Flash Plus 2 With 3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM Review - The Best In Its Class Made Better!

Without doubt, the Flash Plus 2 is the phone to beat in its class today. Even with the emergence of recent "attractive" affordable offerings from few competitors, we still believe that they'll have a hard time in topping this handset. Why? The Flash Plus 2 is still the most affordable phone with this high-level of build, ergonomics, specs, and audio quality yet.
Flash Plus 2 with 3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM review
Flash Plus 2 with 3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM review

Related: Flash Sound Pro In Ear Monitors Now Available At Lazada PH, Priced At 999 Pesos!

However, not everyone is contented with with just 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of ROM. It may still lead to hiccups when there's too many apps opened and lack of space when you intend to place a lot of files. So what Flash Philippines did is stay true to their word that they'll bring here the beefier 3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM edition here with just a slightly price hike. 
Its real metal back cover with gorgeous curves
Its real metal back cover with gorgeous curves

Note 1: In this review, we skipped our usual unboxing tradition together with the build, display, and audio parts as they're still the same with the 2 GB RAM / 16 GB ROM variant that we reviewed last time. It still has the same packaging, inclusions, well engineered ergonomics, well known durability, stellar audio output, and speedy front facing fingerprint reader.
Note 2: This 3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM version of Flash Plus 2 is now on sale for just 7,990 Pesos only!
A look at its slimness
A look at its slimness

Instead we'll focus on its recent software update should improved battery efficiency, camera quality, and performance. We checked the effect of its bigger 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage to the performance of the phone. Let's start!

Related: Flash Plus 2 Review - The Best In Its Class Yet!

Disclaimer: This unit was seeded by Flash Philippines for an honest review

Flash Plus 2 Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.8 GHz 64 Bit Helio P10 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T860
RAM: 2 GB / 3 GB
ROM: 16 GB / 32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 OV13853 w/ Mixed AF, 76.5 degrees wide angle lens and dual real tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/2.4, 84 degree wide angle lens and LED flash
Battery: 3,000 mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Light, proximity, g, accelerometer, e-compass, hall, gyro
Others: Fingerprint sensor, AKM4375 DAC, NX9890 amp, dual mic, Colors: luna silver, venus gold
Price: 6,990 Pesos (2 GB RAM / 16 GB ROM), 8,490 Pesos  (3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM)

Battery Life

7 hours and 5 mins of straight via PC Mark battery test
7 hours and 5 mins of straight via PC Mark battery test

On our previous review, the battery life of the Flash Plus 2 clocked 6 hours and 51 mins of straight usage. In our latest test with this updated variant using the same heavy settings, it recorded a slightly better score of 7 hours and 5 mins.

In real life usage, the battery performance remains the same as we hardly felt the difference from the previous model we tested. Is that a bad thing? No, it's actually a good thing as adding RAM and ROM should result to faster battery drains. Instead, this phone is arguably better in terms of power efficiency.

When used as a primary phone with average usage, its good enough to last around 10 - 13 hours on a single charge. It's good enough for a day's worth of use.

Charging time is still the same, you'll still get that speedy charging time of 1:15 mins in 0 to 100%, one of the fastest charging time on an affordable handset.

Camera

The main 13 MP camera of Flash Plus 2 in the dark
The main 13 MP camera of Flash Plus 2 in the dark

We all know that the Flash Plus 2 is a capable budget mobile phone shooter that can produce great photos occassionaly. It's equipped with a 13 MP  f/2.0 OV13853 w/ Mixed AF, 76.5 degrees wide angle lens and dual real tone LED flash and a 5 MP f/2.4 w/ 84 degree wide angle lens and LED flash. However, we felt that it could still be improved via software update.

Fortunately, Flash team listened and they seeded software patch includes major update in the in image quality of the cameras. It'll fix exposure problems by making images brighter without ruining sharpness and details. As a result, you'll be able to take better photos overall.
Flash Plus 2 now shoots photos with better exposure without ruining image sharpness in well lit conditions.
In real life, those claims appears to be correct. Our photos looks nicer and brighter which needs less editing after shooting. In the dark, we noticed that its night mode now shoots faster and has better exposure than before. There are still grains, but its now sharper and smoother in lowlight. The flash also appears to be whiter now which will make subjects look more natural at times.

Then, all its good traits remained the same. It has great HDR when properly used, can take close macros, produce nice background blur, and takes sharp images. However, we think that Flash should also improve its manual focus speed that's slower than expected.

In front, we previously said that its selfie cam shoots photos with noticeable grains and doesn't have nice exposure by default. I'm happy to report that its one major things that the Flash team improved in its recent update.

