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Cherry Mobile Flare X Review

It’s undeniable that the local smartphone landscape has changed with the arrival of aggressively-priced midrange smartphones like the A7000, Flash Plus, and the M1 Note. These smartphones not only set a new standard for what a “bang-for-the-buck” handset should be, but also gave local brands a taste of their own medicine in the process.

cherry mobile flare x

Cherry Mobile’s response came in the form of the Flare X – a mid-range smartphone that sports a competitive hardware setup and has a tempting price that puts it in an even playing field against other crowd-favorites.

Design and Construction

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.

cherry mobile flare x review

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 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.

cherry mobile flare x

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.

Display and Multimedia

Nowadays, a 5.5-inch full-HD display seems to be the standard for mid-range smartphones. Some users, especially those who prefer a smaller screen, may not be too happy about this trend, but we imagine that most users will appreciate having a fairly large screen real estate on their handset.

CM Flare X

Although the Flare X shares the same screen size and resolution with its midrange contemporaries, it has a few tricks up its sleeves that give it a slight edge over its competition.

The use of an LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) in-plane switching OGS panel, for one, is a good example of this. In addition, the Flare X is equipped with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which was lacking on some of the popular value-oriented smartphones.

Needless to say, the quality of the screen of the Flare X is more than sufficient to handle your average smartphone needs. Color shifts when viewing the display at extreme angles are hardly noticeable, the color reproduction is good, and hardly found ourselves looking for a shade when using the Flare X outdoors.

Flare X

The handset’s great display is complemented by loud and clear sounds courtesy of the dual stereo speaker setup found at the back of the Flare X, near the bottom section. It’s one of the few smartphones that has a speaker on the back that we didn’t have to cup our hands behind in order to comfortably hear the sound from it.

OS, UI and Apps

If there’s one aspect that the Flare X lags behind other competitively-priced mid-range smartphones is its OS. Most of its contemporaries have Android Lollipop right off the box, the Flare X has to make do with Android KitKat.

It’s not exactly a major drawback, but considering that Cherry Mobile doesn’t have a good track record of releasing timely software updates, potential users are likely to be stuck in this OS version for as long as they own this handset.

UI

On the upside, we’re glad that Cherry Mobile went for a straightforward user interface, devoid of funky looking icons and unnecessary customizations that, more often than not, do more harm than good.

Pre-installed apps were also kept at a minimum. Apart from the usual set of Cherry Mobile apps (Pinoy App Store, Wireless Update, Cherry Fun Club and Cherry Play), the only other pre-installed apps on the Flare X are Dr. Booster and Kakao Talk.

This means that a good portion of the handset’s 16GB internal storage (12.65GB usable) is still available at the user’s disposal.

storage

Installing third-party apps is a breeze. We didn’t encounter any issues downloading and installing apps on the Flare X from the Google Play Store. The same can be said for sideloading apps.

Performance and Benchmarks

Thanks to its beefy internal hardware configuration consisting of an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and a capable Mali T670 GPU, we were able to pretty much throw everything the Flare X’s way.

It handled multitasking and graphics-intensive titles with relative ease and without generating too much heat in the process.

Benchmark

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme: 4,722
AnTuTu Benchmark: 35,747
NenaMark 2: 53fps
PCMark Work: 3,516
Quadrant Standard: 18,160
Vellamo: 2,925 (Chrome Browser) / 1,614 (Multicore) / 1,245 (Metal)

Camera

We’ve seen a lot of 13-megapixel rear cameras in our time. Some claim to have an image sensor with the said resolution when in fact it’s interpolated, while some are legitimately 13-megapixel shooters.

We’re glad to report that the Flare X belongs to the latter group thanks to the Sony IMX214 sensor. You can find more information about this sensor here , but basically it can deliver amazing shots especially in good lighting conditions.

[fancygallery id=”225″ album=”268″]

The Flare X’s camera was able to capture a good amount of detail in the scene and stayed faithful to the actual color of the scene. Image sharpness and autofocus speed are also commendable, albeit not in the same league as smartphones with top notch cameras.

The Flare X’s imaging prowess extends to video recording. It doesn’t have those fancy features like slow-motion capture and 4K video recording, but full-HD video recording at 30fps should be enough for average video capture needs.

cm flare x sample video 16

Connectivity and Call Quality

In terms of basic phone functionality, the Flare X didn’t give us any sort of issue whether with sending/receiving SMS or taking/placing a voice call on any of the two SIM card slots.

