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Alcatel Flash Plus Review




Alcatel has been somewhat quiet for a while now but the announcement of the Flash Plus has sparked a lot of interest from the public when we first revealed it back in March. Check out our full review of the Alcatel Flash Plus after the break.

For the purpose of this review, we managed to borrow a pre-release model of the Flash Plus. We were told it has not been updated with the latest firmware and it also runs on a different clock speed (8 x 1.7GHz vs. the retail unit which is 8 x 1.5GHz).

Design and Construction.

The One Touch Flash Plus follows the same old design signature of Alcatel from the time of the Idol series. It’s simple, flat with rounded edges in a thin and sleek form factor.

The power button and volume rocker are on the right side along with the 2nd SIM card slot while the microSD and 1st SIM card slot are on the left side. The 3.5mm audio port is up top and the micro-USB charging port is at the bottom.

At the back is the 13-megapixel rear camera with a small LED flash just below it. The camera slightly protrudes from the base by about a millimeter. A large Alcatel OneTouch logo is smack right in the center while the speaker grills are lined up at the bottom end.

It has a non-removable back cover so you don’t have access to the 3,500mAh battery inside. The back panel has a matte, smooth finish in slate (somewhat ocean blue) color.

The front panel is all covered in glass with a metal frame surrounding it. The capacitive soft keys at the bottom corner are not backlit but painted in bright silver for better visibility.

With it’s large 5.5-inch display, the Flash Plus still feels good on the hands, light weight and provides a relatively firm grip. The smooth finish does make it a bit slippery on the hand sometimes.

Over-all, the design looks plain and unassuming.

Display and Multimedia.

The Flash Plus has a fairly large 5.5-inch IPS LCD display although the screen resolution is just 720×1280 pixels. While a pixel density of 268ppi might be decent and enough for most people, some would still look for a better resolution like a full HD screen.

Nevertheless, we found the 720p screen to be just about right. Plus, it comes with a few advantages — better battery life due to lower power requirement from the display and better performance (as seen in benchmark scores) due to fewer pixels being pushed by the GPU.


Alcatel Flash Plus beside the Asus Zenfone 2

The bezels along the sides are a bit thick, perhaps around 3mm with a screen-to-body ratio of 71.7%. The display is clear and crisp but you can still see the pixels upon closer inspection. The display lacks the needed brightness even if you crank up the settings to the highest level. Outdoor visibility is very good but you will need to crank up the screen settings to get that.

Sound quality from the loudspeakers are decent but fairly loud. It sounds a bit tinny when you max out the volume and lacks bass but works just fine especially when watching movies or TV series.

OS, Apps and UI.

Alcatel’s own UI looked simple and flat with no app drawer to speak of, just a bunch of folders to organize the apps by category. This implementation is similar to the Emotion UI of Huawei and OPPO’s Color OS. With a 64-bit octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the device feels very snappy and responsive.

The UI has built-in Smart Gestures which allows for Double Tap to Wakeup (no Double Tap to Sleep though) and custom gestures that allow you to draw on the screen (while it’s off) to launch features or apps (like a circle or letter O to launch the camera).

The Night Mode allows you to turn the screen to a shade of either red, black or yellow and a Color Temperature slider to set the screen’s color temperature.

There is a built-in QR code reader and Cast screen which is basically just a Miracast feature.

The Smart Somatosensory settings offer a slew of nifty features like Smart Answer (answer calls by placing handset near the ear), Gallery swipe (slide to next photo by waving hand near the screen) is similar to O+ air gestures, same goes with the camera app (wave to take a shot),and a Call Answering Car (place the palm in front of the sensor for 2 seconds to auto-answer a call when connected to the Bluetooth speaker).

The Flash Plus runs on Android 4.4.4 Kitkat and we’re not sure if Alcatel has plans to update it to Lollipop any time soon.

Camera.

The Flash Plus camera is good and can be great at times as long as you have ample ambient light. It does not perform very well under low-light conditions though due to the small f2.2 aperture.