Th wide angle 5 MP selfie camera now takes better and brighter photos with less grains in daylight. In the dark, there are slight improvement as shots looks clearer and brighter. However, I'll still use its front facing flash even if its violetish to make selfies more visible.

Note: Flash team fixed the 8 MP interpolation in the camera software and adjusted it to its actual 5 MP pixel size to avoid confusion.

In terms of the camera software its still the same and I find it plain. HDR, panorama, pip, and night mode is present, but it still doesn't have manual controls and grids. We'll have to download a 3rd party camera app first to achieve that.

For videos, it still takes FHD 1080p videos using the main cam and HD 720p in front, but it now shoots with less shakiness. Still far from cameras with OIS, but any improvement is still an improvement.

Rear Camera Samples

Random daylight shot
Random daylight shot
Normal vs HDR
Normal vs HDR
Macro, look at the background blur
Macro, look at the background blur
Featuring the amazing sounding Focal Sphear
Indoor macro
Indoor macro
Indoor food shot with yellow lighting
Indoor food shot with yellow lighting
Panorama
Normal night shot
Normal night shot
Night mode test
Night mode test
Lowlight indoor capture
Lowlight indoor capture
Flash test
Flash test

Selfie Camera Samples

Normal vs HDR selfie
Normal vs HDR selfie
Good light selfie
Good light selfie
Indoor with yellow lighting using beautify
Indoor with yellow lighting using beautify
Normal night vs with flash
Normal night vs with flash

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

Flash Plus 2 is a known capable performer due to its new gen midrange grade Helio P10 octa core chip paired with Mali T860 GPU. Now that it has more RAM at 3 GB and storage at 32 GB, it is expected to perform even better and store more files.

At first, while loading light applications such as several social media apps, the difference was hardly felt against the 2 GB RAM variant. However, when we started abusing the phone by loading more apps and games, the smaller 2 GB RAM struggled a little in switching from an app to another. We hardly felt those hiccups with the 3 GB RAM model of the Flash Plus 2. Even when NBA 2K16, Asphalt 8, and Modern Combat 5 is all loaded at the same time, navigating through different apps is still buttery smooth.
Adding 3 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM is a significant upgrade.
Another advantage of this beefier variant is the doubling of its internal storage. From just 16 GB, this variant has 32 GB of ROM that's expandable via micro SD card. This is great for individuals who likes installing a lot of apps, takes a lot of videos / photos, stores heavy amount of music / videos, and etc.




In gaming, the update in both software and hardware played a significant effect in improving game-play. Asphalt 8 is now almost lag free even on high settings and NBA 2K16 now has better play-ability on medium settings. There are even times that 2K16 feels usable enough even if high settings toggle is ticked on some parts. Still, don't expect this set to be the great gaming phone, but its a decent one.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow in clean Flash UI
Android 6.0 Marshmallow in clean Flash UI

Just like before, Flash Plus 2 is pre-loaded with one of the cleanest Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS out there. It's on near stock Android mode, has nice in the eyes graphics, and  less bloats. After the update, its speedier, rarely crashes, and have even less heat.
Fingerprint controls
Fingerprint controls

Then its pre-installed with a nice type of  "Boost" app smart cleaner, launch manager, super speeder and power saving features. Users will also enjoy several photo editing tools out of the box such as Fotor and Snapseed.

It's fingerprint scanner in the home button is also accurate and fast. Plus, it can be used as a shortcut for up to 5 apps and easy clean-up (double tap) apart from the regular unlocking and app securing.

Lastly, it still has great GSM signals, LTE connectivity, Bluetooth, GPS, and has important sensor such as light, proximity, g, accelerometer, e-compass, hall and gyroscope.

Pros - Top notch build, design and ergonomics, better performance, can now store more files, good fingerprint scanner, true fast charging feature, doesn't have annoying heating issues, better tuned audio, improved camera picture quality
Cons - Default camera app isn't feature packed, 5 points of multitouch only (might not be a con for non-gamers), package lacks accessories (understandable for the price)


Verdict

This beefier version of the Flash Plus 2 is the undeniable bang per buck king in its class. The addition of 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM, and software update proved to be a significant upgrade that provided a different type of experience. It's now smoother, can store more files, and simply better than ever.

Plus, this phone still has everything that we love from the 2 GB RAM / 16 GB ROM variant in terms of build, ergonomics, performance, main camera, and audio quality that's hard to top right now.

So overall, even with its few shortcomings, the Flash Plus 2 with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM is the phone to beat as of this writing.

It's available at Lazada Philippines now. For more info visit the website of Flash now.

GIZ Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
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