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Cherry Mobile Flare 4 Review: A New Standard For Budget Phones

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 10

We review Cherry Mobile’s Flare 4!

Every few months or so Cherry Mobile outs brand new members of its Flare family of phones, and every time they have a major release, the benchmark of what a budget phone should be gets redefined. It happened a few times already with their Flare X and the Flare 3, and we gather it’s happened again with the new crop of Flare phones, specifically both the Flare 4 and Flare S4. Both devices offer really good specs for the meager price of just Php 4,999, and holds the title as the most affordable LTE smartphone in the land under 5K with 2GB of RAM. Is the Cherry Mobile Flare 4 worth the hype, or is it another phone that you’ll want to pass on? Find out in our full review below:

Cherry Mobile Flare 4

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display, Dragon Trail glass protection, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, BSI
  • 5-megapixel front camera, BSI
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 2100mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Php 4,999

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 11

Stylish, premium, affordable

It’s difficult to find a stylish phone at around the 5K price range that’s built with premium materials – you’ll have to compromise somewhere, after all to turn a profit – but the Flare 4 is one of the few budget phones that actually looks good in your hands. Metal bodies and frames at this price point are unheard of, that’s probably the reason why the Flare 4 managed to impress us with its build quality and overall styling. The phone sports a metal chassis that have beveled edges that are usually associated with more expensive handsets.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 12

The Flare 4 and Flare S4 are virtually identical phones, with the Flare 4 being targeted at women because of its sexier curves compared to the Flare S4. The Flare 4’s smaller size may also endear it to ladies as well as opposed to its bigger brother the Flare S4 Plus – it’s easy to use one handed, and the button layout (volume rocker on the left, power on the right) makes it easy to access the controls even if you have small hands.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 02

Up front, you’ll see the 5-inch HD display, which is protected by Asahi Dragon Trail glass. There are physical capacitive keys located just below that. The earpiece is located on top, flanked by a sensor and the 5-megapixel selfie camera. Both the 3.5mm jack and USB port are located on the top of the phone.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 03

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 04

Flipping the phone over you’ll see the 13-megapixel rear camera plus the LED flash, along with the oddly placed speaker grille. The Flare 4, like the Flare S4, uses a removable back cover that exposes the two SIM slots and microSD card slot, along with the removable 2100mAh battery.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 05

Overall display quality is quite good, and while there is some backlight bleeding it’s not that terrible to be honest. Color reproduction is good, and there’s really nothing we can complain about with the display quality. Sound quality is a bit meh, probably because of the placement of the speakers on the back.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 09

Enough power for most users, plus LTE

Under the hood of the Flare 4 beats a MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor chugging along at 1.3GHz paired with 2GB of RAM. This hardware combination is identical to the Alcatel Flash 2, and just like that phone the Flare 4 is capable of running most games with decent settings, though more graphically intense games (like Need For Speed No Limits) won’t be able to run on the device smoothly without compromising some detail.

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Casual games like Clash of Clans will run just fine on the Flare 4.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 06

The Flare 4 has enough horsepower to run most apps without any issues. That, coupled with a mostly stock Android 5.1 Lollipop OS, made the phone a joy to use though there’s still some  bloatware installed on the device when we got it. You can easily uninstall them, however, and you can add more storage if the 16GB of space in the device isn’t enough for your needs.

There are a few negatives with the SoC, none of which are Cherry Mobile’s fault. GPS signal locking times are quite longer than chips of other manufacturers, namely Qualcomm and Samsung, and the phone is a bit slower to switch to 4G in known areas with LTE compared to the offerings of said companies. It’s something that MediaTek is working on, though the fruits of their labor won’t show until their new SoCs roll out.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 07

Okay-ish camera, but could be better

If you’re an avid reader of Unbox, you’ve probably seen the first shots of the Flare 4’s camera. While the phone is capable of taking decent snaps, the photos are a bit underwhelming especially in low-light. Colors are a bit muted and not really that vibrant, though with enough light they’re sort of okay, certainly good enough for uploading to your favorite social networking site.

