Cherry Mobile Flash Review - Affordable Jack Of All Trades!

Cherry Mobile is on a roll. They have been launching devices left and right and it makes you wonder, how will this one be better than the next? Especially at the super competitive sub-6K price range? From our initial impressions, this may be the next thing to add to your wishlist. Let's dig deeper to find out!
Cherry Mobile Flash Review - The 2016 Under 6K King?
Cherry Mobile Flash full review


Display Quality

5.5 inch 1080p goodness!
5.5 inch 1080p goodness!

The Flash is equipped with a 5.5 inch IPS screen with a massive 1920 x 1080 resolution at 401 ppi. Yes, it can be big for some people, but I personally love the 5.5 to 6 inch screen sizes. You get used to it and you never go back and with that 401 ppi, icons, texts, images, and video are razor sharp. 
Razor sharp at 401 ppi!
The IPS  display's color reproduction is noticeably well saturated and the whites are whites never yellow (Jaundiced). The brightness is just okay. I would like for it to be brighter to have better visibility when used under broad daylight.
5 points of touch
5 points of touch

The five point multitouch is accurate and responsive, but could be a problem for some multi touch heavy apps or games. Otherwise, I never encountered a problem with a mistap or my taps not being detected.


Audio Quality

The small speakers at the back

At this price range, we can expect decent non-high fidelity sound quality with decent volume and sound reproduction. The sound quality is decent in terms of body, range, and depth. What we found that could be improved is the volume which is good for personal use but do not expect it to reach very far or to be heard outside with a lot of ambient sound.

The stock headphones are also decent. Although, my preference is a balance of highs, lows and mids, these headphones only marginally hit those specifications.

The microphone when used for calling and voice recording is good. I never found the people I am in a call with complaining about my voice quality. 

Battery Life

Decent score of 6h 40 mins!
Decent score of 6h 40 mins!

Packed with a 2,800 mAh of battery which on paper is less than expected in 2016 for a 5.5 inch IPS display. Based on our PC Mark battery test, it recorded 6 hours and 30 mins of screen time which is on of the better scores we got at its price point considering that FHD display and chipset.
One of the better battery test scores for a phone with power hungry full HD screen.
With real life usage of voice calls, SMS, chrome browsing, and playing games, YouTube streaming, it was able to last until I got home after the work day. When abused for gaming, social media, and multimedia it lasted a little under 4 to 6  hours of non stop usage.

Overall, the battery life is stellar for the price, and for people who aren't power users will be very happy especially with the charging time of around 2 hours.

Camera

Decent cameras for this price range!
Decent cameras for this price range!

This phone carries an 16 MP main camera with Electronic Image Stabilization and a 8 MP secondary camera is higher spec than the competition at this price range.
Camera settings
Camera settings

It also a variety of modes that will help make your still and video capturing a lot easier. It has the zero shutter delay, anti-shake, face detection and a semi-pro mode for those who like to go manual. Though the manual mode is a little limiting, it is better than most of its competitors. Then if you hold the shutter button, it has a burst shot that takes up to 40 photos continuously. 

Is that enough to warrant great performance? Find out!
Day light shots are a dream, but low light performance could be improved.
Image quality is decent. I found the images to pop because of its colors and sharpness. One thing to notice though are the low light images which have noticeable grain and noise reduction smoothing that can be a problem for the people who prefer pristine image quality.

Note: What we love is being able to use the volume buttons as the shutter release for a more stable shooting experience.

Rear Camera Samples

Random daylight shot that shows good potential
Random daylight shot that shows good potential
Slightly against the light shot, the window is washed, but the focused image is sharp
Slightly against the light shot, the window is washed, but the focused image is sharp
Macro indoor, fairly decent
Macro indoor, fairly decent
Indoor lowlight
Indoor lowlight
Flash test
Flash test

For the 8 MP selfie camera, it is one of the rare budget phones to have an auto focus feature in front. Quality-wise, it is fairly usable. Under bright conditions, grain is still noticeable but the images are usable. In low light the amount of grain is multiplied and noticeable noise reduction occurs. We hope that camera sensors for secondary cameras get better.

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie test indoor in natural light
Selfie test indoor in natural light
Maximum stretch of my hand to show how wide the angle can get (average)
Maximum stretch of my hand to show how wide the angle can get (average)
Grainy in challenging light
Grainy in challenging light

In terms of videos, I was surprised that it record 1080p on both back and front cameras. It is also isn't as shaky as expected and can adjust decently in several lighting conditions. Just don't expect it do be sharp and it'll be a decent video shooter for emergencies.

Video Samples


Performance

Efficiency is King!
Efficiency is King!

The Antutu and Geekbench seem to confirm our guess as to why the battery lasted the way it did and it is because of the power efficient chipset that even though it blazes through the competition but still save on battery.

We can't stress how good this is for gaming for an extended period. You guys will be having fun with this for a while.


It can run Asphalt 8 smoothly at Medium settings at 1080p. There are occasional stutters and interruptions by ads though. This can be remedied by turning off your data or WiFi. The controls are accurate and responsive and we never found an incident where the screen lagged on us. With NBA's 2K16, it'll surely lag on high settings, but it is playable in medium, and super smooth in low settings.
Near Stock Android with Cherry Bloatware!
Near Stock Android with Cherry Bloatware!

With near stock Android Marshmallow, you are getting the latest and greatest Google experience with almost no down sides. The only concerns we have are the constant ads that pop up, the lack of OTG and the Cherry bloatware pre-installed.

In terms of connectivity all are working wonderfully with decent range and read / write speeds across the board. I can transfer via Bluetooth and WiFi effortlessly and calls, texts and 4G LTE internet connections aren't an issue.

Pros - Efficient and powerful chipset, light and easy to hold construction, high specs for the price, fingerprint scanner, lte connectivity, main camera is stellar at times
Cons - No OTG, bloatwares, speaker max volume could be louder

Verdict

Cherry Mobile Flash is a great all rounder! There's efficient power, usable cameras, enduring battery, and near stock Android Marshmallow OS. It even has a fingerprint scanner for security and LTE connectivity. So, if you do not mind the pop-up random ads, lack of OTG, and low maximum volume then this phone is for you.

I also would recommend this to the penny pinchers as this is one of the more bang per buck phones available out there right now.

GIZ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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