We check out Cherry Mobile’s latest budget phone!
While Cherry Mobile was the first local brand to launch Android Go phones with the Flare P3 series, they still made sure to have one phone in their budget lineup that comes with regular Android 8.1 Oreo. Priced at a hair under Php 5k, the Omega HD Duo is one of the cheapest phones out there that comes with Android Oreo. But with multiple competitors creeping in the same price range, can Cherry Mobile’s new budget phone hold its own?
What is it?
The Cherry Mobile Omega HD Duo is Cherry Mobile’s latest budget phone. Unlike the previously-announced Flare P3 series, the Omega HD Duo sports a metal frame, dual rear cameras, and Android 8.1 Oreo.
How does it look?
The Omega HD Duo is one thicc boi. Part of its heft is due to the solid aluminum frame, which looks elegant and premium with its chamfered sides. The only things interrupting the nice-looking aluminum frame are the plastic strips for its antennas. While the Omega HD Duo is on the heavy side, it is easy to grip the phone because of how the sides are designed.
The phone is solidly built, and the removable rear panel is made out of matte plastic. It has a hefty feel, though it is a fingerprint magnet at times. At the back, you have a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel f/2.2 primary snapper and a VGA depth sensor. Beside it is an LED flash, and below it is the fingerprint scanner.
Opening the rear panel reveals slots for two MicroSIM cards, a MicroSD card slot, and a removable 2650mAh battery. Both the MicroUSB and headphone jack are found on top of the phone.
The volume controls and power button are found on the right side, while you have your microphone and loudspeaker at the bottom.
Up front, you have a 5.2-inch HD display with more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. The Omega HD Duo uses on-screen buttons and sports 2.5D glass, though Cherry Mobile did not specify if it’s scratch resistant. It comes with a pre-installed screen protector, though we recommend getting a better one since the pre-installed one accumulates scratches easily. On top of the display sits the 8-megapixel f/2.4 camera and an LED flash.
Are the internals decent enough?
It’s showing its age. The Omega HD Duo comes with dated internals consisting of a MediaTek MT6737VW processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage. These are modest specs for 2018 standards but you can’t really expect much since this is a sub-Php 5k phone.
Even with those specs, the Omega HD Duo is suitable for day-to-day tasks that include checking emails video playback, and social media. We encountered minimal hiccups with it, making the Omega HD Duo suitable for those looking for a backup phone.
When it comes to games, you can forget about it as the Omega HD Duo scored badly in Gamebench running Marvel Future Fight and Asphalt 8. In both games, we struggled in getting a stable median of 7 FPS, which means gaming can be really frustrating with the Omega HD Duo.
However, there are some games that actually run well on the Omega HD Duo, and this includes the recently-released PUBG Mobile Lite. The lightweight version of the popular battle royale game is designed for budget phones, and it shows: based on Gamebench stats, the Omega HD Duo managed to pull off a median FPS of 14 and an overall FPS stability of 77%, making the Omega HD Duo a suitable phone if you really, really want to score some Chicken Dinners on a tight budget.
How is the rest of the phone?
Unlike Cherry Mobile’s previous offerings that use an Android Go of Oreo, the Omega HD Duo comes with a regular 8.1 Oreo build that comes with an April 2018 security patch.
Having the latest Android build has perks that include better software and battery optimization. Even interesting is that the Omega HD Duo comes with a near-stock version of Android Oreo—a far cry from Cherry Mobile phones of yesteryears. By default, there are only four apps that are preinstalled on the Omega HD Duo.
The IPS display has decent viewing angles for its price, though it has a limited brightness range. On our use, we would put the brightness level at around 70% for the best viewing experience.
The single loudspeaker has a tinny sound, and we recommend using the volume at around 70% for the best possible sound quality. Otherwise, you are better off using headphones with the Omega HD Duo. The fingerprint scanner has a slight delay but is nonetheless accurate.
Can it last me through the day?
First things first, let’s get this out: a lot of people would hesitate to get the Omega HD Duo because of its rather small 2650mAh battery. While it is a removable variety, the capacity isn’t up to par with the more common 3000mAh equipped phones we’ve been seeing nowdays.
Surprisingly enough, Omega HD Duo is pretty energy efficient, scoring 9 hours and 50 minutes on PCMark’s battery test. This makes the Omega HD Duo one of the highest-scoring Cherry Mobile phones in terms of battery life. Our guess to its spectacular battery life (it lasted a day without us running to the nearest outlet) is with the proper software optimization for its Android Oreo build.
The downside with the Omega HD Duo is that there’s no fast charging, so expect around a little over two hours to juice it up via its MicroUSB port.
How’re the cameras?
You can’t expect that much for its dual rear camera setup since the secondary camera has only a VGA resolution. As for the primary rear camera, it is possible to get decent shots in daylight. For tricky lighting situations, HDR gets the job done, though it has limitations.
As for low light, you can forget about it as we ended up getting blotchy images with the Omega HD Duo. You can opt to use the flash if you really want to shoot in low light. As for the front camera, getting decent selfies is feasible even on low light.
Check out some of the photos we took using the Omega HD Duo:
In general, the Omega HD Duo is best for daylight shooting. You may try using it for low light, but don’t expect a high keeper rate.
Should you buy it?
For its asking price of Php 4,999, it is one of the most affordable phones out there that comes with Android 8.1 out of the box. While you get an elegant, chamfered metal frame, the Omega HD Duo is at best a backup phone. The battery life and display is decent, and the cameras are at best usable for daylight. However, gaming with this phone is pretty limited unless you use lite versions of popular mobile titles.
Nonetheless, if you are just looking for a stylish phone on a tight budget and do not really do gaming that much, the Omega HD Duo is a good choice.
Cherry Mobile Omega HD Duo specs
- MediaTek MT6737VW quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 5.2-inch HD IPS display
- 16GB Internal Storage, expandable via MicroSD
- 13-megapixel f/2.2 and VGA rear cameras with HDR, Depth effects, and LED flash
- 8-megapixel f/2.4 front camera with LED flash
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFI, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner
- Removable 2650mAh battery
- Android Oreo 8.1