Cherry Mobile Flare Review, is it really worth P3,999?

The much-awaited 4-inch Cherry Mobile Flare has taken the local Android mobile scene by storm with its hard-to-ignore, budget-friendly Php3,999 price tag for the type of phone you are getting.

cherry mobile flare 13

With the Flare, you’ll be getting a dual-SIM Android 4.0 phone with dual-core processor and a big 4-inch display. However, is that enough for you to shell out your hard-earned cash to acquire this phone? It might, but you might also want to read our review of it first.

Design

Right off the bat, we love how the Cherry Mobile Flare looks up front with its subtle rounded corners and no visible logos or branding. It’s a rebrand of India’s Karbonn A9+ if you’re wondering about this phone’s roots.

cherry mobile flare 01 cherry mobile flare 02

The whole front is covered by glass with the 4-inch display having nice thin side bezels. At the bottom of the display are your four Android capacitive touch icons – Home, Menu, Back, and Search (looked like this phone was originally made for Android Gingerbread). You’ll also see the VGA front-facing camera on the upper-right side.

cherry mobile flare 04 cherry mobile flare 05

Going through the sides, on top is just the Power/Sleep button and the 3.5mm audio jack while on the left you’ll see the volume rocker and the microUSB port for data and charging.

cherry mobile flare 03

The back panel is made of hard plastic which has a soft matte finish that wards off smudges and fingerprints. Here you’ll see the 5 megapixel camera with flash, and the speaker grill at the bottom. Like the Cherry Mobile Titan, the prints at the back look like it could scrape off over time.

cherry mobile flare 06

Pry to open the back panel and inside you will see where you need to put your two regular SIM cards and microSD. This phone also comes with a 1500mAh battery.

cherry mobile flare 07

Despite the plastic build of this phone, we like the overall feel when handling it. The girth and weight feels just right for its size. It’s not too light to make it feel like you’re holding a dummy phone. Actually, this phone looks simple and nice, not premium-looking, but not bad either.

I did feel a slight creak on the left side just below the volume rocker on this unit and the one I used before this.

Display

The CM Flare sports a 4-inch 480 x 800 resolution display with 16 million colors. On its own, it translates to a very nice image output with vibrant colors and sharp edges on text. Just don’t compare it to those qHD Super AMOLEDs and you’ll be happy with this phone’s screen. Our only qualm is that it’s not too bright for proper use under the sun.

cherry mobile flare screen 1 cherry mobile flare screen 2 cherry mobile flare screen 3

It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but with some slight modifications when it comes to the icons. It has a different set of icons enclosed in rounded squares which will remind you of the iOS. Frankly, we like it as it gives uniformity to all icons including downloaded apps.

Performance

Powering the Cherry Mobile Flare is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8625 dual-core 1.2GHz processor, not the MSM8225 as reported before. Both are almost the same except that the MSM8625 can also access EVDO 3G networks so you can use a Verizon SIM on it when you’re in the US. This phone comes with 512MB RAM which is subpar compared to the 1GB RAM of big-name dual-core phones released this year.

Using Quadrant, a synthetic benchmarking tool, this phone got a really decent score of 2771. However, it’s still better to rely on actual usage than such apps. The Cherry Mobile Flare can give you a nice user experience with insignificant lags and stuttering whether you’re adding widgets, navigating homescreens or using your apps.

cherry mobile flare quadrant

There’s only 4GB of internal storage here with about a GB reserved for the phone’s use so you’d want to make use of a microSD with this one.

Gaming on this is good without any lags although we only tried Jetpack Joyride, Angry Birds Star Wars, and Temple Run. One thing we noticed though is that the gyroscope is not balanced in our unit. Our Temple Runner tends to lean on the left when the phone is laid flat on a surface.

cherry mobile flare opera

Opera Mobile comes pre-installed on this phone which gives you fast loading but still render some websites incorrectly. Web browsing using Chrome is slower than Opera but pages are displayed as is. I noticed that pinching my browser to zoom doesn’t have that smooth transition but it’s also common with other dual-core phones.

cherry mobile flare 08 cherry mobile flare 09 cherry mobile flare 10

Cherry Mobile included a Perfect Keyboard inside which you have to enable in the Settings. If you don’t have a keyboard app of choice, this one’s better than Google’s default in my opinion.

