We go hands-on with Cherry Mobile’s newest phone!
Cherry is looking to start out the second half of the year strong with their new, mid-range Flare X3. The new phone sports three AI-enabled triple cameras, an attractive body, plenty of RAM and a mid-range processor into a phone that won’t go past the Php 10K mark.
Does Cherry Mobile have another hit on their hands? Find out in our hands-on below:
Hopping on the gradient train
The Flare X3 is one of Cherry Mobile’s most premium smartphones to date. Despite retailing for under Php 10K, the new mid-range phone sports a glass back compared to the plastic-made-to-look-like-glass panels that many mid-range phones possess.
Aside from that glass back, the Flare X3 also uses a gradient pattern on the rear that changes depending on how the light hits it.
While gradient patterns on phones are common nowadays, it’s not something you usually see on the devices of local brands. The Flare X3’s gradient finish transitions from deep red to deep purple depending on where the light hits. And while the color doesn’t pop as much as the ones in other phones, the gradient effect really gives the phone a visual kick compared to other devices in the same price range.
The triple camera module is tucked on the upper left side of the phone’s rear, arranged vertically. There’s no fingerprint scanner on the back, as it’s been repositioned on the frame of the phone on the right, along with the power and volume buttons.
It’s an unusual placement for sure, though phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S10e showed us that side-mounted fingerprint sensors are sometimes more ergonomic than their rear-mounted brethren.
The Flare X3 has a 3.5mm jack and USB Type-C connectivity. The latter is nice to have since it’s oftentimes omitted in phones under the 10K price point.
On the front, you’ll find the 6.18-inch full HD 19:9 display with a traditional notch. After being spoiled by hole-punch and water-drop notches in the past few months, seeing and using a phone with a traditional notch was a bit of an adjustment.
One of the reasons why the Flare X3 has such a large notch is because of the front camera, or should I say cameras: the main front camera is a 20-megapixel shooter complimented by a second 2-megapixel camera. It’s a camera arrangement we’ve seen in the Honor Magic 2, which essentially allows the phone to add convincing bokeh effects to selfies.
Cherry Mobile has taken a page out of Huawei’s playbook for the rear cameras. The main shooter is a 12-megapixel sensor, while the 5-megapixel shooter is a monochrome sensor with the 2-megapixel camera providing depth information.
Cherry Mobile says the addition of the monochrome camera helps in taking more accurate photos and will help in low-light shooting.
Inside the phone beats MediaTek’s Helio P60 chipset, along with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Cherry Mobile’s offering is one of the few phones under the 10K mark that has 6GB of RAM inside of it, which should help the phone’s performance quite a bit.
Android 9 Pie comes with the phone, and according to Cherry Mobile, they’ve cut down pre-installed software because of Google rules to just three. Battery clocks in at 4000mAh, which is pretty big for a phone of its class.
Cherry Mobile hasn’t officially announced pricing for the Flare X3, though we expect it to be under 10K. We’ll have to find out on Friday what the final price is.
Cherry Mobile Flare X3 Specs
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio P60 octa-core processor
- Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- 6.18-inch Full HD+ TrueView IPS display, 19:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 3
- 64GB internal storage, expandable via MicroSD up to 256GB
- Triple rear cameras: 12-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel monochrome camera, and 2-megapixel depth sensor; with PDAF, AI Scene Detection, dual LED flash
- Dual front cameras: 20-megapixel main camera and 2-megapixel depth sensor
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, IR face unlock
- 4000mAh battery
- Android 9 Pie