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Cherry Mobile Magnum S Review: Another Solid Octa-core Offering from CM

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We review Cherry Mobile’s striking Magnum S!

Before we all get swept up in Pulse fever, we have to step back and take a look at Cherry Mobile’s other octa-core offerings, like the Magnum S. We’ve been using this octa-core smartphone ever since Cherry Mobile handed it to around a week ago, and we’re pretty impressed with it so far. While it’s comparatively more expensive than the brand’s recently announced Pulse octa-core smartphone, the Magnum S brings style and substance to the table, something that people will take notice when they actually see the device up close and personal.

Cherry Mobile Magnum S specs

  • 1.7GHz octa-core processor
  • Mali-450MP GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of storage
  • 18-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera with LED flash
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, USB OTG
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 2300mAh non-removable battery
  • Php 9,999

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A plastic body with a metallic finish good enough to fool almost everybody

When people first see the Magnum S, they assume two things: 1) it’s a smartphone by an international brand and 2) it utilizes an aluminum shell. Both are false, obviously, as the Magnum S actually uses a plastic body that has a stainless steel metallic finish. The application of the metallic finish is nicely done, and even though it usually gets shoved in our pants pocket with keys, coins and all manner of sharp things, the finish has proven to be a tough one, and has not peeled off or flaked off at all.

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One of the main things that’ll clue you in that it’s not a metal-bodied smartphone is its weight – while it’s hefty, it’s still comparatively lighter than other smartphones that use a metal shell. The overall design of the Magnum S lends itself well to being handled, as it has curved sides and a contoured back, adding to the already premium feel of the device. As far as physical controls go, the volume rocker is on the left side, with the power button located on the top. The 3.5mm jack and USB port is on the top and bottom, respectively.

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The SIM card slots are located on both sides of the phone (full sized SIM on the left, micro SIM on the right). Unfortunately, there’s no allocation for a microSD card, so you’re left with only 16GB of storage (actually 12.7GB, after the OS and all the miscellaneous stuff). The good news is that the Magnum S can take USBs via OTG, so you can shuffle around files when you need to.

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Like other, more affordable octa-core smartphones, the Magnum S uses a 5-inch, HD IPS display protected with Gorilla Glass 3. The display is nice and bright, and has great color reproduction, as well as excellent viewing angles. The Android navigation keys reside right below the display, and light up when needed.

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Octa-core performance, through and through

It was obvious before we even started benchmarking the Magnum S that it would post excellent numbers in synthetic benchmarks. The 1.7GHz octa-core processor utilized by the Magnum S has been paired with a relatively sedate HD display, putting less strain on the CPU to render images on the 5-inch display. The result is 27252 points in AnTuTu, which is quite impressive, managing to overtake the score of the more powerful Omega Infinity.

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Because of this, the Magnum S is a certified gaming powerhouse, and was able to plow through most Android games without any issues, even with graphics set on high. Since the Magnum S only uses an HD display, lag is almost non-existent, and couple with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, makes the device a pleasure to use.

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Good performance out of the 18-megapixel camera

Cherry Mobile has been slowly changing its reputation of having lackluster camera modules on its devices, and the Magnum S is no different.

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The camera managed some great shots even in low light (the photos of the artwork was taken in the Yuchenco museum without  the aid of the LED flash), which is great news for mobile photography buffs. The front facing camera isn’t too shabby either.

Excellent longevity out of the 2300mAh battery

One of the main issues with octa-core powered smartph0nes is battery life. MediaTek’s octa-core processor isn’t known to be an energy efficient one, so battery life is always a concern. Potential buyers of the Magnum S can rest easy – the device managed to post excellent battery endurance, going as long as 13 hours on a single charge, with light to moderate use. With heavy use, the device managed to last around 10 hours.

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Very compelling smartphone, but overshadowed by Cherry Mobile’s own product

The Magnum S is a very solid octa-core offering from Cherry Mobile, giving users a solid octa-core smartphone with a design that can stand toe-to-toe with international brands. There’s just one problem though – it’s currently being overshadowed by the company’s own Pulse, which is several thousand pesos cheaper and basically has the same specifications. Still, the Magnum S is a smartphone you might want to take a look at in person if you’re shopping for a nice looking smartphone and have extra cash in your wallet.

 

 

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.

