Hey Alcatel, where's your support for the IDOL 4 Pro with Windows 10 Mobile?

It's been well over a week since Alcatel launched the IDOL 4 Pro in Europe. Sporting Windows 10 Mobile, the IDOL 4 Pro is likely going to be the last Windows 10 Mobile-based device to go on sale, which makes it an incredibly important handset for Windows phone fans. Unfortunately, it's already looking like Alcatel has no interest in actually "supporting" this handset that they're selling on the market right now.

For example, Alcatel still hasn't provided Microsoft with a recovery image for the EU and UK versions of the IDOL 4 Pro, meaning people who have bought this phone are out of luck if they run into any issues or want to go back to the production version of Windows 10 Mobile. Because of this, Microsoft doesn't officially support the IDOL 4 Pro in the Insider Program right now. You can still join it, but there's no way to go back once you do the upgrade without a recovery image.

I don't know why, but over a week after launch, there's still no Windows Device Recovery Tool support for the IDOL 4 Pro. The same device in the US (under a slightly difference name and with different bands) has recovery images in the Device Tool and as such is supported by the Insider Program, but the EU and UK version of the device doesn't. Alcatel, where is your support for the IDOL 4 Pro?

This is important

Microsoft, talk to Alcatel. Alcatel, talk to Microsoft. Get something worked out and get those recovery images into the Device Recovery Tool. I would imagine it isn't that good of an idea to be selling a new device on the market without any concrete or official way of restoring that device in case of an emergency. This is a new device on sale to real people, and as such both Alcatel and Microsoft have a responsibility to support this device.

This is especially important now more than ever, because most of the people buying the IDOL 4 Pro are enthusiasts who are likely going to want to join the Insider Program and test pre-release software. As such, not providing an official way of recovering the phone in case of a bad update or issue is a serious concern.

In fact, this has been the case for months with the open-market version of the Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 in the United States. If you bought the unlocked version of the IDOL 4S with Windows 10 Mobile, you can't flash your device with the open-market FFU because Alcatel has broken it. The T-Mobile FFU works fine, but the open-market one? Completely broken; it simply doesn't flash. This is in the Windows Device Recovery Tool right now! Unprofessional.

And even if the open-market FFU worked, it would be useless for the IDOL 4 Pro in the UK and EU. The IDOL 4 Pro needs its own recovery images, and flashing an FFU designed for the US version of the device would likely mess something up on UK and EU devices.

While we're here, Alcatel could also do with pushing out a firmware update for the IDOL 4 Pro. There are a few performance issues that can and should be addressed. The IDOL 4 Pro as it is, is great, but there's room for improvement with the fingerprint reader and camera performance. Everything else is A-OK, so good job on that behalf. I've been using the IDOL 4 Pro for a few days now, and I'm loving it a lot. I just with Alcatel would get those recovery images into the Device Recovery Tool, and soon.

