Cherry Mobile Omega: Mega-success or Mega-flop?
An “accident” on online shopping site Lazada set the bar very high for the Cherry Mobile Omega. The initial listing showed very competitive specifications at a reasonable price. However when it was officially announced it wasn’t the same device that was “leaked”. The RAM, display quality, and the camera were all a notch lower than what a lot of people were expecting. However the Cherry Mobile Omega still had a lot of things going for it: dual-core, dual-SIM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and a 5.2-inch screen all for just Php6,699. The big question now is if it’s worth buying. Well fortunately for you guys we bit the bullet on this one and bought it ourselves so we can give you a full review before you make your decision to spend your hard earned cash.
Cherry Mobile Omega Spec Sheet
- 1GHz Dual-core Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 5.2-inch Capacitive touchscreen, WVGA resolution
- 5-megapixel rear-facing camera
- VGA front-facing camera
- 3G, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, GPS
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 2,300mAh Battery
- Colors: Black/White
Cherry Mobile Omega: mega-success or mega-flop? Read on to find out!
Sleek Premium Body Design
One thing going for the Omega is the awesome looking chasis. It’s primarily made of plastic and some textured material for the backplate. They’ve also managed to keep the device quite thin and not that heavy (especially compared to the Cruize which is bulky). They were able to pull this off because the back is a bit tapered giving the illusion that it’s much thinner than it actually is.
All the ports and buttons are in their respective places including the microUSB port which they placed at the bottom. The “Omega” logo is at the center of the back while the embossed “Cherry Mobile” is at the bottom.
Here are a few more photos of the Omega in different POVs for your appreciation:
When it comes to the looks department, the Cherry Mobile Omega delivers. Definitely looks much more than what you paid for it.
Problem: WVGA on 5.2-inch Display and Viewing Angles
One major gripe that we have with the Cherry Mobile Omega is the quality of the screen. The pixels are very visible because they used WVGA resolution stretched on a massive display. If you’re used to high quality screens then you’ll really have to adjust with the Omega.
Other than the pixel density, the viewing angles are also quite off. There are times when you just tilt it too much forward that the screen darkens. I get this a lot when I’m playing games that require the gyroscope like Temple Run 2. It’s also evident when you’re on your bed and you’re watching a good movie on the Omega. Tilt it the wrong way and it won’t be as fun to watch anymore.
The display quality and the 512MB RAM are probably the trade-offs made to be able to bring the price down to just Php6,699.
Software Performance: Good over-all but the 512MB RAM is an issue
It’s a mixed bag when it comes to the software. When it comes to the basics like social networking, calls, text, browsing, and other core functions, the Cherry Mobile Omega does pretty well. This is primarily due to the software optimization brought about by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean’s Project Butter. Transitions and animations are also smooth even if you have a live wallpaper running in the background or a bunch of active widgets on the home page.
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros on the software side. After this will get into the cons.
Perfect for Social Networking
Big screen means more content. This is especially true when you’re on Facebook or Twitter. The Omega is meant to be a social device and you should make full use of it this way if you ever get one. The huge display is also ideal for checking out the photos of your friends on Instagram.
Awesome for reading
Another activity we enjoyed a lot on the Omega was reading either eBooks or RSS feeds of our favorite sites. My personal RSS readers have always been Pulse and Flipboard and they both work flawlessly on the Omega.
Games work quite well
How about games? Well the best-sellers have no issues in performance. Barely any lag or delays felt in casual titles like Angry Birds and Temple Run 2. Minimal also with graphics intensive ones like Dead Trigger and NBA2k13. Again, this is Project Butter exploding into action together with the dual-core processor (much better though if it had 1GB RAM).
Why 512MB? Why!? Hehe
As you can see in the photo above there’s only minimal RAM left to do stuff outside of the background applications. That’s a bummer and this is very evident when you start to do multi-tasking (have several apps running). Performance starts to become sluggish until eventually it will just crash. To manage this we had to download a Memory Manager app. After installing it there were no more problems but we had to be conscious with the stuff running on the Omega.
This is even more evident though with videos. We didn’t encounter any issues with low-mid quality videos playing on the device but things began to stutter, crash, or stop completely when we go 720p.
It’s really unfortunate that this is the case since the 5.2-inch display of the Omega would have been perfect to watch videos on. Well if you’re not picky you can just put in low-mid quality videos and you should be fine. 😛
Antutu Benchmark Results
In terms of benchmark tests, the Omega ranks a little below the LG Optiums 2X but above the Galaxy S and Amazon Kindle Fire. Sounds about right given the specifications.
Over-all in software the Omega delivers in some aspects and fails in several. This is the reality of budget-friendly devices. Something has to give and it’s up to you to decide if you can overlook them and be content with what it can give you.
Above Average Battery Life!
Here’s some good news — the battery life of the Omega is awesome. They made a great decision sticking in a 2,300mAh battery in this phablet. As a primary device it easily lasted the whole day without a need for a recharge. That’s with heavy usage of email, SMS, web browsing, and social networking.
Finally we go to the camera. The Omega has a 5-MP rear-facing shooter and it takes the usual quality of low-mid range 5-MP cameras. It doesn’t do well in lowlight conditions or when the subject is moving fast. This is again mainly due to the 512MB RAM. We took several photos for uploading here but we’re currently having problems importing the photos so that will follow within the day. Just be sure to check back early evening if you really want to see them.
*Sample photos to follow
Verdict: It’s okay! Pwedeng “Phablet ng Kabataang Pinoy”. Naks.
All things considered we find the Cherry Mobile Omega a competitive P6,699 offering. Just like what the subsection title says, it’s an okay phone… but not enough to make me quickly rush over to SM North Edsa to secure a unit. Personally I think they could have increased the price a bit to make sure we get the 1GB RAM.
To answer the question “Mega-Success or Mega-Flop”, it will flop if you have high expectations. However if you know the full and maximum capabilities and you deem that you need it and that there’s value due to the low price, then go ahead.
Before you fork out your cash to the saleslady though remember that there are performance issues with the software but if you can overlook them or don’t need those functions then the Cherry Mobile Omega is a sweet buy. Otherwise you might want to consider other options.
The Cherry Mobile Omega and Cruize are now both available in Cherry Mobile kiosks and stores. Last time we checked they still had significant stocks in SM North Edsa. If you want online purchase though just go to Lazada.
PS: Here’s the Unbox Video Podcast where we featured the Omega. If you want to get a better feel to the design, check it out. It should be somewhere in the 11 minute mark in the video.
Watch out for our Cherry Mobile Cruize review this weekend! Hopefully it can be up by Saturday evening.