Seldom will you find a decent, visually appealing and powerful Android phone under PhP10,000. In the recent months, we’ve featured affordable Android smartphones that offer good specs and robust build. Also, you would probably agree in our observation that 5″ smartphones are the going trend. So I realized: Are our hands getting bigger? Or, we are just getting smaller?

This time, we’re going to give our first impressions to a new 5″ from one of the new Mobile Phone company that landed the Philippines, the O+ 8.9.

O+ 8.9

This phone should not be mistaken for being an 8.9″ phone. That’s what we actually initially thought when we saw the box. Also, you should bear in mind that – according to O+ USA – all their phones are all designed in the USA but assembled in China. This is the very reason why when you look at their mobile phones, it bears a “Designed for O+ in USA”. This is clearly a marketing and sales strategy that give additional appeal to all their mobile phone line ups. Clever, and genius.

O+ 8.9

The Look

The O+ 8.9 sports a 5″ IPS Capacitive screen with screen resolution of 800 x 400. It’s height and width are 5.82 inches and 3.11 inches respectively, thus we can say that this phone is classified as a phablet. If I may compare, although the Cherry Mobile Titan is more slender (in terms of width), the O+ 8.9 is more comfortable to hold. Thanks to its curved bezel and the positions of its physical buttons.

O+ 8.9

This phone only has physical buttons. The volume rockers are located on the left side of the  phone, and the Sleep/Wake button is on the right. I thought that for phablets like the 8.9, it’s best to put the sleep/wake button on the right so it can easily and NATURALLY be accessed. This is one of the things I despised with the Cherry Mobile Titan as I had to use my pointer finger to push the sleep/wake button. It seemed too unnatural for me.

As mentioned the screen has a resolution of 800 x 480, with 240dpi. It may not have an IPS display, but its 240dpi pixel intensity makes texts and pictures look sharp.

The Software

The O+ 8.9 is pre-installed with Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4. O+ announced during their launch that this phone will receive a Jelly Bean update by the time Key Lime Pie OTA updated is being rolled out to other devices sometime before the 1st quarter ends.

O+ 8.9

Coming from another Android device, it was easy for me to transfer my sms to this phone by using SMS Backup and Restore, which can easily be downloaded for free at Google Play Store. Pulling your contacts is easy as well if you store your contacts on your Google Account. This is one of the strengths of Android phones just like the 8.9.

Performance and Battery

Casual games like Temple Run 2 worked well on this device. We haven’t tested other memory heavy games like Asphalt 7 but we’re optimistic that it’ll be able to play at acceptable performance.

As expected, the 8.9 performed decently well in real life usage. Its Quadrant benchmark score reached 2,472, but surprisingly 294 points lower than the Cherry Mobile Titan. Please note though that benchmark scores are relative scores as benchmark applications consider the current state of devices. It is possible for our O+ 8.9 to have a different score after a week or two.

It did not come with a monstrous battery (2,300 mAh), but we managed to use this phone for more than a day at moderate usage.

Specs

The O+ 8.9 is phablet with exquisite design, robust build and decent specifications. It’s price – although less than PhP10,000 – may be a letdown for others but you’ll surely be satisfied with it. You will also be disappoint if you’re after 3rd party accessories for this phone. We may have yet to test this device longer, so we may be able to give you more information.

Just a rundown of the positive and not-so-good impressions on this device:

  • Excellent design (grip friendly)
  • May be updated to Jelly Bean soon
  • 240 dpi is ok, but it would have been better if they made the screen IPS rather than TFT
  • Price of PhP8,995 may be a letdown for others
  • 3rd party accessories are nowhere to be found at the moment
  • Benchmark score is lower than Cherry Mobile Titan

Guys, we know that you’re all interested about this phone. We at Gadget Pilipinas would like to know if you have any questions. We’ll answer them if we can; or escalate your concerns to O+ if we can’t. We also believe that some of you may already know the answer to some of the questions, so please feel free to hit the comments section below.

Saw something wrong with this article? Shoot us an email at our Contacts page so we can check and correct our error/s accordingly.

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Author

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

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Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

Without questions, Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus is the best camera smartphone the Cherry Mobile has to date. We haven’t seen other Cherry Mobile phones that are capable of taking photos with impressive quality than the one we brought to Japan to cover Tokyo Game Show 2018.

If you have been following our Instagram posts (@gadgetpilipinas) during our coverage of the TGS 2018, our daily driver was the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus.  So, feast your eyes and take a look at some of our photos:

For high-resolution photos, go  to this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HwHBWNh2WYceTywxiNBhxNKbZuGyz988?usp=sharing

Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus Sample Photo 2 - Tokyo Game Show 2018 Exclusive: Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus Sample Photos
This selfie was taken the night before we left for Tokyo.
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Jam can smile while sleeping. I took this photo inside Skyliner going to Nippori Station from Narita Airport.
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Our Tokyo trip isn’t always complete without grabbing a lunch at Matsuya.
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Night time is coming, and bedtime is near; oh, where is our AirBnB, I thought it is just right here!
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After looking for a 100-Yen store to buy Allan’s towel (since our AirBnB didn’t have any towels available), we took a break at this vending machine to reward ourselves a cold drink.
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Taken near Bic Camera at Akihabara using Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus.
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We gotta have this here in the Philippines! Oh, I noticed that Flare S7 Plus fails to put a watermark when using Bokeh effect.
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A food shot with our Cherry Roam.

We’ve got to hold our horses so we don’t spoil too much of our TGS experience with photos. Watch out for our first impressions and review of Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus!

Oh, and while you’re at it – be sure to check out our full coverage of Tokyo Game Show 2018 on this link.

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If the line on the demo is any indication, Biohazard RE: 2 is one of the most popular games in TGS 2018. It’s one of those games that, regardless of the time of day, the queue to the booth just won’t go shorter than 60 minutes. We decided to hold off trying our luck on the demo, maybe tomorrow’s line would be shorter.

Demo or no demo, it’s still worth mentioning that the game, even in pictures is just a sight to behold. CAPCOM gave us access to screenshots of the game, and my goodness, what a fresh  coat of paint the game has over the 1998 Playstation and Nintendo 64 classic.

Check them out and drool.
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Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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