is done. Blackberry just signed a deal with a manufacturer in Indonesia to make phones that will be branded Blackberry.
  • Windows is better on battery as a os we saw that with the HTC one m8, the lower screen res bigger battery and processor the battery life should be noticeably better fact wait to see the comparisons on the Alcatel different models on android windows and blackberry
  • bargain bin in a few months. Ill pick it up then. SPECS are good, just that the ecosystem is not meant to be supported as the OS is in beta test until the real purpose of windows mobile gets revelead maybe next year.
  • Can you also predict lottery numbers too?
  • this one looks nice..
  • Hey Dan! Just a quick question: the camera. I know it's not Lumia quality but compare it to an iPhone 6s Plus/7. Better/Equal/Worse?
  • God, I wish something happens, so I can come back from Android. Typing this on my old Lumia 1520, and loving it :)
  • So when can I buy one in the UK? :D
  • Very underwhelming for me. I was looking for an upgrade to the 950, but this is a downgrade. Specs are nice on paper, I'm definitely not giving up NFC, Glance, QHD screen, and killer camera for paper specs. VR is not my thing.
  • Gotta start somewhere. The 950 is still a great phone for the specs despite its age. Hopefully next year will be better year for new releases.
  • One more question Daniel. I noticed in the pictures that there are speaker grills top and bottom on BOTH sides? Has Alcatel gone Quadraphonic on us 40 years too late?
  • nah, they're just openings on the back, which does help to spread the sound a bit.
  • In other words, an aesthetic "paja mental" if you understand my Cuban dialect.
  • I was re-reading the Idol 4S (Android) review on GSMArena. They explain it like this.  "These are actually double-sided. In other words, there are a total of four speaker grilles, two on the back and two on the front. The Idol 4s is equipped with a pair of 3.6-watt JBL-certified speakers with Waves Audio. They can shoot stereo audio both ways. " The advantages of this is so you can listen with the phone face up or face down. Who knew?
  • What ATT bands are working?
  • Looks more premium than the X3 at almost half the price. Can't wait for Dan's review.
  • Great review, thank u. I may be upgrading to this on my T-Mobile plan next week, so thank u. One question: Does this phone have the lock screen? (The X3 had replaced the Lumia one with their own, etc.) The photos on the Idol look 100% better than the ones I took with the X3, which is why I returned that phone, that, and the incessant rebooting, premium price and instability issues I had with mine. How long does the battery last? Thanks
  • You should probably wait for the full review next week.
  • Looks pretty dope. It's nice to have flagship-level W10M hardware in this price range. I hope people buy it! It's also really cool that this is unlocked and has no branding on the body. I wonder how long $300 Lumia 950 hardware will be around to cannibalize the market for this one, though...
  • Bummer that it doesn't have NFC. Oh well.
  • This phone looks very nice. Thank you Daniel for the unboxing video. This stinks. I should have waited a few weeks longer, but the 950 for me has been a great phone so far and I am enjoying win 10 much more now with this device. Still will check it out when it hits TMO. It's about time we got a true
    windows powerhouse on our carrier.
  • It got no glance screen. That's a little L
  • Wish it had wireless charging and NFC. I wonder if this will be offered at Microsoft's stores.  It would be a great deal with the student discount.
  • what about miracast?
  • If it has continuum...which it can cast
  • I really wished it had at least NFC. :/
    ​I want to want it to be future proofed a little be longer.
  • Isn't NFC is supported in the Snapdragon 820. Maybe a firmware upgrade is all that will be needed. Can anyone confirm?
  • Does it support audio through the USB-C port? I would love to be able to use that in my car to control the music from my steering wheel.
  • I control music with the controls on my steering wheel over Bluetooth.
  • I can't. My car only picks up the phone using phone controls. It doesn't apply to music it seems. I guess it depends on the system.
  • Interesting. What car system do you have? My Ford Tpuch with Sync by Microsoft is what my Explorer has.
  • Hey Daniel, can you please let Michael Fisher review this phone? Just for a few days? Let's see what he has to say.?
  • Well we know what the HP can do (and not do). Let's see a comparo piece with this and the Acer Liquid Jade Primo. They're only $20 apart at the moment so it's natural to see which is the better kit. I suspect the Idol has a better camera but that Acer can really belt out some nice sound. At least the one I played with at the MS store did.
  • Did wc ever even review the acer? I never hear anything about it
  • Doesn't the Acer still not have the AU?
  • I'm all over this like white on rice
  • Will wallet work with tap and pay or is that still limited to the 950s?
  • Can we get the phone without the VR? I really don't care for VR at all..
  • I keep seeing for a limited time on the listings, so maybe you can wait it out and they will have just the phone.
