Alcatel MyFlip Review: Pros and Cons

Alcatel MyFlip Review

Alcatel MyFlip (A405DL) review as one of the most affordable feature phones currently in the market. See what does the phone have to offer in term of features, its pros, and cons.

Recently flip phones have been making a comeback. We’ve seen brands such as Nokia releasing flip phones this year. However, Alcatel MyFlip has been around in the market for a couple of years.

Combining the two good things you can get in a phone, MyFlip comes with both the charming vintage flip design as well as the functionality close to a smartphone.

Alcatel MyFlip (A405DL) is more than a feature phone you just use for calls and texts. It runs with KaiOS operating system with its own app store where you can download apps and games.

It’s an affordable phone that just functions and comes with bonus capabilities such as using WhatsApp and YouTube. Here’s the complete Alcatel MyFlip review.

Design

Compared to old chunky feature phones, what I instantly notice on Alcatel MyFlip is how lightweight and slim it is. The phone’s body mainly comprises of plastic. It has shiny black cover both on the bottom and the top part.

The dimension of Alcatel MyFlip, when closed, is around 2 x 2.08 in (when opened: 4.13 x 2.08 x 0.74 in). Alcatel MyFlip is so small it fits in one palm, making it very convenient to carry around inside a pocket. Portability is one of the strengths of this phone.

Before flipping open the phone, I also noticed a small LCD screen on the cover. This LCD screen displays information such as time and incoming message notification. The front cover also hosts the camera, located just above the small LCD screen.

When open opening and closing the phone, we get that satisfying “flap” sounds typical of a flip phone. The display occupies most of the space on the top part, located between the speaker and the Alcatel logo.

The keyboard fills the space at the bottom. It’s a physical keyboard with minimal looking design and modern touch in it. The keys are flat and big enough. They’re coated with rubber providing some kind of cushioning for the thumbs. The bezels surrounding the keyboard are more square than round, making it look more elegant than competitors such as ZTE Z233.

Overall, the keyboard is responsive and comfortable to use. There’s enough space between the keys so you won’t have to worry about pressing the wrong one. For added convenience, Alcatel also puts camera key and volume keys on the right side.

Display

Alcatel MyFlip uses a 2.8-inch color LCD as its main display. Resolutions are small at 320×240 px, clearly not the best for a phone. But considering this is a flip phone, screen size is something customers need to compromise on.

Colors are decent with the 143 ppi pixel density. Pixelated parts on the edges of texts and app bezels are noticeable easily. In some cases, you might need to see real close to read a text, a problem easily fixable by configuring the text size from normal to large.

Don’t hope a lot for a wide viewing angle, the screen only looks sharp viewed from the front. Under strong sunlight, you will need to cover your screen to see the icons. Brightness is also not among this phone’s strong suits.

The extra display in the front has a size of 1.4 inches for both its height and weight. Coming with the resolution of 128×128 px, this small screen is adequate to display clock information and little icons for alarm or messages.

The extra screen isn’t meant to be eye candy. It only needs to simply function and does its job. Personally, this extra screen equals extra convenience. No need to flip open the phone whenever I just want to check the time. Only a glance and I’m good to go.

Camera

A camera is a mandatory feature on the phone these days. Even a feature phone such as Alcatel MyFlip can’t escape from such demand. Alcatel slapped just one camera on the back, a 2-megapixel camera. This phone isn’t created for selfies since there is no front camera.

With simplicity in mind, it means no fun features are added to the camera. No manual mode, no autofocus, let alone HDR mode or panorama. Features are just basic, such as zooming, grid to get a straighter picture, and self-timer.

I find self-timer being the most useful since hands can get unstable when pressing a physical camera shutter button.

The image results are also below average. Pictures can get blurry even on optimal lighting. Since there’s no auto-focus, overexposure is an expected problem. Often, pictures come out too bright or too dim depending on the background light.

To get the best picture, you will need to adjust accordingly, such as capturing from the right distance and with proper background light. At low light, the camera struggles even more.

The camera indeed is just for basic photo-taking. For example, an important purchase receipt you want to show your husband later. Or you want to capture a picture of a store sign so you will remember that store’s location.

Taking candid moments is also within this camera’s ability. Take photos of your pet as much as you want, you are very much welcome. However, it’s best to take pictures when they stay still.

For video, Alcatel lets users take 720p videos with the camera. It sounds impressive, but we have other things to consider when taking a good quality video. With limited processing power, RAM, and storage space, don’t expect the video is coming out with no lag at all.

Storage

With 4 GB internal storage, only 1 GB is available for users. System and pre-installed apps take 3 GB of the phone’s storage. The remaining free capacity is certainly not a lot. After installing several new apps, there’s barely any space left for pictures and other files.

But Alcatel MyFlip, fortunately, comes with expandable storage. The maximum capacity for the microSD card is 32 GB. A decent number for external storage, this is where users store big files such as music and movies.

However, bear in mind that the SD Card isn’t included with purchase. It means customers will have to buy it themselves separately. The slot for SD Card is located in the back, at the same location as the battery compartment.

Performance

On paper, Alcatel MyFlip’s processor and RAM look impressive for a feature phone. MyFlip runs on 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor with RAM of 512 MB.

With this configuration, the phone is supposed to run some basic apps well. For example, WhatsApp needs to run on at least 256 MB of RAM. Alcatel MyFlip ticks this requirement.

And MyFlip doesn’t disappoint as far as day-to-day performance goes. Accepting calls and texts encounter no problem.

Using WhatsApp is easy, the same goes for syncing email, contacts, and calendar from Gmail or Outlook. The camera key relatively quick to launch the camera app. Simple games also run with minimal lag.