Here are sample photos we took using the rear camera:

[fancygallery id=”203″ album=”246″]

We also noticed that details are lost when shooting wide or panoramic scenes although still photos looked much better in close up or macro shots.

Here are sample video clips:

The 8-megapixel front-facing camera performs just as well (although we already know that picture quality does not directly correlate with pixel size).

Performance and Benchmarks.

The Flash Plus uses a Mediatek MT6752 chip which is a 64-bit octa-core 4G/LTE processor based on the ARM Cortex-A53 with ARM Mali-T760 graphics. It has a maximum design core speed of 2.0GHz but in the case of the Flash Plus, they under-clocked it to just 1.7GHz to allow for better battery efficiency.

Reviewer’s Note: The variant we used in this review runs on a 1.7GHz clock speed while the retail version will only be 1.5GHz. This will affect the benchmark scores and even slightly improve battery life.

The handset performed very well with resource intensive tasks and runs most of the apps and games very smoothly.

Benchmark TestAlcatel Flash PlusZenfone 2 ZE500CL
Antutu Benchmark43,51923,231
Quadrant Standard20,1498,182
Vellamo1,675 (Multicore)

938 (Multicore)
3,238 (Chrome)1366 (Chrome)
1,194 (Metal)646 (Metal)
PCMark 4,030 (Work Performance)3,573 (Ice Storm Unlimited)
3DMark 6,752 (Ice Storm Extreme)-

With 2GB of RAM and 8 CPU cores, the Flash Plus managed the system pretty efficiently. It took over a dozen running apps to significantly affect multitasking performance.

The Antutu score of 43,519 is pretty impressive — it sits between the 1.8GHz Z3560 of the Zenfone 2 ZE550ML at 42k and the 2.3GHz Z3580 of the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML at 45k.

We did not notice any overheating problems when running resource intensive tasks while LTE connection is downloading heavy files in the background. The ARM Cortex A53 seemed stable and operated normally during these heavy tasks.

Battery Life.

With a power-efficient processor and large battery capacity of 3,500mAh, we were expecting the Flash Plus to excel in the battery life department. Indeed, the results of our tests showed impressive scores.

With our standard video loop test, the Alcatel Flash Plus managed to last 13.5 hours on a single full charge at 50% brightness and 0% volume. That’s perhaps one of the highest battery life we’ve ever seen and tested in the longest time, pretty close to the battery performance of the Mate 7.

Using PCMark Battery Test we managed to get about 10 hours and 23 minutes which is the highest we’ve seen so far in this test.

The unit comes with a basic Power Saver mode (Power+) that conserves battery life which adds about 4 hours more idle time (as measured by DU Battery at 90% full).

During normal or moderate use, the handset managed to last close to two days worth of use.

Call Quality and Connectivity.

The Alcatel UI handled dual SIM functionality well. We got to familiarize with how it works quickly and did not have issues with using two SIM cards at once.

Cellular signal was strong and we could connect to LTE networks fairly fast in all areas we regularly stay. Voice calls are clear, text messages are sent and received almost immediately and we did not encounter any problems in the past couple of weeks using the handset.

Using Mediatek’s MT6752M chip, the Flash Plus is able to support dual-SIM with dual-LTE functionality. This means both LTE SIM slots can connect to LTE networks of both Smart and Globe. However, LTE activity can only enabled one at a time.

Aside from LTE, the handset also supports WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, and Miracast.

Conclusion.

It’s no doubt Alcatel has a fine handset with the Flash Plus. From the very moment we broke the news back in March, we were confident it would sell well based on the estimated price we bounced around.

It’s not a perfect smartphone and comes with its fair share of shortcomings but it’s probably one of the best ones out there that you can get for just under Php7,000. Local brands would be hard pressed to pit their flagship devices with this one.

Lazada will be selling the Flash Plus exclusively starting May 15 at 12:00 noon with a suggested retail price of Php6,490 for the 16GB slate color variant (see listing report here).

