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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.