Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power Review: With Great Power Comes Great Affordability

Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power

If you read the spec sheet for the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power, it’s easy to get excited, especially with its Php4,999 price tag. You’re getting an octa-core SoC to drive your apps and a monster 4,000mAh battery to keep things going for several days. Of course, specs on paper and the actual user experience are different things altogether. Is the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power really all it’s cracked up to be? Find out in my full review.

What’s in the Box?

The Flare S3 Power comes with all the standard accessories, plus a little extra.

  • Handset
  • Headset with in-line mic
  • Wall charger with 2A output
  • USB transfer cable
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • User manual
  • Introductory card to Cherry Mobile services
  • Screen Protector

With as big a battery as the Flare S3 Power comes with, it’s a good thing it comes with a wall charger that can charge twice as fast. It’s also nice to see Cherry Mobile include a screen protector since accessories for local phones can be a little hard to come by.

Build Quality and Design

Branding and Loudspeaker

Branding and Loudspeaker

As great as the Flare S3 Power looks on paper, it’s not exactly the prettiest looking smartphone you can come by. Much of it has to do with the thickness and weight. This is likely because the body has to accommodate a battery that’s twice as large as anything you’ll typically find inside a phone. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t look that thick thanks to the gold accent strip that runs along the edges of the otherwise all-white body. That doesn’t keep it from feeling chunky though.



Start Lockscreen

The Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power features a 5 inch HD IPS On Cell Display. Many of you should already be familiar with IPS display technology, which is known for its accurate color reproduction and wider viewing angles. Well, in addition to that, the Flare S3 Power’s display also utilizes an On Cell touchscreen panel, which slims down the touchscreen assembly and reduces power consumption since it requires less back-lighting to achieve acceptable brightness levels.

Front Camera

That all sounds good on paper, but thankfully it translates well into the overall user experience. The screen is bright and responsive, and while the HD resolution isn’t the sharpest you can get on a screen this size these days, it’s still sharp enough to preserve a lot of detail.

Software and UI

The Flare S3 Power runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with a few customizations that give it a slightly different look from stock. It comes with its own square stock icons and Cherry Mobile-branded wallpapers. In addition, there are a few pre-installed partner apps that you’ll either love or hate: KakaoTalk, Dr. Booster, and Start. KakaoTalk is a popular chat application that Cherry Mobile has partnered with to pre-install on their phones now. Dr. Booster is developed by Trend Micro and is supposed speed up game performance by freeing up RAM and deleting viruses and junk cache. Start is probably my favorite since it’s actually quite useful as a lockscreen replacement.

Other modifications to the UI can be found in the App Drawer and Notification Shade. The App Drawer has been tweaked so that Google services appear first while the rest of the apps are alphabetized. It’s a little off-putting at first, especially when you’re used to finding apps that start with “A”, “B” or “C” on the first page. The Notification Shade has also been modified so you don’t have to reach up all the way to the upper right corner to switch between notifications and toggles. The modifications don’t appear to have slowed down navigation although some of it does take some getting used to.


Under the hood of the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power beats the heart of a MediaTek MT6592M SoC with the CPU clocked at 1.4GHz. It’s slightly underclocked versus the 1.7GHz MT6592, but is still capable of delivering great all around performance. In addition, you also get a Mali 450 GPU to drive your games, to go along with 1GB RAM for basic multitasking needs. So how does the Flare S3 Power compare with the competition? Let’s take a look at the benchmark results from Antutu, Vellamo, and 3DMark.

For the price of an entry level phone, you’re getting a smartphone that performs along the lines of a Xiaomi Redmi Note or a Nexus 4. And considering its battery life, it might even be better. Of course, synthetic benchmarks aren’t the definitive test for performance, but they’re a great place to start. And the Flare S3 Power compares quite well with some popular phones.



The rear camera of the Flare S3 Power is equipped with a Sony IMX219 sensor and an LED flash. The camera on the Flare S3 Power is advertized as a 13mp snapper, however, from what I’ve read about the IMX219 sensor, it’s effective resolution is only 8mp, meaning if you shoot a 13mp image, you’re ending up with an 8mp shot that’s been interpolated up. Anyway, the image quality initially wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but an OTA update quickly fixed the bugs and now I’m reasonably satisfied. Feel free to check out the camera samples.





