We review the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie!

The introduction of Cherry OS and its partnership with Samsung for its cameras helped Cherry Mobile come up with interesting budget-friendly smartphones like the Flare S6 Selfie. Priced at Php 7,999, you also get other features like a fingerprint scanner, 3GB of RAM, USB Type-C, a Full HD display, and an aluminum unibody back. These features are normally found in mid-range smartphones, yet Cherry Mobile managed to incorporate these in their latest budget smartphone offering.

It is interesting to see how the Flare S6 Selfie performs as a budget phone that has a few mid-range features, along with its Samsung cameras. Is the Flare S6 Selfie a hit for Cherry Mobile? Let’s take a quick look at the Flare S6 Selfie’s spec sheet:

 

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie Specs

  • 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6750T octa-core processor
  • Mali T860 MP2 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16GB of expandable storage up to 128GB
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera, Samsung ISOCELL S5K3P3 sensor, LED flash
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera, Samsung ISOCELL S5K3P3 sensor, LED flash
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat, Cherry OS

 

Familiar Cherry Mobile design with a few tweaks

The Flare S6 Selfie shares the same Cherry Mobile Design DNA, with a few tweaks to make it modern. The front has similar design cues from a well-known South Korean brand, especially in the button layout. You have your home and back capacitive keys and a home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The screen is a 5.2-inch full HD IPS display covered in 2.5D glass. On top of the phone, you have your 16-megapixel f/2.0 Samsung ISOCELL camera, along with the earpiece and a LED flash. In between the LED flash and earpiece, you have a blue LED that lights up when you receive notifications and when you are charging the phone.

As for the rear, the Flare S6 Selfie has an aluminum unibody shell, with plastic tabs on the top and bottom. The plastic tabs are where the antenna bands are located. You have your 16-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL camera on the top center portion, with a LED flash right below it. Like the Desire R8, the camera has a significant protrusion, so we recommend to use a case with it to prevent scratches and dings to the camera lens glass.

As for the button and port layout, the Flare S6 Selfie shares the same layout as with the Desire R8. You have your USB-C port, speaker, and microphone on the bottom, a headphone jack on top, power and volume control on the right side, and a SIM tray on the left side. Do note that the Flare S6 Selfie uses a hybrid SIM tray, with the first slot for a MicroSIM, and the second slot for either a second MicroSIM or a MicroSD card.

Gorgeous Full HD display

What makes the Flare S6 Selfie a tempting offer aside from its cameras is the fact that it is equipped with a 5.2-inch Full HD display. That being said, this makes the Flare S6 Selfie one of the more affordable smartphones to have a Full HD display. In real life tests, the display performs well: It is viewable even in direct sunlight and delivers crisp color detail, making it a suitable device for watching videos.

 

Average performance, but can get through with most tasks

Equipped with a MediaTek MT6750T processor along with 3GB RAM, the Flare S6 Selfie is an average performer. Considering how dated is the MT6750T chip, the Flare S6 Selfie managed to score almost 43K in AnTuTu, which is on the average side. On real life tests, the Flare S6 Selfie performs well with multitasking. Shuffling between Facebook, Instagram, web browsing, and taking photos is not a problem with the Flare S6 Selfie, as you can barely notice any lags during multitasking.

However, when it comes to games, one needs to lower their expectations, as the Flare S6 Selfie can run games well at low graphics settings. This is evident based on our recorded benchmark data using GameBench. For Asphalt 8 at max visual settings, it recorded a median FPS of 20, along with a 95% FPS stability.

For Marvel Future Fight at max graphics setting, the Flare S6 recorded a median FPS of 22, with a struggling FPS stability of 51%.

For NBA 2K17 at low visual settings, the Flare S6 managed to score a median FPS of 27, along with a respectable FPS stability at 85%.

 

Cherry OS looks impressive but can be improved further

Among the main selling points of the Flare S6 Selfie is the introduction of Cherry OS. We briefly talked about it in a previous article, and we’re quite impressed at Cherry Mobile’s efforts to introduce their own overlay for their smartphones. Using it was a pleasure and makes you realize how far Cherry Mobile has reached since its founding in 2008.

