A few weeks ago Cherry Mobile released a plethora of new Flare smartphones, no doubt to reinforce their holiday lineup. Aside from new models that have the new 700MHz band, fingerprint scanners and big batteries is this: the Flare Infinity. It’s one of the few phones launched by the local brand that goes over the 10K limit, automatically garnering it the “flagship” moniker from them. But unlike the disappointing M1, the Flare Infinity looks the part of a flagship. The biggest question is, does it perform like one?
Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity specs
- 2.0GHz Octa-core Mediatek Helio P10 (MT6755)
- Mali-T860 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage, expandable via microSD (128GB)
- 16.0-megapixel Primary Camera, f/2.0, Dual-tone LED Flash
- 5.0-megapixel Secondary Camera
- 5.5-inch Edge-to-Edge Full HD LTPS display
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Dual SIM
- 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS
- Fingerprint Sensor
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- 3,000mAh Battery
The most premium phone ever released by Cherry Mobile
Many people think that the words Cherry Mobile and premium shouldn’t belong in the same sentence, but it’s hard to deny the quality of the phones the company has been churning out in the past few months. But while we’ve seen some pretty solid phones from Cherry before, the Flare Infinity is the best looking one by far.
For starters the phone’s body is made out of a single block of aluminum, supposedly making it a bit sturdier than other, full metal phones out there. That aluminum body gives the phone quite a bit of heft, though the weight isn’t unmanageable at all.
The phone has rounded corners and gently curved sides for better ergonomics. Unfortunately the aluminum body also means that the phone is quite slippery to the hands, especially when you’re using it one-handed. The aluminum body is a bit soft though – there’s already a small dent on one of the corners of the aluminum body when it slipped from our bed to the floor, which means you’ll have to keep an eye on it at all times lest it gets dented by rough handling. A protective bumper or a case is a must have for this particular phone, though Cherry didn’t include one in the package.
The rear of the phone has two prominent antenna bands on the top and bottom, essential for metal phone like this. The 16-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture rear camera with dual-tone LED flash is neatly tucked in the upper left corner.
Just like with any flagship phone the Flare Infinity has a fingerprint scanner, though it’s unique in that its position is on the frame, rather than the front or back as with other phones. It’s akin to Sony’s implementation in their higher-end phones, which preserves the design of the phone by moving the scanner away from the limelight.
The fingerprint scanner works well enough, though its position means that you’ll acidentally brush against it when you’re using the phone normally. That shouldn’t be a problem usually, but the scanner takes those acidental presses as legit attempts to unlock the phone. Too much of those and the scanner shuts off for a time, forcing you to unlock the phone via whatever secondary security method you provided (PIN, pattern or password).
Going around the physical controls, you have the power and volume rocker on the right, while the 3.5mm jack is on the top. On the bottom you’ll see the USB Type-C port that are flanked by speaker grilles, while on microSD/SIM slot is on the right side.
The display is probably the best we’ve seen in a local brand. That gorgeous, 5.5-inch, edge-to-edge display is the main reason why you’d consider the Flare Infinity in the first place. And we wouldn’t blame you – the display looks absolutely fantastic. The inclusion of 2.5D glass in the package just heightens the illusion of the edge-to-edge display spilling over to the sides of the phone. For people who are worried about that gorgeous screen, there’s Gorilla Glass 3 layered on top for scratch protection.
As far as actual screen performance goes, the Flare Infinity delivers. The display is bright, vivid, has good color saturation and contrast levels. Playing games, watching movies and using the phone for general tasks feel great with the display.
Mid-range performance, but isn’t a screamer
Despite being pegged as a flagship phone by Cherry Mobile, the Flare Infinity undoubtedly has mid-range guts. Powering it is MediaTek’s Helio P10 octa-core processor along with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. We’re not a fan of the Helio P10 chipset, as our first outing with it ended in disappointment. From what we’ve seen with the P10 is that the more RAM you include the better its performance – that holds true with the Flare Infinity. The generous amount of RAM seemed to smooth over some of the rough spots in the P10’s performance.
Unfortunately, no amount of RAM can hide the fact that the P10 is just a mid-range processor. Gaming on it is possible, but isn’t as smooth as we would have liked. Don’t get us wrong, the P10 is perfectly capable of keeping the phone running smoothly, it’s just that more gaming-inclined peeps may grow frustrated with its limitations in more graphically demanding games.
We like the fact that the Flare infinity runs a stock version of Android Marshmallow, but we absolutely hate the fact that there’s adware on the phone. Ads pop up once you unlock the phone after letting it sit awhile, which is absolutely annoying, especially considering the price of this phone.
Camera is good, though there are better options
The Flare Infinity has a 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone, LED flash. Images shot using it looks good, though the camera sometimes has focusing issues when faced with shots that would benefit from HDR. Check out the shots below:
Battery is okay, but could be better
The Flare Infinity has a 3000mAh battery that keeps the lights on for most of the day. Unfortunately for some reason PCMark’s Battery Benchmark’s results are bugged on the Flare Infinity, but with moderate use we managed to get around a day’s worth of battery with the phone. The Flare Infinity theoretically has fast charging capability, and comes with a 2A charger.
Verdict: A phone that deserves the name flagship
While Cherry Mobile has released phones with the flagship moniker before, the Flare Infinity is probably the only one that really deserves the title. It looks and feels the part of a flagship, and that display is to die for. Despite having a rather underwhelming processor (and adware that has no business being in a phone that’s more than 5K in value) the Flare Infinity still managed to impress us with what it had. Php 12,999 is a bit steep for a phone from a local brand, but if you’re willing to hand over your hard-earned cash, you might be surprised at what the Flare Infinity has to offer.