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January 16, 2014

Cherry Mobile Flare HD Review

The Cherry Mobile Flare lineup has carved a name for itself in the local scene by luring in the budget-conscious crowd with its affordable price tag and pretty decent spec sheet. This time though, the company has added a 720p display in the mix which makes the Flare HD even more interesting.

In case you missed it, here’s our quick first impression of the handset just to get your feet wet for our review.

Cherry Mobile Flare HD

Display and Multimedia

One of the caveats of the Flare handsets was not having a decent screen. This has always been the case for inexpensive handsets with quad-core processors but has a poor WVGA display.

But Cherry Mobile is looking to change that with the Flare HD. And although their new budget smartphone is, by far, the most expensive handset among the Flares, it’s still cheaper compared to other handsets with the same feature set.

CM Flare HD

The Flare HD sports a 4.3-inch IPS display with 720p resolution, making it an ideal companion when watching movies or viewing high-resolution pictures. The brightness levels and color rendition were generally OK for the most part, and we didn’t have any issues using the phone under broad daylight.

We also didn’t encounter any problems when it comes to the screen’s responsiveness, although we did notice that the touch inputs were sometimes slightly off by a millimeter or two. We’re not sure if this is just an isolated glitch on our review unit, but it’s something to keep an eye.

OS, UI and Apps

The Flare HD runs on a slightly-tweaked version of Android 4.2 Jelly bean right off the bat. I say slightly-tweaked because the UI is almost similar to a stock Android version, but the company has made a few adjustments on the interface to give the handset some distinction.

Flare HD OS

Apart from finally dropping the hideous square icons (Thanks CM!), one of the more significant changes in the UI that we noticed is the lock screen. It’s not something that Cherry Mobile came up with, rather a preinstalled lock screen app from Celltick called Start.

Start provides users access to almost all of the apps that are installed on their device including feeds from Facebook and Twitter. On top of that, users can customize how the UI looks and which shortcuts are displayed on the lockscreen.

Flare HD lockscreen

Speaking of third-party apps, we’re glad to report that we didn’t encounter any issues when installing/running apps on the Flare HD. The only serious problem we had was that the internal storage was too small to accommodate all of our apps, but luckily the Flare HD provides an option to move the apps to an SD card.

Performance and Benchmarks

Luckily, the Flare HD packs a pretty decent specs to go along with its 720p screen. Handling the workload for this handset is the combo of MT6589 quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544MP GPU.

Flare HD Benchmark

This is the same engine found at the core of the CM Apollo, as such we expected the same results on our usual synthetic benchmark tests.

nenamark

True enough, the Flare HD fared similarly to the Apollo. Here’s the breakdown of the test results:

AnTuTu: 13,744
Quadrant Standard: 4,786
NenaMark2: 44fps
Vellamo: 1541 (HTML5) / 430 (Metal)

As far as the overall performance is concerned, the handset delivered a satisfactory performance. Apart from a few minor hiccups here and there, the Flare HD ran smoothly for the most part and, as mentioned earlier, didn’t cause any issues when running apps.

Camera

Another feature that the Flare HD shares with the Apollo is the camera. The only difference between the two is the lack of a BSI sensor on the former, but both handsets are equipped with 12MP camera with LED Flash on the back couple with 5MP on the front.

The quality of the image we took using the Flare HD is almost at par with the ones we got from the Apollo. Sadly, the resulting image also suffered from lack of detail and contrast, not to mention the colors aren’t that vibrant.

Low-light performance isn’t so great either. The camera had a hard time locking on a subject during dim conditions and the built-in flash isn’t powerful enough to aid the snapper in lighting the subjects in scenarios when there’s little to no light.

Battery

Despite having a smaller screen, the Flare HD and its 1,800mAh battery fared slightly worse than the Apollo in our battery test. It only managed to last 6 hours during the test which involves looping an HD movie while the phone is in Airplane Mode and the brightness and volume set to 50%.

Flare HD battery life

Conclusion

Despite the average battery life and so-so image quality produced by its 12MP rear camera, we have to admit that the Cherry Mobile Flare HD is indeed a keeper. The combination of reasonably cheap SRP coupled with a 720p display and decent engine configuration makes this handset a formidable candidate in the mid-range category.

