Posted by B. Johnson
As you may know already, right now I’m using Alcatel Flash 2 as my daily smartphone. I actually have been using this phone for about 5 months now and to tell you the truth, I really love it – and a LOT.
In fact, I think this phone is the second best smartphone I’ve ever had, while my first best is of course Alcatel Flash Plus phablet.
Anyway, besides Alcatel Flash 2 and Alcatel Flash Plus, there’s actually another Android smartphone that I used to own in the past. And that was Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And this phone is my first Android smartphone in my entire life.
I actually already wrote my personal review of this Xiaomi Redmi 1S earlier, which you can check out right here. But today, I want to compare my current smartphone - Alcatel Flash 2 with Xiaomi Redmi 1S.
Okay then, if you’re also interested to see how these 2 affordable smartphones stack up against each other, as well as my take on their cameras, gaming performances and battery lives, then check this one out, my comparison review between Alcatel Flash 2 and Xiaomi Redmi 1S, based on my personal experience.
Introduction: The stories behind these 2 phones
I actually got this phone when it just made its first debut in my country. And there was a flash sale at one online store which offered this phone for only $150. So when I got the chance to buy it, of course, I took it.
There were many considerations regarding why I decided to buy this phone in the first place. I knew that Xiaomi was a new player in smartphone business back then, especially compared to Samsung or Apple.
But there was one thing that made me so positive to buy Xiaomi Redmi 1S in the first place. And that was the fact that Huge Barra is the CEO of Xiaomi.
Anyway, if you haven’t heard of him, Hugo Barra used to work at Google in Android team and he also was the one who introduced Google Nexus 7 tablet at the stage of Google I/O conference in 2012.
So after knowing that ex-Googler Hugo Barra was in charge as the CEO at Xiaomi, of course I had no hesitation to believe that Xiaomi Redmi 1S was gonna be a great product.
And it’s actually true. Xiaomi Redmi 1S is indeed a great well-rounded smartphone at low price. Its cameras are amazing, I love its MIUI OS and it also looks elegant with its design.
But then I decided to switch it mainly because I didn’t feel comfortable using a large 5.5-inch phablet.
The first time I got the hands-on with Alcatel Flash 2, I was pretty impressed by its overall design. It’s really thin, compact and light in weight.
And it’s also very comfortable to use this phone single-handedly. So this phone can really ideal to use for watching movies.
But that’s not the only thing that made me interested to buy this phone in the first place. I was actually more excited to see how it performed when playing my favorite games like Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (PSP), Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA Vice City.
And apparently, this phone delivered as I expected.
This phone indeed is a really great gaming smartphone. In fact, I already managed to play many heavy 3D games using this phone and they all performed really well without any problem. And this is totally different with what I experienced on Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which was really disappointing when it comes to gaming performance.
To be honest, I don’t know when will I finally switch again this Alcatel Flash 2 to other phones in the future.
But from my 5-month experience of using this device, I’ve gotta say that I’m really satisfied by most of the things that it has to offer. I love its performance, its display, its design, its battery life and the 4G LTE connectivity of this phone is also incredibly fast.
The design of Xiaomi Redmi 1S actually looks quite elegant, especially considering its low price point.
It has that boxy design with matte finish on the back, which totally gives it a professional look. And it’s also really thin and feels great in the hand.
Not to mention, the rear-cover of this device, which is removable, is not prone to catch fingerprints. So you can easily clean the back of this phone everytime you see fingerprints or any grease from your hands.
However, despite looking pretty elegant with its boxy design, there is something that is quite annoying from this phone. And that is its weight.
So Xiaomi Redmi 1S weighs around 160 g, which is way heavier than Alcatel Flash 2.
As a result, this Xiaomi phone feels pretty uncomfortable to hold with one hand. It’s heavy and definitely not ideal to use single-handedly because you’re going to be exhausted if you have of hold of this device for a very long time, like when watching movies.
The other thing that I find it really annoying from Xiaomi Redmi 1S is the fact that it can easily overheat especially if you’re doing something heavy like gaming or watching movies.
And the worst is, the heat also spreads out quickly to the front side of the screen. So it can get pretty inconvenient to use this phone if you’re using it intensively for gaming.
This is a totally different story with what happens on Alcatel Flash 2.
So unlike Redmi 1S, this Alcatel phone is really thin and light in weight. And it’s also not plagued with overheating problems.
So even if you’re using it to play some heavy games or watching movies in long hours, it still doesn’t get hot at all. It probably feels pretty warm on the back, but it definitely never gets hot.
The rear cover of Alcatel Flash 2, which uses textured finish, is also the other thing why I like this phone. It feels grippy and rugged in the hand.
The good thing is, the manufacturer also releases the official rear case specifically for Alcatel Flash 2. And they are in gold and white.
