Unlike the budget phones that the Cherry Mobile brand is known for, the Cherry Mobile M1 offers serious power for a serious price. Namely, it’s one of the few local smartphones out there rocking a 10-core chipset. But is this worth spending big money on?
I have to say, just by looking at the packaging, that Cherry Mobile spent good money on really selling the product as a flagship. But the M1’s packaging, in my opinion, isn’t exactly optimal. A lot of space is wasted on adding little feelies like separate small boxes for accessories like the earphones, the charger, and the USB cord. Not only that, but a lot of wasted space exists in the wider design of the box. In comparison to the Flare S5 and Cosmos Three packaging, the M1 seems to try too hard to present itself as a premier item.
When you open the fancy Cherry Mobile M1 box, you get:
- Cherry Mobile M1 (1 pc)
- Travel Charger (1 pc)
- Earphones (1 pair)
- USB-C Cable (1 pc)
- Cherry Fun Club Brochure (1 pc)
- Cherry Mobile M1 Manual (1 pc)
The phone touts a standard, classic design, but I feel like it borders on generic and boring. The back cover material made the colors look flat, and there’s nothing really breathtaking about the shell itself. The front black bezels look fine, but honestly, they don’t really do much for the overall look. There’s simply nothing too exciting to note about the outer design. However, if you’re not too picky about the look itself, thankfully the specs more than make up for it.
To continue on the topic of the outer shell, this 5.5-inch phone provides a Full HD display with an IPS panel. The latter simply means that the M1 gives great color reproduction and wide viewing angles. Other than the screen, you can also find the 8-MP front camera alongside its LED flash on the top black bezel. Meanwhile the black bottom bezel does not seem to have any buttons, as the home and back buttons are on the screen itself. Thus, I have to wonder why they added such a thick bottom bezel in the first place.
For audio, the two speaker grilles are found separately, one on the top bezel, and the other on the bottom. That is a design choice I can admire. Having the grilles on the phone bezels, instead of the actual top or bottom, allows users to hold the phone horizontally without obstructing the speakers.
The right side sports both the power/lock button, as well as a volume adjustment button. Unfortunately, there’s no port for a microSD card, so you’re limited to the internal storage. On the left, a dual nano-SIM card holder can be found. The top contains the 3.55mm headphone jack, while the bottom sports a reversible USB Type-C port that allows fast charging. It should be noted that the M1 is the first to have it among local phone brands
Behind the phone lies the main camera, a 21MP Sony IMX230 able to shoot 4K videos. Below the main camera, one finds the fingerprint sensor, which can be set up in the Settings menu.
Performance wise, the M1 makes up for any flaws brought by the outer shell. The MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core chipset, with a maximum clock speed of 2.3GHz, delivers a smooth UI experience. Apps-wise, they launch quickly and the transition from one app to another feels fluid, thanks to 4GB RAM. Multitasking doesn’t even feel like a chore with this device.
Games run reasonably well on the Cherry Mobile M1. Even graphics-intensive games keep a steady framerate thanks to the Mali-T880 GPU. We played Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 on this device, and experienced little lag, if any. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, as the price that the M1 commands should at least yield a competent phone. Out of the box, this device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
The camera is fantastic, but comes with a few flaws. First and foremost, it cannot be stressed enough just how much detail one can see on the taken photos. The 21-megapixel Sony main camera really captures every small detail in every taken photo, which remains consistent even when you zoom in. The photos also show no color popping out above the others, and everything remains neutral color-wise.
However, this great camera has to deal with a mediocre camera launcher. On the brightside, the launcher is simple and direct. But, this is impeded by the launcher’s shutter, which cannot seem to handle constant, heavy light. Of course, this is simply just nitpicking. Anyone just looking for a great cam should be content with the selfie and front cameras of the M1.
Battery life seemed to be good. A large 3600mAh Li-ion battery cell powers the M1. In terms of real-world results, we got 9 to 10 hours of use, with the brightness maxed and the Wi-Fi on. Meanwhile, it takes about two hours to charge the smartphone, from zero to full charge. If you plan on binge watching with the M1, you can get to about 7 hours before the battery runs out of juice. Honestly, that’s impressive, considering that the M1 powers such heavy-hitting specs!
Final verdict: The Cherry Mobile M1 rocks a higher price tag and much higher specs, but you wouldn’t be able to tell with the rather unimpressive outer shell. However, if you’re someone who values performance over appearance, and you have a bit of cash to burn, then the Cherry Mobile M1 should deliver what you need. Priced at PHP 11,999 it’s one of Cherry Mobile’s more expensive phones. Ultimately, it’s worth getting if you’re really looking for a powerful smartphone with a great camera.
+ Great specs
+ Great camera
+ Good battery life
– Forgettable design
Cherry Mobile M1 Specs
|OS||Android Marshmallow 6.0|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio X20n1.4 GHz / 2.0 GHz / 2.3GHz Deca-CorenMali T880|
|Display||5.5-inch FHD 1920x1080 IPS|
|Camera||21MP PDAF Rear Camera / 8MP FF, Sony IMX230|
|SIM||Dual Nano SIM|
|Battery||3600 mAh non-removable|
|Dimensions||152.5mm x 76.35mm x 9.8mm|
|Sensor||Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, G-Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor|
|Others||4K Video Recording, USB Type C (Fast Charging), WiFi b/g/n/ac, BT 4.1, GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou|
|Color||Black / White|
Cherry Mobile M1 Sample Photos
More photos of the Cherry Mobile M1