Cherry Mobile Flare S Review: Power-packed Budget Smartphone!

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review

King of the Budget Phone Wars?

Cherry Mobile released so many smartphones in the last two months that it’s getting hard to track and review all of them, lol. A good example would be the barrage of launches under the budget-friendly Flare series. We started with the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 then we suddenly found out that there were two more: Flare 2X and Flare S. Cherry Mobile also announced the Flare for next year, Flare HD. That’s a grand total of 4 Cherry Mobile Flare smartphones in under three months. Boom boom pow! Andami!

Anyway, we’re on a mission to review all of ‘em. We’ve already reviewed the Flare 2.0 and the Flare HD. Today we’d like to share with you guys our full and comprehensive review of the Cherry Mobile Flare S.

Here’s a rundown of the specifications.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Spec Sheet

  • 1.3GHz Quad-core MTK 6582 Processor
  • Mali-400 MP2 Graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, expandable via MicroSD Card
  • 4.0-inch IPS Display, 800×400 resolution
  • 8.0-megapixels primary camera
  • VGA secondary camera
  • WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, 3G, Bluetooth, FM Radio
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2
  • 1,400mAh Battery
  • Comes with Free Case and Screen Protector
  • SRP: Php4,499

Those numbers might look plain to you but they actually threw in a very powerful quad-core processor in the Cherry Mobile Flare S. The MediaTek 6582 combined with Mali-400 graphics and 1GB RAM should get you a score of around 16,000 on the Antutu Benchmark Test. Imagine all that power in a budget-friendly phone (Php4,499)? We live in amazing times indeed!

>>> Click here to read our unboxing of the Cherry Mobile Flare S <<<

Hardware: Good Looking “Rubbery” Smartphone

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review b

For Php4,499 you’d expect this to be the typical cheap glossy plastic smartphone. Surprisingly that’s not the case at all. The Cherry Mobile Flare S has a very smooth finish for the back plate which extends to the top and bottom of the front. The material almost feels “rubbery”. At the top of the back plate there’s a glossy plastic black strip where the 8MP camera is situated together with the LED flash.

Along the sides are the usual ports and buttons. On the left we found the volume rocker and on the right was the Power Lock button. At the top we have the standard audio jack and the micro USB port. There were no buttons, controls, or ports at the bottom.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review g

Up front we have the 4.0-inch glass screen sandwiched by the two rubbery strips we mentioned earlier. It actually looks great since it gives it a certain kind of duality and texture that you normally don’t find in phones in this price range.

We turned the device on and we were a bit underwhelmed by the 800 x 400 pixels resolution display. The good news though is that they used IPS panels so viewing angles were still quite good.

Over-all when it came to the hardware the Cherry Mobile Flare S surpassed our expectations. It’s a fresh take on entry-level budget smartphones.

Power Overwhelming!

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review d

The real story of the Cherry Mobile Flare S though is performance! The potent combination of the 1.3GHz Quad-core MTK 6582 Processor, Mali-400 MP2 Graphics, and 1GB RAM pushed the Antutu Benchmark Test score of the Cherry Mobile Flare S to well over 16,000! It actually rivals the performance delivered by the turbo quad-core devices we’ve seen (also using MediaTek).

In terms of real world usage, the high score is justified by the smooth and fluid Android Jelly Bean experience that the Flare S delivers. We rarely felt lag even if we had a live wall paper running in the background together with a 3D weather widget on the home screen. We did some research and apparently the 1.3GHz quad-core processor of MediaTek was really made for non-HD displays and they’re geared towards maximizing performance (probably because they don’t have to spend resources on supporting HD).

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review i

We tried a bunch of game apps and all of them worked without noticeable issues. As usual we fired up Dead Trigger 2 and surprisingly we got an even better and smooth gaming experience with the Flare S compared to the upcoming Flare HD! Another case of when non-HD actually trumps HD, lol.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review h

>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Flare HD Full Review — A Real Game Changer?

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review f

The Cherry Mobile Flare S was able to handled almost everything we threw at it. It had no problem with the core and basic functions like messaging, calls, and social networking as well. We did notice though that the WiFi antenna seemed kinda weak. In the same room our other phone would have 2-3 bars while it would be stuck at 1.

Everything considered, the Cherry Mobile Flare S delivered a knockout performance that we never really expected from it. It’s kinda like Manny Pacquiao when he was still breaking into the boxing scene. Very small, fast, and packed quite a mean punch.

Too Much Power! Ubos 1,400mAh!

The Flare S does have it’s fair share of problems though. The most notable and frustrating one is battery life. The 1,400mAh battery pack just can’t handle the quad-core processor even if it’s made for budget phones. With 3G on and Brightness at 30-40% we barely could go past 6-7 hours with our usual usage habits.

