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Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 Hands-on, First Impressions: A New Breed Of Game Changers

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 04
Flare S4 on the right, Flare 4 on the left

We go hands-on Cherry Mobile’s newest Flare devices!

Whenever we talk about Cherry Mobile’s Flare series of phones, the term game-changer gets tossed around a lot. Why shouldn’t it? Cherry Mobile’s offerings, specifically the Flare series has almost always been game-changers in the local market: the Flare 3 shattered the illusion that a quad-core smartphone with 1GB of RAM should be priced higher than 4K and the Flare X managed to successfully challenge the bang-for-the-buck offerings of international brands. It’s no surprise then that the company is rolling out two new phones that challengeΒ the term bang-for-the-buck, and if what we’ve seen so far is any indication, both of these phones are the very epitome of the term.

Cherry Mobile Flare S4

  • 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 specs

  • 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 S4 and Flare 4 09
Flare S4 on the left, Flare 4 on the right

Initial Impressions: unbelievable combination of specs, build quality and materials

When you start moving into the realm of 5K budget smartphones, you usually have to start making compromises – important ones – to be able to reach the price point you’re shooting for. Either you skimp out on the specs to get a phone that’s nice to look at, or you go with cheap, generic plastic bodies and max out the specs. Cherry Mobile has seemingly done the impossible with the Flare S4 and the Flare 4 – they’ve managed to offer elegant, premium-looking phones that have the same specs as the already stellar Flash 2 and in a price that’s usually associated with LTE-less octa-core smartphones.

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 02

While the Flare S4 and the Flare 4 are different devices, that’s only the case on the outside – the Flare S4 has a more masculine, angular build while the Flare 4 has a nicer, curved exterior. Whatever phone you choose, both devices utilize metallic frames that have beveled edges for a cleaner, more elegant look, and both phones use physical capacitive keys for navigation.

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 07

There are minor differences, of course – the Flare S4 for example, has the volume rocker and power button on the right side, while the Flare 4 has the power button on the right and the volume rocker on the left. The Flare S4 splits the 3.5mm jack and USB port to the top and bottom of the phone, while the Flare 4 has both of them up top. Unlike their bigger brother, the Flare S4 and 4 have removable backs and batteries.

[UPDATE: Cherry Mobile has updated the back of the Flare S4 with a premium designed back, similar to that of ASUS’ Zenfone 2 Deluxe.]

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 13

Both devices use MediaTek’s MT6753 octa-core processor running at 1.3GHz paired with 2GB of RAM. The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that this is the same configuration for Alcatel’s Flash 2. The phones also have LTE on board, and have 16GB worth of storage that can further be expanded by a microSD card. Both phones are also running on Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 11

As far as actual use, both devices are quick and responsive, and there’s little bloatware to slow the phone down. While we were unable to run AnTuTu benchmarks on them, you can expect them to score around the same as the similarly configured Flash 2.

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 and Flare 4 03

At Php 4,999, Cherry Mobile’s new budget Flare phones are the new benchmark for phones at the Php 4,999 mark. The company has managed to offer a no-compromise device at a very, very compelling pricepoint that’s hard to ignore. We’ll have to see in our full review if there’s a catch somewhere, or if these two phones are truly hype-worthy.

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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83 Comments

  1. They don’t have the same specs. Alcatel Flash 2 has bigger battery capacity (AF2 – 3000mAh vs Flare 4/S4 – 2100mAh), dual tone, dual led flash for the rear camera, and led flash for the front-facing camera. But I guess those missing features justify the price difference between the two phones (AF2 – 6190php vs Flare 4/S4 – 4999php).

    1. I don’t* get it po, cguro couple’s phone po, and tignan nyo ung front panel, magkaiba. kita mo ung black bezel sa flare s4? compre sa flare 4? nakakabad3p tignan sa flare s4 kasi ang kapal, maybe i’ll stick to my flare s3power nlng muna, tagal pa malowbat.

      1. maganda talaga ang flare s3 power. kaso, because of its nonremovable battery, ayun, unusable na nung minsang mabasa ang phone ko. πŸ™

  2. Very tempting. But the trade off would be the sheer number of idiots able to afford these who will inundate the Facebook groups with their dumbass questions. Fortunately wala na talaga akong planong bumili ng HD phone. Need higher res na.

