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Highlights

Cherry Mobile Flare S5 Plus Review




Specs such as a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 3GB RAM, fingerprint scanner, and USB Type C, are usually found in smartphones priced above Php10K. That means, if you’re on a budget, you’ll have to miss out on some of those features. However, with Cherry Mobile wants to bring those features to the masses by packing it in a smartphone priced at just Php9K. Here’s our review of the Cherry Mobile Flare S5 Plus.

Design and Construction

The Flare S5 Plus is equipped with a 5.5-inch display with black borders separating it from edges. Above it is the earpiece, 8MP camera, and sensors. Down below is the physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner and a pair of capacitive keys for the menu and back.

While the left side is devoid of any slots or buttons, the right side houses the volume and power/lock keys.

To the top are the 3.5mm jack and an antenna band.

At the bottom are the USB Type-C port, microphone, loudspeaker, and a couple of antenna bands.

On the back are the 16MP camera and dual-LED flash. The rest of the rear is covered by shiny polycarbonate removable panel. Removing it will provide access to the SIM card slots (micro + nano) and a dedicated microSD card slot. Also found here is the 3,000mAh non-removable battery.

On the hand, the handset feels hefty which makes it tiresome to hold. However, it also exudes a solid build quality. It’s bulk and weight would have been justified if it had a larger battery. On the bright side, the curved glass, glossy back, and aluminum frame is nice to look at and feels good on the hands.

Display and Multimedia

Those who prefer a large high-resolution screen will be glad that the Flare S5 plus has a 5.5-inch display size with Full HD resolution which translates to 401ppi. It has natural colors with good viewing angles and can produce enough brightness for outdoor use. Although we noticed that its dimmest setting is still too bright for night time use. And for those asking, yes, it has a gyroscope for VR.

The speaker, on the other hand, has decent sound quality. It’s clear for voice calls and should suffice for casual music listening. Although it could use a big of boost when it comes to loudness. Still, we advise that you use a good pair of headphones or external speaker if you want better audio quality.

OS, UI, and Apps

Handling the software department is Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Cherry Mobile kept most of the UI stock which is good. Pre-installed apps are also kept to a minimum. Aside from the usual Google goodies, we have four from Cherry Mobile which cannot be uninstalled, Opera Mini, Xender, and Movie Clube which you can remove if you’re not using them.

Although we don’t have issues with the vanilla UI, we were surprised to find out that it has pop-up ads that appear on top of the UI. Although rare and have only seen it a few times, it’s still intrusive. We also don’t know what triggers the ads so we have no idea how to avoid it.

Storage-wise, it comes with 32GB of storage with 25.02GB as usable which is still sizeable. Should you wish to expand it, there’s a dedicated microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 64GB. There’s also USB OTG but you will need the USB Type-C model.

Camera

The Flare S5 Plus is equipped with a 16MP BSI main shooter with Phase-Detect AF. Photos have decent quality, especially in bright conditions. However, colors tend to be on the cooler side with muted greens. As for the front camera, it has an 8MP BSI shooter with a wide-angle lens which makes it easier to do group selfies. Check out the samples below:

For videos, you can record up to 1080p at 30fps in 3GP format. Quality is similar to stills. Watch the sample below:

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the device is a Mediatek MT6753 octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz, Mali T720 GPU, and 3GB RAM. Performance is good for its class and can handle tasks without choking. Apps launch fast, animations and transitions are smooth, and can also handle gaming apps such as NBA Live Mobile. Check out the benchmark scores below:

* AnTuTu – 36,849
* Quadrant Standard – 19,460
* Vellamo – 1,496 (Multicore), 1,062 (Metal), 2,181 (Chrome)
* 3D Mark – 195 (Sling Shot ES 3.1)
* PC Mark – 3,784 (Work 1.0), 2,760 (Work 2.0), 2,690 (Storage)

Although general performance is good, we can’t say the same thing for its fingerprint scanner. Although it was able to record our prints (5 prints maximum), it had a hard time recognizing them afterward. Our guess is that smudges have messed up the prints during registry. We hope that it can be fixed with a software update.

