Just when everybody thought that Cherry Mobile’s days of local market dominance are numbered with the release of competitive mid-range smartphones, they’ve shown that they’re not going to go down without a fight – and it comes in the form of the new CM Flare X.
The Flare X isn’t exactly an attention-grabber. Its straightforward design coupled with a conventional form factor will not immediately impress any on-looker at first glance. It’s only when you held the handset, however, will you appreciate the Flare X’s minimalist design and pretty decent build quality.
The uncluttered layout of the handset’s front panel is almost screen with just enough room at the top for the earpiece and 5-megapixel front camera, and three capacitive Android navigation buttons at the bottom.
Both the Power button and volume rockers are located on the right side of the Flare X and are placed ergonomically to suit the natural position of the right thumb when holding the handset. These buttons are a tad too flushed for our liking, but provides a satisfying feedback when pressed.
Meanwhile the audio jack and MicroUSB ports are situated at the top and bottom portions respectively.
At the back you’ll find a 13-megapixel camera smacked right in the middle, neighbored by a dual-LED flash unit. Below is a speaker grille that hides two speakers units underneath.
Prying open the polycarbonate back cover will reveal two microSIM card slots and a microSD card slot. Sadly, user’s need to first take out the handset’s 3,000mAh battery to access any of these card slots.
The slightly curved back panel of the Flare X together with the non-glossy coating of the removable back plate makes the smartphone comfortable to hold.
Cherry Mobile Flare X specs:
5.5-inch Full-HD IPS OGS display, 1920 x 1080 @ 400ppi
Gorilla Glass 3
1.7GHz MediaTek MT6752 octa-core processor
Expandable 16GB internal storage
Supports up to 64GB MicroSD card
13-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
Sony IMX 214 BSI sensor
5-megapixel front camera
Dual-SIM, Dual Standby
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
152 x 75.6 x 9.1mm (dimensions)
Cherry Mobile has been pushing the boundaries for really affordable yet very powerful devices. Granted that they still mainly use Mediatek chipsets for most of them, they are still relatively high-performance chips that are in the same level as last year’s global flagship devices running Snapdragon 800/801.
With a price tag of just under Php7k, it will certainly raise a lot of interest among those who are looking for bang-for-the-buck handsets, regardless if they’re local ore re-branded.
Cherry Mobile has a strong contender in their hands with the new Flare X. The combination of very decent specs, and competitive price tag puts the local brand’s new smartphone in a good position to compete with the likes of the Alcatel Flash Plus and Lenovo A7000.
Stay tuned for our full review in the coming days.