We unbox the Flare Mate!
Cherry Mobile’s Flare series of devices are undoubtedly the company’s best-selling smartphone line, with a variety of screen sizes and prices to choose from. But despite this the Flare series has had, for the longest time a phablet-sized hole in the lineup – there simply wasn’t a Flare-branded device that had a screen bigger than 5.5-inches.
Enter the Flare Mate. Leaked last year and formally announced earlier this week, the Flare Mate plugs the phablet hole in Cherry Mobile’s lineup by offering a ginormous 6-inch display in a sexy (and familiar-looking) body. Today we’re unboxing the device, as well as taking a look at its features and its capabilities.
Cherry Mobile Flare Mate
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 6-inch full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 16-megapixel rear camera, BSI, flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner
- 4000mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
Packaging and contents:
Compared to Cherry Mobile’s other Flare smartphones, the Flare Mate comes in a massive retail box, giving you a hint at the phone’s overall size. The front of the package gives you a preview of the phone inside, while the back lists the phone’s key specs.
Once you open the box you’ll see the Flare Mate (which is pretty massive) as well as the accessories that come with it: a pair of headphones with a flat cable, USB cable, charger and documentation.
Initial Impressions: A familiar face and hopefully a budget price tag
There’s a reason why the phablet of the Flare series was dubbed the Flare Mate: it closely resembles the design of Huawei’s Mate 7, at least when you take a look at the phone from the front. The good news is that the Flare Mate also copied the thin side, top and bottom bezels of the Mate 7 as well. The phone looks really nice, and while the design is a little uninspired, at least the people who designed the phone copied the nice parts of the Mate 7.
One thing that couldn’t be copied is the Mate 7’s all metal body. Cost constraints meant that the Flare Mate had to do with a metal frame and a plastic back instead of a full metal unibody construction. The metal frame gives the phone some heft and there’s a little bit of chamfering on the edges of the frame as well for a nicer feel.
Both the power button and the volume rocker are on the right, while the hybrid SIM/microSD slot is located on the left. The 3.5mm jack is on the top of the phone while the USB port is on the bottom.
Once you flip the phone over you’ll see the plastic, non-removable back of the phone, as well as the 16-megapixel rear camera and the fingerprint sensor right below it.
The phone is still usable even with its large size, in fact it’s as tall as Huawei’s own Mate 8, though the screen-to-body ratio is a bit different.
The Flare Mate uses on-screen Android navigation keys, which further reduces the size of the lower bezel.
Like we mentioned earlier the Flare Mate has a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. It works rather well and doesn’t choose the angle of your finger though it’s not as fast as the ones on phones made by Huawei, OPPO or Samsung.
The Flare Mate uses MediaTek’s tried and tested 1.3GHz MT6753 octa-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. We were a little disappointed with the fact that it only had 2GB of RAM, considering that the smaller-screened Flare Plus had 1GB more.
The phone’s benchmarks looked good – scoring 37745 points which is typical of smartphones using the SoC. We ran a few games to initially test the performance of the phone, which included Need For Speed No Limits, Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5. Need For Speed: No Limits ran well without any issues though the phone exhibited a bit of lag on Modern Combat 5. The phone struggled a little bit with Asphalt 8 on max settings, though dropping the graphical settings of the game a notch made it run smoother.
And that’s it for this unboxing. Cherry Mobile has not announced the official price of the Flare Mate as of yet, though it was leaked to have a sticker price of Php 8,999 last year. Hopefully they drop the price a little bit more when they officially release it to the market in the coming days.