Product Photography

Entertainment and Gaming

With Headphones

Thanks to a reasonably good screen and a capable SoC, the Flare S3 Power functions well as a multimedia player and gaming machine. The phone is certainly capable of playing Full HD videos without a hitch and can play some 2K formats as well.

As for gaming, it’s certainly capable of running the most demanding titles that can be found in the Play Store. Just don’t expect the best frame rates or graphics on games that really push the SoC. I played a couple games on the Flare S3 Power, namely Relic Run and Dead Trigger 2. The Flare S3 Power can run Dead Trigger 2 on medium graphics with a reasonable amount of responsiveness while there’s a small noticeable delay between swipes in Relic Run.

Battery Life

With its 4,000mAh battery, the Flare S3 Power can run for days. On my first day of using it as my primary phone, I played around with it a lot, but settled back to my normal usage habits afterwards. After a couple of full charges, the phone has so far managed to last more than 3 days before needing to be plugged in again! Of course, I don’t use mobile data a lot, just WiFi for reading news and playing an occasional game.

Flare S3 Power with Separate Back Cover

Unfortunately though, the Flare S3 Power’s battery appears to be non-removable. Actually, the battery is really just covered up by a soft protective sheet and anyone could probably just peel it off. However, if you’re concerned about the warranty, you might not want to try it. That you can’t swap batteries is a bit of a downer, but it’s not like Cherry Mobile makes replacement batteries that accessible anyway.

So Should You Buy the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power?

Flare S3 Power with Box 2

With a price tag of just Php4,999, the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power offers ridiculously good value. You’re getting a reasonably good display, a capable octa-core processor, and battery life for days! The only thing I don’t like about it is it’s a bit chunky, but it’s easy to overlook considering the size of the battery being crammed into the body. If you want to forget the life of a wall-hugger, the Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power is an awesome phone for the money.

Cherry Mobile Flare S3 Power Specs

  • 5″ HD IPS On-cell display (720 x 1280 resolution, 294ppi)
  • 1.4GHz MediaTek MT6592M octa-core processor
  • Mali 450 GPU
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13mp autofocus rear-facing camera with LED flash and Sony IMX219 sensor
  • 5mp front camera
  • 3.75G/HSPA+
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Price: Php4,999

About The Author

Back when I started MobileTechPinoy in 2012, phablets weren't a thing yet. I enjoyed the stares I got from iPhone owners whenever I whipped out my Samsung Galaxy Note at the time. I'm much more budget-conscious these days though and am perfectly fine with using phones from any of our locally brands.

  • Adz Dy Full HD

    If it weren’t for the battery I probably won’t be buying this. If it keeps up with its claim of lasting for days, I’ll definitely get this as I’m not much of a heavy user in games and stuff.

  • Jared Pasco

    Ma fix ba ng OTA update ang rear cam?
    Tnx hehehe

    • JMBalicano

      Yung issue with the cam nung una is nagcacrash yung camera app pag kumukuha ng HDR shots. Pati normal shots, parang hindi maganda yung post-processing. Then after inupdate ko, na-fix naman ang issue and naging serviceable na yung shots. Any issue in particular sa cam na may concern ka?

      • Bhevzkie Baladad

        panu pu i uupdate ung sa camera nya t.y

  • Aries

    Maguupdate po ba sya into lollipop?

    • JMBalicano

      No news on this, pero I doubt it

  • pwede ba nba2k14 dito sa flare s3 power kung pwede bibili na ako

    • JMBalicano

      Hi, wasn’t able to test with NBA 2K14, pero kaya naman sguro ng processor/GPU nya.

      • nhevieguisona

        How to fix po nang no command sign ng cherry flare S3,power. Pls help

      • Cie Chua

        sir pa help naman po need an answer right away, ilang oras po ba ung initial charging nung FS3 POWER?

