Cherry Mobile G1 Review
Launched locally early this month, the Cherry Mobile G1 is the company’s offering for those who want LTE on-the-go and at the same time enjoy Google’s latest available software. Is this Android One phone a reliable device for everyday use? Read our full review and find out.
Design and Construction
Up front, the Cherry Mobile G1 sports a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and utilizes an IPS panel for better viewing and on-cell technology that makes it thinner and gives off better images. It also boasts a Dragontrail glass which promises a tough exterior, making it resistant to scratches.
The back panel has a very familiar design as it’s made of plastic with the brand’s name printed on it.
What’s prominent here is the 13-megapixel rear camera situated right smack in the middle of the back panel. The sensor is accompanied by dual LED flashes right below it so it should be able to handle shooting in dimly-lit areas.
At the bottom we have the microUSB port flanked by the speaker grille.
Two physical buttons, (power/lock screen and volume rocker) are present here and are lined up on the upper right side of the handset.
Finally, the 3.5mm audio jack is nestled up top. We can also see here the design implemented by Cherry Mobile — two chrome linings surround the body which positively accents the entirety of the device. In addition, the corners are rounded which makes it sit at the palm of the hand comfortably.
Looking at it flat on a surface, the smartphone carries a curvy overall form factor which is commonly seen in its category.
Lastly, the plastic back panel can be popped open to reveal the dual-SIM card slots (micro-SIM) and the extra tray for expanding the storage. We’re also glad to report that its 2500mAh battery is removable.
Display and Multimedia
The G1 maxes out at 720p resolution or equal to 294 ppi, but unless you’re very particular about your ppi count, the screen is sufficient enough to produce detailed images with a good balance of color and contrast.
Its 5-inch display provides some glare when used outdoors, but the screen is still clear and readable enough to successfully perform tasks and we wouldn’t say it was totally bothersome. Additionally, its IPS panel also helps in better viewing angles.
Protecting the screen from scratches is a Dragontrail Glass which is a very tough material. We’ve seen Cherry Mobile demonstrate how tough these glasses are by smashing it on a table and stabbing the display with a knife, and the panel still remained intact and scratch-less.
OS, UI, and Apps
One thing that made us appreciate the device more is its Android Lollipop operating system version 5.1.1. With its ease of use and up-to-date functionalities, it added a significant boost for the device in terms of performance with very minimal to no lags and smooth transitions when jumping from one app to another.
The device, when you take it out of the box, has 12GB of storage left out of its 16GB capacity due to its OS. We also liked how it came with almost no bloatware and all you have are Google’s apps for productivity.
One perk about getting the Cherry Mobile G1 is that the company opted to give out a free 8GB microSD card for storage expansion. This is not the first time we’ve seen something like this, but it’s always good when you have extra memory included in the standard bundle.
Touting a 13-megapixel with dual LED flashes, the G1 performed well in snapping photos both indoor and outdoors. The photos it produced have some lively colors going on with good tonal balance as well.
Video recording was decent, but we noticed it could go hard around the contrast levels. Zooming in on subjects aren’t that recommendable since loss of clarity is significantly experienced. Check out the sample shots below:
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Performance and Benchmarks
As we’ve previously mentioned, the device was swift and fluid in terms of navigation thanks to its Android Lollipop software embedded at its core. Cherry Mobile partnered that with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor with four cores and runs on a 64-bit chipset and the result is very satisfying as we had no complaints against the device in terms of processing power.
We were able to use it for web browsing, media playback, and light gaming, and the handset handled it quite well. We also didn’t come across heating issues or major lags when we were using it continuously or when we had lots of apps in the background.
Take a look at its benchmarks scores for comparison’s sake.
- AnTuTu: 20,548 (non-verified)
- Quadrant Standard: 6,313
- Vellamo: 1,197 (Multicore), 844 (Metal), 1,920 (Chrome Browser)
- 3DMark: 38 (Sling Shot ES 3.0)
- PCMark: 3,505 (work performance)
Connectivity and Call Quality
The G1, despite it being budget-friendly, is capable of LTE connectivity and this feature made the device a great secondary phone to my personal iPhone (with its battery impossible to last a whole day). We had no problems with signal reception, but of course, the quality of the signal depends on your location.
Using it for calls, the speaker was able to provide clear audio so as to hear the person on the other line with no difficulties.
Carrying a 2500mAh battery, the G1 lasted 6 hours and 38 minutes after running PCMark Battery Test — this falls a little behind Lenovo’s Vibe Shot that endured playback up to 6 hours and 49 minutes, but with a larger 2900mAh battery and Full HD display. In real-life usage, however, the device was able to last a whole day using WiFi connection.
The Cherry Mobile G1 has been a reliable device based on the time we’ve spent with it. We didn’t encounter any major problems that were worth noting and in all honesty, it provided a smooth experience from the first time we took it out if its box all the way to when we placed it back in.
The combination of Android Lollipop with CM’s hardware makes up for a handset with impressive performance for its class. Add to that its affordable sub-Php6K price and timely software updates coming straight from Google, you really get your money’s worth.
Cherry Mobile G1 specs:
5-inch IPS display with on-cell technology @ 1280 x 720 resolution
64-bit 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor
Adreno 306 GPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 32GB
13MP rear camera with dual LED Flash
5MP front camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
Li-Ion 2,500mAh battery (removable)
What we liked about it:
- Dragontrail glass
- 2GB RAM
- Dual LED flash
- Adequate battery life
- Android Lollipop 5.1.1
- Affordable price
What we didn’t like:
- Thick profile