The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity stands as one of the flagships from the Cherry brand, proudly displaying a near bezel-less 2.5D display. But will this phone rightfully take its place alongside past Cherry Mobile hits?
From the get-go, the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity doesn’t exactly pop out at me. The box was 90% black, which gave me the impression that this phone was stylish and for more professional or formal usage. In fact, the box design was similar to other Flare variants that have come out in the past, what with an outer, hard slipcover and the actual box within. But while the packaging may be lackluster, will this phone impress?
Inside the Flare Infinity packaging you get:
– Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity (1 pc)
– USB-C Charging Cable (1 pc)
– Travel Charger (1 pc)
– Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity Manual (1 pc)
– Earphones (1 pair)
As a small side note, getting the charger and phone out of the box proved a little difficult, thanks to the tight placement of these components into the depressions within the box itself. A small nitpick to be sure, but at least be prepared for it.
But we’re not here to talk about the box. To start off, the outer design looked strange to me, primarily because of the white line pattern found at the top and bottom areas of the back. It would have left a much more favorable impression on me if they kept it plain silver, which maintains the premium, professional look.
In contrast, was thoroughly impressed with the Infinity being nearly bezelless on the sides. There is a top and bottom bezel, but that’s it. There’s barely anything on the sides of the clear 5.5-inch screen of the Flare Infinity. I’ll admit, I personally liked the look of this 2.5D display.
Speaking of the bezels, the top bezel features the front camera, while the bottom bezel has nothing on it. The home and back buttons are purely digital, appearing on the screen itself. In addition, you can find the earphone jack on the top, while the USB-C port and speakers are on the bottom. Kudos to Cherry Mobile for employing a grill-less speaker design, opting instead for dots. As far as I could tell from the quick test, it does not affect the audio. Thus, it’s a welcome aesthetic decision.
Meanwhile, the back contains the rear camera and its flash, while the left side has the slot for two micro-SIM cards, and the right has the lock button, the volume button, and a small fingerprint sensor. All in all, fairly standard design, but that’s not always a bad thing. It should also be noted that this phone feels great. It’s smooth, but not once did I feel like it would slip out of my hands.
But will this phone excel in specs? Well, let’s look at this piece-by-piece. First, we have a device that runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Second, this device rocks a 2.0GHz MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 octa-core processor, and 4 GB RAM. Third, internal storage maxes out at 32GB, expandable. Finally, the cameras are a 16-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front camera. So how does this all translate in terms of performance?
After about a week of playing around with the Flare Infinity, the first word that comes into my mind is ‘stock’. No, I’m not saying the Flare Infinity is a bad phone, in fact, it works quite well. For gaming, we played about two hours of Modern Combat 5, and it ran well for the most part! Of course, expect some lag when there’s a small battalion of enemies rushing you, and there’s an epic explosion every two minutes. Its ability to multi-task and switch between apps isn’t something to laugh at, either. We actually played said Modern Combat 5 while we had at least seven other apps in the background.
But the thing is, the presentation is pretty ‘okay’. The stock Android characteristic of most Cherry Mobile smartphones does not help it stand out from the rest of its kind. While again, on its own it’s not a bad thing, but at this point you would expect something to pop out at you from a premium offering like the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity. Not to mention, the apps don’t show anything new and the camera UI also feels standard. Speaking of the apps, potential buyers should be aware that the Cherry Fun Club app will push ads and notifications at users every now and then. On paper, this sounds annoying, but thankfully after a while you actually don’t notice it anymore.
The cameras prove capable but with the sample photos I took, there was a notable slight bluish tint for certain pics, especially the ones I took in my room, under white flourescent light. The colors popped well, and to my eyes, were more brightly colored in the picture than the real thing. Bonus points go to the red colors, which came out best in the images. The low-light pictures were alright, but the real disappointment, really, came in the selfie cam. Not that it’s horrible, but 5-megapixels for a selfie camera feels a little lacking, honestly. If you’re looking to take a groufie, you might want to invest in a selfie stick.
For those curious about benchmarks, below contains the numbers we got from various benchmark programs:
- AnTuTu – 50353
- Vellamo – 2389 (Multicore), Metal (1299), Chrome Browser (3425)
- Sling Shot Extreme 1.0 – 418
Now, we come to battery life. On a normal day, with data on and moderate use, the 3,000 mAh battery lasted us a little over 8 hours. Meanwhile, your usual video loop test yielded a life of around 10 hours from full to zero. For charging, it takes about three hours to get from zero to full. Not bad at all!
Final Verdict: With a retail price of PHP 12,999, I’m a little wary to recommend the Flare Infinity without any ‘buts’. To sum it up, the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity works well, runs graphics-intensive games almost seamlessly, and multitasks like a boss. Though, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the back design, but the texture and size are on point. Major props to the near bezel-less display, too.
I think my biggest reservation about the Flare Infinity comes when I take the stance of the casual user on a budget. If I had exactly Php 13,000 to spend on a phone and I was pressured to save, I might be tempted to opt for the much cheaper Cherry Mobile Flare device. However, if you really wanted a sleek looking bezel less phone that performs, and looking for a relatively lower-priced flagship, then the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity, on its own, is not a bad choice.
So, it’s apparent that the problem is definitely not the phone itself, but the fact that there are cheaper Cherry alternatives.
+ Edge-to-edge screen, almost bezel-less sides for 2.5D display
+ Great feel and size for the hands
+ Good performance, UI and specs-wise
+ Efficient multitasker
+ decent battery life
+/- Stock UI and apps
– Not a fan of the design of the back
– Front camera could be better
Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity Specs
|Operating System||Marshmallow 6.0|
|Display||5.5-inch FHD 1080x1920 LTPS Bezel-less|
|Processor||2.0 GHz Octa Core MTK6755 Helio P10|
|Storage||32GB, microSD up to 64GB|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Micro + Nano)|
|Camera||Rear: 16MP PDAF, Front: 5MP|
|Battery||3000mAh Non Removable|
|Sensor/Navigation||Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G-Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, GPS/AGPS|
|Interface||USB Type C, 3.5mm Audio Jack|