If you’re going to use the Flare S as your primary phone it would be wise to invest in a Power Bank. Otherwise you’ll always end up short.

Camera is Below Average

Lastly we have major concerns with the optics of the 8MP shooter on board the Flare S. It was a huge disappointment for us because we were hoping for it to take at least decent or average photos. Instead we got so much noise even in mid-lighting conditions as you’ll see in the sample shots we took below.

IMG_20130119_203811

IMG_20130119_203845

IMG_20130119_203917

IMG_20131222_130519

Just… bleh. So yeah if you’re in the market for a budget smartphone with a good camera, look somewhere else!

Verdict: A Good and Powerful Budget-friendly Smartphone Under Php5,000

Cherry Mobile Flare S Review e

So what’s our final verdict for the Cherry Mobile Flare S? If you value power and performance this is it! Just accept two facts: you’ll run out of battery fast and your camera isn’t the best one for picture-taking, hehe. If you don’t take too many pics with your smartphone though and you have a mobile power charger, the Cherry Mobile Flare S is possibly the best value-for-money and bang-for-your-buck option to date.

The Cherry Mobile Flare S is available in Cherry Mobile kiosks and stores. SRP is Php4,499.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Unboxing Video

To get a better feel for the build of the Flare S, check out this short video that we created and first showed during our first unboxing post.

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38 comments on “Cherry Mobile Flare S Review: Power-packed Budget Smartphone!

  1. I’m waiting for OMEGA XL’s review. Please Please Thanks

  2. arghh

    Do these brands also get OS updates? Will this be upgraded to kitkat?

  3. Sir, have you tried playing something like Guardian Cross and/or Dark Knight Rises? For some reason dun sa games na un may issue sa multi touch, when you hold touch and then tap another, the second tap for some reason doesn’t tap “correctly”. You see the buttons active, recognizing the touch hold, but letting go of the touch doesn’t activate the command. Can you please follow up on this?

  4. Aki

    Hi How to root my cm flare s with out PC?

  5. Ampatuan

    wag mo na yang iroot, deilakdong masira. mavovoid pa ang warranty mo.

  6. Pingback: The Compromises Of A Budget High-End Phone | Scratch Paper

  7. Pingback: The Compromises Of A High-End Budget Phone | Scratch Paper

  8. advenz

    I got flare first week of dec but impressive. 1400mah is powerful than flare 1.0 . I have no problem with battery. Kahit Naka on Ang data, di PA rin daling a Lowbatt. Swear! I Never expect this. Battery is best! Based on my experience…

  9. Buru Budu

    sir carlo ople,pls do compare flare s and Navi.tnx

  10. mark

    ok po ba music quality netong flare S pag naka headset ka? TIA po sa reply plano ko sanang bumili neto.

  11. me very disappointed ako sa Cherry Mobile… ang daming nasayang saakin dahil sa cherry, money time at effort. So far wala ako masasabi sa performance ng Falre S… for almost a day na nagamit ko siya, honestly thumbs up ako sa performance niya.. it just dat, talagang minalas lang talaga ako siguro for two times… kasi yung Flare S na nabili ko for the first time, umaangat yung side ng screen niya… banda dito sa back button pa talaga… and honestly nung dinala ko sa CSR ng cherry meon din ako mga naabutan dun na ganun din ang problem… den sad to say for da second time na pinalitan ng same unit (flare s) ganun parin ang problem…. macharge mo lang ng minsan, mapapansin mo na umaangat yung side screen niya dito banda sa back button,…tas ang nakakalungkot pa gift ko dapat sa misis ko iyun na nadelay ng ilang araw, absent pa ako sa work ng 2 days para mapalitan at mapalitan ng 2 times… at first palang i asked na if pwede palitan na nila kahit di na flare s basta yung walang issue at same spec sa gusto ko at binayad ko. but ayaw nila, hanggat may stock daw, yun at yun pa. and for the 2nd time pinalitan nila ng flare s… but like wat i said… ganun parin. tas sa huli huli, kung di ako nagalit at magmukhang masama, pa keme keme lang kausapin mo yung sales lady nila sa cherry, di ka masyado iintertainin…at kung di ka magmumura saka tatawagin ang supervisor nila. so far ok lang din naman yung supervisor, nagtawag agad ng iba para ma intertain ako at nag ask if ano dapat nila magawa. the problem is, wala silang ibang unit na available na same price and spec sa unang nabili ko. meon peo mas mahal at wala na ako maidagdag pa… kaya ang kinahantungan.. cherry mobile burst s280 which is napakalayo sa spec na gusto ko, nag add sila ng ibang item para masakto lang yung binayad ko. just want to share dis experience sa Cherry. I dont want manira or anu man sa cherry mobile… honestly almost lahat ng cousin ko cherry mobile user. Ang sakin lang sana… if ever meon man connected sa cherry mobile na makabasa nitong message ko…pls! dont just focus sa isang aspect ng production nyo… sana kahit yung pinaka simple at pinaka maliit na detalye tingnan ninyo din, coz it will affect everything especially sa mga customer ninyo. at sana tingnan ninyo din yung mga nagdidistribute ng producto ninyo…ecpecially yung mga sales person ninyo.. coz honestly sa napansin ko.. they all just know how to sell a product, but to entertain and to deal with the customer properly, majority wala nun. especially sa situation na may problema sa product ninyo. coz frankly speaking lang, kami mga customer ninyo ang life line ng pag assenso ninyo… and pahabol pa pala, for 2 days na pabalik balik ako sa CSR ninyo… and for how many hour ako dun… ang daming nagrereklamo, kesyo ganito kesyo ganyan… hopefully gawan nyo ng paraan yung mga nabanggit ko…