  3. The CM G1 already has fairly identical specs (same RAM, display, 16GB storage, sure the SD 410 is slower, but it’s SO MUCH more developer friendly.) Oh, and 6.0 Marshmallow.

    Huwag magpaloko. I’m just saying, the G1 is clearly the better phone of the three.

    1. Halos 10 touch screen na nabili ko over the years. A slow phone is a slow phone. I’d rather shoot myself than contribute to overpriced, under-engineered piece of American garbage. Besides, those glorious Mediatek octacores are used by other brands as well like Lenovo, Huawei and Alcatel. They will eventually get Marshmallow.

      1. Nope. Mediatek won’t release the kernel and source necessary to update the current phones to Marshmallow. They’d rather force you to buy a new phone with an identical chipset that actually runs Marshmallow. THAT’s how they do it.

        1. Yes, I am. My first 3 touchscreen phones were actually branded (2 Samsung and 1 Alcatel) after buying local brands more than two years ago I’ve never looked back. Of the five local androids I’ve bought I’ve never been to service centers so far. But if I were you I’d wait for the SKK Ding Ding 7.

          1. hmmm…. makes me think twice about local brands.. actually takot talaga ko bumili ng local brand because hesistant ako pagdating sa quality eh.. i have used samsung several times pero lagi akong disappointed.. sony naman is too expensive that’s why i’m considering the cheaper brands.

  4. The battery capacity is the game changer. 2100mAh battery really? my xiaomi mi3 is already at 3050mAh and this was released last year.

  5. worried about those batteries though. screen size and resolution notwithstanding, same hardware sila ng meizu m2 note.. and i got to say if there’s something i’d like that phone to be better with, its got to be the battery endurance. 3100mah na nga siya and i just barely get thru the day.

  6. ANG ISA SA MAJOR TURN OFF PARA SAKIN NG MGA PHONE “black bezels for white phone” yung kibali para mag mukha lang manipis ang bezel ng isang phone pero may black bezel naman pala..tsk.. maganda na sana ang specs ang design lanh..?

  7. Bumili ako ng Flare 4 kahapon. After some common house cleaning ang initial charging of 4 hours you’ll feel that the unit is lacking battery life(obviously) bilis ma drain ng batt kahit wala pa yung mga social net apps. If ever you can afford flash 2 that’s the better option than this. Pero satisfied ako sa 5k php ko hehehe.

    1. I bought CM Flare S4 last month from my co-worker mas cheaper. And then, because of my carelessness ayun nahul0g.. Napansin ko after ng major pagkahulog.. Unreponsive na yung touch pad nya tsaka then the lag comes. Nakakairit yung pag maglalag sya kasi hindi k0 makapgtype masyado. Bilis masira pala

  8. flare4 maganda ang design like iphone6 piro madali lang ma drainbatery nya…sana mag karo on na ng case ang flare 4…..

    1. I bought my flare s4. Almost 2months pa lang. Never ko pang na try iconnect thru wifi. Twice ko plng na try sa data ko, while downloading songs kagabi bigla nag shutdown yung phone. Kinailangan ko pang alisin ang battery kasi ayaw ng mag On. Pag open ng phone meh notif na eWarranty was removed??
      Sinubukan kong iupdate yung phone nung nag On na, Wala naman notif na risky ang pag update Camera issue Fix daw?! kaya push ko na. after nun meh issues na ayaw magsend ng txt messages pero meron naman signal so need ko off/on inisip ko baka sa Network provider ko lang ang problem. Nwawala rin sounds ng games minsan. Pero now ayAw ng mGplay ng mga songs pati videos. Online at offline. I tried na palitan mga songs ayaw na tlgang mG play. Can someone help me? Hindi ba magandang mag Update ng phone? Thanks po

      1. .. set up mo time and date. dahil jan din ako nag kaka problema. pag hnd nka set mag kaka problema tlga . try mo lng wala nmng mangyayare. haha

  9. since i am not the kind to splurge huge amounts on a smart phone that will eventually be outdated in time,i am really looking for an affordable phone but with quality and competitive enough to meet my needs. this CM Flare S4/4 seems to have competitive specs. all i am wondering is the quality? i don’t trust the quality of CM. anyone who can give recommendations? budget:php5k-8k. 2gb ram (or any that won’t lag/hung), 16gb rom, and quality cam. anyone? πŸ˜€

  10. may plano ho akung bumili nito pero im worried kasi clumsy kasi ako baka isang hulog lang nito mag crack agad yung screen..

