Cherry Mobile Flare P1 Quick Review
Cherry Mobile has officially joined the dual camera wagon with the release of their Flare P1 series. What we have here is the Flare P1, an entry-level handset that has two rear cameras and boots Android 7.0 Nougat. How does it fair? Let’s find out in our quick review.
Design and Construction
This one has a 5-inch display, a 5MP front camera with a LED light, and relies on capacitive keys for navigation.
The sides of the phone don’t have the premium feel of an aluminum frame. The left-hand side is empty leaving the right side to have the physical buttons for power and volume.
The top side of the phone has the micro-USB port for charging and wired connections, and also the 3.5mm jack for the headphones.
The bottom has symmetrically drilled holes which may first look like a pair of speaker, hence stereo sound, but audio only fires on the left. Also, it’s quite unusual to not see the micro-USB port between these two.
When we get to the back of the phone, we’re going to see what sets this phone apart from other budget phones currently in the market. On its top-left corner, it has two rear cameras just like with the iPhone 7 Plus or the Huawei P10. But, it’s a combination of 13MP primary sensor and a 2MP secondary.
The phone has a fairly standard polycarbonate build you’d expect from a budget handset.
Display and Multimedia
We have a 5-inch display on the Flare P1. Good to know that Cherry Mobile blessed the device with a IPS LCD for good viewing angles. Also, it has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels which results to 294ppi. To sum it up, the display is of good quality with pleasing colors and wide viewing angles.
The loudspeaker, on the other hand, is just about average. It gets loud enough but the overall quality is nothing to write home about. A good pair of earphones or an external speaker will complement the display better.
OS, Apps, and UI
One of the main selling points of the Flare P1 is its operating system. It’s one of the few local handsets that has the Android Nougat out of the box. Just like with the previous releases of Cherry Mobile, the user interface is left bare with just a few pre-loaded apps.
You get all of the Nougat features including split-screen and redesigned notification panel. There are a handful of Google apps and services set as default plus a few Cherry Mobile.
Out of the 16GB storage, you’re left with about 11GB for you images, videos, music, and apps.
Perhaps the main selling point of the Flare P1 is its dual rear cameras. According to its specifications, it’s got a 13MP+2MP combo on its back while a 5MP front shooter takes care of the selfies. It still has the generic camera launcher from most MediaTek handsets with very little extra features.
The rear camera takes average images on daylight and suffers greatly in dim scenarios. As for the blur effect, wherein the secondary sensor kicks in, we’re unsure of it. It doesn’t automatically give a ‘bokeh’-effect and there’s no refocus feature that we’ve seen with other similar setups. The blur effect is not that different with what photo editing apps offer. In other words, there’s nothing special, not to mention that it’s also cumbersome to understand and use. Here are the samples including those shots from the front camera.
As for the video, it maxes out at 1080p and supports tap-to-focus during recording. Here’s a sample:
Performance and Benchmarks
The handset is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6580 clocked at 1.3GHz with the Mali-T720 GPU and 1GB RAM. It’s a setup that will not impress those who cry for beefy specs but, so far, things are running smoothly.
We’ve already dealt with 1GB RAM phones before and with the latest Android version possible, it’ll be enough for everyday use. Although, you’ll have to keep the resource-hungry apps in check like Facebook, Messenger, and the likes. Gaming is also okay as long it’s casual and not graphic intensive.
Here are the performance scores from benchmark tests:
- AnTuTu Benchmark — 24585
- Geekbench 4 — 420 (Single), 1204 (Multi)
- PCMark — 2909 (Work 1.0), 1789 (Work 2.0)
- 3DMark — 1791 (Ice Storm Extreme)
Call Quality and Connectivity
Calling is satisfactory but we find the earpiece’s volume to be soft. There’s no noise-cancelling microphone too, so you’d have to make calls in quite surroundings.
The phone accepts two micro SIM cards but it’s limited to 3G connectivity. There’s also Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS onboard.
The Flare P1 has a pretty small battery at just 2350mAh and it’s not user replaceable. Given the capacity, it can’t last us a whole day especially when we’re using data and going heavy on its camera. So if you’re going out with this device, make sure to carry a power bank with you.
With PCMark (Work 1.0) battery test, the handset lasted for just 6 hours and 31 minutes.
The Cherry Mobile Flare P1 feels like a trial if the mass market will patronize the dual camera trend. If only they have tried better with it comes to its implementation then it would have been a fascinating budget handset. For Php3,999, it’s still not bad for a Nougat-running, dual camera smartphone.
If you want something similar but has more power and 4G LTE, there’s the Flare P1 Plus but has a steeper Php6k price tag.
Cherry Mobile Flare P1 specs:
5-inch IPS LCD display @ 1280 x 720 pixels, 294ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core CPU
Mali T720 GPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 32GB
13MP + 2MP Dual BSI rear autofocus cameras w/ LED flash
5MP front camera w/ LED light
Dual SIM (Micro)
GPS w/ a-GPS
2350mah non-removable battery
Android 7.0 Nougat
What we liked about it:
- Nougat out of the box
- Good display for its price
What we didn’t:
- Disappointing camera performance
- Quite bulky for its size
- Doesn’t support 4G LTE