I purchased this phone May 5, 2016, and returned it to the wireless carrier's retail store I purchased it from May 12, 2016. It had the single tray that accepted my 32GB micro SD card from my previous phone, the ZTE Grand Max Plus Z987, in addition to the carrier's SIM card required for service. Mine was the 16GB model, so 32 GB was maximum size micro SD card that it could accept, was what the store salesman told me.
I bought this phone because I was excited about the features advertised for the price. The touch screen on my Max Plus had just disconnected after a year of dropping 1,000s of times in a quality silicon case. I couldn't wait 2 days for the carrier to ship me a replacement phone with a $75 deductible, I needed a phone immediately and this private owned franchise was selling the Idol 3 for $129, $21 less than I paid for the Max Plus April, 2015, $54 more than to use the insurance they charge around $7/mo for. Who can be without their phone 2 days unless they have a functional backup one, or want to buy a crap standby phone for just such emergencies?
For a phone that reviewers referred as containing an octo-core processor (can you really call two quadcore processors in a chipset an octocore processor?) for total 1.0 GHz plus 1.5 GHz Cortex chips processing frequency, the Adreno 405 GPU, Technicolor 1080p HD display, loud stereo speakers with Dolby sound equalization, FM radio (won't work with Bluetooth headphones alone, as wire in 3.5 mm jack acts as FM antenna, and is entirely non functional without it), I was really let down.
I could not figure out how and why this phone was functioning so slowly. With all of the complications my life is keeping me busy addressing right now, I don't have 16 hours a day to troubleshoot every app in the Play store to find out what is slowing down this phone. I absolutely would enjoy doing so, until I could get it running as smoothly as my old phone. There were too many UI conveniences that I missed from my old phone, and I just didn't have time to problem solve why my Idol 3 took so much longer to connect to my Contacts I dialed, than my Max Plus. Dialing was grieviously slow with the same carrier, CricKet, and apps took forever to load and respond to my simple basic use, on an otherwise moderately fast LTE network where I get better reception than my local friends with more widely used carriers for many years. It was especially noticeable how slow their carriers were when they switched from ours over to their more popular ones, which by the way it seems like many of ours slow your data speed noticeably past an unposted limit.
The carrier franchise (not corporate owned CricKet store) was kind enough to exchange this phone for a (is it 2 yrs since mfg release of ZTE Grand Max Plus already?) unused, already upgraded to 5.01 Android Lollipop. I was a little apprehensive since I read on Android & CricKet forums some things malfunctioned in it's camera's image quality, and UI since upgrade from KitKat 4.4.4, but it still feels more resposive and faster than the Idol 3, especially dialing, and since the carrier is the same on both phones, I think there is a lag when dialing the Idol 3 5.5" somewhere. When I Google searched other reviews of this phone, I learned that other people had a similar experience.
I still never had the time to listen to music on the much praised JBL speakers, except for a YouTube video, and def much much better than my Max Plus' audio, frequency range and volume wise, which is why I use Bluetooth headphones to listen to music and place phone calls, the latter's audio is shameful. This Idol 3 5.5" phone could still be a great phone for someone who has the time to uninstall every app and try various replacement apps to remove whatever was slowing down my phone. I think some providers pre-installed apps are resource intensive, and may be replaced with faster, small footprint apps that offer equal or more functions, or just removed entirely when not locked in, and no one needs them. I wish I were in a different situation I could have spent hours figuring out what slowed my Idol 3 5.5" down, I can't say I would succeed, but I would enjoy trying.
The good: the speakers are phenomenal
They sound wonderful and in stereo.you can talk on the phone at both ends.
The bad: the camera is awful and after you take a pic there is not a quick review you have to exit camera and view the pic from the gallery.the video is ok just as long the objects are not moving then its blurry. The scrolling is horible you cant scroll through the apps without accidentally activating an app that you did not want.it takes a while before apps open up. Missing a lot of cool features that are usaly on android phones. I am going back to lg and I won't look back.
so when do you think marshmallow update will be released? someone here says (at the end of may). BTW, alcatel idol 3 is superb. worth the money for this device :D
how come mine came with different earphones? I was expecting the round JBL ones, came with square ones
Anonymous, 12 May 2016Worst phone I have ever owned, do yourself a favor and avoid it at all cost. I do not understa... moreYou clearly grabbed one of the few, rare factory defective phones of this model.
Instead of childishly bashing it, maybe try talking to a technician and/or, hit the company up for a replacement.
Marvellous Smartphone, think it was the best of all Smartphones's when it released, considering its price. I've still got big hopes for the next Version.
AnonD-534916, 07 May 2016Ah guys I bought one just 2 days ago and discovered that it doesn't have a slot for micro sd f... moreThe 16 gig model(Single sim) has the sd card expansion whereas the 32 gig model(dual sim) doesn't.
Brad, 22 May 2016Is this still a quality phone? Looking for something to replace a 2013 Moto X. I would likely ... more
do "ROOT" your phone, and will begin to do things by himself and by time ,will become worthless brick . happy and without tears
Is this still a quality phone? Looking for something to replace a 2013 Moto X. I would likely root it and use Cyanogen.
Bought it 4 days ago. Downloaded intensive games. Performance is simply amazing. Those front speakers, amazingly loud. Screen quality, amazing. Battery life, get fully charged in 1 and half hour and can use it the whole day with 20 to 30 % sure if used moderate to high. Best budget phone ever! Completely satisfied. Oh yeah the cam too is amazing,both front and the rear one.
Just bought this at 49.99 (online special with porting). Amazing phone for this price! So far so good!
I bought this phone 1 month ago. i think that this is best price/performance phone, but it started to work a bit slower nowadays. and camera is not strong like other 13mp phones . but anyway i love this phone.
I bought this awesome phone yesterday and since then I spend hours just admiring it Design is fantastic ..sound super and camera dazzilng..battery life good .I noted some yellow tinge of the display white which I solved by an app called screen adjuster.So happy I got it.
Bought it from Courts Fiji. used it for a week. its the BEST phone i have ever owned till date. good camera. very fast, no laging. good battery life
worth the money