Connectivity and Call Quality

The Flare S5 Plus supports dual-SIM connectivity (micro + nano) with support for 700MHz 4G LTE. Meaning you can enjoy the new frequency right away if you’re in the area of coverage. It also has another feature called Turbo download that lets you download large files (over 20MB) using WiFi and 4G/3G networks at the same time. Call quality, on the other hand, works as advertised and is loud and clear on both ends.

Battery Life

Given its size, we were expecting the Flare S5 Plus a large battery (at least 3,500mAh). However, Cherry Mobile settled with 3,000mAh which lasts us around 7 hours on light to moderate usage. Although still considered as average capacity, it performed poorly at PC Mark’s battery bench at just 6 hours.

On our video loop test (1080p file on loop in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume with headset plugged in) it lasted for 8 hours and 35 minutes which is decent, but far from stellar.

Conclusion

Cherry Mobile’s offering for the holidays is off to a good start with their new Flare series. The Flare S5 is an attractive offering considering its specs and affordable price. At Php8,999, you’re getting a smartphone with an attractive design, decent performance, 700MHz-ready LTE, USB Type-C, and a fingerprint scanner. However, its flaws are hard to ignore – the pop-up ads in the UI, inaccurate fingerprint scanner, and below average battery life, could be a deal breaker for some.

Cherry Mobile Flare S5 Plus specs:
5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 401ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor
Mali T720 GPU
3GB RAM
32GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD, up to 64GB
16-megapixel BSI PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash
8-megapixel BSI front camera
Dual SIM
4G LTE (700MHz ready)
Wi-Fi 802.11ab/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
USB Type C
Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G-Sensor
Fingerprint Sensor
GPS w/ A-GPS
3000mAh non-removable battery
Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Pros:
* Good design and build
* Decent performance
* 700MHz LTE
* USB Type-C
* Fingerprint scanner
* Low price

Cons:
* Inaccurate fingerprint scanner
* Below average battery life



This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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32 Responses

  1. Jiron says:

    Uninstall/disable the Cherry apps. I had a Flare S4 and it had ads in the notifications before removing the apps. But now these ads are more intrusive than ever.

  2. Karlo says:

    I suggest when you post benchmarks, you include comparisons to other devices. This gives more context on the performance of the device relative to other devices in the market in the same price bracket.

  3. Melvin says:

    How about the charging time? medyo mas mabilis naman po ba sya since USB Type C?, khit wala syang fast charging?

  4. jimm staff says:

    That SOC…

  5. _montz says:

    i have fully experienced that SoC on my cubix cube 2 before the battery failed and inflated .. the performance was totally shit .. even the always on top app fb messenger was so Lag that it freezes all the time while i’m playing the so Light app CoC .. other phones with these SoCs are better .. it’s just cherry mobile’s poor engineering is the reason .. cubix cube 2 is my 5th phone from cherry and it’s enough .. won’t buy CM phones anymore .. Like their M1 .. sayang ung premium camera na iniLagay ..

    • _montz says:

      ay maLi ako hehe .. MTK 6592 paLa ang cubix cube 2 .. but still my decision is finaL ! ang panget ng CM Phones .. maybe i’ll consider this s5 plus and there flare infinity because it’s USB type-C and 700MHz LTE ready .. pero di na taLaga ako bibiLi ng phone sa CM ..

    • Melchor says:

      Hays sayang pera dto. Nag asus nlng sana ako. This is a friendly review para hndi naman masayang pera ng mga susunod na bibili

  6. dextra says:

    yung screen nya po.. pag nag crack gagana parin ba?

  7. khim???? says:

    para skn mas magada prn ang flare s4 max lalo na s battery life kht nka data umaabot prn ng knabukasan ang bat. s lahat ng unit ng CM etong S4 max S lng tlg ang nagustuhan q!