Alcatel OneTouch Flash Plus specs:
5.5-inch IPS LCD @ 720×1280 pixels, 268ppi
Dragontrail Glass, Japan OGS full lamination
Mediatek MT6752M 1.5GHz octa-core processor, Cortex-A53
Mali T760 MP2 GPU
2GB RAM
16GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD
USB OTG support
Dual-SIM, Dual-LTE, FDD/TD-LTE
13MP rear camera with LED flash, f2.2
8MP front-facing camera, f2.2
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Miracast
Bluetooth 4.0
FM radio
GPS with aGPS support
Li-Ion 3,500mAh battery
Android 4.4.4 Kitkat
152.3 x 76.4 x 8mm (dimensions)
147 grams (weight)

What we liked about it:

  • Great performance
  • Dual-LTE capability
  • Impressive battery life
  • Very affordable price

What we did not like:

  • Non-removable battery
  • UI needs some refinements



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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87 Responses

  1. Matthew says:

    How about the audio quality? Loudspeaker? Is it really loud? Thanks. :)

  2. pedro says:

    aperture is f2.2??? but in the spec sheet it has SONY IMX214 with f2.0??? WTH???

  3. G4 says:

    better than zf2.
    this is my second phone

    my G4 needs a younger sibling.

  4. G4 says:

    better than zf2.
    this is my second phone

    my G4 needs a younger sibling.

  5. Randel says:

    Hi. Wala talagang gold color option? (I’m pretty sensitive about this). Kasi kung wala talaga I might just go with the 4X. Thanks

    • rcj says:

      Ako din. Mas trip ko ung gold. Deal breaker saken yun kung hindi available. Teka may gold ba ang 4x? Black and white lang meron sa lazda diba?

    • Randel says:

      I’m pretty sure na merong gold option although wala sa Lazada, siguro sa physical stores meron.

  6. rcj says:

    Great great deal to! Tanung ko lang kung slate lang ba na color ang ibebenta ng lazada or pati ung gold?

  7. Bezel boy says:

    Awwww. Calling abuzalzal we have a thick bezel situation here. I need your violent reaction please.

  8. cagari says:

    Very cool phone with a very good price. Thumbs up ako!

  9. Ren says:

    Masang masa ang mga inquiry nila. Kung audio quality ang hanap, eh di bumili ng speaker. Kung malaking aperture naman, eh bili ng dslr. You cant have everything in a cheap phone like this!

    • ZenPhownToo says:

      Kung may like button tong mga to, binigyan na kita ng 100, Sana makuha ko na itong phone na to by friday. Hindi ko gets ang Lazada hate, cguro once lang ako bumili at okay n. Haha.

    • amir says:

      Korek!!! dami hiling… fair enough with the price…

  10. Rein Momo says:

    ano ba talaga specs para sa Camera? yung isang review ninyo may Sony, ngayon f2.2 na lang.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      Sorry but our review unit is not exactly the same as the retail unit. There are a number of differences in the specs. We will post another update once we get a retail unit.

  11. chito says:

    may gyroscope sensor po ba si AFP?? sana po may screenshot kayo ng mga sensors niya. antutu at cpu z.

  12. NotaSheep says:

    Is it ONLY available in Lazada or is it in retail stores now? because i really want to buy my mom and aunt this phone!

  13. red says:

    Ayan alcatel ang daming nag uusisa at hindi sila kontento sa nakasulat lang. Kaya dapat sa retail store mo ilabas ang flash plus mo para mabusisi ng husto kung magugustuhan nga ng mga tao. Lumalabas na wala silang tiwala sa papel lang. Lalo pa na may iba pa palang spec itong flash plus nyo. Kaya tuloy pati ako ay sa 4x na lang bumaling. Sayang kasabayan ka pa noon ng nokia pero hindi kita natikman. Akala ko ngayon ay masusubukan na kita pero nasa alanganin pa pala.