However, the phone began to show lags when it is used for browsing. Loading websites can take a long time, especially if the webpage is heavy. Occasionally the browser, which is Firefox-based, would freeze when accessing heavy websites.

Alcatel MyFlip is clearly not for internet surfing. I found using apps such as Facebook mobile app gives a better experience than accessing Facebook from the browser directly. This also applies to YouTube and other social media.

Alcatel MyFlip runs on KaiOS. It’s an HTML5 based mobile operating system. On a glance, the icons are no different than typical icons on a feature phone. It does lack the sleek look of Android or iOS icons.

You can clearly see pixelated logos and fonts here and there. However, this is not a big deal as long as icons and menu are readable, which they are. Colors are popping, and fonts are good and big enough.

KaiOS is actually the third largest mobile operating system after Android and iOS. It is widely used on feature phones around the world. The developer claims KaiOS as an emerging operating system, promising continues development as more phones use KaiOS.

It means there’s a high chance we’ll see more and more features in the future. KaiOS on this phone is version 2.5. Navigations between icons and apps can be better. It’s not the fastest or the most intuitive. Sometimes the phone experience lags when things move too fast.

KaiOS app store, KaiStore, is what making Alcatel MyFlip closer to a smartphone. More apps mean more possibilities.

I like the selections of apps available in this store. Although limited, I can download the weather app or diet tracker app, something I wouldn’t have thought I could do on a feature phone.

First time setup is easy and quick. There are two languages supported so far, English and Spanish. Font size is adjustable to large or normal. This phone also Hearing Aid Compatible and support digital TTY/TDD.

For security, MyFlip lets users create a four-digit PIN code to protect the phone. It’s a very basic security measure but understandable considering what kind of phone Alcatel MyFlip is.

For built-in entertainment, MyFlip provides FM radio. I consider this an excellent addition since there isn’t anything much to do with this phone anyway when it comes to entertainment.

Listening to music on a radio could take away from boredom for several minutes. MyFlip also has a headphone jack. Sound quality is not too bad for a feature phone, but lacking in general.

Connectivity

Alcatel MyFlip supports 4G LTE. It also still supports 2G and 3G. Call receptions are good most of the time, except when encountering the problem from the network itself. When it happens, sounds from the other party come muffled and unclear. But in good condition, the speaker transmits audio pretty clearly.

The phone’s loudspeaker in the back can help you to get a louder output. However, sometimes the speaker can get too loud, making audio output sounds harsh and incomprehensible.

As for browsing, you can use mobile data with decent internet speed. It still works well when used for light messaging and social media app, but struggles on data-heavy activities such as video streaming. Slow streaming often is caused by software limitation more than the network itself.

Connecting to Wi-Fi is similar to that of a smartphone. You’ll search for an available network to connect to one, sometimes a password is required. Wi-Fi is noticeably faster on streaming, but there isn’t much difference in light browsing activities.

Apparently, you can use Alcatel MyFlip as a modem. It has to connect with a USB cable (therefore, one PC at a time). But don’t hope to get a fast internet connection. At maximum, 10 Mbps is the fastest you can get.

Alcatel MyFlip comes with A-GPS, but this is for positioning only by the network carrier. There isn’t any map functionality on Alcatel MyFlip. There is also no specific instructions on the manual about how to turn GPS on and off. It looks like it’s a fixed feature on MyFlip, used by the carrier such as determining the location origin of an emergency call.

Bluetooth on MyFlip is available, version 3.0 to be specific. These days, many phones have moved to the latest Bluetooth technology, Bluetooth 5.0. It makes MyFlip pale in comparison. And this is proven when connecting a Bluetooth headset, audio transfers come out laggy.

Lastly, MyFlip uses micro USB as both charging and data transfer. It works respectably. Although not as fast as USB Type-C, the cable gets the job done when transferring files from the computer to the phone and vice versa.

Battery

Being a “small” phone, Alcatel MyFlip comes with an advantage when it comes to power use. Its battery has a capacity of 1350 mAh. For a smartphone, it’s a small number. However, this battery can power Alcatel Myflip through 280 hours of standby time. Alcatel can also handle 8 hours of talk time with that capacity.

For regular use, I can stay for a couple of days without charging. Something I’d expect from a feature phone, however, it’s still impressive because phones these days can’t go even a day without charging. For customers who seek a phone that’s don’t need to charge as often as smartphones, Alcatel MyFlip can be a reliable option.

Another thing to note about Alcatel MyFlip’s battery is that it’s removable. A removable battery means you can install a spare battery, such as when traveling.

I found this as another convenience of Alcatel MyFlip. It also means, when the battery dies one day, I can just replace the battery instead of changing the whole phone, or go to a technician to install a new battery.

Wrap-up

There’s no denying that Alcatel MyFlip (A405DL) is a reliable phone for basic tasks such as calling and texting. The OS is certainly an added benefit, as it could be a bridge between generations, meaning a grandpa can text his grandchildren with a popular messaging app such as WhatsApp. It also has a basic camera for taking pictures when needed.

One key strength of this phone is the battery. Another being its price. At $20 (You can get it for free with TracFone bundling plan), you get a phone that just works, plus you don’t need to charge for days.

If affordability and simplicity something a customer is looking for, I’d say, go for Alcatel MyFlip. The phone won’t disappoint you.

Pros:

  • Efficient battery
  • Easy to use navigation keys and keyboards
  • Extra screen
  • Affordable at only $20
  • Games and apps options on KaiOS Store

Cons:

  • Basic camera
  • Basic performance
  • Small storage space
  • Tiny loudspeaker

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