    • Alvin Bodollo

      Kaya po yan. Pero hindi niya kaya 2k15

      • Zocoro Zian

        meron b kau alam n emulator para laruin ang nba2k14..or kung may iba a application para malaro s android..thank u god bless

    • Alvin Bucad MaraΓ±a

      Kaya nya ang nba2k14..nalalaro ko sya dito sa s3 power,smooth nmn laruin

      • jumpMan

        bakit po sa akin always nag hahang then mag eexit na..di ako makatapos ng isang game sa nba 2k14..flare s3 power din gamit ko..pls help

  • fernando lapid

    sir alin ba mas ok flare s3 power or ung my phone rio2..ung wil last atleast for 2 yrs.tnx

  • cristina

    Hi . regarding po dun sa rear cam , pano po maaayos for better quality?

  • Jefferson Puhawan

    I tried to play with flare s3 this past weekend and for me the battery is good with almost 1 day (games, data, wifi and music/audio)

    i also tried to idle the device for 12 hrs and it only cause 1% of the battery,
    and the features are reasonable for the price

    no regrets with cherry flare s3 power

  • Joyce Ann Principe Juno

    wla bang ilaw ung pinaka screen nia ung pang back

  • Joshua

    Sir I would like to ask. If the SDcard also expandable to 32gb?

    • JMBalicano

      Yes po πŸ™‚

  • Bhevzkie Baladad

    pls help me kung panu ku iuupdate about dun sa camera nya t.y

  • Mark

    Yun pong touch nya. Dapat 10 multitouch 7 lang. Then pag nakatouch ka sa may upper side, di ka na pwede mG touch ng iba. Or mawawala touch mo sa notification panel. Kaya pag landscspe games lugi pag yung control nass left side yung movement. May fix kaya to?

  • michael adinorst

    Hi sir jm baket po ung flare s3 power ku namamatay sya kpag may sasagutin aku n twag as in total blackout sya then khit anu pindot ku s screen or s button ng on and off wala pa rin di nmn sya lowbat. Ggwin ku para maturn on ang cp ku nakapindot lng ng matagal ung on and off button then magreset n sya ok n ulit. Kaso ganun scenaryo ulit kpg may ttwag. Please help nmn

    • ebok

      di mo ba binasa ang book manual? hayz pinoy talaga, ang tawag nyan ay sensory dectection it means kapag sumagot ka ng calls automatically nag turn off ang screen pero yung ka call mo andyan parin, ang purpose ng blacklight mode na yan ay para maka save ng battery percentage ng phone. kapag inilayo mo ang screen sa tenga mo kusang iilaw ito ulit. gets mo?

      • john

        ebok, yung cp ang namamatay, hindi yung screen lang, hay ang ibang pinoy talaga, nagmamagaling, hindi iniintindi ang binabasa.

        • tsaririth

          Tama. Ganito din nangyayari sa phone ko. Akala ko nasira na ung screen kasi hindi talaga mag on kahit tapos na ung call. Ilang minutes pa bago mag on ulit

    • enuhj

      tangalin mo yung tempered glass mo.. natatakpan yung sensor

    • Rob

      Sir naayos na po ba yung unit nyo? Ganto dn nagyari sakin kakabili ko lng

    • curiosity

      kpag gnyan po.,sira n ung sensor nya.,kc dinala ko nnaman ung flare s3 power ko s technician.,sbi nya,sira n raw ung sensor kya ang ginawa nya, tinggal nya un at pinalitan ng bgo.,napansin ko kpag naiipit ang flare s3 power, nasisira xa.,at dhil lumalaki n ang problema pti gastos q sa flare s3 power, ngpalit na ko ng unit.

  • Danniel Bautista

    meron ako nito, tanong lang, wla talaga syang calendar? thanks

  • Kenneth Dulanas Base

    pwede rin ba sa video calling?

  • Joemari Talisik

    GoodEvening po. Flare S3 Power user po ako. Concern ko lang po yung sa Battery nang Cp ko. Bakit ganun naka idle lang siya pero tuloy-tuloy po ang pag drain nito. Sa battery po ba siya may depekto? Ano po ang dapat kong gawin? Salamat po.

  • Juvy A.

