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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Launched in the Philippines for Limited Release, Sells for P43,990

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is officially launched here in the Philippines due to popular demand, or at least that's what a Samsung Philippines representative says. And from the looks of it, it seems true.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Launched in the Philippines for Limited Release, Sells for P43,990

Related: Samsung Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 launched in the Philippines

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - whose most outstanding feature is an overlapping curved screen - features a 5.6-inch QHD display, a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor paired with an Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and an S-Pen. It's basically the Galaxy Note 4, but with an additional column of glass that will house messaging and weather widgets.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Launched in the Philippines for Limited Release, Sells for P43,990

Asked on why the Galaxy Note Edge arrived in the Philippines just now, Samsung's Category Product Manager for HHP, Ivan Pua, mentioned that the device wasn't really meant for release in the "region", perhaps meaning Southeast Asia, and that if it were to launch in the region, the Philippines was not a first choice. It was brought here because a lot of people were demanding it (turns out we have some pull after all). Unfortunately, the device will be sold on a limited supply basis, with the only batch numbering only 1,000 units. There's also a catch: You have to pre-order to get freebies, such as a free Flip Cover, an extended 2-year warranty, and free rides from GrabTaxi, among others.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Specifications

OS: Android 4.4 KitKat
Processor: 2.7Ghz Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor, Adreno 420 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32/64GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 128GB
Display: 5.6-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 2560×1440 display resolution, 524ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Connectivity: 3G, 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot; Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, EDR, LE; GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou; NFC; IR Blaster; microUSB v2.0 (MHL 3 TV-out), USB Host
Camera: 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS, AF, LED Flash; 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera
SIM: Micro-SIM
Battery: 3000mAh Li-on battery
Dimensions: 151.3x82.4x8.3mm, 174 g

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Review

With a slew of launches of octa-core smartphones, a smart watch (which coincidentally carries the same 2 characters of one of the most popular flagship smartphones of 2013), and even a powerbank as of late, you'd have to think that Cherry Mobile would hit the proverbial brakes in, at least for 2 months. After all, it has lots of other phones to sell. But as the movie Wall Street says, money never sleeps.

Cue the leaking of the Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus. It's basically the company's answer to the Starmobile Knight X - which by the way is P2,000 more expensive than the former, just to get it out of the way. It features all the bells and whistles you'll look for in a smartphone, just without the fancy IR blaster, wireless charging, fingerprint unlock, and heart rate monitor. These said, I've been using the Cosmos One Plus for some time now. Let's see if this is a smartphone that will fill another niche in Cherry Mobile's ever growing roster.

Design

As people may call out, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus looks like a rebadged Zopo P999 - and there's no denying the uncanny resemblance. That aside, this device is definitely something that belongs to the higher echelons of the company's more beautiful smartphones (another one of which for me personally is the metallic-looking Magnum S). The Cosmos One Plus boasts a huge display with acceptable bezels, a good thinness-to-handling ratio, and a well-constructed look and feel all over.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Front

The above however is not to say that the Cosmos One Plus has an awesome design. It's a safe, good-looking design to say the least, but the form factor is one that have been around for ages - a slate with a metal brushed plastic wrap around the sides, with nondescript volume and power buttons to boot. Speaking of buttons, I appreciate the fact that it has a dedicated shutter button, which is unfortunately placed nearby the power button (you'll mistake one for the other every now and then).


Rear-wise, the Cosmos One Plus offers a removable back and battery, with two micro SIM slots and a microSD card slot tucked near where the camera is. The plastic shell is flimsier and harder to remove than usual, but is more flexible. It carries with it the device's NFC chip. One immediate pain point here is the thin strip of plastic covering the top area of the camera. One wrong snap will definitely break this portion, as pictured below.


Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Back

Handling is something to consider if not great. The rear plastic shell has a textured pattern which improves grip, and the big area surface gives your hands a lot of surface area to hold on to. The weight of the Cosmos One Plus is also just right; not too heavy, not too light.

Display

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus sports a 5.5-inch LTPS Full HD IPS display. LTPS stands for Low Temperature Polysilicon, an active matrix display that houses uniform polysilicon grains that can accomodate higher resolutions in higher speeds. Combine this with a Full HD display at 480ppi and you got a killer screen. Strictly speaking, QHDs should be better, but at this price point you can't argue.


Wearing Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, the device's display should be able to tolerate all the beatings routine use will do to it. Given this, I was surprised that Cherry Mobile still threw in a free screenguard, already applied on the phone's display upon unboxing. I then thought, there are people that just like screenguards, regardless of the glass applied on their displays.

