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Cherry Mobile Flare Mate Review – A Good Flare Phablet

The Cherry Mobile Flare Mate, simply put, is both a delight to look at, and to use.

Oftentimes, when we think of ‘affordable phone’, we imagine cheap, almost throwaway gadgets that are only good for texts, calls, and maybe even internet browsing. But the Flare Mate manages to combine the affordability often attributed to the Cherry Mobile brand, and the premium feel of a flagship smartphone.

Upon unboxing the Cherry Mobile Flare Mate, you will get:
– Cherry Mobile Flare Mate (1 pc)
– USB Charging Cable (1 pc)
– Travel Charger (1 pc)
– Earphones (1 pc)
– Flare Mate User Manual (1 pc)
– Cherry Mobile Apps Brochure (1 pc)

Cherry Mobile Flare Mate Review – Design

An elegant, fine look. The Flare Mate is more phablet than simply smartphone, and it shows in its size, at 6 inches. While it may prove a little unwieldy for those with smaller hands, I’d say this size is perfect for any user. Big enough for people with big hands, and not so large that it’s uncomfortable for everyone else. The plastic-feeling back becomes less obvious thanks to the metallic finish, at least on the gold variant used for this review. In fact, sometimes it felt like I was indeed holding something metal.

Intuitive outer design. The setup for the Flare Mate proves to be standard, but not as a bad thing The rear camera’s flash is located directly below it, which is a no-brainer, and the speaker is tucked nicely into the bottom left of the back. The power and volume buttons situate themselves nicely on the right side of the phone, while the front camera can be found on the top bezel of the phone screen.

Speaking of the bezel, it’s quite interesting that Cherry Mobile chose not to place physical markers or buttons (like the home button) on the bottom bezel. Instead, it’s directly on the screen. The problem I have with this is that it renders the bottom bezel essentially useless. As a design choice, it might just be the one of the most senseless I’ve ever seen so far.

Cherry Mobile Flare Mate Review – UI and Performance

The Flare Mate’s performance exceeded my expectations. The Cherry Mobile Flare Mate runs on a MediaTek MT6753 1.3GHz Octa-Core processor, and 2GB ROM. Not only that, but it features Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box. This translates into a decent experience, with barely any noticeable lag on the interface itself. And I’ll be honest, at first glance, I did not expect much from the Flare Mate.  But it definitely surprised me.

The little things do matter. This is a small detail overall, but something I truly liked during my time with the Flare Mate. I’d have to say that personally, the touch controls felt more ‘fulfilling’ and ‘complete’ thanks to the small vibrations and subtle sounds that would trigger every time I typed or opened an app. Some phones completely forget about making the small user experiences as good as the major ones, and I do like how Cherry Mobile kept it in mind.

Now, speaking of the interface…

A small amount of bloatware. Scrolling through the phone’s interface, I immediately noticed how the small amount of extra apps the Flare Mate carries. Just from the top of my head, the Dr. Booster, KakaoTalk, Cherry Play,
ZaZaRemote, and Cherry Fun Club apps prove to be things that the Flare Mate could do without.

A gaming-friendly phone. If you’re a light gamer looking for a relatively lower-price phone that can play a wide variety of mobile games, the Flare Mate might be for you. We tried this phone’s gaming capabilities out, with Dead Trigger 2 as our benchmark. Thankfully, I myself played the first 30 minutes of the game without any problems, and without any lag to speak of. In fact, the large screen really helped show off the game’s graphics. I imagine it would do the same for other games.

Cherry Mobile Flare Mate Review – Camera and Battery Life

Good rear cam, passable front cam. The 16-megapixel rear camera manages to be a nice surprise, although I would say that maybe it would’ve been better if it gave away some of its MPs to the 5-megapixel front camera. With this in mind, if you’re a selfie lover, you might want to look for another smartphone.

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Underwhelming battery life. A phablet normally contains enough extra space in the phone’s body to fit a large battery. The Flare Mate follows this design philosophy, with a 4,000 mAh battery within. Now, with the aforementioned MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor, does it prove to be energy-efficient? Well, the answer might not be the best.

If you’re a stickler for maximizing battery life, you might be disappointed with the Flare Mate’s barely 8-hour battery rundown time (according to PCMark). An impressive number indeed, but its still beat by its relatives like the Flare Selfie, which benchmarks at a little over 8 and a half hours. And that’s with a much smaller 3,000 mAh battery. Not to mention, it took a really long time to fully charge, taking well over three hours from an empty battery.

Cherry Mobile Flare Mate Review – Conclusion

Depending on the need, a great smartphone overall. If you’re not too choosy with the selfie cam, and simply want an excellent phablet for a relatively affordable price, then you’ve found your next major purchase. At Php8,999 retail, I’d say it’s worth it, especially for the gorgeous metallic finish, the decent specs, and good rear camera.

Cherry Mobile Flare Mate Specs

OSAndroid 5.1 Lollipop
ProcessorMediaTek MT6753 1.3GHz Octa Core Cortex-A53
Memory2 GB RAM
Display6-inch IPS LCD FHD
Storage16GB, microSD up to 32GB
CameraRear: 16MP Front: 5MP
SIMDual Micro SIM
Battery4,000 mAh
Weight170 g
Dimensions158u00d781u00d78.3 mm

More photos of the Cherry Mobile Flare Mate

   

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