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Cherry Mobile Flare X3 Unboxing and First Impressions

For the fans of the Flare X series, the wait is over. Almost 3 years after the announcement of the Flare X2, Cherry Mobile finally launched the Flare X3.
Cherry Mobile Flare X3 Unboxing and First Impressions
Cherry Mobile Flare X3

To recall, the Cherry Mobile Flare X and Flare X2 are some of the very best phones under PHP 10K in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

In 2019, the Flare X3 promises to be as bang-for-the-buck as those two previous devices.

Cherry Mobile loaded it with very promising specs for the price of PHP 9,999.

Could this be the new all-rounder under 10K to beat? Let's check it out!



Basically, the Flare X3 comes with a 5V/2A USB wall charger, USB-A to USB-C data/charging cable, flexible TPU clear case, SIM ejector tool, and paper documents. We noticed that there's a pre-installed screen protector as well. However, Cherry forgot (or failed) to include earphones with a mic.

Build Quality/Design

Twilight purple!
Twilight purple!

Instead of using mostly plastic, Cherry Mobile made sure that the Flare X3 would look more premium than most similarly priced devices. It uses real glass at the back and front and metal in the frame.

Premium build, affordable price tag!

Cherry Mobile said that the glass they used is the Panda King glass. We are not sure if it is as tough as Dragontrail and Gorilla, but at least it has some sort of glass protection against minimal scratches and light drops.

It is just prone to fingerprint smudges. Plus, it has no water resistance just like other under PHP 10K phones.

At the back, the design is simply stunning. It uses a sleek 2.5D curved glass material with a Huawei P20 Pro-like twilight purple gradient paint with S-line reflections underneath.

The triple-camera placement with an LED flash underneath is just like the P20 Pro. Yes, it has 3 cameras in total. You will also see the Cherry Mobile logo in the middle.
Tall screen, but big notch due to its dual selfie cam
Tall screen, but big notch due to its dual selfie cam

In front, it goes with a 2.5D curved 19:9 TrueView display. Versus traditional phones, it has a slim side and top bezels. The chin is just a bit thicker than expected. The notch is also larger than most dewdrop-like notches from other phones today.

The reason behind its large notch is its dual-camera setup for selfies and the earpiece. To sum it up, this phone has 5 cameras in total. But interestingly, even if it has space on the notch, the LED light indicator is nowhere to be found.

As expected, the phone is far from huge even if it has a large 6.18-inch display. It measures 155 x 75.5 mm. It is not thick for a phone with a 4,000mAh battery as well. It is just 8.1 mm slim.

On top, you'll see a 3.5 mm headphone slot. Below, there goes the microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grill. On left, you'll find the hybrid SIM tray hole.

You'll see the volume rocker, circular power button, and the side-mounted fingerprint scanner at the right. Yes, the fingerprint scanner is on the side.

The phone is a bit hefty at 200 grams. But, despite its weight, it is still quite comfortable to hold. Thanks to its well-machined overall build.

Initial findings

1. The display is very good! It is not AMOLED, but Cherry used a very good type of display with rich colors and good contrast. It looks pretty bright as well. It only has 5 points of touch though.
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores of Flare X3
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores of Flare X3

2. Inside this device is a 2.0GHz 64-bit Helio P60 octa-core processor with dual-core AI, Mali-G72 MP3 GPU, 6GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage, and 4,000mAh battery with USB-C 5V/2A charging.

Powerful specs under PHP 10K!

Helio P60 is still pretty fast. Under PHP 10K, only Snapdragon 660 is slightly better. The cool thing, it has 6GB of RAM for smoother overall performance.

Overall, it could be one of the smoothest performing phones at this price point.
Near-stock Android Pie
Near-stock Android Pie

3. It runs with Android 9.0 Pie OS. The good thing, Cherry's UI is near-stock. The only bloat that I can see is the "Themes" app. It is smooth looking so far. But, it could be too bare for some.
Triple-cam behind
Triple-cam behind

4. Under PHP 10K, it is the only phone with 5 cameras in total. At the back, there's a 12MP f/2.0 Samsung S5K2L8 RGB w/ PDAF and BSI + 5MP Samsung S5K5E9 monochrome + 2MP depth w/ LED flash.

Personally, I would have liked it better if the secondary sensor is an ultra-wide lens. But, at least the monochrome could help with color accuracy and details.

There's no handheld long exposure night or pro mode too.

5 cameras in total!

For selfies, it uses a 20MP f/2.2 Samsung S5K2T7 w/ BSI + 2MP depth camera.

But overall, promising!

5. It comes with WiFi 802.11 a/b/c/n/ac, 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner of the phone is pretty fast and accurate. But you need to master its use first or its unlocking could be a hit or miss.

Cherry Mobile Flare X3 Specs

Display: 6.18-inch 2.5D curved Panda King Glass protected In-Cell IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2246 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi 
CPU: 2.0GHz 64-bit Helio P60 octa-core processor with dual-core AI
GPU: Mali-G72 MP3
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/2.0 Samsung S5K2L8 RGB w/ PDAF and BSI + 5MP Samsung S5K5E9 monochrome + 2MP depth w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.2 Samsung S5K2T7 w/ BSI + 2MP depth
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ 5V/2A charging
OS: Android 9.0 Pie
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/c/n/ac, 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, Colors: twilight purple
Dimensions: 155 x 75.5 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 200 g
Price: PHP 9,999

As of the moment

The Flare X3 is living proof that that Cherry Mobile can still make phones with ultra-competitive specs.

Personally, I'm happy with nearly everything that I saw from it so far. It is not perfect, but no one can deny that its build, design, and specs are impressive for a sub PHP 10K phone.

We will take this device to spin in the next few weeks. As usual, we will still reserve our verdict in the full review.

Stay tuned!
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