    thanks…..

    • mark

      baka sa charger lng yan kasi ganyan din ang nangyayare sa screen kapag nag chacharge ka nag loloko ung touch. try mo pallit ng charger

  12. kung mababa ang battery life nya, how about palitan ito ng battery ng s3? diba parehas lang naman sila?

  13. Patrick

    @Carlo Ople
    is this a review? but why leave out the most important issue regarding this phone. The touch bug issue. even with the old Flare they still haven’t managed to fix that issue and again they are releasing a herd of Flare variants carrying the same touch bug plague.

  14. Pano po i.enable ang 3g nito? Di ko po mkita sa settings

  15. buena pol

    please post jtag pin outs guide for cm flare s.my unit was brick.

  16. ganun din skin jhurrish,. dinala ko rin ang unit ko sa Service center nila sa Dasma, ginawa nila for 1 day, ok nung una kaso for almost 3 wiks nasira na naman…, nuon pa man cherry mobile na ang binibili ko, wala namang nagiging problema, dalawang anak ko naka cherry din at asawa ko, ngayon lang talaga ako nagkaproblema sa unit nila, maganda ang flare s, natuwa ako dahil lahat ng hinahanap ko sa cp ay nandun na, kaso bakit ganun, ginamit ko sya sa games nag init ang unit at pag inislip ko tuluyan na syang magshushutdown, tapos pagbinubuksan ko sya mag bubukas sya for 5 minutes den mamamatay na naman.. ganun ng ganun pagbinubuksan ko.. sana bago sila magbenta ng items nila itesting nila ang mga unit at siguraduhin diba dahil ito rin ang ikakasira ng company nila, ang hiling ko lang sir ma’m palitan nyo nalang ito kasi gaya ng sabi ni juris nakakaubos ng oras at nakakaabala sa work namin, naapektuhan ang work namin dahil lang sa pangit na serbisyo nyo, dapat palitan nalang kung may mga deffect.. nakaka buwisit na.. baka pagpumunta ako sa opis nyo at d maganda ang sagot ng mag eentertain sakin talagang makakatikim talaga sakin ng masasakit na salita… kaya sa mga bibili pa mag isip kayo at wag manghinayang kung mahal ang unit na bibilhin nyo pero sigurado naman ang serbisyo at ugaliin na mag obserba, magresearch dito sa internet at magtanong sa iba kung sigurado at hindi nasisira ang unit na binibili nila.. pasensya na pero ayoko na bumili pa ng unit nyo.. salamat nalang din dahil yung mga nauna kong mga gamit na galing sa inyo ay maayos naman, ngayon lang talaga nakakadala.

  17. arnel

    kakabili ko lang ng flare s at ala pang one week. disappointed po ako kasi ang bagal ng net.. ano po kaya gagawin para bumilis ang net ng phone ko?

  18. smooth ba NBA 2K14 sa flare S? repy po kayo

  19. roll2tour

    Minalas lang siguro yug ibang nakabili ng flare s dahil yung nabili ko sometimes Feb ay ok naman. Hindi nag lag o hang halos lahat ng games ay ok. Hindi nag restart or nag reboot. Medyo uminit ng kaunti kung multi apps na open. Ang camera ay maganda ang kuha basta
    may light lang dahil mahina ang
    kanyang flash. Hindi nga
    mapantayan ng Samsung WiFi
    digital camera SF150 16mp ang pics
    ng flare s kahit 8mp lang siya. Sa
    downloading naman una pa itong
    natapos ng sabay akong mag
    download parehong games sa aking omega hd 2.0. Para sa akin ito ang da best na budget smartphone.

