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Cherry Mobile One G1 Review: The Best Android One Phone So Far

Cherry Mobile One G1 17
We review the Cherry Mobile One G1!

It’s been a year since Google first came out with the Android One initiative and since that time, the project has managed to spread its wings, entering several markets in Asia, Europe and even Africa. Even though Google’s vision of an affordable, unadulterated Android phone hit rough patches, the search company isn’t giving up on the Android One initiative, and has slowly introduced new phones for the project. Cherry Mobile’s One G1 is the second generation Android One smartphone, and is probably the best of the bunch in terms of size, performance, usability and price.

Cherry Mobile One G1 specs

  • 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD display, Dragontrail scratch resistant glass, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,500mAh battery


Cherry Mobile One G1 19

Bigger, better, easier to use

While the first Android One smartphone of Cherry Mobile, dubbed the “One” was affordable and had Android Lollipop on board, it wasn’t what you’d call a powerhouse. Powered by the aged MediaTek MT6582 processor and possessing a 4.5-inch FWVGA display, the One held limited appeal to consumers who wanted a smartphone that had little bit more oomph. The One G1 solves many of the issues the original – it has a bigger, higher resolution display, more RAM and more importantly, a better processor along with LTE.

Cherry Mobile One G1 01

The overall design of the One G1 won’t blow you away, with Cherry Mobile going for a more utilitarian look this time around. Not that that’s a bad thing – the curved back of the One G1 makes the phone easier to hold, and the matte black back helps with the grippiness of the device thanks to its slightly rubbery texture. There are silver strips of plastic on the side of the One G1 to give it visual variety.

Cherry Mobile One G1 18

Up front you’ll see the 5-inch, HD display protected by Dragontrail Glass. The phone’s bezels are just right, and since the device uses on-screen Android navigation buttons, the top and bottom bezels are rather small. The earpiece is at the top, flanked on the left and right by an LED notification light and the front facing 5-megapixel camera, respectively. The volume rocker and power button are located on the right side, while the 3.5mm jack is located on top while the USB port is located on the bottom.

Cherry Mobile One G1 02

The phone uses a removable back, which exposes the two SIM slots, along with the microSD expansion slot. The 2500mAh battery is removable.

At its core, the phone is powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop. Since it’s part of the Android One initiative, the One G1 has no bloatware or a custom UI. It, along with the phones in Google’s Nexus program, are the very definition of the Android experience, which is obviously the whole point of choosing it over a myriad of other phones in the market. The phone is also guaranteed to receive Android Marshmallow once it’s ready, and other Android versions for up to two years.

Cherry Mobile One G1 04

Not the fastest processor, but Snapdragon 410 can still make quite a dent

Phones in the Android One initiative receive hardware that’s been certified by Google themselves, so phones under the program don’t necessarily have the latest and greatest hardware compared to its peers. That’s the reason why the original Android One phone by Cherry Mobile came with a dated MediaTek MT6582 quad-core processor at a time when octa-core processors were becoming the norm.

The One G1 still doesn’t come with an octa-core processor, but at least the hardware has improved. The One G1 comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz, paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It’s not an ideal combination for people looking for a phone that’s insanely fast, but the Snapdragon 410 processor is fast enough for most people, and is certainly up to the task of keeping the One G1’s user experience fast and fluid. It’s also thermally sound, meaning it doesn’t overheat as badly as Qualcomm’s other offerings and is very power efficient, which gives the One G1 more endurance over other, faster phones with the same battery capacity.

As far as gaming performance goes, the One G1 won’t wow you – Marvel’s Future Fight worked alright, though we got hit by lag once in a while especially with a lot of enemies on screen. Other, less demanding games like CoC ran fine on the One G1. Navigating through the One G1 was fast and fluid, without any issues whatsoever.

