This new device from the company is just in time for the holidays, together with some of its brothers from the Flare line-up’s refresh.
Like what we have said on our first impression on this device, this thing is a bit on the premium price spectrum.
The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity offers a bezel-less display, premium build, and a powerful processor – but are these characteristics enough to justify its Php12,999 price tag? Let’s figure that out.
Design and Build Quality
The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity definitely has some killer looks. The device is beautifully constructed in metal. And yup, it looks very identical with the iPhone 6/6s, especially on this color that we have, Gray. The only other available variant is Gold. From the curved edges, speaker grills, and the antenna bands, which I’m not sure of all of them are actually working antennas, or just for aesthetic purposes to promote symmetry.
But nonetheless, I love how the back panel is slightly curved at the edges, which is kind of in sync with the display’s glass that melts impressively on the side. Plus, it’s also ergonomic to hold. However, the device has a noticeable weight to it, which made my hand sore after using it for an extended period of time.
And now let us talk about this bezel-less display. This phone has super thin bezels, but the 2.5D glass that is on top of it gives an optical illusion effect that hides the bezels. But despite the pseudo effect, it made the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity look very cool. Swiping images from left to right gives the impression that those photos are really stacked at the back of the device.
Taking a tour we have the said 5.5-inch display on the front, together with the 5-megapixel front-facing camera, the earpiece, proximity and ambient light sensors, and a LED notification indicator. It would have been nice if Cherry Mobile utilized the chin of the device to store capacitive buttons, but instead they opted for on-screen buttons – which is better in terms of a design standpoint.
Left side has the tray that can house either two SIM cards, with the other one slot for a standard-size SIM card, or a microSD card capable of up to 32GB.
The right side has the lock/power button and the volume controls. These buttons are reasonably tactile, with a thin profile. Quite comfortable and easy to press.
At the top, we only have the 3.5mm headphone jack.
At the bottom, we have two major things. First, the USB Type-C port, which really states that Cherry Mobile is towards pushing the Type-C implementation as we’ve already seen on the Cherry Mobile M1. We also have here what looks like two speaker grills. The second set of holes isn’t a real speaker, as the one at the right side is the only one that actually outputs sound. The one at the left actually houses the built-in microphones. Anyhow, the loudspeaker of the Flare Infinity delivers unimpressive performance. The volume is low and the clarity is middling. Also, the grills can be easily covered when using the device on landscape mode, thus making it completely muted.
Overall, the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity looks and feels like a well-crafted device. The all-metal build made it unsurprisingly sturdy, although it made the device noticeably heftier and its unibody design made the battery non-removable.
Other than its “bezel-less” title, the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity’s display also has a lot to brag about in terms of quality. We have a 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS display, which has 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and 401 pixels-per-inch.
Needless to say, the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity’s screen is impressive. Colors are punchy and quite accurate, contrast is decent, and sharpness is on point. A screen of this caliber is perfect not only for media consumption but also for productivity as the large display gives a lot of real estate for anything.
The panel is also protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which means that it can withstand a fair amount of scratches. However, don’t go crazy on testing the glass’ durability. The display is coated to fight the scratches caused by users with butterfingers, or accidentally inserting the device in a pocket filled with coins and/or keys.
Probably the only problem I saw in this department is the screen brightness. The device is a bit hard to use outside as the display panel doesn’t emit that much backlighting. Also, the glass is quite reflective on some occasions.
Performance and Hardware
And just like the Cherry Mobile M1, the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity also has a fingerprint scanner. However, the said sensor here is a little different – in many aspects. First, it’s now located on the right side of the device, just below the lock/power switch, which still makes it easy to reach. You can use your thumb if you’re unlocking the device with your right hand, or your index finger if you’re a lefty.
Another difference is the performance. I was very impressed with the fingerprint scanner of the M1, but the one on the Flare Infinity is a little off at times. There were occasions when the scanner doesn’t recognize my fingerprint, which left me no choice but to use security patterns. A quick software update can hopefully fix this issue. To be honest, it would be better off if they placed it at the back instead of the side.
The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity is powered by the new MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 2.0GHz octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and Mali-T860 GPU.
Processing performance wise, there’s really nothing to complain here. The device is fast and snappy, from day to day task to game titles like Sim City, UFC, Asphalt 8 and much more.
The 4GB of RAM is also working seamlessly on this device. Switching between apps is just as seamless as what you would expect. Moving in between apps doesn’t cause frequent reloading. Instead, it goes back to where we are before leaving it.
Benchmark test results:
Overall, CM Flare Infinity can surely please prospected users who are looking for a device that can cope up with their daily and power needs.
There’s also a large 32GB internal storage, with still an option for expansion of up to 64GB via its microSD card slot. This device definitely has room to accommodate all of your photos and videos. Also, thanks to Android Marshmallow’s Adoptable Storage feature, you can store apps on the external storage.
