When the Cherry Mobile Apollo came out, it had such a high ppi for its price point, it was impossible that it wouldn’t become a hit. After all, you were getting a Retina-class display with 326ppi for just Php6,999. It was ridiculous! Of course, Cherry Mobile then surprised members of the media last night at their 2013 dealers’ night and revealed the Cherry Mobile Flare HD – soon to be the most affordable HD phone in the market.

What You Get

The Cherry Mobile Flare HD continues the local phone brand’s shift to smaller retail boxes. It’s now 1/3 smaller than their retail boxes from a year ago. Inside, you’ll find the phone, headset, micro USB transfer cable, wall charger, 1,800mAh battery, and user manual. We were also given a complimentary jelly case, but I’m not sure yet if it will be included in the Flare HD’s standard retail package.

Cherry Mobile Flare HD Box Contents

Screen

The Cherry Mobile Flare HD features a 4.3 inch HD IPS display. That results in a pixel density of 341ppi, which is even better than the Apollo‘s already Retina-class display. And because it’s an IPS panel, not only will images be sharp, but the color accuracy and viewing angles will be great as well.

Cherry Mobile Flare HD Start Lockscreen

Performance

In addition, the Flare HD is equipped with a MediaTek MT6589 SoC with a 1.2GHz quad core processor. The flyer that came with the gift-wrapped box says the GPU is a Mali 400, however, running the phone through a benchmark tool reveals that graphics are handled by a PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, which is typically paired with the MT6589. Couple that with 1GB RAM and you get a phone that’s just as capable as local flagship phones of a few months ago.

Storage

Storage-wise, you’re only getting 4GB of internal storage, with only 2.68GB being user accessible. That’s further subdivided into 1.2GB for the data partition and 1.48GB for phone storage. It isn’t that much, but if you need the extra storage, you can always expand it via micro SD up to 32GB.

Imaging

The Flare HD is equipped with a 12mp autofocus rear-facing camera and a 5mp fixed focus front camera. The 12mp camera doesn’t make use of a BSI sensor, but it’s still quite capable of producing shots that are good enough to replace most cheap point-and-shoot cameras. The 5mp front camera isn’t all that good though and is simply there to facilitate video calls. It certainly isn’t good enough for taking vanity selfies for your Facebook profile.

Battery Life

Cherry Mobile Flare HD Back Cover and Battery

Powering the Cherry Mobile Flare HD is a 1,800mAh battery. Now, it may seem smaller than you might be accustomed to seeing from other MT6589-equipped phones, but those usually feature screens that measure 5 inches or more. Such phones generally have 2,000mAh batteries or better, but keep in mind that the Flare HD has a smaller screen with a lower power draw.

Impressions

No pricing has been set for the Cherry Mobile Flare HD just yet, but folks from their marketing department have confirmed that it will indeed retail for less than the Apollo, which currently sells for Php6,999. Seeing as it inherits the “Flare” name, there is a possibility that this might retail for as low as Php3,999 to as high as Php6.5k, but my guesstimate is somewhere in the Php5-5.5k mark.

To be honest, regardless of how much it sells for, it’s still a pretty good buy as long as it retails for at least Php500 less than the Apollo. You’re getting an even sharper screen, a better looking body, and the same internals that should allow it to handle almost any app or game you throw at it. Thinking of picking up a Cherry Mobile Flare HD? It’s due out in Q1 of 2014. Are you guys excited?

Cherry Mobile Flare HD Specs

  • 4.3″ HD IPS display (720 x 1280 resolution, 342ppi)
  • MediaTek MT6589 SoC with 1.2GHz quad core processor
  • 286MHz PowerVR SGX 544 GPU
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • 12mp autofocus camera with LED flash
  • 5mp fixed focus camera
  • 3.5G/HSPA+
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 1,800mAh battery
  • Pricing and availability: TBA, Q1 2014



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