Nov 28, 2011

Posted by in Featured, Mobile, Reviews | 39 Comments

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X Review

The Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X is the local brand’s answer to the list of dual-core Android smartphones in the market today. It’s their most powerful smartphone to date and is also most affordable dual-core phone in the market. At only Php15,899, it’s about Php7,000 cheaper than the next affordable dual-core phone.

The question you you might be asking now and the main reason why you are reading this is, “Is it worth it?” Let’s take a closer look and find out how Cherry Mobile fared with their Magnum 2X.

Design

Just like most if not all Cherry Mobile phones, the Magnum 2X is also a rebranded OEM phone from China, this time it’s the K-Touch 700 from Aliyun. India’s Micromax also uses the same OEM and brands it as the Micromax A85.

k-touch-w700-cloud-smartphone

Rebranding OEM devices is not always a bad thing. In fact, it drives the price really low and in the case of the Magnum 2X, Cherry Mobile picked a decent choice for their dual-core phone. When you look at this phone, you wouldn’t know it’s a Cherry Mobile. It’s probably the most gorgeous-looking phone the brand has to offer with the glossy front panel and the edgy lines and slanted edges probably inspired by the Nokia N8. Too bad it only comes in black.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X front Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X front 2

The front sports a 3.8” Gorilla Glass display with the four Android touch panels below it. I would position these buttons slightly lower to make use of the extra space at the bottom and that my thumb would fall naturally in place when pressing them. No branding whatsoever can be found at the front which some people actually prefer.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X left Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X top Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X right

The left side only has the volume rocker. The top has the microUSB port with a rubber covering which I fear might wear out from constant opening. Beside it is the 3.5 mm audio jack. The right side has the Power/Sleep button. You would also notice two button-like pieces on both sides. Pressing these will release the latch that holds the back panel to access the battery compartment.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X back

The back consists of a matte, slightly curved metal plate which keeps off fingerprints. Near the top is the 5-megapixel camera with no flash on sight and on the left side is the speaker for the phone which I often find myself covering with my thumb.

You would notice that on its side, the Magnum 2X is a bit chunky. It’s thicker than the Cherry Mobile Magnum HD because of the curved back which is also a nuisance for me. When I lay the phone on its back, it easily spin around every time I use it and this will wear out the back panel easily. I suggest getting a case for it ASAP.

Display and UI

The Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X has a smaller screen display than the Magnum HD at 3.8-inch against 4.1-inch. However, it has the same 480 x 800 pixels which makes the Magnum 2X have a larger pixel density thereby a sharper and more vibrant display. The display on this looks really good and it reminds me of the display on the HTC Desire S.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X stock Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X Xperia inspired

This phone comes in stock Android Froyo UI with little to no modifications from Cherry Mobile aside from the wallpapers and the Sony Ericsson Xperia-inspired background on the settings menu. The homescreens and app drawer are pretty much ordinary.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X lockscreen

The lockscreen allows you to unlock the phone to a specific function just like Call, Messages, etc. by dragging the center to any of the four icons. Too bad I couldn’t find a way to customize which app I want to access directly from the lockscreen.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X clockQ widget Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X Go launcher

With stock UI, you don’t get a lot of widgets other brands have to offer but it’s not a problem. The Android Market has a lot to offer in terms of customizations and widgets. In fact, I enjoyed downloading Go Launcher themes and widgets for this phone and you should too.

Performance

The Magnum 2X has a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor. Same as that on almost 10-inch Android tablets. So what can you expect from a dual-core Android phone? Well sad to say not much in terms of real-world experience. It’s fast yes but there was really not much of an improvement from the single-core Magnum HD. It’s not the phone’s fault, it’s more on the OS and apps as it has not yet matured to fully utilize multi-core processors. What we can probably expect from this though is that it’s likely that it will be ready for Android 4.0.

Here’s the Quadrant score (2006) for the Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X:

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X quadrant

It’s a couple of hundred points lower than the LG Optimus 2X which has the same Tegra 2 processor.

I already mentioned that the phone still runs on Android 2.2 Froyo with no word yet from Cherry Mobile when they will be releasing the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for it.

Just like the Magnum HD on Froyo, I ran into some problems with the Magnum 2X. I would occasionally experience the phone turning off by itself and I need to do a battery pull to turn it back on. There’s also the rare instances when the phone crashes on some built-in apps like Contacts, Camera and Messages.

Don’t fret though. I also initially experienced the same thing with the Magnum HD running on Froyo (and Galaxy Ace running on Froyo). When I upgraded them to Gingerbread, all the problems went away and you can feel the phone running really smoothly. I’m pretty much sure the same thing will happen when Gingerbread comes out for this phone.