The first thing you'll notice on the Cosmos One Plus' display is its sharpness and clarity. Given that it's already at 1080p, and also putting into consideration that displays aren't made equal, the detail is on par with international flagships. The colors are also as eye-popping and as warm as I expected, and it does its job, though it could be better. Outside photos on well-lit environments reproduce naturally on the display; greens, grays, reds, and yellows are correct. There's also the matter of whites being reproduced accurately as whites, and not without tinges of blue or yellow, a common IPS issue. Regarding the device's brightness, on a subjective scale, it seems that the default brightness levels are at 10%, 35-40%, and 100%. The display easily pushes out sunlight glare at 100% brightness.

One quirk of the display - well, at least the upper half of it - is that it recognizes input even when your thumb or finger is just hovering around 1 to 1.5mm away from the touch screen. It may sound next to impossible, but it happened with my review unit. This is a minor annoyance to landscape keyboard users, as it inserts random letters to the message you're typing when your left thumb hovers very close to the display.

Software

Featuring Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the stock Cosmos One Plus dons a modified Android UI skin, with the mechanics of the OS still intact. The overall look will remind you of generic custom launcher icons; it would've been better if the stock KitKat icons were utilized instead. Then again, this is a device that's reportedly Android 5.0 Lollipop-ready - and we're looking forward to that, even if it's something regular folks shouldn't expect, as major OTA updates promised by local mobile companies tend to be vaporware most of the time.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Homescreen

Value-added apps, a.k.a. bloatware, remain the usual similar to most mid-range releases, such as the Cherry Play and Cherry Fun Club. KakaoTalk and a Gameloft app have also been added, perhaps for ease of use, but most likely the result of ex-deals from each company. On a personal note, I haven't tried uninstalling these yet, so I can't tell if these are system-installed, but its mostly insignificant because of the Cosmos One Plus' 32GB internal storage, not to mention that you can expand it more by adding up to a 64GB microSD card.

Another point worth mentioning is the device's plentiful wireless connectivity features, such as Hotknot and Tap & Pay, on top of your flagship-usual NFC and Miracast. Hotknot is a rather recent technology by Mediatek that acts similar to NFC, but is implemented differently. Instead of antennas and chips, Hotknot exchanges data through a device's touchscreen, via an implanted capacitor IC. It's cheaper to implement in theory, but it's a safe bet that we won't be seeing Hotknot on non-Mediatek devices anytime soon. Tap & Pay on the other hand is as it says - you hover your smartphone at a payment terminal and data exchange via NFC will commence. Local implementation however is a longshot: Philippine companies are too busy creating branded tap & pay cards (and these are still cards we're talking about) which work only on selected network establishments, making for a very messy and fragmented non-cash payment scene. Until then, paying via your smartphone will just remain a distant thought.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Hotknot Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Tap and Pay Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Smart Wake Combination

Lastly, and by no means are new features, is the Cosmos One Plus' Smart Wake and Smart Gesture. Simply put, both these features allow you to tap on your phone's display to wake it up or draw figures that will bring up apps like the camera or the browser. It will take some getting used to, but these are practical features that you should utilize because it's just plain convenient to.

Performance

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus sports one of Mediatek's latest and most powerful chipsets, the MT6595M. Operating on a 28 nm process, it's the first to feature true dual SIM LTE, on top of the high-performance eight 2GHz cores it offers. Other figures include a PowerVR IMG Rogue G6200 GPU and 3GB of RAM - something you don't normally hear about.

Strictly speaking about the numbers, the Cosmos One Plus dominates other international brands in our standard benchmarks, second only to the Meizu MX4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It leaves the OnePlus One and the Xiaomi Mi4 in the dust at 46,110 at AnTuTu, a monstrous score. Vellamo meanwhile shows that the device tops the Browser, Multicore, and Metal categories. On paper, these scores seem great, but after using the Cosmos One Plus for a period of time, the numbers hold water. I've had nothing but a buttery smooth experience while using the device, sans a few issues while gaming (which I will discuss at a later part of this post).

See popular benchmark scores below.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus AnTuTu

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Geekbench

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Vellamo

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus 3D Mark Ice Storm

Just to mention the NenaMark 2 score: 59.6 FPS

The Cosmos One Plus doesn't leave much to be desired performance-wise. Apps load quickly, and I haven't experienced any choking while gaming or switching apps. It's definitely a performer.