The CM Flare HD is expected to hit the shelves starting this month and will retail for Php5,499.

Cherry Mobile Flare HD specs:
4.3-inch HD IPS display, 1280×720 @342ppi
1.2GHz MTK6589 quad-core processor
PowerVR SGX544MP GPU
1GB RAM
Expandable 4GB internal memory
12MP camera w/LED flash
5MP front-facing camera
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2Dp support
GPS w/ A-GPS
Dual-SIM, Dual Standby
Android 4.2 Jellybean
1,800mAh battery

What we liked about it:
* 720p display
* Decent specs for price
* Stock Android UI with fancy Lockscreen app
* Dual 3G/HSDPA SIM card slots

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

Cherry Mobile Trident is a Triple SIM phone
Cherry Mobile Hyper First Impressions
Cherry Mobile enters 4G with W900 LTE

33 Responses to “Cherry Mobile Flare HD Review”

  1. garz says:

    “Generic design and plastic build”

    With all due respect sir, for a handset in that price range I absolutely think there’s nothing more to expect than a plastic build. You want to see metal or kevlar then maybe you can look somewhere else. You could have instead put something that somebody in the target market would not like in that phone.

    And I think you may want to refrain from using the phrase, “right off the bat/right out of the box.” They appear on every mobile phone review along with “after the break/jump.”

    • poche says:

      if you dont want him to use that phrase then try suggesting another. btw why not advise him also to not use the word “review” on the title since they also appear on every review articles lol.

    • m008 says:

      with all due respect too, what you’ve just read is a “review.” I don’t see the reason why you should (of all things) say “for a handset in that price range I absolutely think there’s nothing more to expect than a plastic build. You want to see metal or kevlar then maybe you can look somewhere else.”

    • abuzalzal says:

      garz has a point, chill dudes hehe

      Given na yung aesthetic shortcomings sa price point na yan eh, why mention the obvious?

  2. Yesman4 says:

    To Garz. – ang galing mu mag suggest brad, cguro magaling n blogger kna at super pulido ang mga wordings mo.. Btw, nka ilang article kna ba?

  3. abuzalzal says:

    While I’m no expert in grammar and composition, One thing I keep on noticing here are the bland and uninspired reviews, such this article from Mr. Bulaong

    the glaring monotony from you guys is simply uncanny, kung hindi mo sinulat ang pangalan mo, napagkamalan ko na si Freking nagsulat nito eh..Constructive criticism lang, may I suggest :

    1. Avoid using overly-used phrases and idioms
    2. Be edgy
    3. try to inject some sense of humor a bit
    4. Be objective (para hindi mapagkamalang may bayad at kapalit ang product na nire- review ninyo)

    Again, constructive criticism lang

    PEACE :-)

  4. abuzalzal says:

    Addendum :

    A good way to practice your review skillz is to read lots of UK tech blogs, pdf tech mags etc etc

    British authors (in general) have a unique (and entertaining) way in expressing their thoughts that keeps you glued.

    Digest, Learn and Incorporate

    yun lang :-)

    • abuzalzalero says:

      Utot mo! Kung mag-salita ka para kang kung sinong “high and mighty”. Why don’t you approach Yuga and do an article face-off with Mr Bulaong and put your money where your mouth is!

    • abuzalzal says:

      This is the typical ”eh di gumawa ka ng sarili mong blog!” response that I would expect from an idiot like you.

      Am I not given the right to criticize here?

      Even a ”commoner” can criticize the President

      So why can’t I criticize a blogger?

      Answer me fool

    • tit says:

      titi mo.

      pwede naman bumatikos pero kung bumatikos ka feeling mo superior ka.

      umayos ka gago.

      pwede mo naman sabihin ang pangit ng article. tapos.

      pa UK UK ka pa e.

      ungas.

    • abuzalzal says:

      So lahat ng bumabatikos ”feeling superior”?

