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Alcatel takes over IFA with new Idol and One Touch smartphones

There's been no shortage of mobile device releases at this year's IFA tradeshow, and Alcatel One Touch is ready to get in on the action. The company unveiled the latest members of its Idol lineup of smartphones and its new One Touch Hero handset in Berlin, with the Idol family set to see four new additions this year, ranging from the low-end Idol Mini to the high-end Idol Alpha, and the new Hero aimed squarely at Samsung's Note lineup.

Headlining the Idol family is the new Idol Alpha, featuring a 4.7in, 720p display, quad-core, 1.2GHz processor, and 13.1-megapixel rear-facing camera. That's standard fare for high-end devices these days, but Alcatel thinks the Alpha will distinguish itself with one marquee feature—translucent edges that light up to indicate various modes and notifications. It'll let you know things like when your phone is charging, but Alcatel also notes that it will be used when playing back video.

The Idol X is the 5in member of the family, while the S measures in with a 4.7in screen and the Mini comes in at 4.3in. The X packs in high-end specs with a 1.5GHz, quad-core processor, full HD display, and 13.1-megapixel camera. The S packs a dual-core, 1.2GHz processor, 720p display, and 8-megapixel camera. And the entry-level Mini features the same processor as the S, but with a 5-megapixel camera and 854 x 480 pixel display.

The One Touch Hero is the company's flagship phablet, featuring a 6in screen and stylus integration. It's got all the trappings of a high-end device, with a full-HD display, quad-core, 1.5GHz processor, and 13-megapixel camera. There's an included stylus and a number of interesting add-on accessories. Alcatel is offering an E Ink cover that displays information from the phone, while a separate cover with embedded LEDs can alert you to new notifications.

The Idol Alpha will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, while the Idol X, Idol S, and Idol Mini will be available sometime this September. Expect the Hero to launch sometime in October.