Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus Review: The Best Cherry Mobile Phone Ever!

I’ve been using the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus for the past two weeks, and honestly speaking, I felt this is the best smartphone they’ve ever came up with. You may have heard this from other tech bloggers, and I’m sharing the same views. Let me tell you why the Flare S7 Plus is the ticket for Cherry Mobile to compete with international players in the mid-range smartphone market.

CHERRY MOBILE FLARE S7 PLUS SPECS:

OS:Android 8.1 Oreo
Processor:MTK 2.0 GHz Helio P60 Octa-Core Processor | MALI-G72 MP3
Display: 2246 x 1080 6.18" Full HD+ LTPS TrueView Display
Wireless Connections:LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi a/b/g/n, A-GPS, GLONASS
Memory:64 GB Internal Storage expandable with a Micro SD card up to 256 GB, 4GB RAM
Connectors:Type-C USB, OTG Support
Cameras:16 Megapixels + 5 Megapixels with BSI Support (Main Camera) 16 Megapixels (Front)
SIM Card Slots:1x Micro SIM Card, 1x Nano SIM Card required
Battery:3,050 mAh (non-removable)
SRP:P11,990

THE UNBOXING

Not really expecting this, but the package of the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus contains a lot of stuff. Aside from the Flare S7 Plus are the pamphlets/User Guide, Silicon Case, Screen Protector (looks like Tempered Glass but I’m not sure), Cloth, Glue (for the Screen Protector), USB Type-C cable, USB Charger Head, USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle, Earphones, and SIM Card Ejector. Those who lined-up at SM North Edsa to purchase the phone were able to get more. A wireless charger, bluetooth speaker, bluetooth headset, powerbank, selfie stick and a pop socket all worth P6,000 were thrown in as freebies. What a deal!

THE LOOKS AND FEEL

Having used a lot of Cherry Mobile smartphones for the past 8 years, I can say the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus is one of the most solid phones I’ve ever held from the brand. The frame is made of metal, a material quite rare seen in a Flare phone and it’s something I’d like to have. It gives the phone a solid and premium feel. The back of the Flare is made of acrylic and it felt very firm when I tried to press it.

      The Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus and the                            original Cherry Mobile Flare

I noticed immediately that the Cherry Mobile logo is not printed at the back of the phone. I found it unusual since all of their phones have their branding. While they claim they’d like to have a “clean look” for a change, I just think it makes the phone more of a generic type. The nice wallpapers customized by the brand somehow makes up for that.

THE DISPLAY

The Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus’ screen is 6.2-inches with Full HD+ resolution and TrueView 19:9 screen ratio. This is probably Cherry Mobile’s largest screen to date, as well as the highest resolution used by their phone. Viewing on the S7 Plus’ screen is really enjoyable, and the positive experience I’ve had is similar to the mid-range phones I’ve reviewed before. It’s that good.

There’s a notch on the phone where a camera and an IR sensor (used for Face Recognition which really works) are housed. It’s unusually big even when the earpiece is noticeably small. They should have made the notch smaller to maximize the screen and for more notifications to be displayed. If you do want more notifications to be seen on top of your phone, there’s an option for it to be changed in the display settings. Thing is, all the notifications, time, battery meter and network signal are going to be placed under the notch.

THE PERFORMANCE

Last summer, MediaTek and Cherry Mobile executives held a gathering with us where we talked about their plans  for 2018. During that time, the OPPO F7 was the first phone launched in the Philippines powered by MTK’s Helio P60 processor. The processor proved to be powerful and at the same time efficient, which is perfect for mid-range phones like the OPPO F7, F7 Youth and most recently the F9. I was already a fan of the Helio P60, so I asked both MTK and Cherry Mobile execs if the latter will ever use the Helio P60 chipset? During that time, Cherry Mobile was already looking forward to use them but of course they have to get a good price from MTK and their OEM.

Even with a vague answer, I already knew that they will certainly use the Helio P60 for a future Flare S7 phone. Launching a phone on the last quarter of the year with that processor is a lot better than launching a phone with that calibre on a lean month like June.

And here we are now! A Cherry Mobile phone powered by a 2.0 GHz MTK Helio P60 processor. I already knew what to expect with this chipset on board.

The Antutu Benchmark Score I got for the Flare S7 Plus is quite close from the OPPO F7 and F9 benchmarked before.

Here’s the Geekbench score for both single and multi-cores. The Helio P60 has a pretty competitive score against the flagship smartphones of 2016 and even 2017.

It crossed my mind that Cherry Mobile might go for 3GB to pair with the P60, for the simple reason of lowering down their cost. Thank goodness they did not go through that route. While 3GB is not that bad, of course 4GB is a better option to have. I was confident enough to leave apps open especially games with heavy graphics. The Flare S7 Plus did not disappoint at all. Two weeks of usage and no signs of issues at all. It was able to juggle all my apps with ease whenever I multi-task. Again, the Helio P60 did a great job.

I was so confident about the gaming performance that I thought of not doing any tests with the Flare S7 Plus. However, just to prove my points I decided to play a few games of PUBG Mobile and Tekken 7. With graphics on PUBG Mobile set to HD, High Frame Rate and Colorful settings, as I’ve expected lags were almost non-existent in the game. Tekken 7 played smoothly on the phone which my niece played with gusto.

THE CAMERAS

One of Cherry Mobile’s major challenges is their camera. They had less hits and more misses in this department throughout the years. This time, however they scored a major hit with their Flare S7 Plus’ cameras which are composed of 16 Megapixels and 5 Megapixels with BSI support. They said that the cameras are supported by AI, but I couldn’t figure out if it’s able to detect a scene correctly. In other phones with AI support, they indicate what scene they’re able to detect when a photo was about to be taken. There’s also no way to turn it off. Nevertheless, most of the photos I took with the Flare S7 Plus were the best I’ve ever seen from the phone brand. Here are some sample photos:

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Even the selfie camera of the Flare S7 Plus is also impressive. The first shot I took with the phone was inside their office and was instantly blown away. Here are some sample selfie photos:

Selfie Wide-Angle (Click to enlarge photo)

Low light (Click to enlarge photo)

Never been this happy using these cameras!

THE BATTERY LIFE

The battery capacity of the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus is 3,050 mAh. I know the likes of OPPO are using a lot more than this, but knowing how the Helio P60’s energy saving features work, 3,050 mAh ought to be enough. In my usage, I can last a day on a single charge. Normally I get to use my phone for an average of 14 hours with 29% of juice left. There were times I was able to get 17 hours of usage with 23% left. I never used a powerbank once to charge this phone while on the go.

DR’S CONCLUSION

The Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus is the product we all wanted to see from the Philippines’ largest phone brand. It can certainly give other mid-range phones from international brands a good fight, and I want to see them succeed. On a last minute edit, I changed the title from “The Best Flare Phone Ever” to “Cherry Mobile’s Best Phone Ever.” I really believe the Flare S7 Plus is their best phone ever.

And since I think this is Cherry Mobile’s Best Phone Ever, it deserves a DR’s Choice Award. This is their first time to be awarded for their phone’s overall performance. They truly deserve it!

PROS:

  • Solid build
  • Vibrant screen display
  • Helio P60 processor
  • Cameras produce excellent photos
  • Good battery life
  • Wireless Charging
  • Competitive Price against International Mid-Range Phones

CONS:

  • Big notch
  • App notifications can only be seen when switched to 18:9 screen ratio
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Cameras’ AI have no indication of scene type. No way to turn on/off
  • No Cherry Mobile branding at the back
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