  14. Sone OT9 says:

    Sana sa retail ver eh ang cam nya ay SONY IMX214 with f2.0 pa din. Tanung ko lang po kung malakas po ba ang speaker nya ? At diba ang TCL ver eh removable batt ? Thanks :)

  15. enthusiast says:

    A very good review. I have several questions sir. (1) how’s the screen’s outdoor legibility? You were able to talk to alcatel’s (or is it Lazada’s) personnel before, (2) did they mention about the Lollipop update? (3) Is the P6490 price just an introductory price or will it be it’s permanent price?

    Thanks and more power!

  16. laizen says:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE NG ALCATEL FLASH PLUS : ph.alcatelflash.com

  17. Name: enthusiast says:

    Sir, how’s the screen’s outdoor legibility? When you did talk to alcatel’s (or is it Lazada’s) people before, did they mention about a possible Lollipop update? Is the P6490 just an introductory price or is it it’s permanent price? thanks

  18. Butt Sniffer says:

    Please show us if it can use sd cards above 32gb, pref 128gb sdxc. It’s the only thing I want to know in order to decide if I will buy this or not.

  19. kabz says:

    may LED indicator ba ito at talaga bang hanngang 32GB lang ang pwede na microsdcard? baka pwede niyo itry gamitan ng 64 GB na microsd sir.

  20. jpfdeguzman says:

    Dear Yugatech,

    Nice review.

    I don’t usually mind the ads pero super annoying yung ad ngayon ng Sexy Chix sa front page nyo.

  21. Andre says:

    May idea ba kung may type of screen protection or scratch/shatter resistance yung display niya?

  22. rcj says:

    Rear camera specs from alcatel official website
    13-megapixiel camera
    Sony IMX214/Samsung S5K_3M2
    Autofocus
    f/2.2 aperture
    LED Flash
    Auto HDR
    Improved face detection
    Panorama
    Fliter
    Tap to focus
    Auto Beauty
    4xDigital Zoom
    Picutre in Picture
    Burst mode

  23. Flavio says:

    Sana yung review ng retail version neto ay video hands on

  24. chito says:

    thanks for posting the sensors. yehey may gyroscope siya. sana pati yung retail ganon din. excited na tuloy ako mag order sa friday.

  25. chito says:

    additional info lng po yung UI ng AFP is LewaOS. custom ui originally from chinese branded phones, just like MIUI. isa rin sa mga paboritong ported custom roms. Other UI: flymeOS, Emui, vibeUI, ColorOS, HiveUI etc.

  26. i still prefer buying from physical store. that exclusive deal with lazada is the only deal breaker for me. any news if lenovo k3 note will ever officially launch here?

    • steelicon says:

      http://www.lazada.com.ph/lenovo-k3-note-k50-t5-4g-lte-dual-sim-octa-core-55inch-16gb-yellow-466876.html Lenovo K3 Note K50-t5 Network Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE 2G bands GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 TD-SCDMA 1880 / 2010 4G bands LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 7(2600), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300) Speed HSPA, TD-SCDMA, LTE, TD-LTE GPRS Yes EDGE Yes Launch Announced 2015, March Status Available. Released 2015, March Body Dimensions 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm (6.01 x 3.00 x 0.31 in) Weight 150 g (5.29 oz) SIM Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by) Display Type IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 5.5 inches (~71.7% screen-to-body ratio) Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density) Multitouch Yes – Lenovo Vibe 2.5 Platform OS Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop) Chipset Mediatek MT6752 CPU Octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 GPU Mali-T760MP2 Memory Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM Camera Primary 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama Video [email protected] Secondary 5 MP Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones Loudspeaker Yes 3.5mm jack Yes Comms WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, LE GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS Radio FM radio USB microUSB v2.0 Features Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

  27. denmark says:

    may video po ba kau ng review ng alcatel fp, gusto ko kasi makita yung pagkasnappy nya taz yung camera speed hehe.. thanks sa magrereply.

