Cherry Mobile Amber Review: Above Average

Anjie lou delos Reyes
Cherry Mobile Amber
Cherry Mobile Amber


Most budget conscious smartphone consumers, if not all, always look for a phone that can give them the best value for their hard-earned money. Cherry Mobile is one among the local brands that is committed to provide a solution to these kinds of end-users.

The Cherry Mobile Amber is one of the company's smartphone offerings in under 3000 pesos. This phone packs a generous 4-inch capacitive touchscreen display powered by a 1.2GHz dual core processor accompanied by a 512MB of RAM.

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Cherry Mobile Amber eWarranty

The eWarranty is the first thing you will see upon first boot (or every reboot if you have not accomplished it yet) of your CM Amber. It gives you the opportunity to extend your phone's warranty for another 3 months for a total of 15-month coverage.

Cherry Mobile Amber OOBE

Next stop is the OOBE or out of the box experience, it allows you to setup basic settings such as Date and Time, SIM Management, WiFi and to import your contacts from your SIM cards.

Cherry Mobile Amber Quick Start Guide
Quick Start Guide

The quick start guide is basically a walk through of some of your phone's functions such as homescreen navigation, check your notification and some more. This is very beneficial to first time Android users, but if you are a seasoned user you can simply skip this.

Cherry Mobile Amber Lockscreen

The lockscreen has a padlock icon inside a circle, this serves as a starting point to access your device. To unlock, swipe it to the right, to access the camera move it to the left while dragging it upward will bring the Google Now.

If you have a missed call, it will appear on the right above the circle, while a text message is on the left. You can drag them towards the circle in order to view them directly without the need to unlock the device.

Cherry Mobile Amber Lockscreen Widget
Lockscreen Widget

The Amber also supports lockscreen widget wherein you can place some shortcuts directly in the lockscreen. There are three pages, the right part always opens the camera interface while the left and the middle can accommodate either the Calendar, Digital Clock, Email, Gmail, Google+ Post and Messaging.

Cherry Mobile Amber Homescreen

The homescreen has five pages, there is no means to reduce or increase it. On the lower part of the homescreen there are five shortcuts, the middle always opens the app drawer while you have the ability to change the remaining four.

You can also create a folder in the homescreen, simply put one widget/shortcut on top another and you are done. Once a folder is created, you can change its name and add more widgets.

Cherry Mobile Amber Notification & Quick Toggle Settings
Notification & Quick Toggle Settings

The notification area is a place where you can see your (of course) notifications which are collapsible. Aside from the notification itself, it also gives you the option on what you should do with it. For example, a missed call will give you the option to call back or send a message to the caller.

If the notification area can be accessed by one finger swipe from the top of the screen going down, you need two fingers for you to gain access to the quick toggle settings. This gives you the options to change some of the most used settings like turning WiFi and Bluetooth On/Off, adjust brightness and many more.

Cherry Mobile Amber Default Apps
Default Apps
Cherry Mobile Amber Default Widgets
Default Widgets

The default applications are arranged in four rows by five columns while the widgets have 2x3 layout. Among the pre-installed applications, none of which can be removed without the root access.


Cherry Mobile Amber SIM Management
SIM Management

The CM Amber support dual SIM dual standby, if you haven't set it up during the OOBE, you can access it through Settings>SIM Management.


Cherry Mobile Amber Dial Pad
Dial Pad

The Amber's telephony supports smart dialing, which means any number or name you key-in it will always check your contacts for any match and will display it accordingly. There is no double call key, so the options for the call depends on what you setup in the SIM management (SIM 1, SIM 2 or always asks).

Cherry Mobile Amber Call Options
Call Options

If you have incoming call you have the option to cancel it, answer it or cancel it with a message. There are predefined messages, but you can always create a custom one. The Amber has no proximity sensor, therefore if a call got connected the screen remains on, so you better press the power key to turn it off to avoid any untoward screen tap.

Cherry Mobile Amber Call Logs
Call Logs

The call logs keep your entire call history, you can filter it by the SIM card used and the type of call (missed, answered and outgoing).


Cherry Mobile Amber Contacts
Cherry Mobile Amber Groups

The phonebook uses tabbed interface, the first tab is for the Groups, the second is for the contacts and the third one is for favorites. You can save your contacts and groups to your phone's memory or sync it via online accounts like Google or Yahoo! In the same matter you can choose from which you want to be displayed.


Cherry Mobile Amber Messaging

The messages are arranged based on the latest time of arrival, if you have unread message a number will appear on the upper right corner which corresponds on how many message/s are not yet opened. In a specific conversation, your message will appear on the right side inside a blue bubble while his/her is on the left.

Cherry Mobile Amber New Message
New Message

The recipient input accepts name and number, like the telephony it also looks up to any matching contacts. You can send a message to multiple recipient, simply put a comma between names/numbers. You can attach almost anything on the message by pressing the green circle beside the smiley icon and if you do, it will be converted to MMS.

