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Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Quick Review: Stylish Mid-range, Dual-cam Smartphone

We go hands-on with the Desire R8!

We’ve heard grumblings and press photos of Cherry Mobile’s new mid-range smartphone, the Desire R8, for quite a few months now, but it’s only now that we’ve finally had a chance to sit down with the new device from the local brand. The Desire R8 is positioned in the Php 10K price category of the brand, which usually holds the company’s upper mid-range efforts.

While it’s not the first of Cherry Mobile’s dual-camera smartphones, the Desire R8 is the most premium of the dual-cam models that the local brand offers. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Cherry Mobile Desire R8 specs

  • 1.5GHz MediaTek octa-core 6750T
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
  • 13-megapixel rear primary camera, 5-megapixel secondary camera, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera with LED flash
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android Nougat

Initial impressions: solidly built, full metal phone

Say what you want about Cherry Mobile, but the brand has already established a reputation of offering elegant, well-built smartphones once the price point goes over 5K. The Desire R8 is a solid, full metal bodied phone that takes design cues from more expensive Chinese flagship smartphones. It sports curved sides and a sloping back, which makes it easier to hold on to one handed.

The rear holds the two rear megapixel cameras, which have their own rather substantial camera bumps. The cameras protrude a few mm from the rear of the phone, so you’ll have to keep that in mind when you set it down display up. There’s two strips of plastic on the top and bottom which holds the antenna bands, which means the Desire R8 isn’t completely made out of metal.

The front of the phone has a white facade, and is dominated by the 5.5-inch full HD IPS display. The 8-megapixel front camera is located on the upper right. The phone has a physical, clickable home button that acts as the fingerprint scanner. Two capacitive Android keys flanking it, though the buttons themselves don’t have icons – they’re just lit up, so it’s a little confusing to memorize which buttons does what. You can customize the function of the buttons if you want though.

The display is clear and crisp, and is pretty typical of the panels that you get from budget phones like this. The display is a bit dark though with the adaptive display on – you’d be better off turning off the feature so you can get maximum brightness of the panel.

The Desire R8 sports the same dual-camera setup as Cherry’s more affordable offerings – in the R8’s case it’s a 13-megapixel rear primary camera with a 5-megapixel secondary camera.

You know the drill by now – the 13-megapixel rear camera takes the actual photo, and then the 5-megapixel shooter provides depth information for the bokeh effect in photos. Unfortunately we weren’t able to pull the photos for the phone we were using because it was an engineering unit, though we expect it to work much like the Flare P1 and the Flare P1 Plus.

The Desire R8 is powered by a 1.5GHz MediaTek octa-core 6750T processor, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, with an option to expand storage space via microSD. AnTuTu results show scores that you’d usually associate with the chipset, so you pretty much have an idea of what the chipset can do. The Desire R8 also comes with a 3000mAh battery as well as Android Nougat on board. We’ve already tested several smartphones in the past with the same chipset, so if you want a more accurate gauge of the the capabilities of the hardware of the chipset, you can take a look at the reviews linked here.

The Desire R8 is a solid addition to Cherry Mobile’s burgeoning family of dual-camera smartphones, though until we can get a retail sample to test, we can’t really attest to the effectiveness of the dual-camera setup. No idea of availability yet for the Desire R8, though the phone is slated to retail for Php 9,999 when it finally goes on sale.

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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3 Comments

  1. CM really should start thinking about the prices they sell these phones with. pumapantay na sa established brands, hindi naman established ung quality at customer service.

  2. Mediatek is an underperforming chipset, if you are going to use them, the price should also be adjusted. At this price, you can get a snapdragon powered device already.

  3. Re. Your first sentence: I wouldn’t call it *grumbling* if they ain’t complaining. Just sayin’. ???

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