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Excellent battery life despite the small, 2100mAh battery

If there’s one thing people will harp on with the Flare 4 (aside from the slightly underwhelming camera) is the battery – at 2100mAh, it’s not much. We were expecting a lower than normal result in our PCMark Battery benchmark with the relatively small battery.

Imagine our surprise when the phone managed to score an impressive 5 hour and 55 minutes. For reference, the Flare X, which has a bigger 3000mAh battery, only scored 5 hours and 19 minutes. To be fair though, that Cherry Mobile phone has a bigger, more power hungry display and a faster processor, but still – you can’t really beat the power consumption on the Flare 4.

With actual use, we managed to log just around 8 hours of moderate use before our phone hit the critical 10% mark at the end of the day – that’s more than enough for most people.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4 08

Verdict: another game-changing smartphone from Cherry Mobile

The term game-changer gets thrown around a lot in this site, but it’s the perfect descriptor for the Flare 4. Cherry Mobile has managed to redefine the budget, 5K segment again with their new Flare phones, providing excellent value for money. The Flare 4 isn’t perfect, it strikes the perfect balance between style, power and affordability. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a phone that has as much bang-for-your-buck as Cherry Mobile’s Flare 4, especially at under 5K.

The Cherry Mobile Flare 4 retails for Php 4,999.

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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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36 Comments

  1. Had Cherry Mobile confirmed that this unit has Dragontrail glass? Wala kasi sa box or the front sticker that list the specs.

    The gold back is what will make it sell. Unfortunately, panay white and black lang so far available sa mga kiosk…

    1. Not here in Davao… Actually manila any service ng cherry sa Davao… 2weeks lamg kuha ko na unit tas walang mga naka tambak na costumer ang gustong mag pa tingin sa kanilang unit

  2. Pababa nang pababa price pero gumaganda mga specs. If 2 years ago to, mga 15k to :v

    Btw, unbox may review na po ba kayo ng Maia smart tab nila?. I’m itching to buy but still waiting for reviews.

  3. hi, which one po better, Cherry Mobile One G1 or this one? halos same lang ng specs maliban dun sa processor, yet mas cheaper eto. hope you can advise. thanks!

    1. Well, the G1 is a Google (Android One) product, and may Marshmallow na siya, so mas mabilis and mas up to date para sa apps, and ang Cosmos Force wala atang update sa Lollipop nga lang, eh. That alone makes the former better than anything else from CM,… *thumbs up emoji*

  4. how about sample photos of very dark areas, using just the flash as light source? we want to see if the flash is usable. thank you. 🙂

    I was very disappointed sa flash sa UP+ ko eh, sobrang dilim! 🙁

  5. Hello. Can anyone confirm if this (and the S4) is capable of multiple touches (and if so how much, eg if it can register all fingers)? Thanks!

    Also, I think the S4 has the dragontrail glass, not this one (the specs Cherry Mobile has shown on their Facebook page does not tell if it comes with dragontrail glass, only the S4 and S4 Plus…)

  6. I have this Flare 4 and it’s really fantastic, great and swak sa budget. It has a bright camera both in rear and front cameras esp when the light condition is bright too. I had installed na rin ng mga apps and still it doesn’t lags because of its 2gb ram. And also what i like the most of this phone is that it looks like an iphone especially if you have the white color, the design is so classy. Thumbs up for this phone.

  7. Ayaw ng mod payagan post ko sa kabila e. So ito:

    Bought the Flare 4 four days ago. It’s fast. The octacore really packs a wallop. But the camera is below average. The 13 MP doesn’t help at all. The issue that really set me off is the battery. It gets drained very fast. At 2100 mAhr,it can’t supply the needed juice for the muscle processor the phone has. And the really discouraging part is, it can’t be used to play games while it is being charge with its original charger. Its charger interferes with the touchscreen that it becomes erratic. It opens and clicks whatever is on the screen. I use other chargers and the touchscreen behaved normally. The only leydown again is, the battery drains while being charged if you play games like coc, or you connect to the internet via celluar data. It must be because the phone is power intensive. Cherry mobile violated some standards when it issued a charger without any specification label. The charger is not properly labeled. Nothing can be read on it. No power output rating at all. I am planning on using a charger with output of 2 amperes and see if it still drains when charging while playing. Most chargers usually have 1 ampere rating or there about. Another thing is, it can’t be charged on my Asus power bank.

