Cherry Mobile Flare P1 Plus Review: 2017 Best Budget Phone?

As Sammy stopped giving update on Galaxy Note 3 after Android Lollipop 5.0,  I felt that my phone is outdated and needed an upgrade.

While waiting for the clash of giants (iPhone 8 and Note 8) this fourth quarter, I decided to go with an affordable device and stumbled upon Cherry Mobile’s Flare P1 Plus. (See phone specs below)

The specs is quiet convincing on paper and the phone is budget friendly (I got this unit for P 5,999.00). Despite the lack of review online, I took the risk of buying this phone and yes, I didn’t regret purchasing this beauty.

Below are my thoughts on this mobile device.

Unboxing

The box provides the basics such as USB 2.0 charger, (poor) earphone, sim ejector, manual and a cherry mobile sim card (powered by Globe).

Hardware

The phone is a stunner with its 2d glass trail on the front panel and metal finish on the back. Like most of metal- back panel phones, the battery is not removable.

Flare P1 plus has a premium feel and the back panel reminds me of the iPhone 7 plus, probably because of the dual lens camera. It is a bit heavier than my Note 3 (168 g) but not an issue for me since I’m used to big phones.

Fingerprint Scanner

The fingerprint scanner of this phone is surprisingly fast. I didn’t encounter any issues for almost a week of use.

Display

(Flare P1 plus side by side with Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia C3)

I could say that the display is the strongest selling point of this device. I love its almost no-bezel screen which is the current trend in smartphone design nowadays. The screen is also crisp, bright and somehow viewable under direct sunlight.

The 5.5 inch screen is great for watching movies, viewing photos and browsing. The split screen feature is also a plus, though not all apps are applicable. The phone also has this MiraVision feature that lets you adjusts the image and video color contrast on screen. (Similar to Samsung’s adaptive display)

Software

The phone is quiet an offer as it runs stock Android Nougat out of the box. One downside of the Flare P1 Plus is that it has lots of Cherry Mobile bloatware apps, pop-up ads appear randomly on screen and they won’t go off unless you disable them.

Some of this bloatware apps are the Cherry Play, Funclub, Prepaid, Enjoy, etc. Disable or uninstall these apps and your phone is now ad free.

Camera

The camera is a letdown even though it’s the phone’s selling point . It produces mediocre output and not so sharp images. If you have a shaky hands, expect for more blurred photos. It doesn’t offer the manual mode like most other smartphones, but you can still tweak the white balance, exposure, sharpness etc. on the camera settings.

The biggest disappointment is the dual rear camera. It’s not really bokeh, honestly. We’ve scene the portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus and it’s really amazing but with Flare P1 Plus, it’s a different story.

It is more of a tilt-shift effect rather than bokeh. It might look crisps at first glance on the phone screen but zooming in the photo will show you the actual quality; washed-out and grainy images.

Below are some of the photos I took with my Flare P1 Plus with minor tweaks (brightness, color saturation and sharpness) for photography purposes. (and please forgive my selfie, lol)

 

 Performance

With one week of use, I’ve experienced a bit of lag with simultaneous switch between my daily driver and gaming apps, but it’s very very light. The 2GB of RAM seems to be enough for moderate use and I guess that apps on Android Nougat are well optimized.

Battery 

The battery lasts for almost a day with heavy usage (wifi, data mode, phone calls and messaging, streaming, gaming etc). The phone’s charging time is a bit slow, it takes 3 hours to fully charge the battery with 15% of power remaining.

Issues and Troubleshooting

I had an image retention issue with my Flare P1 Plus. I almost have it back but I found an online solution by installing a 3rd party app called Blue light and it got fixed. Another issue I had is the accessory, the tempered glass that Cherry Mobile provides won’t fit on the actual phone, it really ruined the aesthetic of the device.

Conclusion
Overall, I think this phone is a great value for money. For only 6k pesos, you’ll be enjoying the latest Android software in the market (atm), fast fingerprint scanner, good IPS display with thin bezels, decent battery and smooth performance on light to moderate usage of applications.

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This phone could’ve been better if Cherry Mobile added a wide angle lens on the rear camera instead of bokeh, and a 32GB internal storage. Nevertheless, I’m a happy Flare P1 Plus user. 🙂

Video Hands on

Galaxy Note 3 Review: Note Worthy

HeaderYee!! My Note 3 and I celebrated our first month-sary and personally, it’s still one of the best phone in the market. I bought my Note 3 last April 25, 2014 via Kimstore at a humble price of Php 25k ($580) (less than 10k compare to the ones they sell at the mall).

DSC_9052DSC_9063Note 3 is a multimedia device packed with advance and boast worthy features. (Air View, Air Gesture, S-Beam, Smart Gesture, Smart view etc.) Though most of these features are cool, it is not applicable on my lifestyle and often function well, making me to turn these off to save more battery. (Haha)

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DSC_9071Its ginormous size is not pocket friendly but light weight. The vivid 5.7 AMOLED screen is a pleasure to the eye, so if you love watching movies on your mobile device, this is a must-purchase gadget.

Screen comparison test: From Left: Samsung Galaxy Player, Cherry Mobile Omega HD, Galaxy Note 3, Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt.

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What I really like about my Note 3 is its thin bezel, leather-like feel on the back casing, and most of all, the S-Pen. The S Pen is really pressure sensitive, it’s great for artist like I for doodling and sketching when you’re bored. (Hoho) plus Samsung’s new Air Command is quite useful (This is only available when SPen is activated).

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Camera is great with 13 megapixel of resolution, but night shots taken from the main camera seems to be faded and wash out. Front camera is okay because of the BSI technology (good at taking pics at dark environment), but I love taking selfies on my Cherry Mobile more than this device. (Haha)

Taking videos is also great with this device. It has a 4K resolution which is not available on DSLR yet and a slow motion effect that is fun when shooting.

Sample photos taken from Galaxy Note 3:SampleDSC_9139The Music Player is almost perfect if Samsung will has made this device with stereo speaker. Anyways, moving on its default music player app, bunch of presets can be loaded. I can also view the lyrics of the song I am listening. (Finally! My Galaxy player won’t allow me see the lyrics, this feature has been on the market since GS3? I think.)

DSC_9121Gaming experience is a pleasure on note 3 because of its 32Gb memory (26Gb in actual) and its 3gb of ram. So far, I don’t have any experience of lag or force close on most of the 3D games I am playing.

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Note 3 is quite complex at first but you’ll discover new features as you use it. (But in my case, I have to watch some tutorial and tips on youtube. Haha) All in all, you can see my verdict below.

Rating

 

Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0 (Preview)

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Finally, I’m an official Cherry Mobile user. Some people might be hesitant on switching to this brand, but this is worth trying.

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I bought mine last Friday (Oct 25), and had it back at the store on Saturday (Oct 26). Yes, the unit I got has a factory defect. Most of the reviews I’ve bump online has this same problem of dead pixels , so future buyers, be aware. My unit has 2 dead pixel  which is unnoticeable on white areas. These dead pixels are mainly visible on gray and dark areas. Moving forward, Cherry Mobile replaced the unit. I’ve had it check thrice to make sure there’s no defect on the unit I got.

What I really love about this phone is its classy look. It doesn’t look cheap at all. I got mine for only Php 7,999 (original price of 8,999) due to CM’s Christmas sale. On their FB page it is mentioned that the unit has a free case, but the staff on the store said that the promo will start on December, so I had to buy my own jelly case which is not that much to the pocket. Anyway, below are my preview pics of the phone..