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With the competition getting more intense each year, local brands have been constantly attempting to innovate and come out with the best bang for the buck smartphone. The Flash is one of Cherry Mobile’s latest attempts to show that good performance doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag. For a little under 6,000 pesos, this phone offers a 64-bit Octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 16MP camera, a Full HD display, LTE, Dual Sim capabilities, Android M, and a fingerprint sensor. But does the paper really tell the real story? Let’s find out in this review:

Build

It looks good. That was my first thought when I brought the Cherry Mobile Flash out of its box. The design has some resemblance to an LG G Pro 2, which by the way is one of the most beautiful phones I’ve ever used, and that’s a good thing. Despite being a little lighter than I expected, the device actually feels very comfortable to hold. The power button and volume rocker on the right side is easy to reach, and the fingerprint sensor seems to be placed perfectly below the 16MP camera at the back. The only things I don’t like about this build are the huge bezels in the display. I feel like they ruin the overall looks but, well, I guess there will always be compromises.

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Display

The Cherry Mobile Flash sports a 5.5-inch FULL HD 1080P display, and it is one gorgeous display to look at. Colors pop out, text and images come out sharp. Its only weakness is its very poor visibility in direct sunlight, even at max brightness. But overall, it’s good for just about anything you’ll do with it: casual gaming, browsing, social media, or watching movies.

Cherry Mobile Flash 27Performance

Powering the Cherry Mobile Flash is a Mediatek MT6753 1.3GHz Octa-core processor with a Mali T720 GPU and 2GB of RAM. As a result, the UI is very responsive and navigating it is a joy. The usual day-to-day tasks such as browsing social media, watching videos, reading emails, and taking photos are also handled with no issues. 16GB of internal storage has been provided, but there is an option to expand using a MicroSD card, so that’s taken care of as well. The fingerprint scanner works very nicely as you can unlock the screen without having to wake the device by pressing the power button.

For gaming, the Flash can handle casual games like DJ Max Technika Q with minimal issues, though it really struggles with heavier games such as Asphalt 8. (Lowering the settings may compensate for this) thus, if you’re looking at getting this phone for best gaming experience, you better look somewhere else. Do note that it also tends to heat up very quickly only after a few minutes of gaming. Oh and since it’s a trend these days, yes, you can play Pokemon GO with it.

Camera

The 16MP rear camera with flash is decent, and produces detailed images in good lighting conditions. Colors are accurate and the auto-focus feature works well. In low light conditions, pictures begin to show some noise but still satisfactory. Plus, HDR also does its job well.  The 8MP front facing camera also does the job very well. Here are some sample shots:

The camera interface offers a variety of shooting modes for your needs, additional features such as anti-shake and face detection, as well as other settings to give you manual control over your captures.

Sound and Call Quality

Call quality is pretty good on this device as you’ll be able to clearly hear what the other person is saying without any unnecessary noise (of course that depends on where you are calling from) The sound coming from the speaker at the back is also good but lacks volume. I had to turn the volume to max for a decent listening experience. You’ll probably be better off plugging in a good pair of headphones.

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Software

The Cherry Mobile Flash has Android Marshmallow to boot. It’s fluid and fast. Aside from the usual slew of Cherry Mobile apps (most of which, you can’t uninstall), everything else is pretty much stock. Let’s just hope it also gets Android N when it comes out.

Battery

The 2800mAh li-Ion non-removable battery in the Cherry Mobile Flash should get you through an 8 hour work shift with light to moderate usage without having to charge. To give you an idea, I had 99% of battery at 10 AM yesterday, and with Wi-Fi/Mobile Data On, social media every now and then, a few emails, a couple of videos on Youtube, plus a few minutes of casual gaming, It was down to less than 15% at 6PM. Just have your power bank ready I guess.

Cherry Mobile Flash 2Verdict

Overall, the Flash is fairly balanced phone. There’s a lot to like, but the drawbacks are there. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a budget phone with a decent camera, LTE, runs the latest version of Android, a good display, can perform simple day-to-day tasks, and wouldn’t mind charging twice a day or always having a power bank on standby, the Cherry Mobile Flash is a good fit for your needs. If you are a heavy user/gamer, then this isn’t the phone for you.

 

 

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.