In case you missed it, Cherry Mobile had been teasing a new device on their Facebook page, calling it the #GameChanger. Now it’s finally here and it has been revealed as the much-awaited Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0. This time, it comes with a quad core processor but still retains the Php3,999 that made its predecessor an instant hit among budget-minded smartphone buyers last year. So what’s the difference between the two?
Design and Construction
If there’s anything that’s immediately noticeable about the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0, it’s the sleek design and build quality. It’s noticeably slimmer than the first Flare despite having the same size screen and the glossy finish is attractive too. The original Flare had a matte finish that didn’t attract a lot of fingerprints though, but I’ll still give it to the Flare 2.0 because of solid construction and overall sleek look. These days, the original Flare is unmistakeable as an entry level phone at first glance while the Flare 2.0 can at least pass itself as a midrange phone.
Both the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 and its predecessor feature 4″ WVGA IPS displays. However, there was some controversy as to whether the original Flare really sported an IPS display because the viewing angles weren’t as good as expected. Whether that was the case or not, the Flare 2.0 can’t be said to have those problems. The colors were crisp and the viewing angles as wide as you could expect, with little whitewashing when viewed from an angle of 45 degrees off-center.
The original Flare was powered by a 1.2GHz dual core Snapdragon MSM8225 processor. What powers the Flare 2.0 is the Snapdragon MSM8225Q, which basically just a quad core version of the dual core MSM8225. More cores will allow better performance during multi-threaded operations, but otherwise, it’s the same Cortex-A5 cores at work on either phone.
The Flare 2.0 performed quite well as far as I could tell. I didn’t have the benefit of a benchmark application that I could run when I had my hands on time with it, but it was very fast and responsive. Project Butter might have something to do with that, but overall, it performed as a budget quad core phone should.
RAM and Storage
Like its predecessor, the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 features a 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM configuration. The limited RAM wasn’t that much of an issue on the original Flare since dual core phones with 512MB RAM were the norm at the time, but since the Flare 2.0 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, RAM will be on shorter supply. If you’re a heavy multitasker or widget user, you might find the Flare 2.0 stuttering a bit every now and then. Just try not to task the phone too much by running a lot of applications at a time or filling multiple screens with your favorite widgets.
Both the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 and its predecessor come with 5mp autofocus rear-facing cameras and VGA front cameras. The Flare 2.0 does benefit from the updated stock camera app of Jelly Bean but I wasn’t able to tell just how good the shots were. The original Flare had a surprisingly respectable camera that performed quite well, even in low light. Here’s hoping that the Flare 2.0’s camera will be just as good.
If the first Flare opened our eyes as to just how much Php3,999 could get you, you could say that the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 is a reawakening. Yes, there are other quad core phones in the market that use the same Qualcomm 8225Q SoC, 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM configuration, and they’re even priced within striking distance of the Flare 2.0. However, the Flare 2.0 wins out because of the extra attention to the build quality and design whereas other budget quad core contenders come off as looking truly entry-level.
Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 Specs
- 4″ WVGA IPS display (480 x 800 resolution, 233ppi)
- 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm MSM8225Q processor
- Adreno 203 GPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage
- GPS with A-GPS
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm headset port
- 1,550mAh battery
- Micro USB port
- Dual SIM functionality with dual standby support
- Price: Php3,999