On other aspects, the device locks in to GPS pretty quick - and with that I mean more or less than a minute. Mediatek devices up to early last year always had GPS lock-in issues, but the MT6595 (and other new low tier chipsets for that matter) might just be the one that resolves this problem once and for all.

Audio and Video

A Full HD display is always a solid way to view high definition videos and photos, and that's what the Cosmos One Plus brings about, perhaps a little bit more. 1080p videos render beautifully on the device's display with rich and natural colors to boot. The native video player also works well, with straight off the PC formats being recognized and played immediately. Sadly it lacks MX Player-level features, such as swipe right to fast forward, or swipe up and down to reduce volume. If there's any one device in Cherry Mobile's roster that beats the Cosmos One Plus in this respect, it's the Magnum S (if you'll notice, this is the 2nd time I mentioned this device in this review, but I digress).

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Video

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus offers digital sound enhancements, such as a volume booster and an audio earphone enhancer. This ideally should improve the performance of the somewhat mediocre loudspeaker, and it does - to some extent. The aforementioned options kick off the volume and the power of the external loudspeaker to at least twice the original, but without improving range, i.e. the "color" of the sound remains the same, just louder.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Audio

Calling is an average affair, mainly because you have to position your device's earpiece to a certain position to hear maximum clarity. I've called plenty of times using the Cosmos One Plus, and in so many times I thought my network signal was weak, but just moving the device slightly over my ears solved the problem. Perhaps the driver's position isn't placed dead center on the earpiece mesh itself, but I can't say for sure unless I open the device.

Gaming

Fluid is the term you're looking for when referring to the Cosmos One Plus' gaming capabilities. All of the games I installed - namely, N.O.V.A. 3, Dead Trigger 2, and Edge of Tomorrow, and Godfire, all of which are graphics-intensive (especially Godfire) - ran smooth, but not without issues.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Gaming

Rendering of background environments on N.O.V.A. 3, such as buildings, turned up to junk. Now, it could've been easily the game's fault: It could've been unoptimized, or is half-finished, or buggy. Sadly, this game has been around for quite some time, and I've played it a few times before. This is the first time I experienced such an issue, and on a flagship nonetheless. There's also the frequent crashing of Dead Trigger 2 when you use another app and switch back to the game. It's a mild annoyance since the device can load up the game in a breeze, and that it utilizes cloud save, but it shouldn't be crashing in the first place anyway. Lastly, in Godfire, the game suffers from garbled audio output and audio syncing issues every now and then, especially when you spam attacks.



Camera

Every Mediatek flagship nowadays seem to carry a Sony sensor for its main camera, and the Cosmos One Plus isn't any different. It specifically is equipped with the Sony IMX 214 sensor at 14-megapixels (according to benchmarks, it's 14.2 MP) that captures images at 4352x3264 and comes with BSI and a single LED flash. The device also has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera (sorry folks, no front-facing LED flash right here, unlike the Starmobile Octa).

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Camera

One of the immediate features that makes this device's camera stand out is that it can easily distinguish between the foreground and the background. It can also focus on very small objects, such as a SIM pin (pictured below), whereas slightly older models have a hard time focusing on coins and such.

Daytime images pose absolutely no challenge with the Cosmos One Plus' camera. Images are reproduced with good shape and color detail - no question a competitor in the international mobile arena. I also appreciate that the images returned look very natural and have that correct level of warmth, even without applying filters. Images taken in the evening and in dark environments meanwhile still look acceptable, relative to flagship smartphones. There's an nighttime photo I took while stuck in traffic that shows strong noise on the evening skyline. Indoor shoots with minimal lighting on the other hand, show little to moderate noise. What's great about the Cosmos One Plus' camera is that it utilizes all nearby available light to reproduce images as accurately as it can, provided you have a steady grip. See images below.


Cherry Mobile is known for offering stock camera UI to the point that KitKat camera consoles still look like it was lifted from Jellybean, so don't expect much change here. Everything in the camera UI is your usual - shutter, video record, HDR, switch camera, and your ubiquitous Panorama and Face Beauty modes. There's also the added Motion Capture, PIP, and Live Photo modes. Motion Capture in this case is just a witty-sounding name that will capture multiple frames as long as you're holding the shutter button. PIP, or Photo-in-Photo I think, utilizes both the front and back cameras to make it appear that you have another photo on your photo. Lastly, Live Photo mode simply captures a 7-second video with some animation.