Network-related problems aside, the handset was able to pick up strong signal from any of the telcos that we tried on it which resulted in to clear voice calls and timely arrival of new SMS. Furthermore, LTE connectivity is supported on both SIM card slots, but not simultaneously.

Battery Life and Charging Time

It takes roughly around four (4) hours to fully charge the CM Flare X after being totally drained. It also took roughly the same amount time to drain it when we played Duels of the Planeswalker 2015 with the Wi-Fi turned on with various social media apps and email apps running in the background.

Battery Life

The handset fared better when we ran our standard battery test. It lasted for a little over nine (9) hours when we looped a full-HD video after fully charging it (as seen on the screenshot above). The handset was placed on Airplane mode during the test and all of the other features (GPS, Bluetooth and NFC) were disable.

Meanwhile, the Flare X got 6 hours and 17 minutes when we ran PCMark Work battery test. We also used the same test parameter when we ran this test on the Flare X.

Work Battery Life

Conclusion

With the recent influx of bang-for-the-buck smartphones in the local market, it has become tougher for brands, both local and international, to lure in potential consumers because of the cut-throat price tag and powerful hardware configuration of the new breed of midrange smartphones.

However, this kind of aggressive business strategy is right up Cherry Mobile’s alley so it’s really not surprising to see them come with the perfect answer to their competitors – the Cherry Mobile Flare X.

Cherry Mobile Flare X specs:
5.5-inch Full-HD IPS OGS display, 1920 x 1080 @ 400ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
1.7GHz MediaTek MT6752 octa-core processor
Mali-T760 GPU
3GB RAM
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
4G/LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
3000mAh battery
152 x 75.6 x 9.1mm (dimensions)

The CM Flare X is a well-rounded smartphone that offers remarkable performance, decent image quality from its rear camera, and good battery life. Design is probably the least brightest spot of the Flare X, but even that gets a nod from us as the handset still feels sturdy and well put together despite its all-plastic make.

To conclude, if you still haven’t decided on which midrange smartphone to get, then you should really take a closer look at the Cherry Mobile Flare X. It has all the right tools to go toe-to-toe with the best midrange smartphone currently in the market and a Php6,999 sticker price that won’t break the bank.

What we like about it:

  • Great display quality
  • Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Loud and clear sound output from loudspeaker
  • Impressive hardware configuration for its price
  • Above average performance
  • Sizeable internal storage with expandability option
  • Support for LTE connectivity on both SIM card slots
  • Good image quality from rear camera
  • Quick and spot-on autofocus
  • Fast camera response
  • Decent battery life
  • Competitive price
  • What we didn’t like about it:

  • Uninspiring design
  • Poor SIM card slot design (difficult to remove SIM)
  • Android KitKat instead of Lollipop
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    Avatar for Ronnie Bulaong

    This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

    54 Responses

    1. Avatar for Ross Haiken Ross Haiken says:

      actually po 1.3Ghz Octacore yung GPU nito, and it’s T760 ARM.. not sure kung bakit andaming reviews nagsasabi na 1.7Ghz pero yung Flare X na nakita ko sa mall is 1.3Ghz ang nkasulat dun sa specs nya on the front cover.. dlwang version po ba ang Flare X or nagkamali lang kayo? plano ko kasing bumili pero if possible yung 1.7Ghz ang gusto ko if meron talaga mainly for gaming, surfing and watching purposes po kse.. if meron patingin naman po ng screenshot

    2. Avatar for ichigo ichigo says:

      Bought this phone last 12/12. Ok naman lahat, mahina lang signal lage nasa 2g. Di ko alm kung mahina lang talaga signal ng globe sa Cavite city.

    3. Avatar for Shin Shin says:

      sir panu yung sa earphone ng flare X hnd ko feel pag naka earphone e. laging may nakalagay na hnd daw pwede max volume kasi makakasira daw sa tenga?

    4. Avatar for darwin darwin says:

      Sa nagsasabi pangit camera ng flare x think twice.starmobile?pano ba mag add ng photo d2 ng maipakita ko sample

    5. Avatar for sinful goddesz sinful goddesz says:

      ok ba yung cam kahit sa low light ?!

    6. Avatar for yson yson says:

      Anu bayan ang camera ang labo mas maganda pa ang 5mp ng starmobile jump neo , malinaw pa kahit sa madilim .

