Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hankering for a Phone: Cherry Mobile Flare

The malls are playing holiday jingles, the weather's getting colder, sales are getting more prevalent and everyone's breaking out their decorations. Christmas starts with the Ber months. And it seems that two of the bigger local mobile brands are breaking out new models. MyPhone recently came out with the A878 last month, and should be officially the A898 by end of this month. Not to be outdone, Cherry Mobile has recently launched the Flare.

(photo credit: Pinoytechblog.com)

The Dual-SIM Cherry Mobile Flare will be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, on a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon S4 processor, with Adreno 203 GPU. It'll run with 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage (though I'm betting you'll be able to use less than that for sure) expandable to 32GB via microSD. It'll be packing a 5MP autofocus cam with LED flash, and will have a VGA front facing camera for video chatting. The 4.0 inch WVGA IPS capacitive display will more than likely have a plastic covering instead of glass. It will reportedly go for Php 3,999 and be available by the middle of next month. 

(photo credit: Pinoytechblog.com)

Considering the price, it will render the W100 obsolete and trigger buyer's remorse in a lot of users. My hope though is that the display will be better than the W100's clearly low quality displays, and hopefully not plagued by the touch-screen issues while charging.

Why buy this phone? Well, it's smaller than the MyPhone a898 but pretty much has the same specs, but at just over half the price. I haven't handled it yet, but if it's anything like the W100, you can almost be assured that the feel will be a bit plasticky, whereas the A878 and A898 are of decent quality for twice the price. But hey, if you consider the specs, you really do get bang for your buck. 3G connectivity with a 4.0 inch screen with a dual core processor running Android ICS... for 3,999 pesos. Wow.

If, and only if, the display's decent and the touch screen doesn't get buggy when the charger is plugged in, I'd probably get this. However, since the MyPhone A878 has both been rooted and now have Custom Roms available (and I assume that the same techniques and Roms will work on the A898), I may think twice.

Cherry Mobile Flare Specs at a glance:
1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon S4 processor
4.0" WVGA (800x480) IPS capacitive display
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Adreno 203 GPU
512MB of RAM
4GB of internal storage
microSD up to 32GB
5MP autofocus camera with LED flash
VGA front-facing camera
Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800/1900MHz WCDMA 900/2100Mhz
HSPA+ 21Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
GPS with aGPS support
Bluetooth 2.1
microUSB 2.0
Li-lon 1600mAh 1500 mAh battery
131×68.2×11.3mm (dimension)
152g (weight)

Would anyone who gets to handle this unit test it out with a charger attached to it and let me know in the comments how it goes. Thanks!

UPDATE: Several netizens have pointed out that this is actually the a rebranded Huwawei unit, the Huawei Ascend G330.


If you check the specs, they're pretty spot on. The only difference you'd notice is that there is no mention in any G330 spec sheet of the Huawei G330 as being dual-sim, dual standby. It could be more of a clone than a rebrand. Plus the LED flash is located under the camera lens in the G330, while in the Flare, it is to the right.

It seems to be more like the Karbonn A9+ which comes out of India.

   However, if it really is made by Huawei, I've known several people who've owned Huawei phones before, and they seem sturdy enough. I guess I'll have to wait until I get my hands on one and find out for myself. (10.26.12)

UPDATE (10.31.12)
Closer inspection and other reader comments from different blogs have convinced me that the CM Flare is the Karbonn A9+, however with a bigger battery capacity (the A9+ comes with a 1420 mAh batt VS the 1600 mAh 1500 mAh on the Flare). Other web sources say that the front camera on tha A9+ is a 1.3MP cam, while the one on the Flare is just VGA. Either the other sources are getting it wrong, or CM is marketing it wrong. But what the heck....



If you want to check out actual Karbonn A9+ user reviews from their Indian owners, check this page out. It seems that the owners who cared to post their reviews about the A9+ are generally happy. Mind you, the phone seems to have been only recently released in India earlier this month as earliest user review stated they bought it then. But if it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for us. And at Php 3,999, you get what you pay for, but you'll be getting quite a fair bit. I wonder if anyone has rooted this yet.

Local Blogger Alexie, from thetechnoclast.com, has been able to unbox a flare and test it out. Check the video here. He's noticed two bugs on his unit so far. The gyro sensor doesn't seem to be calibrated correctly, or at least not for Temple Run. I believe that the sensor can be recalibrated, though I have no idea how to do this in ICS. Another thing he noticed was that, when Skyping, the picture of himself in the screen is upside down, however the video is right-side-up as far as his Skypee is concerned so not a real issue. Whether this will be an issue when it comes to the retail units remains to be seen. Better test your unit thoroughly before leaving the store. edited 11.03.12

UPDATE 11.03.12
   I've been to at least two Cherry Mobile stores the past few days and I've noticed that a lot of people are looking for the Flare. Well people, according to the sales staff, the Flare will be available mid-month / 2nd week / around November 15. :) For those like me who can't wait, well, I'm sorry to say we'll really all have to. But only just a little while more.


2 comments:

Athena Jeunnesse Mae M. Tria said...

ang tagal naman kasi ng flare huhu

Jifel Caringal said...

akala ko 3G din ang CM Flare??
bakit po wla sa specs nya??