Flashlight apps, part 2: Flashlight Pro v1.0, by S4BB Limited

flashlight 1Review: Flashlight Pro v1.0, by S4BB Limited
Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 6/10
Cost: $4.99

This is the second part of a series. Click here to see the introduction of the series.

Our second contender in the flashlight application roundup is Flashlight Pro v1.0, by S4BB Limited. There is not much to say about this one. The good thing about it is that it lights up as soon as it is launched. The bad thing about it is that it won’t activate the LED, so whatever lighting it provides is pretty dim. Flashlight Pro tries to make up for that in its own way.

The menu contains a Flashlight option, which sounds silly. Isn’t this a flashlight application I am running already? Anyway, that option will instantly push the screen brightness to the highest, which helps very little. I always leave my screen at 10% full brightness, which is absolutely enough to me. When you’re just using the phone, staring at the screen, and jump from 10% to 100%, it looks like it is a big difference. And it is. But that difference is negligible when you’re trying to light up a room. In other words, this feature is not very helpful. 60 MINUTES Edition v3.0 by Link-two still is brighter than Flashlight Pro v1.0, by S4BB Limited because of the LED. Another reason for me to dislike that Flashlight feature is that it won’t restore my brightness configuration when the Flashlight feature or even the flashlight application is turned off. The screen remains too bright for my regular use. I tried putting the phone in and taking it out of the holster, but that didn’t fix the screen backlight either. I had to launch the Blackberry Options application and reconfigure my screen brightness. That was really lame. :evil:

proflashlight_01-80.jpgThe only other featured included in Flashlight Pro v1.0, by S4BB Limited is called Morse SOS. It flashes the Blackberry screen and spells out “SOS” in Morse code. Rather than flashing a hard blink, it fades in and out softly. It looks good, but maybe too slow. I wonder if that is the correct way to send an SOS request. It can be useful indeed, but I think that S4BB Limited missed a very good opportunity to make their application a lot more interesting. I think they might as well have added the ability to flash out anything in Morse code. Imagine typing any message and letting the application spell it out for you. That would be even more useful than a meager SOS.

The good thing about this SOS signal feature is that I left it flashing for more than 10 minutes and it never turned off, i.e. it bypasses the automatic screen backlight timeout correctly. That’s the behavior you expect from something that could save your life. The bad thing about this SOS signal feature is that it also messes with the screen brightness configuration. Once again, I had to launch the Blackberry Options application and reconfigure my screen brightness to the usual level. That was really lame. :evil:

My screen brightness configuration remains untouched if I use neither the Flashlight nor the Morse SOS feature. But Flashlight Pro v1.0, by S4BB Limited still has two flaws: it lets my screen turn off automatically after a couple of minutes and it won’t push the screen brightness to the maximum level automatically. I have to select that Flashlight entry in the menu, which doesn’t make sense. Who doesn’t want the maximum brightness possible in a flashligh, especially such a dim one? And if I activate the maximum brightness, my screen configuration is messed up. These are small details in an otherwise simple application that can really ruin the experience. You might want to have this application because the SOS signal could save your life one day, but as a flashlight it is just as inconvenient as 60 MINUTES Edition v3.0 by Link-two, and less bright. Not really good in comparison.

Pros: it lights up immediately; sends out “SOS” in Morse code.

Cons: without the LED, it’s not bright enough; it messes with your screen brightness configuration – unless you already have it configured to 100% during regular use of the phone.

My rating: 6 out 10, mostly because of the SOS signal. As a flashlight, this application is disappointing.

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