Alcatel OneTouch Flash Plus vs Xiaomi Redmi 1S Comparison Review: The war between 2 affordable smartphones

Posted by B. Johnson
Alcatel Flash Plus logo
So you probably know already that right now my current smartphone is Alcatel Flash 2. I’ve been using it for like 4 or 5 months now and to tell you the truth, I really love it, like a LOT.

But did you know that, before I owned Alcatel Flash 2, I’ve been a proud owner of Alcatel Flash Plus for like 7 months. I then switched it to its sibling mainly because I felt uncomfortable using a large 5.5-inch phablet since I have tiny hands.

Besides Alcatel Flash Plus, there’s actually another smartphone that used to be mine a few years back in 2014. And that was Xiaomi Redmi 1S. Of course, as an older-gen device, there were some weaknesses found here and there on this phone.

This is why today, I’m really interested to compare Alcatel Flash Plus against my old smartphone, Xiaomi Redmi 1S and see how they stack up against each other in this comparison review.

Introduction

To be honest with you, Alcatel Flash Plus is actually a great smartphone. In fact, when I switched it to Alcatel Flash 2, I totally regretted it. Not because Alcatel Flash 2 sucks (It’s also an amazing phone though).

But there are some parts about my current phone that are just not as great as on Alcatel Flash Plus, like its cameras, its sound quality or its UI.

Alcatel Flash Plus is also really amazing when it comes to gaming performance. Way better than Alcatel Flash 2. I can literally throw any games on this device and it will get the job done without any problem.

From Modern Combat 4/5, Asphalt 8: Airborne and even Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (PSP), all worked and performed really smooth on this phablet.

This is totally different with what happens to Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which is definitely not on the same level of performance with Alcatel Flash Plus.

But there’s nothing so shocking about it because this Xiaomi phone was an older-gen device that made its first debut in 2014, while Alcatel Flash Plus came out 2 years after that.

So there will be a lot of discrepancies either in performance, hardware specs, battery life and many more. But we’ll get more on them later.

Talking about its price, I bought Xiaomi Redmi 1S for $150 when it first debuted in my country. I actually felt really impressed by the specs it came with. I mean, it was still rare back then to find smartphones with 720p display, 1GB of RAM, Snapdragon 400 processor in the price range of $150.

This is the main reason why I decided to get this Xiaomi phone in the first place.

On the other hand, Alcatel Flash Plus cost me around $180 when I bought it in 2015. And I find it really normal since this Alcatel phablet looks better on paper than Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

But the questions remain. From all the strengths and weaknesses found on both devices, which one between Alcatel Flash Plus and Xiaomi Redmi 1S that is better for playing games?

Which one between these 2 smartphones that is better in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these phones right now?

Design

The first time I had a hold of Alcatel Flash Plus, I already fell in love with it. It was really thin, light in weight and very pleasing to hold in the hand. I even could use this phone single-handedly for long hours and it didn’t make my hand exhausted.

And this is amazing because Alcatel Flash Plus is a phablet that comes with a 5.5-inch display, which is pretty large for a phone. Besides that, there are many other things that I love about its design. I really dig the chamfered edges found on the rear side. Totally makes this phone look and feel really premium.

I’m also a huge fan of the glossy gold finish on its rear cover. It may not be made out of metal just like iPhone or Flash Plus 2, but its glossy gold finish actually still feels premium. I totally believe the use of gold color on this phone really helps a lot bring its premium level to the top.

As opposed to Alcatel phone that uses glossy finish, Xiaomi Redmi 1S uses matte finish on its rear case, which usually looks and feels better than glossy finish.

In terms of design, Xiaomi Redmi 1S actually looks pretty unique and definitely doesn’t borrow any design characters from other popular phones like iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S3. It comes with the boxy looking design and it feels pretty comfortable to hold in the hand.

This phone is pretty thin by the way. However, when you hold it in your hand, it actually feels pretty heavy especially if you use it single-handedly.

One thing that I hate the most from Xiaomi Redmi 1S is definitely its overheating problem.

So everytime I was using this Xiaomi phone to play games like Dead Space for a few minutes, it usually became really hot in the hand especially on the back cover. And the heat could spread out pretty quickly to the front side, which made the screen feel very uncomfortable to touch.

