Metal used to be a material that is reserved for high end smartphones but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. This year, quite a number of manufacturers have offered metal-based smartphones with a rather affordable price tag and one such example is the new Flash Plus 2 which was launched in Malaysia just moments ago.
Given the asking price though, it is not surprising that Flash – a sub-brand of TCL Communication, the same people behind Alcatel mobile devices – implemented the material into Flash Plus 2 in a slightly different manner. Instead of being a full metal bodied device, only its removable casing is actually made from metal (aluminum, to be specific).
Its polished finish does provide a premium look and feel to the casing which is quite a welcoming trait for a sub-RM 600 device although I must say that the phone’s overall design might looked rather common though. Speaking of having premium feature in an affordable device, another such trait on Flash Plus 2 is its fingerprint scanner which is integrated into its home button and works really fast – just like what has been claimed by Flash itself.
Built with a vibrant-looking 5.5-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display, the new Flash Plus 2 is also equipped with a 1.8GHz MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755M octa-core processor. Accompanied by 2GB of LPDDR3 memory and 16GB internal storage, the device fared rather alright on the popular AnTuTu Benchmark:
Despite being made by a Chinese manufacturer which is known to put highly custom user interface on their Android devices, the interface on Flash Plus 2’s is much closer to stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow. One such example is how Flash Plus 2 still retain the operating system’s app drawer although Flash decided to display the apps alphabetically:
Photography-wise, Flash Plus 2 relies on the 13-megapixels OV13853 sensor that was sourced from Omnivision for its rear camera. Alongside a dual-tone LED flash, the camera also features a 5-elements f/2.0 lens, PDAF system, and full HD 60fps video recording capability. For selfies lovers, they are able to utilize Flash Plus 2’s front-facing 5-megapixels fixed-focus camera with an LED flash.
As our test device is running on a pre-release software, we encounter several technical issues with the camera on the unit which didn’t allow us to properly utilize it. Hence, the sample output that we have here might looked slightly underwhelming:
Since our time with the device is rather brief, we were not able to test out its battery life but we did able to observe Flash Plus 2’s fast charge capability. True to its claims, we manage to charge the 3,000 mAh battery on our Flash Plus 2 test unit from 0 to 54% in just 30 minutes. Add another 30 minutes, we were then able to further charge Flash Plus 2’s battery to 91% which is rather convenient.
Just like its battery life, time constraints didn’t allow us to properly judge the Flash Plus 2’s headphones output which supposedly to be enhanced by an array of hardware including AKM4375 DAC, and NXP9890 amplifier. Nevertheless, we still able to notice the output’s clarity and adequate bass response immediately.
At the same time, we also found that the mono speaker on Flash Plus 2 is actually quite loud. While its bass output is rather subpar which is a common trait among built-in speakers on mobile phones, it can be heard clearly without the need to push the volume level beyond 50%.
For a smartphone that is priced at RM 599, the Flash Plus 2 seems to be able to hold its part of the deal when it comes to features and performance. Together with its brushed metal aluminum casing, it is not far-fetched to say that this is Flash’s best device so far. For further information, head on to Flash’s official website.