I was pleasantly surprised that I was invited to the media launch for the Alcatel Onetouch Idol X+ and Alcatel Onetouch Idol Alpha that was held last Friday. The press conference was held at Federal Hotel before we proceed to the launching ceremony at Low Yat Plaza Concourse area.

Some insights from the press conference: 
- the 32GB version for Idol X+ is possibly coming in the next quarter
- Alcatel is working on LTE products, however no timeline given
- Alcatel has partnered with JBL to tweak the equaliser so that the JBL headset that is bundled with Idol X+ will work perfectly together
- Alcatel aims to sell 50,000 units for both Idol X+ and Idol Alpha

Alcatel brand ambassadors with the representatives of Ten Ten Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and TCT Mobile Malaysia Sdn Bhd at the launching ceremony

The specs for Idol X+ is pretty impressive. A dual-SIM Android smartphone with Octa Core 2 GHz processor with 2GB RAM is pretty good considering that people labels the Idol X+ as a "midrange smartphone". Like a lot of midrange smartphone in the market now, the Idol X+ also features a 5-inch full HD IPS display. A little disappointing that there's no expandable storage and if you were to get the Idol X+ now, you can only get the 16GB version as the 32GB version is not available yet. 

For a limited time, Idol X+ is bundled with a JBL earphones and a wristband fitness tracker called BOOMBand. BOOMBand uses an LED system to pass on notifications to Idol X+ via a companion app. The tracker monitors movement and sleep, plus it will warn user if it loses contact with the phone.

Had the opportunity to have a hands-on session at the concourse area as Alcatel Onetouch was also having a roadshow. A little disappointed as many of the display units for Idol X+ and Idol Alpha were running out of battery so didn't have the chance to really play around with it. My first impression was that the Idol X+ was really light! Good size in my hands and great display. No apparent lag and was buttery smooth.

Speakers were located at the bottom. I think it's place correctly especially for viewing movies, when you place your phone horizontally.

Sadly, I did not get to test the 13.1 megapixels rear camera. :<

Let's move on to the Idol Alpha.

Specs for the Idol Alpha is not too bad either. Single-SIM Android smartphone equipped with quad core 1.2Ghz processor. Other main features include: 13.1 megapixel main camera, 7.5mm slim design with metal frame, revolutionary translucent structure with lighting, HD edge-to-edge display with floating lens.

Transparent top and bottom design for Idol Alpha. The Idol Alpha also feels super light. Again, didn't manage to test out many stuff as I would like but I was toggling around and there was no apparent lag on the Idol Alpha. I personally prefer the design for Idol X+ over the Idol Alpha. 

Idol X+ retails at RM1299 and the first 3000 customers can get a free BOOMband, JBL earphones, flip cober and screen protector.  On the other hand, Idol Alpha retails at RM1099 with a free screen protector.

Overall, I think it's a good move from Alcatel to bundle JBL earphones and a BOOMBand with the Idol X+. Considering that there is a huge trend that is moving towards tech wearables, it was a smart choice to come up with a BOOMBand (beautifully designed too). I also notice there is a trend towards healthy living so such accessories is very timely.