I believe the culprit of this problem is definitely its heavily-customized MIUI, which is filled with many features and attractive visual interface on every side of its software, including its stock pre-installed apps.

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Alcatel OneTouch Flash PlusXiaomi Redmi 1S
Released 2015, May
Dual SIM (4G and 3G)
5.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels resolution with~267 ppi pixel density, 16M colors
Multitouch
Android OS 4.4.4 KitKat (LEWA OS)
2 GB RAM
Mediatek MT6752M Chipset
Octa-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU
Mali-T760MP2 GPU
16 GB internal storage
microSD card slot for up to 32 GB
13 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
8 MP front-facing camera
3.5mm jack
Wi-Fi 802.11
Bluetooth v4.0
GPS
FM radio
microUSB v2.0
Accelerometer, proximity, compass Sensors
No Java
Removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery

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
Cortex-A7 CPU
Adreno 305 GPU
1 GB RAM
MIUI 5.0
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
FM radio
GPS
Java
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth v4.0
microUSB v2.0
USB On-the-go
Black, Chinese Red, Metallic Gray/ blue, green, yellow panels
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery

As a more expensive smartphone, of course Alcatel Flash Plus looks more impressive on paper than Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And that’s totally true because this Alcatel phablet is just way better by miles than Xiaomi smartphone.

So it comes with a larger 5.5-inch display sporting the 720p resolution, while its performance is taken care by a powerful but more efficient Mediatek octa-core MT6753 processor, 2GB of RAM and Mali T-720 GPU handing its graphical performance.

This phone is equipped with a great sharp-taking 13MP camera on the back with LED flash, while the front 8MP camera is also reliable to take decent selfie shots. There’s also a huge 3500mAH battery found powering this device, while 4G LTE connectivity on this device is totally helpful to provide fast internet speed to user.

Meanwhile, as the phone that cost me $150 when I first bought it, Xiaomi Redmi 1S definitely lacks in many departments, especially compared to the well-equipped Alcatel Flash Plus.

But that’s not shocking given that this Xiaomi phone is an older-gen device released 2 years before Alcatel Flash Plus came out.

Even so, there are still some great things to appreciate from this phone, like its 4.7-inch display that is sporting 720p resolution, its Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Adreno 305 GPU, 8MP rear-facing camera LED flash, 1.6MP front shooter, attractive and intuitive MIUI OS and 2000mAh battery.

Screen

The screens on both Alcatel Flash Plus and Xiaomi Redmi 1S are equally sharp. And that’s as expected given that these 2 smartphones are sporting 720p resolution on their displays (1280x720 pixels).

The great thing is, both Alcatel and Xiaomi smartphones come pre-installed with customized UIs that are shown in HD resolution. So everything on the homescreen, like app icons, visual interface on pre-installed apps and stock wallpapers, they all look really sharp and very pleasing to look at.

This is totally different with other smartphones on the market that run on stock Android UI, which usually is not shown in HD resolution. So app icons and the stock wallpapers just don’t look sharp on the homescreen.

Watching movies, especially HD videos, is definitely very enjoying to do on both devices because their screens are really gorgeous and vibrant with great color saturation.

And their viewing angles are also good. So you can view their screens in even skewed angles and they are still viewable. The colors also don’t fade away significantly as you move the screen.

User Interface

I used to believe that stock Android UI with less customizations or no customization at all is great and ideal because it is much simpler and smoother than the heavily-customized UIs from manufacturers.

But the truth is, on Alcatel Flash Plus and Xiaomi Redmi 1S, I totally fell in love with the customized UIs that they came with out of the box.

So it’s called LEWA UI on Alcatel phone, while Xiaomi device is running on MIUI OS.

One thing that I really love from the customized UIs of both phones is how their UIs totally make their displays look really sharp and pleasing to look at because everything on their homescreen, like app icons and stock wallpapers, is shown in HD resolution.

Compared to the stock Android UI that I’m currently using on my Alcatel Flash 2, I’ve gotta say that the Android-customized LEWA UI on Alcatel Flash Plus looks way better and is more enjoying to use mainly because this UI looks really sharp.

