We review the Cubix Cube!
While Cherry Mobile’s Flare X got all the press when it launched a few months ago, there’s another device that deserves praise from the local brand: the Cubix Cube. The Cubix Cube represents a major milestone for the company, as it follows the same online-only efforts of bigger, international brands in China. All phones under the Cubix brand will be sold online only via Lazada, which includes their first device, dubbed the Cube.
Cherry Mobile Cubix Cube specs
- 1.4GHz octa-core processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 5-inch IPS On Cell Full Lamination display, 1280 x 720 resolution
- 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
- 2000mAh battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- Php 4,490
Light and thin in the hand, feels a lot like the Razor 2
When we first got the Cubix Cube, we thought Cherry Mobile made a mistake and sent us their Razor 2 by mistake. The Cube shares a lot of design characteristics with the Razor 2 – a glossy plastic construction, thin frame and light weight. The sides of the phone are curved to make it easier to hold in the hands, and one-handed operation is easy since the phone is relatively smaller than Cherry Mobile’s other offerings.
Up front, you’ll see the 5-inch HD display with the capacitive Android navigation keys right below it. Up top you’ll find the earpiece, with the 5-megapixel front camera on the right and the LED notification light on the left. Both the 3.5mm jack and USB port are located on the top of the phone. The power button and volume rocker is located on the right side of the device.
While the phone sports a glossy back, it’s not boring or dull to look at, thanks to the pearlescent gray back that shines quite a bit when light hits it just right. Two white strips on the top and bottom of the glossy back break up the monotonous finish. There’s a speaker grille at the back of the phone, near the bottom. The 13-megapixel rear camera is located on the upper left side of the device.
Overall the phone feels solid, and well built, though it doesn’t feel as hefty as we would like. Probably our only complaint about the construction is that the rear of the Cube picks ALL of the smudges when you’re handling it, so you best have something to wipe it down with if that sort of thing bothers you.
Cherry Mobile advertises the Cube as having an on-cell, fully laminated display. Essentially that means it has roughly the same display characteristics as a panel using OGS. Colors are nice and vibrant, viewing angles are generous and the overall display quality is quite good – better than most phones in its price category.
Processor is a bit dated, but generous RAM keeps it going
As far as hardware goes, the Cube isn’t on the bleeding edge – it uses MediaTek’s MT6592M octa-core processor, paired with 2GB of RAM. The processor’s AnTuTu scores didn’t surprise us one bit, considering it’s a rather dated processor that we’ve encountered many, many times before on other devices of Cherry Mobile and their competitors. It’s an adequate processor for most tasks and games, though playing Marvel’s Future Fight using it isn’t as smooth as we expected, which isn’t too surprising considering the dated hardware.
That’s a minor issue, though, as the Cube managed to run other, less graphically demanding games well enough (CoC runs beautifully). Considering that the phone also has 16GB of internal storage (unheard of in its price bracket) then you’ll start to understand why the phone is such a good deal.
Navigating through the phone is fast and fluid, with zero trace of lag. The speakers are loud, which is a good change of pace over the other budget offerings of Cherry Mobile.
Camera is okay for the price
The Cube has a 13-megapixel rear camera for taking snaps. We weren’t expecting too much from the performance of the camera, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it could take decent shots, which are good enough to upload to social media.
There’s a little loss of detail once you fully zoom in at a photo, but that’s not surprising nor is it a big issue with a phone that’s aimed at the budget market. Overall, the Cube does a good job considering its price range.
Battery is mediocre, you will need a power bank for this
The biggest weakness of the Cube is the 2000mAh battery. MediaTek’s early octa-core offerings were not what you’d call power efficient, even if the MT6592M is running at a reduced speed compared to its older brother, it still manages to gobble up juice like there’s no tomorrow. On our PCMark Battery Benchmark the Cube managed to score 5 hours and 45 minutes, which is supposed to correlate to all-day battery life. That’s not the case – we often found the Cube ready to give up the ghost after 7 hours of moderate use (gaming, internet, calls and text). That’s an issue for us who work regular 12-hour workdays, so if you’re thinking of buying the Cube you will need to buy a power bank for it if you don’t have one already.
Verdict: A phone that’s above and beyond what its competitors offer, especially at its price point
After all is said and done, it’s beyond a doubt that the Cubix Cube is one of the best phones in its price segment, if not THE best right now. At Php 4,490, it’s shockingly affordable, and packs specs that you’d typically associate with more expensive phones in the market. While its battery capacity is less than impressive (no phone nowadays should come with 2000mAh below), that’s easily fixed by bringing a power bank along with you.
The biggest strength of the Cubix Cube is also its biggest weakness – as an online exclusive product that’s available only through Lazada, many people have expressed apprehension at buying the Cubix Cube without seeing (and feeling it) first. Still, considering the specs and the price, you may want to take the risk – you may find the online shopping experience better than what you’ve been led to expect.