Jun 3, 2012

Posted by in Featured, Mobile, Reviews | 46 Comments

Cherry Mobile “Dragon” W900 Review

Cherry Mobile is happily chugging along with their lineup of affordable but spec-worthy Android phones, and the W900, also dubbed as the “Dragon”, is a new addition to their growing family. With an affordable price tag of PhP 9,900, this mid-range device from the local manufacturer looks like a bang-for-the-buck buy considering its specs. Let’s take a look closely if the Dragon could be your next (or first) Android handset.

Design

cherry mobile w900 01 cherry mobile w900 02 cherry mobile w900 03

The W900 has a canny resemblance to the newer Blackberry phones, with its tapered top and bottom edges. The front part of the phone utilized as much space possible for its 4.0” screen, save for the Menu, Home and Back keys on the bottom and the front-facing VGA camera and LED notification light on top. Two obscure-looking logos are placed on the top and bottom parts, which is a bit confusing and takes away from the overall sleek façade.

cherry mobile w900 04 cherry mobile w900 05 cherry mobile w900 06

The Power button on the right side doubles as an Eco-mode switch, a feature which gives the device limited power for better battery life. On this same side is a flap that covers the microUSB port for charging or connecting to a computer. The volume rocker and audio port is on the left side. The back houses the 5-megapixel camera (no flash) and the phone logo. When opened, it reveals the battery, SIM card and SD card slots.

cherry mobile w900 07 cherry mobile w900 08

The most distinct physical feature for this phone would have to be its gold lining on the top and bottom edges, with the word “Curvaceous” engraved on the top part at the back. I don’t know if that’s the manufacturer’s way of being playful, but it might actually hurt the design rather than enhance it.

The rest of the chassis is made of smooth, shiny plastic which did not seem “creaky” at all. In fact, it felt stable in the hand, albeit a bit too wide for mine. Due to the materials used, the phone feels very lightweight and thin. This may or may not be a good thing – it all depends on user preference.

Display and UI

With a 4.0” screen having an 800 x 480 resolution, this phone is a joy to use. It may not have a high-res display as other popular 4-inch phones but I particularly enjoyed its bright, crisp display in a screen big enough for typing text messages, playing videos or viewing websites.

cherry mobile w900 10 cherry mobile w900 09

The W900 includes a multi-wallpaper feature, which enables you to use different wallpapers for different home screens. This is something other Android phones (as I know of) don’t have and is a very clever way to be unique.

The interface has been likened to Samsung’s TouchWiz, but this is not really a bad thing. The icons and menus are big enough and are pretty easy to use for a first time Android user. The Gallery interface is also interesting with this device, as it has a zoom in/out animation that is pretty cool to watch.

Performance

One of the pleasant surprises of this phone is its 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor – something not often expected from a device in its price range. As such, the W900 is responsive and fast when doing just about anything from web browsing to playing games with almost zero lag. The only time it seemed to slow down was during the advanced stages of Temple Run, where there is a notable graphics lag and delay in responding to touch gestures. Despite this, the game never crashed and the phone continued to keep up with the game’s demand.

As seen from its Quadrant test result (1071), it’s not the fastest phone out there – but that’s fine. For a sub-10k device, this is something that exceeds expectations, making it one of the better phones within its price range.

cmdragon quadrant

Call quality is clear and steady on this phone, with no dropouts experienced. The speaker phone is loud enough, and the microphone apparently has decent pick up since the person on the other end of the line had no problems hearing me.

Multimedia

Listening to music with this phone is more advisable with the headphones on, as this delivers better sound quality than being on speaker mode. On the other hand, watching videos in YouTube was a surprisingly impressive experience. Although the video quality was not the best, streaming was smooth and continuous with this device.

Camera

The device has a front-facing VGA camera and a 5-megapixel camera at the back – unfortunately with no flash. For frequent photo-takers, this may be a deal breaker. However, the camera does deliver acceptable photo quality in great lighting conditions. Here are a few sample shots taken with the W900:

[nggallery id=42]

Battery Life

For moderate use, the phone’s 1350 mAh battery should be enough to last a full day. However, for a heavy Android user like me, I have yet to see an Android device that lasts all day. It’s a shame I won’t see it in this device, as it only lasted me a little under 8 hours. For me, heavy use would mean 3G on, playing games, watching videos, using social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter, and reading and responding to e-mails. Of course that is on top of the phone’s basic function – which is receiving/making calls and sending SMS.

I guess this is where the Eco mode will come in handy, as it lets you control which services and apps to turn off when activated.

The Verdict

The W900 is a great phone for anyone who wants to try the Android platform or those who wants to upgrade from their small entry-level Droids. With one of the best performances in a device in its price range, brilliant display and elegant hardware design (sans the “curvaceous” thing), this phone packs a lot of value for the average consumer. Although it does have its own weaknesses, one being a flash-less camera and occasional lags during game play, which is something that a user has to consider before buying a device.

cherry mobile w900 11

There is no question that this device is great value for your Php9,990, and if a low price is a big factor in deciding which phone to get, the W900 should be on top of your list. However, if you demand the best performance and good quality photos from a phone, you should probably look elsewhere.