32 Comments

  1. Seriously they need to slash Php2k off its suggested retail price asap,or fail miserably
    Alam kong gasgas na ito pero, langit at lupa ang agwat nila kay Xiaomi Mi3

    1. puro kau mi 3,hirap naman mkabili ng xiaomi products dito,lazada at plan sa smart lang. panu seseriosohin ng tao ang xiaomi kung puro online lang stores nila? magtayo muna sila ng brick and mortar stores dito,saka ako maniniwala sa kanila. til then international brands na lang bibilhin ko,me service warranty price naman. 🙂

  2. I agree with King Jom-Un. If CM would like to sell their high-end devices, better check the competition first. Xiaomi Mi3 is still the cheapest around there.

  3. “There’s just one problem though – it’s currently being overshadowed by the company’s own Pulse, which is several thousand pesos cheaper and basically has the same specifications.” That’s how you can see if a company is drunk and disorganized. They keep cannibalizing their own products by introducing new gadgets. It worked for Samsung but not forever. No uniformity, just throw all these substandard units in the market and let chances take the selling. This is one of the reasons why android will lose it’s integrity. No matter what improvements they make, bad manufacturers are tarnishing their credibility.

    1. They are always hitting the panic button every time na may threat sa market, and this is the result.
      I don’t actually see it as a bad thing though, in the end ,consumers always win.

      Now I hope the era for OVERPRICED Octa devices will completely end once and for all.
      Local brands should just stop at the PHP8k bracket and have pity for themselves.

      1. Yeah, totally agreed on this one. I wouldnt like to spend 10k or more on a local smartphone, might as well save a few bucks more to buy international brands which have the proper customer service and device durability.

        1. this is the very psychology that prevents Filipino companies, from catapulting with the big leagues . . . “i wouldn’t spend 10k or more for a local brand…” . . and i’m not talking about the phone companies only, but this applies for any Filipino brands and companies.

          imagine you’re a Korean in South Korea, Samsung and LG would be considered “LOCAL BRANDS”, but why is that Samsung and LG have become internationally big? it’s because of their LOCAL SUPPORT, Koreans would still shell out 20-30k for a “LOCAL BRAND”, Samsung and LG’s factories are still in China, the very same factories that produces phones of Cherry Mobile, Starmobile, Myphone and others

          people will always argue that a 25k Samsung is worth it but a 10k up Cherry would be not because the 25k Samsung has better features, durability and service . . . . OF COURSE IT WILL HAVE BETTER FEATURES IT HAS A 25K PRICE TAG . . . the only reason why Local phones offer less features than the bigger companies is because once they go beyond 10k, consumers tend to be turned off, because “local” still equates to “poor quality” which is a total myth, and you CAN’T expect Cherry to produce the very same Galaxy S5s or Notes with a lower price tag, the parts and technology will always bring up the price, a Samsung quality camera for a phone will always be more expensive than a more affordable one, and if placed in a phone will of course bring up the price significantly, or else the company will go bankrupt just to make sure they are the “most affordable” because they care about the middle to lower income earners.

          1. exactly. natawa ako sa comment ng isa jan, “i wouldnt spend 10k in a local brand.” they forget that back then a 10k priced phone was already mindblowing,and they wouldnt mind spending that muchwhether it was local branded or not. masyado spoiled mga tao ngayon sa local phones. pag applenaman on the other hand..

  4. Why is it that CM stores don’t have a demo unit of magnum s in their stores? They will just show you the box which is inside the display cabinet. I was told by their staff that they will open the box for paid units only. Seems that they are not confident on the quality of products they sell.

      1. well i guess, umiiwas lang din kasi sila sa mga try lang ng try ng unit but in the end hindi naman bibili… xempre kung ikaw nagbebenta ka ng product ayaw mong ipatry sa mga tao products mo kung hindi naman sila sure na bibili kasi once na buksan nila ang isang unit from the box, hindi na nila mabebenta un… mostly ung mga hindi nagpapatry ng demo unit i guess ay mga franchise stores kasi xempre every unit binayaran nila un… 🙂

    1. Too bad I didn’t read the reviews for magnum s before buying. I got a blank screen now. Wala pang 1 month. Does anybody know how to deal with this issue? Sarado mga service centers since holiday.

