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Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Review - Low-cost wonder!

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Cherry Mobile's Flare S6 is a beast on paper for the price. It also has all the right tools from design, specs, cameras, and UI to be the best in its class. Sounds fun right? Here's our full review!
Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Review - Low-cost wonder!
Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Review


Display Quality

5.2-inch HD screen
5.2-inch HD screen
Most sub PHP 4K phones only has 5-inch screen and below. Cherry Mobile stepped up their game and gave the Flare S6 the bigger 5.2-inch IPS screen for a better and wider viewing experience.

Bigger 5.2-inch screen on a budget, nice!

Resolution is on HD or 1280 x 720 pixels at 282 pixels per inch. Details are crisp enough and colors are decent for the price. It just has less saturation than higher-end types of screens. Understandable and reasonable for everyday use.

Viewing angles are okay. Since its panel its IPS, quality is alright in general. It is quite bright too. So, sunlight legibility is not much of an issue considering its very affordable price.

It has no blue light filter though that could be useful to lessen eye fatigue for long hours of use.

It has 5 points of multi-touch too.

Audio Quality

Below, the Flare S6 has a single speaker setup. It is quite loud. But, don't expect much from its audio quality. It is acceptable, but not that detailed and it has some audible distortion. Again, just acceptable for the price point.

For headphones, performance is promising! Output is well balanced (for the price) and it can produce decent details. It's one of the better music playing phone on a budget. However, driving power (loudness) is a bit weaker than my liking.

Microphone for calls is average. For casual recordings, we were surprised that it was able to record in stereo. Quality is far from bad as well. It doesn't have much noise too. Again, that's surprising!

Battery Life

The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 only has 2,600mAh of battery inside. That is average in size for the screen size, but obviously, it isn't as what most users expect.

But, fortunately, Cherry Mobile did their homework when it comes to optimizing the battery performance. As a result, the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 is arguably the most battery efficient phone in its class.

In our battery benchmark test recorded 10 hours and 3 minutes in total. That score is even 30 minutes better versus the Lenovo K8 Note with 4,000mAh battery.

Crazy battery performance for the battery size!

In real life performance, it can also manage a day of regular work use. If you are a very heavy user who has data on all the time, loves to play online games, and take a lot of photos, it can last for a little over 6 hours of use

Charging time using the USB Type-C port and stock charger is 2 hours and 15 mins. NOT BAD.

Camera

Capable cameras!

The Flare S6 is equipped with a 13MP Sony IMX135 primary shooter behind with low f/2.8 aperture size. It is coupled with BSI, AF, and LED flash.
Camera UI
Camera UI

Feature-wise, it has one of the most feature-rich camera UI from Cherry yet. Cherry also improved its interface to make it easier to use. It has auto HDR, face beauty, face cute, 
and bokeh mode. It even has several filters to try, basic pro mode with ISO adjustment, and grids for guide.

For a budget smartphone, quality is GREAT. We are also confident to say that it is the best shooter at this price point.

Shooting speed is not that fast and focus is far from quick. To take good shots, you must have a pair of steady hands. But, it can focus closely on near subjects. That is impressive for the price.

Daylight shots are full of nice colors. Textures are quite detailed too. Overall quality is surprising for a phone this cheap. To my eyes, this can even rival some phones with over PHP 6K price tag.


The bokeh mode is hit or miss. Creating shots with deep background blur is much cleaner and easier using the auto mode. Just focus closely on your subject.

In lowlight, it can be more challenging. But, it doesn't feel like we are using a phone with just f/2.8 aperture. Shots are even more detailed than some phones with f/2.2 or f/2.0 opening in the sub PHP 5K range.

Plus, you can still use its pretty bright flash in situations where there's minimal light.

