Cherry Mobile Zoom Review
Cherry Mobile’s newest smartphone dubbed as ‘Zoom‘ sports your usual 5-inch HD display but its power is supplied by a large 4000mAh battery suited for road-warriors and the like. How does it fare as a full functioning smartphone for consumers? Here’s our review.
Design and Construction
The device sports a standard 5-inch HD IPS display but its screen-to-body ratio is rather undesirable. As mentioned in our first impressions, the printed image on the box is misleading. The display is surrounded by a thick black bezel and more on the top and bottom. Upon first encounter, we mistakenly pressed the black bottom bezel thinking it’s where the navigation buttons are.
There’s an 8-megapixel front camera at the top together with the earpiece and a couple of necessary sensors.
On the right is the power button, and that’s just it. The volume rocker is separately located on the left-hand side.
Up top is the 3.5mm headphone jack while the bottom houses the micro-USB port for charging and connectivity plus the microphone pinhole.
On its back is the 13-megapixel main camera with a single LED flash and the speaker grill down below. The rear panel is removable and has a brushed metal look despite being made with plastic. Despite of having an accessible battery, the cell is screwed on and not user-replaceable.
Overall construction of the Zoom is okay for its range but we can’t help but wish it to have a bit of aluminum to at least compensate for its humongous bezel.
Display and Multimedia
The handset has a 5-inch IPS LCD with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels that should give us a decent 294ppi density. The panel has wide viewing angles and colors are generally fine although we find the whites to show a bit of gray tint. Good thing the black levels are quite impressive.
There’s a backfiring loudspeaker on the Zoom. Casual playback of clips, music, and such are fine but the sound quality is not something to write home about. Volume can get loud and will suffice for a personal speaker in a small quiet room.
OS, Apps, and UI
What’s running on the Zoom is the already dated Android 5.1 Lollipop. With Android N just around the corner and Android Marshmallow already available for months now, having Lollipop just shows how disappointing phone makers could be in terms of software.
Nevertheless, Android 5.1 is already a familiar environment especially from Cherry Mobile. Everything is kept stock and they opted to use Google’s services for music, calendar, and messaging. A few additional apps like Opera Mini, Xender, and a group of Cherry apps are onboard as well.
What we find good about the Zoom’s UI is it’s neater than the usual. We like the fact that you’re given Google Play Music and other similar apps rather than the boring stock music player commonly seen with previous MediaTek devices. And if you need more, the Google Play Store is always there for you.
Cherry threw in a 13-megapixel autofocus camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera on the Zoom. The primary camera is accompanied by a single LED flash to help in low-light environments.
Stills captured from the rear camera shows decent amount of details thanks to the high megapixel count while the white balance seems to be spot on. Although, we noticed that the images are noticeably noisy especially when taken indoors. HDR, on the other hand, works pretty well but gives a superficial look to the picture. The front-facing camera is pretty good for selfies.
Here are some samples:
When it comes to video, it’s disappointing to just have a max resolution of 720p but has a steady framerate of 30fps. Details are below average due to the lower than usual captured resolution. Here’s a sample clip:
Performance and Benchmarks
The Zoom is powered by a 1.0GHz MediaTek MT6735P quad-core processor with a Mali-T720 for graphics. There’s a generous 3GB of RAM and a standard 16GB internal storage for apps, music, photos, videos, and any files you’re going to put in. Despite having slow clock speed, the MT6735 doesn’t slouch in everyday performance and it’s more energy efficient compared to higher clocked processors. The efficiency will be a big help in maximizing the juice of the phone’s big battery.
Gaming is not a problem for the Zoom. The usuals like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 are able to run smoothly in either medium to high settings. The big RAM helps in easing the strenous memory consumption of grand titles.
Here are the benchmark scores of the Zoom:
* AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.4 — 24,801
* PC Mark — 2,876 (Work)
* Quadrant Standard — 10,776
* Vellamo — 1,934 (Chrome), 927 (Metal), 1,236 (Multicore)
* 3D Mark — 77 (Sling Shot ES 3.1), 123 (Sling Shot ES 3.0)
* Nenamark 2 — 47.1fps
Call Quality and Connectivity
The Zoom would be a great device for long hours of talking since it’s got a huge battery. Calling on the Zoom is pretty much average with a loud enough earpiece but only a single microphone, so noise-cancellation is not present. Still, the other party was still able to hear us even when we’re in the middle of a plaza.
There’s 4G LTE onboard for speedy connections and a dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n to be able to connect to 5GHz wireless band. It has two micro-SIM card slots with dual-standby feature. Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS w/ A-GPS support are present as well to cover the basics of wireless connectivity on a mobile phone.
A large 4,000mAh battery is loaded to the Zoom. It supports quick charging and is bundled with Cherry’s own fast charger rated at 5V/2A. Indeed, we do get about 1,800mAh of charging rate using the included wall charger.
As for the longevity of the device, we’re glad to see it do really in our tests. Using PC Mark Battery test, it was able to get 16 hours and 31 minutes. As for the traditional video loop test, we witness it run for 20 hours. With this numbers, it can last for about 2-3 days of average use without having the need to look for a socket, or maybe a power bank.
The Cherry Mobile Zoom’s main feature is its large battery capacity and support for quick charging up to 2A. While the ‘Zoom’ moniker is more suited for a camera-centric device, it’s nice to see a quick charging device w/ large battery for just Php4,999. The bezel is a turn down for those who wishes to balance productivity and looks, but it’s an acceptable trade off.
Cherry Mobile Zoom specs:
5-inch IPS LCD @ 1280 x 720 pixels
1.0GHz MediaTek MT6735P quad-core processor
16GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD
13MP rear camera w/ LED flash
8MP front camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band
GPS w/ A-GPS
4000mAh non-removable battery
Android 5.1 Lollipop
What we liked about it:
- Large battery
- Generous 3GB RAM
- Quick charging feature
- Long battery life
What we didn’t:
- Design could be better
- Low CPU clock speed