All About Alcatel OneTouch Phones

The history and details of the OneTouch series

Alcatel One Touch Idol 5 smartphone, front, back, and side angle
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 5.

Alcatel's OneTouch series of smartphones are flagship devices that are available unlocked in the U.S. from prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless. The phones run a clean version of Android, though there are some carrier apps bundled in.

While the devices are less expensive than flagship phones from Samsung and Google, they don't look cheap and perform nearly as well. Alcatel's other Android phones, including the 1 series are a mix of entry-level and mid-range devices. Here's a look at the latest Alcatel OneTouch phones.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 5

Alcatel One Touch Idol 5 smartphones
Alcatel One Touch Idol 5.

Display: 5.2-in IPS LCD
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 423ppi
Front camera: 5 MP
Rear camera: 13 MP
Charger type: USB-C
Initial Android version: 7.1 Nougat
Final Android version: Undetermined
Release Date: September 2017

The OneTouch Idol 5 is VR-ready, but it doesn't come with Alcatel's UNI360 VR headset like the Idol 4 does. That's not a big deal as the UNI360 sells at a low price, and you don't have to worry about having an extra device you won't use if you're not interested in virtual reality. The Idol 5 has an all-metal body, compared to the Idol 4's glass and metal construction. Oddly, it lacks a fingerprint sensor, which is now found on most smartphones, regardless of the price point. Its battery life is also so-so, but it does support wireless charging. The phone runs close to a stock Android, though there are some Cricket Wireless apps pre-installed. With only 16 GB of built-in storage, you'll want to supplement that with a memory card (the phone supports up to 256 GB cards.)

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 4

Alcatel One Touch Idol 4 phone next to a VR headset
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 4 and VR headset.

Display: 5.2-in IPS LCD
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 424ppi
Front camera: 8 MP
Rear camera: 13 MP
Charger type: micro USB
Initial Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Final Android version: Undetermined
Release Date: June 2016

The OneTouch Idol 4 smartphone comes with a VR headset, Alcatel's UNI360 Goggles. However, the smartphone can't render virtual reality video very well, resulting in a blurry experience most of the time. The phone also has a customizable button called a Boom key that can open a weather widget or open or trigger the camera. It has a glass and metal construction compared to the Idol 3's plastic body and also features a version of Android that's close to stock. However, its battery doesn't last as long as the Idol 3's—though it thankfully supports fast charging. The Idol 4 has only 16 GB of onboard storage, but you can supplement that with a memory card.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

Two Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 phones side by side
Alcatel One Touch Idol 3.

Display: 5.5-in IPS LCD
Resolution: 1080x1920 @ 401ppi
Front camera: 8 MP
Rear camera: 13 MP
Charger type: micro USB
Initial Android version: 5.0 Lollipop
Final Android version: Undetermined
Release Date: June 2015

The OneTouch Idol 3 was Alcatel's first flagship device sold in the U.S.; the company previously only offered entry-level models. It has premium-level features, including a high-resolution screen, powerful built-in speakers, and a near-pure version of Android. The phone has only 16 GB of storage, but you can expand that with a memory card. The Idol 3 has a plastic body, a decent battery, and the occasional hiccup in performance, but it's otherwise a great device.