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February 14, 2014

Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0 Review

The Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0, the first local smartphone to pack NFC connectivity on top of other common specs like a quad-core CPU, a gig of RAM, 5.3-inch display, 13 megapixel camera, dual-SIM support, and Android Jellybean. But are these enough to convince buyers to shell out Php8,999, or it’s better to skip it for a unit with beefier specs sans NFC? Read our review of the Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0 to find out.

cm rave 2_1

Design and Construction

Let’s tackle the obvious parts first. The front of the Rave 2.0 is occupied by the 5.3-inch display. Right above it are the earpiece and front-facing camera. Down below are three capacitive buttons and a pinhole for the mic. Right on top of the device are the headset jack and microUSB port. On the left side is the volume rocker while on the right is the power/lock button.

cm rave 2_3

Flip it on its back and you’ll see the 13 megapixel camera, LED flash, and the speaker. If you take off the back plate, which is difficult to do by the way, you’ll see the component for the NFC, the battery compartment, two regular SIM card slots, and a microSD card slot.

cm rave 2_2

Like what we’ve mentioned in our first impressions, the Rave 2.0 is generic looking, a bit hefty, and doesn’t provide much excitement when it comes to design. But overall, it looks solid and feels very well-made.

Display

The Rave 2.0 boasts a 5.3-inch display with qHD resolution with an acceptable pixel density of 208ppi. It has good color reproduction and has an IPS panel on board to provide better viewing angles.

cm rave 2_display

However, we noticed that the display washes out when we tilt it a few degrees away from our eyes. Another issue we noticed is that it is very susceptible to glare. This becomes a real problem when you’re using it outdoors.

OS, UI, and Apps

Running the OS part for the Rave 2.0 is Android 4.2.1 Jellybean with little customization from Cherry Mobile like the wallpapers, ringtones and message alert tones.

cm rave 2_ui1

It comes with a few pre-loaded apps like the Cherry Mobile Fun, Cherry Play, eWarranty, TouchPal X, KakaoTalk, and Opera Mini. None of these can be uninstalled but it’s a good thing Cherry Mobile kept these at a minimum.

cm rave 2_ui2

All in all the device has an indicative internal storage of 4GB with a little over 2GB left for the user. To compensate, the device allows you to choose your preferred install location for apps either in the phone storage or in the microSD card.

Camera and Multimedia

Users who love taking photos with their smartphones won’t feel bad with the 13 megapixel shooter on the Rave 2.0. Auto-focus and shootings speeds aren’t really fast but not sluggish either. Quality of photos taken are very decent with good amount of detail and colors. On the downside, some photos taken indoors appear washed out and the AF is a bit weak when it comes to close up shots. Take a look at the sample photos below:

The camera app itself is pretty much standard and comes with the usual bells and whistles like HDR, Smile Detection, Multi-Angle shot, and some filters. You can also manually adjust exposure, white balance, and scene modes if you dig inside the settings. As for its 5 megapixel front-facing camera, it will suffice for video calling and some selfies as long as you have an ample amount of light available.

The Rave 2.0′s camera is also capable of recording 720p videos at 30fps and saves it in 3gp format. Watch the sample video below:

The Rave 2.0 is a good device to watch movies with because of the large display. However, it won’t be able to smoothly play 1080p files. It is recommended that you load your microSD card with 720p movies for smooth playback. As for its speaker, it’s loud and audible but not exactly the best when it comes to the quality of audio. The audio is a bit metallic and lacks some bass. Better use your headphones or use it with an external speaker.

Performance and Benchmarks

The MediaTek quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM should be enough to provide you a lag-free experience when it comes to basic tasks such as UI navigation, taking photos, internet browsing, and use of social media apps. It can handle most games especially the less demanding ones. 3D games are playable as well but make sure you set them in its lowest graphic settings if possible to smoothen gameplay.

cm rave 2_benchmarks

We ran the device through a series of benchmark tests and here are the results:
* AnTuTu – 12,995
* Quadrant – 3,962
* Vellamo – 1,444 (HTML 5) , 391 (Metal)
* NenaMark2 – 48.5fps

Battery Life

Providing juice for the Rave 2.0 is a 2,400mAh battery. In our usual battery test which includes playing a 1080p movie file in Airplane mode with volume set to 50% and brightness at 0%, the result is a below average 5 hours worth of movie playback.

Conclusion

To conclude, the Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0 sports almost the same features as other Cherry Mobile smartphones in its class. The only difference is the inclusion of NFC which is not commonly found in mid-range devices. It’s a very nifty feature as we were able to pair our Sony QX10 lens camera on the Rave 2.0 with ease. On the plus side, Cherry Mobile is bundling this smartphone with an NFC-capable BS-1 wireless speakers. So if you’re looking for a capable smartphone with NFC under a Php9K budget, then the Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0 is the one to have.

Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0 specs:
5.3″ IPS qHD (540 x 960), 208ppi
MediaTek MT6589 1.2GHz quad-core CPU
PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU
1GB RAM
4GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
13 megapixel AF rear camera w/ LED flash
5 megapixel front-facing
dual-SIM, dual standby
3G, HSPA+
WiFi b/g/n
NFC
Bluetooth 2.1
2,400mAh battery
Android 4.2.1 Jellybean
SRP: Php8,999

What we liked about it:
* Large display
* Solid build and construction
* NFC
* Dual-SIM
* Affordable price
* NFC wireless speaker bundle

What we didn’t like about it:
* Color-shifting on the display
* Display is susceptible to glare
* No 1080p recording and playback
* Backplate is hard to open

Cherry Mobile Rave 2.0 first impressions

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