Alcatel has been busy this year. Its One Touch Evolve and One Touch Fierce recently making their debut on the T-Mobile network, and the One Touch Idol being sold direct to customers following a high visibility ad campaign tied in with the Iron Man 3 movie. Now, it has announced a new, high-spec flagship phone named the Idol X+
Interestingly, Alcatel will bundle the new phone with the Boom Band, a Bluetooth fitness tracker for your wrist, which syncs up with a specially made app installed on the Idol X+. The tracker monitors both movement and sleep, plus it will warn you if it loses contact with the phone, ensuring you know if it has been left behind. It also has some of the features we associate with a smartwatch, such as showing caller ID, and alerting the wearer of incoming messages. Fitness trackers like the Nike FuelBand have jumped in popularity this year, and it’s exciting to see one included with a smartphone.
The Idol X+ itself is a sequel to the Idol X, which debuted in February. It was a 5-inch smartphone with a 1080p screen resolution and a quad-core MediaTek processor. The Idol X+ retains the same size and resolution screen, but replaces the quad-core chip with MediaTek’s new octa-core chip.
This is the second outing for MediaTek’s MT6592 processor in as many weeks, as Huawei slotted it inside the new Honor 3X, which was announced on December 16. Unlike Samsung’s early Exynos 5 Octa chip, the MT6592 has the ability to drive all eight-cores at once. Alcatel has squeezed all the available power out of the chip too, claiming it’ll run at 2GHz, beating Huawei’s 1.7GHz speed. It’s joined by 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 2500mAh battery.
The Idol X+ is being released in China under the TCL brand name, where it’ll cost the equivalent of $330 without a contract, in mid January 2014. TCL brands hardware it sells internationally as Alcatel, and it had a very busy stand at Mobile World Congress this year. There’s every chance we’ll see an Alcatel branded Idol X+ – perhaps with the One Touch name attached – at CES or MWC in 2014, although no official announcement has been made regarding the phone’s future availability.