We've asked Alcatel for comment, and will update this article when we hear something back. In the meantime, are you interested in the IDOL 4 Pro? Let us know.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I don't see why they should with no support from Microsoft. What features are you gonna boast of to lure customers to the device? Basically it's now evident everywhere that W10M will die if not already dead so don't see why the should hustle with the phone's release in Europe. The tried their best but evil Microsoft says no...what can Alcatel possibly do?
  • People will buy this phone if they want to continue using Windows 10 mobile and can't afford the X3 and don't want to buy a mid range Android device (with associated issues which are manufacturer dependent). The only other option is a second hand Lumia 950/950XL which can be had at a bargain right now. It shouldn't be that hard for Alcatel to supply an EU image to Microsoft. As for W10M being dead - that may well be but this is a new phone (for Europe) to the market, the HP Elite X3 is still being sold, apps are being developed and updated (UWP means they will also work on Windows 10 and future 'phone' variations) and Microsoft is still releasing patches - so for a 'dead' platform', users who like W10M can continue to upgrade until the next best thing comes out - safe in knowledge their data/apps are going to be compatible.
  • apps are being developed and updated :)))) when was the last time Facebook got an update on mobile :)))) Where is MS's own Linkedin app? :))) where is Ebay? where is a decent Amazon app? Paypal?
  • I'm just going down my store update list now. In the last two weeks, excluding Microsoft apps like outlook, office, todo etc, which are constantly being updated, I see 8zip, myTube, Audio books / Audible. Obviously apps like 8zip and myTube are the same as Windows 10 desktop so you may using these if you have a desktop. Going back longer, I see all sorts of apps. I don't see much social media, but then I use the phone for business and not Snapchat, so your use may vary.
  • If Alcatel does not want to support it they should not be releasing it for sale to the public, period. And if someone buys it and has problems I hope they sue the **** out of Alcatel and Microsoft for this BS.
  • So what exactly are people downvoting here?
  • Way to miss the point completely.....
  • The message is loud and crystal clear, "Do not trust a Nadella led Microsoft. If it will raise he quarterly profits in the short term, he has proven that he will abandon products, employees, developers, customers, and OEMs."
  • This.
  • Exactly. Alcatel has literally nothing at stake here. The amount of customers they would upset versus the returns on pleasing them are beyond insignificant. W10M was dead during the production of the device. I’m sure Alcatel is plenty aware of all these things but has a very limited desire to address them.   It’s a shame, yes, but user here warned buyers of the phone for weeks that this was likely to happen. As much as it’s worth writing about it’s definitely not a shock.   I hope everyone who purchases the phone is happy with it as is out of the box because that’s about all the support the device is likely to receive.
  • Maybe the level of support is set up to prepare W10M users what a typical android support experience will be like.
  • Its evident nobody really cares about Win10 Mobile or the last people holding on to it; not Microsoft, not the OEMs, nobody. This article should have been titiled 'Stay away from anything Windows10 Mobile' until MS and its parthers get their house in order. People here who are not fooling themselves have seen this for years, I wonder when its going to sink in for the last few delusional WP/Win10M fans.  
  • I believe there's an issue with the Unlocked US version. I've heard that only the T-Mobile version is available on WDRT.
  • Not quite - the T-Mobile version is the only one that works w/ WDRT.  There unlocked US ROM is there, but doesn't work to flash the device. :-/  (There's a long thread about this in the forums - and no successful workaround.)
  • The issue is, it only comes with very limited locale support.
  • Releasing it is support enough for me.
    That's more than Microsoft can manage at this point.
  • Those are some low expectations for your hard earned cash;
  • Maybe Alcatel talked to Nokia about how well dedication to Windows Mobile paid off for them?
  • Are you saying Alcatel wants Microsoft to buy them and then shut them down?
  • WDRT was based on NSRT since Symbian
  • Zac is so eager to get the "Emojis Update" on his new IDOL 4 Pro that he can't wait.
  • We are still holding on...for something. Knowing nothing is coming down the line. 
  • Jeff, Silly and foolish, is it not?
  • So, they are basically selling their leftover US stock in Europe. Unless they are dirt cheap, I don't see why anyone would buy a phone running Win10M at this point. Better to buy a cheap Droid until MS does a serious attempt at mobile next year.  
  • Current Win10M will be stuck on "feature2" - so that means the end for this phone too. Makes no sense to support it.
