W900 LTE is the country’s first LTE device launched by a local mobile phone company. While most Filipinos are slowly embracing LTE, the aforementioned foray Cherry Mobile bravely got into is undeniably a great display of their forward-looking approach to bring low-cost LTE devices to Filipinos. In the process, this brave step made them as the 2013 IT Company of Year by Cyberpress Philippines.
As mentioned in my unboxing a month ago, W900 LTE feels wider and bigger compared to Flare 2x and Flare HD. Its familiar minimalist slate build does not really stand out, but that does not actually matter much for a phone that promises more on the performance and connection departments.
I personally love its black and brush gold color-tones. You can find all the ports and switches on its elegantly-designed side bezel. On top, you will find the standard 3.5mm jack and sleep/wake button. The microUSB port is placed on the right side, while the volume rockers sit on its left.
Cherry Mobile generously included 2 microphones for noise cancellation purposes. The phone also has 2 cameras (12mp and a megapixel-undefined HD camera), which I will discuss further later.
Perhaps, one of the kickers of this phone is its Corning Gorilla Glass 4.3-inch HD OGS display. It is easier to read small texts on this phone. The level of saturation is also magnificent. Colors pop out and I didn’t have any problems looking at it even at extreme viewing angles. This is very likely the reason why this phone is part of Cherry Mobile’s mid-tier devices.
Check out some sample photos of the screen:
The device is powered by a 1.5Ghz Dual-Core Processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960A SoC). This SoC is the same thing you will find on Lumia 820 and Xperia V. Qualcomm promisedthat this type of processor is optimized for improved CPU and GPU performance without sacrificing power consumption.
We recently spoke with Mantosh Malhotra of Qualcomm and he hailed the great overall performance of W900 LTE (or the Xolo LT900 in other countries). I, for one, can attest to what he said based on my experience. This phone beats the commonly assumed thought that quad core phones are better than dual core phones. As a matter of fact, games like Modern Combat 4 and Real Racing 3 pretty well on this device. Thanks to its 1GB RAM and Adreno 225 GPU.
Here are obligatory benchmark results for your reference:
W900’s crowning glory is its compatibility to LTE connection. This feature sets it apart from other local brands in the Philippines. During my speed tests, the phone got download speed up to 20.15Mbps and upload speed up to 6.26Mbps on Smart LTE. Having a locally released phone with speeds up to more than 20Mbps is surely an experience to behold.
The review unit I got though as an annoying issue: I always need to restart the phone each time I lose LTE connection. That’s really annoying, and I asked Cherry Mobile if this issue is specific to the phone I got or a consistent issue that they’ve been receiving. Fortunately, my issue is only specific to the device I received.
Apart from LTE connectivity, both SIM slots are compatible to GSM 850/900/1800/1900 2G signals and HSDPA 2100 HSDPA signals. Call quality is excellent, and I never also got any issues on sending SMS.
While MSM8960A promises efficient power consumption and great performance, W900’s 1810mAh battery only managed to power up the phone for less than 5 hours with LTE on at moderate to heavy usage. Perhaps, the best way to boost its battery life is use a Snapdragon-exclusive battery optimizer application, BatteryGuru.
BatteryGuru is a battery life saver app that extends battery performance and improves overall user experience by intelligently making changes that optimize device functionality in phones with Snapdragon mobile processors. Let it initially run for 2 days, and it will intelligently optimize your cellphone’s battery life and automatically turn off its features based on your usage data. This is truly impressive, but it would have been better had Cherry Mobile put a battery with at least 2200mAh.
The device has an autofocus 12mp BSI rear camera. I was able to take good pictures with especially the subjects in good lighting environment.
Meanwhile, it’s HD front facing camera takes mediocre photos. It does not have autofocus, so expect to retake some of your selfie shots if you decide to use this phone’s front camera. Check out the sample photos below:
I personally consider W900 LTE a successful step by the country’s biggest local mobile phone company. This does not just give Cherry Mobile bragging rights as they first local mobile phone company to release an LTE device, but also opens Filipinos to a bigger opportunity to own low-cost LTE devices in the future.
W900 LTE is a little pricey though as some competing international brands that offer LTE devices have prices between PhP10,400 to PhP12,400. It’s worth considering though, but I wonder what’s next after W900 LTE. Are we going to get an Omega or Flare with LTE flavors?