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Flash Plus 2 is an exciting sub-$200 phone from the brand formerly known as Alcatel

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When I hear the word Alcatel, I get flashbacks from the very late nineties, when apart from the likes of Nokia and Motorola, it too made cellphones. I can still remember the first Alcatel One Touch, a larger and rounder Nokia 5110 look-a-like.

Almost 20 years later, Alcatel is staging a comeback. Over the last few years the company has generated a reasonable amount of interest in its Flash line – budget smartphones with reasonably good specs.


But despite its rich past, this week, mother company TCL announced it was dropping the Alcatel branding from Flash phones and creating Flash as an independent brand. Albert Wong, general manager of Flash 3C tells GadgetMatch the moves was inspired by Flash’s younger demographic. “We found actually the people who buy online are much younger. They have a different behavior.”

The first new Flash smartphone is the Flash Plus 2, announced this week. At under $200, its probably one of the most interesting phones this year. Sure, it doesn’t offer anything innovative, but the Flash Plus 2 offers features and specs that not even all midrange smartphones offer.

Alcatel-Flash-Plus-2

A 5.5-inch, 1080p display fronts the user, while an octa-core Helio P10 chipset from MediaTek takes care of everything else from computing to running Android Marshmallow. The Flash Plus 2 is available with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage, or you can get it with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage. It also The Flash Plus 2 is also equipped with a 3,000mAh battery, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facer that offers a Beauty mode for photos and video (yes, video!).

Of course, the design choices that led to the Flash Plus 2 are equally noteworthy. The phone goes metal, with chamfered edges and a curved back that gets a brushed finish for a premium look and feel. As far as sub-$200 phones go, it’s also among the few that has a fingerprint sensor for added security and more.

It’s this disruption that Flash hopes will be the key to its success. We’ve been impressed many times this year by manufacturers offering great midrange smartphones, but with its competitive price point, the Flash Plus 2 is in a league of its own in the segment.

Like many up-and-comers, Flash is focused on building its community of users and offering its phones exclusive via online partners. “The most important thing for us is to satisfy our consumers.”

According to Wong, many new features of the Flash Plus 2 came from understanding user pain points, like the phone’s front-facing flash and its dedicated micro SD card slot. The community will also have a say in color options for its upcoming replaceable metallic casings for the Flash Plus 2.

Available in silver and gold paint jobs, the Flash Plus 2 will debut later this month across Southeast Asia, including Malaysian, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Flash executives tell GadgetMatch they believe APAC is one of the biggest open markets for mobile phones, where they can skip operators and resellers and sell directly to consumers. The company also promises to offer higher-end products later this year.

[irp posts=”2875" name=”Flash Plus 2 review”]

Gaming

NVIDIA GeForce Now will bring PC games to Android devices

Taking on Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud

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Cloud gaming is a recent trend in the industry which aims to revolutionize gaming in the future. In the past few years, industry giants have launched their own cloud gaming platforms: Google announced Stadia, while Microsoft announced xCloud. Soon, they will be joined by NVIDIA with its own GeForce Now which will be available to Android devices soon.

GeForce Now is NVIDIA’s cloud gaming platform that has been in beta for PC, Mac, and NVIDIA Shield TVs. With this recent announcement, GeForce Now will finally come to Android devices. More people will be able to play AAA PC games from their Android devices, regardless of specs. NVIDIA’s platform also has the advantage of streaming PC gaming titles from Steam, UPlay, and other digital stores. In comparison, titles available to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud is more limited.


NVIDIA is improving the GeForce Now — as such, the platform will remain in beta phase for the foreseeable future. It is free for everyone to try. Those willing will need a compatible Bluetooth gamepad, since some games are unplayable through touch controls alone.

There is no exact date when the GeForce Now will be available to the public. There are also no details yet as to how much the platform will cost as of the moment.

NVIDIA’s GeForce Now is part of the industry’s push towards cloud gaming. Cloud gaming works by streaming a whole game through the internet so people can play their favorite games anytime, anywhere. However, it remains to be seen if people will welcome the technology with open arms — after all, it requires a fast and stable internet connection.

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India

Xiaomi launches Android One powered Mi A3

A clutter-free user experience

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Xiaomi has launched a wide-range of phones this year in an attempt to cover every price bracket. While it has indisputable supremacy in the entry-level bracket, the brand is also slowly catching up on the premium side.

So far, all phones launched by Xiaomi are backed by MIUI. The A-series however, aims to offer a stock Android experience. Partnering with Google for Android One, the device is guaranteed to receive timely security and feature updates.


First announced in Spain, Xiaomi has now unveiled the Mi A3 in India and is available in White, Blue, and Grey. It’ll take on the Realme 5 series, Vivo Z1 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy M40. With this new phone, Xiaomi will improve upon the shortcomings of the Mi A2.

The headphone jack is making a comeback and the design has been drastically improved. The front has a 6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and it also houses the fingerprint sensor. The front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and splash resistant coating.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 665 processor with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and expandable storage. The rear has a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While the front gets a 32-megapixel selfie shooter with support for face unlock.

Backing these internals is a 4,000mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. Software enhancements in the UI are non-existent because the phone ships with pure Android out-of-the-box.

It’ll be available in two configurations — 4GB+64GB costing INR 12,999 and 6GB+128GB costing INR 15,999. Sale starts from xx September via Mi.com and other offline channel partners. There’s a INR 1,000 if users purchase using an HDFC Bank credit or debit card.

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Entertainment

Spider-Man could be out of the MCU, #SaveSpiderMan trends

Fans are blaming Sony

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Spider-Man’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is looking bleak.

A report by Deadline says that Sony and Marvel failed to come to terms on a deal. Marvel reportedly offered an even 50/50 split on co-financing future films involving the wall-crawler. The deal could extend to the larger Spider-Man universe that Sony also intended on building and that, perhaps, was when the company started to become protective.


The report says Sony just “did not want to share its largest franchise.” For its part, Sony has rebounded nicely from the mess that was the two Amazing Spider-Man movies. In 2018 they released the Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 game as well as the animated flick Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Both were massive hits critically and commercially.

It’s a puzzling move on Sony’s part considering how much life the MCU has breathe into the character. Tom Holland, the actor who plays Spider-Man in the MCU is still under contract to do two more films. Director of Spider-Man: Far From Home Jon Watts, likewise, is still under contract but if this stalemate between Sony and Marvel persists, we might be looking at a vastly different live-action Spidey.

If you’ve seen the latest Spidey film, you also know that it ended on a massive cliffhanger so this new turn of events is major bummer for fans.

#SaveSpiderMan trends on Twitter

Following the news, fans of Spidey in the MCU couldn’t help but voice out their disappointment and displeasure with Sony. #SaveSpiderMan quickly trended on Twitter with fans pointing out how Sony is ruining the character.

Clearly, Spidey fans aren’t pleased. Here’s to hoping Sony will listen to this outcry because right now, this is literally everyone…

 

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