Cherry Mobile Life Review: Unboxing, Initial Review and First Impressions

Just a few days after the release of the quad-core versions of the most popular Cherry Mobile Flare, which are the Flare 2.0 and the Flare 2X, here goes Cherry Mobile with a crazy new offering, the Cherry Mobile Life.

At a quick glance, the Cherry Mobile Life seems to be a better Flare in terms of internals, you’ll find out more about the details later on this review. It is also a grand cheaper for just Php2,999.

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Before we proceed on the review of this Cherry Mobile Life, let’s take a look back when Cherry Mobile Flare was hot. It was just Php3,999 and those with lesser-performance yet higher price tag phones by that days seems just to be an unwise buy.

Also, the other cheaper phones from Cherry Mobile are of course far less in terms of specifications, some are just Gingerbread, 128MB RAM, etc.

Unboxing

Let us do the unboxing first.

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The Cherry Mobile Life comes in an ordinary black box with standard prints as what we can see on current Cherry Mobile Android products. Inside the box are the unit itself, a battery, a wall charger, a USB cable and an earphone set with mic. No other stuff inside except for some papers for warranty and manual.

The charger is clean looking in white, and the USB cable seems to be not too thin in diameters although its black. I am not sure if the color matching here matters, or if CM cares about it.

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Take a look at the earphones, it doesnt seems to be the standard pure plastic and cheap-looking earphones we are used to see on entry-level local smartphone packages. It has that rubberized ear buds which are obviously more comfortable with the ears as compared to big, and pure plastic earphones.

The cable seems to be thin, it feels like an accidental pull of tension in this string will just be enough to make it useless. Other than that, the overall is an improvement and its a plus when a smartphone company also look into improving the accessories of its products.

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I just took the above photo to show that the charger here is a 1A charger. Faster charging when compared with some 0.5A chargers. Model no. says CM-1000, I cannot say much about how this charger performs especially on the long run.

First Impressions

Why did we just mentioned that the Cherry Mobile Life is a better Flare? On papers, it has the latest MT6572 dual-core processor and a Mali-400 GPU. The MT6572 chipset is a new chipset from MediaTek which is just a reintroduction of the MT6577 processor but with different pairing GPU and a claimed lower-power consumption. The Mali-400 GPU is a really powerful GPU that let’s a device run any HD games with no sweat. Knowing all that, having all the rest similar to Flare, it is indeed better.

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On its 4-inch screen size, it gives that same feel from the old Flare. Flat front, but with different keys set-up. On front there are just 3 soft-touch Android buttons which doesnt light up. It was printed with a reflective silver print. Other stuff you can see on the front panel are the mic, the VGA camera, and call-speaker.

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On the back, here comes a different thing. It is curved like a roof of a vios. The 5MP camera sits on center top along with a LED flash. The LIFE logo is printed on the center, and the brand logo below with the rear speaker. Wait, before I forget, the back cover is blue, not black and no other colors available yet as of the moment.

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Do you now see the curves? On the left side, located is the volume rocker and nothing else. If you can also notice from this view, the LCD panel is a bit of lower level from the overall body plastic.

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On the right side is where the power/screen lock button is placed, not on top. You can also find the notch hole for flipping the cover from this side, on the lower part. On top side is where the micro-USB slot and the earphone slot located, by the way.

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Again, let’s take a look at the front.

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And then the back. It fits just perfectly on anyone’s hand for a single-handed usage. This is why I am fond with 4-inch devices.

Review

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When you first boot the Cherry Mobile Life, you will be greeted with that eWarranty thing which will cost you Php5 of load balance. You can just skip that by pressing the back button if you do not want to deal with it yet. WVGA display on a 4-inch panel is very common and the resulting 233ppi is just amazing.

The display is just crisp and clear, though the Cherry Mobile Life isn’t IPS and you’ll notice it at steep viewing angles. Still, the Cherry Mobile Life have pretty good screen and display.

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The Cherry Mobile Life runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. The fluidity of JB experience is noticeable and the other UI improvements is present. I’ll show you some UI screenshots later.

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It has standard holo theme, its a surprise Cherry Mobile didn’t pushed too much UI customization on this one. Another thing you’ll notice is, a lot of apps are pre-installed already, including some apps Im pretty sure that you won’t find useful for yourself.

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The battery on the Cherry Mobile Life is at 1500mAh. I cannot say much about the battery performance yet of the CM Life, but taking into consideration that the new chipset is said to be a low-power SoC, we will see. I will update you with another review regarding the battery performance of the Cherry Mobile Life. I only had my hands on the device for just a couple of hours.

With regards to the camera, the Cherry Mobile Life is said to have a poor-performing cameras. Well, what can you expect for the price. Feedback from early adopters says that it is just a fixed focus camera and the front VGA camera doesnt really see anything at low lights. Again, I will update a review on the camera when the daylight comes in. Im just too excited to post this article right now. :D

Side-by-side with a Huawei Y300

I have a Chinese version of a Huawei Y300 with me, and they share the same specs, well almost but with different chipset inside. Cherry Mobile Life on the left, and the Y300 on the right.

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And regarding to their rear surfaces, they share the same inspirations as well. Same color and feel, that metallic finish with exactly the same shades.

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Screenshots

Here are some screenshots of the user-interface of the Cherry Mobile Life.

Screenshot_2013-10-16-19-18-00

Default apps pre-installed:

Screenshot_2013-10-16-19-17-43

Android 4.2.2 JellyBean, default skin, new task window/notification bar:

Screenshot_2013-10-16-19-18-21

By default, Cherry Mobile Life has 4GB of ROM, which results in a usable of 2.4GB storage memory that is partitioned into 2. One for internal storage and the other for phone storage, it can still be expanded with a micro SD card of up to 32GB in capacity. RAM is 512MB but you are able to get a usable 300MB free RAM by optimization.

Screenshot_2013-10-16-21-22-54

Benchmark Tests and System Info

Screenshot_2013-10-16-21-23-50

Screenshot_2013-10-16-20-27-00

Specifications

  • Dual SIM / Dual Standby
  • 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display, 233ppi
  • 1.3GHz dual-core MT6572 processor
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • ARM Mali-400 GPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of internal storage
  • microSD support up to 32GB
  • 5MP camera with LED flash
  • VGA (0.3MP) front-facing camera
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (Dual-band)
  • 3G/HSPA+ 21Mbps (WCDMA 2100)
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n / WiFi Hotspot
  • FM Radio with 3.5mm audio jack
  • microUSB 2.0 / Bluetooth 3.0
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • Li-Ion 1,500mAh battery

Conclusion

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Well, this is just an early review of the new Cherry Mobile Life. There are still some areas I haven’t covered yet and I will surely update those on the next posts. If you are looking to buy a new phone but with a budget just like Php2,999 only and can’t stretch it anymore; you want an Android phone, then this might be the best choice for you right now.

Overall, Im impressed with the Cherry Mobile Life, for its price; so far so good.

Next updates will cover gaming performance review, camera review, battery review, and other Cherry Mobile Life hardware. Video review will be made too, so stay tuned. Feel free to ask anything about the Cherry Mobile Life here, and tell us also the things you want us to cover in the next update for the Cherry Mobile Life review.

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