The name ‘Alcatel’ has somewhat become identical with cheap entry cell phone maker. Although that terms used to be common knowledge in the past, the Chinese manufacturer quickly rise through the mid-range market by introducing several intriguing models with quite an aggressive price tag.

The Idol 4S is the latest attempt by the company to further boost its name among the traditional mobile giants in the upper mid-range level. Priced at $399, the device offers a refined design that significantly improved compared to other cheaper models that it has released recently. Alcatel also equipped the Idol 4S with VR headset in the package. But does the tag worth the price?

Alcatel designed the back case much to the resemblance of last year iteration of Samsung Galaxy S6. But the metal construction shows that the phone isn’t cheap like its previous budget plastics. Moving to the side, a glass panel coating the buttons merges seamlessly with the polished metal case. What may bugs you is the power button on the right side – strikingly a Xperia Z lookalike.

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The display is 5.5 inch AMOLED and arguably looks more precise when you put it in a row with other pricier phone such as Google’s very own Nexus 6P. The screen feels so crisp when viewing from angles although still slightly outperformed by high-end Samsung models under the sunlight.

For a Chinese brand carrying $400 tag, most people would hope for high-end internal specifications from Idol 4S. Instead of following Xiaomi Mi 5, OnePlus 3, and ZTE Axon 7 who exclusively implanted Snapdragon 820 to their devices, Alcatel only managed to bring 652 – a chipset that public already used to see on $199 phones these days. Instead of 4 GB RAM, there is only 3 GB.

Alcatel may claim a RAM that big may prove to be redundant and unnecessary. Hence when playing heavy tasks on the phone, you wouldn’t have notable issues at all. You can play games, record 4K video, and employing other resource-leecher applications without experiencing any lags.

The phone is powered by 3000 mAh battery with its own quick charging technology. It has two SIM card slots; however, you won’t be able to use it both if you happen to insert a microSD card to increase the 32 GB internal storage capacity.

Overall, for a well-designed appearance, a Virtual Reality box, and above mid-range specifications you won’t be disappointed in buying the Alcatel Idol 4S.