Multimedia

You won’t be disappointed watching movies on the CM Flare because of its 223 ppi display, well not unless you want to watch HD videos here. Playback is smooth with your regular AVI’s and has a nice contrast going on but we still suggest not watching videos under bright conditions.

cherry mobile flare 11

Volume can get really loud on this phone even if you lay it down on its back. However, you won’t get good clarity or range from its speakers especially when the volume’s on high. I recommend using a pair of headphones or good external speakers if you want good sound quality here. Do note that there’s no FM radio on this phone.

UPDATE (11/26): Actually, this phone is equipped with an FM receiver but no FM Radio app is installed. Here’s how you can install an FM Radio app into the Cherry Mobile Flare.

Dual-SIM

One of the selling points of the Cherry Mobile Flare is its dual-SIM and dual-standby capability. Do note that only the first SIM slot is capable of 3G connection unlike the Cherry Mobile Titan that can do 3G on both slots.

cherry mobile flare dual sim 1 cherry mobile flare dual sim 2 cherry mobile flare dual sim 3

What I like here is that sending and making calls on any of your SIM requires only one click. Each call and message window gives you a button for each SIM so you don’t have to keep on switching. Selecting which SIM to use for data requires you to go deep into the Mobile Network settings though.

Camera

You’ll get a 5-megapixel camera with flash here which comes loaded with Android 4.0’s default but useful features. Auto-focusing is not that quick but we didn’t expect much from phones with this price.

cherry mobile flare 12

Here are a few sample photos:

[nggallery id=48]

Surprisingly, we got some decent shots with this phone. Photos under broad daylight or with very good lighting appear sharp with decent range of colors. However, you need extremely steady hands when shooting indoors or in poor lighting condition to get a good result.

Video recording on this phone tops at 720p 480p.

You’ll also get a VGA front-facing cam for video chat. We tried it on Skype and it works fine, just don’t expect good picture quality on the other end.

I just have to point out that I know of a couple of Flare units (including the one I used before) having this upside down view with the front cam. When in Skype, you will see yourself upside down although it looks fine on the other end so it’s not a big deal at all.

Battery

Giving juice to the Flare is a 1500mAh battery. How does that battery fare on a dual-core phone, with two sim cards and a 4-inch screen?

Here’s my normal usage pattern with the CM Flare: WiFi always on (but not connected), on-off data connection totaling less than an hour, brightness set to auto, very minimal calls and text, and a short bit of gaming every now and then. The Flare lasted for just 10 hours which is below average compared to other Android phones I’ve tested.

With data connection always on while downloading apps and games, and display always on, I barely reached 4 hours before it asked for the charger.

If you’re getting the Cherry Mobile Flare, you would want to charge it when you get to the office and when you get home to be on the safe side unless you have a spare battery or one of those battery packs.

Verdict

The Cherry Mobile Flare in its entirety is a very interesting and tempting proposition with its Php3,999 price tag. The unbelievably low price makes you think if there’s a catch somewhere. Maybe it’s buggy? Or maybe it uses subpar hardware? The only downside of this phone for me is its battery, which you can easily manage. And that tiny creaky feeling on the left side just because I’m OC like that.

cherry mobile flare 14

If you ask me if I would pay Php4k for this phone, in a heartbeat I would say no because it would make me feel guilty. Like I’m robbing Cherry Mobile. This phone should be worth at least Php8k for such specs. It uses Qualcomm which is a trusted brand for mobile chips as Intel is to the PC. The design may look plain but at least it won’t attract too much attention when you’re commuting. On the other hand, it doesn’t look too cheap that you would feel ashamed whipping it out amidst the Samsung’s and iPhone’s in your crowd.

In short, if you’re still considering getting the Cherry Mobile Flare, don’t. Just go ahead and get it once it becomes available or else you’ll ran out of stocks.