Cherry Mobile One G1 08
Shot with no HDR
Cherry Mobile One G1 09
Shot with HDR

Camera is so-so

Cherry Mobile One G1 10
Shot outdoors, under overcast skies
Cherry Mobile One G1 12
Shot indoors, with artificial light

Cherry Mobile One G1 13

Sample from the selfie cam
Sample from the selfie cam

On paper the One G1’s 13-megapixel should be able to take decent photos. We use the word should, because that’s not always the case. We found that the One G1’s capabilities in taking snaps is directly influenced by the amount of light that’s available. Shooting during overcast skies (like the ones we’ve been having lately) means your photos will come out dull and muted, though utilizing the device’s HDR mode alleviates at least some of those issues.

Cherry Mobile One G1 16
Shot indoors with plenty of lighting
Cherry Mobile One G1 15
Shot indoors with plenty of lighting

Overall the photos are acceptable but aren’t ideal, but that’s pretty much par for the course for devices in the One G1’s price bracket.

Screenshot_2015-08-25-02-02-05

Battery life that just won’t quit

If there’s one thing we like about the One G1’s processor choice, it’s longevity. Since the Snapdragon 410 is a power-efficient processor, the One G1 is able to keep going even with heavy use. On our PCMark Battery benchmark, the One G1 managed to record a score of six hours and twelve minutes, which is amazing considering the phone only has a 2,500mAh battery. We regularly managed to get a full day of really heavy use out of the One G1’s battery, and we’re sure that most people will be able to extend the One G1’s battery life even further with moderate or light use.

Cherry Mobile One G1 05

Verdict: A poor man’s Nexus, and every bit as good

Google’s Android One program has managed to finally release a phone that’s worthy of initiative. The Cherry Mobile One G1 improved on all of the faults of the previous device, and addressed many of the concerns of tech media when they finally got their hands on it. A better screen, more RAM, LTE and more importantly, a faster processor all contributes to a phone that even Motorola’s Moto G series of devices would fear. We’d even wager to call it a poor man’s Nexus 5, as it delivers almost exactly the same experience for far less.

The Cherry Mobile One G1 is priced at Php 5,999.

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.

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56 Comments

  1. You mentioned that you have played this on Marvel Future Fight, i am curious though, did you played MFF on full high settings, medium settings, or lowest settings? I’m not much of a camera mobile phone person but I go for gaming quality and stability of phone especially in multitasking performance.
    Can you give a more specific opinion on its stability, multitasking and gaming performance?
    Thanks and more power to unbox team

    1. Multitasking? Then go a for a phone that has at least 3GB of RAM (4GB if possible). Most of the phones with that much RAM are equipped with a processor/GPU combo that can handle your gaming requirements as well.

      You should be looking in the lineup of flagships/top of the line units.

      1. uhm, no. any smartphone should be able to do some decent multitasking, regardless of ram. and again no, more ram does not necessarily mean more multitasking. just ask the laptop that does a quite a lot on just 2gb of ram.

    1. Either you’ll get the Infinix Pure XL for cheaper cost of Php 5k only, or a Lava Pixel V1-ish phone that may have to be in the Philippines.

      Coming Soon™

    1. nexus for the poor? yikes, kung alam mu lang kung ganu kamahal nexus phones dito..at least until they decide to set up shop here instead of selling them from abroad.

    2. kung ung nexus ay for the poor para sa kanya,,bka midrange phone lang akala nya sa mga flagship ng samsung,lg,sony and etc.

  2. a question to the techies out there following Android One phones..
    since this runs lollipop/is supposed to get frequent updates, will this or any android one phone support the new Camera2 API?
    (the API that lets 3rd party camera apps like Manual Camera and Camera Fv-5 give more manual control over the hardware like shutter speed, manual focus, ISO etc. ala LG G4).
    i know the camera on this might not be much but, with a little PS think of the nice light trails and long exposure shots you might be able to take, assuming the new API is there.