Multimedia

Just like most Android phones out there, you won’t have problems playing your videos here. The phone’s power and display can handle almost all videos you can throw at it. Although for some reason, the native player won’t allow me to skip on my AVI file. There are other media player options in the market which you can download however.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X video Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X audio

The speakers on this phone is loud but your music will sound “canny” when on loud volumes. You might want to use your own earphones instead. The package also comes with an earphone with an in-line mic by the way.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X game Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X web

There are no built-in games installed but you can get them from the market. Gaming is smooth and the display again looks very good. Nothing much to say here although Angry Birds crashed on me a couple of times.

Website renders quickly so no complaints here. Text font displays correctly and the default browser supports multi-touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom.

Camera

The camera on the Magnum 2X can go up to 5-megapixels which brings it below the usual megapixel count from other dual-core phones. It’s important to note that this one doesn’t have any flash to help in low-light condition. Its camera functions are pretty limited and basic as well so you might want to download better camera apps from the market.

Here are some sample photos taken with the Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X:

[nggallery id=26]

Pretty usable actually and it’s better than the 5-megapixel with flash of the Magnum HD. Colors are a bit washed out and details aren’t as sharp as we want it to be but overall the results are decent including close-up shots.

And here’s a sample video from the Magnum 2X:

This phone has a VGA front-facing camera but when I tried it on Skype, only the back camera is functioning so you won’t be able to see who’re you’re talking to during video calls. Not sure if this is a phone issue or an OS issue which can be fixed on the next update.

Battery Life

The Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery rating on this phone is just average for a 1Ghz dual-core Android phone. With WiFi occasionally on, random calls, videos, browsing, and a bit of gaming, I was able to squeeze 24 hours out of a single charge before the phone tells me to connect it to a charger.

Verdict

Using the phone for a couple of weeks I say the overall experience was good. Actually, very good for a Cherry Mobile despite a few concerns (such as app crashing and phone turning off) which can probably be fixed with a newer OS.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X last

With regards to the design, I wished they made the back flat instead of curved to make it more slimmer and stable on its back but this is not Cherry Mobile’s call since it’s an OEM device. The display however will blow Cherry Mobile users away. This has got to be the best display resolution on a CM phone yet.

Despite the lack of flash, the camera on this one produces very usable photos as compared to the rest of CM phones available.

I can’t comment on the durability of this phone which people say is Cherry Mobile’s weakest point since I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks. However, the Gorilla Glass display seems to be true because I’ve been using the phone without any protection and there’s nary a scratch on the screen despite always putting it in my pocket with keys and coins.

For the price of Php15,899, I say this dual-core phone is worth every penny of it if you’re not that brand-conscious and if you can wait for the Gingerbread update. Froyo is usable but first-time Android users might be disappointed. If dual-core is not that important to you, sticking to the single-core 1GHz phones of established brands seems to be a wiser use of your money.

Cherry Mobile Magnum 2X Specs
1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core processor
Android 2.2 Froyo (upgradeable to 2.3 Gingerbread)
3.8” WVGA capacitive touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
Gorilla Glass display
8 GB storage, 512 MB RAM, 4GB microSD included
3G, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps
5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus
Front facing VGA camera
WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS
Portable hotspot
Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery
SRP: Php15,899


  1. Mas maganda deal sa widget almost same price for LG Optimus 2x! lol:

  2. I won’t waste my hard earned money buying this kind of phone with this price tag. Its not that cheap, an LG Black is much much better.

  3. avzde10287 says:

    sir a bit off topic..when will you be doing a review on CM stellar?..im not that interested in magnum 2x eh..hehehe..i find it too pricey.. tama sa widget city optimus 2x is almost priced the same with that..and i want a mid range but good phone..so im trying to see a review of stellar from a well respected techblog site like this..thanks in advance. :)

  4. Really? Cherry mobile on android? That’s nice to know. But it’s too pricey.

  5. Great…

    WALANG CAMERA FLASH.

    For something with a dual-core.

    And is costing around the same as a 2nd-hand, even New(!), Optimus 2X (May Camera flash! 1080P HDVR! Gingerbread!!)

    A “WTF?!” moment right there. :(

    (On the plus side, meron itong portable hotspot, which is nice.)

  6. Eluterio Ignacio says:

    Too bad the OS has not fully utilized the dual core processor. Regarding the portable hotspot feature: do all the newer smartphones have this?

