Cherry Mobile Apollo Unboxed!
After the Cosmos series, Cherry Mobile continued to launch new devices targeting different market segments. The Cosmos line was clearly positioned as their high-end offerings. This time around they’re back with their budget-friendly products and they kicked this off with the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0. Shortly after the Flare 2.0, the Cherry Mobile Apollo landed in stores with the slogan “BSI Smartphone for Juan”. The good news is that we were finally able to snag a review unit. We’re currently in the process of doing the full review and to kick things off we’d like to share with you guys our unboxing and initial impressions!
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
1800 mAh battery2,000mAh
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2
As you can see in the spec sheet the device offers pretty good value given the specifications. For Php6,999 you get a quad-core device with 1GB RAM (no RAM performance compromises yay) and a supposedly good 12MP BSI shooter. We will definitely put that camera to the test once we get to the full review.
Okay let’s get on with the unboxing!
Unboxing and Packaging – Cherry Mobile Apollo
It’s been a while since we last used our toys with our gadget photos so we’re bringing them back for this one, hehe. Helping us with the unboxing ceremonies is the deadly ninja of Cobra, Storm Shadow! Bunch of photos below, don’t forget to read the captions. 🙂
As you can see in the pics above, the Cherry Mobile Apollo came in your usual big hard carton box. It’s the better packaging compared to the soft carton and smaller boxes used in the Cosmos series so that’s a relief. Unboxing was straightforward. We removed the tape, pulled off the lid, and discovered the Apollo with the screen protector on. We peeled it off, picked up the phone, got a feel for it, and then set it down.
Other than the phone we found the standard set of accessories and peripherals: earphones, USB to micro USB cable, Wall Charger, manuals, and certificates. Nothing out of the ordinary.
As we’ve said in the past, Cherry Mobile might want to take a look into adding a freebie or two inside the box. It makes the over-all experience better and a little more fun. A screen protector, jelly case, or even a micro SD card will go a long way in building longer and more loyal customer relationships.
By the way, on the box it says the battery is 1,800mAh but the label on the actual battery indicates that it’s actually 2,000mAh.
Hardware Initial Impressions
The Cherry Mobile Apollo is compact and solid to hold. It’s easy to use with one hand thanks to the 4.5-inch form factor. While it may not be the thinnest device out there in this price range, it’s still below the average thickness. The dominant material used for the body is plastic but they did try to spice up the back cover by putting in some sort of pattern (if you look closely you’ll see small shiny dots).
Up front we have the 4.5-inch display. Resolution is HD at 1280 x 720 pixels. Colors are vibrant and warm. Images come out well but definitely a notch below the AMOLED and OGS screens that we saw with the Cosmos series. We also don’t get a scratch resistant screen here so make sure you invest in a screen protector especially if you have plans of eventually selling this again to fund another purchase later on. There are no physical buttons on the front.
All the buttons and ports are in their usual places. Audio jack, power lock, and micro USB port are all located on the top. Volume rocker is on the left. At the back we have the Apollo branding at the center with the Cherry Mobile logo at the bottom. The 12MP BSI camera with flash is at the top.
Over-all when it comes to the hardware, the Cherry Mobile Apollo looks and feels like a smartphone you’d get for around Php8,000-Php9,000. That’s a good thing since the SRP of this is just Php6,999. It’s amazing how much more affordable quality gadgets are these days!
Software Initial Impressions
Moving on the software, the Cherry Mobile Apollo has the minimum specs that deliver a fluid and smooth Android experience. The quad-core processor combined with the 1GB RAM and the optimizations brought about by Android Jelly Bean makes for a sweet combination. There are no immediate and noticeable lag spikes or delays. The ones we chanced upon during our tests happened mostly when we switched in and out of several apps. We also noticed though that it took a little bit longer than usual to launch graphics and memory intensive applications.
There are several pre-installed apps including Cherry Mobile’s Fun Club, Play, OTA Software Update, and eWarranty. You’ll probably use the last two but you’ll probably skip the Fun Club and Play since you can get the same (or even better) content on the official Google Play Store.
Full Review Coming Soon
We’re going to take the Apollo out for a spin in the next few days. We’ll definitely put a lot of time testing the camera since that’s supposed to be the claim to fame of this particular smartphone. That 12MP BSI shooter should be better than the cameras we found on the Cosmos series or else we’ll start to question the implementation of BSI on the cameras of the smartphones of CM.
Expect the full review early next week.
Cherry Mobile Apollo on the Unbox Podcast
If you want to see the Cherry Mobile Apollo live on video, check out the most recent Unbox podcast episode. We’ve embedded the full episode below for your viewing pleasure and convenience.