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Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Unboxing And First Impressions, DTV For Everyone?

Cherry Mobile loves pushing the boundaries, defeating the norms and coming up with loads of surprises. That's what I felt once more when we first saw the leaked flyers of that company few months back which showcased their first smartphone with DTV function and impressive specs for a low asking price. The phone we are talking about is the Cherry Mobile Flare S Play.
Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Quick Review And First Look! DTV For Everyone?
Cherry Mobile Flare S Play quick review

Disclaimer: This seed unit was provided by Cherry Mobile for an unbiased general consumer review

The big deal with this handset is the DTV function. Why? First, that DTV feature is usually reserved for the pricier but not necessarily better handsets. This is also the first time I saw a phone with this type of configuration that was able to break the 5,000 Pesos barrier. Let's start!

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Specs

Display: 5 Inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution at 294 ppi
CPU: 1.4 GHz MT6592m octa core processor
GPU: Mali 450
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 32 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.4 Samsung 4h5yc w/ BSI and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/2.8 GC2355
Battery: 2,000 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM, dual Standby
Sensors: Proximity, light, accelerometer, g, e compass
Others: DTV function
Dimensions: 144 x 72 x 8.7 mm
Price: PHP 4,999 (PHP 2,999 sale price)

Unboxing / Accessories

The Flare S Play box

Just like most Cherry devices, the Flare S Play comes in a familiar looking box that's simple, easy to open and goes with the most relevant info you need to know about the phone.
Inclusions found inside

Cherry always put a lot of effort in terms of package you'll get from them. The Flare S Play is no different, there goes the 1 A wall charger, thick yet flexible micro USB data / charging cables, free in ear monitors with mic and screen protector. What's new here is your package will contain a stylus looking thing that serves as an antenna for the DTV.

So far this are the inclusions we wanted to see on a smartphone package like this except for one thing. I would have liked it better if Cherry included a stand that you can use for your phone while watching TV. Anyway, that's just being a picky customer on my part, but overall this is a great package.

Build Quality / Design

The textured back cover of the Flare S Play

The Flare S Play still goes with the same materials used like in most Flare phones in an all plastic body. It also goes in semi rounded corners and brushed golden metal like plastic that adds flare to its design. At 8.7 mm this devices is fairly thin in my opinion even when you pitt it against the higher end flare phones.

What's new with the design of this Flare is the criss-crossed textured back that's flashy and stylish at the same time. It also adds a bit more grip to the phone for a better overall hold.
The selfie camera, ear speaker, micro USB port and 3.5 mm jack is visible on top
The single microphone is found below. This photo also shows how good the metal like frame of this device looks
On the right side, the power button / volume rocker is nicely placed

The button placement was also on point and fairly easy to locate for a phone this size. To nitpick, I just find the camera at the back slightly protruding that may lead to scratches if you won't put a case in it.

As a whole even if this device isn't as durable looking compared with the Flare 4, it could be better, but the aesthetics of this phone is still understandable for the price considering the features embedded in this handset.

Specs and features analysis

Your earphones can also serve as an antenna

While most phones under 5,000 Pesos today still offers 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of ROM, the Flare S Play took those devices to school by providing double of what they have at 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of expandable ROM. That ensures you can do better multitasking and bigger storage space for your favorite movies, music, apps and games.

Some may think that the dated 1.4 GHz MT6592m octa core chip setup won't be that good and power efficient nowadays, but that's not true with the case of this phone. That setup is still pretty capable and to my surprise it consumes less power than most phones with this type of configuration. Based on my brief battery impressions I was able to use this phone more than 6 hours of straight heavy usage which includes watching via DTV at times. That's impressive for a phone that only has 2,000 mAh of battery capacity.

Camera wise it rocks the older 13 MP Samsung 4h5yc sensor at the back with LED flash that's great with macro shots as per my first trial. In front you get a not so good 5 MP GC2355 sensor that should suffice when you have no choice.

Going to the DTV part, it was a nice and pleasurable first experience! Aside from the nice screen of this phone, the picture quality I was able to get from that DTV signal was un-imaginable before for a phone. It's clear, goes with nice audio and the Cherry DTV app is easy to use.

My only concern here is the stylus like antenna as it's easy to misplace because it's removable. It would be better if Cherry placed a built-in antenna instead. What's great here is you can use your favorite earphones / headphones as an antenna in case you wanted to watch in a more private manner.

As of the moment

As early as now, I'm calling it! The Flare S Play has that potential to be a huge hit to the masses! Especially for individuals who loves to watch TV anytime and anywhere with amazing clarity. It also goes with near best in class specs for the price which should not disappoint in performance. We'll test this device further to validate our claims in the next few weeks. Watch out for our Cherry Mobile Flare S Play full review soon!

To rear our full review: Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Review, Still The Budget DTV Capable Phone To Beat!
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