Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Hands-On Preview
JM Balicano | On 18, Feb 2013
For the past few days, Cherry Mobile had been hyping up a new quad-core device that they plan to release into the market real soon. Today, I got the chance to attend the launch event on behalf of NoypiGeeks to see if I could get some hands on time and photos of whatever they planned to launch.
Well, that device happens to be the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt. It’s a brand new budget Android tablet that retails for the incredibly low price of Php3,999. Yep, that’s no typo. The great thing is, I didn’t just get some hands on time with the Fusion Bolt, they actually gave everyone in attendance a unit that we could keep, which is why I’m able to give you guys a hands on preview so soon!
Update: The OEM device for the Fusion Bolt is not the Ainol Novo Venus after all. It’s the Novo Venus Lite. The Novo Venus sports the ATM7029, which is clocked at 1.5GHz. The Venus Lite is only clocked at 1.1GHz, which matches the Fusion Bolt.
Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Specs
- Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
- 7-inch HD IPS Display, 1280×800 resolution, 216ppi
- 1GHz quad-core Actions Semiconductor ATM7025 processor
- Vivante GC1000+ GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage
- expandable up to 32GB via microSD card
- 2-megapixel main camera
- VGA front camera
- microUSB v2.0
- miniHDMI slot
- Super HD 2160p video support
- 3.5mm audio jack
- 4000mAh Li-Ion battery
Design and Construction
The first thing that’s immediately noticeable about the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt is that it looks nothing like any of the other budget tablets in the same price range that you might see with many of the local small-time sellers. The design is very much reminiscent of the Nexus 7 with its rubberized finish that makes it very easy to hold. It also feels slimmer than any of the budget tablets that I’ve had the chance to try in the past. For something that only costs Php3,999, the Fusion Bolt won’t have any problems passing itself off as a high-end device based on the design alone.
What’s in the Box?
The Fusion Bolt comes in a box that is a bit different from what I’m accustomed to seeing from Cherry Mobile. The boxes of the Flare and Blaze have typically been deep but barely any wider or taller than the phone itself. The Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt’s box is different because it isn’t that deep, and it’s only physically a bit wider to accommodate the micro USB cable in a smaller box beside the tablet itself. The charger comes in a separate box.
Of course, it gets better. Once you turn on the screen, you really will have one of those “wait, this costs what?” moments. The Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt sports a gorgeous 1280×800 IPS display. The high resolution and great color reproduction really allow you to appreciate details, and the viewing angles are pretty good too. There was minimal color shifting when viewed from an extreme angle, and the details barely degraded at all.
The Fusion Bolt looks the part of a high end device, but swiping through the UI was a bit sluggish. Thankfully, this is an Ainol re-brand (Ainol Novo Venus), so I went into the settings to set the performance profile and give things a boost and was able to make things a bit smoother. The sluggishness isn’t that bad, and it’s something you’ll soon forget about once the gorgeous screen and graphics start working their magic on you.
Gaming is satisfactory, with the screen lending a lot to the gorgeousness of the visuals. I played Temple Run 2 and Dead Trigger, and the graphics were gorgeous, although frame rates left a bit to be desired. Everything was still playable, but it seemed as if the high resolution was perhaps tasking the chip too much.
Some of you might be looking for benchmarks, so I ran the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt through Antutu, Quadrant and Nenamark 2. It scored a 5,275 on Antutu, 2,687 on Quadrant and 38.8 FPS on Nenamark 2. Save for the Nenamark 2 scores, which are actually better than the Blaze (26.8FPS) that I recently reviewed on my own personal blog, the benchmarks for the Fusion Bolt aren’t the best. That’s just the effect of having more pixels to push.
Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt First Impressions
The Fusion Bolt performs satisfactorily, but it gets a lot of points for the gorgeous screen, upscale design and solid build quality. The screen is just begging me to play more games on it aside from Temple Run 2 and Dead Trigger, so I’ll see about downloading NOVA 3 and Need for Speed Most Wanted and see how well it fares. Still, at a price of Php3,999, you’re getting so much more than you should.
The Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt isn’t the best gaming tablet, but the frame rates are all playable on the more system intensive games, but if you’re only going to play Temple Run 2 all day on it, then it should do just fine. It is absolutely great for web surfing, reading books and watching movies, which is exactly what I plan to do with mine. I’ll still be putting the Fusion Bolt through the rounds for a full review though, so watch out for that in the next week or so. Look for the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt to become available in the market sometime in March.