  5. At last, meron na kong maipapalit sa Omega HD 2.0 ko after more than 1 year of usage hahaha. So far never ako nakaexperience ng problem sa OHD 2.0 ko and then ngaun octacore na at premium pa ang dating nitong Magnum S, not to mention ung front cam nya nag improve na din at may flash pa… Getting better na ang products ng CM. Nice! I don’t really care about the brand kasi as long as masatisfy ang desires ko sa unit na gusto ko ayos ako. We don’t buy gadgets naman just to boast about the price or the brand, we buy them to help us fulfill our needs and wants na din. Anyway, thanks po sa helfpful and nice review author! (^w^)–b

  6. I got a black screen too. and It made me uncomfortable with this. I hate it. Now, I need to go to their service center for replacement. TSsssk. Just 6 days!

  7. dead set na din ung magnum S ko after six days din. nabili ko ng dec.14, den ayaw na magcharge after malobat dis pm lang. ang tagal ko pa naman pinag-ipunan ung 7k. sana pasok pa sa 7 days warranty as sunday bukas. tagal ko din nireview ung unit na ito sa net, ako pa natsambahan sa defect

  8. despite the apprehension, i bought my magnum s October last year. It suddenly went dead yesterday. I’m not yet ready to part ways with it. i have given the phone one year to operate. 3 months is just unacceptable. what a waste of money.

  9. mine too. bought it dec 29, 14.. ngayon lang ayaw na mag on.. biglang nag sudden shut off after mag call ng client ko. i thought na lowbat lang.. chnarge ko.. after 2 hrs. kukunin kona siya at ioopen… ayaw padin mag on.
    daming files at contacts dito that i really needed in my work. laking abala kung matatagalan kaya ayoko bumili ng ibang brand e. maliban sa samsung at iphone n subok ang quality.

  10. Anung siomay mi3???

    Hehe ang bagal kaya nyan natest ko n yan at nabuksan ko na ang luob nyan mga pyesa nakita ko narin..

    ..ngpapaniwala nman kayo sa mga ngmamagaling n mga IT. Nung college ako tanung lang nman ng tanung samin yang mga yan para sa assignment nila.

    .. hindi porket 2.3Ghrz. “Quad Core” ay mabilis na, 4x-Cpu lang paren yan At my Adreno-330 GPU IPS Display lang Ang Xiaomi Mi3. Mababa pa yan..

    Di katulad sa gawang pinoy.. CM Magnum-S ay kargado ng “Octa Core” 8x-Cpu faster 1.7Ghrz…at Mali-450 GPU High Definition Display. Para sakin panalo ang cherry mobile magnum s.

    Eto pa kinumpara ko sreen display ng magnum s sa samsung S4 ng kaibigan ko napahiya ang s4 nya side by side mong tignan and amoled display nya wala sa ayos nagiiba ang kulay ng pictures at videos,,, mas malinaw ang magnum s at mas bright colours “360”degrees side by side mong tignan clears display parin di masakit sa mata importante yan.. Try nyong subukan para malaman nyo.

  11. I have a magnum s pero sira battery niya, paano kya to mapapaltan? di ba po non removable ang battery ng magnum s?

  12. Same problem I got, maglalaro sana ako ng game pero nagblack and white ang screen at nagshut down hangang ngayun ayaw mag open di nmn lobat. May nagpagawa na ba sa servicw ano sabi? Feb ko lanh binili to.

  13. Magnum S???
    7x nag-shutdown at 7x din ako bumalik sa service center ng cherry mobile sa sm annex…
    Sa awa ng diyos hanggang ngayon wala pa din sa akin yung phone ko…
    More than a month na ako naghihintay but until now walang update…
    Cherry mobile, I demand for a new unit for replacement!
    Or replace my magnum S of flare x or flare s4 plus!

  14. Nasira ang magnun s ko nadapa kasi ko at napatapon ito at nabagsak sa semento nabasag ang ang screen at hindi na nagpapfunction yung ilang keys. san ako makakabili ng setscreen/lcd? please help.

  15. I’m here again…
    Haist…
    Binalik ko nanaman yung magnum s ko sa service center ng CM sa SM north edsa annex…
    May sariling isip na yung screen kasi ang hirap na nga magtype dahil nagloloko nanaman yung screen…
    Haist…
    Nagsisisi ako kung bakit CM pa binili ko…

  16. Isa’t kalahating taon ko na gamit yung sa akin at maayos pa rin ang performance. Ang problem lang ay nababakbak yung casing.

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