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Flash Plus 2 First Impressions - A Super Charged Upgrade

The Alcatel Flash Plus was an instant hit last year as it touts the highest specs anyone can get in its price for that time. However, due to that low SRP, there are some understandable compromises such as its not refined UI, inconsistent camera and flimsy build.
Flash Plus 2 first impressions
Flash Plus 2 first impressions

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

Then recently, the Flash team of Alcatel became their own brand that's still under the TCL umbrella. That move gave them the freedom to operate and do most of the things on their own.

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

The first result of that major change is the creation of the Flash Plus 2, the much awaited return of the unquestioned bang per buck king under 7K last year. Now, they did their homework very well, listened to what their fans wants and placed a lot of effort in research / development in order to make the best possible phone again for the price.

That move appears to be worth all the effort as the Flash Plus 2 looks outstanding in price to specs, build and features ratio from what we saw in its launch yesterday. Here's the rest of what we think about this phone.

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/2.24, 84 degree wide angle lens w/ 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), USD 190  (3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM)

Build Quality / Design

The back cover is removable
The back cover is removable where you'll put your SIM and micro SD card

As early as now, we'll say that the Flash team absolutely nailed the aesthetics department of this phone.

The Flash Plus 2 features a full metal uni-body design that's appears to be on par with the modern metal high-end devices. Flash showed their prowess here as it was truly well machined and solid overall. In front there's a glass type of screen with Asahi Dragontrail glass coating to prevent hairline scratches.
Microphone and 3.5 mm jack on top
Microphone and 3.5 mm jack on top
Another microphone below and the micro USB port
Another microphone below and the micro USB port
Volume rocker and power button on top
Volume rocker and power button on top

In terms of design, there's no question that this looks like the Huawei GR5. However, the Flash team did a crazy good job in improving the already good design of the GR5. It has a more slanting curve at the back that makes it more stylish and better in the hands, the wire drawing looks exquisite and it feels super smooth with outstanding attention to details. It's also slim enough to fit your pockets very well. To nitpick, the display bezels looks a little thicker than what I wanted and there's a slight camera protrusion at the back which are forgivable considering how low this phone was priced.
This type of build, design and ergonomics is just a dream for a sub-10K phone before, but the Flash Plus managed to make our dream a reality.
As a result, this phone has the best ergonomics yet on a locally available sub-10K Pesos device. It feels amazing to hold that makes you want it to stay in your palm all the time. Everything is easy to reach, the buttons are well placed and the fingerprint scanner on top looks pretty good too.

Note: Being a camera centric phone, I would have liked it better if it has a dedicated camera button like the Flash 2.

Specs and features analysis

Apart from the best in class build, design and ergonomics, the Flash Plus 2 also boast the highest specs and most advanced features for the price yet.
This phone goes with a dramatic upgrade that fixed nearly all the flaws of the old Flash Plus and added new advanced features and innovations.
It's equipped with the new 64 Bit Helio P10 octa core midrange processor paired with pretty high Mali T860 GPU, either 2 GB or 3 GB ROM, large enough 16 GB or 32 GB internal storage and 3,000 mAh of battery capacity.

Aside from those impressive specs that's poised to give you smooth and good overall performance, the Flash Plus 2 is loaded with advanced features such as 9V 1.67A charger that supports up to 3x faster charging time, accurate / fast fingerprint scanner in front with several app and files shortcut features and Miravision 2.0 with smart eye protection, provide good clearness, color tones and eye comfort.
Lowlight camera test
Lowlight camera test

Being a camera centric device, the Flash Plus 2 also touts interesting camera specs for the price. It uses a 13 MP f/2.0 OV13853 w/ Mixed AF, 76.5 degrees wide angle lens and dual real tone LED flash that should produce highly detailed shots with very fast focus speed. In front there's a 5 MP f/2.2, 1.12μm and 84 degree wide angle lens w/ LED flash to let you enjoy selfies and even groufies better due to its wide angel lens.
The flash in test
The flash in test

It also has a 3 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/2.2, 1.12μm and 84 degree wide angle lens w/ LED flash.

Being a person who loves music so much, the most dramatic upgrade here for me is the inclusion of a dedicated AKM4375 DAC and NX9890 amp to improve overall music quality. From what I tried yesterday it can play my high bit rate lossless files flawlessly. Upon trying it with my RHA S500i, the sound signature is clean and neutral sounding that has good balance all over the spectrum. Everything is fairly detailed too and potentially good as advertised. Driving power is nice too as I can go loud with my high impedance Havi B3 Pro 1.

Note: I'll need more serious listening time with it before jumping into conclusion if it's can really pass as an entry-level HiFi phone.

Another thing that we like here is this phone loads with a clean type of stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS with just a few icon tweaks. From our first try, it appears to be super smooth and loads apps pretty fast. I also expect this to have less bugs.

Lastly, the other sensors such light, proximity, g, accelerometer, e-compass, hall and gyroscope is present in this phone.

Note: I did not put the Antutu benchmark score yet as the unit that we're able to hold is a pre-production model that isn't properly tuned yet. The Flash team estimates at least 45K of score for the units that will be on sale this May 31, 2016.

As of the moment

Paying attention to what their customers want did wonders with the new Flash brand. Even just on first hold, I'm confident to say that the Flash Plus 2 is the best I ever saw in person for the price yet. It's truly a super charged upgrade that has a great potential to be a best seller again.

We're eyeing to do a full review soon! Stay tuned!

Where to buy this? Click Here!
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