  • They could flash android on them. Maybe they don't sell much on android. At least with w10m they could sell at a higher price because enthusiasts will pay it if it's the only phone available.
  • The several Windows phone enthusiasts? This is the old phone. They already have an updated version with Android.
  • LOL, are we suggesting Microsoft supports mobile?
  • UK is still in UE.
  • Time for consumers to take over since companies stop support of win10 mobile. Could Zac code the flash and then sell it to MS and Alcatel?!
  • Kinda old news Zach...Don't forget now...well over 6 months and they still need to fix the open market FFU for the Open Market variant for North America.  Nobody can flash it due to platform ID discrpencies...T-mobile's ffu is the only one that works... We have been complaining about this for months now...
  • These are down to about $200 new in the US. At this point you're buying a discontinued product, caveat emptor. Alcatel really should mark the product as such though.
  • They are waiting for the first unit to be sold.
  • Ask Jason Ward. He will answer you with 10 paragraphs about Microsoft strategy in 10 years and will relate it to the surface phone and windows 10 on ARM
  • I have Idol 4s and it is amzing phone. great quality. great sound... the only disadvantage is Camera it is like galaxy s8 and not as good as Lumia 950 series with zeiss optic. 
  • All who bought this device wanted to play a risky game and maybe they lost it. Windows 10 Mobile has a market share meaningless for every big corporation, what do people expect here? The majority played the buy-and-trash game with phones, now this is simply a culmination of that game with people, so few that nobody using statistics would recognize at first sight. Yes, this is a foul play but one that is financially rational. But -- what do they have to fear?
  • I cannot edit my comment on this website full of ads, but the reply button works: good support for Edge on Windows10 Mobile from you
  • I can't believe you thought they would actually support it
  • So guys. I been away since 1520 and 930.
    So what's better in windows phone world since Nokia
  • HP is the only competitor willing to throw punches to get things done.  If you want to get back on a device and seeing you came from a 1520, then your best bet is the better HP with the Elite X3. Or just update your 1520 to the lates build if you want :)
  • I have a 950 and an older 920 i have kept around. I much prefer the Win 10 software and the hardware is great too, even if it is not as sturdy as a Nokia. Win 10 provides the handy expandable memory and Edge does a great job with internet sites too
  • My expereince is this is a so-so phone. I was expereincing slowness in apps and the camera taking pictures at random times. A friend is having the same issues but even worse with the camera. He'll take one picture then the camera will decide to take up to 100 pictures.   I bought an unlocked phone phone off Amazon and tried the device reset. Came to find out that my phone was an unlocked T-Mobile phone and I am on ATT. So I know have an ununusable phone
  • I bought the phone for my son from Amazon Unlocked to be used on AT&T. 4 weeks in it blew a speaker and and needed to be repaired. I called Amazon and they gave me the option of returning the phone but they no longer fufulled the phone so if I ordered another it would be direct from TCL.  I decided to send it to the repair center shipping from me to Dallas is one day. Sent it on June 28th and got the phone back on July 5th fpreaker worked great. What did not work great was they service center flashed the phone with the T-Mobile Rom and when an ATT sim was inserted it was locked.  I called support and they sent me a ticket and label to send it back. It took them 7 days just to send out a label via Email mind you so I could ship it back. I could have sent it Pony Express and it would have gotten to Dallas faster than they sent out the label. I send it with a not explainin it needed the Rom updated to unlocked rom I bought it with. It took 4 days for them to recieve the phone using Fedx shipping. Of course they got it on a Friday. They looked at it Monday and sent it back I got it on Friday only to open it and have the Tmobile branding still on the pnone.  Needless to say at this point I am beside myself. I  called support again got the same answers I got before so once again it took them forever to send me a Label then 10 more days to get the phone back and sure enough it was TMobile again. So I set out on  mission to get the phone fixed on my own. I sent every TCL ALCATEL email address I could find world wide the same email explaining how poor thie support they provide was.  In the meantime I sent the phone in for the 4th time. It was returned to me in 1 day with the correct rom on it. I have no Idea who got it done or why it took them so long to fix it.  