If you're a fan of photo editing, the Cosmos One Plus' gallery dashboard brings about plenty of native editing options and filters, making sure that you can "prettify" a photo without installing additional photo apps. But as with anything native, you shouldn't expect too much, like the fact that there's no option to crop photobombers in your otherwise perfect photo. Just to quickly mention, you can also trim and mute videos natively.


Lastly, the camera's flash deserves some recognition for being solidly bright. It's perfect as a flashlight.

Battery

2700mAh is around par for the course when it comes to octa-core units. To briefly compare, Starmobile's Knight X reportedly has 3350mAh - all that extra juice means a longer life.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Battery Life

The battery runs from 100 to 10 in about 8 hours with medium brightness, WiFi, and normal browsing - and this considering the "Standby Intelligent Power Saving" feature was already enabled. Charging on the other hand will take more or less 2.5 hours of your time.

Verdict

I remember 2 years back when I gave myself the first Skyfire as a birthday present. It's clunky, it's big, and everything about it is obsolete, but I loved it, and it still works well today. That said, Cherry Mobile has come a long way in such a short time, acquiring and outing units like there's no tomorrow, making the average people go gaga with all the powerful and affordable smartphones they can get their hands on with half the price of international flagships.

In that spirit, if you have more than P30,000 and are looking forward to buying an international flagship brand, you should do so. I mean, there's no reason I wouldn't - an international flagship spells elegance and performance after all. If I can, I'd get a Samsung Galaxy S5 or an LG G3 and not part from it until it's broke. However, if all you have in your pockets is P13,990 and you're looking for the best bang-for-the-buck smartphone locally, at least in this time period, you can't go wrong with the Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Review

The Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus just shies two to three features away before we can call it at par on an international level. There's no IR blaster, there's no heart rate monitor gimmick - heck, it isn't even waterproof. But what the Cosmos One Plus succeeds to deliver on is its overall performance - and for whatever its worth, it has true dual LTE. I left my main phone at home and decided to roll with the Cosmos One Plus for as long as I can, and quite honestly, I'm not missing it. All I'm looking for is already right in this Cherry Mobile flagship.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos One Plus Specifications

OS: Android 4.4.2 Kitkat (Android Lollipop ready)
Processor: 2GHz Mediatek 6595M octa-core processor, IMG Rogue G6200 450MHz GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM; 32GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 64GB
Display: 5.5-inch LTPS Full HD IPS display, 1920x1080 display resolution, 480ppi, Gorilla Glass 3
Camera: 14-megapixel Sony IMX 214 rear camera with BSI, AF, LED flash; 8-megapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE 850/2100/1800MHz; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, WiFi hotspot; Bluetooth 4.1; NFC; microUSB 2.0, USB OTG; Miracast support; GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS
SIM: Dual micro SIM, dual standby
Battery: 2700mAh removable Li-Po battery
Price: P13,990 (SRP)

Sony PlayStation Philippines Announces The Order: 1886, Bloodborne Pre-orders & Availability

Sony PlayStation Philippines recently announced the Philippine release of the PS4s two most anticipated games of early 2015, The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne.

The Order: 1886, developed by Ready at Dawn Studios and Sony Santa Monica, is set in an alternate London, where the descendants of the Knights of the Round Table fight against human-animal hybrids. You'll play as Sir Galahad, armed to the teeth with Steampunk guns, rifles, and equipment. The Order: 1886 will remind you of 2012's Dishonored, sans the magic spells and the fast-paced action.

Sony PlayStation Philippines Announces The Order: 1886, Bloodborne Pre-orders & Availability

Bloodborne on the other hand comes from From Software (the developers of Armored Core and Dark Souls), and is exclusively available only on the PlayStation 4. The game takes place at Yharnam, a city infested with monsters - citizens and pilgrims that have fallen ill and became deformed because of a mysterious illness - that the player must eliminate to survive.

Sony PlayStation Philippines Announces The Order: 1886, Bloodborne Pre-orders & Availability

Most of the experience in Bloodborne will remind you of Dark Souls and Demon's souls, if not only your characters move faster and are somewhat tougher, with a touch of God Eater (you will carry weapons that can transform, such as a huge sledgehammer that has a sword inside).

Bloodborne Limited Edition Hunter

Availability-wise, The Order:1886 will be released globally on February 20, 2015 for P2,499 (P22,699 - PlayStation 4 bundle), with a t-shirt as a pre-order bonus. Bloodborne will come out on March 24, 2015, at P2,499 for the standard version, and P3,299 for the Limited Hunter Edition version (P21,890 - PlayStation 4 bundle), with a Sword-Hammer letter opener as a pre-order bonus.