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November 12, 2013

Cherry Mobile Apollo Quick Review

Now that we’re through with the two budget quad-core smartphones (Flare 2.0 & Burst 2.0) from Cherry Mobile, it’s time to look at their mid-range offering starting with the rebranded Cubot GT99 aka Apollo.

cherry mobile apollo

The thing that stands out most with CM Apollo is its 4.5-inch IPS display with HD resolution. There’s not a whole lot of smartphones in the eight grand price point that offers the same display quality, making this smartphone an easy pick from the bunch.

The lack of scratch-resistant glass on the screen maybe a bit of a deal-breaker for some, but if you’re not too particular about that aspect, you’ll certainly be pleased with its stellar viewing angle, fairly bright output and decent outdoor legibility.

CM Apollo

Underneath that 720p display is a rather familiar configuration composing of a quad-core processor from MediaTek with 1GB of RAM, PowerVR SGX544 GPU and a fairly small 4GB of default storage. This kind of hardware setup won’t blow anyone away but should be enough to get you through the basic and intermediate stuff without breaking too much sweat.

Here’s a look at the benchmark results we got from the Cherry Mobile Apollo:

benchmark apollo

AnTuTu: 13,744
Quadrant Standard: 4,040
NenaMark2: 45.6fps

apollo gpu benchmark

CM bills the Apollo as the “BSI Smartphone ng Bayan” because of its 12MP Backside Illumination sensor. In theory, it should yield better results under lowlight conditions compared to non-BSI cameras.

After taking a handful snaps using the Apollo’s rear camera, we noticed that the pictures we took under broad daylight were relatively good.

However, the image quality starts to degrade just as the light source dwindles down. Even with the pair of flash on, we still struggled to get a decent shot out of the handset. Well, it only goes to show that it’ll take more than the average BSI sensor to take good pictures in dim conditions.

Poor battery life has always been the trade-off for having a pixel-packed display, and unfortunately, that holds true for the CM Apollo.

apollo battery life

With moderate use this slight battery impediment may not be that obvious. In fact, its 2,000mAh battery managed to get us through an entire day with a single full charge, sometimes even longer when we decide to turn off the data connection.

However, if you compare our battery test result (screenshot above) with the one we got from the Burst 2.0 (which has an almost identical spec sheet as the Apollo sans the HD display), there’s clearly a significant difference on how these smartphones consumes power.

Summary

At Php6,999, the Cherry Mobile Apollo is a very decent phone which offers a good balance between price and features. Although it’s marketed for its BSI camera, which was a bit overrated, we think that its best feature is its 4.5-inch HD display.

Cherry Mobile Apollo Specs

However, it’s important to note that its strongest suit may just very well be its own undoing as far as mileage is concerned. It’s a bit of a compromise, one that some people will take in exchange for a decent display.

What we liked about it:
* 720p display
* Decent specs for price
* Good image quality in well-lit conditions

What we didn’t like about it:
* Generic design and plastic build
* Weak flash and poor image quality in lowlight
* So-so battery life


29 Responses to “Cherry Mobile Apollo Quick Review”

  1. abuzalzal says:

    ehehehehe, pwede nang pang-regalo sa mga haters ko dyan habang gamit gamit ko tong pinakamamahal kong LG Nexus 5, LOL!

    • wew says:

      oi @abuzalzal napaghahalataan na nagsisinungaling eh, nung una note 3, tas g2 tas ngaun nexus 5?!?!HAHAHA kinakahiya mo na ba cherry mobile mo? XD

    • leroy says:

      ulul taena mo , skk lang gamit mo ugok . lol

    • Stifmeister says:

      Hoy squatter ka? Feeling ka kasi. Malamang sa malamang social climber ka. Di ka nga ata marunong tumingin ng specs eh. makasabi ka lang ng mga latest phones di mo nga alam pinagkaiba nila sa iba.

  2. wew says:

    lugi sa battery tsktsk…

  3. ok talaga sya kasi cheap price at ayos din ang specs nito, pero iba parin talaga kung bibili ka talaga ng may pangalan like samsung.