  11. experienced problem after they release camera fix… drains fast and auto-shutdown… lock screen does not respond..several times i have to remove the battery to recover the phone..

  12. I bought CM Flare S4 yesterday. I have heard maganda daw ang performance nito. The price is affordable. What makes me worry is its battery life. 50% ang battery life nito nung binili ko kahapon. Nalobat ito this morning. I charged the batt for over 2.5 hours. Wala pa man akong ginagawa, eh 85% na agad ito. πŸ™ It feels like hindi sulit ang binayad ko. Plus I’m having a hard time to connect with wi-fi.. huhuhu! Sadya bang MAHIRAP MAKA-CONNECT sa WIFI ang CM Flare s4? Thanks!

    1. Talagang mabilis ma drain ang batery ng phone na to, Thats why kinailangan ko pa na laging dala ang aking power bank mapa office man o sa labas ng baha… Wi-Fi actually wala naman pong problema sa pag connect nito sa wi-fi base from my experience lang naman. πŸ™‚

  13. yah, madali talaga syang malowbat khit hndi mo gamitin, nakakalungkot, dpat lagi mo dala ang charger mo o kya may reserve kang power bank,

  14. yung flare s4 ko.. sira kaagad ang screen nya.. mabilis uminit if nagcharge tapos yung screen may lines sya tapos nawawala nmn tapos bumabalik. anu kaya prob nun.. wla pa month akin s4

  15. Im so disappointed with my flare s4.ung unang nabili ko 2 days palang nag automatc shut down na taz di ko na maopen so binalik ko pinalitan nila ung unit cheneck ko dun sa outlet ok nmn xa pero di pa nag iisang oras nagka line na xa sa screen…nkakairita kc di na pwede mgchange unit in the 2nd time kesyo ippdala dw sa main taz ano mg aantay ng 3-6 monts…so dsappointing kc prang nagspend ka ng money sa wala1!!!kya ako no to cherry mob. Na….

  16. i buy flare s4 last week .. den nlaglag sia kahapon ayun nag crack ung screen khit my metal case na sia .. pero soft touch prin sia .. khit nag ka crack ung screen nia..

  17. bakit ganun hindi naman na ako makasend sa mga promo kahit anung sim gamitin ko hindi naman na ako makasend., like sa 8888 sa globe ndi ako mkasend., matagal ndi ko kasi mahinap kung nablock ko ba oh hindin please help naman.,

  18. Ayaw mag charge ng flare s4 ng papa ko. Kbibili nya lng pang FB nya at pang youtube pag wla syang gingwa.. Kaso ayaw magcharge after ng ilang linggo.. Bigla nlng naging ganun.. Pero 0% lumlbs then mmtay tas llbas ulit 0%… Sabi n ganto mangyyare pag bumili kami ng cherry.. Buti n lng tlga hnd ganto nbili ko n callphone ko.. Nakakayamot lng.

  19. I have a Flare S3 Lite and so far, it never failed me. For an 1800 mAh phone, okay naman sya. I’m planning to upgrade it to Flare S4. I am a Samsung fan but ever since I used this brand, I always had 2nd thoughts on buying an expensive phone with the same specs as Cherry Mobile has.

    Note: (I still have me Cosmos X – still working!)

  20. I have my s4plus for 4 months astig sarap gamitin even the battery OK din I’m watching YouTube via 3g for 8 hours Hindi pa din nalolowbat..sulit..thumbs up

    1. Yung sakin hindi na shutdown… Cguro hindi mo sinunud yung details??? Dapat kasi 30% up yung battery… Tapos wag e charge diba??? Successfull yung sakin eh.. First is yung fix for the cam, 2nd update is yung android version,. Ok naman eh.. W8 lang po ako sa marshmallow update!

  21. Both of cm flare 4 and s4 are dragon trail glass,, while the flash2 is not, also my battery is not 2100, its 2200.. But its good enough, tagal nga ma lowbat eh.. Kahit marami akung apps! 2 times a day lang po ako nag chacharge ok naman cya, flare s4 po sakin. Ok naman. Kaso hindi pa umabot dito yung delux chases, cguro bibili nalang ako ng cover na delux chases kung meron… πŸ™‚ im one of the fans of cherry mobile! Tnx..

