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Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon Hands-on, First Impressions: Odd Timing

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 08

We go hands-on with the Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon!

Last March Cherry Mobile took to the global stage to announce to new Windows Phone-powered devices: the Alpha Neon and View. Both phones were unveiled in Barcelona a few months ago, but it’s only now that we’re getting our hands on one of them. Which is problematic, considering that the company has already announced their upcoming Windows 10 phones, the Alpha Prime 4 and 5. This puts the Alpha Neon in a tough spot since people already know that there will be a better, faster and more feature packed Windows phone coming at under the same price point.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon specs

  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor
  • Adreno 302 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 2000mAh battery
  • Windows 8.1 OS

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 06

Initial Impressions: looks and feels like a Lumia

Looking at the spec sheet of the Alpha Neon, it’s hard to be impressed with the hardware. If you compare it with the company’s previous Windows phone offering, the Alpha Luxe, you’ll notice that the Alpha Neon is almost the same internally – it’s powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, has 8GB of storage and features a 5-inch HD display.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 03

The most prominent change with the Alpha Neon is its appearance – Cherry Mobile’s ditched the plastic, metallic looking frame and glossy, patterned back for a more simple and elegant polycarbonate body. The Alpha Neon has a slight concave shape to it, which allows people to better grip the Neon.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 05

Overall the Neon feels better built than the Luxe and comes in more color combinations than the company’s previous Windows offering.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 04

The overall design and styling of the Neon reminds us a lot of Microsoft’s Lumia line of phones, and the bright color options for the Neon just reinforces that feeling further. The back of the Neon is removable. Taking it out reveals the dual SIM and microSD slots on the back, as well as the removable 2000mAh battery.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 01

While the Neon’s hardware isn’t going to set any speed records anytime soon, it’s good enough to ensure that most apps and games will run on the phone properly. Windows Phone 8.1 is better optimized to run on lower-end hardware than Android and iOS. Because of the similar hardware, you can probably infer the Alpha Neon’s performance based on our review of the Alpha Luxe (that you can read right here).

Cherry Mobile Alpha Neon 09

The biggest problem of the Alpha Neon that we can see is timing – with the arrival of Cherry Mobile’s new Windows 10 devices Alpha Prime 5 and 4, prospective buyers may hold off buying one and just go with the new ones instead. While the Neon will get a Windows 10 update in August, there’s a big chance that Cherry Mobile may cut the price of the Neon in preparation for the two new Windows 10 phones. Cherry Mobile themselves have said that the new phones will retail under 5K, which is exactly where the Alpha Neon currently sits.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

16 Comments

    1. People who want to be unique/different from what is norm!!! Gosh!! Wag ka ngang bitter sa WP!! Ang ganda nya kaya! I have Android, BB10 and WP with me and all i could say is that lahat sila magaganda and unique sa isa’t isa!

      Mag comment ka nalang ulit kung nakagamit ka na ng Windows phone ha!!

      1. I agree, WP are super efficient. My Lumia 510 lasteed me for almost three years without defect, never slowed down all those times na gamit ko sya. Phones come and go, but my dual core, 256mb RAM, 5mp camera served me well. I moved on to Lumia 535 now and I’ll always prefer the Windows experience..

    2. I have a Note 3 now, just got it to Lollipop, but I sorely miss just how FAST my Windows Phone 8X (HTC) was – loaned it to a friend who lost an iPhone; she liked it as well.) It is faster a times more than the Note, with 2012 hardware, it still amazes me. The screen was shattered, but it ran just as well as day one.

      This phone will make sense when Windows 10 arrives, as soon as Cherry Mobile updates ALL its Windows machines to the new software…

  1. Windows phone is much better compared to android.. Running task is smooth and fast. Even swithcing from 1 app to another without closing the recent opened apps. The operating system it self is stable and cant complain on the performance of a windows phone device. The hardware is very well optimized for the O.S and as well as the firmware which has a big impact in the phone’s performance. the OS itself utilized the hardware to squeez the max. Peformance of the SOC. That is why windows phone don’t need task killer because the O.S itself does a great job on handling all the running apps from the background.

    Though I owned android note 2, xperia Z ultra and lumia 630 running windows 8.1 denim.

  2. Gonna buy this phone this end of July! same kami ng mahal ko. Mejo sawa na ksi ako sa Android eh, try ko lang mag WP this time.

  3. All i can is WOW!.. My girlfriend and I already had an alpha luxe and the alpha luxe didn’t failed us it’s so smooth since we bought it last february until now.. And I’m planning to buy two aplha neon because of it’s looking lumia style and the phone is much thinner than alpha luxe when i saw it in the market store hehe ? .. I looveee it whahaha! Cherry mobile is the best for local phones here in philippines more power to you cherry ????..

  4. I bought alpha neon ang i love it so much but when I tried to make a video it was recorded but no sound. Do I need to set something? I know it should be automatic when u record a video there should be sound. Please help me. Thank you!

  5. ask ko lang po, nag avail po ksi ako ng phone na yan, then I encountered some problems po, like, I can’t upload any applications, kelangan ko pa daw po ng My Famy blah blah blah. I don’t know how to fixed it.
    help me please?

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