Alcatel Flash 2 full in-depth review, gaming performance and benchmarks

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on July 4, 2016 | 0 comments
Alcatel Flash 2 logo
So after using Alcatel OneTouch Flash Plus for over 7 months, I then decided to switch this smartphone to its next-gen sibling - Alcatel Flash 2.

Is not that Alcatel Flash Plus is so disappointing to me but after spending my 7 months with this device, I felt the need to upgrade to a newer-gen device, mainly because I wanted to try a new experience on Lollipop OS, which I couldn't get on Alcatel Flash Plus.

But my next smartphone should still be from Alcatel because I already fell in love with this manufacturer ever since I bought Alcatel Flash Plus.

Long story short, my smartphone is now Alcatel Flash 2.

The thing that totally made me excited and interested to buy this smartphone was actually its price. So I bought it for only $140. This is of course really cheap compared to my previous Alcatel Flash Plus that cost around $180 when I first bought it.

Alcatel Flash 2 benchmarks and gaming performance

However, despite being a low-cost smartphone, Alcatel Flash 2 apparently is a really amazing smartphone. In fact, I think the $140 price of this phone is a steal compared to what you're gonna get from this device as a whole, especially from its specs.

Anyway guys, today I’m gonna show you my full in-depth review of Alcatel Flash 2. I actually have been using this phone for more than a month, probably 2, so I can share to you my full personal experience of using this device.

Well, if you’re interested to find out how the review of this smartphone goes, as well as my takes on its gaming performance, cameras, UI, battery life and other more, then here check this one out, my full in-depth review of Alcatel Flash 2!

Enjoy!

Introduction

In Alcatel’s current lineup in 2015 - 2016, Alcatel Flash 2 is actually the sequel model of the predecessor - Alcatel Flash - released last year, not Alcatel Flash PLUS.

Meanwhile, Alcatel Flash Plus also has a new sequel, Flash Plus 2, which just launched a couple of weeks ago.

Compared to predecessor, Alcatel Flash 2 is of course way better and more impressive in many ways. It has better performance, new Android OS, a front LED flash, bigger RAM, more powerful gaming performance and more elegant design.

However, the previous-gen Alcatel Flash is actually not too shabby at all, especially compared to Alcatel Flash 2. It still has an HD display, powerful performance (CPU and GPU), good cameras (13MP rear camera) and solid battery life (3200mAh).

But of course, as a sequel model, Alcatel Flash 2 offers better specs and newer Android OS, plus a front-facing LED flash.

Talking about Alcatel Flash 2, the first thing to notice from this device is definitely its design.

So Alcatel Flash 2 has a unique and nice appealing design with sharp metallic chrome bezels on the front, top and bottom (in portrait mode). And these metallic bezels continues as a thin chrome trimming around the side of the phone.

Overall, it looks really beautiful and elegant.

And each corner of this phone is made sharply, not in rounded rectangular shape. So it doesn’t look generic just like any other Android smartphones out there that mostly use rounded rectangular corners, which is pretty standard these days.

Alcatel Flash 2 also comes with 2 LED flash lights on front and back, which is pretty rare to find on most of today’s smartphones, even the flagship ones like iPhone 6 Plus. And this totally helps a lot with the picture quality when we take selfie photos in low light conditions.

But that’s not the only thing why I love from this smartphone. There are some other great stuff to be liked from this device, like its stock Android UI, its fast 4G connectivity, its great performance, its solid battery life, its pretty good cameras and its great gaming performance.

However, despite all the great things found on this smartphone, I also feel that there is something about this phone that disappoints me little bit. One of them is actually its gaming performance. But we'll get more on that later.

And Alcatel Flash 2 is actually not any better than Alcatel Flash Plus in camera performance, especially on the front side, although it now has a front LED flash. The photos often look grainy and the sharpness of the photos really leave a lot to be desired.

This is why, through this full review, I want to share to you the whole thing about Alcatel Flash 2. I want to show you what’s so great and what’s so disappointing from this smartphone.

And this review will be based on my personal experience because I’ve been using this phone myself for around 2 months now. So I know exactly what I’m sharing in this review.

Design

The first time I grasped Alcatel Flash 2, the feeling was, “wow.. this smartphone is really thin and light in my hands!”. I mean like, really really thin.

