Cherry Mobile recently released the Rave, an affordable smartphone for budget-minded users. It sports a 3.5″ capacitive HVGA screen, a 1GHz CPU, and runs Android 2.3 out of the box. At Php3,299, that means the Cherry Mobile Rave is directly competing with Cherry Mobile’s own W100, which also currently sells at the same SRP. That makes comparisons unavoidable between the two. So which one is better? Let’s discuss the main differences between the two.
Both the Cherry Mobile Rave and W100 both sport 3.5 inch HVGA screens. That gives them a higher pixel density at 165PPI when compared to the likes of the popular Optimus L3 and Galaxy Y. However, the W100 has the edge because it utilizes an IPS display, which results in wider viewing angles and better color reproduction. The Cherry Mobile Rave only uses a basic LCD unit, so images might be okay when you look at it head on, but will start to exhibit a lot of ghosting as soon as you start looking at it from an angle.
While I typically don’t expect much from the sub-Php5k price point, every little thing you can get matters. The Cherry Mobile Rave only sports a 2mp fixed focus shooter for basic on the go photography. Looking to take some self-portraits? You’ll also have to flip the Rave around to take shots of yourself with the primary shooter since there’s no secondary camera. The W100 has the edge once again since it sports a slightly better 3.2mp camera, although the quality between the two won’t be that obvious. Image quality is impacted more by the quality of the sensor after all, and not the megapixel count. At least the W100 has the potential to take better shots. Oh, and if you want to take self-portraits or make video calls, the W100 also has a front-facing VGA camera to take care of that.
RAM is an important specification because it affects just how well your Android phone can multitask. What I liked about the W100 is that it had a decent chunk of it – 512mb to be exact. This allowed it to multitask more efficiently and keep apps running in the background so that they wouldn’t have to reload when you got back to them. The Cherry Mobile Rave only has 256mb of RAM, which is kind of a disappointment these days.
Build quality is especially important, particularly with our propensity to drop our phones every now and then. Even my recently bought Cherry Mobile Blaze has already been dropped 3 times, and I haven’t even had it for a month! The W100 really suffered in this area. Sure, it has some pretty decent specs for the price, but it looks like the ODM had to cut some corners in the build quality department. Build quality is levels better on the Cherry Mobile Rave, and it has a much more solid look and feel to it. In contrast, the W100 handled like a toy in my hands.
So Which One Should You Buy?
The answer to this question will depend on who you are buying the phone for. If you are a responsible adult who knows how to handle your phones with care but haven’t yet owned a smartphone, the W100 is for you. The better specs will provide a better overall experience that maximizes most of what Android 2.3 has to offer.
While the W100 has the specs fight won, hands down, the build quality isn’t something you’d be confident with if you wanted to give this to your child as their first phone. The case is much more prone to scratches, and while it uses thick plastic, it’s also the rather brittle kind. The Cherry Mobile Rave is a much better option for your kid, or perhaps an elder who isn’t too technically inclined and is only looking for a basic smartphone. The Rave has a much more durable build that can take a beating if it needs to.
It’s curious that Cherry Mobile would release such similar phones at the same price point. They both run Gingerbread 2.3 and come with 3.5 inch screens after all. Still, it’s possible that they are already in the process of phasing out the W100 and want to replace it with a more durable, entry level option in the Cherry Mobile Rave.