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Alcatel OneTouch's Idol 3 4.7 to be available this Friday

The smaller version of one of the best smartphone bargains of this year has arrived

Alcatel Onetouch's Idol 3 is one of the most impressive smartphones to come out this year. Not because it has mind-blowing specs or out of this world features, but because it combines great design with a great display, solid performance, and a price that's far below what most smartphones command. Starting this Friday, the smaller version of the Idol 3 will be available for purchase in the US and Canada for an even lower price.

The $179.99 Idol 3 4.7 is very similar to the 5.5-inch model. It has a very similar design, the same camera, and the same front-facing stereo speakers. Aside from being obviously smaller in all dimensions, the Idol 3 4.7 steps down to a 720p display, a less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, and 1.5GB of RAM in place of 2GB. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and supports microSD card expansion. Alcatel Onetouch says the Idol 3 4.7 is fully compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile's LTE networks here in the US, just like its larger sibling.

At just under $180, the Idol 3 4.7 competes directly with the Moto GThe 5.5-inch Idol 3 impressed us with its solid performance and great display, and though the smaller model has lower tier specs, we've recently seen those same specs offer a great experience on the Motorola Moto G. The Idol 3 4.7 will run Android 5.0 Lollipop at launch, with few modifications from Google's interface and features.

Alcatel Hero 3 images

At just under $180, the Idol 3 4.7 competes directly with the aforementioned Moto G. It's a little slimmer, but has a smaller battery, so we'll have to see how much that affects stamina once we've got our hands on one to review. But for all accounts, the Idol 3 4.7 should be just as impressive as its bigger sibling, and we're looking forward to spending time with it. Low-cost phones are often criticized as a "race to the bottom," but from what we've seen so far this year, that doesn't have to be a bad thing at all.