Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0 Review
Poch Pimentel | On 30, Oct 2013
A little over a month ago, Cherry Mobile made the Burst 2.0 available to the public. At PHP 4,699, the specs aren’t too bad. In fact, it’s arguably one of the best in its price of less than Php5k. But how good is it? Check it out on our full review.
Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0 Specs
- 4.5″ FWVGA display (854 x 480 resolution, 240ppi)
- 1.2GHz Quad-Core CPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal memory, expandable via micro SD up to 32GB
- 5MP camera with LED flash
- 0.3MP front-facing camera
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, HSPA
- Dual SIM
- Android 4.2.1 Jellybean
- 2,000mAh battery
Specs are quite decent, and is in line with its contemporaries with similar price point. However, a lot of you are a bit put off by the 512MB RAM and are understandably concerned about its performance. Here, let me put your worries to rest.
Packaging and Accessories
From my last review (Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0), I’ve stated that I like Cherry Mobile’s packaging, and it still doesn’t disappoint here. Unfortunately, they haven’t changed the sparsity of their included accessories. It’s just the standard headset and a pre-applied screen protector. I wish they included a microSD card, like the way they seem to do with their upcoming releases. I also wish that they’d have better quality control over the screen protector application. My Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0 review unit had so much bubbles that it was distracting.
Design and Build
Overall, I can say that the aesthetics of the Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0 is absolutely great. But, I may be biased here given the fact that I’m a fan of rubberized material, and majority of the phone’s exterior is covered with it. However, I don’t like the shiny plastic that’s used for the rest of the casing, such as the trimmings, etc. The plastic used feels and looks cheap. I would’ve preferred a matte plastic to go with the rubberized material.
That being said, the phone’s outer body seems sturdy, and unlike Flare 2.0’s, it doesn’t scratch easily. The same is true for the screen protector. I’ve been using it for a while now, and I see no visible scratches. It goes without saying that I’m impressed, and that feeling doesn’t stop there.
Button placement is standard fare, with the power button on the right side and the volume rocker on the left. The face contains three soft buttons (always a win for me) arranged in Menu, Home, and Back button placements. The microUSB is still placed at the top, but it no longer bothers me much.
The rear of the Burst 2.0 houses the phone’s main 5MP camera with double LED flash and the loudspeaker. It’s all standard fare, so there’s no point getting much about it. You can yank the rear housing off to get to the battery tray, as well as to the two SIM trays and the microSD slot. Here’s where I find one of the few things that I don’t like about the phone: the SIM trays. Instead of having two separate trays, you have a single space for them, one on top of the other. But it may be an isolated case on my end. I use my main Globe SIM for my review units so that I’ll be able to test the phone aspect extensively. Unfortunately, it’s a microSIM so I had to use an adaptor, and it took me quite a while to not only insert it, but to make the SIM work, because the unusual tray arrangements can easily displace the microSIM from its adaptor. So again, my case is unusual, so I don’t think you’ll have any problems if you use regular SIMs (and yeah, a spare Smart SIM that I inserted in the second tray was hassle-free.
Display and Touchscreen
Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0’s 4.5″ is FWVGA display, meaning it comes with 480 x 854 screen resolution. It’s bright and clear and you won’t have any problem using it. Color reproduction is still the same as phones of this caliber, with colors being inaccurate and muted.
The bigger screen does lend itself well to reading. I still want a bigger screen, though. Given what we have, it’s still good.
Touchscreen controls are smooth and responsive, and should you want to play games on this device, you won’t encounter any problems (provided the phone meets the game’s minimum requirements), or at least I didn’t. It’s also accurate enough that you won’t have problems typing. It’s also able to recognize up to 5 touch points at once, which is always good.
I have to say, I got stellar performance out of the hardware. For those worried about the 512MB: don’t (or at least not so much). I don’t know if the OS had better optimization or what, but I encountered minimal lags, and the few ones I had were encountered playing either Dead Trigger (gets hiccups when I’m getting swarmed by a crapola of zombies) or more casual games like Diamond Dash (no lag whatsoever). Unfortunately, it would run into problems with modern high-profile games such as Dead Trigger 2 (expect a review of this game soon), where I get by the intro, etc, but crashes when loading a mission. My suspicion is, of course, the RAM. For everything else, though, RAM never got in the way (unlike what I encountered in Flare 2.0).
