We check out the vanilla Flare S7!
With Cherry Mobile’s major launch last year with the Flare S7 family, the top-tier Flare S7 Plus took the spotlight. We are not surprised, as the Flare S7 Plus is arguably the best Cherry Mobile phone to date: aside from an Helio P60 processor, you get features like wireless charging, metal and glass build, IR face unlock, and AI-powered dual rear snappers—all for a sub-Php 12k price.
All the praises for the Flare S7 Plus aside, Cherry Mobile made sure to remember its main market, and that is the sub-Php6k market. For this crucial segment, they have the vanilla Flare S7. Priced at a hair under Php 5k for the 3GB variant, the Flare S7 is slightly more expensive than the well-regarded Flare S6, though you get upgrades like a newer processor, dual front and rear cameras, and an 18:9 display.
What’s in the box?
Just like the Flare S7 Plus, you get a white slide-out box with the photo of the phone in front. Inside it, you have the phone itself, documentation, headset, USB-C cable, battery, and charger. The Flare S7 comes with a pre-installed screen protector, though you might want to replace that later on as it is prone to scratches.
Eye-popping Cherry Red color
Our review unit came in red, though annoyingly that glossy finish is a smudge magnet. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wiping that back panel repeatedly throughout the day.
At the back, you have a dual rear camera, an oval-shaped fingerprint sensor, and Cherry Mobile branding right below it. The phone uses a removable rear panel, and opening itreveals two NanoSIM slots, a MicroSD card slot, and a removable 2400mAh battery—a rarity nowadays.
The port layout is the same with the Flare S6: volume and power buttons on the right side, headphone jack on top, and speaker, microphone, and USB-C at the bottom. The latter deserves special recognition, as Cherry Mobile continues to bless its entry-level devices with this modern port instead of the antiquated MicroUSB port that is prevalent even with mid-range phones.
The Flare S7 uses a bigger display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes it a little taller than Cherry Mobile’s other phones. Because of the new aspect ratio, the Flare S7 ditches capacitive buttons for in-display buttons, giving it a modern look. The 18:9 display aspect ratio also means slimmer top and bottom bezels, with the top bezel housing two front cameras.
Quality-wise the Flare S7’s display is the same with the Flare S6: while you get a decent brightness level, colors are less saturated compared to the display of other similarly-priced phones.
Innards better than the Flare S6
With the Flare S7, you get a newer MT6739 processor that has a higher clock speed at 1.5Ghz compared to the 1.3Ghz clock speed of the MT6737 processor used on the Flare S6. The updated processor also gives the Flare S7 support for 5Ghz WiFi networks—a plus as 5Ghz WiFi networks offer better speeds at the expense of shorter range.
The Flare S7 scored around 40k in AnTuTu. We found that the Flare S7 was pretty snappy for a budget phone, though there were a few hiccups when multi-tasking between apps despite having 3GB RAM. It is too early to tell if the MT6739 processor is a good choice, so watch out for our full review to see our verdict on this processor.
Like the Flare S7 Plus, the Flare S7 ditches CherryOS for stock Android. There are a few bloatware apps pre-installed still though, but thankfully you can uninstall some of them to make the most out of the Flare S7’s 16GB internal storage.
A budget phone with four cameras?
You read that right! One of the main selling points of the Flare S7 is its quad camera setup—a rarity for a sub-Php 5k phone. Both front and rear setups consist of a 13-megapixel f/2.4 main camera and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor. On our initial tests, the Flare S7’s cameras are very capable in daylight, producing decent photos with good color reproduction. Check out our first shots below:
As for the camera’s features, you get the usual set like bokeh, panorama, HDR, and monochrome. Both front and rear cameras come with EIS, and you can record Full HD video on the rear camera and HD video on the front camera. Interestingly, you don’t have manual mode or timelapse on the Flare S7, but that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
How much does it cost?
Depending on the variant you are getting, the Flare S7 starts at Php 4,499 for the 2GB version and Php 4,999 for the 3GB version. There are only a few brands that offer phones in the sub-Php 5k price segment, and the Flare S7 appears to be a solid contender for what it has to offer.
Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Specs
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6739 quad-core processor
- PowerVR GE8100
- 3GB RAM
- 5.5-inch HD+ TrueView 18:9 Display
- 16GB internal storage, expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 13-megapixel f/2.4 and 2-megapixel f/2.4 rear cameras with PDAF, LED flash
- 13-megapixel f/2.4 and 2-megapixel f/2.4 front cameras with LED flash
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type-C, face unlock
- 2400mAh battery
- Android Oreo 8.1