Alcatel Flash 2 full in-depth review, gaming performance and benchmarks

Alcatel Flash 2 full in-depth review, gaming performance and benchmarks

But I was not really surprised and saw that as something that was mind-blowing because my previous phone - Alcatel Flash Plus – was also really thin and light in hands, despite its huge 5.5-inch display.

However, this Alcatel Flash 2 feels much smaller and lighter in the hand because it comes with a smaller 5-inch display. And this totally makes holding this device more convenient compared to my previous Alcatel Flash Plus which uses 5.5-inch screen

The real reason why I decided to switch my previous Alcatel Flash Plus phablet to this Alcatel Flash 2 was actually because the size. So after using this Alcatel Flash Plus for over 7 months, I felt that this phablet was really huge on my tiny hands.

Every time I put this phone inside my pocket, it didn’t really fit right in and made me really uncomfortable to walk with my pants. Thankfully, I made a good decision here by switching to a smaller Alcatel Flash 2.

This phone feels just great, comfortable and really comfortable to use in my hands. I also love how the rear-cover of Alcatel Flash 2 is made with grippy textured finish all over it, giving it a good grip when we hold it in our hand.

And you can feel its roughness by rubbing it with your fingers. So you don’t need to worry anything about slipping out this phone of your hand because its rear-cover is really grippy and not slippery just like most of other phones out there with glossy finish.

On the front side, Alcatel Flash 2 also looks really elegant and solid thanks to the chrome metal bezels found on the top and bottom sides of the phone.

And these metal edges are also made sharply by Alcatel in boxy shape, unlike other smartphones out there that mostly use rounded rectangular corners. This of course makes this phone look and feel really premium.

The other awesome thing about this device is its physical buttons – power button, volume rocker and the camera shutter key. And they all look and feel really premium.

So all of these buttons are thin and made out chrome metal in curved shape so they are not flat just like on any other phones. These buttons also give a really good tactile feedback when pressed. So it's really pleasing to press these physical buttons.

However, despite its premium looking design, I’m personally not a big fan of its rear cover because I think it just looks really generic and there’s nothing special about it. In fact, it looks cheap just like any other cheap budget smartphones out there on the market.

Thankfully, Alcatel releases some separate rear covers (gold and silver) specifically for this Alcatel Flash 2, which you can get on online stores. Both of these rear covers look more premium than the one that comes out of the box with this phone.

Overall, I really like the design of Alcatel Flash 2. In fact, I think this phone has a better front design than Alcatel Flash Plus with its generic looking rectangular front side. I also love its physical buttons as well. They are thin but they feel really premium when we press them.

SIM cards and external microSD card Slots

So unlike Alcatel Flash Plus that has all the slots on the left and right sides of the phone, thanks to its unibody design with non-removable rear-cover, the placements of slots for SIM cards and microSD card on Alcatel Flash 2 are found inside the rear-cover of this phone. So you must firstly open the back cover of this phone if you want to put your SIM cards and microSD card into the phone.

Back to Top
  • Released in September 2015
  • Dual SIM 4G and 3G (Micro-SIM)
  • 5.0 inches 720 x 1280 pixels (~294 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
  • IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Multitouch for up to 5 fingers
  • Stock Android OS 5.1 Lollipop
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Mediatek MT6753 Chipset
  • Octa-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU
  • Mali-T720MP3 GPU
  • microSD external card slot for up to 256 GB
  • Internal 16 GB
  • 13 MP rear-facing camera with f/2.0 apperture and dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 5 MP front facing camera with LED flash
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • GPS
  • microUSB v2.0 USB
  • Accelerometer, proximity Sensors
  • No Java
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
  • Available in 2 different rear covers: Volcanic Grey, Mica White
Compared to the predecessor (Alcatel Flash), of course Alcatel Flash 2 is better and more powerful in specs. However, if compared to Alcatel Flash Plus, this smartphone is actually less appealing when it comes to spec sheet.

But there’s nothing shocking about that because Alcatel Flash 2 costs cheaper than Alcatel Flash Plus ($140 vs $180), so there will be some parts that get sacrificed on Alcatel Flash 2.

Even so, despite having lower price tag, this phone is actually not too shabby at all in terms of specs, especially compared to its sibling.

So its display is sporting 720p resolution (1280x720 pixels), it’s powered by a Mediatek MTK6572 processor, coupled with Mali T760 MP2 GPU plus 2GB of RAM.