    • pag dual core na dapat Minimun ng Android Gingerbread or 3.0 Honeycomb na ang OS… di sulet ang fone pagka ganyan lang…
      UPGRADE NYO NA YAN. then lower the Cost mabuboom yan!

      • technohub says:

        3.0 honeycomb for tablets only not for smartphones… some dual-core phones are still running with 2.2 froyo and still working that fine, considering that this is a filipino made smartphone that is understandable though they have to work their asses out…

  7. 15k for a disposable phone? nevermine, forget it. i hve learned my lesson from their first magnum HD. mga manloloko ang cherry mobile. i just wish mag-stop na sila sa pagbebenta para wala na silng maloko pa. search the web sa mga kapwa ko Pinoy para makita nyo kung gaano karami ang biktima ng cherry mobile na to.

  8. Regarding naman sa portable wifi feature, Pag Android ang OS mo pwede ka naman mag install ng apps like Wifi Tether, instant Wifi Hotspot na ang phone mo. Ito ang gamit ko sa bahay ko using my netbook. :)

  9. “The front sports a 3.8” Gorilla Glass (first for CM) display” .. Correction, it’s Cherry Mobile Nova..

  10. 3.0/ honeycomb is meant for android tablets, 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich aka ICS is the next version after 2.3 on an android Phone. To the author and the other peepz out there, The front facing camera will never work on 2.2, it will work only on 2.3 or higher, read the Android OS white papers if you need proof.

    It is also mentioned from other sources that this phone is upgradeable to Gingerbread.

    About rooting. The manufacturer for this phone doesn’t seem to know how to lock the OS so it is possible to root the 2.2 OS on this phone with apps such as Gingerbreak although i’m not very sure about the 2.3 OS for this phone if it can be rooted using the same method.

    PS: It is not fair to say that this phone is just an equal for the LG Optimus Black since you are probably comparing the CM Magnum 2X that has the stock 2.2 OS with the LG Optimus black OS that has been upgraded to 2.3 since Gingerbread handles memory much more efficiently and has flattened out most of the bugs which probably includes the smdl2tmp.asec lock bug. Hardware wise, the CM Magnum upgraded to 2.3 is much more poweful due to the Tegra chipset and you would only notice this if you…know how to maximize the Android OS. No offense but you should know the capabilities of the chipset and the limitations of the lower versions of the Android OS first before bitching around.

    • I did the Gingerbread update today and what a huge difference it’s made with the phone. The phone is blazing fast. I ran benchmarks using Quadrant, AnTuTu and CF Benchmark and in each one the Magnum 2x outperformed the Optimus 2x by about 15% scorewise. All the phone needed was a proper implementation of the OS. Cherry should not have released the phone with 2.2 in my opinion as it created bad buzz for an otherwise excellent phone.

      • oh good… may gingerbread update na for the 2x. same thing happened with magnum hd. it sucked nung froyo pa lang pero gumanda performance with GB.

        • sir calvin, i am thinkin’ kasi buying a new phone upon my next payroll, so i really reading all reviews specially lumabas ang w900 ng CM.. i already have a samsung, but i want another phone.. i already considered MAGNUM HD..

          But if you were to choose, which one is more worth my penny: w900, magnum hd or 2x, or ill go for alcatel glory x?

          • among the three i think i would go for 2X. pero all three naman are about the same in quality and terms of use.

          • Thanks.. would you think it will worth my penny? i like games and play music alot.. and i do web surfing sometimes.. can u suggest other phones that would suite me, say if i have a budget 6k – 7k but already an android phone..? already have a galaxy though i would like to have a new one..

          • Sir do u have the file?i mean the GB update.

    • technohub says:

      3.0 for tablets check, ICS check, front facing camera on 2.2 will not work? absolutely wrong, i got optimus 3d in froyo and the front facing camera is working fine for video calls and photo capture, not just the o3d even all of the branding which has front facing camera packed with froyo is working fine, that is according to my personal experience as in hands-on experience, already had an update for o3d now its running ICS 4.0.3.eu but thinking of replacing it with an s3 or iphone5 if apple can manufacture it in the market before the year ends

  11. Remixdrama says:

    i-cyanogenmod na yan..para sulit.

  12. walang wla sa samsung!!!

  13. is this phone upgradable to to Android 4.0?

  14. Nakita ko to sa SM Sta. Mesa, Php 3,998 na lang.

  15. sana gumawa sila ng. magnum 2.0 ngayon…. gawin nila na ics or jellyben at pababain ang price. at saka rin yung orbit,nova at magnum hd. tsk ts-… pero sadly price is still desame at availableb parin ito sa ibang stores

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