But what’s really surprising is the Burst 2.0’s battery life. It’s absolutely SUPERB! It took a couple of days before the phone begged to be charged and all throughout, it was under constant WiFi, heavy texting, calls, and surfing, and occasional gaming. Of course, if you plan to do more gaming, then that’ll suck the life out considerably.
Also, unlike my last review unit, GPS worked well this time. I also didn’t have problems with Bluetooth.
Another thing I didn’t like about the phone is the paltry storage space, even when compared to its contemporaries. Of the 4GB internal storage space, only a little under 1GB is available for the users. All the more reason why it would’ve been nice to include a free microSD card, as you would really need the extra storage space.
The Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0 makes use of Android Jellybean 4.2.1, and like I said earlier, I’m not sure whether it was optimized for the hardware or not, but it ran very smoothly on this phone. Normal operations yielded a lag-free experience which really surprised me.
For out-of-the-box software, there’s minimal customizations other than the contacts and messaging to accommodate dual-SIM capability, and some pre-loaded Cherry Mobile apps, such as the software Updater that lets you update the firmware OTA. I advise you to update immediately after opening the phone for the first time. At first, I wasn’t able to add my gmail account until I updated the firmware (maybe I should’ve done that to the Flare 2.0 as well, could’ve saved me a lot of headaches). I found a few curiosities, though. For one, it still comes with the TouchPal X keyboard preloaded, but it’s not set as the default keyboard. It’s also missing a few Google Services app, such as Gmail and Chrome. In the latter’s case, it’s replaced by Opera Mini (the default Android browser is still available). However, you can opt to download these missing apps if you wish. For this review, I opted not to and instead use the default ones available to me. I didn’t even change default keyboards anymore.
As a phone, it does very well. Audio clarity is great on good reception. Microphone also does well. I’ve also hadn’t encountered any difficulty sending text messages. Dual-SIM integration is pretty much stable and you won’t have difficulty using that feature.
As an entertainment device, it’s pretty usable, and you’ll be satisfied just as long as you keep your expectations low. I was able to play high-def videos, though, and if you’re coming from 3.5-4″ screen, then the added real estate would be much appreciated. Other than that, if you’ve had Cherry Mobile phones before, then there’s nothing new to see here.
Gaming is as good as it gets on a budget phone, although it really sucks that you can’t play some of the current high-profile games but you’ll be able to play most of the popular titles. That’s where the lack of RAM really stings you but the good thing is the CPU is powerful enough to handle the load. For everything else, the games would run smoothly.
Camera performance of the Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0 is also the same as its CM contemporaries, meaning it’s average at best. I find the flash to be on the weak side, though, but under certain circumstances, it’s actually a good thing. Personally, I prefer taking shots in ambient light (even with my DSLR/MILC) and try avoiding making use of flash unless absolutely necessary. In this case, though, you would appreciate the existence of flash, especially indoors. low light performance is cringe-worthy.
AnTuTu Benchmark is above average for budget phones, netting 13,499 points, putting it above Samsung S2 and LG Optimus 2X. It would’ve been nice if we’re able to see a chart against its contemporaries, though.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0. I especially like two things about it: stability and battery life. It gives a one-two punch combo of impressive performance as a daily driver. For PHP 4,699, it’s worth the moolah. There isn’t much not to like about it, and majority of my caveats are trivial.
The only thorn or an otherwise beautiful rose is the small amount of RAM. Sharing the same amount of RAM as phones that cost PHP 1.5k lower is a let-down, although it compensates with a generous amount of battery power. As stellar as its performance is, it’s not for everybody. I would especially discourage gamers from getting this device, unless you don’t plan on playing high caliber games like Dead Trigger 2 or Real Racing (in-app purchases notwithstanding). However, if you want a stable daily driver with a little more oomph and stellar battery life that won’t obliterate your savings, then I’d highly recommend the Cherry Mobile Burst 2.0.