  28. Karlo Mark says:

    AOSP > Chinese ROMS

  29. badok says:

    buti nalang dumating eto sure na bababa ang price ng zenfone 2 dahil dito

    • Karlo Mark says:

      Oo nga eh, hahaha. Sakto talaga
      May 15 – Alcatel Flash Plus
      May 16 – ZF2 announcement
      yey

  30. toothsie says:

    Glad to know about the Alcatel Flash Plus. It won’t be long and my Alcatel Idol is going to have a big brother!

  31. Ngek says:

    Ngek. Bulok na nga review mali pa. 1 day rebyu. Kung iba pala review unit sa actual e di pala tama tong “review” na to. Mas kumpleto pa sa feedback at detalye mga hands on at first look ng gsmarena kaysa “review” na to. :)))))

  32. akashi says:

    Sound quality from the loudspeakers are
    decent but fairly loud. It sounds a bit
    tinny when you max out the volume and
    lacks bass but works just fine especially
    when watching movies or TV series.
    Natry mo na bang magheadset? Malakas ba bass?

  33. rusure says:

    Well, if I’m buying a cell phone now, I’ll look for one that I can see those capacitive keys in the dark, either on-screen or lighted up.
    As to why these newer releases just paint ’em, is so irritating.

  34. Rhon says:

    I ordered mine at lazada earlier. So excited!

    • erica says:

      how did you order? it says out of stock already i was waiting for it to be bck on stock the whole day since it launched

  35. welsh says:

    Thank you for the review ABE.

    Bought one already =)

  36. temporarily out of stock?!? artificial shortage!!!

    • Duh says:

      If you checked for stocks by 207pm today, syempre wala na. Booz the sale start at 12nn…

      The sale took about 20-30 mins before they ran out of stocks.

      For me, it was a good and transparent sale… Unlike xiaomi items…

      Thanks and next time be early if you wanna buy stuff that are on flash sale. :)

  37. LJ says:

    temporary out of stock?! whaaay!? o_O

  38. PBB says:

    Can you move apps to micro SD?
    Which is better, Lenovo A7000 or this Flash Plus?

  39. enzo cabz says:

    out of stocks na talga… kailan kaya next batch nito.. di na ako maka pag hintay…. T_T

  40. lvs says:

    Everything about Alcatel Flash Plus is superb. May napansin lang ako sa camera nya. Yung display habang kumukuha ka ng picture, at yung picture tlga na nashot mo na ay magkaiba. Okay sana kung what you sew is what you get. Anlabo nung nakadisplay, pero pag nakuhanan mo na, ang linaw na sa gallery. Ako lang ba ung ganito yung Alcatel Flash Plus o may ina rin jan? Baka kasi sakin lang eh. X.x

  41. Red Chua says:

    Anyone knows how long it will take to charge this from 0-100%? also may fast charging feature ba?

  42. Stealth says:

    I’m selling the extra unit of Alcatel Flash Plus that I bought from Lazada. Please text me for info – 0922-2037459.

  43. Jon says:

    Is there a problem with connecting to 4G for Globe and Smart? I tried using data (both carriers) but nothing happened. I can’t seem to find the internet settings too. I didn’t have a hard time with my Sony Xperia, just with Flash Plus. Is this phone really LTE capable for PH carriers?? Any help would be appreciated.

  44. Al says:

    Hi does the GPS navigation work even without data or wifi?

  45. darwin says:

    Ano pong klaseng sim ang pwedeng gamitin sa Alcatel Flash Plus ?

  46. Jacmen says:

    I have to return then unit I received, may dead pixel kasi at very visible and my worries ay baka lumaki or dumami kaya habang maaga eh ibalik na. Ordered May 15 and natanggap ko May 19 4PM nung binuksan yun nakita oo kaya kinabukasan return ko na sa Lazada via LBC for replacement. First time ko mag return sa dame ng transaction ko sa Lazada and di ako sure ilang araw aabutin bago nila ma aksyonan ang concern ko.

