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Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Review: A Prototype?

Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Review!
Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Review!

Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Review

The Cherry Mobile Bolt is probably the hottest topic right now in local tech talk. Priced at Php3,999, the tablet boasts of running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box combined with a quad-core processor. That definitely screams value! However you might have to manage your expectations a bit with the Bolt. They used a different processor which is technically quad-core but it’s not the same with other devices with more known chipsets like Qualcom and ARM. We talked to Cherry Mobile about this and they told us that the device we have isn’t 100% final yet. The unit that will come out in the market in March will have more optimized software.

With that please take this review with a grain of salt. I’m not sure what the differences are between the unit that we have now and the commercial device that comes out in March. 🙂

Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Spec Sheet

  • 1GHz A9 Quadcore Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 7-inch HD IPS Capacitive Touchscreen
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • 2-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 4,000mAh Battery
  • Comes in black or white
  • SRP: Php3,999

Doesn’t feel cheap, display quality and brightness are outstanding

cherry mobile fusion bolt 2

The Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt DOES NOT feel like or look like a tablet that was bought for Php3,999. It can easily pass off as a device with twice the value. This is due to two things: the design of the back and the quality of the display. First up let’s talk about the back plate. They used some sort of rubberized finish which reminds me a lot of the back of the Asus Google Nexus 7.

The Fusion Bolt has all the main ports at the side which include: microSD slot, micro USB, HDMI, headphone jack, and the power cable. At the top you’ll find the controls for power lock and the volume rocker.

Sexy back. Woot.
Sexy back. Woot.

Equally impressive is the display. The Fusion Bolt has a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels which is very competitive. This is the same resolution as the Nexus 7. Images, text, and colors are sharp, crisp, and detailed, especially if you jack up the brightness.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt gives you much more than what you paid for it.

Performance can be sluggish at times mainly due to processor

Prototype specs
Prototype specs

Now this is the part where the review becomes tricky. Like what we mentioned earlier, the Cherry Mobile Bolt unit we have is supposed to still be a prototype. However we don’t know what changes will be made from the unit we have to the commercial unit. That said what we can only do is give you our review based on the unit we have right now. We’ll do a follow-up later on when we get our hands on the new one.

To kick things off, here’s the Antutu benchmark test results.

Underwhelming X_X
Underwhelming X_X

As you can see the Fusion Bolt’s numbers are underwhelming. In fact they’re kinda dismal. From what we gather the score is low due to the processor, GPU, and the RAM. This unit runs on a quad-core Cortex A9-based Actions Semiconductor ATM7029 processor which is a brand that I’ve never really heard of before. The same can be said brand of the graphics card. For the RAM the app says that it actually just runs on 716MB RAM and not 1GB which is kinda puzzling.

The combination of the CPU, GPU, and less-than-1GB RAM results in lackluster performance. Transitions and animations are sluggish and slow. Graphics intensive apps like games can’t run on high settings (they struggle with Medium settings too). I ended up getting frustrated because the display was so nice and yet it was so slow. :/

Ever so dependable Temple Run
Ever so dependable Temple Run

I won’t get into heavy detail but the performance issue persists in almost everything you do – browsing, social networking, etc.

Verdict

As far as prototypes are concerned, the one we have is definitely sorely lacking. We hope that the final unit will be able to live up to it’s “quad-core” billing. It is absolutely critical for Cherry Mobile to make sure that the Fusion Bolt does well in benchmark tests and the over-all user experience is fast. The Php4,000 price tag is not an excuse for compromised performance especially when you market it as having 4x the speed.

Let me end on a positive note. The Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt has a lot of potential. The chasis is good, the display is gorgeous, and the price point is game changing. They seriously just need to optimize the hardware and the software so that it performs much better.

We wait with bated breath for the final unit to come out. We will definitely make it a point to get one so we can do a final and definitive review.

Waiting with bated breath (Ang lalim. Ibig sabihin niyan ay nervously waiting)
Waiting with bated breath (Ang lalim. Ibig sabihin niyan ay nervously waiting)

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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4 Comments

  1. there is discussion in one forum that the processor used ( ATM7029 ) is actually Cortex A5 based and not A9… that might explain why it is slow…

  2. Everyone eyeing the Fusion Bolt should consider that not just because it is a Quad Core tablet it will perform based on their expectation of how fast a quad core device is.

    The chip makers (Samsung for Exynos, Nvidia for Tegra, Qualcom for Snapgradon) spend a lot of money for Research and Development (R&D) to design those chips and pay engineers to optimize them. Those companies pass on the cost of R&D to the consumers by increasing the prices of their products. In a sense, you actually get what you pay for.

    Smaller and less known companies don’t spend as much in developing their chips which results to lower component costs in cheap tablets and lower overall price.

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