|Cherry Mobile Flare 3 Review: Intense Emotion|
The Cherry Mobile Flare 3 is still one of the hottest smartphone in the local scene, even after almost two months since its release, the demands are still quite high.
This could because of the high price-to-specs ratio, for only Php3,999 you get a 5-inch IPS OGS touchscreen display with scratch resistant glass on top, a 1.3GHz quad core processor, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and 8MP main camera.
>>> Cherry Mobile Flare 3 Unboxing, Preview And Initial Impression<<<
The Flare 3 retail package consists of the unit, 1980mAh battery, charger with detachable USB cable, wired headset and user manual. If you were one of the lucky first 100 person who bought it during one of their flash sales, you also get a screen protector and protective case plus a power bank.
The screen vastly covers the front with the capacitive keys below it and the secondary camera, earpiece grill and hidden sensors above it.
The back has a curve design made of plastic with matte finish, you will find yourself cleaning it once in a while since it is a natural magnet for fingerprints and smudges. The main camera is protruded at about 1mm, directly below it is the LED flash. Meanwhile, the loud speaker grill is located at the lower left portion with the cherry mobile branding slightly above on its right. The battery, micro SIM slot, regular SIM slot and micro SD slot will be revealed once you took off the back cover.
The top holds the 3.5mm audio jack, the right side has both the power button and volume rocker, the bottom has a micro USB port and the primary microphone while the left side has nothing on it.
The Flare 3 has a curve edges and arched back that makes it comfortable to hold, although it gets slippery for those with a sweaty hand like me. Overall, the design is pretty similar with other Cherry Mobile phones, some pointed out the it looks pretty much the same with the Omega Spectrum, nonetheless the build quality is still good and robust.
|Cherry Mobile Flare 3 Review: Intense Emotion|
The Flare 3 has a 5-inch screen display, even though the resolution is only qHD, it still delivers top-notch image quality and wide viewing angles due to the IPS and OGS panel used. It also supports up to 5-point touch.
The sensors used in this phablet are accelerometer, light and proximity, but only the last one is functioning properly. The automatic brightness which employs the light sensor is not working OK while the accelerometer is always geared towards the upper right.
The results in our favorite benchmarking applications are typical for a 1.3GHz quad core MT6582 device, although it scored a little higher on the NenaMark2.
|OOBE, eWarranty & Quick Start Guide|
Upon first boot, it will ask you to do the basic phone set-up (OOBE), the eWarranty registration and teach you how to use your phone. You can always quit them or go back to them anytime by accessing your app drawer.
The CM Flare 3 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, which is still the latest available version locally. It uses an almost stock interface which is very common for local Android smartphones.
The phone's basic functions such as telephony, phonebook, messaging and emails are all working properly, no problem or issue encountered.
The gallery displays all the photos and videos available on your device, you can filter them by albums, locations or time plus view them in either filmstrip or grid. Any item in the gallery can be shared locally or online. There is also a built-in photo editor app and video trimming app.
Video Player, Music Player and FM Radio:
|Video Player, Music Player & FM Radio|
The video player list all the available videos on your device, it can play videos of different file types/containers up to 1080p resolution, watching on its 5-inch screen is really pleasurable, although we recommend the use of a headset or a portable Bluetooth speaker since the loudspeaker is a bit weak.
Meanwhile, the music player displays all the audio app stored on your phone and can be viewed by artists, albums, songs or playlists, it supports album art and display them accordingly when played. On the other hand, the FM radio will not work unless you plug a wired headset, channels can be searched manually or automatically and the broadcast can be played via the headset or loudspeaker plus the option to record them.