Rear Camera Samples

Very detailed daylight shot
Very detailed daylight shot
Against the light
Against the light
Close-up outdoor
Close-up outdoor
Close-up indoor
Close-up indoor
Night 1
Night 1
Night 2
Strong flash
Strong flash

For selfies, this phone comes with a big 13MP Omnivision OV12830 f/2.2 sensor with LED flash! That's one of the largest in megapixel size at this price point.
13MP front camera!
13MP front camera!

It also has face beauty and face cute modes. The face beauty mode can detect the age accurately (most of the time). It can even make you face brighter, smoother, slimmer, and enlarge your eyes.
Face beauty mode
Face beauty mode

Quality is more than acceptable for the price. Shooting speed is isn't still the fastest, but the level of detail and colors is quite enjoyable.

However, don't expect it to be as good as the primary shooter even if they have the same pixel size. Why? Its main camera shooter is simply better.

But, overall, that's fine! Again, quality is more than acceptable for the price! Plus, it has FLASH for lowlight selfies.

Selfie Camera Samples

Nice selfie in daylight
Nice selfie in daylight
Face cute mode
Face cute mode
Indoor groufie
Indoor bokeh
Indoor bokeh
Night bokeh mode with flash and face beauty
Night bokeh mode with flash and face beauty

For videos, it has the ability to shoot up to 720p 30 fps in quality behind and only 480p 30 fps at the back. It has time-lapse and beauty video mode that you can explore too. Quality of videos is understandable for the price. Just don't expect it to be that good and stabilized.

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

Even if the Flare S6 is only a budget phone, I'm personally happy to say that it has decent internals.

Unlike most low-cost smartphones with ageing 32-bit chips, the Flare S6 Selfie comes with MediaTek's 64-bit MT6737 quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. It is even coupled with Mali-720 GPU, 2GB RAM, and 16GB of expandable internal storage.

One of the better performing phones at this price point!

On our AnTuTu benchmark test, it recorded a score of almost 30K. At Geekbench, it has 531 single-core score and 1505 multi-core score. That's nothing spectacular on paper, but one can only ask much for its price.
Asphalt 8!
Asphalt 8!

In actual performance, the Flare S6 can load most of the basic apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with ease. Multitasking is also just okay since it has 2GB RAM. But, don't open too many apps to avoid hiccups.

in loading heavier tasks like gaming, this handset is still decent in performance for the price. Asphalt 8 on high settings is playable with respectable frame rates. NBA 2K17 or 18 is playable on the lowest possible settings.

Even while on 4G LTE data mode and hotspot mode. Thermal management is okay. It is just at around 36 to 38 degrees.
Cherry OS
Cherry OS

UI-wise, we are quite impressed with CherryOS. It has a nice clean icon set, easy to use interface and nice notification panel. It is also rich in features, camera UI is much better than the older Cherry phones, and it has nice optimization tools to keep your phone fast most of the time. It is also  refreshing to see a local brand with its own UI.

But, it still has room for improvements. There are two messaging apps instead of just one and it isn't as customizable as other Android skins. Plus, the annoying pop-up ads are still there. Cherry, please remove that next time.

The good news? Cherry Mobile has confirmed that the Flare S6 series including this Flare S6 will receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update by early 2018.

The rest of the features worked well. Its fingerprint scanner is not the fastest around, but it is responsive. 700MHz LTE is really fast if you have that type of signal in your location. Signal reception and Bluetooth works. It has no gyroscope though. But, that's understandable considering its price.

Pros - Great design, good internals, good camera performance, nice camera UI, USB Type-C port, 700MHz LTE, responsive fingerprint scanner, the promise of Oreo update next year
Cons - Bloatwares, pop-up ads, non-customizable UI

Verdict

The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 is our sub PHP 4K smartphone of the yearIt simply has great design, specs, cameras, and features even for its very low asking price of just PHP 3,999. Its general performance is simply more than decent.

There are few things that Cherry could still improve though. But, other than that, good job Cherry!

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.5
Camera - 4.5
Performance - 4
Average - 4.208 / 5
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