And here I thought smartphones couldn’t get any better whilst getting cheaper at the same time- well they just did! Enter the Alcatel Flash Plus, where to summarize, you’ll be getting a phone almost equivalent to the Samsung S5 for just P6,490! Sounds too good to be true? Well, better read further and see for yourself. I swear to God, as a techie guy, let me say that this is a legit quality phone that’s at least worth discussing. Let’s go!
WHERE TO BUY
Unfortunately, the phone won’t hit the stores until August. For now, Alcatel has partnered with Lazada where the latter will only sell limited units on scheduled window times at the Lazada App. My first attempt to order was last May 15, but it got sold out in the first ten minutes. Finally, I was able to order on June 5 and got it delivered to my house the next day. Not sure when the next window time will be though. Better check with Lazada!
Though there are hoarders who are now selling it at OLX for a higher price.
What’s in the box?
- Unit (screen protector already installed- good job!)
- USB Cable
- Earphones w/ pouch bag
- Extra screen protector
- Manual and warranty card
The box is pretty reminiscent of the Apple iPhone 6 box. LOL.
The unboxing itself was a fun and quality experience. Everything was neat, clean and placed properly. It wasn’t the least bit crowded in the box- meaning with the ample space given to each gadget, it is implied that each has been properly thought of and has been handled with utmost care. Almost like there’s love there, yeah?
The headset / earphones, which have awesome sound quality by the way, are placed in a neat grey velvet pouch bag. The charger is what you would make of the average type, yet I find the USB cable a bit short.
So what’s so special about this phone anyway? What the hell is about it that made me sell my 9-month old, perfectly working Sony Xperia M2 for cheap, to buy this? For starters, its score with AnTuTu Benchmark– an app that quantifies an Android gadget’s performance, is more than twice my old phone. As you can see in the diagram below, it’s just below the Samsung S5 and surpasses the Google Nexus 5, LG G3 and HTC One.
My Sony Xperia M2’s score was just around 18,000
Being just 8mm thin whilst sporting a 16M color 720p 5.5″ screen, it packs quite a punch with its 1.5Ghz Octa-Core processor, 16GB ROM, 2GB RAM, Mali-T760MP2 GPU, 13MP main camera, 8MP front camera, 3,500mAh battery and 4G/LTE capabilities. It’s also dual-standby dual SIM. It’s currently running on 4.4 Android KitKat but is said to have a Lollipop upgrade soon. That said, the phone is pretty responsive!
For the techno-nerds out there, here are the full details of the phone!
(Screenshot from GSMArena.com)
Right side: SIM 2 slot, Volume buttons, Lock button
Bottom: USB port
Left Side: SIM 1 slot, MicroSD slot
Top: Headset / Earphones slot
I’ve been using this for more than a week now, and I have a few things to say- I love it! Responsiveness is key for a smooth and fluid smartphone experience and it excels in that aspect. The large, bright and crispy screen makes for a wonderful reading and gaming time. Speakers are loud and proud. The earphones are legit- it justifies the lows, mids and highs well enough for my musical taste.
Gaming and video playback? All I can say is that I’m pretty content because I can now play Final Fantasy: Dissidia smoothly with the PSP emulator! Basing from this, other high-end games are sure to be playable in this phone. I also tried loading and viewing my 1080p anime in the phone- and it plays just fine! I might even be tempted to watch my anime here instead on long commutes.
Here’s a video I made with the phone playing Dissidia w/ a PSP emulator as well as playing HD anime:
Being the obsessive-compulsive person that I am, how the UI (user interface) looks and how much of it can be customized are very essential to me. The original launcher didn’t quite cut it for me, so I went back to my old favorite: the Go Launcher Z. You never go wrong with this launcher! That said, I also love the UI of the stock music player- it’s fast, minimalistic, yet it lets you navigate through your files with ease.
THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT!
Up until now, it’s all been praises for the Alcatel Flash Plus. But is it really all that? Well, like everything in this world, nothing is perfect. So what’s crappy about this phone, and what do I personally don’t like about it?
My number one complain would be the camera- sure, it has great quality ONLY when there is good lighting. Otherwise, in really dark environments, it’s just pointless to use it. It also lacks features! Features I need e.g. main camera self-timer (it has front camera timer though) and REAL HDR feature. Its current HDR feature is a joke- its effect is just like adding more contrast and sharpness to the picture taken. And I’m missing my Sony Xperia M2 because of this. It also doesn’t support long-exposure shots, manual control for shutter speed as well as manual focus, which makes the photographer in me really sad. Sigh. For the record, the Alcatel does focus faster and I like the front camera for group selfies- it’s wide and can hold a bit in low light conditions.
Other than that, everything is smooth sailing. And I really can’t complain much- it’s only a friggin’ PHP6,490 / $150 smartphone, for Christ’s sake! The phone really is more than enough for its price vs. all the others.
SAMPLE PHOTOS / VIDEOS
Here are actual photos and videos I took with the phone. Enjoy!
1080p 30 fps video and audio recording sample I made at home:
Live gig recording with audio at Saguijo Bar with low to decent lighting:
Click the photos below to view the raw in full size!
Saber full body!
In broad daylight
Pitch black using built-in flash
Front camera is nice- wide and can hold a little in dark environments
ALCATEL ONETOUCH FLASH PLUS
Seller: Lazada (Exact product page here)