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Cherry Mobile Flare XL Plus Unboxing And First Impressions - The Sub 4K Competitor

The battleground in the entry-level smartphone scene today is the sub-4K Pesos price range. However, there are very few options right now in the market that can challenge the Excite Prime. Gladly, Cherry is up to challenge of competing against that strong offering with their own beast called the Flare XL Plus. It's a smartphone that touts identical specs and "Deluxe" style of design to attract the budget fashionistas out there.
Cherry Mobile Flare XL Plus 

Recently, we got our chance to grab our own unit to check out and tell with you guys what we think of it.

Just a little bit of history, we were able to review the Flare XL before for a different website. While there's no difference in screen size, the Flare XL Plus is priced cheaper compared to the Flare XL when it was launched before. Plus the specs of this one is simply better as it now has 2 GB of RAM and double the storage at 16 GB.

Disclaimer: This review unit was seeded by Cherry Mobile for an honest review

Cherry Mobile Flare XL Plus Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution at 267 ppi
CPU: 1.4 GHz MT6592m octa core processor
GPU: Mali 450
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card up to 64 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP OV8858 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP OV5648
Battery: 2,300 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Connectivity: WiFi b/g/n, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM (standard and micro)
Sensors: Light, proximity, accelerometer, g
Others: Colors: white, black, gold, pink, blue
Dimensions: 154 x 78 x 8 mm
Weight: 165 g
Price: 3,999 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

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Based on the first image above, the Flare XL Plus still has that same well designed packaging coming from Cherry devices. What's important is the things you'll get inside. It includes a 1A wall charger / adapter, a good type of data  / charging cables and Cherry branded in ear monitors with microphone.

What we like here is the local giant also pre-attached a screen protector that prevents the unit from getting display scratches.

Build Quality / Design

Deluxe style back cover
Deluxe style back cover

Aesthetically, the Flare XL Plus reminds me the way the classic A919i of MyPhone was built. it's made out of plastic, but the good type of polymer that's hard, not brittle and will surely last for quite a while. It also has plastic chrome painted sides and glass material in its screen.
Phone opened, showing the dual SIM and micro SD card slots
Phone opened, showing the dual SIM and micro SD card slots

However, the display might not have some sort of glass protection from Corning or Asahi. Gladly, like what we stated above, Cherry Mobile pre-attached a screen protector that prevents light scratches.
Top view showing micro USB port and 3.5 mm jack
Top view showing micro USB port and 3.5 mm jack
Microphone, non-backlit capacitive keys visible below
Microphone, non-backlit capacitive keys visible below
Power button and volume rocker on the side
Power button and volume rocker on the side

Going to how the phone looks, it's a refinement of the A919i of the past. It better features good semi rounded curves in the corners and at the deluxe style back that's popularized by Cherry's own Flare S4. It's slim enough at 8 mm and also has the kinda attractive silver chrome painted sides.
It may not have the flare and glare of metal clad phones, the Flare XL Plus managed make its design decent enough to the point that its far from looking cheap. Good as a whole for the price.
Ergonomically, it follows the trend of new Cherry phones that feels good in the hands. It gives you decent grip, doesn't have sharp edges and much heft at just 165 g that prevents holding fatigue. It's the type of phone that's easy on the hands even for long hours of use.

Going to the ports and button placements, the power button and volume rocker can be easily reached on the right side of the phone. The 3.5 mm female port is properly located on top and the microphone has that good placement below. Even if the micro USB data / charging port is located on top instead of its usual bottom location, it won't really be that bad as it has enough gap between the audio port that'll give you enough room in between.

Note: There's an LED notification below near the capacitive keys

Specs and features analysis

The Flare XL Plus uses a type of setup that we're very familiar with. Fortunately, it's the good type of proven setup that most midrange phones are using in the past and bang per buck entry level phones of today.

It has a 5.5 inch screen HD IPS screen that's great enough for viewing things on a bigger picture without being pixelated at all, the 1.4 GHz MT6592m is mostly capable, doesn't overheat and drain the battery that fast. As usual, it's paired with Mali 450 GPU that's good enough to run most of the casual and some 3D games with ease and has 2 GB of RAM for your average multitasking.

Like what we stated above, the Flare XL 2 also has an upgraded 16 GB of expandable internal storage coming from 8 GB of the old Flare XL. That'll make you install more apps and put more files.

On paper, it has a smaller 2,300 mAh of battery capacity that the normal 2,500 mAh of 5.5 inch screen sized handsets. However, let's not jump into conclusion yet as we haven't fully tested this phone yet. Who knows, due to its clean type of Android 5.1 Lollipop OS, it might perform better than expected.

It also has a 13 and 8 MP camera combo that should take good enough photos.

As of the moment

There's no question that the Flare XL Plus is a solid competitor in the sub-4K Pesos price range. From what we saw in this first looks, it's a good start-up phone overall if you want a 5.5 inch screen. Plus we find it smooth performing  and stylish enough for the price to flaunt in public.

For our full review: Cherry Mobile Flare XL Plus Review - The Affordable Contender
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