The Cherry Mobile Cosmos X is the most affordable among CM’s Cosmos line, which is their next-generation series of Android phones having high-end specs (HD display, high-megapixel BSI camera), and here’s our honest-to-goodness review on it.
As a backgrounder, I’ve been using this as my primary phone for over three weeks now. I wasn’t able to maximize it though as I only have one SIM to use for it and I don’t connect to 3G, just WiFi. Anyway, lets get on to the review shall we?
The Cosmos X is something you won’t be ashamed of when you whip it out of your pocket. Not only does it have a really good display but it also looks good due to its ultra-slim frame. When I saw it during the launch, I wasn’t too impressed with it because it looks plain but slapping the red shell (included in the box) on it changed my perception.
The front is fully covered by Gorilla Glass with no physical buttons present. There’s a screen protector included in the box but it’s really not needed. On top of the display is the 8-megapixel front camera with BSI sensor. There are no notification LEDs on this phone.
On the top side of the Cosmos X you’ll see 3.5mm jack and the really tiny Power button which is quite tricky to press. On the right side is the slim volume rocker and another tiny button for the camera shutter. On the left is the exposed microUSB port and that’s about it for ports and buttons.
The back panel is made of plastic with a shiny, glossy finish that’s a real smudge-magnet especially on the black one. On the upper left corner is the protruding 18-megapixel rear camera with the flash below it. This camera placement makes it easy for your finger to get into every shot. There’s also the star-shaped hole on the bottom right corner for the speakers which is appreciatively loud.
Pry the back panel from the corner and you will find the 1800mAh battery, along with a regular SIM slot (3G) which is your primary number, a microSIM slot (2G), and the microSD slot inside. The microSIM slot is hot-swappable so you don’t have to to power your phone off to change it.
I like how you can definitely feel the slimness of this phone. It’s comfortably light as well (without feeling fragile) which is good if you’re the person who puts their phone on their pants pocket. Overall, the design looks really sleek and beautiful. Just don’t like the tiny Power button and the placement of the camera and how it protrudes but we’ll give it a pass.
Display and UI
One of the highlighted feature of the Cosmos X is its 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display. If you’re not familiar how AMOLED displays look, you will be blown away with the vibrant and sharp display you can get from this phone. I’m more used to IPS LCDs so going with AMOLED was a nice experience.
This phone runs on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean with a little bit of Cherry Mobile customization and its icons that looked like something borrowed from Samsung’s TouchWiz. The lockscreen circle only unlocks the phone but you can add some apps like Messaging or Calendar so you can easily access them by swiping from the left edge. Swiping from the right edge of the screen will launch the camera app. Swiping from the top edge will bring down the notification and settings bar without unlocking the phone.
Cherry Mobile has added some useful widgets and apps like TouchPal keyboard, Movie Studio, and a capable Video Player app. However, you may also find extra apps that you probably won’t use and won’t be able to uninstall.
Running the show for the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X (actually the whole Cosmos line) is a MediaTek MT6589 quad-core processor clocking at 1.2GHz. This is currently MediaTek’s top-of-the-line quad-core chip although there’s a configuration that has a 1.5GHz clockspeed (used by Cosmos Z).
The phone also has 1GB RAM and 4GB internal storage which really translates to a measly 1GB worth of storage available for users. A microSD card is a must.
Now if you want to take a look at benchmarks, here’s the Quadrant score.
That 3862 is not exactly promising for a quad-core phone. Phones running on a budget Qualcomm quad-core chip can easily pass the 4k mark. I would like to think that the HD resolution contributes to the not-so-high score but this is still just a synthetic benchmark. And it has the same result as that of the Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0 which also uses the same chip.
Now for Antutu, the 1976 score is actually good. Better than other quad-core phones powered by a budget Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.
But how does it perform in actual usage? Well it went well actually. Navigating through screens were snappy, swipe actions are responsive, launching of basic apps like Messaging, Contacts, and displaying their contents were quick, and web pages loaded rather fast on its default browser. Only time I encountered a crash was while browsing Google Play so that’s forgivable.
As for games, I only played two games. Minion Rush which the phone handled quite poorly (too choppy for an enjoyable experience) although I heard that the Android version is really resource-intensive. The other game was Defense Technica which is a tower defense with 3D graphics and the Cosmos X did a great job running it.
Watching an almost 2GB MKV HD video was handled quite well by the Cosmos X (no sound though but that can be resolved with an app download). Skipping and scanning through the video didn’t stutter and still played smoothly. Oh and picture quality was really good with excellent contrast and deep blacks thanks to the AMOLED display.
Call quality is really good on both ends of the call. The speaker is loud enough to converse properly even inside a noisy mall environment with a clear enough reception on the other end. WiFi is also strong and quick to connect so I think MediaTek did a good job with the radio chip on their SoC.
The Cosmos X has an 18-megapixel autofocus camera at the back with a BSI sensor and a LED flash to go with it. But before we get to the camera quality, I would like to point out that the camera button on the side doesn’t launch the camera from sleep or lock mode even when pressing it for a long time. You can only launch the camera app with that button when the phone is unlocked.
This phone has touch-to-focus and capturing image is fairly quick (despite the click sound being delayed). It also has the usual camera features including HDR, panorama, multi-angle shot, beauty shot, and different color filters.
Here are some shots taken with the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X.
For the most part, colors are accurate although a bit over-processed hence the smooth look. It should serve well for Facebook or Instagram photos. BSI works on this phone as low-light indoor shots still appear bright even without the use of flash.
The rear camera is also capable of recording Full HD videos at 30 fps.
I used the Cosmos X with just one SIM inside. I used it mainly for calls and SMS with a bit of surfing when WiFi is available. No 3G, some short games, videos, and camera use. The 1800mAh battery lasted me for a day and a half before the battery indicator turned red. That’s already considered long for a smartphone and I think the AMOLED screen and the 28nm MediaTek chip contributed to that stamina.
Overall, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X is worth the P9,999 retail price. What I love is the slim design (except for the tiny buttons) especially the red back panel, and the HD Super AMOLED display. It’s really a good device for watching HD videos provided you slap a high-capacity microSD into it. The camera is quite decent for social media use even in low-light situations without the need of a flash. After over three weeks, I still enjoy using the Cosmos X.
|Cherry Mobile Cosmos X Specs:|
|4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD display, 1280 x 720, 312 ppi|
|5-pt multi-touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 2|
|1.2GHz quad-core processor MediaTek MT6589|
|PowerVR SGX544 @ 286Mhz GPU|
|1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage (1GB available to user)|
|microSD slot up to 32GB|
|Android 4.2 Jelly Bean|
|18-megapixel rear camera with BSI sensor and LED flash|
|1080p video recording @ 30fps|
|8-megapixel front camera with BSI sensor|
|1800mAh Li-Ion battery|