Is bigger always better? In the world of mobile devices, it really depends on what the customers want and use their devices for. Bigger usually means better media consumption; after all the bigger the screen, the less you have to squint to see smaller details. The Cherry Mobile Touch XL 2 has definitely got the size down and with basic VR capabilities plus a bundled headset to boot, it certainly makes a compelling case for itself; especially in its price range. But, does its price to performance ratio make it worth it? Hopefully, this review will help you decide.
Cherry Mobile Touch XL 2 specs:
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 6-inch HD IPS display, 1280 x 720 resolution
- Mali-400 GPU
- 8GB of Internal Storage (Expandable up to 64GB)
- 8-megapixel rear camera with AF and LED flash
- 2-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Design that won’t blow you away
The Cherry Mobile Touch XL 2’s design certainly isn’t new to the market. There are a lot of phones out there that do share its design language; including some of its brothers and sisters in Cherry Mobile’s catalogue. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing nor does it stick out like a sore thumb, but it definitely doesn’t bring anything new to the table. At the front of the phones is, of course, the 6-inch HD IPS LCD Panel surrounded by a 3mm black border with the 2-megapixel front camera and speakers for taking your calls on top, and its capacitive keys on the bottom.
The top of the device houses its micro-USB slot and 3.5mm headphone jack with only its speaker grills on the bottom. The volume rocker and power buttons are housed on the right of the device.
Flip the phone around and you’ll see the Touch XL 2’s 8-megapixel main shooter and LED Flash surrounded by its plastic, removable back that’s made to look like brushed aluminum. Peeling that off exposes the removable 3000 mAh battery, its 2 micro SIM slots, and a dedicated microSD slot for adding onto its 8GB of internal storage.
The phone’s 6-inch IPS Display is one of the main draws of this device – After all, Cherry Mobile wouldn’t have put the XL tag for a phone that’s within the 5-inch norm — and at its 720×1280 resolution, the Touch XL 2 has 245 pixels per inch. There’s some pixelation on the curves of icons, text, and the background we used while taking the device around with us if you look close enough and are particular with that sort of thing, but watching videos and general use was quite pleasant. Viewing angles were quite generous and it was serviceable when used outdoors.
Budget phone, budget processor
The Touch XL 2 scored a 22780 on AnTuTu Benchmark (It scored slightly higher on our Hands-On and Unboxing of the device) and if you’re familiar with mobile phone specifications, one quick look at the specs should let you know how the Touch XL 2 performs on a daily basis. There’s quite a bit of lag when you fire up apps and navigation isn’t the smoothest either, which isn’t a surprise given the combination of its chosen SoC plus the amount of RAM available to the device. We will also recommend staying away from games that are heavy on graphics as well, as you may just get frustrated rather than enjoy your experience.
The device comes bundled with a basic VR headset made of cardboard with a cut out for the camera in case you want to run augmented reality apps. There are no buttons on the headset and selection with the built-in VR app is done via on-screen crosshairs, which limits the content you can use it with out of the box. Exercise caution if you lend your headset to younger members of your family, your kids, or if you’re a little too vigorous during use though, as the device may slide out through the sides of the headset. The experience is, well, pretty basic and good enough for 360 video viewing. There’s no pre-loaded content with the VR app, so you will have to find content to be able to enjoy its VR capabilities.
Camera isn’t the best, but it’s good enough
Much like the device’s day-to-day performance, the cameras on the Touch XL 2 have its limitations. The 8-megapixel rear camera does a decent enough job, and while it does get its colors correct within a respectable range, zooming in reveals the loss of details in your snaps. On an overcast day where the sun was still out, there was already a bit of noise and, while we don’t have any samples to show you, we’re guessing you’ll believe us that low light photos didn’t turn out too well. The front camera also does a well enough job too, but you will need an ample light source to get cleaner images from it.
Battery that’ll get you through the day
The Cherry Mobile Touch XL 2’s Work Battery Benchmark results gave it 7 hours and 42 minutes, which means it’s enough to get you through the day depending on your usage. It would be a fair time to remind you though that the battery is removable so you can purchase spares if needed; should you choose not to go the usual power bank route. The Touch XL 2 definitely gets a plus in this department.
If you asked us to use one word to describe the Cherry Mobile Touch XL 2, it would be– basic. It has everything you need as a phone, plus the 6-inch screen makes video consumption quite enjoyable. We’ve definitely had better experiences with other phones that offered a foot in the door for VR content, but they also came at higher price point. You’d be hard-pressed to find a device at this size that can give you a basic VR experience with the bundled headset at this price – P 3,499. That’s the biggest factor to consider when you look at this device. Despite its drawbacks and limitations, we really couldn’t ask for more with the Touch XL 2’s price tag. If you’re dead set on a device with a larger screen that can give you the VR basics, but have to work within this budget range – we would definitely recommend the Cherry Mobile Touch XL 2.