Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Review: Square One

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Review: Square One
Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Review: Square One


Windows 10 Mobile devices may only seem to take a small portion of the huge smartphone market, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place in the industry. Cherry Mobile has been pushing phones with Microsoft’s mobile operating system on board, and it has been a welcomed addition to its huge portfolio of offerings it has to this date. The Alpha Prime 5, one of its Windows 10 Mobile devices, is gaining traction all thanks to its appealing price tag and Microsoft’s interesting take on the mobile fold. Let’s see how it holds out.


Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Retail Package
Retail Package

Cherry Mobile has its own signature for its Windows 10 Mobile offerings, and it’s clearly seen on display here with the Alpha Prime 5. It comes in a compact package, and inside is the usual inclusions that come standard with smartphones. There’s the handset itself, a micro USB cable, a wall adapter, and a manual. There’s no separate screen protector bundled, though, since it’s already installed for your convenience.


Design-wise, the Alpha Prime 5 resembles the form factor of the company’s Infinix Pure variants. Its curved top and bottom corners add up to the total grip of the device itself. It’s also quite thin as well, although it’s somewhat wide when you hold it.

Also Read: Cherry Mobile Flare Lite 2 Review, Budget-Friendly Awesomeness

The size of its bezels is fairly average for a 5-inch device. It’s not as thick as the ones in tablets, and it’s thin enough to offer a good screen-to-body ratio. Going on with the screen, its 5-inch display comes with an HD resolution, making it great for watching movies whenever you’re on the go. Viewing angles are great, but sunlight legibility could be better.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Right

All of the buttons, namely the volume rocker and the power switch, are situated at the right side of the device. The buttons are painted with a metallic coating, which adds up to the total aesthetics of the device similar to the side trimmings that it sports.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Top

At the top of the device, there’s the micro USB port that sits beside the 3.5mm audio jack. Other than that, there’s nothing much going around the sides.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Left

Of course, there’s the primary snapper with an LED flash beside it, and further down are the usual – there’s the Windows Phone logo and the company’s branding, and situated below it is the loudspeaker grille.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Back


Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Software

The Windows 10 Phone operating system isn’t exactly as popular when compared to the likes of Android and iOS, which would come off as a surprising interface for newcomers to Microsoft’s domain. For starters, there aren’t plenty of customizations that you can do save for rearranging your app icons and resizing them to your preference. Also, all of your apps are listed after you swipe right.

For apps, you’ll be relying on Microsoft’s Windows Store. Even at this time, there’s still that huge app deficit that the platform is obviously suffering from. However, all the usual essentials can be found. You can have Facebook, it is already installed, while Twitter and Instagram can also be downloaded from the app store. Office apps such a Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote are already installed. For the web browser, there’s Microsoft’s Edge, and for your emails, there’s Outlook.

With that said, it makes the Alpha Prime 5 an easy companion if you have loads of documents to work on while you’re on the move and a laptop isn’t too handy to lash out from your bag.

Again, while there’s the app deficit, most of the apps that you need are here. If you need games, Gameloft fills in the void. However, Clash of Clans, everyone’s favorite, is still nowhere in sight. So take that as a precaution if you’re thinking of using this phone as a gaming device.


Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Antutu Info
Antutu Info

The Alpha Prime 5 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor clocked at 1.1GHz a piece, an Adreno 304 GPU and 1GB of RAM. It basically belongs to the entry level segment, but it’s enough to fill you in what you need whenever you’re navigating from the home screen to using the web browser. However, some apps take a while to load, while the Windows Store itself needs time to fire up before it loads anything. The wait isn’t excruciating anyway, and it’s only a couple of seconds before anything loads up with the Alpha Prime 5.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Sample Game - Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Sample Game - Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy 3

As far as the gaming performance goes, graphic intensive titles such as Asphalt 8: Airborne and Spiderman are playable. Even Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 3 can be enjoyed if you like RPGs. There are minimal FPS drops, surprisingly. Just don’t try to overload it and you’re all set.


Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Camera UI
Camera UI

The Alpha Prime 5 uses the stock Windows 10 Mobile camera interface. You can adjust the ISO, White Balance and the Exposure levels, but there’s no HDR in sight if you prefer that. It has autofocus going for it, though, which would be enough for your daily photography needs. The colors are somewhat dark, even in good lighting conditions, and noise is quite visible in low light. Here are some samples:

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Sample Camera Output - Close-up
Close-up Shot
Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Sample Camera Output - Day Shot
Day Shot
Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Sample Camera Output - Afternoon Shot
Afternoon Shot
Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Sample Camera Output - Night Shot
Night Shot

See Also: Cherry Mobile M1 Hands-on and Initial Impression


The beauty of the Alpha Prime 5, besides being a cheap Windows 10 Mobile device, is its LTE connectivity. It also has the standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, which should let you connect to the net and connect peripherals respectively.


Again, apps don’t come as often as it is in Windows 10 Mobile if you compare it with the competition. And sadly, battery benchmarks are off the menu. As such, we tested by playing a movie on loop. Zero Dark Thirty, a two-and-a-half hour movie was played repeatedly, with Wi-Fi on and Brightness in full, and we’ve come up with a total of 2 playbacks and about 40 minutes on the third one. In standard usage, though, we were able to get over two days with just web browsing and Office apps.


Some would probably say that Windows 10 Mobile devices don’t have any place anymore in the market that’s already occupied with Android-based smartphones and Apple’s iPhones. However, for those who are looking for a good alternative to the standard solutions, devices running on Microsoft’s mobile OS present a great offering all thanks to its clean and intuitive interface as well as first-party apps by Redmond itself. This is also true with the Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 – it has the makings of a great daily driver if you know the capabilities and the limits of the platform. It’s affordable enough if you want to test out the offerings that come with Windows 10 Mobile, and its Office apps are easily a boon for your work needs.


5-inch display with 1280 x 720 resolution
LTE connectivity
Windows 10 Mobile OS proves to be interesting for the unaware
Build quality leans on its plastic material


Some hiccups are evident
Camera could be better
Audio is a bit weak
Some may find the app store sorely lacking

Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 5 Specifications:

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G: 900/1900/2100MHz
  • LTE: B1/3/7
  • Dual micro SIM, dual standby
  • 5-inch IPS capacitive HD (1280 x720) touchscreen display
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 72mm x 8.2 mm
  • Weight: 146 grams
  • Windows 10 Mobile
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 Processor with 1.1 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable via a micro SD card
  • 8MP autofocus main camera with LED flash
  • 2MP fixed focus secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Battery: 2100 mAh, removable
  • Price: Php3,999

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