Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Review, Still The Budget DTV Capable Phone To Beat!
To read our review part 1: Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Unboxing And First Impressions, DTV For Everyone?
Charging time feels better than other CM devices I tested in the past clocking 2:10 hours using a 1A charger.
This Cherry devices uses a 13 MP Samsung 4h5yc sensor with f/2.4 aperture, BSI tech and LED flash. In front it uses a 5 MP camera with f/2.8 aperture.
Going to the quality of the interpolated rear camera, I really didn't have high hopes on it. Fortunately, the results speaks the truth that it is a capable camera for the price. It's fairly detailed, clear enough, isn't that grainy, sharp at times, good for macros and doesn't look dull at all.
In the dark, it's expected that its f/2.4 lens won't fare that well, but luckily it has a strong yet not overpowering flash.
The HDR rendering may not be fast, could have better contrast, the tonal balance is a tad on the blue-ish side and there, washed out shots at times and it may not be as good as the camera of the Flare 4, but it's still on the more acceptable side compared with other bad cameras under 5K. Under good lighting condition you'll rarely have a problem with its rear camera.
Upon checking the selfie camera, it's fairly usable under good lighting situations, but don't expect too much. Even if it isn't not as grainy as expected, it's violet-ish in color and has slow HDR. Hopefully, there will be an update that will try to fix that color tones by default.
In terms of video capabilities, the rear camera performed as expected delivering not so shaky 1080p videos at 30 frames per seconds. Just don't use it in the dark and you'll get nice results most of the time. The selfie video on the other hand is usable, but clearly has a lot of room for improvement.
Rear Camera Samples
|It's surprisingly decent in this daylight shot|
|Can take really close macro shots (it produces good background blur in other shots too)|
|Regular photo vs HDR|
|Panorama test (Good image stitching)|
|Falls short in lowlight|
|Fortunately, the flash can cover it up|
Under the hood it uses a familiar setup commonly found in in bang per buck sub-5K handsets. The Flare S Play utilizes the old yet proven and still efficient MT6592m octa core chip clocked at 1.2 GHz paired with Mali 450 GPU. It's also one of the good phones who's using at least 2 GB of RAM in this price range and has a fairly large 16 GB of ROM that's expandable to 32 GB.
Those traits alone makes it a great phone for casual performance, general multitasking and some mid-level gaming that doesn't require high-end GPUs with not that much heating. We also liked that Cherry maintained its clean near stock Android type of UI that probably helped in making this device run as smooth as possible.
However, that's not the surprise here. The Flare S Play is one of the very few phones that has LTE connectivity paired on an MT6592m. If I understand correctly, the dedicated LTE chip did the trick here and the results were decent. Connectivity-wise, I rarely had a problem unless there's 3G or LTE signal in the area in terms of using the internet.
Using the DTV is fairly easy as well. Just plug the antenna, open the app, search for digital signals and choose the channel of your choice. So far, in our area I can search for 11 channels at most. The quality is great, it's clearer than our own analog TV and I enjoyed using it.
When in travel, expect times that there are signal loss as there's always some interruptions in the air while you're moving. Lastly, you can also record the shows of your desire using the app.
I just have one comment, the antenna is easy to misplace as it isn't attached to the phone at all. Other than that, it's a good DTV phone in general.
See also: Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Still Has The Best Specs Under 3K!
VerdictI have yet to see a phone that has this type of config for the price. Aside from being a capable sub-5k octa core phone with 2 GB RAM and LTE connectivity, the Flare S Play by Cherry Mobile is simply the best DTV capable phone in its category.
GIZ Rating: 4.25/5 Stars