The original Flare X was one of the best phones Cherry Mobile ever released. At the time of release it had an unbeatable specs sheet for the money: lots of RAM, beast of a processor and a good enough camera. It’s no surprise then that even now, it’s still one of the fastest moving products in Cherry Mobile’s store, despite the other phones that the brand launched recently.
Cherry Mobile Flare X2 specs:
- 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
- Adreno 505 GPU
- 4GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD IPS display, Dragon Trail glass protection (front and back), 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
- 16-megapixel rear camera with BSI, AF, LED flash
- 8-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Php 7,999
That’s why any successor to the Flare X needed to be better in every way. While we’re yet to complete our full review of the Flare X2, it feels like Cherry Mobile delivered. But before that, let’s take a look at what’s included in the box when you buy one.
Packaging and contents:
The Flare X2 comes in a box that’s not unlike the one that houses the company’s top-tier phone, the Flare Infinity. That’s a little odd, since product packaging is usually one of the things that differentiates one product line from another.
Anyway, the Flare X2 comes with all the usual stuff, which includes a USB charging cable, headphones USB charger and documentation.
Initial Impressions: Powerful AND sexy
While the Flare X was the best bang-for-the-buck phone at its price range last year, you probably wouldn’t buy it for its looks. There’s no sugar coating it – with a body that’s primarily plastic, it was one homely phone.
That’s not the case with the Flare X2 – this is a handsome phone. The Flare X2 has a metal frame and a body that’s sandwiched in between two panes of Dragontrail glass. It feels heftier too, picking it up you’ll see a distinct difference in weight from the original phone.
The overall design has hints of Sony’s Xperia lineup, but that’s not a bad thing, since those phones look pretty awesome to begin with. With the screen off you’d think that the phone had an edge-to-edge display like its more expensive brother, the Flare Infinity. That illusion goes away when you turn on the display though, replaced by not-so-nice looking black bezels on all sides of the display.
Speaking of the display, the Flare X2 uses a 5.5-inch full HD IPS display that has Dragontrail glass protection. The display looks good aside from those ugly borders, with good viewing angles and color reproduction all around. The phone uses on-screen Android navigation keys.
Going around the device, you’ll see the power button and volume rocker on the right, while the 3.5mm jack is located on top. The left side of the phone houses the microSD/SIM tray, while the USB port sits on the bottom. And while it looks like there are speaker grilles flanking that USB port on the sides, those are just for looks – the real speaker grille is located on the rear. Confusing? Yes.
Flipping the phone over you’ll see the 16-megapixel rear camera with BSI and LED flash tucked in the upper left corner. The round fingerprint sensor sits in the middle, while the aforementioned real speaker grille is located near the bottom.
Overall the phone’s design is a huge improvement compared to last year’s model. Build quality is top notch as well, with no obvious creaks or gaps anywhere around the phone.
Moving into the internals, the Flare X2 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. That processor combo isn’t new to us, and has worked well in other phones like the Cloudfone Next. The SD430 chipset is a solid performer, and is able to handle most Android apps (including heavy gaming apps) without any issue.
With a Snapdragon 430 processor powering the Flare X2 this time around, we’re also more optimistic when it comes to Android updates. Updates for MediaTek-powered phones are slower compared to Qualcomm-powered phones, which is why the original Flare X had issues with its fan base as it aged. Hopefully that won’t happen with the Flare X2, but you never know.
At Php 7,999, Cherry Mobile has once again shown that they’re serious about offering a bang-for-the-buck phone with the Flare X2. The closest phone to the Flare X2’s price is Vivo’s Y55, which is priced at Php 7,990. Even then, the Flare X2 still slays it in screen size, screen resolution, RAM and storage, and the closest locally branded competitor, the CloudFone Next, is priced at a distant Php 9,999.