    • archie says:

      I agree na mas articulate sa review ang foreigners but we have to understand na kailangang maging layman at simplistic ng Unbox para sa local market. Take into consideration na lang na hindi lahat ng nagbabasa ng unbox ay middle and upper class (Cherry Mobile ang nirereview hindi iPhone). Kahit gustuhin nating maging Lourd de Veyra sa ating mga insights at opinions e expect mo na lang na mayroon talagang mga mababaw na violent reaction :)

    • fcuk says:

      At bakit naman kailangang gawing UK-STYLE ang reviews dito kung hindi naman tayo mga BRITISH?

      Tang ina talaga ‘tong si @abuzalzal ang daming alam na kaek-ekan sa buhay.

      Die, you piece of shit!

  5. aln123 says:

    This cell doesn’t even have LED notification. A full review should never fail to mention this small but important detail

  6. awts says:

    paki ba nila kung maraming mali sa article nila, eh isa din yung paraan para dumami ang comments and views sa article nila lalo na site na to. Basta maraming mag react, maraming comments, maraming views, syempre maraming pera para sa kanila.

  7. oldflare says:

    Kumusta po yung build ng screen ng Flare HD. I noticed dati sa unang Flare, medyo nakailalim siya, medyo nakabaon. Yung Flare HD ba, as in wala ng gap yung touchscreen?

  8. rishi says:

    kamusta naman ang call quality ng flare hd? how does it compare to the cherry mobile apollo?

  9. jake says:

    Yung mga gagong nagtatalo sa taas, hindi pinaguusapan dito yung kung paano sinulat itong article. Pinaguusapan dito yung device.

  10. Slick says:

    @abu: What’s the best bang for buck phone at the moment? And kindly give a short insight why. Thanks man.

  11. christian says:

    hay nako mga pilipino talaga mga tamang hinala palagi. :3

    keep calm and buy the phone. ;)

  12. puta says:

    pakyu kayo gago!

  13. bulalo at kendi says:

    well, props still to yugatech for giving some light about the smartphone.

    whatever the people above say, it’s all about preference. and i go to this, and several site to get daily feeds on the newest.

  14. arvin says:

    boss, maganda review mo sa unit na ito, at mukhang maganda, and di lang isinama mo sa review ay mahirap ito hagilapin. next time my advice, is to include the availability ng stocks… kasi yung gustong bumili nag-mumukhang tanga lang sa kakahanap…. ciguro mas maganda rin na ipost ng CM kung ilang unit lang ginawa nila, para alam ng customer kung 10 lang ginawa so hindi na maghahanap.

  15. mackoy says:

    nagtanong ako sa isa nilang outlet medyo kilala ko yung sales lady sabi nya sa akin pangit daw yan maganda nga specs pero lagi sira lagi daw binabalik sa kanila yung unit tanong din kayo ito ay upinion lng nung napag tanungan ko hindi ko to opinion ;->

  16. satan666pogi says:

    TAMA KA MACKOYS SALAHT NG FLARE SERIES ETO NA ANG WALANG KWENTA I MEAN OK SYA HD EH HD(HINDI DURABLE) :D OK NAMN SYA SA UI LOOKS SO SABI KUNO NILA PERFORMANCE….ASA KAU..COMPARE SA FLARE S100,S,2.0 AND 2X???? WALA SA GAMING T0NG HD NA TO..LAG..FORCE CLOSE..AND UNFORTUNATELY BLAHBLAH IS NOT RESPONDING,, BATTERY??EWAN KO LNG…KAU NA BAHALA..BAKA NMN SA MGA REVIEW NILA NA HD GAMING KUNO AY PARA SA ADRENO 2XX LNG UNG DL NILANG GAMES….SINUBUKAN KO NA PO ANG HD NA YAN SA GAMES NA DAPAT PARA SA GPU AND CPU NYA BUT ETO SYA …BUKAS IBABALIK KO SA KNILA TO..WALANG KWENTA SAYANG LNG 5K+ NYU..BETTER BUY S2HD OR S3HD DAN THIS….SECOND HAND WORTH 6 TO 8K PERO DI KA MAGSISI…

    • james says:

