Cherry Mobile Cruize Review
The Cherry Mobile Cruize grabbed a lot of attention when it was announced because of the low SRP. For Php4,499 you get a dual-SIM Android smartphone with a massive 5.2-inch screen and great battery life (2,500mAh rated battery). It definitely has a lot of things going for it but it also has some letdowns like the single-core processor and the WVGA display. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Read on for our full review!
Cherry Mobile Cruize Spec Sheet
- 1GHz single-core processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
- 5.2-inch WVGA display, 800×480 resolution (~179 ppi)
- 3G/HSDPA/WiFi/WiFi HotSpot/GPS/Bluetooth
- 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
- VGA front-facing camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 2,500mAh Battery
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
If you haven’t read our unboxing article yet, you can check it out here.
The Cherry Mobile Cruize is a BIG device
We won’t pull any punches with the form factor of the Cruize. This device is massive! It’s alarmingly thick and hefty which I think will instantly polarize potential customers. Those who will buy this are those who are really after the tablet part of the “phablet” and not so much on the phone.
In terms of design elements the only major difference is the back plate. Cherry Mobile used some sort of textured back which gave the Cruize better grip and definitely more aesthetic points since I think most people are kinda bored already with the usual glossy plastic back.
The Cruize has a chrome band at the sides which holds most of the ports and buttons. The band kinda is very similar to the ones you see on Samsung devices so it’s no wonder that a few people asked me if it was the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 when I was using the Cruize in the last few days.
Over-all when it comes to form factor our grips are mostly with the thickness and the weight. Phablets can be elegantly designed devices (Cherry Mobile Omega chasis design is much better) but that’s not the case here with the Cruize.
Display Quality is Not Good
The first time I read the specs and saw that the Cruize sported WVGA resolution I already knew that the display quality won’t be great. That’s 800×480 stretched on a 5.2-inch canvass which comes out to just 179 pixels per inch. Unfortunately when we turned it on our fears were confirmed, lol. You can easily see and distinguish (without any effort) the pixels on the screen.
The effects of the lower pixel density is felt more when browsing the web and gaming. If you can overlook this though then the Cruize might still be a good buy. If you’re a stickler for display quality though (like me) then you’ll really have to think twice.
Screen Scratches Easily
If ever you do decide to get the Cherry Mobile Cruize make sure you get a screen protector for it. The quality they used for the screen isn’t one of the best we’ve seen because it scratches quite easily. There was one day in the week that we put this in our pocket with our car keys and it got massacred. There were so many hairline scratches. :/
Remember: Screen Protector and lots of care.
Software Performance: Ups and Downs
As expected with the single-core processor and 512MB RAM, the Cherry Mobile Cruize clocks at lower than the Galaxy S and the Kindle Fire in the Antutu Benchmark results. Real life usage also verified the scores. When it comes to transitions and animations you’ll notice slower responsiveness compared to dual-core devices. Putting up a live wallpaper or multiple live widgets on the home screen also considerably slows down the device. We strongly recommend that you invest in an app that manages memory like Memory Booster to keep your Cruize running on optimal levels. Otherwise you’ll just get frustrated.
Let’s go over some of the basic functions.
Social Networking, Web Browsing, etc.
The Cruize does well in the basics: social networking apps, web browsing, RSS reader apps, and casual games. The 5.2-inch display shines at this point and you get a better appreciation of the Cruize especially if you’re coming from a phone that has a smaller screen. There were times that browsing graphics intensive sites bogged down but again this can easily be fixed if you have some sort of memory management app installed on the Cruize.
So how does the Cruize perform in the gaming category? Fortunately it actually does quite well. We played Temple Run 2 with no problems but we did encounter lags and delays in Dead Trigger especially when there were multiple zombies on-screen. If you’re only going to play casual titles or action/shooter games with medium graphics then the Cruize should be more than enough to cater to your needs. Not bad for Php4,499.
Again, please make sure you have a memory booster/task app and shut down all running apps before you launch the game you’re going to play. This helps a lot in the performance and reducing lags.
The 5.2-inche screen of the Cruize makes it the ideal mobile device to watch videos. HOWEVER it can’t run high quality and high resolution videos. If you’re the type that gets 720p videos then unfortunately you won’t be able to fully enjoy them here. The usual low-medium quality/resolution videos though should run fine.
When it comes to watching videos online though the Cruize does pretty well. We’ve used it often for watching videos on YouTube while on the car or on the bed.
Battery Life is Amazing
One aspect that the Cruize truly shines though is battery life. Yes it has a big screen but it has WVGA resolution. It also just has a single-core processor. The 2,500mAh rated battery is much much much more than what you need to power a device like this. We easily got two days use out of the Cruize with normal-heavy use until we had to recharge it. Two thumbs up for this one!
Camera Takes Decent Shots
The Cruize sports an 8-megapixel shooter and it actually takes decent pictures if you’re in good lighting. If you’re in low light conditions there’s no point in using it. Here are some sample shots using the Cruize while we were at a wedding:
Pwede na. It’s not too shabby for a camera on a phone worth Php4,499. I can still remember the 3.2-megapixel camera Sony Ericsson used to boast of with their camera phones way back in 2004, hehe. Technology has come a loooong way since then folks.
VERDICT: The Cherry Mobile Cruize feels like a Php4,499 Phablet
I think Cherry Mobile raised the bar for budget phones too high with the Cherry Mobile Flare. That device, for me, is still one of the best value phones in the market today. Dual-core, Dual SIM, Android 4.0 ICS, and a 4-inch Screen for Php3,999? That’s tough to beat. The Cherry Mobile Cruize is a good alternative to the Flare if you’re looking for a budget phablet. However it does have performance issues as we’ve detailed in this review. Fortunately these can be sovled though by getting the right apps like Memory Booster. The other lowlight – the easily scratched screen, can also be adressed with a screen protector.
You get what you pay for with the Cherry Mobile Cruize. A Php4,499 budget “Phablet”. Nothing more, nothing less.