Cherry Mobile W900 Specs:
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 1.2GHz processor
512MB RAM
1GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD (8GB included)
HSPA+ 21Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
Bluetooth 2.1
GPS w/ aGPS support
DLNA certified, DivX, Dolby Digital Plus
5MP rear camera w/ 720p HD video recording
VGA front-facing camera
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
SRP: Php 9,990.00

Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Kim Barloso with some slight revisions by the editor. Kim is the girl behind GirlMeetsDroid. She lives and breathes Android, always tinkering and tweaking her beloved HTC Sensation. If she’s not playing with her Android phone, she pretends to work in front of her PC.



  1. JmBalicano says:

    Any chance of a Candy or Candy Chat review? I really need a cheap secondary phone but I’m hooked on Android so I’m hoping those things are worth it. I was considering getting a Galaxy Y or LG L3 but my GF scolded me coz she thought they were too expensive as secondary phones :P

    • Richard says:

      @Jm
      Instead of Candy, try to check out Alcatel One Touch 918N a good bang for buck dual sim android phone @Php 5,600

      http://www.alcatelonetouch.com/ph/products/andorid_smartphones/ot-918.html

    • hehehe. i don’t know what’s worth it to you. definitely sub 5k Android phone are not worth it for me. :P

      • JmBalicano says:

        I admit the Candy and Candy Chat will probably handle like trash, but I’ve had a bunch of friends involved in holdup and snatching incidents. One of them fought back and got his fingers hurt from being slashed, but he got to keep his Sensation XE. I need a phone that I won’t mind being snatched but I don’t wanna give up my ebook reading and music listening habits whenever I commute late at night. The phone I have right now isn’t exactly subtle that I could comfortably take out on a jeep at 1am in the morning. But there’ve been times I gave in to temptation and whipped my phone out so I could read through Stephen King. I’ve been lucky up til now, but I don’t think I’ll be lucky forever. Hence, my consideration of the Candy/Candy Chat and other budget (China-made) androids that I wouldn’t mind being snatched :(

        Sorry for the long post. Haha.

        • stellarsuarez says:

          I had a Candy Chat for about a month some time ago. A month – then its touchscreen stopped responding totally. But I think it was my fault because I accidentally put it flat (touchscreen side) against a hot surface for a long-ish period of time.

          But as for its performance as a secondary (Android) phone, and particularly as an ebook reader, it’s EXCELLENT. I use Moon+ Reader which allows you to interface with the reader using hardware buttons (vol keys or directional keypad for page up and down). I also liked reading on the jeep and this phone is not “mainit sa mata ng magnanakaw”.

          Now I use the CM Stellar and it’s wonderful but I miss my Candy Chat :( Can’t read on the jeep with the Stellar as it’s BIG.

    • Richard says:

      I use the Alcatel with my Smart roaming sim and a local sim(Papua New Guinea)for internet.
      Also use it as my workout media player paired with a bluetooth earphone (Jabra Sport) with Endomondo App to track my runs via gps (ala MotoActv). Can also function as hotspot.

      It’s a great secondary phone.
      It is cheap but build quality is great.

      I’ve got my galaxy tab for videos, browsing, games and other stuffs.

      I was also looking into the Candy/Chat but told myself for a few extra Php the Alcatel would really be a great buy for a secondary phone.

      • JmBalicano says:

        I’ve also been considering some of Alcatel’s android flavors. The Blaze and the OT 890D look promising. I’d just be using it for ebooks and music anyway. Plus, it’s from a more reputable brand compared to CM.

        • e-book on a small screen? hehe suit yourself :) my friend bought the blaze and is happy with it.

          • JmBalicano says:

            Hey, when I’m bored, kahit ano papatulan ko, haha. Pag sa commute lang naman eh. I used to read ebooks on the Samsung Star :D Yeah I feel like settling on the Blaze.

  2. Griswold says:

    this is not bad actually. pero sabi raw nila pagdating sa support mahirap habulin ang cherry mobile? tama ba yun?

  3. This or CM Magnum HD? Which is better?

  4. Boy bayong says:

    Sayang nakabili na ko sa 999 mall divisoria ng android tablet ice cream os…konti na lang sana idadag ko dyan sa cherry…di bale ganda naman ng screen nun tablet at nakakakonek sya joiku spot prem…nakainstall sa nokia..

  5. ive just bought a w900 dragon phone. do i really have to push the on button coz it keeps on turning off everytime. i wonder?

  6. ive just bought a w900 dragon phone. do i really have to push the on button coz it keeps on turning off everytime. i wonder?

    • turns off or sleep or just sleep? if you have to reboot your phone all the time then there’s something wrong with it. if the display turns off then it’s normal, to conserve battery life. you can change that timer sa display settings.

      • yes it goes on to its sleep mode every after 15 seconds. is that how it really goes. no im not rebooting sir!

        thanks

        • yup that’s normal. but you can check display settings to change how long it will take before the phone sleeps.