The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. This software version isn’t the latest one out there, but in my opinion, it’s still one of the best that Android has ever made. Also, I loved how local manufacturers still doesn’t venture in creating and applying their own skins and custom interface in their devices, as all of us know that it only bugs down the device’s overall performance.
But with that said, everything is very familiar with the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity’s interface since Android also didn’t alter the interface that much since the Lollipop version. Instead of an aesthetic overhaul, Google focused on polishing what works and also adding some new and useful features.
For one, the new Now on Tap feature is actually very useful, which can be triggered by tapping and holding the home button and gathers Google searches about anything that is displayed on the screen. Other things that I liked about this one are the full integration of fingerprint scanners, having the ability to save apps on the external storage and the revamped app permissions system.
However, there’s just one thing that I got really annoyed about the Flare Infinity, and that is the advertisements that randomly pops-up on the notifications tab. It would actually give notification alerts as if you were receiving an important message of social media notifications. It pisses me off every time.
The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity has a 16-megapixel BSI PDAF camera with dual-tone flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter.
This is definitely not the best 16-megapixel sensor that I’ve seen on any device, but it was still able to get the job done. Sharpness and details are really there, however colors are a bit on the saturated side. Contrast is okay, and dynamic range is surprisingly impressive.
The Flare Infinity can also shoot 1080p videos, which has great quality but is short on the stabilization. (sample on our video review)
The quality of the photos that the 5-megapixel front-facing camera can produce are also pretty standard. It’s bright, perfect for making video calls, even at low-light scenarios. But the colors and sharpness are on the downside. It can sure take decent selfies, but don’t go crazy on it.
The CM Flare Infinity comes equipped with antennas that are standard in most aluminum and metal devices today. However, all of these aren’t really that fancy; no NFC, latest version of Bluetooth and WiFi, or even a fancy IR blaster. We only found the basics in here and that’s all we really need.
We have 4G LTE support but doesn’t accommodate the 700MHz band. There’s also Bluetooth v4.0 and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. During my tests, all of them worked pretty well. I was able to connect through Smart’s 4G LTE network seamlessly, although speeds really did vary on geographical location. Also, Bluetooth connection from a wireless speaker seems to hold up pretty well, without any noticeable choppiness. I also didn’t encounter any irregularities in connecting through my wireless home network.
The Flare Infinity has a pretty beefy battery inside. The 3000mAh of juice justifies the device’s noticeable weight, which is kind of a good thing. However, because of its unibody design, the battery is non-removable, which may disappoint some power users. But who swaps out batteries in 2016, anyway? With the evolution of fast charging, there’s really no need for that.
But nevertheless, the results I have yielded on my tests were pretty standard. The Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity was able to garner 4-hours of screen-on time. And depending on your usage, the device can last you up to a whole day.
It also needs almost 2-hours of recharging before it can go back to 100%. It is also worth noting that the device tends to increase in thermals when being plugged in, which isn’t really that alarming since we’ve also seen this in other devices.
Yup, for the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity’s Php12,999 price tag, this thing really has a lot to brag about. We were already impressed with the M1, and the company still continues to surprise us.
The large and sharp 5.5-inch display gives a lot of real estate for gaming and productivity, which is also backed up by its powerful octa-core processor and a large capacity RAM. The camera is also pretty decent. Both the USB Type-C port and a fingerprint scanner are very much a big welcome, too.
The bezel-less display is pretty cool to look at. However, it may appear to be just a nonsense gimmick for some.
But the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity is not without its weaknesses. For one, the device’s unibody design may offend power users who are fond on swapping batteries. Screen brightness is also lacking. Also, the fingerprint sensor has a hit-or-miss scenario when scanning. And let us not forget those annoying ad pop-ups that randomly hits the device.
With that all said, I think the Flare Infinity is a good device overall.
Price and availability
However, I do get it. People are still hesitant on spending money on a local device that is in the Php10,000 spectrum. And the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity, which is priced at Php12,999, can be hard to chew for people who are looking for a smartphone at this price range. On this price category, people would prefer on getting a handset from an international and well-known manufacturer.
But nonetheless, there are not a lot of this kind of devices out there (Like, how many devices have you seen that has a bezel-less screen?). For what it offers for the price, it’s only a competition to a few. Plus, I think Cherry Mobile have proven themselves in this past few months, and even years. So if you’re looking for a device in this price range and if you’re a fan of Cherry Mobile, the Flare Infinity should be on your list.
It’s available on all Cherry Mobile stores, kiosks, and authorized dealers nationwide for Php12,990.
Here’s our video review of the Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity
Cherry Mobile Flare Infinity Specs
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Dual-SIM, Dual Standby (micro)
- 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS Bezel-less Display, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- 2.0GHz MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 octa-core processor
- Mali-T860 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB via microSD
- HSPA+, 4G LTE (no 700MHz support)
- Wi-Fi b/g/n, hotspot
- Bluetooth v4.0
- 16-megapixel camera with BSI, PDAF and flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- GPS, A-GPS
- G-sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor
- Fingerprint sensor
- USB Type-C
- 3000mAh non-removable battery