  • I hope so. Wonder if it was going to drop the price
  • Not likely, and even if it did it wouldn't be significant.
  • oh well.
  • maybe by $5 or at most $10
  • How do you use Continuum on this phone? It only comes w/ a VR headset. Didn't see other device/accessory similar to the L950 & 950XL and HP Elite X3.
  • I think there will be a dock or adapter later on(can't remember what it is called), but can't we use the MS version with it?
  • You don't necessarily need a dock for Continuum. You can always use the Microsoft Wireless Adapter or the Screenbeam Mini 2 Continuum Edition.
  • Or direct wireless to the TV, this is actually the only way I have used it. There is indeed lag with that though.
  • Strap system that goes around haha
  • Can't wait to get this phone next week. From someone coming from the 640 this will definitely be an upgrade. Patience definitely worked out here.
  • Haven't we all come to the conculison that Microsoft has all but abondanded the "phone" market?  Why throw good money after bad?  What makes this phone worth getting?  I don't see how it brings anything new to the table.  Sure it might be faster than the 950, but everything else is a side grade at best.  IDKN I just can't bring myself to get burned by Microsoft again    
  • What makes the phone worth getting to some people is they enjoy using windows mobile devices. They also want an upgrade from the lower end line of Lumias 550, 6**, etc. Also some with older phones that the batteries are dead or the screen is cracked actually may NEED to upgrade their phones.
  • I could not care less if MS makes phones or not, as long as I have good windows phones and every app that Ineed or want.
  • Does it have HEY CORTANA??
  • I am sure of it
  • Well if someone is carrying an entry level device or midgrade device then this is am awesome upgrade. However, myself having a Lumia 950, this wouldn't make any sense.
  • It's giving u better battery life, better windows hello, and a better processor. More like a sidegrade
  • Yes, but are those things better than PureView camera, NFC, and Glance? I don't think so
  • I'll take the 820 processor over glance, NFC isn't a factor because mobile payments on mobile apparently is never gonna be a thing. Glance I don't care about it has double tap to wake so I'm fine. I can live without it
  • Depends on who you are and what your needs are
  • Yes I agree it depends. I am a business man and need my notifications on my screen in real time. If there was a notification light than that would work too, but it doesn't. Glance is the deal breaker for me personally.
  • Is it available in india?
  • you are kidding right? Hamen sirf door se dekhne hi milega
  • I was on board with this and looking to switch carriers even to get it until.... No wireless charging. I have a wireless charger by my bed, on my desk, and in both of my cars. I can't go back to wired charging in all of those locations. Too bad, this looks nice and my Icon is feeling old.
  • Fast charge 3.0 > wireless charging
  • I think it has QuickCharge 2.0 and not 3.0. Still mauch faster than an older charger. My 950XL with QuickCharge 2.0 charges from 0 to 80% in about an hour.
  • X3 no?
  • think of it this way: you probably won't need chargers everywhere if you can charge your phone in an hour or so, to last the whole day. Lets wait for the full review though next week from Dan about it.
  • I have the 640XL, and have had for almost a year. It's been very good for a reasonably priced phone, with low to med specs. There's nothing that it can't really do for me. With all the updates it keeps getting better, however the internal memory is inadequate and the some apps won't work with an SD card. I think that people complaining about the quality of the 950 etc are just annoying. I feel proud to have the 640XL and feel it is a quality phone compared to tacky Samsung metal phones that look so last century. Long comment short, not sure I'd get this or the HP. Leaning more towards the HP because I love the way it looks. This Alcatel smacks of Samsung although I'd have to see it and touch it. I'll be waiting for the Cerulean (terrible name) and any other phone, AND of course, the Surface phone (wallet?) 640 will chug along until then, but if it happened to die tomorrow and I had to choose something now, it would be the 950XL. (price!!!!) op
  • +640 to your points. That is the reason why I am still on Windows till now. However, if X3 does not make it to India soon (and is not priced same or more than iPhone7), and there is little hope of this one reaching here either, I will be forced to switch to Android, and I dread it. Its like someone who has been used to living a bunglow is forced to live in a small appartment, just becuase the appartment is close to so many apps, that are inaccesible from the bunglow.
  • It looks awesome and great to see a new phone out there with Win10. I dont use tap to pay or any nfc, so that doesn't matter to me. Im still loving my 950XL (especially with the leather mozo back) so im gonna continue waiting things out. Im curious about the Cerulean phone especially. I hope they get their kinks worked out.
  • Hey Daniel , can you let us know if this VR set (clean and beautiful) will fit/ work with our Lumia 950XL ?
    I will be happy to install the exclusive VR apps from Alcatel on my Lumia.(if there is a way, help!)
    I don't think there is a need to upgrade, i can't live without the camera of Lumia 950XL.