  4. JB says:

    Meron ako nitong Apollo.. ok naman yung battery nya natagal naman sakin ng 1 and 1/2 day. pag nilaro ko nga lang aabot lang ng 6-7hrs, anyway lahat naman ng smartphone pag heavy user madali ma lowbat.. ayos display nito sarap sa mata.

    • enlightened1 says:

      pre ok b maglaro ng mga 3d dyan? Like dead trigger 2?

    • jeear bucar says:

      i have cm apollo. binili ko ito a month ago…
      i’ve played blood and honor, ckz,death tour, csr racing, six guns, iron man and gt racing…. all of this game are still installed in my apollo … and they are playing smooth…. except for real racing 3…. this is enough for me to be satisfied of my apollo… speaking of camera… it still excellent for its 12 mp and battery life if more than a day….

  5. Joey says:

    So far so good naman ang performance ng cm Apollo im working here in Bahrain and im happy using this phone.Im using 2 Sim card and it works both of them. 7thou is a good price for this smart phone.

  6. Carolette says:

    Same price pa rin ba to? Gusto ko kasi to kaysa Cm Flare.

  7. elvira flor says:

    Ano po mas mgnda apollo or omega 2.0 ?

  8. Clemente Rama says:

    I have this apollo and when i test antutu it will comeout cpu model is MTK6589T, is this true that there is T in the end?

  9. Clemente Rama says:

    We knew that T in the end means turbo.

  10. Kristian says:

    Triband ba o quadband ba ang cm apollo?

  11. Leonard :D says:

    Hi, sana makatulong po sa mga questions about scratch resistance: Post ko po sa mga blogsites para sa mga users na interesado bumili.

    CM Apollo is Scratch Resistant.

    CM Apollo has G+G feature. If you’d look at the box itself, it is indicated there. Now others think it pertains to the Telephony Network (SIM1 GSM, SIM2 GSM). Others insist that it means Gorilla Glass, which, is related to the feature but not exactly at par with what it really accounts to. Ang G+G ay isa sa mga screen technologies na ginagamit sa phones. Ang Screen ay consisting ng maraming layer. Sensor, touch panel, diode, film at iba pa. Ang G+G ay technology na nagfu-fuse ng mga layers into glass para maging manipis at mas malapit ang display sa mismong touchpanel or outer screen para maging mas vivid at malinaw ang display. sa G+G, ung unang letra ay nagdedescribe ng Sensor type at yung 2nd letter ay Type ng screen, touchscreen, panel, or yung outer cover na nadudutdot, napipindot, nasasalat natin sa phone. So ang G+G means, yung sensor ng screen ay Glass type, at ang Touch Panel or outer screen ay Glass type din.

    Marami pong type ng screen techologies. Yung iba, ginagamitan din ng glass ang outer screen pero hindi tempered.Pero sigurado ako na sa G+G at sa OGS(One Touch Solution-mas manipis ito kesa sa G+G at High Resolution din) tempered or reinforced glass ang ginagamit.

    *note: Ang CM Apollo po ay rebranded na Cubot GT99 from China. Since Chinese technology sya, Naisip ko lang na kaya hindi nkasulat na Corning, Dragontrail or sikat na glass manufacturers as Tempered Glass na ginamit ay dahil china made din ang tempered Glass.

    Ngayon, eto ang magandang part, since G+G ang Screen natin, Ibig sabihin, ke-Corning Gorilla Glass, Asahi Dragontrail, Xensation Glass or ano pa mang tempered glass ang ginamit dyan, Scratch Resistant po ang Apollo. Hindi po ibig sabihin na hindi sya nagagasgas (scratchproof). Pero, mas mataas po ang resistance nya sa gasgas kesa sa ibang phone na ang gamit na touchpanels ay Plastic or Thin Glass or lower screen technology.

    Sana nakatulong.. Proud owner of CM Apollo and Flame 2.0 (OGS Screen)

  12. alvin says:

    Im very satisfy with this phone… Sana lng magtagal sakin

  13. jeearbucar says:

    helo… kumusta na ang cm apollo ninyo? ang akin ay almost 6 months na… still good as new…. mayron lang crack ang back cover kaz minsan nabibitawan sa dulas…. pero so far wala namang scratch ang front… or sira ang display kahit gamers ako ng six guns ckz real racing3 frontline commando 2…

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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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