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May 19, 2014

Cherry Mobile Omega Spectrum Review

Cherry Mobile got into some curious discussion when it announced the CM Omega Spectrum that is powered by a quad-core Broadcom chip. It’s the first time the processor was used by the local handset brand so it was interesting to learn of its performance compare to the more popular Mediatek chips. Check out our full review of the Cherry Mobile Omega Spectrum.

At only Php4,999, with a 5-inch 1280 x 720 HD IPS screen, Dual SIM Dual Standby, 8 MegaPixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 2 MegaPixel front cam, 1GB RAM and quad-core processor, is the newly unveiled Cherry Mobile Omega Spectrum a worthy challenger to the MyPhone Rio?

We find out in this review.

Design & Construction.

Simple & elegant. These two words would probably best describe how the Omega Spectrum looks like. The all black color scheme, with shiny curved plastic framing the screen, and the matte rubberized back cover help make the phone feel more expensive than its sub-5k price tag.

The 3.5mm jack is located at the top, while the USB charging port is at the bottom. The right side holds both the power button and the volume rocker.

The 2MP camera, earpiece, and notification light are just above the 5-inch screen. The microphone is uniquely placed at the lower left of the screen. Probably to help lower the price of the phone, the Android navigation keys at the bottom of the bezel are not illuminated.

The 8-megapixel camera, the single LED flash and a speaker are at the back. As the camera lens protrudes a bit, just be careful with uneven surfaces to avoid scratches.

Display.

The 5-inch 1280 x 720 HD IPS screen is protected by Dragontrail glass. To further protect the screen, the unit also comes with a free screen protector.

The Omega Spectrum’s screen exceeded our expectations, given the price tag. The display quality is good, color reproduction is great, and viewing angles are surprisingly good. The images are crisp and clear and the only time you will notice the pixels is if you look a little closer to the screen.

Although phone doesn’t have an auto-brightness function, just set the brightness to high and the phone works well outdoors.

OS, Apps & UI.

The Omega Spectrum’s UI is as close to vanilla Android 4.2 Jellybean as can be. This makes the interface look simple, really clean and well-done.
It comes with a few pre-loaded apps like Cherry Fun Club, eWarranty and Cherry Play. With apps like KakaoTalk, Pinoy App Shop, and YouTube, third-party apps were kept at minimum.

Phone navigation (including text messaging and website browsing) and casual gaming (Text Twist and Candy Crush) are almost lag free. But when it comes to processor-intensive games like Dead Trigger 2, the 1.2GHz quad-core Broadcom BCM 23550 processor can’t quite cope with the action. Even when graphics settings are on low, the lag is really noticeable.

Multimedia & Camera.

As can be expected from an 8MP camera, the quality and resolution of both pictures and videos are pretty standard. It comes with a LED Flash, so taking pictures in the dark isn’t half bad. As for its 2MP front-facing camera, it will suffice for video calling and some selfies as long as you have an ample amount of light available.

The camera app is as basic as it gets. You can adjust picture and video quality, exposure, white balance, LED flash, and that’s it. Unfortunately, there are no options for HDR, Smile Detection, Multi-Angle shot, and even some filters.

Check out some samples below:

On the other hand, the Omega Spectrum’s screen is great for watching movies with a friend (since the brightness and viewing angles are great). Just use headphones or an external speaker for the sound, as the built-in speaker is quite weak.

Performance & Benchmarks.

The Omega Spectrum is equipped with 1.2GHz quad-core Broadcom BCM 23550 processor and 1GB of RAM, most likely to keep the price down. It has a 4GB internal storage, can be expanded via microSD card.

We ran a number of benchmarks on the device and got these scores.

Benchmarks scores for the Omega Spectrum:

• Quadrant Standard: 3,460
• Antutu Benchmark: 13,708
• Nenamark 2: 33.7fps
• Vellamo: 1,175(HTML5), 441 (Metal)
• 3dMark: 3,504 (Ice Storm), 2,187 (Ice Storm Extreme)

Call Quality, Connectivity & Battery Life.

The Omega Spectrum handled calls normally as expected. We can be heard clearly on the other line and vice versa. 3G, wifi and tethering (mobile hotspot) all functioned well.

The battery is rated at only 2,000mAh. Standby time (with both sims active, no data/wifi, a few calls and texts) is a little more than a day and a half.

But in our usual battery test which includes playing an HD movie file in Airplane mode with volume set to 50% and brightness at 50%, the result is a below average 5.5 hours’ worth of movie playback. Uptime gets even lower to 4 hours with moderate/heavy use (wifi/3G always on, browsing, light gaming, messaging and around 5 1-minute calls). We expect this to go down further with processor-intensive apps/games.

The battery/phone temperature started out at about +34.40 C, and will normalize at +37.20 C (standby, web browsing, messaging). But as you increase the load of the phone (e.g. running benchmark apps and playing Dead Trigger 2), the temperature can reach as high as +48.40 C.

Conclusion.

With its affordable price, yet decent hardware and understated design, this may indeed prove to be a worthy challenger to the Myphone Rio. Despite its shortcomings, the Omega Spectrum does indeed give the most bang for the buck.

The Cherry Mobile Omega Spectrum is available in stores with a suggested retail price of Php4,999.

Cherry Mobile Omega Spectrum specs:
• Dual-SIM
• 1.2GHz quad-core Broadcom BCM 23550 processor
• 1GB RAM
• 5-inch HD IPS display, 1280 x 720 resolution
• 4GB storage (possibly expandable via microSD)
• 8-megapixel camera with flash
• 2-megapixel front camera
• Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, Miracast ready, USB OTG capable
• 3G / HSDPA
• 2000mAh battery
• Android 4.2 Jellybean

What we liked about it:
• Large IPS display
• Dual-SIM
• Solid build and construction
• Great screen at an affordable price

What we didn’t like about it:
• Below-average battery life
• Battery/phone gets hot fast


31 Responses to “Cherry Mobile Omega Spectrum Review”

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