Cherry Mobile Flare HD Review

WP_20140105_16_24_10_Pro
It’s been more than a month since I received the Cherry Mobile Flare HD during their Dealers’ Night event last December.

My fellow tech bloggers and I were the first owners of the Flare HD. Now that it was officially released in the market, what do I think of this “HD ng Bayan” phone? Read on to find out!
SPECIFICATIONS:
OS: Android 4.2 (Jellybean)
Processor: 1.2GHz Quad-Core MediaTek MT6589 processor
Display: 720 x 1280 pixels 4.3-inch IPS Display
Wireless Connections: HSDPA+, Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS w/ A-GPS, FM Radio
Memory: 1GB Internal Storage, MicroSD up to 32GB, 1GB RAM
Connectors: Micro USB port
Camera: 12.0 Megapixels with LED flash (Main), 5.0 Megapixels (Front)
SIM Card Slot: 2x Regular SIM required
Battery: 1,800 mAh
SRP: Php 5,499.00

THE LOOKS

WP_20140105_16_43_27_Pro

I mentioned in my First Look post that the Flare HD is similar to the original Flare. After using it for a month, I think the slimmer and lighter form factor of the newest Flare is a delight to hold. It’s easy to slip into my pants pocket or the small pockets of all my gear bags. Build-quality may be a question mark for some users but that’s a factor on why it has a low SRP (so just get over it, okay?) Besides, I prefer a lightweight phone for this size.

WP_20140105_17_09_59_Pro

Among all the Flare models I’ve seen, I considered the Flare S the best looking phone. I still preferred the form factor of the Flare HD though.

WP_20140105_16_48_00_Pro

THE FULL HD EXPERIENCE

HD Smartphones: The Cherry Mobile Flare HD and Cosmos Z

HD Smartphones: The Cherry Mobile Flare HD and Cosmos Z

This has to be a separate section since the main feature Cherry Mobile is marketing here is the full HD display. In case you don’t know yet, the Flare HD is the most affordable smartphone with full HD available in the local market today. Personally, I’d like to have full HD at least on a 5-inch screen because I know I would appreciate it more, but how much would that cost? Can’t complain about the Flare HD since this phone is priced much cheaper than those HD smartphones being sold in the market.

Flare HD A

The pictures I viewed on the Flare HD’s screen were vibrant and colorful, better than the other Flares or even better than any other mobile phones in its class. The fonts and icons are noticeably clear too. Pulido! I’m able to read the texts on the websites I’ve visited and I was still able to read them clearly at arm’s length. The Flare HD’s screen comes with IPS technology so expect to have great viewing angles.

WP_20140105_16_34_20_Pro

The display is indeed a big deal if compared to other smartphones within its price range.

THE PERFORMANCE

Flare HD B

The combination of MTK powered Quad-Core processors and 1GB RAM have inched its way to Cherry Mobile’s mid-range line of smartphones, which in the local market is still considered low-end. Compared to before, I have much respect to MTK’s processors and I expected the Flare HD to perform like a high-end smartphone. It did, except for graphic-intensive games. Asphalt 8 is my favorite game for testing Android smartphones and though it looked good on the Flare HD’s screen, I cringed while playing as it stuttered throughout the game. Did stopping all the other tasks helped? Nope. How about a reboot on the phone? Negative.

Screenshot_2014-01-26-19-10-26

Internal storage on the Flare HD will only allow you to install apps up to 1.2GB. Power users will have issues on this but if you’re a casual user and don’t rely on apps that much then it should be fine.

IT NOW “STARTS” HERE

Screenshot_2014-01-05-17-13-24

Start is the new lockscreen app installed not only the Cherry Mobile Flare HD, but also to most newly released Android phones  like the Omega HD 2.0. The logo found at the center can open the Phone, SMS, Camera options as well as sound profiles similarly found in all Android phones. Notice the icons on the side of the screen? Tap an icon and it shall give the user a sneak peak of the latest updates. It’s a neat feature I must say, especially for lazy people like me who don’t want to go through different strokes before opening these apps.

Screenshot_2014-01-05-17-12-49

Screenshot_2014-01-05-17-13-07

THE CAMERA

WP_20140105_16_55_03_Pro

Another high-specced feature of the Cherry Mobile Flare HD is its 12 Megapixel camera. Pictures can be bland sometimes, but in my opinion it’s better than the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2’s 18 Megapixel BSI Camera. I took several photos and while some can appear bland outdoors, there were photos that appeared very well indoors as long as HDR is turned on. Not quite near the Cherry Mobile Apollo’s fantastic 12 Megapixel BSI shooter, but I think it’s capable enough.

Here are some sample photos:

IMG_20140112_160522

 

IMG_20140109_154920

 

IMG_20131230_033056_1

 

IMG_20140112_152601_1

DOES HD MEAN “HIGH-DRAINING?”

Flare HD C

With the HD Display and Quad-core processor, will the Flare HD translate to “High-Draining” battery? It would definitely depend on the usage of course. There were days it could almost last 10 hours, and there were some that could only give me around 6 hours.  Flare models are usually supplied with 1,500 mAh battery so I’m thankful Cherry Mobile gave it 300 mAh more for the Flare HD.

DR’S CONCLUSION

WP_20140105_16_25_09_Pro

The SRP of the Cherry Mobile Flare HD was announced a couple of weeks ago and with all those high specs combined, the price tag of Php 5,499.00 is very, very attractive. Compact form-factor with Full HD display, yeah, the idea sounded cool which is the reason why the Flare HD now acts as my secondary phone for my PLDT Landline Prepaid Plus line.

Should “Basic” users buy it? YES!

Should “Advanced” users buy it? YES, just bring along a battery pack.

Should “Power” users buy it? Possible, but they will encounter limitations with the processor for graphic-intensive games, internal storage for apps, and short battery life.

YAYS:

  • Vibrant Full HD Display
  • Quad-Core processor
  • Affordable
  • 12 Megapixel camera

NAYS:

  • Suffers lags when graphic intensive games are played
  • Battery life even with 1,800 mAh is still quite short
Facebook Comments