    • chris

      akin wala namn problema tlagang nag iinit yan ksi quadcore eh at 1.3 ghz. ung pag angat ng screen cguro dahil lng sa init yan kaya na tatangal. mag download kyo ng custom rom na may mga tweaks na mka pag control ng batery life at performance ng flare s.. palitan nyu charger nyu din ng mas mababa ung miliampere nya para d uminit.

  20. roll2tour

    Sa benchmark ng Antutu ay mataas itong flare s na 17+k. Mas mataas pa sa omega HD 2.0 na 13+k lang.

  21. lloyd

    helow gd day, paano po bah ma change sa dail namber niya na aabot hanggang 35 higit pang nambers,, kc ang flare s ko hanggang 32 nambers lng,,pls help,, me naman po,,,

  22. gerry

    hello,saan po kaya makakabili ng replacement lcd ng flare at magkano po kaya?

    thanks

  23. Pano ba alisin un sounds niya kpag turn on/off ?? And un warning sounds nya pag battery low

  24. Gelbert

    . ..bakit po ung chery flare d2 3500, diba 4taw pluz un?.
    . .tama nga rin ung ibAng cust0mer nakakadala bumili ng chery pR0ducts. .. Try ni0. .O plus. .ganda rear cAmera pa.!

  25. Reikon

    WOOH! Flare S is 4,500 ! :D
    Tapos kay @Dee naman… Opo, Syempre po smooth gaming po pag nba2k14 or any other hd games. You can even use PPSSPP in this one. Dahil po Quadcore sya at may 1.3ghz

    The only problem for Flare S is its Battery. As you can see 1,400 mah! lang… Sobrang baba para sa mga QuadCore phones.

    Please PM ME FOR BATTERY REPLACEMENT OF THIS ONE WITH HIGHER MAH! :D
    OR FOR MORE INFO
    SUPPORT BLUE TEAM @ bluereikon@gmail.com

    • sir mgkano po ung battery ng flare s na mataas pa sa regular batt nya?

  26. jonathan

    mag one week pa lang flare s ko may lumabas na com.android.widgetutil has stopped paulit ulit ok ako ng ok ayaw mawala dinala ko sa pinagbilhan ko ang sbi nila ganun daw talaga mga nagbabalik ng unit ganun din ang complain so nung hindi maayos kahit ni reset nila yung unit ganun nang ganun nagdecide sila na palitan unit ko ng same flare s ang nakakalungkot ganun pa rin ang nangyari dun sa pinalit..ang ginawa ko reformat ko factory setting ayun nawala kaso everytime i turn off ang phone lalabas yung com.android.widgetutil has stopped pano ito maayos? hindi biro mag sayang ng perang pinambili sa phone na to.

  27. echo

    one thing that disappoints me on this phone is its audio,all the music played is in mono like sound.even if you turn on the audio enhancer for headset.changing the packaged earphone or tweaking the equalizer ain’t working either.

  28. Zack

    Is there some way to upgrade the battery? I just got one of these and I am pretty impressed.

  29. nelsy

    bumili husband q ng cherry mobile flare s. .kapag nilalagay ko na un back housing hindi na ma touch. . nakakadismaya ang cherry mobile firstym ko pa naman bumili ng unit nto. .nakakadala

  30. nokiaXX

    yung camera nya talo pa ng 2 mega pixel cam ng Nokia 6120c ko , mas malinaw yung 2 mp ng nokia .

  31. martin

    grbe ung fs na to 1mont plng skn nag briked n agad? nag hang sya tpos tinanga ko ung battery pag salpak ko ng bat eto na wla na. NO POWER/ NO CHARGING AS IN WLA LAHAT haaay so dissapointed -_-

    • iris

      tanong ko lang po, yung red light po
      kasi sa top ng flare s, panu mawawala

  32. Ohlala

    is the quality of camera same as the ones on iphone 4s? Since they’re both 8mp.

  33. cherry

    bat ganon hindi naman nabasa or nalaglag yung flare s ko pero bigla na lang sya nag hang nung nag install ako ng launchers since nagtratry ako ng ibat ibang style. nag-oon naman sya pero hindi gumagana yung touchscreen tas hindi na naka display yung time, app drawer etc. please help..

  34. Ej Abarquez

    hindi naman po talaga primart usage ng flare s ang camera. its built for gaming purposes i supposed. if pictures naman po ang type natin, we could choose naman po the other flare. si flare hd. based on researches ko lang din po ito. hehe

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