It has been a long while since I last reviewed a Cherry Mobile handset and now that the Flare series is back, it’s time to test if one of these devices can capture one’s taste of a budget smartphone.
This latest Flare iteration is far different from its previous versions though as this one is packed with less powerful specification and an interesting software version with a flare of its own.
A quick primer of the software that runs in this Flare:
What’s Android Oreo (Go Edition)?
One word: optimized!
Android Go is basically a version of Oreo that requires minimum requirements for a smartphone to power up specific Android Go apps for maximum performance. One good feature for this Go Edition is it has twice more storage compared to a normal Android Oreo thanks to minified or scaled down versions of the pre-installed software packages. These apps don’t just simply save space, but overall, enhances the performance of the OS. Pretty neat, right?
Now, let’s head on to the review of the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus.
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus sports a 6.0″ HD+ IPS display with 18:9 display ratio.While we’re not happy with the top and bottom bezels of the phone, Cherry Mobile’s effort to put an 18:9 display on this budget smartphone is impressive.
Don’t get fooled by its sheer size. It isn’t heavy, and that’s something that says a lot by its overall build. It’s surprisingly light and perfect for my large hands. I’m not entirely a fan of the material they used though, but it feels good overall. It is devoid of capacitive buttons, but its chin – as earlier point out – is surprisingly too wide. This has always been a challenge for Cherry Mobile over the years, and we are really hoping for them to improve this department on the next iterations of their smartphones.
At the top, you’ll find the 8-megapixel selfie camera along with the earpiece, sensors and light indicator.
The fingerprint sensor at the back is tactile and you can immediately feel that it’s the sensor you’re touching and not the 8-megapixel camera lens, which is actually good for some.
Speaker grills are located at the bottom of the device, and at the top are where the off-centered USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack are placed.
At the right side, you’ll see the sleep/wake button and the volume rockers. The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus still features an old-school removable 3,000 mAh battery at the back. This is usually the case for budget smartphones, and its user-replaceable battery proves to be really helpful for budget buyers.
Flare P3 Plus stands out among the entry-level smartphones, thanks to the Android Oreo (Go Edition). Like what I’ve said before, this is the first local smartphone to feature an Android Go Edition, so kudos to Cherry Mobile for releasing this. The Flare P3 Plus has MediaTek MT6580 1.3GHz Quad-core with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage that can be expanded up to 64GB via microSD card. Its graphics is powered by ARM Mali-400.
The benchmark results are already expected from an entry level smartphone. However, these results may just be budget-seekers are looking for. However, you’ve got to tame your expectations as 1GB – to be more precise – may not be enough to let you play trending games such as PUBG Mobile and NBA 2K18. I tried some of the games like Asphalt 8 and Mobile Legends and based on my experience, performance ranges from bad to fair, and loading screens take a while.
These are the results of our benchmarks, if you’re into actual performance metrics:
- AnTuTu Benchmark: 19,716 points
- GeekBench: Single core – 428 points and Multi-core – 1144 points
Both the cameras included in the Flare P3 Plus are really not the best features of the smartphone. It does its job though even though the images are grainy and less saturated. Level of contrast are acceptable, but most of the photos we took suffer with yellowish hue. I like the fact that the phone has other features such as Panorama Mode, Face Beauty Mode and you can also turn on the High Dynamic Range (HDR). Bringing these features to a budget phone is perfect for budget seekers in my opinion.
These are my sample shots taken from the main camera of the Flare P3 Plus:
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus has a removable 3,000mAh battery. The optimized Android Go apps can save more battery life compared to normal Android apps. This is a feature of the Go Edition that helps an entry level smartphone achieve its maximum performance that actually benefits the consumers. Based on my experience, the Flare P3 Plus lasted for about one and a half days of medium usage (Facebook, Instagram, Email).
Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus Specs:
- 6-inch HD+ 18:9 TrueView display @ 1440 x 720
- MediaTek MT6580 1.3GHz Quad-core
- ARM Mali-400
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage
- expandable via microSD up to 64GB
- 13MP BSI rear camera
- 8MP front camera
- Fingerprint scanner
- Android 8.0 Oreo Go Edition
- 3,000mAh battery
- Colors: Purple, Red, Blue, Gold, Black
As a trend-setter in the industry, we have our full support and admiration for Cherry Mobile. Flare P3 Plus is a phone devoid of flaws, but we know that Cherry Mobile worked hard to bring all the essential features to Filipino consumers without sacrificing performance and price on this smartphone. If you’ve got PhP4,499, and you wish to move from a low-end smartphone or feature phone, Flare P3 Plus is one of smartphones that’s worth your penny. However, if you’ve got more than enough – say PhP6,000, Huawei Y6 (2018) is your next best bet.