Cherry Mobile seems to have been working on improving their units and making it more competitive with the leading brands and harder for local brands to catch up. Following the success of the Flare, Titan, and Blaze, the SkyFire is another addition to their line of smartphones which you might want to consider and let me tell you why this phone is cheap and cheerful.
I’m pretty sure that most people who’ve seen the unit would think that it looks vaguely like the LG Nexus 4, but to be fair, its build did quite impress me. Similar with the previously released Cherry Mobile smartphones, the SkyFire looks elegant with its all-glass front in piano black set within the contoured aluminum bezels for that sleek and stylish look.
Hardware and Design
The SkyFire’s front panel makes up mostly of the 4.7-inch TFT capacitive display at 480 x 854 resolution with no physical buttons but the usual Android touch panels dedicated at the bottom. Above the screen you’ll find the earpiece and the VGA (0.3 Megapixel) front-facing camera.
The power button is located on the right side which is easy enough for your fingers to reach. On the left side of the phone are the volume controls and a shutter button. If you’re wondering why the shutter button is located there, this makes it easy for the user especially when taking self-portrait shots. Brilliant! The micro-USB port/charging port is found at the top right next to the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Meanwhile, the back panel is made of plastic in a glossy finish with the 5.0 Megapixel camera lens slightly protruded just like many other smartphones. You can also find the speaker on the lower portion of the back panel.
The SkyFire runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at 1GHz dual-core processor MT6577 CPU. It supports Dual-SIM (regular-sized sim cards) with dual standby. Like its CM siblings, the SkyFire also comes with 512 MB RAM and 4GB internal storage that can be expanded up to 32 GB via microSD.
Display is neither bad nor impressively good with its resolution but if you’re not very particular with the screen, I don’t think this will actually matter because you will still get a vivid display. Battery life lasts an average of about a day with moderate usage (Wifi on, usual calls and texts, a bit of gaming and surfing, live wallpaper).
SMS and Calls
Sending SMS is surprisingly convenient with SkyFire. You can easily select which SIM to use in sending a message. In the same manner, you will be prompted on which SIM to use before it dials.
Unlike other dual-SIM phones where numbers indicate which SIM you’re using, the SkyFire uses color codes instead. There are default color settings per SIM but you may change it if you wish. Just don’t get confused with your colors.
SkyFire’s 5MP rear camera fared pretty well than I expected. It is, in fact, one of the rather better features of this phone. Photos taken have a bluish hue but are surprisingly clear. Like any other basic phone camera, it has editing and lighting options.
Below are a few sample photos taken with the Skyfire.[nggallery id=53]
This unit has a Panorama feature, which I really enjoyed especially in taking landscape photos. It also has an HDR mode, so you get relatively sharper and colorful photos than its normal setting. Do not expect much on the front-facing VGA camera though.
Games, Videos and Music
Playing games is the ultimate test for a screen’s sensitivity. In general, games went smoothly. When I tested the Cherry Mobile Magnum on games before, I was annoyed because it did not respond well especially to the rather sophisticated games. So far, the SkyFire was sensitive enough to the movement of the phone when playing a racing game. I also tried Music Hero and was surprised that this phone can handle multiple touches at the same time. Playing Fruit Ninja on this phone was the only disappointment for me as I did experience hiccups while playing.
As for the video entertainment, I noticed that that the SkyFire is having a hard time processing large video files. I tried copying an episode of a TV Series into the phone and there was a bit of stuttering when played. I really haven’t had the chance to download or copy music into the phone but I think the sound quality from the movie I downloaded can suffice. Speaker mode of the phone is quite impressive. The sound is not too crackled even on its maximum volume. The only issue with the phone is the compatibility of the earphones. I tried using other earphones and the sound gets oddly distorted.
To sum it all up, the SkyFire gets a 7 out of 10. It has a few disappointments, but for a dual-SIM phone, with all of its key features, I can say this can pretty much compete with other expensive phones in the market. Besides, at the end of it all, it’s always about getting more than what you pay for because guess what, SkyFire is only priced at Php5,999.
|Cherry Mobile Skyfire Specs:|
|4.7-inch 5-point multi-touch FWVGA (854 x 480) display, 208ppi|
|1GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6577 processor|
|PowerVR SGX531 GPU|
|Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD up to 32GB|
|5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash|
|720p HD video recording|
|VGA front camera|
|Dual SIM, Dual Standby|
|Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi hotspot|
|GPS with A-GPS support|
|1500 mAh Li-ion battery|