In celebration of the upcoming holidays, Cherry Mobile recently sent us something that is quite unique and special: A Flare S6 Premium Limited Edition.

Why limited? First, only 500 of these were made; second, it’s not available at any retail store, yet; and third, my name’s on it. You’ve read that right. They actually placed my name at the back of the phone to add a personal touch.

Here’s our unboxing:

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium Specs:

  • 2.6GHz MediaTek Helio X27 deca-core processor
  • 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage expandable via microSD card
  • 5.5-inch full HD display, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
  • 13MP + 13MP rear cameras, Sony IMX258
  • 13MP front camera
  • Dual SIM (Hybrid Slot)
  • 4G/LTE
  • Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 3680mAh battery, Pump Express 2.0 Fast Charging
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat

Design and Build Quality

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium 6 640x427 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First Impressions

The first thing I noticed with this phone is its weight, which is quite a bit more that what you’ll usually feel with phones its size. Despite that, I didn’t have any problems using it with one hand.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium 10 640x427 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First Impressions

The body itself feels sturdy and the matte metal finish adds a more premium feel to it. I’m not really a fan of the lines at the back, nor the protruding camera module, but i guess to each his own.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium 15 640x427 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First Impressions

The bottom houses two speakers and to my delight, a USB Type-C port.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium 11 640x427 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First Impressions

Despite being the top of the line device for the Flare series, the Flare S6 Premium strangely doesn’t have an 18:9 display. It does however, boast 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 protection and a Full HD resolution. The Home button is a fixed mechanism, and also acts as the fingerprint sensor.

The display itself shows good details and saturation. Colors look very lively, and text looks sharp, as expected. Brightness is also decent, though a few nits higher would’ve made it even better.

Performance

The Flare S6 Premium uses MediaTek’s Helio X27 Deca-Core Processor, and has 4GB of RAM for ample multi-tasking. Quite a good combination i’d say.

Navigating the UI was very smooth and fluid, with no signs of lag or stuttering. App also open quickly, and switching between running apps yielded no issues.

For our full review, we’ll be putting this phone to our gaming test, to see just how capable this processor is. We’re hoping to get good results.

Camera

cmfs6 c 1 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First ImpressionsThe dual camera system at the back is composed of two 13MP Sony IMX258 sensors – One RGB, and one monochrome. The move back to Sony sensors actually seem odd when we  consider that the lower tier Flare S6 phones are powered by Samsung Sensors.

cmfs6 c 2 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First Impressions

The sample shots above were taken by the dual rear cameras. There are some hints of over-processing here and there, but so far, color accuracy seems to be on point, and the amount of detail is decent.

cmfs6 c 9 - Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium First Impressions

The front camera seems to work well too. There’s no hint of any unnecessary effects, and selfies look natural with qreat detail.

I’ll have to take more shots with different lighting conditions to see what this combination can really do, along with going in-depth with the camera app and its interface.

Software

CherryOS, the brand’s own take on Android, unfortunately isn’t here. The Flare S6 Premium sticks to a stock experience with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box.

That of course, means it doesn’t have many factors that could slow it down, except for the usual bunch of Cherry Mobile apps that come pre-installed. I somehow wish they were just optional, but they didn’t seem to affect performance at all, which is good.

Initial Verdict

The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Premium is one of the more generously specced devices that I’ve seen from the brand. I like the sturdy feel, the performance, and the quality of photos taken with the rear camera. Add to that, my name at the back gives it a unique identity.

On the other hand, sticking to a 16:9 display may not have been the best idea for a device of this caliber, especially when you pit it against the current competition at the mid-range segment. The number of apps that come pre-installed with it may also be an issue.

The exclusivity is good and all but, I think that this phone should be made widely available, so that fans of the brand can have a chance to experience its most capable device yet.

I’m prepping up our full review, in which I’ll be doing more tests, including front camera performance, battery life, gaming performance, and more, so stay tuned.

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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.

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