I also love the fact that the total available RAM in default (after the first boot up) is actually much bigger on Alcatel Flash Plus (1.5GB) than on Alcatel Flash 2 (1GB).

And this is so weird because stock Android UI is supposedly more efficient with the use of RAM than heavily-customized Android UIs.

Unfortunately, this is something that cannot be found on the MIUI 5 of Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

So the UI of Xiaomi Redmi 1S is called MIUI 5, which is developed and heavily customized by Xiaomi itself. It’s still on Android OS though, Jelly Bean 4.2 to be exact.

From my experience of using this MIUI, it’s actually a great UI. It looks attractive and intuitive, and it’s also filled with a bunch of tricks and features on it. Not to mention, I also love the visual interface found on every pre-installed app like compass or clock, which looks well-polished and pleasing in the eyes.

The MIUI of Redmi 1S, as well as other Xiaomi devices, actually looks and works pretty similar with iOS of Apple iDevices.

There are app icons with rounded rectangular shape and all the installed apps will appear on the homescreen because there’s no app drawer on MIUI.

The good thing is, MIUI totally supports the use of widgets. So you can deploy any interesting widgets on its homescreen, including the new ones that come with the new installed apps.

I actually kind of dig MIUI. It looks really sharp with its app icons and stock wallpapers, and it’s also filled with many interesting tricks and features.

I also love how you can move an app icon with one finger of your left hand, while the other finger of your right hand can still swipe the screen either left or right to find the new location for that app icon. This is definitely something that cannot be enjoyed on stock Android UIs.

However, given its heavily-customized MIUI, this actually is the culprit why Xiaomi decides to over-clock its Snapdragon 400 processor at 1.6GHz, which is higher than it’s supposed to be (1.4GHz). As a result, Xiaomi Redmi 1S suffers from overheating problems.

It’s actually quite annoying how this phone is really easy to overheat even when I’m just opening some apps at the same time. And the phone will heat up easily if you’re doing something heavy like gaming or watching movies.

The worst part is, the heat will also spread out pretty quickly on the front touchscreen. And this totally ruins the experience of using this phone because it becomes very uncomfortable to use after a few hours of gaming or watching movies. Plus, it’s also pretty heavy in weight.

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I think it’s really obvious that Alcatel Flash Plus is way more powerful in gaming performance than Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And that’s totally correct because on this Alcatel phone, I already managed to play many heavy Android games, even PSP titles, and they all worked perfectly well without any problem.

From Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4/5, Dead Space, Dead Trigger, PES 2012, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, Max Payne, including PSP titles like Prince of Persia: Rival Swords, Splinter Cell: Essentials and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – they all worked great on Alcatel Flash Plus without any lag.

On the other hand, Asphalt 8: Airborne just didn’t run well and smoothly on Xiaomi Redmi 1S. I actually didn’t have a chance to try many games on this device. But from I’ve seen on YouTube, there were many users that didn’t feel satisfied with its gaming performance.

Even so, there were some games that still worked smoothly on this Xiaomi phone, like Dead Space, Dead Trigger, Rayman: Jungle Run, Need for Speed: SHIFT, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 and Mass Effect: Infiltrator.

But these games are not as heavy as other titles that I played on Alcatel Flash Plus, plus Dead Space suffered some errors that prevented me from finishing the game.

So between the 2, it’s very clear that the Mali T-720 GPU found inside Alcatel Flash Plus is just way way more powerful than the Adreno 305 GPU of Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

Besides, Xiaomi phone is not very ideal for playing games because it’s plagued with overheating problems and its battery also keeps draining really fast, especially when gaming.

And this contradicts with Alcatel Flash Plus that is very ideal for gaming. And that’s mainly because this phone is really thin, light in weight, comfortable to hold, it doesn’t suffer from overheating problems and it’s also really reliable when it comes to battery life.

So you can totally count on this Alcatel phone to accommodate your hobby of playing games.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these Alcatel and Xiaomi smartphones, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Cameras

Xiaomi Redmi 1S may not be as powerful as Alcatel Flash Plus when it comes to gaming performance. But it actually still has something to offer from its rear-facing camera.

So Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes with an 8MP camera on its back, while another 1.6MP is found on the front. There’s an LED flash as well to accompany the rear camera.

