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Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z Review: Cosmos Series Gamechanger with Full HD Display?

It's our full review of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z!
It’s our full review of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z!

Full Review: Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z is the last model in the premium Cosmos series to hit the market. Priced at Php11,999, it’s also their most expensive offering to date. It’s perfectly understandable though since they really put all the best tech that they’ve been using into this device. It runs on a turbo Mediatek quad-core processor, has 16GB expandable storage, 18MP shooter with BSI, and even a 5.0-inch Full HD IPS display with OGS technology!

We’ve been using the unit as a daily driver for a couple of days now and we even brought this with us during our recent trip to Hong Kong to take photos (since it bragged an 18MP BSI shooter). Read our full review after the spec sheet below!

Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z Spec Sheet

  • 1.5GHz Quad-core Processor MT6589T
  • PowerVR SGX 544MP
  • 8GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD Card
  • 1GB RAM
  • 5-inch Full HD IPS Display, 441 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • 18.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with BSI and LED Flash
  • 8.0-megapixel front-facing camera with BSI
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, GPS/aGPS, FM Radio
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2
  • 2,000mAh Battery
  • SRP: Php11,999

>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z Unboxing and Initial Review

Hardware: Slim, Sezzy, and Plastic

Very nice looking smartphone
Very nice looking smartphone

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z is a fine looking smartphone even if the main material used for the chassis is plastic (will get to that in a bit). It’s relatively still slim compared to a lot of other smartphones as it measures just a little under 8mm thick. The 5.0-inch screen is very manageable and easy to use even with just one hand thanks to the ergonomic curved edges design and the over-all form factor.

At the back we have the plastic removable back plate. It’s not your usual glossy white plastic cover though. They used a pattern that’s very similar to the design we first saw with the Lenovo P770. It actually looks nice and it’s a very welcome break from the usual piano black or plain white glossy surfaces that we’ve seen from a lot of other brands. Unfortunately though the manufacturers made it a little too glossy so it has a penchant for getting a lot of fingerprint smudges throughout the day. The good thing though is that it’s very easy to clean. Just take a piece of cloth and wipe it to get back to that squeaky clean state.

Back plate looks a lot like the plastic back plate of the Lenovo P770
Back plate looks a lot like the plastic back plate of the Lenovo P770

All the ports, buttons, and controls are neatly long the sides of the device. This includes the micro USB port, volume rocker, power lock, and the audio jack. At the back we have the 18MP camera with the LED flash. The Cosmos branding is prominently displayed at the center while the “Cherry Mobile” logo takes a backseat and is situated near the bottom of the back plate. Up front we have the 5.0-inch glass screen and the 8MP with BSI secondary camera. Note that the display is Corning Gorilla Glass 2 so it’s definitely scratch resistant.

Very thin.
Very thin.
Different angle
Different angle

When it comes to smartphone reviews we’ve always put a premium on the display quality and we’re really happy to report that the display of the Cosmos Z is one of the best we’ve seen on a device in this price range and can easily give devices twice its price a run for their money. The Cherry Mobile Z’s 5-inch screen has full HD resolution. That’s 1920 x 1080 resolution or around 441 pixels per inch (that’s a lot of pixels)! Images were very detailed and colors were vibrant and crisp. The icons feel like they’re almost floating on top of the screen!

Over-all when it comes to the hardware design the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z is a good and solid device. Of course some people will get turned off by the plastic and if ever you are then you might wanna take a look at the metallic Cherry Mobile Cosmos S instead. Awesome thing with having a lot of different product offerings is that you probably have something for everybody, hehe.

Performance: Relatively Great but with Occasional Stutters

Antutu Benchmark Score of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z
Antutu Benchmark Score of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z packs a turbo Mediatek quad-core processor and the speed and power are reflected in the Antutu Benchmark scores. Whereas usual Mediatek quad-core devices score an average of 12,000-13,000, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z topped out on us at 15,000. However if you think about it the device does really need all that power to support the Full HD resolution on a 5-inch canvass. That processor is definitely working hard to consistently push up all of those pixels to the display.

In real life usage we have to admit that we did encounter some lag spikes and stuttering. This was evident during two case scenarios: gaming with Zombiewood and a RAM-eating live wall paper. We’ll get to the gaming part later but for the wallpaper we loaded Paperland Pro and used their latest Halloween Theme. For some strange reason the basic transitions and animations started to slow down a bit and there was a noticeable stuttering. The moment we changed it to a static wallpaper though the lag all but disappeared. That said we’re not sure if this is more of a RAM issue than processing power (1GB might not be enough?).

Slight lags
Slight lags

On the gaming end of things, the usual casual and moderate graphics titles played out well and without any issues. However when we started playing more graphics intensive games like our favorite Zombiewood shooter from Gameloft it started to go get frustrating. We felt and noticed the stuttering. The smoothness that we first encountered with other Cosmos series like the Cosmos S and Cosmos X2 were gone. Truth be told we’re kinda stumped and the only reason we can think of causing the stuttering is that the RAM, processor, and GPU can’t fully support the 5.0-inch Full HD display when it comes to graphics intensive apps. If we check the specs between the three devices the Cosmos S and X2 pack HD displays. The only one with the Full HD 5-inch screen is the Cosmos Z.

>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 Review: Specced out with Stunning Display

All other apps should work fine though :o
All other apps should work fine though 😮

Let me just stress though that the stuttering usually just happens during these two scenarios. If you’re watching movies and doing light tasks like messaging, browsing, and social networking, you shouldn’t have this issue. The processor, RAM, and graphics can fully support and take care of those tasks with no problem.

Speaking of videos, if ever you do decide to get the Cosmos Z, make sure you watch videos on it because it just looks stunning. The 1080p display is fantastic for playback (just make sure you load up 720p or 1080p content). Just make sure you get the MX Player Pro app since the default Android video player is kinda crappy.