Cherry Mobile Amber Message Settings
Message Settings

There are a bunch of settings for messaging, like changing the chat wallpaper, enabling popup notification and many more.

TouchPal Keyboard
TouchPal Keyboard

The Amber uses the stock Android keyboard, but if you want a more advance and functional one, you can enable the TouchPal keyboard which is pre-installed in the unit. However, keep in mind that no matter what keyboard you will use, you will still have the touch  bug problem since it is only 2-point touch.

The video below is a demonstration of the bug for the Cherry Mobile Sonic 2.0, this is similar to what you will experience to the Amber if you type fast.

touch bug


Cherry Mobile Amber Email

The email department consists of both the generic Android email app and the Gmail, both can are easy to setup, just enter your username and password and you are good to go. Both can also handle multiple email accounts.



Cherry Mobile Amber Gallery

The gallery holds your photos and videos which you can filter by Albums, Locations and Times. The camera icon is always available on the upper right corner if in case you need to access it.

Cherry Mobile Amber Gallery Options
Gallery Options

Both the pictures and videos on your devices can be shared online via supported accounts like email, Google+ or locally via Bluetooth.

Cherry Mobile Amber Photo Editor
Photo Editor

There is also a photo editor which comes very handy when customizing your pictures or adding effects. The edited photo will be saved as a different file (the original picture is still retained) so there is no need to panic even you messed up editing it.

Video Player:

Cherry Mobile Amber Video Player
Video Player

The video player will list all the supported files on your devices, information such as thumbnail, title, length and file size will be displayed.

Cherry Mobile Amber Video Player Interface
Video Player Interface

The video player interface is very simple, there is nothing much you can control. You can just fast forward, rewind, change the aspect ratio and loop the video. If you want a better media player which can give you subtitle support and other functions better download a different one on the Google Play Store.

Cherry Mobile Amber - Video Samples (.avi, .flv, .3gp, .mp4, .mvk)
Video Samples (.avi, .flv, .3gp, .mp4, .mvk)

Even though the player lacks some of the important functionality, it can play a wide array of file types such as .avi, .3gp, .mp4, .flv and even .mkv. It can also play up to 1080p video files, however you will notice a lower fps during playback so better stick to 720p.

Music Player:
Cherry Mobile Amber Music Player
Music Player

The music player list all the audio files from both your internal storage and SD card. You can view them by Artists, Albums, Songs and Playlists. The album art will be displayed if a song have it, you can also minimize the player while a song is playing and it will continue to play.

FM Radio:

Cherry Mobile Amber FM Radio
FM Radio

The FM radio can search the channels automatically or you can do it manually. The broadcast can be played through a wired headset (which acts as the antenna for it to work) and through the loud speaker. Like the music player, it will continue to work even if you minimize it.

MULTIMEDIA (continued):


Cherry Mobile Amber Camera/Video Interface
Camera/Video Interface

The CM Amber camera sports a 5MP sensor accompanied by an LED flash. Along the normal mode, you can also shoot Panorama or activate the shutter when it detects a smile.

The upper right corner shows the thumbnail of the last photo or video taken, below it are the camera and video shutters followed by the settings button.

Cherry Mobile Amber Camera/Video Settings
Camera/Video Settings

The settings give you the ability to tweak camera exposure, color effects and others. Here you can also change the camera size and video quality.

Sample Shots:

Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Inside a restaurant
Inside a restaurant

Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Morning
Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Morning

Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Afternoon
Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Close-up with flash
Close-up with flash
Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Close-up without flash
Close-up without flash
Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Night with flash
Night with flash
Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Night without flash
Night without flash
Cherry Mobile Amber Sample Shot - Unable to capture the subject
Unable to capture the subject

The camera sensor in this phone is only fixed focus, therefore you need to rely on its focusing mechanism to get a decent shot. The flash is only useful if the subject is close otherwise you won't see any difference between when the flash is fired or not.

The shutter is also a bit slow, in the last sample shot, I pressed the shutter key when there is still no vehicle passing by but the processed image shows a vehicle.


The camera interface is shared along with the video mode. The video recording ability maxes out at 720p, below are the details in each video quality selected.

Fine - 720p

Audio - mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 24000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video - mp4v MPEG-4 Video

High - 640x480

Audio -  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 48000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video - mp4v MPEG-4 Video

Medium - 480x320

Audio -  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 48000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video - avc1 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC

Low - 176x144

Audio -  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 48000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video - s263 ITU H.263 video (3GPP)

Whatever video quality it is, it always records at only 11fps.

Sample Videos:






Cherry Mobile Amber Browser
Opera Mini
Opera Mini

There are two browsers installed, one is the generic Android and the other one is the Opera Mini. Pages load quickly, even those full of images and those with a lot of scripts.


Candy Crush Saga
Candy Crush Saga
Zombie Tsunami
Zombie Tsunami
Subway Surfers
Subway Surfers
Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2

The top 5 free games in the Google Play Store namely Pou, Zombie Tsunami, Temple Run 2, Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers are all working perfectly.