Meanwhile, as a more expensive smartphone, of course Alcatel Flash Plus is more superior in camera than Xiaomi phone.

And that’s true because the rear 13MP and front 8MP cameras found on Alcatel Flash Plus are better and sharper for taking photos or recording videos, especially compared to Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

In the real world performance, the photos taken with the rear cameras of both phones actually still look decent and sharp, if not the best, especially considering their low prices.

I’m honestly quite impressed with the photos taken with the 8MP camera of Xiaomi Redmi 1S because they look sharp with great details. We can even zoom in the photos and the amount of details is still clearly visible in the eyes with less noise.

However, if we talk about front-facing cameras, of course the 8MP front shooter of Alcatel Flash Plus is no contender here for the 1.6MP front camera of Xiaomi Redmi 1S. The sharpness, the details and the overall quality are definitely found on the front camera of Alcatel phone.

Battery Life

If you’re looking for a great powerful smartphone with amazing long lasting battery life, then your choice here is definitely on Alcatel Flash Plus. And not Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

But that’s not so shocking because Alcatel Flash Plus is powered by a huge 3500mAh battery inside, way bigger than 2000mAh battery found inside Xiaomi Redmi 1S. And they both are sporting 720p resolution on their displays.

So the small battery inside Xiaomi is definitely not up for the task to deliver an all day battery life to user.

Based on my experience with Alcatel Flash Plus, this phablet always managed to survive from 6AM in the morning to 8PM in evening, but this only happened in heavy use like when playing games or watching movies in marathon.

In moderate use, however, you definitely can count this phone to last not only in 1 day, but even 2 days in the row. You can trust me on this.

I also found it amazing that everytime I tried to download a really huge file with 1GB – 3GB of data, it usually only took a few minutes to complete and the amount of battery life bar that was consumed during the downloading process was not that huge, like from 97% to 91%. All thanks to 4G LTE connectivity of this phone that is really fast in downloading files.

Unlike Alcatel Flash Plus that is so powerful in battery life, Xiaomi phone is just not so good with the longevity over its battery.

It hardly survived even an all day, and it always begged for recharging during the day. And its battery life also kept draining really fast even when I was not doing anything heavy with this phone.

The worst is, everytime I was using it to play games intensively, like Dead Space, it only managed to last around 4 hours and I had to recharge the phone again while I was still playing the game.

The good thing is, I heard from its users that after it gets updated from MIUI 5 OS to MIUI 6, there are some improvements and enhancements found on its performance and battery life. So hopefully, this update will fix its overheating problems as well.

My Personal Opinions

From every part of these 2 smartphones, I think it’s not that hard to take the final conclusion that Alcatel Flash Plus is just a way better smartphone than Xiaomi Redmi 1S by miles.

And there’s nothing too shocking about that because this Alcatel phone is more expensive than Xiaomi Redmi 1S ($180 vs $150).

Alcatel Flash Plus is just more superior than Xiaomi Redmi 1S in many departments. First of all, it’s more powerful in performance, especially for gaming.

And then, it’s also way better and more elegant with its glossy gold design.

Not to mention, this Alcatel smartphone is also thinner, lighter and more pleasing to hold in the hand than Xiaomi Redmi 1S that is pretty heavy and can be uncomfortable to hold when it suffers from overheating.

When it comes to battery life, Alcatel Flash Plus is also more capable to last all day long than Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

It’s mainly because Xiaomi Redmi 1S uses heavily customized MIUI and its overheating problem is the cause that makes its battery keep draining really fast.

So if you are a heavy gamer and you also happen to love watching movies, I strongly recommend you to stay away from Xiaomi Redmi 1S because the overheating problem on this phone can be quite annoying.

It makes the phone feel uncomfortable to hold, its battery drain much faster and if this situation keeps happening, I’m worried that it will slowly burn the internals from the inside, especially on its processor and GPU.

Instead, I recommend you to buy Alcatel Flash Plus because it’s just an amazing device in many ways, from display, cameras, gaming performance, battery life, design and almost everything about this phone is just great.

Not to mention, this Alcatel phone also comes with its official earphone that amazingly sounds really great than other official 1st party earphones on other smartphones out there.
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