Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 Review: Superphone to the Next Level

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Cherry Mobile launched last month their first Octa-Core powered smartphone – the Cosmos Z2.

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I could have posted my review sooner, but I took my sweet time to scrutinize the latest Cosmos model and make sure it is one of the best superphones released in the first quarter of 2014. Read on to check out my findings after a month of using it as my main phone.

SPECIFICATIONS:

OS: Android 4.2 (Upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat by March 2014)
Processor: 1.7 GHz Octa-Core MediaTek MT6592 processor | MALI 450MP GPU
Display: 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5” IPS OGS Screen Display
Wireless Connections: HSDPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, GPS w/ A-GPS, FM Radio
Memory: 16GB Internal Storage, MicroSD up to 64GB, 2GB RAM
Connectors: Micro USB port, OTG Ready
Camera: 18.0MP BSI Rear Camera with LED flash (Main), 8.0MP (Secondary)
SIM Card Slot: 1x Regular SIM, 1x Micro SIM required
Battery: 2,000 mAh
SRP: Php 12,999.00

THE UNBOXING

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The packaging of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 is larger than the other 4 phone of the Cosmos series. I thought they have included something extra like a case, but nope, it’s just the usual USB cable, charger head, and manuals.

THE LOOKS

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The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 is the first smartphone in the Cosmos series that sports a rectangular design. It looks really pogi and it will not make you ashamed to bring it out to business meetings or even black-tied events. How many times have I asked by both friends and strangers “Cherry Mobile yan?” whenever they see my Cosmos Z2? Up to now, Filipinos can’t believe that a local brand like Cherry Mobile can come up with a slim, lightweight, classy but powerful phone.

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Notably absent in the phone’s software is the “Start” UI which I thought would be installed on all Android variants of the phone brand. I am not certain why they did not include it here. I noticed that the icons and the clock are different, probably inspired by Jony Ive’s redesign of iOS7. I have no qualms on that as it fits with the Cosmos Z2’s personality, but, they removed the ability to install widgets on the homescreen.

THE OCTA PERFORMANCE

I have two words to describe the Octa-Core processor on the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2: Bloody Awesome! During the launch last month, the guys from Cherry Mobile showed a video supplied by MediaTek on how its Octa-Core processors outgun the competition, specifically Qualcomm’s 800 Snapdragon processor. Though I’m a fan of Qualcomm since last decade, the MTK processors have been giving me good impressions lately.

I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of benchmarks since most of my readers wouldn’t care about it anyway. For the sake of everyone, I’m uploading my AnTuTu benchmark results of the Cosmos Z2:

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The benchmark score is one of the best I’ve seen in a local brand with an Octa-Core processor (Starmobile’s Diamond X1 is higher by a hairline at 27126). Now that we’ve seen the benchmarks, what about the actual usage? Well, based on my test by playing HD games, it is absolutely the real deal!

If you recall my disappointment with the Cosmos Z’s performance on playing graphic-intensive games, the Cosmos Z2 has definitely made up for it. Here are a couple of YouTube videos of my current favorite games: Real Racing 3 and Dead Trigger 2. (Note: For some reason, I am not allowed to upload the videos in HD, until then, the standard definition of the videos below should be fine.)

Did you notice any lags on those games? None, right? Up to this day, I rarely encounter lags playing games on the Cosmos Z2. Even an hour of playing games will not make it crash.

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So if I’m happy playing with these HD games or watching HD Videos, then everything should go well on the phone, right? That’s expected, however, there were a few times that I’ve experienced lags whenever I go to the homescreen. There were also those occurrences where it gets stuck on hibernate mode and I had to remove the battery to restart the phone. Could be a software issue I think, but  we were told last month that a software update will be available this March. Btw, that Software Update is the much awaited Android 4.4 KitKat!

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Up to this day, I keep on hoping to finally see a Cherry Mobile smartphone that would come up with good quality photos that is at par with brands like Samsung. With the release of the Cosmos Z2, I think is in the right direction. I could still see washed-out pictures and videos but the rest of the photos I’ve taken were a lot better. Here are some of those samples shots:

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Even my selfie taken with the 8 Megapixel camera is not bad!

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BATTERY LIFE

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Having this kind of power in a smartphone does not immediately translate that it will quickly drain your battery life. It still depends on the usage. My average battery life with normal usage is between 12-13 hours. Don’t ask me how soon will the battery drain if I have nothing to do but play games for the whole afternoon. The good news here is users of the Cosmos Z2 can extend the battery juice longer by switching on the Power Saving Mode.

I have mentioned this in my Cosmos Z review last time, and I will repeat it again. Cherry Mobile should have at least included a 2,200 mAh battery similar to the X2, but given that the Z2 has an Octa-Core processor, a 2,500 mAh is much preferred.

DR’S CONCLUSION

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Boy, I’m glad that I won this Cosmos Z2 in the raffle last month. I loved using it as my main phone and made me forget that I have a Cosmos X2, which used to be my favorite in the Cosmos line. Obviously the Z2 is my new favorite since it almost has everything I wanted in a smartphone. If they have added LTE on this thing then I would have said goodbye to my iPhone 5s.

Good job Cherry Mobile on this “Superphone!” And yeah, I’ll be waiting for your KitKat upgrade this month!

YAYS:

  • Octa-Core processor makes the Cosmos Z2 one of the fastest speed demons of all local branded smartphones
  • 16GB Internal Storage and 2GB of RAM
  • Camera is finally improved! (Yay!)
  • Upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Ang pogi talaga ng Z2! (like me!)

NAYS:

  • Software lags and bugs
  • Still encountered wash-out photos and videos with the camera
  • Battery should be at least 2,200 mAh, though 2,500 mAh is much better
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