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Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Review

Launched late last year, the 4-inch Magnum HD Android phone is having a resurgence when Cherry Mobile started offering it at an incredibly low price. How does P14k sound? Not bad I would say considering this phone already has the latest Android update (Gingerbread). It’s closest competition would be the Samsung Galaxy SL which is still P3000 more expensive.

Been playing with a Cherry Mobile Magnum HD unit for a couple of weeks and overall impression is quite good. Read on for a review of the Magnum HD to see whether it’s a phone worthy of your consideration.


The CM Magnum HD is a big phone that doesn’t try to be stylish. It looks like a huge chunk of metal but it’s not that heavy at all. Not light as the Samsung phones so look elsewhere if you’re after featherweight phones. It does look sturdy though with its metallic encasing. The design doesn’t look sleek but the multi-tone metallic look gives it an industrial appeal.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

It can be a bit more compact had they lessen the frame and bezel surrounding the huge 4.1-inch WVGA display. There are no physical buttons adorning the front but instead, dedicated touch panels for the Android buttons are located below the screen. There’s also a front-facing VGA camera on top of the display and a useful LED indicator for unread notifications.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

Top side you’ll only see the 3.5mm audio jack. At the bottom edge you will find the microUSB port and a micro-HDMI port which can prove useful to some. On the right side you will see the volume control, no dedicated camera button here. And finally on the left side is the small Power/Sleep button.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

I would like to point out that the Sleep/Wake button is a bit hard to press because it’s small and placed flat on the side. Whenever I press it with my thumb, my forefinger will accidentally press the volume button on the other side. Just a little annoyance that’s all.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

At the back you will find the huge aluminum cover for the battery, SIM and microSD slot. The lens of the 5 megapixel camera protrudes from the frame so it will be first to touch a surface when placed face up. Better get a case or a pouch if you want to protect that lens.

Display and UI

The 4.1-inch display on the Magnum HD has a 480 x 800 resolution, same as most 4-inch phones out there like the Galaxy S and the 4.3-inch Desire HD. Nothing special here aside from its size which makes it ideal for watching videos, gaming and browsing the net. Display is not that bright to be ideal for outdoor use.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

The lockscreen on this phone reminds me of HTC’s Sense 3.0 UI wherein you can unlock the phone and head straight to the call app, contacts or messages. I’m inclined to think that HTC got their lockscreen idea here and just made it more customizable.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

Nothing special on the inside as it’s just plain vanilla Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The homescreens and the App view are regular Android screens making it hard to browse if you have plenty of apps already. But it’s one of the reasons why Cherry Mobile phones can get Android OS updates quicker than other brands.


The Magnum HD is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm processor with the Adreno 205 GPU. Same setup as that of the HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.

Out of the box, it comes with Android 2.2 Froyo. I used it under Froyo for about a week and had problems with it shutting down on its own, stuttering navigation, apps closing unexpectedly and sometimes they would hang or the battery will drain quickly. Good thing I installed the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update (quite easy) because all those problems went away.

I do experience a couple of instances when the phone resets on its own. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen while I’m using it. I will leave the phone on its own and then I’ll just hear the Cherry Mobile boot-up sound. Other than that, Gingerbread makes this phone worth every penny you will be paying for it.

Here’s the Quadrant score by the way (1,649) and it even reached 2,020 at one point!

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

It blasts the LG Optimus Black away and surprisingly even the HTC Desire S. Must be the lack of an extra layer of UI that’s making it perform better in Quadrant than other more popular phones. It doesn’t exactly equate to better real-world performance though. For example, I still find the UI navigation on the Desire S much smoother than this one.

Overall, Magnum HD running on Gingerbread is a delight to use. There’s still the slight lag when opening applications or unlocking the screen but the transition is much more smoother compared to when it was under Froyo. Just don’t expect it to be buttery smooth like those dual-core superphones.


Being a big phone makes the Magnum HD a decent portable media player. It can play DivX videos on its native player. It plays 720p MP4 videos without a hitch and if you have an HDTV, you can watch it on the big screen using an HDMI cable connected to this phone. The speakers are not that strong so you might want to plug in the earphones included when watching movies.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

Your MP3 files will be scanned on your SD drive no matter which folder they’re located and they will be display on the music player including cover art and all the tags. It even mimics Apple’s cover flow layout for music. No problem with gaming here. Angry Birds, Plants vs Zombies loads quickly and gameplay runs smoothly.

Web browsing

Before you start viewing websites, I highly recommend you download the Adobe Flash Player from the Market or you will be seeing the No Flash plugin icon that’s plaguing Apple devices. Once installed, you can enjoy all Flash content on a page. Even live video/audio streaming is supported. Normal pages loads quick and renders as intended.