Aside from a cleaner look and feel, Cherry OS added a few features unique to it, which include Avatar Master, 360 Security, and multiple camera features. We give props to Cherry Mobile for an impressive first-time effort, but we think that they can improve Cherry OS further in the near future. Among the additions I want to see in future versions of Cherry OS is a dedicated music player, as Google Play Music can be buggy at times especially when you play music from a MicroSD card.

 

Undersized battery

Pairing the Flare S6 Selfie’s Full HD display with a 2600mAh battery made it score a battery life of 5 hours and 21 minutes on PCMark’s battery test. This places the Flare S6 Selfie on the below average mark, which is evident with real-life use. During our recent trip to Thailand, we had to juice up the Flare S6 Selfie during the latter half of the day, which involves 4G data turned on 24/7, along with using the Flare S6 Selfie for photography, social media, and internet browsing.

We do think that a 2600mAh is a tad undersized for the Flare S6 Selfie, which explains its below-average battery life result. Fortunately, the Flare S6 Selfie charges up faster than usual because of its USB-C port. One can fully charge the Flare S6 Selfie in around two hours.

 

Impressive camera quality for its price

We have dedicated two articles (first shots in Taiwan and best shots while in Thailand) focusing on the Flare S6 Selfie’s cameras, and it is for a good reason: The 16-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL cameras really get the job done.  From its fast focusing, the way it handles highlights and shadows, to dealing with low-light situations, the Flare S6 Selfie’s cameras do work as advertised.

Getting proper exposure using the Flare S6 Selfie during broad daylight may be a bit tricky, but other than that it is a pretty impressive camera considering the price. A minor suggestion though: We hope Cherry Mobile gives an update to the Flare S6 Selfie to have a Pro mode and support for RAW (*.DNG) shooting.

Here’s another set of photos taken using the Flare S6 Selfie during our trip to Thailand:

A few novel-yet-useful features

Speaking of Cherry OS, the Flare S6 Selfie comes with a number of novel features. Aside from Avatar Mode, Privacy System, Health Guard, and Quick Touch, Cherry OS adds an extra set of features to the Flare S6 Selfie’s camera like Face Cute and time-lapse video. In addition, 360 Security works wonders as it keeps the phone running efficiently. This is evident in playing games, where 360 Security does some work in the background to give a performance boost to your games as much as possible.

Power Master is also a useful app as well: Aside from giving the best possible performance to lengthen your battery life, it notifies you in case your phone runs a bit too hot. In addition, Power Master has a One-Touch cooling down feature to keep the Flare S6 Selfie’s temperatures at bay.

Aside from its cameras, the Flare S6 Selfie has a HiFi chip that enriches your listening experience. A quick toggle of the HiFi at the settings gives life to your music and is best appreciated with 320Kbps MP3s or Lossless audio files. We tried the HiFi chip through a variety of genres (Pop, Rock, R&B, you name it), and it is very impressive for Cherry Mobile to incorporate it on a phone priced below 8K.

 

Verdict: A major step up from Cherry Mobile

For its price and spec sheet, the Flare S6 Selfie is a good budget smartphone. The use of Samsung cameras, along with Cherry OS, made the Flare S6 Selfie a notable contender for the budget smartphone range. While the battery life is not that impressive, its use of USB-C makes it up for it, as it helped the Flare S6 Selfie juice up faster than usual without relying on quick charging.

As a daily user, the Flare S6 Selfie gets the job done. If you want to play games with it, however, you have to make some adjustments to the game’s settings to play it on the Flare S6 Selfie efficiently. Overall, the Flare S6 Selfie is an impressive budget offering from Cherry Mobile, and the introduction of Cherry OS is a peek of good things to come for Cherry Mobile.

 

Check out our other Cherry Mobile-related articles:

All Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Models will be updated to Android Oreo

Cherry Mobile to Launch Flare S6 Max, Flare S6 Power as part of its Q4 2017 Lineup