Disclaimer: If you’re wondering, Cherry Mobile didn’t give me a free unit of this phone although if they do, I’ll just be raffling it away here anyway.

Cherry Mobile Flare Specs:
Qualcomm MSM8625 Snapdragon S4 1.2GHz dual-core processor
Adreno 203 GPU
4.0″ IPS capacitive touch panel (800 x 480)
512MB RAM
4GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
3G / HSDPA
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
Bluetooth 2.1
GPS w/ aGPS support
Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby
5-megapixel rear camera with flash
VGA front-facing camera
No FM Radio (here’s how to install)
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
1500mAh battery
152 grams
SRP: Php 3,999.00

570 Comments

  1. Yup, you know this guy, yes he has a beard, and that beard can kick your ass.
    Stop reading now, and take the action you need to take your business to
    the next level. Marketing and advertising and advertising and marketing high expense
    goods and services usually requires a distinct technique than promoting
    and marketing commodities, and organization to small business advertising and
    marketing is a great deal much more specialized.

  2. Just bought this phone 2 weeks ago. It take very long hours of charging and very short usage duration. Whats wrong with the battery – is it part of the warranty for change battery or phone check.

  3. after nine months of normal phone use, the phone just died. since this unit is under warranty, i returned it for repair but when they turned it back to me i found out that my phone’s network signal is intermittent. so, i returned the unit but until now the intermittent network signal is not yet resolved. i lost count how many times i returned the unit until i lost interest with this phone. lesson learned, always expect cheap service for cheap phones. cherry mobile flare sucks to the infinite level.

    • Karla /

      After a year and a month usage, my CM Flare’s battery gave out its efficiency. Just wondered it was so sudden. Full battery charging takes only less than an hour usage, if it’s not, only two hours. Quality like discourages me to but locally assembled mobile phones. Lesson learned, don’t be swept away by cheap mobile phone prices.

  4. lizel bacolod /

    why my memory cant read in my phone..im looking to gallery theres no photos but my memory have many photos music and vidos..if i opned the file of my sd its said its empty..but i can see in my storage status still there my sd…pls can you help of this matter thank you..

  5. Fred Batiao /

    Buhay pa flare ko,smooth na smooth ang clash of clans,…

    Mejo dissapointing lang sa clumsy ninja,heavy graphics siguro…

  6. Ask ko lang po paano ba magagaya yung style ng signal ng flare s100 nyo. Iba po kasi yung akin eh di po ganun.

  7. hi po,

    san po ba nakakabili ng battery ng cherry mobile flare, o anung unit kaya ang katulad ng battery ng flare

  8. Batery tlg ang weak point ng cm flare..peru ang ask ku pnu nging 4gb ang internal mem n2 ang nkalgai xkn eh 1.40gb lng????

    Pwd sagot????

  9. chard /

    bkit po pag ng shshare aload ako gmit ang globe tama namn ung process ko pero pag cnesend ko ng iiba automatic yung number na sesend mismo ung text amount ko sa bibigyan ko ng load… pno ba gagawin

  10. I'm impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come
    across a blog that's equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.

    The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    I'm very happy that I found this in my hunt for
    something regarding this.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Search For Emayey’s Smartphone: the Wildcard candidate | Mia as in /Em-Ay-Ey/ - [...] CONTINUE READING …. PinoyTechBlog [...]
  2. Cherry Mobile Flare Price, Specs and Review | Mobile Manila Philippines - [...] can read more details of the Cherry Mobile Flare and the full review here. Related Posts :Cherry Mobile Candy …
  3. Cherry Mobile Flare Release, Availability, Battery and Price | Oks! News Philippines - [...] You can read more details of the Cherry Mobile Flare and the full review here. [...]
  4. Cherry Mobile Flare Price in the Philippines | Price List: Price in the Philippines - [...] can read more details of the Cherry Mobile Flare and the full review here. Related [...]
  5. Technology, Computers, Games, Programming, Life | Joemakev - [...] with the leading brands and harder for local brands to catch up. Following the success of the Flare,Titan, and Blaze, …

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>