    Just bought FS3 Power yesterday. However, when I charged it it seems charging pero hindi nadadag dadagan yung battery percentage. 3-4 hours 5% pa din.
    So I thought baka issues lang sa reading ng percentage – pero after 2-3 minutes, nag empty na. -.-

    • Mark Christian

      Pawarranty mo na

      • Juvy A.

        e malayo po kase yung store na pinag bilhan ko. baka meron kayong ma susuggest na work around?

  • curiosity

    I have this flare s3 power phone for a month palang pero ngayon di ko na siya magamit kasi bigla nlng nag power off khit 76% pa ang battery then when I tried to turn it back on, my phone just keeps flashing the “Flare S3 Power” start up thing but wont go any further (mgflash siya ng “flare s3 power tpos mamatay tpos mgpaflash ulit ung logo).,at dhil nga ndi nman ntatnggal ang bttery nito, wla akong ibang alam na gagwin ko kundi ang mgpress and hold nlng s power button sa pagbbkasakali ng mgbubukas siya pro wlang nangyari.,I’ve even tried i-press and hold ung power button at volume keys pra sna i-reset ko nlng pro wla prin.,any suggestion po na mkkatulong pra maayos ko tong phone?,pls po.,wait ko reply nyo. thank u in advance πŸ™‚

    • Alvin Bodollo

      Try niyo mag flash ng stock rom. Join kayo sa group sa fb ng Flare S3 power. Mas matutulungan kayo don.

      • curiosity

        slamat po sa reply kuya πŸ™‚ ngresearch po ako sa net kung pno yan gwin pro wla po akong mkita so ang ending is Cellphone Technician.,Thanks again. God Bless you πŸ™‚

    • chickenidea

      this also happened to my power. i bought it last May pa. and just after a week, nag shutdown cya kahit di naman low battery. i also tried pressing the power button for a few times pero wala’ng nangyayari. i tried plugging it baka lowbat lang pero di rin nag chacharge. i left it for say, 2 days, after nun, i plugged it again, ayun, nag charge then i pressed the power button and voila! it worked. but this happened again last monday, pero di na talaga cya nag charge even after 5 days na. i’m getting worried. all my contatcs are there :/

      • curiosity

        ung phone ko po 1week ng ganon.,naisip ko nrin gwin yang ginawa mo
        kso wlang nangyari..kya malamang sa malamang dadlhin ko nlng un unit s
        Service Center or Cellphone technician ksi bka lalo lng msira kpag
        pinilit ko..

        • chickenidea

          same here dude. may warranty pa naman ‘yun kasi less than a year pa. ewan ko lang ung kelan ko pa yun makikita ulit, sabi kasi nu’ng service center baka 2-3 months pa daw.

    • Chuck Madick

      baka clone yun -_-

      • curiosity

        Cherry Mobile na nga, clone pa?,LOLs.,my phone is up and running na po ulit.
        It was just a power issue but has already been fixed months ago. thanks
        for your comment though :p

  • ian


  • Alvin Joven

    Ano po pede gawin sa CP FLARE s3 power. Kasi po lahat ng apps ko kusang nagsstopped kaya po Hindi Magalit.. Tnry ko na pong factory reset at hard reset, pero ganun pa Rin po.. Any suggestion po.. Thanks..

  • sarah jane

    guys , i need your help . kapag kase tumawag ako or may tumawag sa akin , yung cellphone biglang mag OFF . tapos continue naman yung tawagan , peru pag nag END CALL , hindi na ma BUKSAN yung cellphone , kailangan mo pa siyang eeh ON , para ma BUKSAN . i need ANSWER guys . plsssss help

    • Walter Lingon

      reprogram lang po yan, nangyayari po yan madalas sa mga android. ganyan din po ako dati sa myphone

      • tsaririth

        Same here. Kala ko sira na phone ko. Pag may tumawag hindi na naga on ung screen it takes minutes para mag on na ulit ang screen. Paano to?

