Cherry Mobile Skyfire 2.0 Review, your budget 5-inch quad-core phone
The Cherry Mobile Skyfire 2.0 has been overshadowed by the Omega HD 2.0 which was announced at the same time despite being the more affordable of the two. The Omega HD 2.0 was the first budget phone to sport a 5-inch HD screen with a quad-core MediaTek processor while Skyfire 2.0 has a qHD screen with a quad-core Qualcomm chip.
Anyway, after using the Skyfire 2.0 for quite a some time, I would say that it deserves consideration if you’re looking for a big phone with decent specs without breaking your budget. Let me walk you through what you can get out of this phone.
Every time I whip this phone out, the average person would think it’s the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, and I can’t blame them. It’s slim, has that same shape and rounded corners as the Galaxy S3/S4, but doesn’t have that physical Home button at front as everything’s covered in a scratch-resistant glass.
Below the 5-inch display and its relatively thin side bezels are the capacitive touch buttons for Menu, Home, and Back and above it is the 2-megapixel camera lens. On top you’ll find the microSUB port and the 3.5mm audio jack.
On the right side is the Power/Sleep button and on the left is the volume rocker which is a bit tiny to use with ease.
The back has that glossy black finish treatment on its plastic panel that shouldn’t have any problems attracting prints and smudges. There’s a regular (not BSI) 8-megapixel autofocus camera situated at the center near the top and beside it is the LED flash.
Pry the back panel open and you’ll find the 2 regular SIM slots, microSD slot, and a 2000 mAh battery.
The CM Skyfire 2.0 feels good to hold. It’s not too light to feel fragile but it’s not burdensome to hold or put in your pocket, not unless you have small pockets. Because of its thin frame, the size is still small enough for easy one-handed use even for ladies. It’s a good-looking phone that you won’t mind showing off outside.
Display and UI
The SkyFire 2.0 has a 5-inch qHD IPS screen which gives us a 220 ppi pixel density. Picture quality is not as sharp as the Omega HD 2.0 but it still holds well on its own. Icons still appear sharp with proper color representations.
It has lightly-skinned version of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean so things are pretty standard. What I’m not so keen about is the non-customizable lockscreen. There only three unlock points for you, a regular unlock, unlock to camera, and unlock to Google. Wish I can do unlock to messages or unlock to music.
This phone supports dual-SIM but only the 1st SIM slot supports a 3G connection so place your SIM accordingly. Both SIMs will be active at the same time so you can receive messages and calls on both at all times. To send a message or make a call, there are corresponding buttons for each SIM on the interface.
Powering the Skyfire 2.0 is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor which is a budget quad-core chip that shouldn’t be compared to the high-end quad-core chips out there. With a 1GB RAM, it performs smoothly for the most part but you will experience some hiccups every now and then. Viewing the message list will lag a bit, launching a new browser tab won’t be instantaneous, but these are things you can live with.
Synthetic benchmark tool Quadrant gave this phone a score of 4350
For games, I tried Candy Crush where the screen is big enough to comfortably play with, Temple Run 2, and DeadZone. There are times that launching the game will result to messed up screens but closing and re-launching them would fix the issue. Gameplay on all three games were pretty smooth but I didn’t play them over a long duration so I can’t say if a game will eventually crash which is common to old CM phones with 512MB RAM.
Watching videos posed no problem except for the sound coming from the loudspeaker which is not that loud. In fact, I often miss some calls and messages when the phone is in my pocket even at high volume so I had to turn vibrate on. There were also a few times that when I slide to unlock to answer a call, it will hang up instead. Call quality is not hampered anyway once you get through.
The Skyfire 2.0 has an 8-megapixel camera at the back and while it doesn’t have a BSI sensor like what current camera phones are touting, it still takes good photos under well-lit conditions. It performs poorly in low-light though if you don’t enable the flash.
Here are a few sample shots taken with the Skyfire 2.0 for you check out.
I also find focusing to be a bit slow as well as taking the shot and saving it. Fortunately, there’s a “Speedily” mode which lets you shoot and save photos in the expense of a lower megapixel count and a 4:3 size.
This phone is outfitted with a 2000mAh battery that lasted me a day with 3G off, WiFi always on but not always connected and moderate amount of calls and text. Battery life will drastically shorten if you watch movies, play games and always connected on 3G.
The Cherry Mobile Skyfire 2.0 won’t try to be anything but a trusty budget quad-core phone that will give you your money’s worth. Its design is something that you will still be proud to showoff. It may not have the latest specs of today’s local quad-core phones such as BSI cameras, HD display, high-tech glass, and higher internal storage but it’s inexpensive for its capability at just Php7,999.
|Cherry Mobile SkyFire 2.0 Specs:|
|5-inch qHD (540×960) scratch-resistant capacitive display|
|1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8625Q Snapdragon 200 processor|
|Adreno 203 GPU|
|Android 4.1 Jelly Bean|
|1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage (1.48GB usable), microSD up to 32GB|
|8MP autofocus camera with LED flash|
|720p HD video recording @ 30 fps|
|2MP front camera|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|Dual SIM, Dual Standby|
|FM Radio, Bluetooth with A2DP|
|Li-Ion 2,000mAh Battery|
|SRP: Php 7,999|