Plants versus Zombies 2
Plants versus Zombies 2
Dead Trigger
Dead Trigger
Dungeon Hunter 4
Dungeon Hunter 4
Asphalt 7
Asphalt 7

The graphics-intensive games like Plants versus Zombies 2, Dead Trigger 2, Dungeon Hunter 4 and Asphalt 7 are all playable without noticeable lags or hiccups.

Modern Combat 4
Modern Combat 4

The Modern Combat 4 is also playable, however, there are times you will encounter some hiccups.

Storage and Install Location
Storage and Install Location

The Amber has only 4GB of internal storage, but it is expandable via micro SD card. The external storage can be your default storage so that you won't need to worry running out of space when installing large file applications or games like the MC4.


Cherry Mobile Amber 3G & Tethering
3G & Tethering

The Amber supports dual 3G, which means you can set which SIM will have high speed mobile data connectivity. This connection can be shared via tethering in either Bluetooth, USB or Hotspot.

Cherry Mobile Amber WiFi

The Amber's WiFi uses the 802.11 b/g/n standards which means it can detect different signal channels. In terms of signal receptions, it works as it should, no sudden drop of signal experienced during the review.

Cherry Mobile Amber Bluetooth

The Bluetooth can be used to transfer files to and fro the phone, it can also connect to other hardware such as headset. The 3.5mm audio jack completes the connectivity list.


Cherry Mobile Amber Calendar
Cherry Mobile Amber Calculator
Cherry Mobile Amber Clock
Cherry Mobile Amber File Manager
File Manager
Cherry Mobile Amber Sound Recorder
Sound Recorder
Cherry Mobile Amber To Do
To Do

The organizing and productivity applications includes To Do, Sound Recorder, File Manager, Clock, Calendar and Calculator. What is missing is a note taking app and document viewer/editor, but you can simply download them for free in the Play Store.


Cherry Mobile Amber - No GPS

One downside of the Amber is the lack of GPS, this could be a deal break for some especially those using it for navigation.


Cherry Mobile Fun Club
Cherry Mobile Fun Club

The Cherry Mobile Fun Club is the company's app where you can check your horoscope, news and others.

Cherry Mobile - Cherry Play
Cherry Play

The Cherry Play is Cherry Mobile's own version of Play Store, here you can download apps and games.

Cherry Mobile System Update
System Software Update

The System Software Update allows you to check and install the latest software for your device, this is a good thing since you do not need to go to Cherry Mobile service center to do it.


You Tube
You Tube
Google Apps
Google Apps

There is also a YouTube application pre-installed together with other Google apps such as Google Now, Google Search, Google Maps and other.


I do not know if Cherry Mobile made a partnership with KakaoTalk since most of their recent devices has it by default.

News & Weather
News & Weather

The News & Weather is an app to check the latest from the local weather and news.

Cherry Mobile Amber Backup & Restore
Backup & Restore

This application allows you to backup and restore applications and games which you downloaded to your phone together with personal data like Contacts, Messages, Pictures, Calendar, Music and Bookmark.

Cherry Mobile Amber Daydream

The Daydream is similar to your PC's screen saver, you can activate it either when docked or charging.

Cherry Mobile Amber Scene

The Scene consists of two different kinds of homescreen, but be reminded that it does not retain the customization you made in either scene when you switch between one another.

Cherry Mobile Amber SIM Tool Kit
SIM Tool Kit

The SIM Tool Kit is an application where you can access the built-in functions on your SIM cards.


Cherry Mobile Amber Battery Stats
Battery Stats

I looped a 1080p video and the Amber managed to impressively last for about 4 hours of playback. I also played Asphalt 7 continuously for 3 hours and 18 minutes before the battery dropped to 4%.


The Cherry Mobile Amber is made with budget customers in mind, however, when I got hold of the device, it felt that I am getting more than what I paid for it. It has a very solid build quality and its design is way better than most of the smartphones with similar price range.

It is not only the hardware which is impressive, the dual core processor and 512MB RAM combination also proves that it is also capable devices. It can play high definition videos and graphics-intensive games without breaking a sweat.

However, there are still rooms for improvements with the likes of 2-point multi-touch, fixed focus camera and the lack of GPS. If these things are there it would have been a perfect budget smartphone. Nonetheless, it is still bang for the buck.

Key Specs:

  • Dual SIM , Dual Standby
  • 4" capacitive WVGA (800x480) touchscreen display, 2-point multi-touch
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
  • 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 dual core CPU, Mali-400 GPU, MediaTek MT6572 chipset
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB internal, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 5MP fixed focus main camera with LED flash
  • 720p video recordng
  • 1.2MP secondary camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot
  • 3.5 Audio Jack
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • MP3/MP4 Player
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth
  • Sensors: Accelerometer
  • 1400mAh Li-Ion Battery

Main Disadvantages:

  • No GPS
  • Fixed focus main camera
  • Only 2-point touch

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