        • Cla-Cla Casandra

          baka merong tempered glass na screen guard phone mo? minsan kasi ganyan ang nagiging prob sa tempered glass guard. ganyan ang nangyari sa akin dati

          • Kathleen Mayor

            ganto din saken ano po ggwin

          • Cla-Cla Casandra

            Tanggalin mo yung tempered glass. Wag mo ng lagyan ng tempered glass.

    • Gerard

      Ganyan din sa akin magheadset ka kapag may tawag or tatawag un lang solusyon sa akin eh dna xa nagblablack out kaso minsan nakakalimutan ko hahaha

  • Naska Vallener Gaon

    San po pwede mag order ng flares3 power baterry kasi po ung technician na pinuntahan ko eh naitapon na daw nya ung original na baterry.

  • Yen

    How long po dapat yung initial charging ng Flare s3 power?

  • Angelo Arroyo

    i bought FS3P last 2 months ago.. and maganda naman siya so far. still wala pa ding nag oocur na problem sa Phone ko.. minsan naglalagg. pero ok naman.. no regrets on buying it.. ang di lang maganda sa FS3Power ay yung Ram niya. XD octacore na 1gb RaM hahaha. but so far.. it is affordable, and reliable.. nasa tamang pag gamit din kasi. πŸ™‚

  • Kayzel Paclibar Parungao

    nag update ako ng systen thru ota. From kitkat to lollipop. Anyare is namamatay na sya agad after mag flash nung logo ng chery. What happened? Angagawen ? Please help! Flare s3 lite po .

  • A.l. Luig




  • Jerome Armentano

    pwede po ba ma.change ang battery ng Flare S3 Power incase masira..Like madali ng malobat?

  • Raffy Ramos

    Kung ok po sya flare s3power na po bibilhinko.:D

  • Arlyn Joy Altar

    Hi, I bought a new flare S3 power cherry mobile. Just today, my cellphone got No Command. What’s the meaning of that? And I cannot open it anymore… Do I need to change this immediately to there company where I bought? Please I need solutions to recover this problem….Thank you.

  • Jhay Pee

    .. kakabili ko lng khapon ng cmfs3 power .knina habang nka charge my tumawag sken nung inaccept ko ung call bigla namatay ung phone ,d ko na ma open..tpos nka on ung redlight ng notification sa taas..

    • Kathleen Mayor

      ako rin po :'( naayos nyo napo ba ung sa inyo?

    • mae

      na fix na po ba yung sayo? kakabili ko lang din , wala pang 1 month ganyan din ang issue. akala ko nung una sira kaya pinapalitan ko pero same pa rin

    • mae

      may screenprotector or tempered glass ba yan sayo? sakin meron, pag tinanggal ko, bumabalik yung screen niya

  • edwardesu

    Kamusta po battery life ng flare s3 power sa clash of clans? Thanks

    • AndzCloud

      4hrs-6hrs playing.. Android 5.1 sakin..

  • Bry Espeleta

    Hi! I just bought s3 power today. when i set up my sim card ™. ang bagal ng mobile 2g lang pala. panu gawin 3g. thanks po

    • AndzCloud

      try mo nasa setting lng ng simcard 2g/3g

  • elijah j.

    They copied the design on this one from sony xperia z series.

  • MrDee USERS

    How to fix po nang no command sign ng cherry flare S3,power yung naka rest na android? pa help naman po

  • Jobhel Marquez

    ano bang gagawin kapag nabasa
    nabasa kc yung sakin ayaw na bumukas bagong bile ko lng wla pang 1month

  • Dhey-Ann Gabarda

    Itatanong ko po sana kung downgradable sya.. Kasi in-upgrade ko sya from kitkat o lollipop, but then again… Nagsimula na mag-hang and log. Pwede po ba sya ibalik sa kitkat ulit?

  • maine jaime

    hello, i do wireless update to lollipop. where can i find the mobile data? and one more thing, before i update to lollipop, my mobile data doesnt connect even i have a internet load for 1month. i bought my phone when i
    om still in the philippines. now that im on qatar, mobile data doesnt work. please help. thanks. 😊

  • Aira Balajadia

    Hi. Pano ko po mafifix yung settings unfortunately stopped? Thankyou.

    • Aira Balajadia

      Pahelp naman po thankyou