In my years of reviewing smartphones, I noticed that the average price range of the phones I have reviewed was around Php 35,000.00 with the Dopod 900 (a.k.a. HTC Universal, O2 Xda Universal, I-mate JasJar) as the most expensive at Php 63,000.00 – and this was in 2006. Prices have gone lower in recent years when local mobile phone brands like MyPhone and Cherry Mobile entered the market and offered affordable Android smartphones.
I thought the Cherry Mobile Flare and Flare 2.0 (which was released last week) were the most affordable ones at Php 3,999.00, until I was sent a Cherry Mobile Snap. It’s much more affordable than the Flare and is targeted for the smartphone newbies. A smartphone that cost less than Php 2,000? Let’s check it out, shall we?
OS: Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)
Processor: 1 GHz Spreadtrum SC6820 processor
Display: 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5” HVGA Capacitive Touch Panel
Wireless Connections: EDGE, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Memory: 512MB ROM, MicroSD up to 16GB, 256 MB RAM
Connectors: Micro USB port
Camera: 2.0 Megapixels
SIM Card Slot: 2x Regular SIM required
Battery: 1,100 mAh
SRP: Php 1,999.00
CHUBBY & CUTE
Reviewing the Cherry Mobile Snap gave me a break from all the high-end, sophisticated smartphones I’ve been reviewing for weeks. At first glance, the Snap looks similar to some of their low-end touchscreen phones released a couple of years ago. I thought it was a feature phone until I saw the familiar Android touch panel buttons.
The Snap managed to have a 3.5″ screen display crammed into its small size. Screen is quite responsive and though it doesn’t have the high quality screens found in high-end models, it was pretty good enough.
Its thickness made it easier for me to hold and the rounded edges did not give me any discomfort to my hands.
According to the box of the Snap, a 1 GHz Spreadtrum processor powers this cute smartphone. I have never heard of Spreadtrum before so I did some research. I found their website and this is what their PR have to say:
“Our 1GHz Android platform sets a new bar for low-cost smartphone performance,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO. “The graphics and web browsing performance of the SC8810 and SC6820 compares favorably to one of the most popular smartphone models globally, delivering a high performance applications and gaming experience for consumers. This type of experience has previously been available only in mid- to high-end handset models and can now be delivered by OEMs in US$100 smartphone models. This will reshape the definition of and consumer expectations for a low-cost handset.”
How did it fare in real world use? After setting it up with my Google credentials and filled it up with my contacts, emails, and some essential apps, the phone functioned quite well as my daily driver. There was nothing wrong with the processor, but I did have a problem with the RAM. I do not recommend installing games like Temple Run 2 since the RAM of the Snap only has 256 MB. If you insist on doing so like what I did, you will end up being frustrated. Video files can be played on the Snap and I played the same videos I’ve tested on other devices. Playback wasn’t too smooth but tolerable.
I do not want to complain about the small ROM and RAM storage because, as I have said earlier, the Snap is a budget smartphone. Normally these kinds of phones only have 256 MB of RAM. But in my opinion Cherry Mobile should have bumped it to at least 512MB to work with the 1 GHz processor.
3G is absent in its list of wireless data options and I was stuck with my EDGE connection for the whole week. Again, I had to extend my patience since this is a low-end smartphone. I’m glad that Cherry Mobile included WiFi which I think is more important than 3G anyway.
I like using the Blacklist feature on smartphones whenever I have them. It helps me screen those unwanted calls especially if they are not saved in my phonebook. Cherry Mobile added this feature on the Snap and it was easy to set up. SMS can also be blocked or if you want to be incommunicado, you can block both calls and SMS. They should add this feature on all of their smartphone models!
Like with any Dual-SIM smartphones, you can set the Primary SIM as a default for making calls or sending text. These can be found under the Settings menu. You may also set it to “always ask” so you can choose which SIM to use.
Do not expect too much from the camera of the Cherry Mobile Snap. The 2 Megapixel resolution will not give you any sharp photos as seen in my examples below. I tried fixing the settings but I just couldn’t make it work. I would find these ok… if we were in the year 2006.
The battery capacity of the Snap is 1,100 mAh. Serious, hard-core mobile users would laugh at this puny battery capacity and I know very well this wouldn’t last with my usage. Mine lasted 5-6 hours that consists of a lot of phone calls, WiFi surfing and MP3 playback. On less busy days that would only involve minimum number of calls, web surfing and social networking via WiFi, my usage lasted around 10 hours. There was a time when I was out of the house and was connected on EDGE for the whole time. EDGE is less of a battery sucker than 3G and I managed to use it for around 8 hours on a single charge.
There is a reason why the Cherry Mobile Snap is in the market. This smartphone is for those who have not used Android before and would like to try it out, not for advanced users especially power-users. These are the kinds of people who would use their phones for Facebook, play casual games like Candy Crush, use the Snap as an MP3 / Video player or for taking pictures.
Some of the shortcomings I’ve mentioned in the review are understandable as the SRP of the Snap is only Php 1,999.00. But in my opinion, Cherry Mobile should at least add additional RAM to make it work well with the processor and increase the Snap’s battery capacity to give users extra hours of usage.
- Android Smartphone for only Php 1,999.00
- Looks cute
- Blacklist Feature
- 1,100 mAh Battery