Sometimes, buying an affordable smartphone can be rough. All you want is functionality at a decent price, but some phones out there just don’t make the cut. Cherry Mobile aims to solve that with their Desire series, a line of phones that offer quality specs at friendly prices. Today, we look at a model that we’d consider as the best of its kind, the Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus.
Considering the device’s price point, I’d say that the Desire R7 Plus follows the basics of what makes for good design. In fact, I’d even say that some smartphones in the same price range don’t even look as good as the Desire R7 Plus. What won me over in particular included the shiny front panel and the metallic finish from the sides to the back, a combination that reminded me of higher-priced Oppo phones.
The body itself looks pretty simple. However, simplicity and minimal designs give off a modern aesthetic that honestly looks great, in my opinion. For button placement, the top has the audio jack, and the bottom has the USB port. Meanwhile, around the sides we get a SIM tray with the MicroSD slot on the left. On the other side, tthe volume rockers and lock screen button situate themselves on the right. Moving right along, the front of the R7 Plus contains the 8MP front facing shooter above the display. On the back is the 13MP shooter with its flash, with the fingerprint sensor right below the camera. Finally, the speaker grills are placed at the lower left portion.
If anything, my only problem with the design lies in the lack of physical or backlit buttons. The bezel below the screen looks thick enough to have them, yet it simply becomes a waste of space.
The Desire R7 Plus sports a 5.5 inch HD IPS display, which acts as the primary viewing method for the device. Compared to phones in the same price range, this 5.5-incher does its job well. The hi-res videos look crisp, the details on any kind of medium looked just right, and the brightness didn’t hurt my eyes. In terms of sound quality, the audio remained audible and intelligible even at the loudest level. Not only that, but treble notes and bass sounds sounded distinguishable, and that kind of clarity helps deliver a solid listening experience.
Gaming on the R7 Plus seems like a hit or miss. Games like Asphalt Extreme and Horizon Chase performed well enough, although the graphics looked toned down on the device. I’m not exactly sure if this is the app adjusting to the specs, however. But overall, I’d still give this feature a plus, especially because I did not experience any notable lag during playthroughs.
Under the Hood
This device runs on a 1.3 GHz quadcore processor, that works together with a Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. To keep it short: this phone handles most games surprisingly well. This feels like a major bonus, especially since I came into this review not expecting much from a budget phone. We can thank the aforementioned setup, plus the support of 3GB RAM.
You can honestly do a lot with 16GB ROM, although you get less than that due to Cherry’s insistence on Cherry-branded apps. But looking beyond the bloatware, at least consumers may get a 64GB storage card for expansion. Additionally, the pre-installed Android 7.0 Nougat really lends to the ‘not cheap’ feel of this device. Some budget brands opt for older specs or outdated software. Fortunately, Cherry Mobile does not follow this mantra.
Sticking to the OS, I found that having Nougat helped the phone feel seamless and simple. I didn’t encounter any problems switching between apps. Last but not least, the fingerprint scanner adds extra security. This little detail impressed me since other brands wouldn’t spend the resources to design a scanner onto the phone. Kudos to Cherry Mobile for that.
Lastly, I ran the Cherry Mobile R7 Plus through the usual benchmark tests:
- Quadrant: 16931
- Antutu: 28617
- PC Mark: 2689
For its price, the R7 Plus delivers a pair good cameras. The 13MP rear camera takes clear, colorful images, with the only weakness lying in its HDR mode. With HDR turned on, pictures may become overexposed. Also, there’s a noticeable wait time for the phone to adjust to light. Furthermore, the auto-focus feature adds to the quality of photos taken. Unfortunately, I cannot say as much for the Beautify function, which did not offer a variety of options. Obvi0usly, not everyone requires a dozen different editing modes, but it’s nice to have the choice.
Additionally, the device can also shoot video at 720×1280 resolution. I was actually impressed by the video quality, which looked on par with the images. My only gripe lies in the bit of lag when zooming in and out, and the noticeable wait time for the camera to adjust to light. However, when we again consider the pricing, this doesn’t feel like a bad trade-off.
The Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus covers the basics with dual-SIM, 3G, and WiFi capabilities. Connectivity also feels maximized, with a micro-USB 2.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and FM radio. More importantly, it manages to adapt modern LTE connectivity. Thus, data streaming and call quality both worked well, and I have no complaints.
The Desire R7 Plus holds a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery. When running it through the video loop test (video and WiFi off, max brightness), the phone lasted for 8 hours and 30 minutes. A day with the device, on the other hand, lasted around 10 hours with moderate use. To put it simply, the battery of the R7 Plus feels maximized, and a factor that Cherry really put effort in.
The Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Plus gets a strong seal of approval from my end. It earns this distincition thanks to a set of dependable specs and a premium design, despite the really low price. The Cherry Mobile R7 Plus doesn’t rely on a single feature, and opts to do a bit of everything. In my book, that makes for an economic and efficient smartphone. For an SRP of Php 5,999, the customer gets a full package. All in all, the Desire R7 Plus isn’t just a smartphone. It’s a really good deal.
+ Really affordable
+ Versatile, Jack of All Trades
+ Satisfying design and specs
+ Good battery life
-Might not satisfy those looking for a specific selling point (selfie-centric camera, super long battery life, etc.)