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Cherry Mobile One Review: Android for Everyone

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Android One was a Google initiative set to bring smartphones, the internet and (of course) Google to the masses. The program started in several developing countries. Now, it is in the Philippines with the best one brought to us by Cherry Mobile.

The Cherry Mobile One debuted a month ago and it was awesome. It is, in my opinion, a near-perfect translation of Google’s vision for Android One. So without further adieu, here is our review of the Cherry Mobile One.

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Cherry Mobile One key specs

  • 4.5 inch FWVGA Screen (854 x 480) with scratch resistant glass
  • 1.3 GHz Quad Core MediaTek MT6582 processor
  • Mali 400 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of storage (+microSD card up to 64GB)
  • 5MP Main Camera with BSI support
  • 2MP Front Camera
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
  • OS update of up to 2 years from Google
  • 1,780 mAh battery
  • PHP3,999

Inside the Box

For a phone that costs only PHP3,999, the Cherry Mobile One comes with a complete set of accessories: a travel charger, a micro USB cable, and a set of earphones with mic. Granted that the quality of the earphones are nothing to write home about (it sounded tinny and lacks any real semblance of bass), but given the price, it’s good that it’s there.

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The Cherry Mobile One

The Cherry Mobile One measures in at 130 mm x 64 mm x 9 mm. It has a minimalist design that looks to incorporate what Google envisioned for its Android One smartphones. The body looks sleek and attractive. If you look at it from the side, you’ll notice that the black of the screen continues bit to the side as a nice accent to the gray back case and body.

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The build quality of the Cherry Mobile One is impressive. It is light and well built. Even though it’s made of plastic, the material does not not at all feel cheap. On the hand, it is easy to hold and carry. And because of it’s size, it can easily slip comfortably in your pocket.

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The top of the smartphone has the 3.5 mm audio jack, while the left side has the power and volume buttons. The micro USB port can be found at the bottom of the device.

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The back has that gray gun metal-ish finish. It houses the camera and the speaker. The speaker has a small dimple that raises it a bit from a surface that it’s placed on, minimizing ring tones, notifications, alarms and music from sounding muffled. The volume of the speaker is quite loud. It’s a bit tinny, but overall, the sound quality is okay.

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The Cherry Mobile One comes with a 4.5 inch screen with a resolution of 854 x 480, protected with a scratch resistant glass. And even though it’s not 720p, the screen is bright and colorful. One negative is that the glass is very reflective, as you can see in most of the photos. Also, notice that there are no capacitive keys on the screen. Since this is technically a “pure” Google phone, the back, home and recent apps are now on-screen soft keys.

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Software and Performance: Lollipop is Delicious

Google proves here that hardware is only part of the performance equation. Software has equal, if not more, significance. Running on the latest version of Android, Lollipop 5.1 is as good as it gets. There are no installed bloatware, and you get up to 2 years worth of timely OS updates from Google (which is a lot more than even most flagships offer).

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Because of the phone’s software and hardware optimizations, the 1.3 GHz quad core MediaTek MT6582 processor and 1GB of RAM does a good job of keeping the phone smooth and responsive. There is little to no lag, even when pressing the recent apps key.

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The device does a respectable job when it comes to gaming as well. To my surprise, it ran Marvel Contest of Champions really well. Given that it took a bit longer to load, it ran without any problems.

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And in terms of benchmark scores, the Android One got a respectable AnTuTu score of 19,512. It did better than most phones that are double or three times it’s price. Again, it bears repeating that benchmark scores are not indicative of performance, especially with this one.

Call Quality

Call quality is above average. The caller came in loud and clear, as is from the other end. Sound is a bit tinny, but not bad. Quality of the loudspeaker is average. The caller sounded a bit muffled, but you can still make out what the other person is saying.

Battery Life

The smartphone comes with a rather smallish 1,780 mAh battery. I suppose they have to cut corners somewhere. But with moderate use, you can get up to a day’s use with it.

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Android Lollipop comes with a Battery Saver function. You can set it to automatically turn on once power reaches either 15% or 5%. What happens is that the device’s performance is throttled down to conserve power. That includes dimming the display, turning off animations, and  limiting other services and background data.

Camera

It is said that the best camera to use is what you have with you. That being said, the 5MP camera does an okay job at capturing memories and moments when needed.

Here are some photos I took in daylight.

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Verdict?

The Cherry Mobile One is a beautiful device that out performs many expensive smartphones all for a wonderful price of only PHP3,999. Really, for that price you get the latest version of (stock!) Android, you get timely updates, a sensible and minimalist design, no bloatware, great performance, and almost no lag.

Did I mention that its only PHP3,999?

2 Comments

  1. Spike Sprigal Reply

    I was able to use the phone for two months with normal wear and tear. After two months the phone Stopped charging and was cutting in and out while connected to the computer. When I drag the phone to Cherrymobile Repair Center, they said that it would take a week for the repair of their phone. After 5 days on the repair shop, I received a text message that the phone was brought to the Main Office and they are waiting for the parts to arrive before thay can repair the unit and will take another 3 to 4 weeks…?!? WTF!

    Brand new phone… Faulty… Bad Customer service… and a month and a week for the repair????

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