Cherry Mobile announced the Flame together with the Galaxy Nexus-looking Skyfire and the behemoth Omega a few weeks ago. It's poised as one of Cherry Mobile's higher display contenders, and at a very affordable price it's nestling at its perch comfortably.
So you want to own a Cherry Mobile Flame? Before you do that, you must read our Cherry Mobile Flame review, just so you know what you're getting and all.
There's no doubt about it: the Cherry Mobile Flame is essentially the Flare's bigger brother, in terms of design that is (probably because they're both rebranded from Karbonn). It's black, sports the same matte texture at the rear shell as the Flare, and has the same camera form. The similarities end there though. For one, the Flame is noticeably bigger. The camera flash is also located directly below the snapper, probably for a more optimized image lighting.
The Cherry Mobile Flame's front sports a bright and crisp 4.5-inch qHD capacitive display, complemented by the four standard Android haptic soft touch buttons. Top right of the display is where the front camera is located, and beside that the proximity sensor. What's noticeably missing from the Flame is a notification LED. I'd expect one from a device the size of the Flame.
(Related: Cherry Mobile Flare Review)
The rear panel of the device, as mentioned above, carries the 5-megapixel camera with flash, a speaker grill (at the lower left portion), and a very clean and smooth matte design to boot.
The top side of the Cherry Mobile Flame is where the sleep/wake button and the 3.5mm headphone jack is located. The right side, the volume rocker. And finally, the left side is where you'll find the USB/charging port.
Overall if you like the Flare's build you're going to love this even more.
The Cherry Mobile Flame sports a 4.5-inch qHD capacitive display, clocking in at a 960x540 resolution. If I'm not mistaken, the Flame is the first, if not one of the first, to bear the qHD display locally, with other local brands following suit after its announcement.
The qHD display itself is great, and that's coming from a Samsung Galaxy Note II user. The colors are lively and crisp, while the screen is bright and not washed out. You'll still see your stuff under the sun.
The Cherry Mobile Flame uses the custom Android Ice Cream Sandwich UI as the Flare (see: minimum changes to the original Android 4.0 UI). Thing is, the native launcher is noticeably slow that it essentially ruins the experience. The issue isn't hardware (the Flame is one powerful device) but software. A little custom launcher for the Google Play Store will fix that. This situation is exactly the same with the Flare.
The Cherry Mobile Flame unit I'm using came with a few stuck pixels (5 to be exact) so inspect your unit carefully before paying up. It's hardly noticeably unless you look really hard.
The display itself is 5-point multitouch. Touch sensitivity is also great; no repeat presses, no mistaken presses, and the like.
Powered by a 1.15GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor (the official specs sheet mentions it as 1.2GHz 2-core) paired with 512MB RAM, this device is snappy indeed, provided you've replaced the stock UI with a custom launcher (I suggest the Holo HD launcher). Here are the benchmarks:
Quadrant Standard gave this device a 2791. This is what we'd normally expect with dual-core Cherry Mobile devices (the W500 Titan got a 2719. The Flare meanwhile managed a 2882).
(Related: Cherry Mobile Titan Review)
The AnTuTu benchmark meanwhile has the Flame at the 6650 mark (W500 Titan: 5445; Flare: 7075). For perspective, the LG Nexus 4 ranks at 18096.
The Vellamo results meanwhile shows that the Flame is very competitive with international brands, losing out only on a couple of hundred points, going toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy S2.
What does these all mean in the real world? For one, the Cherry Mobile Flame is definitely a decent Android device. I haven't noticed any lag while using it (while using a custom Android launcher), and its as smooth as it gets. I have a couple of background apps running and they all load great at a moment's notice.
The total startup time (the time the device takes to boot everything, including background apps) averages at one minute thirty seconds.
Audio and Video
What would you expect from a 960x540 qHD display? Yes, exactly what you're thinking of.
Viewing videos at the Flame's decent display is good. Then again at the end of the day it also depends on the quality of the video you're playing. Some 720p HQ videos come off as pixelated, but I'm willing to bet the video is the culprit.
Elements of the Flame's audio are also decent. You can hear most music beats in the rear loudspeaker, plus it doesn't have that ear-cringing canny sound. I personally can tolerate the audio being emitted, enjoy even. Black Eyed Peas and Swedish House Mafia beats weren't a problem. It's actually one of the nicer speakers I've experienced from a rebranded device. I also tested the stock headphones; if you don't mind a no bass experience, you'll find it acceptable. If you do decide to use better headphones though, the sounds are great and loud.
The earpiece of the Cherry Mobile Flame is decent and audible. Voice from calls come strong with no robotic sound.
Supported formats are the following: MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263/MP3/AAC/WMA/WAV
With the Flame's specs you'd expect it to play games decently. It does, in fact, play games smoothly. Casual games, that is. But if you're trying to play Dead Trigger or anything similar with this device, yes you'll be able to run it, just expect massive ghosting.
Suffering heavy ghosting again is like dejavu (I've previously experienced it with the Cherry Mobile Flare). This also won't run Shadowgun: Deadzone, even if the hardware is capable enough. But if you're more of a Temple Run guy, this device will handle that like butter.
The Cherry Mobile Flame sports a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. With the shots I captured using this device, I can safely conclude that even if its what we can consider as a low MP snapper nowadays, it still took decent images. Check out the snaps below.
The camera's autofocus takes a second to adjust, just enough to capture a smile. The shutter sound meanwhile is loud enough for people to take a glance on what you're doing.
Colors are not as crisp and colorful as you'd expect them to be, but the detail they're captured in is great.
The Cherry Mobile Flame runs on a removable 1800mAh Li-ion battery. It may seem low, suffice to say it lasts me 10 hours with regular usage i.e. surfing (both WiFi and 3G), light gaming, and texting, all at full brightness. It could last longer when set at automatic brightness and by turning off unneccessary background apps.
There seems to be a bug in battery readings. I installed a battery percentage app and I find the readings wonky. It goes from 40% to 17% when discharging or 20% to 54% when charging.
3G - The Cherry Mobile Flame's 3G transmission is decent. It picks up services fast. SIM1 only;
Dual-SIM -This feature is great. Unfortunately in messaging on landscape orientation, when you press Send it defaults to sending messages from SIM1 instead of asking you what SIM to use. You have to press the back button to select SIM2. Otherwise you should remain on portrait orientation;
(Related: Cherry Mobile Omega Rumors)
The Cherry Mobile Flame is the company's answer to those who are finding the Flare too smalll and the Titan too large. They even made sure that it comes off as a qHD, probably because the initial offerings lack in the display department. It's about time they did anyway.
Discounting the chance of getting stuck pixels out of the box, the poor UI, and the inability to play graphics-intensive apps, the Cherry Mobile Flame is one decent device: Good build, awesome screen, cool performance. And at P6,299 it's definitely a good buy.
Cherry Mobile Flame Specs
OS: Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, Adreno 203 GPU
Display: 4.5-inch qHD capacitive touchscreen (540 x 960), 245ppi
Memory: 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, up to 32GB microSD
Features: Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby, 3G/HSDPA on SIM 1 only
Camera: 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, VGA front-facing camera
Battery: 1800mAh battery