      What are you talking about? Anything I install in this phone never force-closed, unfortunately stop, etc. This phone can game too, even better than S100, 2.0, 2X and 2.1. The only Flare that can beat this in gaming is the S, but only because that only focused on performance, leaving the other specs outdated.. Kung mag-lag man (only a few games), meron po tayong game settings na tinatawag. E ngayon kung high-end games naman ang balak mong laruin, expect it to lag on a low to mid-end device. You get what you paid for.
      Battery life is good too, it lasts 6-7 hours heavy usage and more than 2 days as a normal phone.
      Also, for your info, games with Adreno data will almost never work with PowerVR devices, dahil iba yung pagkakagawa nun. Kaya nga may iba-ibang app data eh, one each for Mali, Tegra, Adreno at PowerVR.
      As for those Samsungs.. Do you think the majority of Cherry Mobile buyers can afford those? Tumaas nga lang ng 100 sa SRP ng mga local brands aalma na yung mga yan eh. If you can afford them and you need the added performance, go get them, but never compare the high-end to the low-end.

    • jeff says:

      potah james wala ako naintindihan sa mga sinabi mo! trying hard mag-ingles jologs ampotah

  17. satan666pogi says:

    SANA NGA MAPALITAN NG IBANG UNIT ANG HD KO 3 DAYS KO NG TINRY IOPTIMISE ANG HD..DL NG RAM EXPANDER ETC ETC ETC SANSANG WEBSITE…PERO LA IMPROVEMENT…AS IN LA KWENTA…AUKO SIRAIN ANG CMFHD PERO…PLEASE NAMN CM …KUNG GAGAWA LN DIN KAYU NG ISANG CP N PANGMASA UN TLGANG DI NMN KAPOS..MURA NGA KAPOS NMN….MGCHINA NLNG AKO HAHA…OR KOREAN NG SAMSUNG..NAPAKAWEAK NG BATTERY..PERFORMANCE AND DURABILITY NG HALOS KARAMIHAN NG NILALABAS NYUNG CP..OUT OF 100 ONLY 20 OR 10 ANG PWEDE NA…GAWIN NYUNG SIMPLE ANG UI…REMOVE BLOATWARES.AND ISA PA PO PALA..UNG MGA SALESLADY NG CM KUPAL DIN EH NU EWAN KO LNG KUNG SA MGA OUTLETS LANG KASI SA MARKET MARKET NG KUNWARI AKONG BIBILI NG FLARE HD..UNG PINKITA SAKIN NG BABAE..MAY KASAMANG JELLYCASE…PERO SA SOUTHMALL SM CENTER LAS PINAS,,SM BACOOR AND SM NORTH AT SA IBA NUNG OUTLET SA KUNG SAN SAN LNG DI NILA SINSAMA…DI DAW KASMA ANG CASE…WTF!.GNWA KO PINKITA KO SA SALESLADY SA MGA NBANGGIT NG BRANCHES ANG VIDEO HABANG NAKPAGNEGOSASYON AKO SA SALESLADY SA MARKET MARKET…EH DI NAPAHIYA SILA…FEW CX LEFT THEIR OUTLET…AND I THINK,,DISSAPOINTED..

    • james says:

      Wow. Taas ng expectations mo sa 5,499. I don’t even use tweaks, but the phone does more than I could hope for sa 5,499. Good camera, good screen, headset compatibility, some HD gaming, etc. Kung ganyan kataas ang demand mo (smooth sa lahat ng HD games, kahit ibagsak mo ng 20 feet walang mangyayari) get a high end phone. Siguro naman dun wala ka nang reklamo no? Ay teka meron, yung presyo. :P

  18. van says:

    nandito na po ba sa gensan yang flare hd??

  19. clarissa says:

    ang pangit ng sounds nito tpos bilis pang malowbat…..ang mahal a naman…tskk…tsk

  20. rafael mendoza says:

    saan po pwede bumili ng flare HD??
    out of stock na po ba un??

  21. Kennith says:

    The wonderful online Pokemon adventure game comes from its title from the Japanese brand name Poketto
    Mosuta. Instead, this mobile version of the popular game focuses on
    one goal, building up your characters in order to fight them.
    Sapphire also has changed by adding a feature known as a nature.

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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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