Cherry Mobile Flash Review
Cherry Mobile has recently released one of the company’s latest Android smartphone aimed at users who want a 5.5-inch Full HD display, octa-core CPU, LTE, fingerprint scanner, and Android Marshmallow for under Php6K – the Cherry Mobile Flash. Considering that there are other competitive smartphones in this price range, will the Flash be able to stand out from the rest?
Design and Construction
To start off, the Cherry Mobile Flash has a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display. As always, the earpiece is situated on top along with a couple of sensors, notification light, and the 8MP selfie camera. Under the display is a trio of capacitive keys for Menu, Home, and Back. The whole front is then surrounded by a chrome accent.
To the right side are the volume rocker and the power/lock button while the left houses the SIM and microSD card tray.
Up top is just the 3.5mm headphone jack and nothing else.
The bottom is where the micro-USB port sits and beside it is a microphone pinhole.
Flip it over and you’ll see the woven textured back panel which adds a bit of character to the handset. The main 16-megapixel camera with an LED flash is located at the upper left corner, while another mic for noise cancellation is positioned beside them. There’s also a round and sunken fingerprint scanner for quick unlocking and added security. Lastly, the loudspeaker sits at the lower end. It’s worth noting that the panel is non-removable, so there’s no access to the battery.
Other additional features of the flash is the fingerprint scanner which is pretty simple to setup and accurate when unlocking. The rear placement is also a plus as it is easily accessible using your index finger.
On the hand, the Flash is comfortable to hold and has a slim body that everyone can easily appreciate. Not to mention that it’s light while the textured back gives reassurance that it won’t simply slip and fall from your hands.
Display and Multimedia
The Flash is equipped with a 5.5-inch IPS display with Full HD resolution at 401ppi. For a smartphone of this price range, that’s a great advantage. That said, colors and viewing angles are good which makes it a treat for watching videos or viewing photos.
As for the rear-facing loudspeaker, it can produce crisp sounds but lacking on bass. On the bright side, it’s good for hands-free calls as it emphasises vocals. The volume is acceptable especially if you’re listening in a quiet room. It’s not that loud though even at max levels, so don’t expect to brag your tunes from this thing.
OS, UI, and Apps
Software-wise, it’s already running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box which is good. It runs on a stock UI with Cherry Mobile’s apps pre-installed like Bonus Load, Cherry Fun Club, Cherry Play, Cherry Prepaid, and eWarranty.
Aside from the usual Google goodies, other apps make an appearance as well like Opera Mini, Skype, Movie Club, and Xender. You can uninstall these though to save some storage space.
Speaking of storage, you have 16GB onboard with 10.75GB as usable which can be expanded via microSD using the SIM 2 slot. If you’re expecting USB OTG, sad to say it’s not supported.
One noticeable feature of the Flash is the high-resolution rear camera. It performs well in bright conditions as it locks in fast and produces good colors, but not so much in gloomy or dim environments as quality degrades.
The 8MP front camera, on the other hand, also performs well as long as there’s abundant lighting but gets grainy in low-light. Take a look at the samples below:
As for video recording, it can shoot 1080p clips at 30fps. Quality is good with good dynamic range and colors. Watch sample below:
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the device is a MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz and 2GB RAM. Performance is good as we didn’t experience any lock ups or crashes. Gaming-wise, we were able to play light to graphic-intensive titles like Need For Speed: No Limits without any problems. Although we still recommend to clear out the RAM from background running tasks to ensure better gameplay. Check out the benchmark scores below:
* AnTuTu – 37,496
* Quadrant Standard – 21,562
* Vellamo – 1,553 (Multicore), 921 (Metal), 2,484 (Chrome)
* 3D Mark – 189 (Sling Shot using ES 3.1)
Connectivity and Call Quality
Basic connectivity features are covered by the Flash. We have dual-SIM, LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. No NFC or FM Radio though. Inside settings you will notice a feature called Turbo Download which allows you to download large files using WiFi and 4G/3G networks at the same time.
As with any other devices, mobile data, and call quality is good as long as you’re in an area with good coverage. We didn’t have any problems with the Flash in this department so it’s all good.
The Flash is equipped with a 2,800mAh non-removable battery which is below average in today’s standards. During our daily use, though, we were able to get around 9 to 10 hours when using it for light calls and SMS with heavy WiFi browsing. We go down to 7 to 8 hours with gaming in the mix.
PC Mark doesn’t work on this device though so we don’t have the data, but on our routine video loop test (1080p video on loop in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume with headset plugged in) and we got 11 hours and 43 minutes of playback which is good.
Cherry Mobile’s strategy with the Flash is clear – offer a smartphone with high-end specs like 5.5-inch Full HD display, 16MP camera, Android Marshmallow, and LTE connectivity, then price it like an entry-level device. That’s a good strategy as it doesn’t have a lot of competitor in this price range. However, there is one – the Infinix Note 2.
At the same price, it’s offering a larger but lower-resolution display, same CPU, RAM, and storage capacities, yet with a larger 4,000mAh battery. That said, if your budget is Php5,999, these two are worthy options.
Cherry Mobile Flash specs:
5.5-inch Full HD IPS display @ 1920 x 1080px, 401ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core CPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 32GB via microSD (uses SIM 2)
16MP autofocus rear camera w/ LED flash
8MP front-facing camera
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS w/ A-GPS
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
What we liked:
* Good build and design
* Good display
* Good performance
* Android Marshmallow
* Affordable price
What we disliked:
* No USB OTG
* Camera has poor low-light performance