Cherry Mobile M1 Hands-on and Initial Impression

Anjie lou delos Reyes
Cherry Mobile M1 Hands-on and Initial Impression
Cherry Mobile M1 Hands-on and Initial Impression


Recently, Cherry Mobile has stunned local the tech community with their announcement of monster-specs latest offering, the Cherry Mobile M1. It is indeed the most powerful device available today from any Filipino brand, showcasing premium specifications at a reasonable price tag.

Cherry Mobile M1 CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

The Cherry Mobile M1 sports many "first" from any local brand, it is the first to arrive in the market with MediaTek 10-core MT6797 or commonly known as Helio X20, it is the first to equip 4GB of RAM, it is the first to sport a camera that can shoot 21MP stills and 4K videos, as well as the first to have USB Type-C port.


Cherry Mobile M1 Front

The front is the home of the 5.5-inch IPS display with Full HD resolution, that's 400PPI in terms of pixel density, giving it a vibrant image output, plus Asahi Dragontrail glass on top for added protection. Above the screen, is the space allotted for the 8MP secondary camera, the front LED flash, hidden sensors, notification light and earpiece grill. Meanwhile, below the display near the edge is the loudspeaker grill.

Cherry Mobile M1 Back

Going at the back, you will find the secondary microphone, the primary camera followed by the dual-tone LED flash, the fingerprint sensor and the cherry mobile logo.

Cherry Mobile M1 Back without Cover
Back without cover

The back plate holds the NFC plate and it is removable, but sadly the 3600mAh battery isn't, not to mention there is no slot for memory of any kind, that simply means you need to deal with its 32GB of internal storage, which we all know is lesser than advertised due to space occupied by the OS and the pre-installed software.

Cherry Mobile M1 Top
Cherry Mobile M1 Bottom
Cherry Mobile M1 Left
Cherry Mobile M1 Right

The top holds the 3.5mm audio jack, the bottom has the reversible USB Type-C port and the primary microphone, the left have the dual nano SIM tray, and the right is home for the volumes keys and power button.

Cherry Mobile M1 Multi View

In terms of physical appearance, it looks less premium and classy than the Cherry Mobile Flare Selfie, but still has that kind of striking attributes. At 9.8mm, it is not the thinnest device from CM, not the sexiest either, but it is still comfortable to hold due to curvature of its back. One thing I don't understand is why they made the back cover removable, where in fact, removing it gives no benefit to the user at all.

See Also: Cherry Mobile Cherry Fit Now Available, Fitness Tracker and Bluetooth Earphone in One

Cherry Mobile M1 Antutu Score
Antutu Score

As mentioned above, it is powered by MediaTek MT6797 Helio X20, which is composed of 10 64-bit CPU cores in tri-cluster arrangement, 2 of which are Cortex-A72 clocked at 23GHz each, 4 of which are Cortex-A53e clocked at 2GHz each and another for Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.4GHz each, bundled with ARM Mali-T880MP4 GPU clocked at 700MHz each. It also has 4GB of RAM for smooth multitasking, which we honestly feel when we toyed around with the interface and run multiple apps. In terms of benchmark, we were able to run the popular Antutu and it scored a whopping 83.7K.

Cherry Mobile M1 Sample Photo (Cropped)
Sample Photo (Cropped)

One of the highlights of the Cherry Mobile M1 is the IMX230 SONY camera that is capable of shooting images with up to 21MP resolution and record videos up to 4K Ultra HD resolution, on paper, it is the best so far among the competitions. Based on our short hands-on, the auto focus ability is quite fast, but the time it consumed when you hit the shutter and it saves the image is about 2 seconds. The resulting photo is also not that stunning, and only comparable to camera phones with the 16MP or 13MP sensor. These glitches might be because the units that showcased during the launch are engineering or prototype units, and hopefully it will be resolved on actual production/commercial units.

Also Read: Cherry Mobile Outs Android-Powered Explorer 2 Action Camera


If we will base everything on specifications, the Cherry Mobile M1 is definitely the best and the most powerful smartphone from any local brand today. It is packed with high-end and premium hardware, we only thought could exist from expensive international brands. It may be priced higher than the usual norm, but it has well-balanced specs-to-price ratio.

Cherry Mobile M1 Specifications:

  • GSM:850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G: 900/1900/2100MHz
  • LTE: 800/1800/2100/2300/2600MHz
  • Dual nano SIM, dual standby
  • 5.5-inch IPS capacitive FHD (1920x1080) touchscreen display, Asahi Dragontrail Glass protection
  • Dimensions: 152.5mm x 76.35mm x 9.8mm
  • Weight: 170 grams
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 2.3GHz dual core Cortex-A72 CPU + 2GHz quad core Cortex-A53e CPU + 1.4GHz quad core Cortex-A53 CPU, 700MHz ARM Mali-T880MP4 GPU, MediaTek MT6797 Helio X20 chipset
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of ROM, non-expandable
  • 21MP PDAF BSI SONY IMX230 main camera with dual-tone LED flash, 4K video recording
  • 8MP secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • NFC
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • USB Type-C with OTG support
  • Bluetooth v4.1
  • Sensors: accelerometer, light, proximity
  • Battery: 3600mAh, non-removable
  • Price: Php11,990

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