So if you already feel bored with the grippy textured case that comes with this phone, you can always switch it to either gold or white cover, which you can buy for around $7 at certain online stores.
Besides the rear cover, I also love the chrome metallic trimming found all around the side of this phone. It's actually really thin, much thinner compared to the chrome metallic trimming found on Samsung GALAXY S4, which is really thick.
And then, all the physical buttons, which are placed inline with the chrome metallic trimming around the side, are all made in curved shape. The great thing about these buttons is, they give a good tactile feedback when pressed and their curved shape totally makes it feel quite nice to press them.
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|Alcatel Flash 2||Xiaomi Redmi 1S|
|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
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
microUSB v2.0 USB
Accelerometer, proximity Sensors
Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
Available in 2 different rear covers: Volcanic Grey, Mica White
3G Dual SIM (Mini-SIM)
Released in May 2014
Weight: 158 g (5.57 oz)
4.7 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen 720 x 1280 pixels,
16M colors (~312 ppi pixel density), Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Quad-core 1.6 GHz Qualcomm MSM8228 Snapdragon Chipset
Adreno 305 GPU
1 GB RAM
Android OS Jelly Bean 4.3 OS
microSD for up to 32GB card slot
8 GB Internal storage
8 MP rear-facing camera, LED flash
1.6 MP front-facing camera, 720p@30fps video recording
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Black, Chinese Red, Metallic Gray/ blue, green, yellow panels
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery
As far as the specs goes, Alcatel Flash 2 is way more superior in this department. And there’s nothing so weird about that because this Alcatel smartphone came out 2 years after Xiaomi Redmi 1S made it first debut in 2014.
Xiaomi phone might look impressive with its specs in 2014. But for today’s standards, its specs are definitely not on the same level anymore with the current low-budget phones like Alcatel Flash 2, even though they both cost $150.
And that’s not surprising because with smartphone parts becoming cheaper to buy these days, manufacturers like Alcatel now can cram much better specs and then sell their smartphones in affordable prices.
Anyway, I bought Xiaomi Redmi 1S for only $150 when it made its first debut in my country, which is insanely cheap for a smartphone with good specs like this. It went the same with Alcatel Flash 2, which only cost $150 when I first got it.
Amazingly, when it comes to spec sheet, these Xiaomi and Alcatel smartphones are actually still way better than other rivals on mid-end market, like, say, Samsung Galaxy GRAND Prime or other popular-branded smartphones on mid-end market.
Alcatel Flash 2 is sporting 720p resolution on its 5-inch display. Meanwhile, its performance is handled by Mediatek MT-6753 processor, 2GB of RAM and Mali T-720 GPU. This phone also receives great treatment on camera, with 13MP and 5MP shooters, plus 2 LED flash lights found on the front and back as well.
This Alcatel phone also has great longevity over its battery life, all thanks to 3000mAh found powering this phone. And it’s also really superior in terms of internet speed because it already supports 4G LTE connectivity. So you can literally download 1GB of data in just around 10 minutes.
The different story happens on Xiaomi Redmi 1S. As an older-gen smartphone, of course the specs that it comes with are just not on the same level with the internals found inside Alcatel Flash 2.
It comes with a smaller 4.7-inch display rocking the 720p resolution on it. The performance is pretty fast thanks to Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305. And it’s also capable to take decent and sharp photos with its rear 8MP camera, although its 1.6MP front shooter is nothing to be proud of.
MIUI 5 is found layering on top of its Android OS, so there will be a lot of features and customizations going on over its UI. Unfortunately, this phone comes with 2000mAh battery, which is way smaller compared to 3000mAh battery found inside Alcatel Flash 2.
The good news is, this phone is upgradable to MIUI 6. And I heard this software update brought a lot of improvements over its performance and battery life. So you can still get the best out of this phone once it’s upgraded to MIUI 6 of course.
Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes with a 4.7-inch display sporting the 720p resolution (1280x720 pixels), while Alcatel Flash 2 is equipped with a slight bigger 5-inch screen and the same resolution. But in the real world, it’s actually really hard to notice the difference of sharpness between these 2 phones.
And their displays also have good overall quality. They look gorgeous and sharp, the colors look popping out and their viewing angles are also really good. So many people can still view the screen even in skewed angles.
But the sharpness is definitely more often to see on Xiaomi Redmi 1S than on Alcatel Flash 2 because this Xiaomi phone comes with MIUI, as opposed to Alcatel Flash 2 that comes with the stock Android UI.
So on the homescreen of MIUI, the app icons look much sharper, the stock wallpapers also look sharper and the pre-installed apps that come with the phone are also shown in HD resolution.
