Cherry Mobile Omega HD: Amazing Value for Money!!!
The Cherry Mobile Omega HD is one of the most talked about locally branded gadgets here in the Philippines. It deserves the attention though given the spectacular value for money you get for it. Priced at Php7,999, the Cherry Mobile Omega HD effectively repositions a lot of other smartphones in the same price range as “expensive” because it usually has superior technical specifications. To name a few: Jelly Bean, 1GB RAM, dual-core CPU, Dragontrail Glass, 5-inch IPS HD display, and a 12-megapixel BSI rear-facing shooter. No matter how you look at it, the Omega HD is full of win.
Here’s the complete rundown of the specifications:
Cherry Mobile Omega HD Spec Sheet
- 1GHz Dual-core MediaTEK CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
- 5-inch IPS Capacitive Touchscreen, 1280×720 resolution (HD)
- Scratch-resistant Dragon Trail Glass Technology
- 12.0-megapixels rear-facing camera with BSI and LED Flash
- Can record video 720p@30fps
- 2.0-megapixels front-facing camera with BSI
- WiFi b/g/n, WiFi Hotspot, GPS, 3G, Bluetooth
- 2,100 mAh battery
- Android 4.1.1 Jellybean
- Comes in Black or White
- SRP: Php7,999
While it looks good on paper, we don’t really know if the device delivers. Fortunately we have a unit with us and we’ve been using it for the last week. We’ve had enough time with it to report to you guys our findings.
The device looks absolutely stunning
“Pare yan ba yung bagong Galaxy S4?”
We lost count already of how many people asked me if the Cherry Mobile Omega HD we had with us was the new Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Samsung Galaxy S3. You can’t blame them though because if you really didn’t know better the Omega HD looks exactly like a slightly bigger Galaxy S3. You have the glossy white plastic chassis, chrome band at the sides, and the curved edges. In fact the only giveaway that it ain’t Samsung is the absence of a physical home button and the Samsung logo at the top of the device, hehe.
Even the form factor is very similar! The Omega HD, despite packing a 2,100mAh battery, has a slim and light profile. Adding to the illusion of thinness is the screen-to-bezel ratio. To those who don’t speak geek, that basically means that the white space in between the edge of the phone and black screen. With the Cherry Mobile Omega HD that distance is very small which gives you the impression that you have more screen real estate.
All the usual ports and buttons can be found on the sides of the phone. On the left we found the volume rocker and just below it, which we found rather odd, is the dedicated camera shutter button (it’s kinda hard to press given the position when taking photos but we’re just nitpicking here). On the right we found the Power Lock button. There’s nothing at the bottom which means we found the microUSB port for data transfer and charging at the top side-by-side with the ever-so-reliable standard audio jack.
Underneath the removable backplate we found the big 2,100mAh battery (which should seriously be the minimum amount of juice for batteries for dual-core devices). The two sim card slots are above it together with the micro SD card slot.
Everything you need is there, it looks good, and it doesn’t break the bank.
HD Display Quality: Crisp, Bright, and Detailed
Correct us if we’re wrong but we think the Cherry Mobile Omega HD is the most affordable dual-core, Jelly Bean touting smartphone with an HD display. That’s 1280×720 resolution which roughly translates to over 290 pixels per inch. Sure it’s not Retina Quality but believe us when we say that only the most discerning eyes will be able to tell the difference. The difference in quality from a 200-220 pixels per inch device (which is the norm at this price range) and one with 290+ pixels per inch is very apparent and obvious. What do these numbers mean? Simply put everything on the display looks much better. Text characters are more solid, images more detailed, and colors are sharper.
If you’re the type that loves watching videos on your mobile phone then the Cherry Mobile Omega HD would be an excellent choice. The big screen real estate combined with the HD display makes it ideal for YouTube, movies, TV series, and whatever videos you like watching. You can also store all of those content via the 32GB microSD card so you have your content with you all the time.