  8. SuperLume5128 says:

    “It also has another feature called Turbo download that lets you download large files (over 20MB) using WiFi and 4G/3G networks at the same time.”
    Can you disable this feature? Having a 3G /4G connection along with WIFI is a good thing if you’re in the Telco business LoL

  9. Jaaaaap says:

    disable the YouTube inbuild app and the ads will disappear. :) May virus yung YouTube na yune idk how to uninstall it without rooting so disable is fine pero every restarting your phone, may lalabas na error abt youtube so all you need to do is enable and disable the Youtube app again.

  10. Melanie says:

    Please remove this many ads that keeps of popping in my cherry mobile Flare S5 Plus. Its really annoying specially when I am watching movies they keep of popping out of nowhere. At first I thought it will be gone but after a few minutes they’re back.. Please for the love of God FIX IT. Please

  11. Melchor says:

    May topak display ng cherry flare s5. Not worth buying. Nagsisisi ako na bumili ako. Same dn sa kaibigan ko na bumili, may white lines sa screen.

  12. roy says:

    Mabilis mag init Po Anu dapat Gawin

  13. Reynaldo says:

    Iun binili ko na Cherry mobile Flare S5 Wala pang 3months nasa Service Center na nila sira daw iun LCD kakabad trip kabibili ko lng halos sira na kagad..Ang ganda kasi ng Specs Kaya naenganyo ako..Di nko bibili khit kailan ng brand na Ito..

  14. Vic says:

    Pag ng laro ako ng games.. ung system ui ko biglang humihinto ano pong dpat gawin?

  15. Chad says:

    Please update the version of flare s5 plus…
    And fix the popups …. Sayang Ang pera namin saganitong unit nah phone… Sana naman ayusin nyo ito gwa Kayo nang version nah pwedi maupgrade Ang phone.na to at maging ok

  16. Dannyson says:

    bakit nag iinit ang taas ng CM S5? 3days ko pa lang nagamit… Kung magpapalit ako ng bago mag iinit padin Ba?

  17. Chris says:

    Wag na kayo bumili ng cherry mobile. Substandard internals ng phones nila. Sayang lang pera nyu… madali masira lalo n internal memory… gastos nang gastos kc sa mga artistang indorsers, di n lng mag focus sila sa quality ng phones…

  18. Rolan says:

    Battery drains very fast when fingerprint scanner is activated.

  19. Alvaro says:

    Halaaaa…nakabili ako nito flare S5 plus kanina lang.
    I hope kung gaano kaganda ang specs sana ganun din kaganda kapag ginagamit ko na. As of now, December 31, 2017, charging pa sya at mamaya after ma-full charged saka ko malalaman kung okay ang phone na ito.

  20. roea says:

    panu po e activate ung OTG ng cherry mobile flare s5???

  21. Maria says:

    Same reklamo ko yn screen aft 3months may mga lines, yn charger ayaw gumana, at sobra init buti pa flare 3 ko maayos pa sira lng bck cover. Dami palang same complaint.

  22. Ako lang to says:

    yung sken aftr 8 days.. yes 8 days nawalan na ng power..di na mag on at ayaw n magcharge. ayun nasa service center. ang unfair lng di man lang naka isang buwan may prob na agad..

  23. line says:

    binili ko lang to last Feb 2018 ngaun hard touch na sya , at madalas din sya nag Lalag, at umiinit pg gamit ang data. nakakabwisit

  24. Just call me, Me says:

    I discovered a trick about this phone. In it’s finger print scanner, just clean it with a clean clothe and place a transparent tape. Hope it helps!

  25. Hahahaha bakit ung CM s5 nyo dali nasira bakit naman ung sken mag 2 years na ok na ok pa ang sabhin nyo PALPAK kayo gumamit…..puro kau reklamo… ndi nyo alam mga snasabi nyo

  26. Romy says:

    Nabili ko itong unit ko 4 months ago when they had it for P3,999. So far so good at wala pa namang sira. Yung fingerprint scanner nya ay hindi gumagana pag medyo basa ang kamay ko kasi pawisin ang kamay ko pero kung tuyo ang kamay ko one touch lang na recognize naman nya kaagad. Medyo mainit nga lang yung likuran nya sa may camera pero hindi naman nakakapaso kaya ok lang. I’m happy with my Flare S5 plus.

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