  3. Hi unbox, Are you able to check the LTE bands used in this device? I’m planning to buy this device and bring this to UEA. I will really appreciate if you can share with us the exact LTE bands used in this device. Tnx unbox and more power.

  4. The original “one” had a 2 to 3 second delay when taking photos, does this have the same issue? Please answer, thanks!

  5. which is better processor snapdragon 615 or snapdragon 410 for gaming??any heating issues??

    thanks for the response..

    1. Syempre 615 thats a given i mean
      410=low end to low midrange
      615= higher midrange
      That said 615 has heating issues such as xperia m4 aqua altho future update may fix this issue

  6. SIR MAY LIGHT SENSOR B ang ONE G1?at ung side bezels..mukha bang madaling mag peel off??

    since google certified sya im sure ung hardware is great and durable.so the brand doesn’t matter..

  7. Interested to know what LTE frequencies this phone supports, to see if this can be imported to Europe (Netherlands). I’d need support for LTE band 20 (800Mhz).

    1. Mine is pretty good. You may try enabling the battery saver feature under Settings > Battery > Click on the 3 vertical square dots on the upper right part of the screen and turn on the feature

      1. Could it be that the battery is still adjusting? I just noticed a longer usage time after 3 days i bought my phone. However, it stil drains the battery faster than an lg g2 mini. I dont like using the battery saver since vibration on touch turns off.

  8. Hi. Do you think this is the best smartphone for its price range? I haven’t seen it in flesh yet, last time I checked, it’s still not available at SM. Will appreciate if you’ll advise what could be the best phone under 6k. Thank you!

  9. phone is really good. the only issue that i have with it is with the GPS. its very hard to get a lock with the sattelite. heavy waze user here

    1. i feel you bro, tried using it a few minutes ago but never locked on GPS, I was driving in makati area for 30 minutes but it never got a lock, not even once. how is your battery life?

  10. Your reviews are sorely lacking. Are you Cherry Mobile salespersons? You never completely review any phone. The Pyxis Clicker that is offered in the One G1 package promo does not completely do all as advertised. It will not activate the camera function. The service center has no clue as to how to make it work. When you try to access pyxis-clicker.cherrymobile.com.ph you get an error message. Even worse, when you try to access cherrymobile.com.ph you also get an error message.

    Cherry Mobile has released yet another product that has insufficient software. Bottom line: It is false advertising. Do not buy this phone. Being a Google clone, you have to do everything through Google.com. The Bluetooth will pair with your laptop or other cellular device, but it will not also the transfer of pictures from the One G1 to another device or from another device to the One G1.

    For everyone experiencing the same problem I suggest we band together and submit a Class Action Lawsuit against Cherry Mobile for false advertising, failure to provide reasonable access to their website and for not offering a full refund to dissatisfied customers.

    1. I’m agree with Brother Dave, I’ve bought G1 last Oct. 4 the after 2 weeks, I saw a violet line blinking on the LCD.

      Then I brought my phone at Cherry Mobile customer service center last Oct. 20, until now my phone wasn’t repair :'(

      Why Cherry Mobile giving Pysis Clicker when you buy G1? if it is not working properly in Android 5.0 + this is SUCKS!!!

    2. I bought One G1 3 days ago, I immediately updated the firmware to 6.1 as soon as I connected to WiFi.. Gumagana naman po yung Pyxis Clicker sa phone ko, pati sa camera gumagana siya..

      Personal opinion ko lang okay naman yung phone for it’s price range, and better than the others..

      1. I agree with you sir, after I bought this phone last december, I download all the updates until its no more. Android 6.0 na den ung G1 ko. Ung clicker gumagana din sken. Camera, panalo para sken kesa s flare x. Gaming? For now Chaos Rings 3 pa lang nallaro ko, playing it to the maximum settings and no issue so far. Battery 10-12 hrs if its in full use. Yoko ko lng ng GUI ng google, scroll down ang navigation pg click ng menu. Download na lang ng launcher. 🙂

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