Smartphones have slowly become a necessity in this day and age, but one of the things that are keeping some people from owning one is the price that it entails. Luckily, Cherry Mobile may just have a solution for that, and it comes in the form of the Cherry Mobile Emerald; a 4-inch smartphone with a sub-Php3K price tag.
Let me begin by saying that the Emerald does not look like your average budget smartphone. Yes, it doesn’t have that much to boast in terms of its specs, but in our opinion its design alone is worth half of the price of admission.
The CM Emerald looks deceivingly like a premium smartphone made of aluminum or metal, well in fact, its exterior is entirely made of plastic. This faux-metal appeal is mainly attributed to the phone’s Metallic Silver paintjob that’s coated on top of the removable back cover and painted around the surrounding edges.
It also feels very sturdy in the hands too, and its rather hefty frame gives some reassurance that you’re actually dealing with a legit device rather than some cheap plastic phone that can easily be mistaken for a toy.
Unfortunately, the front section of the CM Emerald is not as pleasing to the eyes as its posterior. Although majority of the real estate at the front is occupied by its modest 4-inch display, there are a lot areas on both the top and bottom sections of the screen that could’ve been shaven off to make it look more presentable.
But despite of its unpleasant façade, the fact remains that CM Emerald is probably one of the most gorgeous looking budget handset in the market. Its design, as well as its build quality, are certainly among the key strengths of this budget Android smartphone.
If you’re here for a blazing fast smartphone that can handle everything that you throw its way, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. As you probably know by now, the CM Emerald doesn’t pack a lot of muscle underneath its faux-metal frame, which is fine since it’s really not to have that in the first place.
In most cases, the phone handles basic task quite well and without too much lag. However, it doesn’t take long before it chokes up on you, especially if you’re pushing it a little too far.
In short, handsets like the CM Emerald aren’t really intended to be speed demons. So as long you can work within the limitations of the Emerald’s engine, then its modest configuration will not become too much of an issue for you.
Despite of having a rather measly 1700mAh battery, we were actually quite surprised by the mileage we got on a single full charge. On average, the CM Emerald lasts for around 7-8 hours on normal use with two SIM cards attached to it, but no browsing over 3G.
During our usual battery test, it lasted for a little over 5-hours when looped an HD video with brightness set to 50% and volume set to half of its max capacity.
Cherry Mobile Emerald specs:
4-inch WVGA (800×480) LCD screen, 233ppi
1.3GHz MT6572 dual-core CPU
Mali 400 MP GPU
4GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
5 megapixel rear camera w/ Flash
0.3 megapixel front camera
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Android 4.2 Jellybean
With the kind of spec sheet that the Emerald has, it’s understandable how some people can easily suggests to “just add PhpX,XXX and get this XXXX smartphone instead”.
But the thing is, not everyone has the luxury to spend an extra PhpX,XXX to get the “better option”. That being said, if you’re working on a very tight budget, the Cherry Mobile Emerald is not as bad as you think, considering that is capable of handling your basic smartphone needs like being able to browse over 3G network, plus is has a very decent build to go along with it.
What we liked about it:
* Great design for its price
* Decent display quality despite low screen resolution
* Good mileage despite of low battery capacity
What we didn’t like about it:
* Buttons are a little hard to press
* Poor and soft audio output
* Fixed-focus rear camera, and crappy front snapper
* Voice calls get garbled at times (not network-related)
* Noticeable lag and locks up every now and then