Windows 10 Mobile currently remains irrelevant among the great majority of consumers, according to NetMarketShare’s December 2016 report. But that could change in the near or distant future as Microsoft rolls up its sleeves to ship mobile devices running Windows 10 in the U.S. and abroad. One such device is the unlocked version of the Alcatel Idol 4S, now available straight from Microsoft’s brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and Canada two months after exclusive availability from T-Mobile.
The unlocked Alcatel Idol 4S is also available for $470 via the online Microsoft Store, though it remains unclear when and if Microsoft plans to roll out the device to Europe.
For now, you can waltz into any Microsoft Store in the U.S. and Canada and grab the handset, which sports 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 1080p resolution and is powered by a Snapdragon 820 SoC. The device also includes a rear mounted finger print sensor and support for virtual reality. It packs 4GB of RAM along with a 21MP rear-facing autofocus camera.
One of the main drawbacks is the lack of NFC support, which means you won’t be able to make purchases using Microsoft’s Tap to Pay Wallet in North America. However, Alcatel Idol 4S ships with virtual reality goggles as part of the in-box bundle.
It’s quite interesting that Alcatel introduced a Windows 10 version of the Idol 4S in a world dominated by Android and iOS. Even Microsoft acknowledges the dwindling market share of Windows Phone devices, thus giving up its mobile ambitions. It’s nowhere clearer than in the declining number of manufacturers choosing to release Windows Phones — with the exception of Alcatel, of course.
On top of the Windows 10 version of the Idol 4S, there is also an Android variant, a strategy Alcatel might be using to increase sales. After all, the Alcatel Idol 4S is one of the best smartphones on the market today.