Design and Construction
The top houses the 3.5mm headphone jack with a removable dummy cover that, as mentioned, also doubles as your ejector pin. A handy slot to keep your pin with you always. Although, you might want to keep it if you’re a frequent user of the jack as it’s easy to misplace.
A USB Type-C port sits at the bottom of the handset with symmetrical holes for the main microphone and the loudspeaker. Mind you, you’ll need a bit of force when plugging the included cable into the port at first. The back is a cold aluminum panel with antenna bands like the iPhone 6. It’s not exactly ugly but a darker variant of the handset can hide the bands easily.
A 16MP rear sensor with phase-detection autofocus is also found here with its dual-tone LED flash, and the subtle Cherry Mobile brand. Keep in mind, the camera has a slight bump making it prone to scratches when placed on a surface.
Design and Multimedia
Look and Aesthetic
Like most Cherry Mobile devices, the Flare Infinity runs on stock Android. To be honest, it feels bland for a company’s flagship phone. Not because it doesn’t have any colorful skin on top but rather the use of uninspired apps especially camera.
It’s no different from any cheaper MediaTek-ran handsets. We know you can have this changed by downloading and setting up defaults, but if an average consumer were to purchase a nicely designed Cherry handset, they’d expect something similar to the caliber of Samsung or even Huawei.
We do hope that in the coming release, the UX of top-tier Cherry smartphone will still be stock but something near to the likes of Moto or even the promising Android One phones. Anyhow, the Flare Infinity runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We’re skeptical that this will even receive Nougat, no promises were given. It’s smooth and responsive due to its stock nature. It’s pre-loaded with a few Cherry Mobile apps to make it their own. One more thing about the OS, it has ads.
It would be a fair warning for potential buyers out there that the Cherry Fun Club app pushes app notifications and even pop-ups. It’s an annoying feat for something you purchased at full price. It doesn’t get in the way that much but we hope Cherry Mobile disables them immediately.
Camera / Photography
Battery and Performance
Cherry put in a Helio P10 CPU paired with 4GB of RAM. This easily puts the Flare Infinity in the midrange department of smartphones. Despite this, we’re disappointed since they were not able to bring back the more powerful Helio X20 chipset found in the M1. Still, the P10 is more than capable of everyday tasks and some gaming on the side. The 4GB RAM also helps a lot with the overall performance.
We installed the NBA 2K16 (2K17 is also compatible) and if set at medium settings, the game is totally playable. Turning it up to high will give you choppy frames but still at a tolerable level. Other intensive games like Asphalt 8 and Real Racing 3 work great. Everyday performance is good with a lot of memory to spare for multi-tasking.
Here are the benchmark scores we could get:
- AnTuTu Benchmark v6.2.1 — 50933
- PCMark — 3374 (Work 2.0), 3221 (Storage)
- Quadrant Standard — 16850
- Vellamo — 3424 (Chrome), 1304 (Metal), 2399 (Multicore)
- 3DMark — 415 (Slight Shot ES 3.1), 593 (SlingShot ES 3.0)
Rest assured though that a gyroscope sensor lives inside the handset so you can use it for virtual reality compatible headsets. The fingerprint scanner on the side is very slim to be able to scan your fingerprint properly on different angles. Expect to see the “Partial fingerprint detected” message when quickly trying to unlock the phone.
A sealed 3,000mAh battery provides juice to the phone. With the heft and thickness of the handset, we expected it has a bigger cell, though. We used the Flare Infinity as our daily driver. And as a moderate user with consistent data connectivity, a full 100% could only get us through work hours (9 hours) which is a bit disappointing since it won’t have enough left for the trip home. Good thing there’s a power bank to save us.
The Flare Infinity is indeed the best looking, or one of the best depending on your preference, Cherry Mobile handset to date. The display and the 2.5D glass deserve an applause. It’s also a good performing device for light to heavy tasks.
What takes away the crown is its weight and the short battery life. If this would be a heavy handset, it may as well have at least a 5000mAh battery and that’s just us asking too much. Yet, at Php12,999 they should have done better in terms of battery life. It does feel and look like a 13k handset you’d expect, though.
We give this phone a score of...
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