Let’s take a look under the hood and kick some tires on the Alcatel IDOL 4S that comes with Windows 10 Mobile out of the box. The smartphone also includes a virtual reality headset, and currently retails for $288 with T-Mobile. The phone was originally leaked in October 2016 by none other than T-Mobile itself, but the page was removed shortly after.
The phone itself is a fairly robust product with decent specs: 3.5GB RAM, 64GB internal memory expandable with microSD, JBL audio, 21MP camera with f/2.0 aperture on the rear, 8MP wide-angle front camera for selfies, a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1920X1080 pixels and Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor clocking 2.15 GHz.
That’s about mid-range for a smartphone as far as price goes, but the real clincher is that it comes with Windows 10 Mobile, a VR headset and some free apps to try out the new Windows 10 Mobile VR capability.
This is the first of what we hope are several OEMs running Windows 10 Mobile. It does have some drawbacks, such as no NFC chip for wave and pay mobile wallet payments, but it does offer a very affordable VR experience that will hopefully be populated with a lot more apps in the near future.
If you’re looking for a phone to compare the Alcatel IDOL 4S to, look no further than the BlackBerry DTEK60, which is essentially the same hardware but with less storage and with 4K capability.
The phone is being offered by T-Mobile and comes with a Gear-VR-like VR headset that ZDNet says is comfortable to wear. The headset pairs to the phone via Bluetooth, so it’s a little bit like Google Cardboard.
The biggest problem for Microsoft in the mobile space has always been the lack of a great body of apps that the likes of Apple and Google offer, but Microsoft is quickly closing the gap with its UWP apps push.
Essentially, what Microsoft needs in order to nurture its OEM portfolio for Windows 10 Mobile is a doubling of UWP apps at the earliest. They’re doing everything they can to make sure that happens, including promoting the Universal Windows Platform itself, buying Xamarin, integrating cross-OS bridge capabilities for app developers and so on.
Most other smartphone manufacturers will only start releasing their own Windows 10 Mobile devices next month and in April, so if you’re looking for a Windows-based smartphone right away, this is a solid device to pick. Unlocked devices are also available on Amazon with or without the VR headset included.
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