Meanwhile, the UI of Alcatel Flash 2, which is the stock Android UI without any customization at all, doesn’t look as sharp as the MIUI of Xiaomi Redmi 1S. The app icons, the stock wallpapers and all pre-installed apps are not shown in HD resolution.
So the screen looks sharp only when you check out HD photos or watch HD videos.
Another interesting fact is, despite having a smaller 4.7-inch screen, Xiaomi Redmi 1S is actually much heavier than Alcatel Flash 2 with its 5-inch display. In fact, it can be pretty uncomfortable to use it single-handedly because it’s pretty heavy.
And this is totally different with Alcatel Flash 2, which is really light in weight and doesn’t feel that heavy even if you hold it with one hand for long hours.
On software side, the UI of Xiaomi Redmi 1S definitely looks more attractive and intuitive than Alcatel Flash 2. And it’s true because there are many interesting and cool features on MIUI 5 compared to the stock Android Lollipop UI on Alcatel phone.
The UI of this Xiaomi phone also looks quite sharp because everything on it, like app icons or the stock wallpapers, is shown in HD resolution, as opposed to the homescreen of Alcatel Flash 2 that is not shown in HD resolution.
I actually wind up using Nova Launcher until today on my Alcatel Flash 2 because I find that the stock Android UI of this phone can be quite boring to use because it’s really straightforward and there’s no interesting customization found on its UI.
And I really miss the heavy-customized LEWA UI found on my previous Alcatel Flash Plus because, just like MIUI, the LEWA UI of this phablet is also shown in HD resolution. So everything on the homescreen just looks sharp and really pleasing to look at.
However, despite having a more attractive and intuitive UI, the overall performance and also battery life of Xiaomi Redmi 1S actually suffer a lot from the use of this heavy MIUI.
Okay, this phone may perform really smooth and fast on the homescreen. And there’s no lag whatsoever when switching the apps or swiping the screen.
But that only happens because the Snapdragon 400 processor of this phone is being overclocked by the manufacturer at 1.6GHz, higher than it’s supposed to be (1.4GHz if I'm not mistaken).
As a result, this phone suffers from overheating and its battery also drains really fast in one day, especially considering that it only comes with 2000mAh battery.
This really contradicts with Alcatel Flash 2 that is really amazing in terms of battery life and overall performance. And it’s also not plagued with overheating problems. So this phone can be ideal to use for doing some heavy tasks like gaming or watching movies in marathon.
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For playing games, of course Alcatel Flash 2 is way more superior than Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And there’s nothing so shocking about that because this Alcatel smartphone comes with more powerful specs under the hood.
All thanks to Mediatek MT6753 octa-core processor, Mali T-720 GPU and 2GB that are found powering this phone.
I actually have been playing a plenty of games with this device, from Android, SNES and even PSP platforms. And all worked extremely well without any problem. However, there was one game that just didn’t perform perfectly and smoothly on Alcatel Flash 2.
And that is Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (PSP), which showed lags and distorted graphics all over the gameplay. And it’s also really frustrating to finish the game because there were many errors found in the graphics, levels, characters and gameplay as well.
But other than that, Alcatel Flash 2 is still an amazing performer for gaming.
I’ve already tried all Grand Theft Auto series – from GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, GTA Chinatown Wars, GTA Liberty City Stories -, and they all worked amazingly well without any lag.
It goes the same with Asphalt 8: Airborne, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (PSP), Splinter Cell: Essentials (PSP) and Max Payne which all can be played without any problem.
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen to Xiaomi Redmi 1S. Even though Dead Trigger and Dead Space both worked perfectly and smoothly, there were many games that just didn’t run really well on this phone, like Asphalt 8: Airborne (pretty laggy), Modern Combat 4 and many more.
I believe its heavily-customized MIUI is the one to blame here because there’s a lot going on on this UI, especially in the background. And this definitely makes it pretty hard for this phone to run stable for gaming because there’s very limited memory left that is available to use for playing heavy games.
The other thing that makes Xiaomi Redmi 1S not very ideal as a gaming device are its weight and its overheating problems.
So as I said above, this Xiaomi phone is pretty heavy and it also gets hot easily when used for doing heavy tasks like gaming. And the heat will always spread out quickly to the front screen and this totally makes it uncomfortable to hold.
And this is way different with what happens to Alcatel Flash 2, which is really ideal and perfect to use for playing games, even for long hours.
And that’s mainly because this phone is really thin and light in weight, it has good battery life, and it’s also not plagued with overheating issues. So you can totally count on this phone to play any heavy games even for a very long time.
Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these smartphones, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)
Unfortunately, despite being a better performer for playing games, Alcatel Flash 2 still leaves a lot to be desired in camera department, especially compared to Xiaomi Redmi 1S.