          • thank you sir it helps alot! ive just bought the phone during its 60% slash on its price now worth 6000. but i still couldn’t access the cherry music app. even if theres an excellent connection. how long will i charge the phone when it is totally drain?

  7. Hi ,

    Nakabili ko ng w900 kahapon but the 3G internet is not working kahit anong setting ilagay ko..do you guys have a working setting for smart? thanks!

    • aautomatic na dapat yan. but if not, google for smart bro/buddy’s apn.

      • bhongskie says:

        hello, ask lang, kc kakabili ko lang din ng w900, binilhan ko din ng 16 gig na micro sd. nagdownload ako ng fave games ko mga 5 games, hindi man plagi pero pag nilalaro ko yung games, at nag exit ako minsan nwawala din ang menu, nagbblack lang cya, so what i did is to turn off at tangalin ang batery, tanggalin ang micro sd then ibalik ulit. y is that? normal ba yun? mga 4 time na ngyayari twing mag eexit ako ng games, pls po pakireply naman kung bakit? thanks

  8. sir tuwing bnabawasan k po yun workspace ko, maya maya babalik uli s lima. gnun dn po b yun ibang dragon phone?

    • mga sir hanggang 13hrs lang ngllast battery life ng w900 ko…nung isang araw ko lang nabili… may prob ba to??? stand by lang xia nun..

  9. mdali po mtanggal yun headset khit knting galaw lng, gnun dn po b yun ibang w900?

  10. The design reminds me of my Blackberry Storm….

  11. Help nman po about W900 phone…how 2 use 3G internet in australia? Ano po gagawin ko?,, Wifi lang po nagagamit ko…thnx

  12. Pano ko po mpa2labas ung icon na letter H n my arrow upward and downward?do i need to download internet settings from network im using here? …. thnx…

    • usually automatic lang yun internet settings pagsaksak mo ng sim card. turn on mo mobile data sa system settings and make sure may signal sa area mo. kung G lang sya and not H, means walang 3G sa area.

  13. 9k? kahit pa dual core to hindi ko parin to bibilhin…. bili nalang ako ng atrix 4g na secondhand…. reason? kasi walng kwenta android pag hindi custom rom, pag hindi rooted…. at higit sa lahat and support nito papano? well yun and opinion ko…..

    • Well… W900 was released mid-2012 and at that time, P9000 was pretty cheap for a phone with 1.2GHZ qualcomm snapdragon processor. By November 2012 meron nang mga dualcore na mas mura…at bumaba na rin naman ang price ng W900.

  14. don’t waste your money here! I have my lesson not to buy because it is cheap! my w900 lasted only for 5 months. I have faithfully taken cared for it just to see w900 longevity! DAMN 5 months? para ka lang na RENT ng UNIT!!!

  15. bought my w900 last november, HELL! bilib ako sa performance, though ndi xa high end talaga yung specs pero okay nadin, may eco mode, no need na ang apps nga pang save nang battery, napalitan ko narin nang custom rom tung sakin, BLUESKY v1 ..ICS interface, ang ganda ..supports most of the video formats like .mkv, search lang kayu nang search.. 4.6/5 ang review ko (for a cheap yet, awesome phone)
    ito yung link..

    ROM: genesis150.blogspot.com/2012/08/rom-tutorial-rom-bluesky-11.html#more
    (translate nyu nalang ang page, sikat kasi ang w900 sa brazil)

    NOTE: ang specs nang w900 ay kasing tulad dn nang xperia play kaya after install nyu nang rom, r800i ang tatatak sa model nyu.. CHEERS

    facebook.com/manurie

  16. SIR PA ASK PLEASE litung lito na tlga ako sa bibilhin ko anu ba mas maganda ang cherry mobile w900(5990php) or yang flare? nakakalito tlga kasi mas mahal ang w900 pero pag e compare mo mukhang mas ok ang specs ng flare… PLEAS PLEASE help nalilito na tlga ako at nahihilo na sa pag compare..

  17. contrary to what most of you guys says, I purchased my w900 On September and it’s still working fine up until today. I’ve dropped my device a few times pero di parin nasisira. I was planning to get Omega HD pero nasasayangan ako dito kasi wala pa naman problema

  18. sir patulong naman.. yung w900 ko. basta basta nlang napipindot yung screen, nag d.l n ko ng screen calibrator ganun parin . id alsi try to mster reset, but the problem still persist..
    anung pede gawin dito :( pls help

  19. if you have this(w900 cherry mobile LCD and TOUCHSCREEN) please contact me at yahoo!messenger,,(lee_bords)

  20. sir patulong nmn pano b maayos tong w900 ku d na ksi ngfufunction yung Home Keys ung nsa baba ng front screen … ??

  21. Very Disappointed. Isang Taon kolang ginamit since I bought the W900 tapos nasira agad..

    Kahit sang sulok nang Cebu wala akong mabilhan nang Battery for W900 bakit ganun? nag binta kayo tapos hirap hanapin ang battery nito.

    Tatlong araw na kami nag hanap nang Batterya.

    Ay iwan.

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