  22. ang sabi dragon glass, scratch free…..
    pero yung sakin nagkascratch ng hindi ko man lang alam,
    ang laki pa,,,

    tapos this time, nag shutdown… hindi na ma open…
    wtf… punta na naman ako nito sa center…

  23. confirmed……….. shittttt… me factory defect…..
    matagal na naman makuha ung un it nito… nakakainis,,,

  24. ang problema sa mga flare mdali masira ang wifi at blutooth…and take note ha…pag nasira ang wifi or bluetooth ….DI NAPO SYA NAGAGAWA KAHIT KANINONG EXPERT NYO DALIN..HALOS NAIKOT KO NA LAHAT NG PAGAWAAN SA METRO MANILA WALA NAKAGAWA….kaya pag nasira wifi goodbye kna sa wifi…pero pde pa nman sya sa data txt at tawag……YAN ANG SAKIT NG MGA FLARE SO BEWARE…ewan ko lng sa ibang brand…

  25. Just bought one flares4 today. Very disappointed with the camera. 13MP? My old nokia 2MP phone takes better pictures than this. But then 5k lang to. Ayaw kasi nila maglagy ng demo unit sa stores nila kaya di ko matest beforehand

    1. Parang lahat ng nabasa kong issue dito di ko naman naexperience… 2 mos. Na flare s4 ko smooth na smooth pa din… Nakakalimang hulog na di naman nag loloko.. Binabalibag pa ng baby ko… Wifi astig. Kahit data connectivity laging 4g pag naka waze ako. Yung battery okay din. Kahit charge naglalaro pa ako. Mas okay pa to sa samsung. At kahit malaos, di masakit sa bulsa. Haha

  26. Just Got my Flare S4 premium build as described

    smooth na smooth sa games and other editing and video editing via android

    possible issue kolang is the battery, but there will always be a powerbank naman πŸ™‚

    At yun lang.. dissapointment lang is the Camera kahit sabihin na 13MP para namang kuha sya ng 5MP or 2MP kulang sa clarity

    Screen nya. malinaw and hindi masakit sa mata if ever you plan to watch movie with it

    Pero kahit ano pa, satisfied ako sa FS4

  27. san pde bumili ng lcd nbasag kc ung skin ung branch nmn s sm dc bumili nlng dw ng bago anung klaseng service yan e s gs2 ko paus nlng at pplitan e ngkaron p ngreplacement

  28. Maganda naman ang flare s4, no issues naman ako sa buong pag gamit ko, 10 months na siya nasakin, and smooth padin talaga kahit punong puno na ung storage ko ng music and images, maganda din ang cam para sakin idk, kaso nakadalawang pagawa nako kase pagkabagsak niya wasak agad sira touchscreen kahit wala pang kalahati 0.5ft ung binagsakan.. hay πŸ™

    1. Ganyan dinnan nangyari sa FS4 ng hubby ko. After nunlatest update netong nakaraang, nagrerestart sya ng kusa kapag nakalock screen. Finactory reset namin sya, ayun natanggal naman. May bug siguro sa update nila ngayon. Nung una akala namin sira lock button e.

  29. pa help naman flare s4 plus ung sakin hindi nya ma detect ung otg ko nka 32gb internal memory card ako and i want to use an extra storage via otg but hindi nya madetect dahil kaya nka 32gb na ko?tnx po

  30. so far so good naman ung sakin mag 1 year ko na sya gamit, sa battery naman uhm.. madaling malowbat, kaya ayun, binilhan ko nlng sya ng modified battery.. πŸ™‚

  31. bakit ganun ung flare s4 ko nung una nag hahang tapos mamaya maya di ko na sya maopen black screen peronakikita ko parin ung wifi wala na din ung start button taposs may locked icon s ataas πŸ™ pa help naman po πŸ™

  32. ang panget ng camera ng s4 badtrip tama yung isang nag comment jan na hnd kc cla magdemo para mlaman kung malinaw oh hnd dati naman ang linaw ng flare s3 ko sobra 13mp din bkt ito s4 13mp din magkaiba clang quality ng cam pagdating sa pictures!!!!

  33. Hi. Okay naman yung Flare S4. Ang kaso lang sakin, bakit pag ino-off ko, lagi nagrerestart? Hindi ko ma-charge ng full kapag naka-on, gusto ko rin sana mg factory reset, pero andaming mawawala eh. πŸ™

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