      • Avatar for darwin darwin says:

        How will I show the camera sample of my flare x even I. Low light compare it if you want to your starmobile(starmobile sucks) . I’m proud that I have this phone

    7. Avatar for Teodoro Teodoro says:

      sinong nakapagupdate na? hnd ko kasi maupdate yung CmFx ko… laging sinasabi may problema daw sa software

    8. Avatar for tattooednerd tattooednerd says:

      ok ba talaga flare x? nagpaplano kasi akong bumili ngayon :)
      may available bang cases dito like flare s3? and s3 kasi madami thanks :)

    9. Avatar for truth awaits truth awaits says:

      another Pinoy reviewer of Flare x says the camera is not the real Sony IBM214. he uses the word phoney.

    10. Avatar for The Obvious The Obvious says:

      Flare X is a 4G device; the SoC (MT6752) should have told you that much. In other words, yes.

    11. Avatar for Jester Jester says:

      Pede po ba salpakan ng lte sim ang flare x?

      Please reply thanks..

    12. Avatar for Deiv Lee Deiv Lee says:

      does it support clear motion like the other octa core offerings? nasanay na kasi ako with that feature…

    13. Avatar for Buknoy Buknoy says:

      no video sample for the rear cam?

    14. Avatar for aa aa says:

      kahit ilagay pa nila jan ang pinaka magandang processor, gpu at mataas na RAM, cherry mobile pa rin yan. ang haba lagi ng pila sa service center nila dahil sa sirain ang mga produkto nila.

    15. Avatar for scrible scrible says:

      may nkapag try nba ng LTE nito?
      compatible ba both networks?

    16. Avatar for marayag001 marayag001 says:

      Paki-tignan naman po in detail ang long-term performance ng Flare X. Inaalala ko kase kung kaya ng phone ang pangmatagalang gaming. Baka kase seryoso ang effect ng thermal throttling sa kanya. Naka-Note 4 Exynos ako ngayon, at kapag mga 5 minutes na ang paglalaro ko, naglalag bigla. Please look into this. Thank you very much. Suggest ko lang po na gamitin niyo yung GFXBench 3.0. Thanks again. Looking forward to it.

    17. Avatar for sol sol says:

      ask lang po feedbck ABOUT SA USAGE NG BATTERY ng flare x? pls?

    18. Avatar for aux aux says:

      saang branch may available pa nito?

    19. Avatar for john enem john enem says:

      panget///! ung specs..,. 3000mah? how come?

    20. Avatar for riz riz says:

      May nagsabi na magiging 9999 daw ang price ng cm flare x?? Ewan ko kung totoo or nagpapasikat lang yung nagpost sa fb

    21. Avatar for christian christian says:

      when will 8 release..?? ????

    22. Avatar for warren victor marcos warren victor marcos says:

      When will this unit be available?

    23. Avatar for TIRADOR TIRADOR says:

      may punyo naman sya, bibili ka ng mumurahing phone tapos magrereklamo, adik lang.

    24. Avatar for jay jay says:

      ang reklamo ko lng sa cherry is ung media sound nya. maxado sya mahina. my last fone na CM is ung flame 2. eh ung sound output nya is unremarkable. ang sabi sa ken is sa android daw ung issue. but i dont know.

      • Avatar for MATADOR MATADOR says:

        Ikaw ang may issue sir. Tigilan mo ang pagto tong its at mag ipon ka para makabili ng magandang phone. Bibili ka ng mumurahing phone tapos mareklamo ka? Pogi ka ba?

      • Avatar for kigwa kigwa says:

        nakakatuwa naman yung mga comments :D
        ang nagustohan ko lang dito is yung screen na protected with GG3 at yung stereo speakers kasi mahilig ako sa music. I’ve been using Nseries noon w/c has stereo speakers and it very good. sana maganda yung tunog ng speakers nito.. :)

        advance reply sa mga magsasabi ng “huwag ka nalang bumili nito kundi mp3 player ang bilhin mo..”

        hahaha! iba parin kasi pag customizable yung music player :p

        ~Fin ?

    25. Avatar for Joe Mabahow Joe Mabahow says:

      Okay…walang reply from the author of the article.

      • Avatar for c c says:

        Hindi po ito customer service ng cherry mobile

      • Avatar for MATADOR MATADOR says:

        Ano ka chicks? Nagtatampo pag di pinansin? Bumili ka na lang ng Oppo ipukpok mo sa ulo mo.

