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Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus Review: A Phone to Yearn For?

Back in May, Cherry Mobile gave us a sneak peek at their Desire R7 series of phones, which included a 5-inch base model with a MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, and a slightly bigger, plus-sized variant with 3GB of memory. While we weren’t able to take those units for a proper go at that time, since the units we saw were engineering units, we’ve finally received our review units for the Desire R7 Plus to finally see what we called these handsome looking phones are made of. First, a quick peek at its specs in case you’ve forgotten about them.

Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus Specifications

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Mali-T720 MP2 GPU
  • 5.5-inch HD IPS display (1280×720 resolution)
  • 16GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE 700MHz
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

What’s in the Box?

  • Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus
  • MicroUSB Cable
  • USB Wall Charger
  • Earphones
  • SIM Ejector Tool
  • Documents

Clever Paint Job Is Clever

We’ve already mentioned this in our quick review for the Desire R7 devices, but Cherry Mobile really did a convincing job to make it seem like the phones’ chassis was made of metal and not of plastic. Of course, actually holding the unit gives it away but the clever choice of paint and even the use of supposed seams for antenna lines make it seem like they’ve gone with a more premium materials; that paint job holds up pretty well too. The device survived with nary a scratch after we’ve mistakenly put it in the same compartment as our house keys.

As far as build quality goes, we have no complaints. No flex or play with the plastic unibody of the Desire R7 Plus and because of said incident above, we really appreciate the fact that it comes with a pre-installed screen protector as well.

Handling the device wasn’t any trouble as its rounded edges make it easy to grip with one hand, even with daintier fingers as compared to the almost gorilla sized mitts of most of the team.

Mind the Speaker Placement

It’s not uncommon to see phones at this price point have a display at 720p. The bigger 5.5-inch display size compared to the Desire R7 means that it has a lower pixel density at 267 pixels per inch, so make sure you adjust your expectations accordingly if you plan to pick up this device. It does have great viewing angles and acceptable color repoduction, so consuming content on the R7 Plus is still rather pleasant.

It’s rear speaker also produces a good amount of volume with minimal distortion at higher volumes, but its placement on the rear of the phone means you’ll probably want to place it screen side down to make sure notifications don’t get muffled; meaning you’ll have a few more scruffs on that screen protector.

Fingerprint Scanner Gets the Job Done

Since we’re talking about the rear of the device, this would be a good time to bring up the fingerprint scanner, which is located right below the R7 Plus’ main shooter. We’re happy to report that it gets passing marks with the phone successfully unlocking in 7 out of 10 tries. It’s not the snappiest, but it gets the job done.

Good for Light to Moderate Use

The Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus sports a MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor with 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It can handle light to moderate use with minimal hiccups, so if you’re primarily going to be using this device for browsing through your social media feeds and the web, plus chatting with your buds — there shouldn’t be any trouble. Call quality was never an issue and because it’s a 700MHz LTE ready device, our time using mobile data on the device was pretty smooth.

For gaming, you’re going want to stick to lighter titles; after all the Mali-T720 MP2 is considered an entry-level mobile GPU. You shouldn’t run into trouble if you’re still playing Mobile Legends or if you’ve succumed to the call of Everwing on Facebook Messenger.

Shooters Are a Bit Hit or Miss

We were able to take the Desire R7 Plus with us on our recent trip to Bataan and we were able to get a few great photos at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar with its 13-megapixel main shooter and 8-megapixel front camera. The photos they produced definitely aren’t the sharpest, but if you’re mostly going to be sharing your photos on Facebook, they’ll do the trick. The cameras tend to favor cooler tones in general and is a little hit or miss with some of our photos looking a little washed out, but it’s not the worst we’ve seen. It should go without saying, but keep to well lit areas for the best results.

Just Enough Juice to Get By

As far as lasting power goes, you’ll get through your work hours with no trouble if you’re a light to moderate user. Running PCMark’s battery benchmarks gave us a time of 7 hours and 1 minute at 50% screen brightness, which means you can stretch it out a bit more if you’re good at managing your battery. On our typical day out, we got just about the same results with mobile data on  to browse our feeds and have Waze direct us where to go as well.

Verdict: A Decent Phone at Php 6k, But It’s Facing a Tough Crowd

All in all, the Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus meets the expectations of a phone that costs Php 5,999. It’s not the fastest off the block, but certainly does a well enough job for a phone at this segment. Unfortunately, since we’ve been seeing International players dip their toes into lower price points, Cherry Mobile (and other local brands for that matter) are faced with quite the pickle and we can pretty much ensure that someone’s going to bring up a device from a particular brand from China who’s known to have bang-for-you-buck devices, but no official local presence or from a Korean brand even if the device is a couple of thousand pesos more than this offering from Cherry Mobile.

Read: Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Quick Review: Stylish Mid-range, Dual-cam Smartphone
Read: Cherry Mobile Introduces the Desire R7 Lite for Php 2,699

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

4 Comments

  1. In the spec sheet full HD but you said it 720p in the later part?
    The real problem for cherry really is their software support. They really produce very very good phones at decent prices but their software support is absolutely terrible. Once you buy a phone from them, don’t expect any update.

    1. True. Nakakabilib nga ang presyo vs specs ng phones nila. Pero yung support sana maganda rin. But then again, wala rin namang support ang lenovo sa phones nila. Naka-Phab Plus ako at hanggang ngayon ay Lollipop pa rin. Mas nauna pa maging Marsmallow ang Moto E ko. I think ang consistent support ay para lang sa high end phone categories (except sa Moto phones siguro). But what do I know, budget phones lang naman ang binibili ko. lol.

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