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Cherry Mobile Selfie Two Review - Better than the Original?

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The Selfie Two is sleeker even with a larger screen, has better specs but more affordable than the original Cherry Mobile Selfie. But is it competitive today?
Cherry Mobile Selfie Two Review - Better than the Original?
Cherry Mobile Selfie Two review

In our initial impressions the Selfie Two performed wonderfully in taking photos at a close to unbeatable PHP 4,999 price point.

This is our full review!


Disclaimer: The Cherry Mobile Selfie Two is a seeded unit from Cherry Mobile. But, rest is assured of our honest take always.

Display Quality

Reflective screen
Reflective screen

The display is a 5.2-inch HD IPS 1280 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 282 ppi. It's maximum brightness and 720p resolution is on par if not slightly better than the phones in this price range. It is just barely bright enough to be visible under direct sunlight but it the glass above it is highly reflective.

The 2.5D glass is highly reflective and may take some time to get used to it in bright daylight.

It is an IPS display so it won't have the jaw dropping eye popping saturated colors and deep blacks of AMOLED but it comes close. It is impressive given at its price.

What surprised us is the 5 points of multi-touch. It is good enough for most tasks but it would limit the type of games that you can play on it. We find this a missed opportunity given that this phone has the potential to be a phone for extended hour gaming phone.

Audio Quality

Speaker at the back
Speaker at the back

The Selfie Two's single backplate firing speakers gets has an underwhelming maximum volume. Because it is at the back plate, the sound is muffled when the phone is resting on its back. 

The details are defined but not as much as some of the competition. There is some distortion at the high volumes but it is minimal. The mids and trebles are there while there is an emphasis on the bass. It's good enough but we would like to have a more powerful sound but with balance between the mids, bass and treble.

Audio quality is actually good!

For headphones and earphones, we used the stock earphones and our RHA S500i. The stock earphones is good. The sound is louder and is more defined and the small sound stage gives a somewhat immersive experience. It does however have similar treatment to the mids and trebles as with the speaker. The bass is also prominent here. We however feel that it could be louder though.

The microphones are clear and clean enough for calls and recordings. We never had an issue or a caller comment that our voice had concerns during calls.

Battery Life

Under 7 hours
Under 7 hours

In our daily use of email, texting, calling, social media interactions, YouTube streaming, we were getting 6 to 7 hours of on screen time with LTE and LTE hotspot. We would unplug the phone at 8AM and end our day at 6PM at 10 to 15% battery left. 

In our usual PC Mark battery benchmark though it was rated for under 7 hours. It is good but we've seen phones like the CloudFone Next Infinity that is priced above by PHP 1,000 with 10 hours of in our standard  battery benchmarks. 

Without LTE, we were getting around the same usage at 6 to 7 hours of use. 

It has the standard battery saving modes where it lowers performance and background tasks to improve longevity. It includes a regular power saving mode that will darken the screen and disconnect you to WiFi, data or Bluetooth and smart-saving that consumes less power.

It also has the standby intelligent power saving which extends the phones life when left on standby. 

Charging time is up to 120 minutes from 0 to 100! The charging plug is a 2 ampere 5 volt charger.

Camera

Back camera
Back camera

The Selfie Two is equipped with 13MP f/2.0 S5K3L8 w/ BSI, AF, and dual tone LED flash for the main camera.

It has the usual Panorama, Photo, Beauty and Bokeh modes. There is no Pro mode.

The photo and panorama mode works well but you have to make sure to keep your hands and subject still to avoid blurry areas in the Panorama. 

The beauty mode has 7 levels of beautification. The lower levels are acceptable but the higher levels tended to make the effect more artificial. 

All the above mention modes also work on the selfie camera with the same settings. You can seamlessly transition from one camera to the next and to video mode quickly. 

In daylight, the images have good resolution, good color, decent dynamic range and decent contrast. 

In low light, there is a noticeable amount of noise and grain. The noise reduction is there and hits the resolution quite a bit.

The LED flash is there for the main camera and a screen flash for the selfie if you need it.  Both are strong enough to illuminate any subject within 2 feet.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Lowlight 1
Lowlight 1
Lowlight 2
Lowlight 2

On the other hand, it carries the a 13MP f/2.0 S5K3L8 w/ BSI and dual tone LED flash for the selfie camera. It has the same experience and mode as the main camera.

It has the same 7 levels of beauty mode which we recommend to use up to level 3 as the higher levels make it appear artificial.

The bokeh mode is the old style where you take a picture of the subject then move the phone above to add depth information. It almost never works out. We recommend not using it.

The image quality is nearly identical to the main camera as well where we find the resolution, color, contrast, and dynamic range to be good in daylight. 

In low light the noise reduction softens the image enough to be noticeable. It has flash in front as well.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Max face beauty
Max face beauty
Lowlight
Lowlight
Selfie flash
Selfie flash

For videos the rear (standard and wide) and front selfie cameras shoot up to 1080p without the choice of frame rates. 

There is an option for EIS but with a significant crop to the field of view.

The video quality is not good. The resolution and colors are good but there is a lot of artificating and noise that dominates the frame. Moreover, in low light, there is significant purple color casting which ruins the video quality. This is for both selfie and main camera.

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmarks
Benchmarks

The phone packs the 1.3GHz 64-bit MT6737 quad-core processor with the Mali-T720 plus 2GB of RAM makes this phone perform decently with most tasks and some multitasking.

Acceptable performance for the price.

The result is smooth minor tasks, limited but good multitasking and good gaming frame rates at low to medium settings. 
The UI
The UI

Equipped with the latest Android 7.0 based Cherry Skinned OS version that is near stock but loaded with Cherry Mobile's own slew of apps.

These Cherry Mobile apps perform decently but do not replace the stoc Apps from Google. It is also worth noting that these apps periodically push Advertisements through the notification panel.

This is annoying but it helps keeping the phone price down and Cherry Mobile themselves say that by disabling all these apps stops this Ads.

Because this version is near stock, this entry level device performs better or on par with some of the competition in minor tasks.

The fingerprint scanner is not the fastest but good enough. It is also accurate. We never had an instance where it misread our fingerprint.

Telephone connectivity is good with strong signal and steady 700MHz 4G data connectivity. There's the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS as well that never failed us. It even has USB OTG support

Pros - Solid build and design, decent main and selfie cameras, near stock OS
Cons - Ads are annoying, video output and battery life needs improvement, back firing speaker

Verdict

The Cherry Mobile Selfie Two is a good phone with nice main and selfie camera performance. It has near stock Android performance, but falters with video output, battery life , back firing speaker, and the Ads keep popping up.

If you can live with these faults, the Cherry Mobile Selfie two is a good budget phone that takes nice selfies.

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 3.5
Camera - 4
Performance - 3.5
Average - 3.83 / 5
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