Full Review of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2!
We’ve been using the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 as one of our daily drivers for the last few days. It’s been a pretty good experience over-all with the main highlight really being the gorgeous 4.8-inch Super AMOLED Display. It’s amazing that you can get specced out smartphones with premium level displays at a fraction of the cost of global flagships. Truly mind-boggling, hehe.
Before we get to the review here’s a refresher again of the specifications of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2.
Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 Partial Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz Quad-core Processor MediaTek MT6589
- PowerVR SGX544
- 16GB Internal Storage, Expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
- 1GB RAM
- 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD Display
- Corning Gorilla Glass 2
- 18.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED Flash and BSI
- 5.0-megapixel front-facing camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, GPS/aGPS, FM Radio
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2
- Smart Stay and Smart Call Software Technology
- 2,200mAh battery
- SRP: Php11,699
>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 Unboxing and Initial Review
As usual for this review we asked a friend to help us out. This time around we enlisted the Joker! Hope you guys like the photos!
Hardware: Kinda Like the Galaxy S3 in Glossy Piano Black
The first time we saw the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 and picked it up with our hands we couldn’t help but blurt out that it looks a whole lot like the Samsung Galaxy S3! The similarities are uncanny! The only difference is that the back plate has a different design (there’s a line at the top which makes it look a little more techie) but other than that it looks like a glossy piano black Galaxy S3. Even the physical home button is almost shaped the same way as the physical home button of previous flagship of Samsung, hehe.
The similarities also extend to the over-all form factor. The Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 has curved edges making it very easy to hold in one hand. There’s no flesh biting experience like we’ve encountered with squareish candy bar shaped phones. The back plate is also slightly curved, almost pillow shaped, which also lets the phone comfortably nestle in your palm.
Of course the glossy plastic does have issues. The most obvious one is that it’s a fingerprint and smudge magnet like no other, hehe. If you’re the type that loves keeping their smartphones squeaky clean make sure you always have microfiber cloth with you should you decide to get a Cosmos X2.
One of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a local branded smartphone
The real highlight of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2, other than the internals, is really the display. The Super AMOLED HD display on this thing is just stunning. Colors are bright and vibrant even if you keep it to the lowest level of brightness. You almost feel as if the icons are about to pop out of the screen.
It’s even more pronounced when your consuming media like videos. Just make sure you get 720p copies of whatever you’re watching and you play the files with MX Player Pro so you get the full mobile HD experience. We can’t stress this enough. We’ve actually received several e-mails and complaints about our reviews being deceptive because the reader said that the video playback on their HD phones sucked. When we asked them to check what was the file type they ended up either not replying or saying “ahhhhh”. Hehe. 😛
By the way, time for Joker to make an exit and for… uh… Joker to make an entrance! Why so serious!?!
Performance is Excellent
On the software side the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 ain’t no slouch. The quad-core processor combined with the 1GB RAM and the optimizations of Android Jelly Bean 4.2 make it possible for a fluid, smooth, and almost lag-free Android experience. There are still some bumps though, most noticeably when loading a lot of contacts or when firing up a graphics and memory heavy application. But those really aren’t deal breakers for a smartphone that sells for less than Php12,000.
On the Antutu Benchmark Test, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 scored well over 13,000 which is bit on the high side of local branded quad-core smartphones.
We didn’t encounter any issues or problems with any of the core and basic features like messaging, telephony (calls were clear on both ends), and the staple Google suite of apps. We did notice though that the external speakers seemed weaker than usual. Not really a biggie though since most people plug their headphones or speakers when they want to listen to music with their smartphones.
Gaming experience is good!
Now we get to gaming! All the usual suspects played out well — Dead Trigger, NBA 2k13, and Despicable Me Minion Rush. We did notice that loading graphics intensive games like Asphalt Heat 8 took a while (especially compared to the monstrous Xperia Z1) but after loading we didn’t encounter any issues.
If you’re the type that plays that light-medium graphics/animation type games you’ll be very happy with the Cosmos X2. Fluid, smooth, and fast. Three apt words to describe the experience. That’s what we observed when we played through one of our current mobile game addictions, He-Man.
He-Man is an action-packed sidescroller. It will definitely be fun for people who are familiar with the He-Man cartoons series which aired in the 90’s.
Anyway, to sum it up for gaming: slight lags and delays with super heavy graphics intensive apps. Everything else is okay.
