Full Review: Cherry Mobile Apollo
Aggressively priced at Php6,999, the Cherry Mobile Apollo offers features and specifications that you usually find on more expensive smartphones. Not only does it have a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, it also boasts of a 12.0-megapixel primary shooter and a 4.5-inch HD IPS display. Usually smartphones at this price have qHD screens and 8MP cameras (without BSI) so this is really an interesting proposition.
We’ve been using the Apollo as our daily driver for a couple of days now and we’ve spent enough time using it to share with you guys a complete and fair review. Before anything though let’s quickly take a look at the specifications again.
Cherry Mobile Apollo Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz Quad-core MediaTek MT6589 processor
- PowerVR SGX544
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB internal storage expandable via a MicroSD card slot
- 4.5-inch HD (720 x 1280) IPS display
- 12.0-megapixels primary camera with LED flash and BSI
- 5.0-megapixels secondary camera with BSI
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- HSPA+, 3G, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, A-GPS
- 2,000mAh battery
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2
As you guys can see it’s a solid spec sheet! Nothing really to complain about considering the Php6,999 price tag.
>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Apollo Unboxing and Initial Hands-on
Chassis and Hardware: Average Design, Very Good Display
The Cherry Mobile Apollo is your typical candy bar-type 4.5-inch smartphone form factor. Main material used is polycarbonate plastic for the body and a more glossy type for the removable back plate. Up front we have the 4.5-inch screen. Both sides are fingerprint and smudge magnets.
Most of the buttons and ports are actually located at the top of the Cherry Mobile Apollo. You’ll find the Power Lock button, micro USB port, and headphone jack all situated at the top. One the side sits the volume rocker.
The Cherry Mobile Apollo is not the thinnest smartphone you can find at this price point but it’s not too thick either. It’s actually “just right”. It’s still easy and manageable to use with one hand and it has that reassuring heft and bulk which gives the impression that it’s solid and sturdy. Fortunately the manufacturer was able to make the plastic as compact as possible so the phone actually doesn’t feel cheap at all.
A word of caution on the camera lens though. The lens at the back is a little bit too protuding and it looks like it can get scratched if one is not careful in setting the phone down on a rough surface. It would be best to invest in a back case (even silicone or jelly) just to make sure the camera’s lens is protected.
One of the nicest things about the Apollo for us, which we actually found more appealing than the camera, was the quality of the display. It’s rare to find smartphones that offer HD 4.5-inch displays at Php6,999. The sharpness of the images and vibrant colors gives you an impression that the phone is much more expensive than what you paid for it.
Over-all you can’t go wrong with the value you get with your money when it comes to hardware for the Cherry Mobile Apollo. The display quality alone makes it worth every centavo! Definitely deserving of two thumbs up!
Performance: Reliable Quad-core Experience
Powered by a quad-core processor in tandem with 1GB RAM, the Cherry Mobile Apollo delivers a great Android Jelly Bean experience. As with other smartphones with this set-up, it scored a over 13,000 on the Antutu Benchmark Test. This is already the minimum benchmark to make sure that the over-all performance is fluid and has minimal lags/delays.
Basic functions, animations, apps, and services all ran smoothly. When it came to gaming we tried our usual barrage of testing titles including Dead Trigger, Bard’s Tale, Wild Blood, and Zombie Wood. All of them played very well. The 4.5-inch display also definitely helped with performance since it doesn’t “overwork” the processor. The only instance wherein we saw the Apollo start to struggle was with the most demanding gaming titles like Asphalt Heat 8. Other than that though it was a strong performer!
The HD display also lets one enjoy HD videos. We watched a bunch of HD Full Metal Alchemist videos on the Apollo through YouTube and it was a great viewing experience thanks to the display quality and the powerful processor! Go Elric brothers, hehe.
Again when it comes to software we have to give the Apollo two thumbs up, especially if we consider the price!
Camera: Great for a Smartphone worth Php6,999
Now this is the part where it becomes a little tricky. The Cherry Mobile Apollo claims to have a 12.0-megapixel primary shooter with BSI technology (backside illumination). In good lighting the Apollo takes more than excellent photos. Here’s a sample shot we took during the podcast.
It starts to struggle though when there’s harsh lighting and when there’s little light. Here are sample shots of both instances:
It’s also a respectable shooter in mid-light environments. Sample shot below was taken when sun was about to set (white gloomy sky sucks when it comes to picture taking).
So how do we make sense of all of this? Simply put the Apollo takes much better photos than other smartphones in its price range if you have good lighting conditions. In dark scenarios you really have to invest in a better camera with better optics.
Battery Life: Surprisingly Long
Here’s a shocker — the Cherry Mobile Apollo has decent battery life! We were actually thinking that the HD display and the quad-core processor would be too much for the battery but it looks like the 2,000mAh is more than enough already to get you through a whole day. Just make sure you manage your brightness levels to around 30%. Increasing it to more than 50% drastically lowers lasting power.
Verdict: One of the Best Smartphones You Can Get Under Php7,000
Everything considered, the Cherry Mobile Apollo is one of the best smartphones we’ve used under Php7,000. It’s a strong and reliable performer despite the low price tag.
Two thumbs up Cherry Mobile, you’ve got a hot one here. 🙂