    • Jom says:

      sir? ilang araw nyo po nakuha yun?

    • Jacmen says:

      Jom nakuha ko refund noong last week May tapos naghintay at nag order ako ulit ng AFP. Kakakuha ko lang ngayon and so far wala naman akong anumang sira napansin, wala nang dead pixel sa na receive ko.

  47. HSVC scandal says:

    this is nowhere to be found… Flash sale in LAZADA is big LIE. ALCATEL should be distributing this to all resellers just like ASUS ZENFONE 2.

  48. J R says:

    kailan magging available to via stores and stalls sa sm?

  49. aviethegeek says:

    64 bit hardware+good cam+low price = awesone

  50. anyone still waitng says:

    anyone still waitng 4 this win-win pone?well i have 1 freshly dliverd,,pls cntact me 09321885618

  51. Michael P says:

    I noticed that the screen sleep always returns to the default 15 seconds. How can I disable the automatic setting?

    • ebook says:

      That is when you press the power+ button.. The phone will resort on choosing the lowest possible action the phone can to extend battery..anyway you can just always adjust it in the settings.

  52. wilson says:

    Good am. Is it normal that vibrate is always on during SMS or during input word format. Please advice so I can ask lazada for replacement. I already tried to turn off to setting and message setting but still active.

    • ebook says:

      You can deactivate it actually. Just go to settings>language and input>android keyboard>unhighlight vibrate on keypress.. Sometimes, you just really need to explore.

  53. Hello..I just got my Flash Plus today. how will i know if my AFP software is up to date? Thanks in advance

  54. dee says:

    is it true that this fone have a dragontrail glass?

  55. Arlet says:

    Hi, why is it that I can’t share a load using alcatel flash plus? I’ve read other users having the same problem online, but n o solutions. I also went to globe to check on my network and they don’t know. Their guess is that alcatel flash plush has some spam/message filtering because I cant receive the globe notification message on whether i really want to share a load or not. Been trying to call alcatel service center but no one can answer.. you might have an idea.

    Thanks!
    Arlet

  56. Chris says:

    Is it available in the market? Last i saw was from lazada which is Php 7499 from and initial price of Php 6490.

  57. anne airtsua says:

    Pa help nmn bago LNG ung Alcatel one touch flash plus sa lazada ko binili.nwala po ung sounds nia ayaw na gumana pero page nag headseat ska ko marinig.

  58. kiriel says:

    Sir,

    San po area nyo nun nag trey kau ng LTE?Di ko po kasi mapagana LTE ng Flash Plus ko eh..

    Thanks

  59. derskiesoundbrocken says:

    Ganun din sakin hindi na nag sasound minsan meron minsan nawawala hai nako naman sa headset nalang ako nakikinig ng music

  60. Jp says:

    hanggang 64 gb ba dedicated sd slot nito sabi sa ibang website 32 gb lang daw ano ba talaga?? gusto ko nang bumili ng 64gb kaso baka di gumana please ano ba talaga??

  61. Kristine says:

    I have this phone for more than 1 year. It works perfectly, but last month I started noticing that the battery performance is getting bad then after a week I noticed that there’s a little bump at the upper back of the phone. Then this week the screen is slowly lifting, it’s like being pushed from the inside and the battery performance is getting poorer. When it’s fully charged it only last for 2-4 hours. It also shut down all of a sudden. I let my phone checked and they said that the battery was damaged and it must be replace with a new one. What should I do? Is it okay to replace the battery?

    • Kemp says:

      Ne replace nyu po ba ang battery, sakin din po kasi parang sira ang battery tas built in panaman

  62. Supertin says:

    The camera used in this videos is the built-in camera of Alcatel One Touch Flash plus:
    https://youtu.be/R_MAmF1zxIA
    https://youtu.be/pIcTHWaNTc4
    https://youtu.be/AZKIAfZ0c0E

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