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Cherry Mobile Cosmos S2 Review: A Gorgeous Phone That Hit The Right Spots

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We review the Cherry Mobile Cosmos S2!

While Cherry Mobile fanatics are salivating over the prospect of buying the Flare X (which should now be in stores everywhere), let’s not forget that the company has other products that may tickle their fancy. Case in point: the Cosmos S2, a beautiful, glass-backed smartphone that any fashionista would love to have.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos S2 specs

  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch AMOLED HD display, Gorilla Glass 3 protection (front and back panels), 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with BSI
  • 8-megapixel front camera with BSI, Beautification features
  • Dual SIM, dual LTE
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0.2
  • 2260mAh battery

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Premium design that’s quite unlike what Cherry Mobile has offered before

When we first saw the Cosmos S2’s press renders a few months back, we were unimpressed with the design. We’ve since done a complete 180 on that once we actually got our hands on one: the phone uses a metal chassis along with a glass back and front. The chamfered aluminum frame and the body sandwiched in Gorilla Glass 3 makes the Cosmos S2 stand out from the typical plastic-bodied phones in Cherry Mobile’s lineup, which tells us that the company is targeting a different class of consumers with the Cosmos S2.

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The phone’s overall build quality is superb – the Cosmos S2 is very sturdily built, with no obvious gaps in the body where glass meets metal. Like we mentioned in our initial impressions/unboxing, the phone feels hefty but not overly heavy, which adds to the premium feel of the device.

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The front of the phone is pretty uncluttered, with just the 5-inch HD AMOLED display, earpiece, 8-megapixel front camera and the light sensor on the front. The phone doesn’t use physical capacitive keys for navigation – instead it relies on on-screen keys provided by Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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The back of the phone is relatively clean and neat as well. The 13-megapixel rear camera is tucked neatly on the upper left side of the phone, alongside the LED flash. The Cosmos logo is in the middle, with Cherry Mobile’s branding at the bottom. The speaker grille that’s usually on the back has been repositioned on the bottom of the phone, with the volume and power keys located on the left side (when the phone is facing you). The dual-SIM slot is located on the right side, while the 3.5mm jack is located up top. The USB port is on the bottom of the phone, flanked by the speaker grilles.

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Nice looking display

Like we mentioned earlier, the Cosmos S2 uses a 5-inch HD AMOLED display. We’re seeing more and more local brands offering phones with displays like the one in the Cosmos S2, for a good reason – AMOLED panels are usually more vivid than regular IPS display, at the risk of oversaturated colors. Despite that, the display quality on the Cosmos S2 is generally good, with punchy, vivid color reproduction. The phone is also quite readable under direct sunlight.

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Phone feels a little underpowered

The Cosmos S2 is one of the few phones from Cherry Mobile that doesn’t sport a MediaTek processor, 64-bit or otherwise. Instead, the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. We’ve encountered issues with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor before, though newer versions of the processor has managed to solve some of bigger thermal problems that was apparent at the time.

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Navigating through the Cosmos S2 felt smooth, with no lag between transitions when opening the app drawer. The biggest issue you’ll have with the Cosmos S2 is when you start playing graphically intense games like Marvel’s Future Fight. With those kinds of games, you’ll be seeing significant lag spikes once in a while, which is obviously kind of annoying. It’s not a game-breaking issue and the game is playable even with those spikes, but it tends to break the immersion you get with the game when it happens, which is kind of a bummer.

As far as Android 5.0 Lollipop goes we haven’t encountered major issues with it, though Waze is a bit weird – after you install and run the app, none of the roads will shop up on your phone which makes the app next to useless for people depending on it to get around Manila every day.

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Camera does a decent job, but has some white balance issues

The Cosmos S2 has a 13-megapixel rear camera with BSI. We found that it’s a good shooter, capable of taking good photos in both natural and low light. We did notice that the camera had a bit of trouble setting the white balance for the photos sometimes, especially when there’s a mix of both natural light (coming from outside) and artificial lighting (such as a restaurant with big, glass windows). You can clearly see the effect below:

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A day’s worth of battery life

Even though the Cosmos S2 comes with a dinky 2260mAh battery, it’s capable of getting you through the day on a single charge with moderate use, but just barely. PC Mark’s Work battery drain test puts the score of the Cosmos S2 at 5 hours and 28 minutes, which is on par with the Flare X that has a bigger, 3000mAh battery. That goes to show that battery life isn’t all about the size of the battery – the power efficiency of the components like the processor, LTE radio and display also play a big part in battery life.

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Verdict: it’s a bit expensive, but the build quality more than makes up for it

Cherry Mobile’s Cosmos S2 is priced at Php 9,999, which is a bit expensive considering the company’s other offerings, most notably the Flare X. But what the Cosmos S2 lacks in sheer price-to-spec ratio it more than makes up for in build quality – it’s easily one of the prettiest phones that Cherry Mobile has released so far. With a power efficient processor, good camera (just make sure to micro-manage the white balance) and gorgeous display, the Cosmos S2 is targeted at people looking for a phone that will turn heads when you take it out of your pocket.

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.

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16 Comments

  1. I’d rather (buy) this phone over the comparable but so much cheaper Flare X. For some reason, ALL Mediatek phone reviews I’ve read keep featuring complaints of “lack of optimisation” in Android builds (painfully more apparent in Lollipop than any other version) that is rarely featured in reviews with phones of other processors (Qualcomm, Exynos) heating issues notwithstanding. Qualcomm powered phones run with less issues than Mediatek powered phones. That and the build quality and good performance across the board make this phone a good buy.

      1. Yeah, but at least Android builds run better than, say, IN EVERY MEDIATEK PHONE EVER. Mediatek refuses to give the code necessary for phone makers to improve Android builds, and thus, all phones with Mediatek’s end up with poorly performing Android builds (and bugs and issues as such.)

  2. Sorry, this variant will not make it to eager hands — alcatel, lenovo and huawei will keep them pretty tied up until the next variants from the same brands. Flare X though will sell like pancakes so long as they either stick with 4.4 or skip to 5.1. Subjective? Let’s find out.

    PS. My prediction is that folks would even rather get Firefly versus this S2. Pricing is just S2-pid.

    1. Hang on, I think big ben is on to something here.

      If, as the article suggests, this is targeting the “wants premium looks but fails hard at cost-effect analysis and thus displaying their stupidity” segment, then the Allure would win because that has 2.5 curved glass and a fingerprint scanner that actually works. Two things that need no research to look attractive.

  3. I was a fan og CM Cosmos amoled series until the release of Samsung Galaxy A5. The price of Cosmos S2 is very rediculous. Galaxy A5 is priced at around 14K of an international brand with clear support and upgrades.

  4. Lol, pati odm ng i-mobile kinuha na ng cherry. Tataob na ang starmobile nito.

    Rebrand ng i-mobile iq x pro 3

    Thin form factor at 6.5mm

  5. I am an aficionado of Cherry mobile.. gamit ko naman now yung S3 flair octa – bonga ang performance.. pero battery wise.. sobrang umiiyak ako ng dugo.. 1800mah for octa.. wow naman,, sa bagay marketing stratedy… nilabas nila ang s3 flair power.. kaso diko bet ang bulit-in kasi pano pag naghung.. pano reboot?

  6. Hi sir john. My cosmos s2’s camera keeps on crashing (unfortunately, camera has stopped) whenever I press the button while the beautification feature is set (slim face, whitening, etc). This happens to both back and front cams. Any suggestion to fix this issue? Thanks po. 🙂

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