[su_spoiler title=”Disclosure” style=”fancy” icon=”plus-circle”]Cherry Mobile is an advertiser of Gadget Pilipinas. The unit for review was provided by Cherry Mobile. We have strict agreement with the brand that sponsorship does not affect our editorial content.[/su_spoiler]
The Cherry Mobile Flare P1 is one of the first from the company’s portfolio smartphones to sport a dual camera system, something that seems to be the in thing these days. What’s more interesting is if they actually do get it right, then this phone will be a hit in considering that it’s in the budget segment.
Now the question remains, did they get it right? Or is it just all hype? Let’s find out in this full review.
Design is Too Simple
Apart from the two camera lenses at the back, this phone is just as simple as it gets. There’s the usual big bezels up front, though the black part has been trimmed. At the bottom are the familiar capacitive buttons, and of course, the branding at the back.
Despite looking ordinary, the phone has some weight to it, add that to the metallic side strips, and you have a device that feels more solid and more pricey than it actually is.
The back panel is removable, and gives you access to the battery, SIM Card slots, and the Memory Card slot. I guess it’s a matter of keeping the price down, but I do think that they should move away from removable backs and just stick to removable SIM trays. Still a lot of people prefer devices with removable batteries so they can hotswap batteries on the fly.
At the right side of the device is the power button and volume rocker, which aren’t as wobbly as I expected, but still feel plasticky.
You’ll find the microUSB port and headphone jack up top, while the bottom houses the speakers.
A Decent Display
The 5-inch HD display is probably one of the good one’s i’ve seen, at least among other budget devices I’ve tested. It’s bright, and has some vibrancy to it, which makes navigating menus and working on the screen feel a bit more fun.
Underwhelming, but expected performance
The P1 is performs decent enough for the daily grind of browsing the web, checking your social media accounts, a bit of picture taking and media consumption here and there. It does stutter from time to time, and in some cases installing apps can take longer than expected.
Even at the budget segment, I think that at least 2GB of RAM should be a standard as anything less, just doesn’t feel enough, especially now that apps are getting more and more resource heavy, and people are using more of them at the same time.
For those who would ask, you can play Mobile Legends with the P1, but do expect some slowdown when there’s a clash or when there’s a lot of movement. The device also heats up quickly when gaming, to the point that it’s almost uncomfortable.
Dual Cam Hype
Now we come to the highlight of this review. Let me start by saying that even for what you’ll pay, the rear camera of the P1 produces average looking photos.
The bokeh effect does look unpolished at times, as some parts look pixelated and sections that should not be blurred are blurred, and vice versa. Color accuracy isn’t on point, and there’s just too much overprocessing that some details are actually lost.
Selfies aren’t better unfortunately: the background looked too blurred at times, and sharpness needs a ton of work. It does, however, have front flash, for needed illumination in challenging conditions.
The camera app only offers a few modes to play with, so you might want to invest in a 3rd party app for more features.
Music on the Go
While the sound quality from the speaker isn’t exactly desireable due to a severe lack of clarity, plugging in a decent pair of headphones transforms this device into a decent pocket-sized music player. Vocals are much more clearer, and volume is more than adequate. Bass isn’t that punchy, but is existent at least.
The P1 runs on Android Nougat, which is a nice to have on a budget device. The good thing about Cherry Mobile is that they don’t put in a lot of bloatware (and you can actually uninstall some of it), which keeps the experience as stock as possible.
This in turn, contributes to better performance, though that obviously isn’t the case with this one. Navigating the menu is generally smooth, except for some stutters here and there.
Below Average Battery Life
The Flare P1’s 2,350mAh battery sadly isn’t great, but should at least last an entire work shift with light usage. Charging the device is even more painful, as it took around 3 hours to go from 7% to full.
The Cherry Moblie Flare P1 seems to be a device that looks promising, but fails to deliver on some key areas. Sure, the PhP3,999 price tag is very pocket-friendly, the software is mostly stock, and its got decent build quality and display. But the performance is underwhelming, and it heats up too much.
Then there’s the dual cam system that sounds so sweet when being marketed, but is actually all hype in the end. The bokeh effect looks artificial, and a hit and miss for most of the time. Selfies aren’t even better as the front camera tends to apply too much processing which causes a loss in detail and a lack of sharpness. Then there’s the battery life, which is below average. Not that 3 hours of charging time helps.
So in conclusion, the only reason to buy this phone is either you’re a loyal fan of the brand, you’re going to use it as a music player, or you don’t mind the shortcomings. Other than that, just save a bit more and get something better like – perhaps – the Cherry Mobile P1 Plus.
- Build Quality
- Sound Quality on Headphones
- Stock Android
The Not So Good
- General Performance
- Camera Performance
- Heating Issues
- Battery Life
Cherry Mobile P1 Specs:
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 Quad-Core Processor
- 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB)
- 5-inch IPS LCD HD display
- 13MP + 2MP Dual Rear Camera, AF
- 5MP Front Camera
- Android Nougat
- Dual SIM, 3G HSPA+
- 2,350mAh battery
- Sensors: Proximity, Ambient Light
- Price: PhP3,999
Do you want this phone? If you just read it until this very last portion of our review, you have a chance to win a Cherry Mobile P1! Just go to this link!
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.