Did you guys watch this comedy bit? Very nice, hehe. All about hashtags.
Did you guys watch this comedy bit? Very nice, hehe. All about hashtags.

Everything considered with software and performance, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z delivers a great viewing experience but at a cost. If you’re a gamer you might want to go for the other devices in the Cosmos series. Our pick would either be the Cosmos S or the Cosmos X2 for you. Just read our reviews for both (links above). The Cosmos Z has a lot of power in it but the one sucking all that juice up is really the display. If you’re after a great portable media player though then this one is pretty hard to beat. 🙂

Cherry Mobile Software Extras

Cherry Mobile Fun Club
Cherry Mobile Fun Club

By the way, Cherry Mobile loaded a few self-developed apps into the Cosmos Z (and their other smartphones as well). There’s the Cherry Fun Club which is a directory of SMS and subscription promos. There’s also the Cherry Mini Store which is a curated app store. Lastly there’s the OTA update app which lets you update the software of your device without having to go to a Cherry Mobile store.

This is a good step forward but we definitely want to see more innovations on the software side. At the end of the day they’re (local smartphone brands) all serving Android phones and the software exclusively pre-installed in the devices can be a good differentiating point so that it just doesn’t always boil down to specs and pricing.

Camera: Good but Not Great

Picture picture pag may time
Picture picture pag may time

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z has an 18.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with BSI. It takes good pictures… but it’s stuck at good. It’s not great. It’s just good. Here are some sample shots in not so good lighting conditions. As you will see below it has some issues with noise and light capture in environments like this one. In good lighting though it’s fantastic.

IMG_20130927_085249

IMG_20130927_085503

IMG_20130927_093003

IMG_20131001_143547

The Cosmos Z also has a feature wherein you can use the rear-facing camera to take selfies. Once you activate it there will be a voice prompt that will tell you to move the device in certain directions until it has you at the center. Once you’re in a good frame all you have to do is smile and the camera will automatically take a shot. Nice addition! Hopefully other CM phones down the line also integrate this feature.

Battery: Keep the Brightness Down and You’re Good

There’s seems to be an exponential drain with the battery as you scale up the brightness on the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z. At 30%-40% we were able to still hit 8-9 hours of battery life even with moderate-heavy usage. However when we pumped it all the way up to 80%-90% (we were outdoor for the most part of the day and under direct sunlight), we barely could get 6 hours out of it.

Just keep that information in mind if ever you get the Cosmos Z. If you have a long day ahead of you and you don’t have a way to charge then it is absolutely critical that you keep brightness down.

Verdict: Biggest Strength is its Biggest Weakness

Don't forget to keep checking Unbox!
Don’t forget to keep checking Unbox!

So what’s our ultimate verdict? Like what the header says, the biggest strength of the Cosmos Z is also its biggest weakness — the 5-inch Full HD display. It’s the best thing about it but at the same time it is the source of all of the woes of the device.

If what you need is a gorgeous display (because you probably love watching stuff on your phone) then go for the Cosmos Z. However if you like playing games and you can’t live without animated wallpapers we suggest you consider the other devices in the Cosmos series. There’s the Cosmos X, Cosmos S, and the Cosmos X2.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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12 Comments

  1. @carloople, “Camera: Good but Not Great”, sir this is IMHO the effect of the 18MP BSI camera, might as well call it 18MP BS ! , IMHO mtk6589t supports only UP TO 13Megapixel

  2. Eto na naman ang CM with their 18MP daw, same with OHD 2.0 nagkagulo na sa FB group ng OHD 2.0 kung ano talaga ang tunay na camera specs. Na-turn off ako dun sa “Good but Not Great”.

  3. I don’t think the ram is the problem sa mga games. Masyado kasi malaki yung ppi, gpu yata nagsusuffer nyan hndi ang ram…. opinion lang po. Sayang, bibili na sana ako. 🙁 if only 250-306 ppi, ok na cguro gaming performance nyan.

  4. Got one of these on the 7th. of October. Was prepared for the worst, because of the poorness of the usual Cherry Mobile fare. However, I am quite surprised how much I have got to like it over the last week. Primarily I bought it to download Torrents as I have other phones that will not do that. Firstly, it does feel thin and fragile, so when the cases come out, that’s what I’ll get first. The camera is OK.. had no problems with the photo’s I’ve taken, the video’s of the sea and suchlike are all OK as well. It plays my HD Films very well indeed, good picture and smooth. My eBook collection has just got a new friend. With Aldiko, my books look good. The phone quality is Ok and with HD caller and call Recorder, I’m quite chuffed with the phone. One of my quirks about this phone, it just seems too big!! I can get it in my hand, but not much room to do anything, finding I need two hands to do really anything with it. Got rid of the Cherry Mobile Bloatware straight away and installed my own Wallpapers…By and large, I’m quite taken with the Cosmos Z…(In fact, my iphone 4s has been put away in the drawer as I like Android better as I can put what I want onto MY phone and not be dictated to by Apple)
    Anyway, by and large, it’s a good phone for the money, but don’t drop it, I have a feeling that, that would do a bit of damage to it as it does feel a little bit frail in my hand.

  5. By the way. I have had no worries about the Battery. Using the phone for the full day downloading and putting other stuff on and also calling my friends, I still had 36% left. All in all, it’s a decent phone and the price is passable.
    PS. The Photo’s and video’s I’ve taken are also quite good…I’m no professional, but in my eyes, they are very good indeed.

    1. Yeah! HAHAHA Grannd DUO Sucks with the balls of being dual core, you just wasted your buc ks.. hehehe better get CZ or add 1K and buy Omega Infinity…

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