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Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie Review




Selfie-centric smartphones normally sit at the Php10K to Php20K price range, so it’s a stretch for those with a budget lower than that. Cherry Mobile wants to address that with the release of the Flare S6 Selfie. With a 16MP Samsung cameras and an octa-core processor, let’s find out if this is the budget selfie phone to get this holiday season.

Design and Construction

Out of the box, the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie comes with your standard accessories. There’s the charger, USB Type C cable, in-ear headphones, manuals, and SIM tray ejector tool. Sadly, it doesn’t come with a jelly case, but the unit itself already has a screen protector installed.

The Flare S6 Selfie sports a 5.2-inch screen with 2.5D curved glass. It doesn’t have an 18:9 aspect ratio but has a Full HD resolution or equal to 423ppi which is better than the Flare S6 Plus’s 282ppi.

Placed above the display is a 16MP Samsung S5K3P3 camera, receiver, and LED flash.

Down below are the unlit capacitive keys for Recent Apps and Back. Placed in the middle is the Home button that also doubles as a fingerprint scanner.

On the left is the hybrid SIM tray that accepts two micro SIM cards with the SIM 2 slot for the microSD.

On the right are the power/lock button and volume keys.

Found up top is the 3.5mm audio port, while down below are the main microphone, USC Type C port, and loudspeaker.

Flip it on its back is the protruding 16MP Samsung S5K3P3 main shooter along with the LED flash. Also visible here are the two antenna bands which leaves a noticeable gap from the body, unlike the ones found on the Flare S6 Plus which feels smooth and seamless.

On the hand, it feels premium thanks to its metal body. It’s also comfortable to hold thanks to the curved edges and relatively light body.

Display and Multimedia

For a budget phone, the Flare S6 Selfie packs a nice display at 5.2-inches with an IPS panel and Full HD resolution or equal to 424ppi. It’s crisp with punchy colors, good viewing angles, and legible outdoors. There’s no mention of special glass protection so it’s more likely the standard type.

Loudspeaker quality leaves a lot to be desired as it is weak and sounds tinny. That said, this will force you to use an external speaker or earphones. It also has Hi-Fi support for better listening experience.

OS, UI, and Apps

Running the software side is Cherry Mobile’s new Cherry OS. It has a cleaner and modern look compared to the old stock they used to have.

It uses a combination of multiple home screens and an app drawer, meaning the installed apps are readily available on the home screen so you just need to swipe to access them. The app drawer, on the other hand, will bring out the apps in alphabetical order. It’s actually similar to the interface of the Infinix XOS Chameleon. That said, this implementation feels redundant and could be better off without that alphabetical list.

Even with a new look, the Cherry OS is still easy to navigate. In a way, it also reminds us of MIUI in terms of looks and simplicity. Pre-installed apps are present like UC Browser, Uber, Chumslive PRO, and MovieClub+, on top of the basic Google apps.

It also has additional features, namely, 360 Security, Privacy System, Super AppLock, Avatar Master, Freezer, and Health Guard (you can read more about them here). Some might appreciate the new features while others might consider them as bloatware. Power Master and Super App Lock also take some space in your notifications drawer which can be distracting. The good thing is you can disable these apps inside settings.

All in all, the operating system takes a huge chunk out of the measly 16GB, leaving you with only 10.32GB of usable space. You can expand it via microSD but at the sacrifice of the SIM 2 slot.

Camera

Author’s note: At the time of testing and writing, the Flare S6 Selfie’s camera uses a pre-production software. Cherry Mobile says that they will fix any bugs or performance issues in the final build before the market release.

As a selfie device, the Flare S6 Selfie’s main feature is its cameras, and Cherry Mobile partnered with Samsung for its sensors. The rear and the front cameras use a 16MP Samsung S5K3P3 sensors. The in-camera features consist of HDR, Panorama, Beauty, Mono, Night, and Bokeh, which can be achieved by moving your camera and letting shoot the subject and then the background.

The whole thing sounds promising but it still has a lot to improve on in terms of quality as images produced are often hazy, while exposure and autofocus are not always spot on.

Still, we were able to produce decent results granted that you do some post-processing before uploading on your favorite social networking site. We hope that the final retail unit has a way better quality. As for video recording, the rear camera can record in 3GP format at Full HD resolution at 30fps, while the front maxes out at 640 × 480 pixels, which is weird considering they have the same sensors. Check out the samples below.

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the device is a MediaTek 6750T octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and 3GB RAM. Overall performance is okay as we didn’t encounter crashes or random reboots while using it. Multitasking is smooth thanks to the 3GB RAM. Gaming performance is also okay and can run Mobile Legends and Vainglory in High settings. Although it tends to get toasty with the Power Master app warning us that it’s at 43-degrees Celcius.

* AnTuTu – 42,013
* 3D Mark – 373 (Sling Shot Extreme)
* PC Mark – 4,160 (Work performance 1.0)
* Geekbench – 611 (Single-Core), 2,559 (Multi-Core), 1,722 (RenderScript)
* Vellamo – 2,119 (Multicore), 1,019 (Metal), 2,230 (Chrome)
* AndroBench – 224.25 MB/s (Read), 66.94 MB/s (Write)

Connectivity and Call Quality

Connectivity-wise, the Flare S6 Selfie comes with basic features like 4G LTE with 700MHz support, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and dual-SIM. For a budget device, we’re impressed that it uses a USB Type-C port. So far we didn’t experience any problems with its GPS, mobile data, and call quality as long as we’re in an area with good signal coverage.

Battery Life

The Flare S6 Selfie doesn’t have a lot of power to go around at 2,600mAh. We’re getting around 6 to 7 hours of mix usage including photography and mobile data. In our video loop test which involves playing a 1080p video in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume, yielded 8 hours and 23 minutes worth of playback.

Conclusion

The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie is an attempt of the company to bring a decent selfie-centric smartphone to the masses at Php7,999. It’s got a nice and slim design, 3GB RAM, new OS, USB-C, and a fingerprint scanner. The cameras, although promising, left us wanting more, but we’re hoping the final software build will finally bring out its full potential.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie specs:
5.2-inch FHD IPS display, 424ppi
1.5GHz MediaTek 6750T Octa-Core CPU
Mali T860 MP2 GPU
3GB RAM
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD card up to 128GB
16MP Samsung S5K3P3 rear camera with LED Flash
16MP Samsung S5K3P3 front camera
4G LTE
Dual SIM (micro), Dual Standby
WiFi 802.1.1 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS, A-GPS
USB Type-C
Fingerprint scanner
Hi-Fi audio
Gyroscope
Android 7 Nougat (Cherry OS)
2600mah battery
153.6 x 74.6 x 8.5 mm

What we liked:
* Nice design
* 3GB RAM
* USB-C
* Low price

What we didn’t:
* Low storage
* Low battery capacity
* Buggy camera (to be fixed in final software build)



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

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