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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.

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Apple iPhone XS Max undergoes scratch and bend tests

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t bend!

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The latest iPhones from Apple are already available in key markets around the globe. Quite a number of people already have their hands on one (including us), so it’s time to review the phone. While we’re still working on our insights about the new iPhone XS, let’s witness the device go through a series of durability test.

If you’re fond of seeing phones get through sharp blades, you should definitely check out Zack Nelson’s JerryRigEverything channel on YouTube. The latest phone to suffer on his table, of course, is the newest iPhone — the iPhone XS Max to be specific.

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone XS Max practically survived the whole test. The front and back glass body managed to withstand scratches like most high-end smartphones on the market. The stainless steel frame did scratch too, but Zack pointed out that it’s less prone to damages compared to previous aluminum-made iPhones.

Everything was not perfect, though. Apple claimed that the new iPhone XS and XS Max have “sapphire crystal lens cover” for the dual rear cameras. That’s ideal to fully protect the camera from unsightly scratches which will greatly affect the image quality. Unfortunately, it seems to be just a marketing gimmick. Compared to an actual and pure sapphire crystal face of a Tissot wristwatch, the iPhone’s lens cover is not hard enough and it scratches easily.

At least, though, the iPhone XS Max didn’t bend at the end of the video.

SEE ALSO: Pocophone F1 gets tested for durability

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro official cases leak online

That’s a wide notch

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Huawei is set to announce their latest flagship phone next month, but we’ve seen seeing leaks about it all over the internet. The latest one is this: the upcoming Mate 20 Pro is seen inside the official case renders.

Similar with the P20 series that was announced earlier this year, the Mate 20 Pro will once again have a notched display. However, the new notch appears to be wider which indicates that Face ID-like technology is coming to the new Huawei phone. The overall front design is pretty iPhone X-esque, to be honest, but there’s a bit of a chin towards the bottom of the display.

Check the upcoming official cases from Huawei for the Mate 20 Pro:

At the back, you can see the new square-shaped camera module. This will house three cameras and a dual-tone LED flash. It’ll be quite unusual, but it’s a welcome change.

Also noticeable is the lack of a fingerprint reader. Neither the front or rear of the phone has a visible fingerprint scanner. Huawei could implement an in-display reader, though.

The Mate 20 Pro will go official on October 16 in London along with the regular Mate 20 variant.

Source: Slashleaks

SEE ALSO: Leaked Huawei Mate 20 copies from Apple and Samsung

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OnePlus 6 officially gets stable Android Pie update

The update is rolling out in stages

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OnePlus 6

Earlier this month, OnePlus announced the open beta version of Android Pie for its latest smartphone. Thankfully, it didn’t take them long to have the final and stable version available. If you own a OnePlus 6, turn your update notification on because Android Pie is coming to your phone.

OxygenOS 9.0 brings Android Pie features to OnePlus devices, starting with the OnePlus 6. The version number of OxygenOS jumped from 5.x to 9.0 to match Google’s latest version number.

OnePlus also adopted the Android Pie user interface and gestures, but the support for custom accent colors is still present. There’s also the Adaptive Battery feature, new Do Not Disturb settings, and updated Gaming Mode v3.0. The September 2018 security patch is also in tow.

The update is rolling out in stages. Only a few users are getting it first, so they can report any missed bugs before the wider roll out in the next few days.

Source: OnePlus

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 3 and 3T will surely get Android P

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