So when it comes to performances, this phone is definitely blazing fast. But of course, for gaming, this phone is definitely not on the same level as its sibling - Alcatel Flash Plus.

And then its photography department is handled by 13MP camera on the back and 5MP shooter on the front. The good thing is, it features 2 LED flash lights front and back. So if you love doing selfies at night in low light conditions, yes, you can do that with this phone perfectly.

Its software is stock Android OS based on Lollipop 5.0 out of the box and it will get the next update of Marshmallow probably in the near weeks (fingers’ crossed for that!).

Hopefully, Alcatel will also upgrade it to the next Android Nougat OS because the dual split-screen mode in this OS would be really awesome to use on the big screen of Alcatel Flash 2.

On the sector of battery, Alcatel Flash 2 is powered by a pretty huge 3000mAh battery and this totally helps a lot make this phone long lasting even in heavy use. But we’ll get more on that in a minute.

Overall, I think Alcatel Flash 2 is totally worth it for its $140 price tag. In fact, I think this price is a steal especially compared to what you’re gonna get from this phone in the whole aspect.

However, if you have some extra cash in your budget, I strongly recommend you to get Alcatel Flash Plus 2 because it only costs around $180 but it has way way more powerful specs than Alcatel Flash 2.

Screen

Alcatel Flash 2 is packing a 5-inch display, which I think it’s really ideal for a smartphone. It’s not too big, not too small. It’s just perfect for a media-consumption device that fits perfectly in your pocket.

And the sharpness of its display is pretty great actually because it’s already sporting 720p HD resolution on it, which is impressively higher than other popular phones like Samsung GALAXY Grand Prime.

Overall, I like the screen of this phone. It looks nice, vivid with well-saturated colors and the sharpness is also great for a $140 phone. And it also has great viewing angles. So you can view it from every angle and its visibility is still clear.

However, in default, the display of Alcatel Flash 2 actually looks flat and the saturation level of colors is also not great.

So if you want to improve the screen and its colors, you must firstly go to Setting > Display > Mira Vision > Press the “Ξ” logo or option > press Picture Mode > and then select “Vivid” in the options to make the colors look more vivid and popping out.

This totally helps a lot improve the color saturation especially when watching HD videos. And you can see the difference here when the display is still set as “Standard” in default and when it is set to “Vivid”.

Software and UI

On software side, this phone comes with Android 5.0 out of the box with stock Android UI without any customizations from manufacturer, or in this case, Alcatel andTCL.

So the overall look of its UI is really standard just like any other phones with stock Android UIs. The wallpapers are also stock from Android Lollipop OS.

The pre-installed Google apps are not that many to be found here and right from the start especially after you do the factory reset on this phone, there’s not much going on on its homescreen, which is great because it leaves huge space in internal storage that is usable for users.

But weirdly, despite using stock Android UI (which has been widely known for its efficiency with the use of memory/RAM), the free usable RAM of this phone in default is just around 1GB to 1.1GB.

This is really small compared to Alcatel Flash Plus that has around 1.4GB of free RAM in default. And it even comes with LEWA UI, not stock Android UI, which supposedly consumes more RAM than stock UI.

But that’s not the case here. Alcatel Flash Plus apparently has better RAM management than Alcatel Flash 2.

And you can see the depreciation of its performance and stutters here and there especially if you open too many apps at once.

The good thing is, there is a pre-installed app called “Click and Clear” which basically will force-close and clean all the running apps in the background with one single click. So this will come in handy if you start seeing some lags of its performance.

Cameras

In the sector of photography, Alcatel Flash 2 counts on a 13MP camera on the rear and the other 5MP on the front. 

So on paper, this phone definitely looks appealing to buy. However, in the real world performance, the cameras of Alcatel Flash 2 are actually not that impressive, especially in terms of sharpness. 

The photos often look grainy like painting and sometimes they look out of focus if you don’t capture the photos at the right time. But I believe this is just software problems instead of hardware.

So hopefully, Alcatel can bring more improvements and tweaks through the next software update of Marshmallow in the next few weeks.

The awesome thing about Alcatel Flash 2 is actually the existence of LED flash on the front camera (as well as on the rear side).

So if you love taking selfies at night when the lighting conditions are not ideal, you can totally count on this phone because this front LED flash really helps a lot give more lights to the photos.

But sadly, just like the rear camera, the front shooter of this phone also doesn’t take great sharp selfie photos. Hopefully, this will also get fixed with the next software updates.