    All in all I wont recommend buying this phone. I don’t know. Maybe it is this particular Flare 4 I bought which has this problem. If I can return this and have my money back, I will do so gladly. I regret buying this.

  8. The original charger that came with the phone has specifications. Output current is 1 ampere. I didn’t see the specification initially because of the glossy plastic wrap. Buy it still wreck havoc on the touchscreen.

  9. Performance is good PERO aanhin mo yung performance at graphics kung hindi mo naman magamit.
    I bought this device 3 weeks ago. Been using since I bought it. 3 weeks na akong nalulungkot dahil sa battery life. It was like 2 mins per 1% kahit naka standby. Wag nyo nang itanong kapag ginagamit ko for gaming.

  10. I got the same prob. With others. I cant use the phone while charging it keep on opening unnecesarry buttons, was it me or the charger. ?But when i use the phone while charging thru power bank it went well for me. one thing more got a problem with sim slot connection.

  11. I’m actually not a fan of CM phones. But this one rocks! Decent specs but affordable price though camera is a little bit an issue here but for those who are gamers, this one speaks out. The Dragontrail Glass seems legit as i was able to experience how smooth the screen is. Nice one for CM.

  12. tingnan nyo po kase yung battery, hindi po sya original 2100mah kase may line sya na dinagdagan lang ng plastic or something para masakto sya sa battery. kaya naging 5000 lang sya because of battery, di naman oreg yung battery. try nyo galaw galawin yung battery para malaman nyo,

  13. hello sir ask ko lng….may way po b pra masoution pnay kase lost conne tion to server ung flare 4 ko… hindi mkpaglaro maayos lalo n coc… thanks

  14. i have a problem sa batteries saka sa pag charge 🙁
    hindi sya nag cha charge kapag naka saksak sa pc .. mag charge man.. need naka airplane mode 1% = 3mins

  15. hi,, I had my phone last april 1,2016…
    and today is april 16,2016.. my phone suddenly shutdown, and I could not open it up. there is no power…
    huhuhu.. Do I really have togo to cherry mobile center. this is what I hate most.

  16. First moments ng use was so excellent…. until I had encountered problems…..such as the blue halo from the edges that suddenly appeared after successive gaming and the touch delay at the sides.
    5 month user of flare s4 here 🙂

  17. ANYONE WHO EXPERIENCE SAME LIKE THIS:

    I really like my flare 4 , color black na phone.
    , everything is smooth, nice dragon trail glass, specially color black. Faster performance compare to others.
    Nice rear camera but when zoomed, pixels are quite a problem, Pangit tingnan,
    I understand the cam quality 13mp in low light areas,
    I also understand 5mp front camera, parang may dots dots ,grainy, dirty yung quality

    Battery: 2100 mAh
    Holy shit, when mobile data is on while using it only covers 2 1/2 – 3 hours, battery dead
    Almost 2% drain per 3 minutes

    On wifi, while using it can reach up to 3 hours

    If not in use, no data or wifi, it reach up to 6-10 hours depending on use.

    Problem :
    1. Battery – Its getting hotter everytime mobile data is turned on while using, gaming, surfing, streaming videos , maximum temperature reached as of that moment 84°C , and the phone warns me that temperature is getting too high, should I remove batt. Or cancel it.
    2. Battery is unstable
    3. Faulty charging- While charging and data/wifi is on, charger becomes faulty. It has a LED indicating that red color signifies charging, but charging icon is not seen.Therefore it seems like I’m charging but reality is that it’s not really charging, and battery keeps on draining. The reason of it is the temperature.
    4. Battery Error- this is the continuation of statement no. 3 , when its getting hotter, the phone has a red warning stating ” BATTERY ERROR, UNPLUG THE CHARGER” , others websites suggesting this kind of experience says that it should cooled down (palamigin) before recharging it. As it will surely damage the battery.

    I’m very open to accept comments and suggestion, thanks for reading.

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