Mobile World Congress might not have officially opened its doors just yet, but that hasn't stopped Alcatel from releasing news of their latest and greatest smartphone. Alcatel OneTouch's IDOL 3 is an Android smartphone that comes in two sizes – being 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch – that's powered by Android 5.0, Lollipop and it's one of the first devices on the market that you can use no matter which way you pick the device up. With quad-core and octa-core options, along with audio provided by the industry stalwart JBL, there's a lot on offer here, so let's take a closer look, shall we?
There are two versions of the IDOL 3, one with a 4.7-inch 720p display and another with a 5.5-inch 1080p display. They're put together with the same DNA, but they do have their differences. At the heart of the larger 5.5-inch model is an octa-core Snapdragon 615 CPU and 2GB of RAM, while the 4.7-inch IDOL 3 features a quad-core Snapdragon 410 and 1GB of RAM. They share similar storage arrangements with 16GB of expandable storage available in both phones. The two share a similar 13-megapixel camera, with the IDOL 3 5.5 gaining an 8-megapixel front-facing camera while the IDOL 4.7 has a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. There's a 2,910 mAh battery in the IDOL 5.5 and a 2,000 mAh battery in the IDOL 4.7. Both of these devices support 4G LTE and will work worldwide. Full specs for both devices can be found in the gallery below, along with hands-on photos.
What makes the IDOL 3 duo of smartphones so interesting is that they're both packed with stereo front-facing speakers tuned by JBL with Clari-Fi technology for great sound and clear stereo imaging. That's not all that special considering HTC have been doing this for years, and so too do Motorola and Sony. What's special is that the IDOL 3 leverages these two speakers to enable the user to take a call, send a text, listen to voicemail in either orientation. The design on the front is also super-clean so there's no need to figure out which way is the right way, just pick it up and answer the call; it doesn't matter. The software on these two phones has also been tuned, so you can use the devices in either way up, the interface will just simple rotate to suit.
It's exciting to see a brand like Alcatel offer fun innovations like these, and it makes you wonder why more phones with stereo speakers don't let you do this. With Android 5.0 Lollipop onboard right out of the gate as well, it looks like Alcatel has a winner on their hands this time around. The IDOL 3 4.7 and 5.5 will be available later this year, with pricing to be announced. You can take a closer look at the devices themselves as well as the full specs in the gallery below.