Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Review, Budget-Friendly Awesomeness

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Review
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Review, Budget-Friendly Awesomeness

INTRODUCTION:

As the smartphone race gets much tighter, choosing a device that's fit for you is easier said than done. There are now a plethora of devices that present themselves as a viable go-to device – their performances are at the baseline, but the prices and features are the two factors that set offerings apart from each other. This is especially true for the budget segment.   Local tech giants are now vying for the best budget offering, with Cherry Mobile's trump card, the Flare Lite 2, marking as a hot item in the spectrum.


UNBOXING:

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Retail Package
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Retail Package

The Flare Lite 2 Prepaid Bundle arrives in a very familiar packaging. Its compact box is packed inside a sleeve in Cherry Mobile fashion. Pop that off and you'll be met with the common essentials: the handset itself, a wall charger, headset, USB cable, and some paper works such as manuals and the like. It's also bundled with a screen protector and the Cherry Prepaid SIM card as advertised.


PHYSICAL:

In terms of design and aesthetics, the Flare Lite 2 trails far off its predecessor. Gone are the angular edges and pastel colors, and what we have here now are rounded edges and a sleek black color. It's nice to the touch and it feels handy – its dimensions of are befitting of a 4-inch smartphone, and it's quite lightweight to boot.

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Front
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Front

The front panel is quite busy with the backlit capacitive keys sitting at the bottom, while the earpiece, along with sensors and the selfie camera are situated up north. All of the physical buttons are located on the right side of the handset, while the 3.5mm audio jack and the micro USB port are at the top.

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Back
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Back
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Side
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Side
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Bottom
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Bottom

Do keep in mind that this is a budget phone through and through, so there are a couple of gripes that you may come across. It does feel plastic, but not cheap and tacky for your taste. The back panel is also suspected to some design flaws – while Cherry Mobile did keep its branding at the back to a minimum, its quality is somewhat suspect. It's hard to snap in place, and it feels like it's going to break when you take it off.

Also Read: Cherry Mobile Flare Selfie Review: Budget Camera Phone At Its Finest


DISPLAY:

On the display front, the Flare Lite 2 features a 4-inch display with a WVGA (480 x 800) resolution. Fortunately, that amount of resolution can provide an ample pixel density on a 4-incher at 233ppi, so there's nothing to complain about its sharpness. Its color accuracy has a somewhat high contrast, but viewing angles come standard for your convenience.


SOFTWARE:

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Software
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Software

As it is, the Flare Lite 2 still comes with the now aging Android 4.4.2. It's close to the vanilla experience, although Cherry Mobile did a couple of few cosmetic changes to flare up its user interface. All of your apps are conveniently grouped into categories right on the home screen, while going to your would-be app drawer would give you a list of apps that you can scroll to, as well as a group of them, your favorites, and a couple of suggested ones.

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Apps
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Apps

It also has a couple of bloat here and there, which you can't uninstall at will unfortunately. Ask.fm, Cherry Fun Club, Cherry Play, Kakao Talk, and Opera Max are all there, so you may find them much of a nuisance if you don't really use them. The TouchPal X is also the default keyboard, but you can switch to the AOSP or download Google keyboard with ease from the Play Store.


PERFORMANCE:

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Benchmark Scores
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Benchmark Scores

There's a Spreadtrum SC7731 chipset with a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and Mali 400 MP2 GPU powering up the Flare Lite 2. It's paired with 512MB RAM and 4GB(2.65GB usable) of internal storage, which should be enough to fill you in with the standard call and text features, plus a couple of lightweight games from time to time. Fortunately, you can add in a micro SD card, so you don't have to worry about running out of space for the mean time. Here are some benchmarks:

See Also: Cherry Mobile Flare XL Plus Now Available 


CAMERA:

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Camera Interface
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Camera Interface

There's not really much you can expect from a sub Php1K phone, especially when it comes to its camera performance. The Flare Lite 2.0 is equipped with a primary 5MP snapper with LED flash and a VGA selfie camera. Check out the samples:

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Sample Shot - Day
Day Shot
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Sample Shot - Day with HDR
Day Shot with HDR
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Sample Shot - Afternoon
Afternoon Shot
Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Sample Shot - Close-up
Close-up Shot


CONNECTIVITY:

If you're subscribed to two networks, the Flare Lite 2 features a Dual SIM slot. It has its uses, just note that two networks would easily take a huge toll on the battery life. Of course, the standard connectivity options are all aboard. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on board to give you wireless connections, while a 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port are also in tow.


BATTERY:

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Battery Stat
Battery Stat

There's a 1,400mAh battery juicing up the handset. That amount should last you for a day, provided that you use it for simple calls and texts from time to time. Of course, if you're planning to use it as a secondary device, its standby times can easily go over a day or two if you just use it as a backup.

See Also: Cherry Mobile Flare XL 2 Now Available, 6-inch Octa Core Marshmallow Phablet with LTE


CONCLUSION:

The price of the Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 needs to be emphasized here, especially when you're considering its demographic and the functions that it can perform. In essence, the Php799 price tag (Cherry Prepaid 799 Flare Bundle) will brand the handset as a secondary phone for some, or a would-be daily driver for students that need something that “just works.” It's not perfect by any means, but it can give you your money's worth if you need something that's basic.

Pros:

Price
Display sharpness
Dual SIM
Bundled screen protector, SIM card
Close to stock UI

Cons:

Back panel interlocking is tricky
Bloatware
Paltry amount of memory and internal storage
Android 4.4.2 is quite dated

Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Specifications:

  • 2G: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G: 900/2100MHz
  • Dual SIM (standard+standard), dual standby
  • 4-inch capacitive WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreen display
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali 400 GPU, Spreadtrum SC7731 chipset
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via micro SD
  • 5MP main camera with LED flash
  • 2MP secondary camera with LED flash
  • Multimedia player
  • FM radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • Battery: 1400mAh, removable
  • Price: Php799

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