Locally manufactured phone powered by Google’s Android Go? Sounds pretty promising, right? That’s Cherry Mobile bringing you the first ever Android Go Edition entry-level smartphone within your reach through Flare P3 Plus.
This is not the first time that Cherry Mobile is teaming up with Google for the Android initiative. Previously, they partnered to produce the Cherry Mobile One, which became one of the best low-end Android smartphones of its time. Now, the companies are back at it again but with Android Go at its core.
If you want to know if it’s any good, go ahead and take a peek in our Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus review.
Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus Specs
- Android 8.0 Oreo Go Edition
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 6-inch HD+ TrueView display 1440 x 720 pixel resolution, ~268ppi
- 18:9 aspect ratio
- 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core processor
- Mali-400 GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 13-megapixel rear camera, BSI, LED flash
- Fingerprint scanner
- WiFi, WiFi hotspot
- GPS, A-GPS
- USB OTG
- 3,000mAh Li-Ion removable battery
Design and Build Quality
First thing’s first, the handset looks sleek which is pretty nice because I can still use one hand to hold the device. It’s surprisingly light, too.
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus has a 6-inch TrueView display with 18:9 aspect ratio which results to slim side bezels. However, top and bottom bezels are quite huge. Upon receiving the handset, the 6-inch display has a pre-installed screen protector out of the box.
On the right are the power/lock button and the volume rockers while the the left side is clean.
On the top is where the 3.5 mm audio port and micro USB port are located. Meanwhile, the main microphone and loudspeakers are placed down below.
The back of the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus has the 13-megapixel rear camera, LED flash and the fingerprint scanner. In addition, the brand name is written on the removable back cover.
It’s amusing that the cover repels fingerprint so it’s a plus point for me. Beneath the removable cover is dual nano sim card slots, a dedicated microSD slot, and the 3,000 mAh battery pack.
Display and Audio
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus’ TrueView 18:9 display is actually a nice feature. Many competitors are vying in providing users a clearer and wider view on their entry-level phones. Flare P3 Plus is almost bezel-less on both sides so this adds more sophistication to the aesthetic department of the handset.
The display color is commendable since it still looked good even though the brightness level is turned to the lowest.
Judging the audio department, I tried playing music with loud bass through the loudspeaker and through an earphone, and it sounded a little standard. Users who might like music much may find this feature a little dismaying, but most people would probably be okay with it.
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus carries a 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front camera with High Dynamic Range (HDR), Face Beauty Mode, and Panorama.
For a conventional Android user like me, Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus’ camera might be a little displeasing. The camera had a hard time focusing on objects in a long-range shot resulting in photos to look a little grainy. However, the close-up shot is commendable as it produces clear photos with really nice color accuracy.
Here are sample shots taken from the rear and front camera of the Flare P3 Plus:
User Interface, Operating System, and Storage
Handling the software section is Android 8.0 Oreo Go Edition, one of the first from the brand. With Android Go, the apps allow lower space and leeway especially for entry-level phones like Flare P3 Plus.
Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus’ interface looks customary as it is simple and precisely organized, which is a plus factor. You can navigate the menu page by just swiping up from the home page.
Swiping from left to right, up and down is smooth-sailing but responses like opening an application such as in Settings, Gallery, and Camera seems to be a little slow.
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus has an 8GB internal memory which is expandable to 64GB and 1GB RAM. It might sound lacking at first, but be reminded that this little baby is powered by Android Go which means the applications are optimized in running on low-end hardware.
There are no pre-installed apps on the Cherry Mobile P3 Plus besides Android Go software, so you can be rest assured that the phone’s storage permits you to download and store necessary apps. Upon receiving the device, 2.95GB is already used out of 8GB.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus is driven by 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 MediaTek MT6580 processor, and ARM Mali-400 GPU.
The processor is a little outdated so opening heavy-processing applications might be a little slow. Launching Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter took two to three seconds each, and it takes a while before it can operate smoothly.
Here are the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus benchmark scores we got:
- AnTuTu v7 – 19,499
- Geekbench 4 – 439 (Single-Core), 1,108 (Multi-Core)
Since the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus’ RAM is low, currently opened apps must be closed to achieve better performance. Games like Temple Run and alike runs smoothly but more advanced games result to a lot of lags.
For an entry-level smartphone, having a fingerprint scanner on the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus is really impressive. This is what I actually liked about this handset. For an amount fit for starters, they could heighten-up their handset’s security.
Connectivity, Call Quality, and Battery Life
The CM Flare P3 Plus is equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11 Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot and Bluetooth 4.0. Connecting to the internet and mobile data is fast, and I haven’t experienced any drop connections.
On the other hand, the sensors of this handset are only limited to Accelerometer, Proximity, and Ambient Light.
Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus is equippped with a removable 3, 000 mAh Li-ion battery. Since this handset is optimized by Android Go, it can save more battery life compared to other normal Android devices. I consumed the full battery in using Facebook, Messenger, and taking photos, which lasted for about a day and a half. Depending on how big of a power user you are, the battery performance should adjust accordingly.
See also: Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Plus Review
The Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus might be a handset with a number of imperfections, but it never failed in bringing all the necessary features to the Filipino consumers without yielding performance and above all, price.
Overall, we find the Cherry Mobile Flare P3 Plus to be worth every penny. For its price of Php4,499, it’s definitely one of the best smartphones you can buy.
- Large display
- Slim and light
- Android 8.0 Oreo Go Edition
- Run-of-the-mill camera
- Laggy for heavy-processing apps and games