      • Avatar for FanBoyDetected FanBoyDetected says:

        Hahahaha. Ba’t ang highblood mo? Kulang Ka sa Pansin eh. Hindi ka dyan tintatanong ng isa tapos sasagot ng walamg ka kwentang kwetang sagot. Hanapbuhay mo na ba yan? Fanboy yata ng Cherry toh eh.hahahaha

    26. Avatar for Jo Mabahow Jo Mabahow says:

      Hi! Could you check if there are any touchscreen issues wen using the phone while charging at the same time? Thanks!

    27. Avatar for jey jey says:

      ^

      sa tingin ko maganda malaman kung totoong Gorilla Glass nga. Kasi sabi nagagasgasan daw talaga agad ang screen

    28. Avatar for EXCEED EXCEED says:

      bakit dpa ginawang 4000 – 5000 mAh
      sayang lang ung spec kung fast drain
      lang ang battery.. lalo na mga tao ngaun
      gamit DATA for connection..
      sobra bilis ma drain pag DATA unlik sa Wifi!~

      • Avatar for MATADOR MATADOR says:

        oo nga naman pre. tsaka ung resolution di pa ginawang qhd. tapos camera dapat 41 megapixel. tapos dapat 8gb ang ram. tapos dapat 4500 lang ang presyo. tapos isa kang mareklamong wala namang pera.

      • Avatar for Rockafella Rockafella says:

        @MATADOR LMAO XD

      • Avatar for Tanga na fanboy si MATADOR Tanga na fanboy si MATADOR says:

        Andami mong alam, palibhasa hanggang P6,999 lang ang kayang paghirapan ng tatay mong janitor e..

    29. Avatar for Blik Blik says:

      Hi.pls confirm po ang
      Otg
      Gorilla glass-nabasa k sa ibang review na may scratches daw ang screem nila
      Tnx

    30. Avatar for wowee wowee says:

      Can you please comfirm if it has hspa+? the firefly allure doesnt have hspa+ so when there is no LTE signal it drops to the very slow 3g. And please confirm if it has A-GPS and GLONASS thanks

    31. Avatar for jude jude says:

      meron po siyang otg

    32. Avatar for OS OS says:

      Since this is basically a rebranded Jiayu S3, the official S3 ROM should work… and they just released a Lollipop update. Notable because it’s 5.1 Lollipop. Even the developer version relesaed several weeks ago ramped up the phone’s performance to 43-44k in AnTuTu.

      Time to flash your Flare, just remember to install Google Play manually.

      • Avatar for gerard gerard says:

        sir are you sure about this? lollipop 5.1 update meron na sa jiayu s3? i bet pwedeng pwede talaga sya iflash sa flare x, kasi same hardware naman eh.

      • Avatar for OS OS says:

        Right, this phone is basically a Jiayu S3 Advanced that Cherry put their own firmware on. Specs, form, everything is the same.

        The official developer update 5.1 for the S3 came out on May already. There are two updates right now, and the one you want is the Jiayu S3 Advanced.

        There’s also a CyanogenMod project for the S3 if you prefer that.

    33. Avatar for jep jep says:

      pakicompare naman po lte speed niya vs other cps using different cpus like qualcomm and kirin. May nabasa kasi ako sa isang review website na mabagal lte speed pag mediatek

    34. Avatar for JackOfAllTrades JackOfAllTrades says:

      may OTG yan…

    35. Avatar for Bad Blood Bad Blood says:

      Does it have an LED notification light? Some says it has but you didn’t mention it in this review… and OTG? Please check… Thanks more power YUGATECH!

      • Avatar for Bassam Al Fayeed Bassam Al Fayeed says:

        Meron sya LED notification and YES OTG capable sya… mine is working perfectly…

    36. Avatar for Werklurk Werklurk says:

      Doesn’t have OTG. :(

      • Avatar for changwafu changwafu says:

        wala bang OTG? sure? or hindi lang nila na.include sa review?

        I think meron tong OTG, nakalimutan lang ata?

      • Avatar for Rnc Rnc says:

        Are you sure? Coz mine’s working perfectly.. Transferring animes from FD to phone

      • Avatar for Ariel Ariel says:

        Hello i got a big problem on my flare x device. First i just by pass the edge signal because my home town area, but when am in the city i tut my signal on the flare x will G Or H but still it displays E. I compare it to my other android device wherein it has a H+ signal or G display but my flare x is in E display!!! I tried to check it on the mobile settings and select 4G (recommended) but no issues fix, still E signal displays!!! It not the network or my sim is the problem because i try this to my other device and its ok. What will i do? Plz help me? Will i return this to the store for exchange or go with dti for complaining this product?

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