Flash Plus 2 hands-on, first impressions
Just before the announcement of the Flash Plus 2, the company has announced it has split from Alcatel to become an independent company (Flash 3C, Inc.). This makes the Flash Plus 2 their very first device under the new brand name and the 4th from the entire Flash series.
And Flash really came out with a bang — the Flash Plus 2 is a huge improvement over its predecessor. It has the same 5.5-inch display in a slim and sleek body but this time the chassis is made of aluminum alloy.
The design of the Flash Plus 2 is not far off from the original Flash Plus — sleek and simple with a flat form factor and a two-color scheme. The Venus Gold unit that we have here has a flat black front panel and a light, almost pinkish, back panel.
The front is completely covered with tempered glass with two capacitive buttons flanking the physical home button that also serves as a fingerprint scanner. The capacitive buttons light up when you press the home button. The fingerprint scanner is fast and responsive. You can enroll a maximum of 5 unique fingerprints.
The power button is on the right side along with the volume rocker, both of which are somewhat flushed towards the top corner. The placement is somewhat harder to reach when holding the device with one hand.
The back panel has a removable cover that’s mostly made up of thin but solid metal alloy (not flimsy at all!) infused with some polycarbonate material at the top and bottom end to allow for better wireless signal reception.
Inside is a nano SIM card slot, a micro SIM card slot and a separate microSD card slot. Both SIM card slots support 4G LTE while the microSD card supports up to 128GB external storage.
While you can remove the back cover, the 3,000mAh battery is actually not user-replaceable. The battery is tucked into placed by at least 3 minute screws. Perhaps, with the right tools, one can still remove and replace the battery although we have not tried that yet.
The loudspeaker is placed at the bottom end of the back panel. Despite the non-optimal placement, the audio is still loud and crisp, a bit tinny at times but much better than the old model.
The 13-megapixel rear camera slightly protrudes from the back. Beside it is a lone LED flash. We’re still not sure about the sensor but the camera has good optics with a fairly decent f2.0 aperture and electronic image stabilization.
You can check out the sample shots and video clip in our video hands-on below:
Here is the game test:
The Flash Plus 2 is powered by a Mediatek Helio P10 octa-core chip. While the reference chip maxes out at 2.0GHz for the high power cluster and 1.1GHz for the power efficient cluster, the one used in the Plus 2 has been slightly underclocked to 1.8GHz and 1.0GHz in each cluster, respectively.
The P10 (MT6755) was derived from the MT6752 chip that was used in the original Flash Plus. The integrated graphics is an improved version, — an ARM Mali 860T from the Mali 760T.
In our initial benchmark results, the Flash Plus 2 only managed to get a little over 40,000 points on Antutu benchmark. The score is just the same as the one coming from a Snapdragon 615 chip. However, this is actually slightly lower than the Flash Plus (running at 1.7GHz) which scored over 43,000 on the same test. We will look further into this in our full review.
The handset comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow right out of the box and pretty much vanilla-flavor interface. It’s snappy, fast and responsive although the 2GB of RAM can easily fill up with several apps running in the background. More on this in our full review next week.
Flash Plus 2 specs:
5.5-inch OGS LCD display @ 1920×1080 pixels, 401ppi
Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 chip
4 x 1.8GHz Cortex A53 + 4 x 1.0GHz Cortex A53 processor
ARM Mali-T860 MP2 550MHz dual-core GPU
2GB and 3GB RAM
16GB and 32GB storage
Up to 128GB via microSD card
4G LTE Cat. 6
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
HiFi Audio (AK4375)
GPS with aGPS support, GLONASS
13MP rear camera, f/2.0, PDAF, with Realtone dual LED flash
5MP front-facing camera with LED flash
3,000mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Venus Gold, Luna Silver
152.6 × 76.4 × 8.2mm (dimensions)
157 grams (weight)
Global pricing starts at $160 (Php7,500) for the 2GB/16GB model while the 3GB/32GB variant will be priced at $190 (Php8,800).
The Flash Plus 2 is expected to arrive in the Philippine by end of May. It will initially be exclusive thru Lazada and then in retail stores after a month.