Camera and Video:
|Camera and Video|
Like most phones that we reviewed, the camera and video share the same interfaces. The camera allows you to shoot several modes such as Live Photo, HDR, Face Beauty and Panorama. If you want to change the exposure, color effect and other properties, just go to the setting icon located at the lower left corner.
|Night without flash|
|Night with flash|
The Flare 3 has an 8MP main camera, this is far greater megapixels when compared to other phones in the same price point (most of them have 5MP). This really looks promising in paper, however, in real life usage the image produced are not so great. It can capture good details, but "noise" is always present whatever lighting conditions you may have. The flash is properly synced, however, it is a bit weak and barely illuminates the subject.
|5MP 100% Crop|
|8MP 100% Crop|
Another thing that I observed is that when you set the picture size to 5MP, it creates better photos compared when the picture size is 8MP. This seems to be a little odd, but that is how it looks like when you compare the two photos of different resolutions.
Sample Video - 720p
Sample Video - 1080p
The main camera can record videos up to 1080p resolution, the output produced is quite good, although the HD and FHD look identical in terms of quality.
For surfing the web, you can choose from one of the three pre-installed browsers, namely stock Android app, Google Chrome or Opera. Whichever browser you use, the pages are rendered quickly, even those with lots of images or with heavy scripting.
|Dead Trigger 2|
|Dungeon Hunter 4|
Gaming in the Flare 3 is generally smooth, there is little to no hiccup at all in games like Dead Trigger 2 and Dungeon Hunter 4. The Gameloft's Asphalt 7 is lag free, but due to the accelerometer issue, you need to control your vehicle by other means. As you can see in the above video, the car always moves to the left side.
|Storage and Move to SD|
The Flare 3 has 8GB of on board storage wherein 6.04GB is available to the user, if you still consider this small, just insert a micro SD card and automatically it will be your default storage.
The Flare 3 connectivity covers the basics, both SIM cards can be used for 3G connection which you can share via WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth or USB tethering. The WiFi signal is on the average side in terms of reception. You can also mirror anything on your screen by enabling the wireless display function (Cast screen). The Bluetooth works well with your accessories like speaker and there is also no problem when sending or receiving files. Lastly, the 3.5mm audio jack is CTIA compliant, this means that almost all types, if not all kinds of headset will function properly.
The productivity and organizing tools are comprised of calculator, calendar, clock, file manager, sound recorder and to do. There is no adobe acrobat reader and office viewer/editor, but you can simply download one for free in the Play Store.
The Flare 3 has built-in GPS with A-GPS, when data is pre-loaded I can get a satellite lock in about 30 seconds while from cold boot it needs around 2 to 3 minutes.
The Flare 3 managed to last about 6.68 hours on video-loop test and 3.07 hours on game-loop test. These results are good or shall I say above average than usual.
|Cherry Mobile Apps|
Cherry Mobile keeps on pushing its own Android applications on all of their devices and the Flare 3 is no exception, the Fun Club, Cherry Play and Pinoy App Shop are all installed by default.
|TouchPal X, Gameloft and Software Update|
The TouchPal X is the default input method of the Flare 3, the Gameloft app is a hub to some of their games while the Software Update is the app where you can check the latest software available on your phone.
Google applications are also installed by default such as YouTube, Map, Photos and more.
The Cherry Mobile Flare 3 is no doubt the new standard for smartphone in the 4K category, it has the best price-specs combination you can find in the local market.
It is not a perfect device, it has some flaws like not-so-loud loudspeaker and below average camera performance not to mention the issues of ambient light sensor and accelerometer.
5-inch IPS OGS display
1.3GHz quad core processor
8GB of ROM
1GB of RAM
Above average battery performance
Sub-par camera performance
Automatic brightness is not working
Accelerometer is not calibrated
- Dual SIM (regular+micro) dual standby, supports HSPA+
- 5-inch capacitive OGS IPS qHD (960x540) touchscreen display, scratch-resistant glass
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- 1.3GHz Quad Core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6582 chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB via micro SD card
- 8MP BSI main camera with LED Flash, 1080p video recording
- 3MP secondary camera
- Multimedia Player
- FM Radio
- GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance
- 3.5 Audio Jack
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro USB 2.0
- 1980mAh battery
- Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, light
- Price: Php3,999