Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 REVIEW
The Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 was exclusively showcased to the world on the Unbox Video Podcast last week and we’ve been testing it since then. We’ve pretty much abused the phone thoroughly including an accidental drop test (sorry Miguel and everyone from CM, hehe). Suffice to say we have enough experience to deliver a comprehensive, fair, and balanced review.
As a quick refresher here are the specifications of the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0:
Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz Quad-core Processor
- PowerVR SGX 544 GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD Card
- 5.7-inch HD-IPS Display, 720×1280 resolution
- 12.0-megapixels rear-facing camera with auto-focus and flash
- 3.0-megapixels front-facing camera
- 3G, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, GPS/aGPS, Bluetooth, FM Radio
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
- 2,500mAh Battery
- SRP: Php9,499
Not bad for Php9,499 right? Definitely. Read on for the review!
It’s a Phablet through and through
First thing you guys have to know about the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 is that it’s big. 5.7-inches is near the tablet territory and the size difference is very noticeable when compared to the 4.7-inch and 5-inch devices. The problem with phablets is that they tend to polarize the market: either you’ll like ’em or you won’t. So to those who don’t like phablets you might as well stop reading this review. To those who want one or are just interested in them but not yet sure if they’re for you, read on.
The good news is that the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 manages to maintain a slim profile despite the giant 5.7-inch screen. This helps a lot in over-all portability and usage since it won’t be too unmanageable to use for texting, calling, and sending out e-mails.
Holding it up to your face for calls is also still decent. It will probably cover a big portion of your face but it’s not as obviously unnatural like 7-inch tablets (we really believe you should use headsets for those types of devices).
Are you happy to see me or is that your phone in your pocket?
Bad news though for people who like sliding in their phones into their pockets. Unless you have big pockets you’re better off just putting this in your bag. It’s just too big and its shape will stick out if you’re wearing tight jeans, hehe.
If there’s one thing we’d like to criticize about the Blaze 2.0 though is that it has two home buttons. There’s a physical home button and there’s an on-screen home button (brought about by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean).
I’m not so sure if the phrase “Two is better than one” works in this particular case, hehe.
When it comes to form factor, the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 is a phablet through and through. Don’t get illusions that it’s as easy to handle or as small as a normal smartphone. It’s not. With the bigger space though you get different benefits that you don’t get with smaller devices. We’ll tackle these in detail throughout this review.
As we mentioned during our initial review, the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 scored nearly 13,000 on the Antutu Benchmark Test. This score is pretty much standard for quad-core devices running on processors by MediaTek. This number translated into real world usage basically means you get a smooth, fluid, and near lag-free experience on your phone. Transitions and animations are smooth but there still is a chance for your unit to bog down especially if you’re running multiple memory heavy widgets and high FPS live wallpapers. To fully optimize your experience on the Blaze 2.0 we strongly recommend you get the Memory Booster app.
Here are some notes on how the Blaze 2.0 performed in different usual real-world uses:
Fantastic for Gaming
Powered by the quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and the PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 delivers a fantastic gaming experience. If the smooth gameplay isn’t enough, the gorgeous 5.7-inch HD IPS display enhances the over-all experience even further. You see more stuff on the screen and the images don’t get dark when you tilt the screen due to IPS (perfect for running games like Temple Run).
To test out how capable the GPU was for set the graphics setting of Temple Run 2 to maximum and low and behold we got a flawless gaming experience. Almost similar to what we got when we played the game on the Galaxy S4.
We tried other games as well and they all ran without any problems. If you’re looking for a gaming phablet, you should seriously take a look at the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0. FYI: playing Candy Crush on this thing is highly addictive. For some reason the game is more satisfying when played on a big screen, lolz.
Made for Flipboard
It’s not surprising that reading apps would be awesome on the Blaze 2.0. After all we get a 5.7-inch HD display on this thing. That’s exactly what we experienced when we fired up Flipboard. The 5.7-inch form factor is absolutely perfect for this app. It’s not too big like normal tablets and it’s not too small like smartphones.
If you’re not into Flipboard there’s a smorgasbord of other reading apps and custom reader apps (for specific websites) out there. You might want to check out the usual favorites: Pulse, InterAksyon, ABS-CBN News, GMA, Rappler, Kristn, FLUD, the Verge, Engadget, Slash Gear, etc.
PS: Watch out for the Unbox Android app. Coming soon. Very soon.
Perfect for watching movies, TV series, etc.
As expected the Blaze 2.0 performs very well for watching videos. The 5.7-inch HD display comes into play once again and it also helps that the device has a quad-core processor because it lets you enjoy HD content (we tried 720p, will try 1080p and update this post later). For watching videos we recommend the MX Player app. You can download a free version from Google Play if you’re scrimping.
Note though that the speakers of the Blaze 2.0 is kinda weak. If you want to fully enjoy your videos or music make sure you connect this to speakers or at least to your earphones or headphones (it works with different headphones/earphones).
Lastly, as a testament to how it’s a good portable media player, we watched the last few episodes of Game of Thrones on this baby while on a road trip. Absolutely no hiccups and we went through 5 episodes and it still had considerable battery life left!
You should have any problems with social networking apps on the Blaze 2.0. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Intsagram, or even the newly released Vine, you should have a smooth experience. Just make sure you have good internet connection.
Camera Test: Standard, Not Impressive
If the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 has an achilles heel, it would probably be the camera. Not because it’s not super good… but mainly because it’s just average. The camera delivers decent photos in good lighting but it has a horrible time in lowlight conditions and when there’s a big light source in the photo.
Here are some sample shots:
Again it’s decent. It’s not bad, but it ain’t good either.
Battery Life: Pang-matagalan ‘to
The Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 is powered by a 2,500mAh battery and based on our everyday usage that’s around 13-15 hours of battery life for moderate-heavy use. Really heavy use though brings that down to around 8 hours which is still respectable. With light use the phone can probably go on for at least two days, lol.
In short, the battery life is great!
Verdict: Solid Phablet Offering from Cherry Mobile
Everything considered we believe that the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 is a highly competitive phablet offering from Cherry Mobile. The good specs combined with the sleek form factor plus the price makes it a force to be reckoned with in its category. It’s not perfect, mind you, as we’ve pointed out some weaknesses in the design (two home buttons) and the average camera performance, but it still is very good.
The Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 retails for Php9,499. 🙂
If you want to watch the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 live on video check out the most recent Unbox Podcast episode here.