Once in a while, we receive limited edition devices from our friends from different smartphone brands. We admit that we reviewed hit-and-miss products before, but the one that we got from Cherry Mobile a couple of weeks ago was nothing short of awesome. Here’s our unboxing and quick review of Cherry Mobile Cosmos One.
Cherry Mobile’s Cosmos One is placed inside a familiar looking cardboard box. As a limited edition device, I thought that it would have been better had Cherry Mobile put it a much special packaging. (Take a queue from Alcatel’s Idol Alpha). This is just a personal preference though so I don’t think that this is a major issue.
At PhP6,999, essential smartphone accessories and manuals are inside the retail box of Cosmos One. There’s a manual, micro USB cord, charger, headphones and 2,400 mAh battery. As a device that’s only sold for one day – hence the name Cosmos One – I would have loved it more had they included items to sweeten the deal like extra battery or flip/extra back cover.
At first look, Cosmos One feels and looks like the recently repriced Cherry Mobile Omega Icon sans the faux-leather back cover. This one has a plastic back cover that looks like a faux-leather. Fake fake leather. chuckles. Nonetheless, the phone felt good on my hand albeit a bit slippery at times.
Location of switches and rocker are quite familiar. There’s an additional dedicated camera button just above the Sleep/Wake button, which I find perfect for mobile photographers. There are just too many times that I mistook it as the sleep/wake button. Potential to become annoying: low to medium.
The device also has a faux-aluminum wrap-around, which may look good or bad depending on your design preference. It looks good, and it matches the faux-leather design of the back panel.
The device is thinner but slightly wider than Asus Zenfone 5. Bezels beside the screen is narrower, which essentially give more emphasis to the device’s 5.5-inch HD IPS display. And yes – the Gorilla Glass 2-protected screen is gorgeous. I inadvertently subjected the phone to a screen-first drop test, and I wasn’t surprised that it didn’t shatter or break. Media content and games I’ve played on the device looked great! Thanks to its HD screen with IPS technology. Color saturation and hue are perfectly displayed on the device even at lowest brightness-scale. Also, the because of the phone’s Clear Motion technology, videos’ frame rate are seemingly improved.
Performance and Software
Cosmos One is powered by a 1.4Ghz Mediatek 6592m Octa-core processor. It’s technically inferior compared to specs and performance of Cosmos Z2. (Check out our unboxing and impressions of Cosmos Z2 here.) Performance superiority is barely evident when I tried playing with the UI and switching low-resource requirement apps on Cosmos One to Cosmos Z2. Things, however, can get a bit too lopsided for Cosmos One when playing memory-demanding games like Modern Combat 5. It’s highly playable though with minimal drop on frame rate. While both devices have similar GPU, Cosmos One has lesser RAM than Cosmos Z2. That 1-GB extra juice is essential to process games that require a healthy balance of CPU, GPU and RAM.
The device is pre-installed with Android Kitkat 4.4.2, with minimal skinning. Cherry Mobile took the liberty of including several software features to increase and improve user experience. For starters, there are Gesture Sensing (hover to unlock, launch apps, take pictures, etc.) and Smart Wake (double tap to wake). Cherry also tucked in essential apps like eWarranty, Cherry Fun Club, Cherry Play and the recently announced Pinoy App Shop. There is also a Gameloft 100% Free Game app, which grants users access to 8 Premium games from Gameloft.
Cherry Mobile pre-installed the device with Audio Volume Booster for Speakers and Audio Enhancer for Earphones. These 2 software features truly leveled up the phones capability to produce great sound albeit quite muffled.
One of the best things I liked about the Cosmos Z2 is it’s camera. Cosmos One’s camera, unfortunately, failed to match the camera quality of Cosmos Z2. Colors appear a bit paler, and its sensor was not able to capture less-grainy photos of subjects in poor lighting conditions. I hope that this can easily be addressed through software update.
It’s worth mentioning though that the phone has note-worthy features like Multi-Angle, Panorama, Beauty Mode, Motion Track, etc. These are good features especially for mobile photographers.
Cherry Mobile may have already stopped selling this device last August 30, but it’s not far-fetched that you’ll spot one in stores. If someone sells you one for PhP4999 or even less (second-hand), I highly recommend that you step back and reconsider some options. At such price-range, there are plenty of phones to choose from like the recently announced Cherry Mobile Alpha Luxe and the highly innovative LG G3/Galaxy S5-knock off SKK V2.
But if you’re after sold-for-one-day only devices or if you’re sold to Cherry Mobile products – like I do – Cosmos One is actually still a good choice. Besides, it’s hard to find a good-looking and affordable octa-core device nowadays, right?
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.