The Alcatel Idol 5S is looking to carve out its own territory in a crowded field of value-priced phones. And there’s plenty here to recommend, including an upscale design and a brilliant, 5.2-inch, full-HD screen. The Idol 5S even features dual front-facing speakers and a built-in fingerprint reader. If you’re willing to put up with ads, you can get this phone for just $200 through Amazon Prime, or pay $280 without “special offers.” Unfortunately, there’s one thing about the Idol 5S that kind of spoils the party: subpar battery life.
Design: Stylishly symmetrical
On the inside, the Idol 5S is pretty similar to competing phones, but its exterior is what sets this device apart. It starts with a nearly perfectly symmetrical design, which sports the same-sized bezels on top and bottom and features a pair of front-facing stereo speakers built into the thin strip of aluminum that runs around the outside of the phone. Add in a complete lack of buttons on the device’s face and the slick glass panels in front and back, and you get a phone that looks balanced and stately as it lords over its more humbly designed budget competitors.
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