The HD display is both a strength and a weakness
Unfortunately the HD display, which we consider as one of the major strengths of the device, is also one of the reasons for its biggest weakness. During our one week with the Cherry Mobile Omega HD we encountered several (but only occasional) instances where the device would slow down and lag a bit. This happened mostly with graphics intensive apps as well as the new Twitter. We initially thought that it was probably just memory management so we installed our favorite Memory Booster app. Over-all experience improved but we couldn’t eliminate the occasional delays. We dug deeper into this issue and based on our research the culprit is the processor and GPU. Apparently the MediaTek chip set used for the Omega HD wasn’t made and optimized for HD displays (device needs more power to push more pixels).
If you want something more quantitative let’s take a look at the Antutu Benchmark Test score results. The Cherry Mobile Omega HD scored a little over 5,600.
However the Cherry Mobile Thunder, which sells for Php4,999, runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and just has 512MB RAM scored over 6,800.
Better yet this meme probably sums up how we initially felt after we compared the scores, hehe.
These scores doesn’t mean the phone sucks mind you
Now before you go berserk and say the phone is crap, let me just say that the Cherry Mobile Omega HD is still a superior product as a whole compared to a lot of devices in the same category. The occasional lag with certain apps is just a small compromise for the bigger screen, HD display, and insanely good-looking chassis.
When it comes to gaming, if you’re looking for a device that can handle intense and really high graphics applications then you probably might want to look for another device. If you play mostly casual titles (Candy Crush!) and games that scale down graphics (Temple Rush 2, NBA 2k13, and Dead Trigger) then the Omega HD is more than enough for your needs. The games should look nicer too thanks to the HD display! The Omega HD can handle the more advanced titles but the experience won’t be as smooth.
In short the Cherry Mobile Omega HD has some issues with lags with certain apps but as a complete smartphone offering it still pretty much kicks ass. Again let me reiterate the price — Php7,999. Crazy value for the price!
Battery Life: Slightly Above Average
The Cherry Mobile Omega HD packs a 2,100mAh battery. While you might think that you get really extended battery life from this what you actually get is just slightly better performance to the standard 5-6 hours with moderate-heavy use. The biggest battery drainer for any smartphone has always been the power consumed by the display and with the Omega HD there are more pixels being pushed on the screen due to the HD quality. Despite the higher battery rating we only got around 7-8 hours with moderate-heavy usage (+1 hour). Plus one hour to the standard is better than minus though so this is still a relatively good development.
Camera: BSI difference is noticeable, definitely improved optics
We’ll do a more exhaustive post on the camera capabilities of the Cherry Mobile Omega HD in a separate entry but can conclude based on our tests that the optics have improved considerably compared to all other Cherry Mobile smartphones. We daresay that the Cherry Mobile Omega has the best camera among all Cherry Mobile phones in the market today. This is probably due to the BSI technology that they used for the 12-megapixel shooter.
Here are some sample shots.
Just note that it still isn’t great for low-light conditions. The best optics that are comparable to decent point-and-shoot digital cameras, based on all the phones we’ve reviewed, are really with the higher end smartphones like the iPhone 5 and the Nokia Lumia 920. We’ve yet to see a locally branded phone that comes close to the quality of photos produced by those two flagships.
Everything considered the Cherry Mobile Omega HD is a fantastic product that offers much more value than the money you’re shelling out for it. Granted there are some software performance issues, we believe that the spectacular display quality, respectable camera, affordable price tag, and gorgeous chassis design more than makes up for it… and that’s the reason why we’re happy to say that it truly is a game changer in the local tech scene.
If you want to see the Cherry Mobile Omega HD in video, watch Episode 16 of the Unbox Video Podcast where we did a live unboxing of a brand new unit. We’ve embedded the full episode below for your viewing pleasure. The Cherry Mobile Omega HD is the first segment so just watch it from the start. :)
Want one? We’re giving one away at iUnboxMo.Com
So did this review tickle your fancy? If yes then we have awesome news for you. Our sister site, iUnboxMo.Com, is raffling away the Cherry Mobile Omega HD. For more information on how to join the raffle, click here.