Good for one-handed tasks
These days phones are getting bigger and bigger. When the “phablet” term was first born into the world during the Galaxy Note announcement, people laughed at the idea and thought that it would never sell. Millions of Galaxy Notes sold later (as well as other phablets), it’s now an accepted term and a norm for both the masses and techies. Bigger screens though mean two hands for navigation and use. That’s where the 4.8-inch size comes in.
The 4.8-inch form factor coupled with the ergonomic design makes the Cosmos X2 an ideal smartphone for one-handed tasks. Typing out long text messages, e-mails, or Twitter updates is very easy and convenient especially if you install the Swiftkey Keyboard app. The predictive text and the lay-out is one of the best that we’ve ever used and we really highly recommend the app.
Other tasks that was easy to keep doing include checking the Calendar, mobile web browsing, navigating music libraries, and reading RSS apps. 4.8-inch form factor strikes a good balance and it’s so in the middle of the smartphone and phablet worlds. There are tons of other apps that do well with one-handed use. Just check out the Google Play Store.
By the way, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 has 16GB of internal storage. That’s on top of the expandable storage via microSD. That’s a lot of apps, photos, videos, and music you can stuff into this device. Definitely a feature that flagships should carry. We’re kinda annoyed already with the 4GB internal storage. 8GB should be minimum already these days.
Other Software “Innovations”
The similarities to the Samsung Galaxy S3 doesn’t end with the form factor though, hehe. Cherry Mobile put in a notable feature that the Galaxy line-up started — Smart Stay. Smart Stay uses the front-facing camera to track your head. If you turn away from the screen it will slowly dim the display until it turns off. As long as you’re looking at it, the screen will not go dark.
Smart Call, on the other hand, lets you call the person you’re exchanging text messages with just by putting the phone to your ear (as if you’re making a call).
One good feature that Cherry Mobile added though was over-the-air updates. This basically means you don’t have to go to a Cherry Mobile store and line-up just to get the software of your phone updated. You should be able to get it over WiFi or 3G (assuming you have very fast 3G). This is important since we expect Cherry Mobile to release updates that will improve the over-all experience of the phone and address any bugs that come up in the future.
Camera: While it’s good, it did not completely blow me away
Now this is the tricky part. The Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 packs an 18-megapixel primary camera. In normal lighting conditions it will take excellent photos. However it struggles in environments with either low light conditions or direct light. Here are some sample photos we took when we watched The Voice live at Resorts World Manila:
Based on the quality of the shots above we can say that it’s already better than a lot of other smartphones in the sub Php10,000 range. However it’s still not mind-blowingly good that we could say it’s at par with the camera of the global flagships like the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, or the Xperia Z1.
A good techie friend of ours who worked for the business development unit of a local smartphone brand once told us that this is where a lot of the cost-cutting happens. The focus tends to be on the megapixel count, which really isn’t the best gauge but it’s the cheapest to upgrade, and not the sensor or the lens. That’s probably the Php8,000-Php10,000 difference we see with this and the flagships of other international brands, hehe.
Battery Life: Surprisingly Okay
We’re happy to report that the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 lasted us the most part of the day before it needed a charge. That’s with our usual usage habit (including 3G and sync on with Brightness at 30%). Looks like that 2,200mAh battery is enough to decently supply power for a good time for the quad-core processor and the Super AMOLED HD display.
>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Razor Unboxing and Initial Review
Verdict: Strong Well-Rounded Local Flagship Smartphone!
The Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 packs very competitive specifications and brings a lot of good features to the table. It can handle pretty much anything you throw at it — games, photo editing, media playback, and all core functions checked out well. Add to that the 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display, which is quite possibly the best screen we’ve seen on a local branded smartphone. If ever we have one apprehension, it’s the price.
At Php11,699, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 dangerously moves close to the prices of other international brands that pack distinct game changing features like LTE connectivity or insane battery life. For example, for just Php2,000 more you can get the Lenovo P780 which is powered by a monstrous 4,000mAh battery. For Php3,000 more you can opt for the LG Optimus G which delivers high speed LTE connectivity. If you don’t need those features though then the Cosmos X2 makes so much more sense. However if you think LTE is worth it then you might want to wait for a Cherry Mobile LTE smartphone to come along or go for your other options.
The Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 is now out in the market starting this week with an SRP of Php11,699. Just head over to the nearest Cherry Mobile store or kiosk near you!