So Alcatel Flash 2 features a 13MP camera on the back, while Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes with an 8MP rear-facing camera. However, in the real world performance, it’s actually Xiaomi phone that’s capable to take better and more decent photos than Alcatel Flash 2.
The photos amazingly look much sharper on Xiaomi Redmi 1S than on Alcatel Flash 2. And there’s also less noise in the photos taken with Xiaomi phone.
This is actually pretty weird because Xiaomi Redmi 1S only comes with an 8MP camera on the back, which on paper, looks less appealing than the staggering 13MP rear camera of Alcatel Flash 2.
But apparently, that’s not the case here. The mega pixel count actually doesn’t have anything to do with picture quality and sharpness.
The users of Alcatel Flash 2 argued that the cause of this problem is on its firmware version (software), not the hardware, which somehow can be true because according to users, when this phone was still running on the firmware version 2.9 or 3.1 (Android Lollipop 5.0 OS), the photos taken with Alcatel Flash 2 actually look better and sharper.
However, when updated to the firmware version of 3.6 or higher, the quality depreciates significantly. The photos look grainy, there is a lot of noise in the photos and it’s just not pleasing to look at if we zoom in the photos.
The good news is, now Alcatel Flash 2 is upgradable to Android Marshmallow OS with the latest firmware version of 1.8. And many users have seen many improvements especially in cameras of this phone, although its front-facing camera is still having problems when used on apps like Skype, etc.
The cameras of Alcatel Flash 2 – front and rear - are actually still capable to take great selfie photos if you know how to do it correctly. In fact, this phone is also really decent for video recording as it's capable to take really sharp full HD videos (1920x1080 pixels).
So even though the sharpness of its photos are not as good as Xiaomi Redmi 1S, the front and rear cameras of Alcatel Flash 2 are still impressive overall.
Alcatel Flash 2 is powered by a huge 3000mAH battery, while Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes with a smaller 2000mAh battery. And Xiaomi phone also runs on heavily-customized MIUI, as opposed to the stock Android UI of Alcatel Flash 2 which is really light and not heavily customized.
As a result, of course Alcatel Flash 2 is capable to last much longer in one day than Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And that’s totally true because the processor inside Alcatel phone is only tasked to run on a very light weight UI.
Based on my experience of using these 2 phones for a few months, Alcatel Flash 2 indeed is more superior in battery life than Xiaomi phone.
In one solid day, my Alcatel Flash 2 always manages to survive from 6AM in the morning with 100% of battery life bar until it finally begs for recharging at 8PM (around 15%). But that’s in heavy use. In moderate use, on the other hand, this phone of course is more than capable to last even in 2 days in the row without recharging.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi Redmi 1S always struggles to maintain its battery life in one day because its battery keeps draining really fast even when I’m not using this phone at all. The percentage of its battery life bar always depreciates significantly especially when used for gaming or watching movies.
I believe the culprit of this problem is definitely its heavily-customized MIUI which forces the company to over-clock the Snapdragon 400 processor of this phone at 1.6GHz per core, while this processor is supposedly clocked at 1.4GHz on other devices. So this will squeeze a lot of power from its battery.
The good news is, according to what I heard from its users, Xiaomi Redmi 1S is upgradable to MIUI 6.0. And this new software update is said to bring a lot of improvements especially in battery department and performance as well.
So hopefully when this phone gets upgraded to MIUI 6, all of its problems like overheating and short lasting battery life will be solved.
My Personal Opinions
So which one is the best smartphone in this comparison review?
Well, I think it’s very obvious that Alcatel Flash 2 is definitely the one that deserves the crown here over Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And I have many reasons to back up that conclusion.
As a smartphone that also costs $150, Alcatel Flash 2 is just better in many ways then Xiaomi Redmi 1S.
It has a more powerful gaming performance, it’s really thin and light in weight, its battery life lasts all day long, its design looks more elegant and unique, its 4G LTE internet speed is just unbeatable and it’s also got dual LED flash lights on the front and back.
Xiaomi Redmi 1S may be a bit superior than Alcatel Flash 2 with its 8MP rear-facing camera, which takes better and sharper photos. But in almost all departments, this Xiaomi phone is just not an equal contender for Alcatel Flash 2.
Its gaming performance is not that powerful, its battery life keeps draining really fast in one day, it’s plagued with overheating problems, it’s pretty heavy and not really convenient to use single-handedly, and its front-facing camera also leaves a lot to be desired, especially for doing selfies.
So if you’re looking for an affordable smartphone in the price range around $150, a smartphone that is powerful in performance and specs, a smartphone that can last all day, a smartphone that is decent for video recording, and a smartphone that feels nice to hold in the hand, then Alcatel Flash 2 is definitely the one you're looking for.
Alcatel Flash 2 is no doubt an amazing smartphone at low price.