Hands-on with the Cherry Mobile Flare
It’s not everyday that a dual-core, dual SIM Android smartphone gets launched in the Philippines with a price tag of Php3,999. That’s why the Cherry Mobile Flare made huge waves locally. Consumers, tech writers, and bloggers were all buzzing about the device when it was announced a few weeks ago. Some were ecstatic but a lot were also skeptical. The good news is that we were finally able to get some good hands-on time with the device yesterday. Read on for our initial impressions!
Before anything, here’s a quick refresher on the specs:
Cherry Mobile Flare Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz Dual-core Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage, Expandable to 32GB via microSD
- 4-inch Capacitive Touch Screen, 480×800 Pixels
- Front Facing Camera (VGA)
- 5-megapixel rear-facing camera
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- Dual Sim, Dual Standby
- 1600mAh Battery
- Price: Php3,999
Built to look good
When I first saw the specs and heard the price tag of the Cherry Mobile Flare I thought that they probably compromised on the the build of the body to be able to bring the price down to just Php3,999. However after seeing the device in the flesh, we can say that it’s probably the case however it’s not obvious.
Front and center with this smartphone is the 4-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen which just looks great especially if you consider the Php3,999 price. What struck me about the design though with this phone is that they didn’t have the Cherry Mobile logo or brand at the front screen (which is standard practice for a lot of manufacturers). The logo can only be found at the back.
For the back plate, Cherry Mobile used some sort of plastic material which has a very smooth and premium-feeling matte finish. If you take the back off you’ll find the slots for the battery, two SIM cards, and microSD.
The Flare feels very solid to hold but also lightweight. In fact if you didn’t turn it on you’d think it was just one of those play phones that are being used by vendors for their product displays.
Overall we can say that the price tag does not do justice to how it looks (which is soooo awesome for consumers).
Dual-core is dual-core
Something has got to give right? Maybe despite having the dual-core processor, the scrimped on the graphics card? Well, that’s not the case as well. We fired up one of the most graphics and animation intensive apps in Google Play to put the Cherry Mobile Flare to the test – NBA 2K13. Guess what? The game worked, lol! Actual gameplay isn’t as smooth and fast as I’d want to but at least the device can boot it up which is something that other more expensive handsets can’t say.
The Flare also gives a smooth experience when it comes to transitions and animations on the Android user interface. Ice Cream Sandwich combined with the dual-core processor and the 512MB RAM is really a good combo for entry-level devices. The experience is just miles away from what Android 2.3 Gingerbread with 800MHz CPU and 256MB RAM can provide (usual specs for other low end devices).
Wow, this is really great value for money
Most of the time when we see entry-level smartphones we can easily dismiss them because there are just so many compromises. Either the screen resolution sucks, they’re using old software, or the processor is too weak to run most of the good apps. That’s totally not true with the Cherry Mobile Flare. This bad boy wipes the floor with the Samsung Galaxy Y and puts to shame a lot of the so-called “budget-friendly” offerings of a lot of international companies.
We were only able to spend around half an hour with the Flare so this is as far as we can go for our initial feature. Hopefully we will be able to secure a review unit so we can give you guys a more in-depth look into this potentially game changing device from Cherry Mobile.
UPDATE: You can already reserve the Cherry Mobile Flare via their outlets and stores. Units will officially be available second week of November.