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Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity Review: Is That Edge-to-Edge Display Worth It?

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
  • USB-C
  • 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.

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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27 Comments

  1. “That *gorgous, 5.5-inch, edge-to-edge display is the main reason why you’d consider the Flare Infinity in the first place”

    Mr. Editor it is*gorgeous. Missing an “e”.

  2. what is the “adware” that is discussing when the phone is idle? hope that can be disable it. I want to grab this phone soon.

  3. A phone that deserves the name flagship, but comes with a camera with focusing issues, has “okay” (meh) battery life, “just” a midrange processor, and adware pop-ups.

    Um. Okay.

    1. Not really. This is quite a desirable phone. Kahit 2 k lang i- drop bibilhin ko to. Una pang mag Se Sale ang m1 for sure. What’s m1 again?

  4. For the spec sheet nerds out there: see the LTPS on the display column?

    > 5.5-inch Edge-to-Edge Full HD LTPS display

    It’s the same type of display they put on the iPhone 7.

  5. i’d choose asus 3 laser (11,999), oppo f1s (12,999) or xiaomi redmi pro (12,500) over that phone any time, anyday, anywhere.

    1. Maybe the Xiaomi, pwede pa. Yung MIUI lang talaga kasi, nasanay lang ako sa Stock Android na gawa ng Google, hindi iOS clone. Pero maganda naman camera nun.

      But the Oppo F1S is not even in the same league as the Flare Infinity. “Flagship” nga ang Turing ng Oppo dun, pero 720P lang ang display. In 2016. And the same ang processor na ginamit, 1GB less ram nga lang. (32/3GB)

      1. @CP pansin ko big issue sayo ung UI, samsung nga trying hard to be IOS hahaha. remeber S6 and S6edge? no sd card and UI parang IOS? haha. Even my previous phone s7 flat parang IOS n rin. Apply ka sa Iphone sabihin mo loyal ka ng phone nila at magwork ka na dun. Haha o kaya mukang naghahanap ka ng dreamphone? magpagawa ka ng personal smartphone mo. Ito isang malaking fact, walang perfect smartphone kundi makuntento ka sa smartphone.

  6. Problem with their units like this is that their sim slot is a bit loose thus losing signal from time time. Experienced it from the previous infinity. Hope they managed to fix it already 🙂

  7. Cherry Mobile will have a difficult marketing strategy to sell this phone. There are several phones in the market with better specs and lower price. Take xiaomi phones like Redmi Note 3 which is price cheaper but with similar specs. I guess the glory days of cherry Mobile are numbered. Not much enthusiasm from phone enthusiast to like this phone.

  8. Mga dugyot! Wala lang kayong mga pera! Kung anu-ano pang pinagsasabi niyo. Pang feature phone lang naman mga budget niyo.

  9. Kung ako sa inyo, wag nio na sayangin ang pera nio sa cherry mobile na patapon at asa sa future update. Nagtry ako ng mi max 32gb 3gb ram as gaming phone, take note ginawa ko nang main phone at binenta ko na yung S7 flat ko. Imagine straight data use 8 hours! yung S7 flat ko swerte na sa 5.5 hours. haha. nag alangan pa ko mag mi max pero sulit sa battery. kung on and off data ko plus txt and call, walang charge ng 2 to 3 days! worth it tlaga. Kaya ngaun fun na ko ng xioami.
    Previous phone: S7 flat, lgv10, lg g flex 2, note 4, note 3, lg g3, lg g pro 2

    1. MIUI lang talaga kasi eh. iOS clone, I’m sorry, pero talagang iOS clone ang MIUI. Masyadong clumsy ang interface, ang mga madaling gawin sa Samsung o Nexus nakabaon sa menus sa MIUI. May friend ako na may Mi 3 na updated sa current version, kaya may experience po ako.

      Makakabili ka na ng 2 preowned Nexus 5X o Xperia Z5 kaysa dito o Mi Max, mas maganda pa ang software to boot!

      1. @CP alam mo pre, nasa user din kung choosy ka UI ng mga phone. Samsung, Sony, LG, ZTE, Xiaomi etc android din yan na naiba lang ng UI. Depende na lang kung MAARTE talaga. For me hindi malaking factor ng UI or copy ng phone. Halos lahat naman ng company phone nagkokopyahan. Dun naman sa preowned, swerte mo kung maingat ung napagbilhan mo at official warranty dito sa pilipinas. Sony Z5, pass ako sa SD810 dahil sa lg g flex 2. Ang lakas ng throttling and not good sa games and long hours of usage. Nexus naman ok sana kaso wala sd card. Sa umpisa hesitant ako sa mi max, until nasubukan ko daily usage. 7 to 8 hours straigh usage (wotb gaming) downside lang nito is average camera. Kung maarte ka ka talaga dun k sa branded. FYI meron naman launcher sa playstore (haha) lahat ata ng kakilala ko naka launcher kahit naka S7, o S7 edge.

  10. For me if budget phone hanap at walang pambili ng Branded. So go for it . kanya kanya lng ng taste sa pagbili at pagpili ng brand. Di Kagaya nun iba na ang yabang mag comment. Lahat ng cp nanagamit nya sasabihin pa.
    Its just a review of the phone from cherry mobile.
    So kung nagpapayabangan lng kayo dont comment here. Gawa n ka na lng ng blog mo.

    Bato bato sa langit ang tamaan sapul hahaha

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