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Cherry Mobile Flare S8, S8 Pro Hands-on, Quick Review: Reclaiming The Throne

Cherry Mobile is back baby!

Let’s be frank: Cherry Mobile’s recent offerings haven’t been that great. The company, once known for smartphones that severely undercut established foreign brands have themselves been undercut by Chinese competitors like Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO and their ilk.

But that’s changing today: Cherry Mobile has unveiled two aggressively priced smartphones under 10K that’s sure to delight anyone who wants a lot of bang for their buck. It’s hard to ignore the value that these two phones bring to the table, though it’s still unclear if their price tags will be able enough for Cherry Mobile to recapture their past glory.

Flare S8

Pretty on the outside, lots of power on the inside

Both the Flare S8 and the Flare S8 Pro have attractive, gradient backs to try and visually differentiate themselves from their competitors in the budget smartphone segment. Despite retailing for under 6K, both phones have really nice looking rear panels that you typically don’t associate with budget phones.

Flare S8 pro

As pretty as both phones are, both of them use plastic backs, unfortunately, though that’s pretty par for the course for devices in their price category.

Button and port placement is what you’d expect on the S8 Pro with the power and volume buttons placed on the right side of the phone and the speaker and USB Type-C port on the bottom. Sadly, the S8 Pro doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack.

It’s a little unorthodox with the regular S8 though, with the power and volume buttons placed on the left side, and the micro USB port on the top along with the 3.5mm jack.

Both phones have fingerprint scanners on the rear, and both have dual-camera setups as well.

The Flare S8 gets a 13-megapixel rear shooter with a 2-megapixel depth sensor, while the Flare S8 Pro gets a 20-megapixel shooter with a 5-megapixel depth camera.

The Flare S8 Pro is a little taller than the regular version, owing to its slightly larger 6.5-inch HD+ IPS TruView display compared to the S8’s 6.2-inch HD+ panel. Both phones use waterdrop notches on the front. The Flare S8 has a 13-megapixel front camera, while the Flare S8 Pro gets a higher-resolution 20-megapixel selfie shooter.

The Flare S8 gets an Helio P23 chipset with a generous 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage, while the Flare S8 Pro gets an Helio P22 chipset with 64GB of expandable storage.

Those are really good specs for the price. Considering that most budget phones under 5K have 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, Cherry Mobile’s price for the Flare S8 is extremely reasonable. Ditto for the Flare S8 Pro as well – Realme’s C2 has a price that’s comparable at Php 6490, though that’s for the 3GB/32GB version of the phone. The Flare S8 Pro has 1GB more RAM and doubles the storage for less, which is a great deal if you ask us.

While the battery of the Flare S8 is a little low at just 2800mAh, the one of the Flare S8 Pro is impressive, coming in at 4000mAh. Cherry Mobile says that the phone supports fast charging via USB Type-C port as well, though there’s no word on exactly how fast yet (we’ll update this once we get confirmation).

The best part here is that Cherry Mobile removed one of the main pain points of their phone: their custom UI overlay. Both phones will now ship with stock Android 9 Pie out of the box, with only the camera app of the phone customized. If you don’t like the camera app, you’re free to replace it with your own app of choice.

Cherry Mobile’s two new phones are a return to form for the local brand. Both phones have a great mix of the things that people look for in a device with price tags that’ll make even the most ardent Cherry Mobile hater look twice once they’re officially in malls.

In the Flare S8 is priced at Php 3,999, while the Flare S8 Pro is priced at Php 5,999.

Cherry Mobile Flare S8 specs

  • MediaTek Helio P23 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of expandable storage via microSD
  • 6.2-inch HD+ display
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with 2-megapixel depth sensor
  • 13-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint sensor
  • 2800mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie

Cherry Mobile Flare S8 Pro specs

  • MediaTek Helio P22 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of expandable storage via microSD
  • 6.5-inch HD+ display
  • 20-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel depth sensor
  • 20-megapixel selfie camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 4000mAh battery, fast charging
  • Android 9 Pie

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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One Comment

  1. ive been using cm flare s8 pro since january. 2020 then something happens today sep. 11 2020 my flare s8 pro speaker are suddenly drop sounds like the sound that ive hearing is only 2% out of 100% even if all the volume in settings if on all 100% but the speaker is giving a sound 2% how to fix this???

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