By: Nirupam Manik, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Friday, January 20, 2017 - 20:13
Both the devices are priced less than Rs 17,000 and share a lot of specifications, but who wins the race in the end?
In an event today in Delhi, Alcatel finally launched the Idol 4 at Rs 16,999 available exclusively via Flipkart. The company first unveiled the device at the Mobile World Congress back in February 2016. With the Idol 4, Alcatel has also entered into the VR segment with its VR-in-the-box headset that is sold along with the device.
Looking at the spec sheet and price, Alcatel Idol 4 matches with the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime. J7 Prime is priced at Rs 16,900 and is also sold exclusively via Flipkart. So can the Idol 4 outgun the Galaxy J7 Prime? Well, we'll know it soon.
Note: At the time of writing this comparison, Samsung Galaxy On Nxt was available for Rs 16,990 on Flipkart. The Galaxy On Nxt is identical to J7 Prime except that it has 32GB internal storage as compared to 16GB on the J7 Prime.
Design and Display
Hitting the design element first, both the devices follow the premium feel ergonomics but with different design languages. Starting with the Idol 4, the device boasts glass panels both at the front and back, packed into a metal frame spread around the edges. The power button sits on the left while the volume rockers and the 'Boom Key' sits on the right. The Boom Key can perform various functions including clicking burst shot in camera mode, broadcast the video while recording it etc. The micro USB port with noise cancellation microphone is placed at the top while the 3.4 mm headphone jack is located at the bottom with the primary microphone.
For the display, the device features a 5.2 inch Full HD IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Sporting a glass panel at the back, the device tends to act as a fingerprint magnet. The device measures at 147 x 72.5 x 7.1 mm and is much lighter at 135 grams compared to 167 grams of Galaxy J7 Prime.
Moving on to the design of the Galaxy J7 Prime, Samsung went for an all-metal unibody design with the J7 Prime with curved edges at the back making it comfortable to hold despite it having a larger 5.5 inch Full HD TFT display. The power button is placed on the right while the volume rockers sit on the left on the J7 Prime. The 3.5 mm headphone jack, a micro-USB port for charging and data syncing and the primary microphone all are placed at the bottom of the device. The device has a physical home button with two touch-capacitive buttons on either side which doesn't light up.
The home button also features a fingerprint scanner which is missing on the Alcatel Idol 4.
Overall, we really like the button placement on the J7 Prime while in terms of looks, the Idol 4 easily wins here with its gorgeous glass back paired with metal frame. Further, the Alcatel Idol 4 will be ideal for one hand use, thanks to a compact 5.2 inch display.
Processor and Memory
Digging inside the hardware, things change but not by much. The Alcatel Idol 4 is powered by an Octa-Core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset coupled with Adreno 405 GPU for graphics. For multi-tasking, there is 3GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage which is expandable up to 512GB via microSD card.
On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime sports an Octa-Core 1.6 GHz Exynos 7870 Octa processor with Mali-T830MP2 GPU and 3GB of RAM. The device also comes with 16GB internal storage which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card.
Both the devices run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with their respective skins on top. However, the one on the Idol 4 is nearly stock Android and we expect it to perform just a bit snappier than the J7 Prime which runs on Samsung's not so liked UI.
Moving on to one of the most important aspects of a smartphone these days, the Camera. Both the devices are identical in the megapixel game. However, we expect the actual performance to differ. We don't really know who is the better in this case as we are yet to test the camera on the Idol 4, So we would advise you to stick to this portal for a detailed review.
Nevertheless, the J7 Prime features a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with f/1.9 aperture, LED flash. Moving to the front, the device sports an 8-megapixel shooter with the same f/1.9 aperture.
On the other hand, the newly launched Alcatel Idol 4 comes with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF and dual-tone LED flash. At the front, there is an 8-megapixel shooter with LED flash as well.
Battery, Connectivity and Audio
Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime surely takes a point here with its 3300 mAh battery as compared to a 2610 mAh cell on the Idol 4. The Galaxy J7 Prime featuring a larger display might bring the actual battery performance a bit closer but we would still give this away to the J7 Prime for sheer larger capacity.
Coming to the connectivity, Both the devices come with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with two extra bands i.e. a/ac on the Idol 4. Other than that, Bluetooth v4.1 on J7 Prime and v4.2 on Idol 4, GPS with A-GPS, FM Radio, microUSB 2.0 with USB OTG is there on both the devices.
We don't really mention this aspect of a device often but we had to in this one. Alcatel Idol 4 features two front-firing stereo speakers with Boom Sound. Whereas, we see a side firing single speaker on the J7 Prime which does get adequately loud but stands nowhere when compared to the pair featured on the Idol 4.
As for the conclusion, both the devices offer pretty decent specifications for the price. While the Galaxy J7 Prime sports a larger display and a bigger battery, the Idol 4 comes with a more compact design with audio being its top most priority. However, it does miss a fingerprint scanner which might be a deal breaker for some. To sum up, if you are looking for a compact device with top-notch audio output and decent internals, Alcatel's Idol 4 is the way to go. On the other hand, if you don't mind a 5.5-inch display and absolutely need a fingerprint scanner then Galaxy J7 Prime is for you.
Else, you can also look at the Galaxy On 8 for a price lower than the above two. Or, you can look the Lenovo Z2 Plus which comes with flagship specifications but at a higher price.