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Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 Review: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 Full Review!
Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 Full Review!

Full Review: Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0

Cherry Mobile guaranteed a game changer with the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 and all the signs pointed that it would deliver on that promise. Priced the same as the original Flare at Php3,999, the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 packs a 1.2GHz quad-core processor giving it more muscle to handle demanding apps and games. However we were still worried about over-all performance because they kept the RAM at 512MB and the battery at 1,550mAh. Is the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 a case of having too much of a good thing or is really the game changer that the Pinoy mass gadget consumer market has been waiting for? We’ll try to answer that in this review!

Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 Spec Sheet

  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8225Q Quad-core Processor
  • Adreno 203 GPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, expandable via microSD Card
  • Dual SIM, DUal Standby
  • 5.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash and autofocus
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • 4.0-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • 3G, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi Hotspot
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.1
  • 1,550mAH Battery
  • SRP: Php3,999

>>> SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 Unboxing and Initial Hands-on

Hardware: Compact Plastic Chassis

Glorious plastic, hehe.
Glorious plastic, hehe.

For Php3,999 you can’t really expect an aluminum chassis or a dual-glass encased body. The manufacturers definitely had to use plastic given the budget and the good news here is that as far as plastic smartphones go, they nailed it pretty well.

The Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 comes in a solid, compact, and lightweight plastic body. It’s not a thin smartphone but it would be a stretch to call it thick. The size, heft, and form factor is actually just right for one-handed use and the 4.0-inch display gives you enough real estate for your apps, messages, and media.

Text lang pag may time!
Text lang pag may time!

The display quality is also surprisingly okay. The resolution delivers around 230 pixels per inch which is enough to merit an “above average” grade.

As for the other elements they’re all pretty much standard. The back plate is removable and the usual slots are located here for two SIM cards (dual SIM), micro SD Card, and the battery. The buttons and ports are located along the sides.

What the back looks like
What the back looks like

Over-all in terms of hardware and design the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 comes out as a solid trooper. Great and sturdy build that’s very functional.

Performance: Core Upgrade Noticeable

Apps apps apps!
Apps apps apps!

There was definitely a notable and noticeable improvement in terms of performance compared to the first generation Flare. Animations were smoother and transitions were fluid. Apps also loaded much faster (around 20% faster based on our tests). The quad-core processor is definitely doing a lot of heavy lifting. If you’re going to do light tasks with this phone like social networking, web browsing, videos, and casual gaming, the quad-core processor is more than able to serve your needs.

Don't forget to follow Unbox on Twitter! Hehe. @Unboxph
Don’t forget to follow Unbox on Twitter! Hehe. @Unboxph

We did the usual Antutu Benchmark Test and we consistently scored well over 9,500. It’s probably not at the usual 13,000 level (like with our quad-core smartphones) because this one just has 512MB RAM. And this weakness is pronounced more than ever when you start firing up graphics and RAM hungry applications like hardcore games. In the later stages of Dead Trigger we started getting multiple lag spikes and delays. The 512MB RAM just couldn’t handle all the action happening in the game. We also had jittery experiences with Zombie Wood each time the undead would start to bunch together.

So what does this all mean? The quad-core upgrade of the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 benefits core tasks and usual apps more than the hardcore titles. A quad-core processor alone is not enough to properly and smoothly play some games. You’ll need the 1GB RAM to go along with it.

Battery Life: Oh My Gulay

It won't last you the whole day.
It won’t last you the whole day.

And this is the part where the quad-core processor is TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING for the Flare 2.0. The quad-core processor eats up the 1,550mAh battery like a hot knife slicing through butter. This is even more evident when you have 3G and Sync on all the time. Based on our tests we got an average of 5-6 hours with moderate use. Heavy use drastically brought that down to 4 hours.

One thing is for sure if you’re going to use this as your daily driver you NEED to invest in a power bank. Otherwise you’ll run out of juice before the sun sets.

Camera: Budget Phone, Budget Camera!

The Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 has a 5MP primary shooter. As expected it took “average” photos and it had a tough time in low light conditions. Check out the sample pics below:

Yuffie!
Yuffie!
Rumfold
Rumfold
Sad
Sad
Merry Christmas everyone!
Merry Christmas everyone!

As you can clearly see the low light photo has so much noise. The Flare 2.0 also has issues dealing with harsh light. We can actually go on and nitpick some more but hey this is a Php3,999 smartphone. That’s crazy cheap. Don’t expect a camera worth Php20,000 to go with a Php3,999 phone.

Verdict

Pwede na rin!
Pwede na rin!

The Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0’s quad-core processor brings a fresh wave of power enhancing the core apps and functions of the device. However the same quad-core processor is the source of stress for the battery and is an overpowered partner for the 512MB RAM. We can actually forgive the RAM issue since we can manage what apps we use but the battery life issue is really a (to quote Venus Raj) major, major one.

You still can’t beat the value for money you get for the Flare 2.0. It still is just Php3,999. However just make sure you always have a trusty Power Bank near at hand.

OR…

Just save an additional Php3,000 and go for the Cherry Mobile Apollo instead. We think you get more value for money if you get that one over this. The phone does more and the camera is much better as well.

PS: All the photos above of the CM Flare 2.0 were taken using a Nokia Lumia 1020. Fantabulous.

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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5 Comments

  1. Same old piece of shit MSM8225Q, the newer dual-core mediatek outperforms this sorry excuse for a “quad-core” in every possible way.

    ADVICE: I don’t care what brand, but avoid any device running this chipset like a plague.

  2. Hi. I would really appreciate it if you would be able to do a review of CM Life. I was actually eyeing on this phone (Flare 2.0) but I doubt the battery. CM Life is much cheaper so I’m also considering that phone. Thanks!

  3. Hello. For me, I really liked the contents of this phone especially it’s quad core and android jellybean. What I hate most is its battery life. I can only use it for maximum of four hours. Sometimes I need to charge it THRICE a day, it sucks.. But still it’s the cheapest quad core smartphone in the phillippines. LOVE IT 🙂

  4. how to save to battery life .. I have already juice defender battery saver but still no effect… and also my phone cm flare 2.0 will restart automatically.. pls help

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