Battery Life

Anyway, talking about battery life, Alcatel Flash 2 is actually pretty great in this department. And that’s mostly thanks to a pretty huge 3000mAh battery that is powering this device. So you can totally expect to see this phone last all day long if you use it in moderate use.

However, if you use this phone intensively to watch movies in marathon or play heavy games, of course you’re gonna need to recharge it during the day around 6PM, which is what I always do everyday.

But the great thing is, there is no software malfunction here especially related to its battery life. So even if its battery bar reaches 20%, the battery will not drain significantly and can even still be used to do some heavy stuff like gaming or movie watching.

This is the opposite with what happened to my previous Alcatel Flash Plus, which had some errors on its software that made its battery life drain really fast when the bar reached around 20%.

And that 20% usually will only give me around 5 minutes of screen on time before the phone is finally dead.

The other coolest thing about Alcatel Flash 2 is, despite not having quick charging capability, it’s actually pretty fast to recharge this phone. Usually, it only took me around 2 to 2.5 hours for this phone to go from 5% to 100%. And this device has a huge 3000mAh power battery.

And more impressively, the system will cut the power OFF when it hits 100% and the charger will also stop charging and even turn off the phone completely (when the phone is turned off while being charged). And I can see and feel that because when it stops charging, there is no heat at all on the charger.

Overall, Alcatel Flash 2 provides me such a great long lasting battery life every day. And I even believe it can stay in 2 days if I don’t use it intensively for watching videos or playing PSP game, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014.

So I think Alcatel has done such a marvelous job with the software and hardware of this phone, especially related to power consumption and battery life.

Back to Top

As far as the gaming performance is concerned, I think it’s really obvious that Alcatel Flash 2 is not any better or more powerful than its sibling - Alcatel Flash Plus. And we can see that right from their GPUs actually.

Alcatel Flash Plus comes with Mali T-760MP2, while Alcatel Flash 2 is powered by Mali T-720 MP3, which obviously is lower and less powerful than the GPU found inside Alcatel Flash Plus (T760 vs T720).

As a result, of course the gaming performance of Alcatel Flash Plus is more powerful than Alcatel Flash 2. And that’s true because there are some heavy 3D games that ran perfectly on Alcatel Flash Plus, but didn’t work greatly on Alcatel Flash 2.

Like for example is Prince of Persia: Rival Swords, which is a PSP game from Ubisoft. So on Alcatel Flash Plus, this game amazingly worked great and the graphics could be shown perfectly on this device.

However, on Alcatel Flash 2, using the same PSP file (ROM) of Prince of Persia: Rival Swords, this game didn’t run smoothly on this phone and it even showed some distorted graphics here and there during the gameplay.

And the gameplay didn’t even work properly. So there were many errors that prevented me from proceeding to the next level or area, which was really frustrating. It went the same with Prince of Persia: Revelations (PoP: Warrior Within port from consoles), which ran insanely laggy and was not playable for human being.

Anyway, besides these 2 Prince of Persia games, the sound effects in Dead Space (Android) also came out poorly that were distorted and really annoying to hear, although the game itself could run smoothly on this phone.

Maybe it's because I didn't install the right game file of Dead Space that is compatible with Flash 2, especially with its GPU. So no wonder if this game just didn't run perfectly on this phone.

But the good thing is, Alcatel Flash 2 is still able to play games like Worms 2, Rayman Jungle Run, Max Payne or Need for Speed: No Limits.

As a matter of fact, all Grand Theft Auto titles amazingly performed smoothly on this phone. And I also believe it's still able to handle other heavier games such as Modern Combat 4 or Dead Trigger, even in full graphics.

Meanwhile, PSP games like Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, Splinter Cell Essentials and Godfather also worked great on this device, while Indian Jones game just performed really laggy on this device.

But of course, you cannot expect other PSP titles like Assassins’ Creed Bloodlines, GTA Liberty City Stories and FIFA 2015 to run perfectly on this device because that’s not gonna happen. Even its sibling - Alcatel Flash Plus - couldn’t run these games perfectly.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed but not blown away by the gaming performance of Alcatel Flash 2. Even so, as a $150 smartphone, Alcatel Flash 2 is still a great device for gaming. It still plays PES 2014 (PSP) pretty smoothly and other heavy Android games can also be executed nicely on this phone.