The camera on the Magnum HD offers a lot of shooting options including Panorama, Face and Smile capture. Somehow, I cannot get the camera to focus or maybe the color indicating that the lens has locked in is red instead of the usual green.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD

Anyway, the camera on the Magnum HD is not its strong feature. It produces over-saturated photos that looks drab and lacks sharpness. Here are a few samples.

[nggallery id=18]

You might want to install those free camera apps from the Market to mask your photos with artistic styles and filters.

You can record 720p videos with the Magnum HD’s camera. There’s also a front-facing VGA camera for video chats or to use as a mirror if you download a mirror app.


Before upgrading the phone to Gingerbread, battery life on the Magnum HD was a bit erratic. Sometimes it will drain pretty quickly despite having 50% left on the battery indicator. Most I could get was a day out of it.

With the Gingerbread update though, I got 2 days out of my first full charge. Granted I didn’t do much except for SMS and calls and the occasional Foursquare check-in and FB status update. I would say one and a half day’s worth of battery is the average for this phone which is above normal for one with a big display.


The Cherry Mobile Magnum HD really surprised me. I thought it would be an ordinary 1GHz Android phone that will have it’s share of problems inside and outside. But it didn’t. Aside from the occasional but quick reboots (which I hope is isolated to my unit) and below-average camera quality, the Magnum HD would make a decent big phone with an updated OS, a 1GHz processor, and all features other phones in its class have at a very affordable price of Php14,000. Just don’t expect to earn style points from it.

Cherry Mobile Magnum HD
1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
Adreno 205 GPU
Android 2.2 Froyo (2.3.4 Gingerbread update already available)
4.1″ WVGA capacitive touchscreen (480 x 800 pixels)
1GB internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD (4GB included)
3G, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g
5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
720p video recording
Front facing VGA camera
Bluetooth 2.0
SRP: Php14,000
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  • wis

    wow that’s not affordable, for 2k+ more you’ll have the galaxy sl…which has a better feature and style…and it’s a samsung…

    • i think the SL is close to 17k. if you don’t mind shelling out the extra 2k+ then go for the SL na.

    • Troll

      racist… don’t underestimate this phone…

    • Lee17

      The SL is CRAP, I would understand if you would have compared it to the S. the SL uses the inferior PowerVR SGX530 GPU compared to the S’s PowerVR SGX540, which in turn is eaten alive by the Xperia ARC’s and Magnum HD’s Adreno 205. and that Super-Clear LCD is just samsung’s excuse to sell a crappy phone under the guise of the awesome Galaxy S.

      Before depreciating something make sure you learn the facts, jerk…

      and its a samsung? really now… samsung?

  • Griswold

    ok naman itong magnum hd talaga pero hindi para sa lahat. panlalake yung design. mura na sya para sa 4-inch phone.

  • Patrick Wayne Remegia

    multitouch ba yan??????

  • Genji

    WIFI hotspot ba?

  • Dave

    At, huwag natin kalimutan ang HDMI output…wala yan sa ibang high-end brands…dalawa nga lang ata meron niyan, SE Arc and HTC Evo 4g (di pa magamit na phone dito sa atin yun, CDMA).

    Thanks for the review.

    • well yung sa iba MHL like sa Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation. yung microUSB port pwede mong kabitan ng microUSB – hdmi cable.

  • Michael

    Does it run with adobe flash 10.1?

  • St. Cerdict

    does it support windows mobile?java capable?.

    • android sir.

      • sphinx2nt3

        ahh ok.is better having windows + android but its ok to me. android gingerbread right?

        • froyo out of the box but it’s easy to upgrade to gingerbread.

          • vanessa

            Pano mag upgrade into gingerbread?

    • Lloyd Lopez


  • i bought this and upgrade it to 2.3.4 gingerbread, superfast, than samung galaxy sl doesent have gingerbread update yet, but bit when it release i think its just 2.3.3
    tangkilikin ang sariling atin =)

  • This unit is promising I would love to grab 1 from http://yugadeals.com/. is it really fast?

  • ok na to if you’re on a tight budget, decent phone. may discount pa sa yugadeals

  • aa

    i still prefer to buy other brands, they are more realiable kasi matagal na sila sa mobile industry, meaning they are more capable to manufacture a durable mobile phones. kaya nga sya mura kasi i cant promise a “qualityness”:)

    • MDJA

      Honestly, I have read somewhere that this unit is manufactured or under the Huawei brand, which if I am not mistaken, the main supplier of electronic spare parts of the big names in the mobile industry such as HTC, Samsung, etc. It’s just that Huawei is not a very popular name because they are the ones working in the background, compared to the “popular” brands we hear.

