Cherry Mobile Pulse Review
The Cherry Mobile Pulse is the company’s most affordable octa-core Android smartphone that features a 5-inch IPS HD display, Dragontrail glass, dual-SIM capabilities, Android 4.4 KitKat, and a sub-Php7k price tag. Find out what we think of this device by reading our full review below.
Design and Construction
Smartphones with affordable prices usually end up with a build and design that is generic and boring. Cherry Mobile tries to break away from that norm when it comes to the Pulse. Although we can still say that it is a simple-looking device, it still has something that makes it eye-catching – the relatively thin body, the peculiar rear, metallic physical buttons, and the illuminated circle Home button inspired by the Meizu MX 3.
On the front is the 5-inch display with HD resolution. Situated above are the earpiece and the 5 megapixel front camera while down below are the three capacitive buttons and the microphone. Found on the left side is the volume rocker and on the right is the power/lock button. Found right on the top corner are the headset jack and microUSB port.
Flip it on its back and you will see the large 13 megapixel camera, LED flash, and the speaker at the bottom.
On hand, the Pulse feels thin and light for its size. It has an edgy feel to it too which makes it easier for the user to handle even though it is fairly large device.
Display and Multimedia
The Pulse comes with a 5-inch IPS display with HD resolution or equal to 294ppi. It also features Dragontrail Glass that is proven to resist heavy scratches. We tried scratching it with sharp metallic objects like keys and screwdrivers and as expected it didn’t leave any marks.
The Pulse is also good for multimedia thanks to the large display with IPS. Viewing angles and color saturation are good so watching movies on it is satisfying. The speakers on the other hand needs some improvement. Although sounds coming from it is clear and audible, its loudness falls below our expectation. The speaker is also placed where the hands can easily muffle it.
Although the Pulse sports a 13 megapixel camera, the photo quality is a bit underwhelming as the colors often appear washed out and lacks punch. Details are good though, but we wished that the manufacturers have focused on color quality and accuracy as well and not just on pixel count.
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As a plus, the camera comes with a few neat features like Panorama, HDR, Face beauty mode, Life Photo mode, and Motion Track mode.
Cherry Mobile Pulse sample video (1080p, 30 fps, .3GP):
OS, UI and Apps
The Pulse comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box and supports OTA updates. Cherry Mobile tweaked the UI a bit, but still close to a stock Android. It comes with CM’s own apps like Cherry Fun Club, Cherry Play, and a couple of games from the Pinoy App Shop.
Other pre-installed apps are there as well like Opera Mini, NQ Mobile Security, TouchPal X, Gameloft, and EFXpress. Unfortunately, most of these apps cannot be uninstalled, which is a disadvantage if you want to free some internal storage.
Speaking of storage, the Pulse can only offer you 5.92GB of usable storage out of the 8GB, which is really limited. Fortunately, it can accommodate microSD cards up to 64GB and supports the Move apps to SD card feature.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Pulse is a MediaTek MTK6592 octa-core processor, Mali-450 MP GPU, and a gig of RAM. So far, we’re very much satisfied with its performance, UI animations are smooth and snappy and the apps launch fast. It can also run 3D games without any noticeable lags, however, the phone’s backside, particularly the part under the camera, gets really warm when playing.
Another thing we noticed about the Pulse is that the proximity sensor doesn’t always work when you’re in call. The next thing you know your face is already making unintended presses and messes your conversation with the person on the other line. Hopefully a software update can fix this problem.
* AnTuTu – 24,550
* Quadrant – 16,562
* Vellamo – 864 (Metal), 1,337 (Multicore), 2,189 (Browser)
* NenaMark2 – 64.4 fps
The Pulse comes with a 2,000mAh battery, which is the baseline capacity for smartphones with this kind of configuration. That amount of juice is enough to last 9 to 10 hours of light to moderate usage. Just don’t expect it to last that long though if you like playing games or heavy on mobile data.
We put it through our standard battery benchmark and the result is 5.26 hours worth of video playback (at 50% brightness and 0% volume) which is below average.
The Cherry Mobile Pulse is the company’s most affordable offering at Php6,499. Normally we’d see a smartphone with mediocre configuration for that kind of price, but not with the Pulse. For under Php7k, you can now get a dual-SIM smartphone with a good build, a crisp and tough display, and kind of performance that is both good for work and play.
Cherry Mobile Pulse specs:
5-inch HD IPS display, 294ppi
MediaTek MTK6592 1.7GHz octa-core CPU
Mali-450 MP GPU
8GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD
13 megapixel rear camera with LED flash
5 megapixel front camera
Android 4.4.2 KitKat
What we liked:
* Good build
* Good display quality
* Tough Dragontrail glass
* Good performance
* Move apps to SD card feature
* Affordable price
What we didn’t like:
* Underwhelming camera
* Buggy proximity sensor
* Small usable internal storage
* Most pre-installed apps cannot be uninstalled
* Below average battery