The Alcatel Idol 3 was one of the first phones I ever reviewed, and it was so impressive that I’ve since associated the Idol brand with high performance and low-cost. The budget market has gotten more aggressive since then, however, with excellent devices like the Moto G5 offering near-stock Android software at similarly low prices … so can the Idol 5 still compete?

The Idol 5 will be available October 27th through Cricket Wireless for just $200, with an optional $50 companion VR headset called the Uni 360 Goggles. It’s powered by a Mediatek MT6753 chipset, with 3 GB RAM and 16 GB of expandable storage.

The Idol 5 replaces last year’s easily smudged glass design with a matte finish aluminum unibody, which feels far more premium than the phone’s price tag would have you believe. There’s a customizable button on the righthand side of the Idol 5 called the Now key, which you can set to launch any app on the phone. You also get front-facing speakers, something extremely nice to see on such an inexpensive device.

The Uni 360 Goggles are made with simplicity in mind, opting away from a controller and instead using on-body controls. It’s made specifically to be easily approachable for first-time VR users, and pairs well with several pre-installed VR apps on the Idol 5.

Notably absent on the Idol 5 is a fingerprint sensor, which could be a dealbreaker for many as security and quick authentication becomes increasingly important in today’s smartphone landscape. But especially in this price range, some may not mind the lack of a fingerprint sensor, and find the front-facing speakers and high-end build quality to be perfectly compelling.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author