  • It doesn't matter too much if NFC is missing since Microsoft have no real tap and pay infrastructure outside a small number of US banks. Pretty much the only phones it works on are the 950/950XL. Microsoft are years behind Apple and Google on NFC tap and pay despite having a partner in Nokia that was years ahead and not using that technological advantage. Nokia is currently pushing technology boundaries again by its involvement in developing 5G technology.
  • This is disappointing in the UK where tap to pay is huge. They need to catch up here for sure
  • Are the VR apps generally available in the store (even if it's via a link and not a public searchable listing)
  • Close call, as a business man, I cannot live without either glance or notification light. I need to see missed notifications. Hopefully since they killed Lumia, they will bring it over one day.
  • Daniel, It states in the info that it can handle Micro SD cards up to 32GB. That seems very odd, is this a typo, will a 64GB Micro SD work in the phone? Have you tested to see if you can use a larger card?
  • I've tried putting 64GB ones in a phone that only supports 32GB and while it worked for me I've had friends who haven't got them to work.
  • It is probably copy paste from android version. Not everybody is licensing exfat there, so sd is often limited to 32.
  • The android/BB version supports 2 TB so I think it's a typo.
  • I put a 256GB with no issues in my phone.  Note: my SD Card came from the Samsung Note 7 promotion which is a Samsung branded card.
  • It works on Cricket! Might be time to upgrade from my 640XL...
  • Do eeeeeet!
  • I'll be getting this phone for one reason, wi-fi calling.  It is confirmed to support that through T-Mobile, right?  I really hope so.  While I do love my 950 XL, not having wi fi calling is a big issue for me.
  • Bring it to Europe! PLEASE! And make a XS-Version of it with 4,7" or less!
  • Thanks for this Daniel, I'm still learning about my lumia 950 xl My priv is my secondary device now and I rock my xl all day all the time as my daily driver. Don't think il be upgrading to this as I don't see anything wrong with my xl.
  • I'm very frustrated that this new w10 phone will not be launched in Europe. Does anyone know if it's full unlocked and compatible with european carriers? I intend to buy it from US
  • I would rather support Daniel's point here. Making any anouncement of its release outside of T-mobile will hurt T-Mobile's possible sales. But it should make to other markets for sure. Why would Alcatel hold back on portential revenues to be had from countries where it does have a sales and service presence?
  • Alcatel ​could​ decline to sell in other markets if the certification and other costs are too high for them to make money. However I agree that they will probably rel​ease this in other markets, but they have a deal with T-Mobile right now so they can't talk about that yet. As a T-Mobile customer I am happy they brought this phone on.
  • Is there a dual sim variant?
  • USB-C?
  • There is a link on the article to the phone's site. There is more stats on that. To answer your question, yes.
  • Yes
  • I didn't see the detailed specs on antennas if those were given, so that would make this a genuine question. But seeing as how a big deal would probably have been made if the answer were yes, seeing as we heard nothing about the matter, I assume these phones will not work on Verizon. Can anybody confirm? If they will, then I might just have to spring for one. :-)
  • So now we have a; Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 and a Alcatel Idol 4S with Adndroid 6.0 ^_^      
  • How about a showdown?
  • It's really unlocked? I might get this.
  • Who can get me one? I am serious living in the Netherland, but would realy like to buy one. If so, please contact me.
  • Same here. This looks like a device for me. Great specs at an affordable price point. That's just made for Dutchmen! <tempted to type something Dutch here>
  • I still keep my 950 on the side, but I recently moved to the BlackBerry DTek60 as my daily driver.  The config is slightly different, but this phone is a beast!  I loaded it up with all the Microsoft apps, and switched all the defaults to Cortana and Bing.  Honestly, a BlackBerry running Android is the shaping up to be the best "Windows" phone I've ever had. I highly recommend the hardware.
  • ^^ 950DS user here. I also picked up the BlackBerry dteck60. I am very pleased with it's all around performance. I'll be keeping this one. Question for those that have or will use both versions of this phone. It seems that the BlackBerry version of the camera gets excellent results, so is it just camera software that makes the difference here?
  • That cat has clearly seen it all...
  • For now, we'll have to wait and see, but all signs point to an eventual widespread release.
    I know the american context is different but this needs NFC if released in the UK - touch to pay is so convient and is pretty much everywhere in such a short period of time that I wouldn't consider buying a phone without it regardless of its other merits. 
  • Does anyone have a link to the colorful wallpaper that comes insalled on the device? it was very simple and elegant.
  • Just ordered mine from T-Mobile. Seems like they must have activated the listing around midnight.
  • Hey Daniel, how can you get that start screen wallpaper.
    Looks so good. Link please