      • pehk2

        dude..get your info straight..htc manufactures and pioneers micro processors..and samsung supplies the screens for apple..kaya nga na dedelay sila ng release ng phones because of the lawsuits they had with each other eh..sorry..o.t.

  • jessisxp

    should i buy this phone or tha magnum x2? i feel like this is better since its a bit cheaper

    • if you’re all for cheaper then get this instead. single core vs dual core on android devices doesn’t have much realistic improvements yet.

  • helow,,,, pls gave some idea about magnum,, which is better to use,, the magnum HD or Magnum2x,,,, bcoz im goin to buy it,, ty

    • mas maganda design ng magnum 2x pero mas magaan and manipis magnum hd. mas maganda camera ng magnum hd.

      • kie thank you,,,, for you, what will u get the HD or 2X,

        • ill go with 2X because of its beautiful display.

  • daniel

    hnd b madaling masira yan??? cnu na bng nakagamit nyan??? baka nman palaging nagffreeze???

    • Vana

      I have this phone. Nope, hindi naman nagfrefreeze kasi 1GHz yung processor speed..

      • pehk2

        try mo mag download ng magagandang quality na apps at mag multi-tasking..dun mo ma eexperience yung lags at nag freeze yan..

  • anthony balucan

    paano po ba mai-update to gingerbread ang os ng cherry-magnumHD

  • Jeff

    Hindi po mismo and cherry mobile ang gumagawa ng phone na ito, pinapagawa nila po ito sa very reputable electronics maker na kapareho ng ibang major brands din na nagpapagwa ngayon nagkakatalo na lang sa how you sell the price and the brand name, syempre may dagdag na price and name ng isang brand pero itong cherrymobile is a Filipino brand kaya mura dito, sa taiwan japan, china or kahit saan basta may HIGH QC standards, pareho lang po ito sa ibang brand na nagpapagawa din, cherry mobiles is contracting high cost electronic makers para tumaas yung quality nila, like sa charger gumgawa yata nyan is EMERSON NETWORK POWER which sila din gumgawa ng charger ng other major mobile brands except sa samsung. tsaka tangkilikin po natin and sariling atin, maganda naman po itong brand and specs nya magaling din yung engineers nito na nabigay nila ng lowest price.

  • harvey

    good day po..ask ko lang po if wla kaung problem sa rotating nya pag multitouch…sa akin po kc ngloloko ee..nag sswitch ung dalwa..
    (for ex. air hockey…pang two player..nagloloko ung isa..try it..)

  • billy

    pwede po ba itong gamitin sa SKype video calling?

  • Wizman

    May Accelerometer po ba ito? Will it be updated to ICS?

  • Kael

    May Accelerometer po ba ito?
    Will it be updated to ICS?

  • Mond

    Bro anganda ng wallpaper san mo po un nakita, palink nmn po sakin..
    nagandahan ako eh, gusto ko lahat kaso lang ung problem ung nagrereset siya ng kusa. :((

  • pehk2

    Samsung I9070
    Galaxy S Advance

    Cash Price
    PHP 15,300

    Desire V

    Cash Price:
    PHP 14,990
    (ICS 4.03)

    dual core na yan..mas mura pa kesa sa re-brand crap na on review..why would i buy something na nag lag na at nag reboot pa? damn! shouldn’t you be enjoying and feeling proud sa phone na nabili mo from your hard earned money instead of bickering dahil sa crappy performance and quality at a high cost? at naka froyo pa lang without the sure upgrade to gb 3.6 man lang..?dapat ang price nyan is mga 10k lang..come on guys,napaka pricey nito..yung htc desire v naka dual sim din eh..pangit pa ng after sales service..this junk is a waste of money..aminin nyo man o hindi..pag nagalit ka, eh malamang na biktima ka at bumili ka ng phone na ito..at ayaw mo lang aminin na naka bili ka ng b.s. na phone dahil mapapa iyak ka sa pag sisisi..



  • Mark

    How do I update its Android?

    • make sure you have a wifi connection and dun sa settings, sa about phone i think, look for software update.

      • Mark

        Ah okay. I visited their store here in our city pero Magnum HD isn’t available. Thanks a lot.

  • Mark

    Ah okay. I visited their store here in our city pero Magnum HD isn’t available. Thanks!


    Foxconn is the maker of this phone, and the company distributed it to different companies to re-brannd it. Nevertheless, it’s the same phone w/ different brand and carrier.

    Cherry Mobile Magnum HD, is the same as Huawei ideos X6..
    Spice Mi-410..
    Olive Smart [India]..
    WellcoM A99 (Thailand),
    CSL Blueberry Mi 410 [Malaysia]
    Motorola Triumph [United States]. “Virgin Mobile is the carrier.”

    Same design, specss and what not.

    Hence, this is not a crappy phone. So, don’t under estimate.