Advertisement

The Cherry Mobile Desire R8 is one of the newest smartphones from the brand to sport a dual rear camera setup. Priced at PhP9,999, it’s touted to offer decent imaging capabilities and overall performance without putting a big hole in your wallet. But from what we’ve experienced from the brand’s other dual cam models, were they able to get this one right? Let’s find out.

Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Specs:

  • 1.5GHz MediaTek 6750T octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB)
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS display
  • 13MP + 5MP Dual Rear Cameras
  • 8MP Front Camera
  • Dual SIM, LTE
  • USB Type-C
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android Nougat
  • Sensors: Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Orientation, Light, Proximity

Simple Looks, Solid Build Quality

The Desire R8 looks more expensive than it actually is. The phone is comfortable to hold and the material doesn’t feel cheap in the hand.

cmdr8 u3 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The front panel sports a 2.5D glass covering the 5.5-inch display which adds a more premium feel. Add to that, a mechanical home button and two capacitive keys (not illuminated, unfortunately).

cmdr8 u14 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The back panel hosts the dual camera setup which slightly protrudes. I won’t say it destroys the design, but it would’ve been really better if they made it as flat as possible. An included case that shields the protruded lens would have been a great accessory for the Desire R8.

cmdr8 u12 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The right side hosts the volume rocker and power button, while the left side houses the overly used Hybrid SIM tray. I wonder if it’s a design restriction of sorts, but I do think that triple slot trays should be used more often for convenience. Still, I am not complaining at this implementation still works in many respects.

cmdr8 u11 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

There’s a USB Type-C port at the bottom along with the speakers, while the headphone jack is located up top. The inclusion of USB Type-C on this phone is a great idea as its capabilities are more jacked up, which puts the Desire 8 a productivity monster.

A More Neutral Display

cmdr8 u4 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The Desire R8’s 5.5-inch Full HD display doesn’t have that wow factor, but it certainly isn’t boring to look at either. You get a nice neutral tone, with just the right amount of vibrancy. Colors look as intended without any hint of too much saturation. Good job on this one, Cherry Mobile.

A Decent Performer

Desire R8 is a great daily driver for those who are in need of a phone that has a decent balance of performance and price. It handles web browsing, messaging, email, social media updates, and other usual errands without a hitch.

cmdr8 s20 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

More than anything else, as gaming is central to our review of the Desire R8 other than its camera, we tested a few games on this device. Most of the games we played like Mobile Legends, Marvel Contest of Champions and Lineage II work fine! Asphalt 8 more over, works as intended and is playable even at high settings. I did notice that it tends to heat up too much though that it’s almost uncomfortable. Unfortunately, NBA 2K17 crashes on this device upon opening the app. It might be a case of a software problem, or the hardware simply isn’t capable of handling it (which  I highly doubt).

Better Dual Cam Implementation

cmdr8 c13 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams cmdr8 c1 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams cmdr8 c5 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

Photos taken with the rear camera are sharp, exhibit good color reproduction and detail. There’s some hint of noise, but only noticeable if you look closely.

As for photos with the bokeh effect, it does work better compared to the Flare P1 and P1 Plus as the background blur looks more refined and less pixelated. It does tend to miss some parts on a few instances, but in general, the quality is decent enough for the price. Desire R8 shows the full evolution and improvement of the camera technology on Cherry Mobile’s dual cam phones are turning out.

cmdr8 c14 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams cmdr8 c24 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

You can adjust the amount of blur on the background after taking a photo, which is a nice feature to have.

cmdr8 s15 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The front camera does a less than ideal job than expected. Shots looked grainy even in good lighting, though the amount of detail is more or less ample.

cmdr8 c25 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams cmdr8 c27 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams cmdr8 c17 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The default camera app only offers a few modes, so investing in another app is a good idea if you want extended functionality.

cmdr8 s17 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

Stock Experience

The Desire R8 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat which is a nice to have in a budget device. The stock experience isn’t for everyone, but it does contribute to a more optimal performance.

There are a number of Cherry Mobile apps pre-loaded such as Cherry Fun Club, Cherry Prepaid, and Bonus Load. You can’t uninstall all of them, but you can at least disable some, though they don’t really seem to affect the overall performance

There’s now an option in the menu to change the functions of the two capacitive keys, it lets you choose if the back button will be on the right and the running apps button will be on the left, and vice versa.

cmdr8 s00 Custom - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

I did notice a few glitches such as when using the camera app, icons don’t rotate in landscape mode, or pictures taken landscape mode appear in portrait orientation.

Poor Battery Life

cmdr8 s4 - Cherry Mobile Desire R8 Review: Getting Better with Dual Cams

The Desire R8’s 3000mAh battery will not even last a whole day of moderate usage, so remember to keep a powerbank with you. Charging the device was surprisingly fast, as it only took a little over an hour to go from 4% to full.

Verdict

The Cherry Mobile Desire R8 boasts some useful improvements from the brand’s previous dual cam smartphones. A premium design, decent gaming capability, and a slightly better implementation of the dual camera setup.

The front camera does need some work, so as the minor glitches in the software, the heating issue, and of course the less than satisfactory battery life.

The Good

  • Design and Build Quality
  • Gaming Performance
  • Rear Camera Performance
  • Better Dual Cam Implementation

The Not So Good

  • Software Glitches
  • Poor Battery Life
  • Heating Issues

Leave a comment

Author

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.

Write A Comment