And the most importantly, Alcatel Flash 2 is also really ideal as a gaming device because it's really thin and light weight, which makes it really comfortable to use for gaming. And it's also not plagued with overheating problem. Plus, its battery life is really solid. So you can totally count on this phone to play games in long hours without any problem.

However, in the near future, I’m actually planning to switch to Alcatel Flash Plus 2 because this phablet has more powerful specs and GPU than Alcatel Flash 2 or Alcatel Flash Plus. So I bet it’s going to be really beast in gaming performance, way better than Flash 2.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about its gaming performance, including what games that will run on Alcatel Flash 2, you can check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

My Personal Opinions

Okay, we’re finally here at the end of this review. So what is my last word about Alcatel Flash 2?

Well, from my experience of using this device for around 2 months, I think Alcatel Flash 2 manages to make such a great impression to me especially as a budget smartphone. It may only cost around $140, but in the whole aspect, this phone is just really top notch either in specs and quality.

Its 720p HD screen looks bright, sharp and vivid with great color saturation. I also love its front-facing LED flash, which is totally helpful for taking selfies at night. And then, it's also pretty fast to charge its battery from 5% to 100%, despite not having fast charging feature.

The design looks premium and unique, although its rear cover would look better with gold or silver case which you can get separately at online stores. And it’s really thin and light in weight, so this phone feels really compact and you can even hold this phone single-handedly for hours without getting exhausted.

The gaming performance is also pretty great, although it’s still far behind its sibling, Alcatel Flash Plus. So you can throw some heavy games like PES 2014 (PSP) or GTA III and it will execute them both smoothly and nicely in full graphics.

However, despite all the great stuff, there’s still something that keeps bugging me with this phone. First of all is, its gaming performance is not that powerful for heavy 3D games.

So despite having a great powerful Mali T720 MP3 GPU, there are many games that didn’t run perfectly on this device, like Prince of Persia Rival Swords (PSP) that is showing some distorted graphics and errors during the gameplay.

And this doesn’t happen to my previous Alcatel Flash Plus which comes with Mali T760 MP2 GPU.

So I think we can see right through here that there is some degradation of graphical performance on Mali T720 GPU on Alcatel Flash 2 especially compared to Mali T760 GPU on Alcatel Flash Plus, which is why Alcatel Flash Plus is more expensive than Alcatel Flash 2.

And then, the cameras of Alcatel Flash 2 also leave a lot to be desired.

So its rear camera is 13MP but in real world performance, the photos taken with this camera often look grainy and less sharper than the 13MP camera on Alcatel Flash Plus. Hopefully this is only software problem and can be fixed and improved further in the future through software updates.

The other thing that annoys me with this Alcatel Flash 2 is its software updates. So according to many users of Alcatel smartphones, this company has been widely known for its laziness for not updating its phones with new software updates.

So Alcatel usually doesn't give software updates anymore to its phones, especially when this company just released a new smartphone. So there are many older-gen phones like Alcatel Flash Plus that are left behind and stuck with the older-gen Android OSes.

And recently, Alcatel had to withdraw its Lollipop update to Alcatel Flash 2 because this update caused some errors to the phone and even deleted many important data of users.

So the company had to cancel the release of Android Marshmallow for this phone. And only God knows when this update will come out.

But hopefully, this won’t happen again on Alcatel Flash 2 and the future phones from Alcatel because this could create such a bad reputation to this company and even prevent users from buying Alcatel smartphones in the future.

Overall, I’ve got to say that Alcatel Flash 2 is still a great smartphone at $140. In fact, I think this price is a steal compared to what you’re gonna get from this device, like its solid battery life, elegant design, great performance, gorgeous display, good cameras and a front-facing LED flash.

And with software update to Android Marshmallow coming out soon in the near weeks, I believe its battery life, cameras and especially performance will be improved much even further to the next level (fingers' crossed for that!).

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Gorgeous display
  • Affordable to buy
  • Great gaming performance
  • Front-facing LED flash
  • Solid battery life
  • Elegant and unique design
  • Future software update to Marshmallow
  • It’s really thin and light in weight
Cons:
  • The gaming performance is less powerful than its sibling, Alcatel Flash Plus
  • its standard rear cover makes it look less appealing
  • The photos taken with its cameras are not sharp and look grainy
  • LED flash cannot work when the battery bar reaches 20%

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