In total it took 6 weeks to get it right. The question I kept asking is why they could not pull a fixed phone from stock that was unlocked at the service center and send it out to resolve the problem. That is what most companies do. As a customer I dont care idf it is the same phone I just wat a phone that works.  Crazy thing is they kept fixing the (or not) the same phone. I know this because it has the same tempered glass screen cover I put on it. Bottom line here in the US is that the Customer service center has not direct contact with the Repair center. The Customer service folks did a great job trying to solve my problem however they had thier hands tied by AlcatelTCL workflow process. They know nothing about the Rom flavors. TCL/Alcatel service sucks because it is not unified. Bottom Line. The phone rocks my son loves it and it was a great replacement for his 640XL. I just hope he doesnt have another problem with it.
  • I have had the whole "Send in the unlocked variant with a HW issue and get one with T-Mobile motherboard in it back" at least 3 times now.  The last time it happened I just had to vent and complained directly to the RMA rep.  She was very nice, and had never heard of that happening before.  She was not affiliated with the RMA tech team directly, but eventually they sent me an unlock code for it. Still, I use at&t and much "hackery" needs to take place on the T-Mobile version of the Idol 4s to get it to work on at&t correctly.  But I was grateful they helped me out.
  • Hardly surprising since Windows 10 Mobile is now abandonware. However to be fair Microsoft abandoned Windows 10 Mobile before it was really out of beta. The anniversary update was really when Windows 10 Mobile became relatively bug free. Microsoft had ditched it by then some 8 months into it's release cycle.  So we can all start a sweepstake on how many months it will take to abandon it's next mobile adventure
  • C'mon MS support the LAST phone - It shows existing customers you actually have interest in them.  And potential customers you don't abandon them.
  • They don't have interest in them. What makes you think they do?
  • What's a FFU? Sorry for my ignorance... Edit:- Never mind its full flash update.
  • Alcatel should release an Android rom image for this phone.
  • Sad because that was a good phone. Microsoft killed off mobile tho
  • Fk windows phone. You won't miss this **** at all when going to Android or iPhone. Stop letting windows central string you alone. WINDOWS PHONE IS DEAD. GET IT.. DEAD DONE OVER
  • Darn, Alcatel and Microsoft better get their stuff together!
  • Nope, this is a divorce case, just a moment before the court annouce the decision, MS and Alcatel are spliting stuff
  • The most annoying thing about the Idol 4s is the power button placement. I find myself taking so many unwanted screenshots... My HP Elite X3 is much better overall... The only complaint there is the lack of a dedicated camera button.
  • Alcatel is not known for a great support Any Windows Phone other than Lumia devices received very poor support from what I saw over the years And it's just a few month until the official support period for the OS is over, so it's better not to expect anything
  • who the F cares about this device running a dead OS?? Alcatel has better things to do than to bother with this DOA phone.
  • You cared enough to leave a snarky comment.
  • I think this is how Alcatel operates.  The Idol 4s has needed a firmware update for quite some time.  Inquiries to Alcatel about bugs, etc. go unanswered.  This will be the last Alcatel I purchase.  I ditched HTC for the same reason.
  • Whoever wrote this article need to get their facts right. For a start it's NOT the last Windows 10 mobile handset. Both WileyFox and Trekstor are releasing a Windows 10 device shortly. It's also not normal for Alcatel to have zero support from day of issue they did this wil some of their smaller tablet/notebook devices.
  • Bummer too. After 10 years of being on Windows Mobile, my wife finally switched to iPhone. And we found out the iPhone is horrible! Couldnt setup the phone with 2-factor authentication enabled, the Setup screen froze every time I turned off an iCloud sync item, the mail client sent test reported bad user/passwords as OK, etc. The list goes on and on. Apple has a user-friendly reputation, but I found more bugs and weirdness than on the phased out windows phone platform. So I am officially out of luck on switching off my W10 phone. Android data goes to an advertising company...no way am I ever giving Google my data. iPhones are meh, and a bit feminine for me. And both use icons that are so 1984. Static icons without tile data makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Where is the 4G PC that fits in my pocket already? That is my only option at this point.
  • There is less choice now. You MUST choose from the SUPER locked down and restricted iPhone, or an ad ridden of a mess that is Android. My next phone may be a dumb flip phone.
  • Dead phone ..... dead OS .....
  • WDRT supports the Alcatel IDOL 4 PRO (European variant of the IDOL 4 S) as of August 31 2017. If you run the WDRT application today, you will find a mandatory update which provides the support.