CHERRY announced their Aqua series last year to replace the ageing Flare series. Unlike its predecessor, the Aqua series seems to be streamlined to a few phone models. Last September, a newer Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 was announced to replace last year’s previous flagship, the Aqua S9 Max. We received a review unit of the Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro and we are happy to share our thoughts.
CHERRY AQUA S10 PRO REVIEW SPECS:
|Processor:||2 GHz MediaTek Helio G90 Octa-Core Processor | Mali-G76|
|Display:||6.67" Full HD+ 1080 x 2340 IPS Display with 20:9 Aspect Ratio|
|Wireless Connections:||4G, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Memory:||128GB Internal Storage expandable up to 256GB microSD Card; 6GB RAM|
|Connectors:||Type-C USB 2.0, OTG Support|
|Cameras:||Rear: 48 Megapixels f/1.79 + 5 Megapixels f/2.2 ultrawide + 2 Megapixels f/2.4 depth camera + 2 Megapixels f/2.4 Macro; Front: 16 Megapixels|
|SIM Card Slots:||2x Nano SIM Cards|
Box appears to be simple with the 2 main featured upgrades listed at the bottom.
Inside the box are the CHERRY Aqua S10 Pro review unit, Type-C USB Cable, Type-C USB Charger Head, Silicon Case, Screen Protector, headphones, SIM Card ejector and User Manual. It’s nice to see CHERRY still includes a ready-to-use pair of headphones whereas other brands tend to leave it out.
THE LOOKS AND FEEL
The CHERRY Aqua S10 Pro almost has the same size of its predecessor, the Aqua S9 Max. It seems the entry-level phone market prefers to have this size that can house a large screen display. Nothing wrong with that. The phone isn’t bulky to hold and ain’t heavy too.
Found on the right side of the phone are the volume rocker and power buttons. On the other side is the SIM card tray that can accommodate two Nano SIM Cards and a Micro SD card.
Located at the bottom are the 3.5mm headphone jack, Type-C USB port and a speaker grille.
Honestly, I had low expectations with the back panel of the Aqua S10 Pro. It does remain simple, but it has some added shine to it which somehow adds a premium touch. It’s easier to wipe the smudges too compared to Aqua S9 Pro and other Flare phones with polycarbonate panels.
The camera module also looks different, in a good way. It is housed in a recessed plastic frame which we don’t normally see in entry-level phones.
Though it’s not noticeable, the CHERRY Aqua S10 Pro has a bigger screen display at 6.67-inches IPS LCD Display with Full HD+ resolution and 20:9 aspect ratio. It’s the brand’s first smartphone to have a punch-hole display. What took them so long? Phone brands have jumped into this bandwagon as early as 2020 and it took CHERRY more than a year to have this in their phone. Aside from this small rant of mine, there is nothing to complain about the IPS screen quality.
The processor of the Aqua S10 Pro is a MediaTek Helio G90, the highest in the G-series. What leaves me scratching my head in this area of my review is why did CHERRY choose a lower G90 than the Aqua S9 Max’s G90T? Or why not use the newer Dimensity processors with 5G? Don’t get me wrong, the G90 isn’t that bad, but I was expecting CHERRY to take a leap and go for something new.
Here are the benchmark results of the CHERRY Aqua S10 Pro:
I guess these are the reasons why CHERRY chose to stay with the G90 processor. For its low retail price, the performance it gives offer better value for money than its competitors in the same price range.
Internal storage of the Aqua S10 Pro remains at 128GB expandable with a MicroSD card up to 256GB, while memory was increased to 6GB. It runs on stock Android 11, meaning you won’t see any bloatware in the phone. Since there is no bloatware involved, the phone runs almost perfectly on a day-to-day basis. I used this as my main phone for a couple of weeks and it got the job done from the usual phone calls to other tasks like emails, social media posts, entertainment and gaming.
Playing Genshin Impact on the Aqua S10 Pro with max settings led to delays and lags during general gameplay. In my opinion, playing at medium settings may be better for those who prefer smoother gameplay over better graphics. While playing, the heat was normal and manageable even while doing content that involves lots of battles. On the other hand, there should be no problem playing MOBA games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang or League of Legends: Wildrift.
CHERRY didn’t make any major changes with the Aqua S10 Pro’s cameras, retaining its 48 Megapixel main camera, 2 Megapixel Macro and Depth Sensor. They lowered their wide-angle lens from 8 to 5 Megapixels and front camera from 32 to 16 Megapixels. I reckon they did this so they can sell the S10 Pro at a lower retail price.
Image quality taken with the Aqua S10 Pro is good enough whether for new or intermediate smartphone users. AI is sort of hit and miss, and I got little, if not any improvements on the photos I took. I have no complaints of its 16 Megapixel selfie camera despite of its downgrade.
Here are some sample photos taken with the CHERRY Aqua S10 Pro:
THE BATTERY LIFE
The battery of the Aqua S10 Pro is lower than the S9 Max but the difference ain’t that big. At 5,000 mAh, it’s the common battery capacity of smartphones nowadays. I’m getting an average of 12 hours of usage on a single charge. An improvement I’d like to note is their 30 Watt USB-PD fast charging. I was quite surprised to see my phone charged in less than 1.5 hours. It’s also nice to see wireless charging brought back, this time to the S10 Pro.
The CHERRY Aqua S10 Pro is honestly a great phone to buy for an entry-level price. I just wish that they would add something new in their next version, like finally have 5G and an improvement with cameras.
- Good cameras
- Fast charging and wireless charging capabilities
- AI needs improvement for Cameras
- no 5G