To get a better selfie experience, customers need to shell out around PhP 15,000 as evidence by the current batch of selfie-centric smartphones such as the Vivo V7+, OPPO F5 and Youth, and the ZenFone 4 Selfie. Cherry Mobile, however, wants to redefine the selfie field with the Flare S6 Selfie. At just PhP 7,999, would the newest challenger in the selfie game able to trade blows with the big boys? Let’s find out.
Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie
|Chipset||MediaTek 6750T octa-core 1.5GHz|
|Screen||5.2-inch IPS FullHD|
|OS||Android 7.0 Nougat with Cherry OS|
|Rear Camera||16MP with Dual LED Flash, Samsung ISOCELL S5K3P3 sensor|
|Front Camera||16MP with LED Flash, Samsung ISOCELL S5K3P3 sensor|
|Storage||16GB expandable up to 128GB via microSD slot|
|Network||Dual-SIM, 4G LTE|
|Connectivity||USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint Scanner|
The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie is decked out with all the accessories that you’ve come to expect for a smartphone at this price range. Inside are: documentation, a pair of IEMs (without any extra eartips), a microUSB cable, a charger, a SIM tray pin, and the smartphone itself. The smartphone does have a screen protector already installed to alleviate the missing silicone case.
Design and Features
The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie comes with the same design philosophy as with other smartphones in the Flare S6 range. There’s not much fluff here to say, the looks of the smartphone is as simple as it comes. The only flare that the Selfie has the Cherry Mobile name embossed on its plastic rear.
The Flare S6 Selfie’s display is composed of a 5.2-inch IPS with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The handset blows the screen resolution most of the contestants in this price range such as the OPPO A71 and Vivo Y55s out of the water. The only gripe we have about the display is not the display itself, but the screen protector. As you will probably notice with some of the photos in this review, the screen protector has been heavily scratched with daily use.
The front camera of the Flare S6 Selfie is a 16MP shooter backed up by, surprisingly enough, a Samsung ISOCELL S5K3P3 sensor. Accompanying the selfie camera is its LED flash and speakers. Further up top is the handset’s 3.5mm audio jack.
Down below are the Flare S6 Selfie’s navigation keys composed of Menu and Back capacitive buttons, and a physical Home button. The Home key also integrates the fingerprint sensor for a more ergonomic experience when using the sensor.
Another surprise of the Flare S6 Selfie is the inclusion of a USB Type-C connection at the bottom. Even more expensive smartphones such as the Vivo V7+, Huawei Nova 2i, and ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie have shied away from the latest iteration of the USB connection. Beside the Type-C port are the microphone and speaker grilles.
The right-hand part of the handset houses the power and volume rocker. The keys feel mushy when pressed leading to a less-than-satisfying experience with these buttons.
At the other side houses the Dual SIM tray with one of them being a hybrid tray that supports up to 128GB microSD cards if you ever wanted to increase the measly 16GB internal storage.
Going around the back, you can see the plastic rear of the smartphone. Not much here to see but the Cherry Mobile imprint and the 16MP rear camera together with an LED flash. There are obvious antenna bands on both ends of the handset. Despite that, they’ve been designed to merge
The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie is a decently specced out smartphone with a price tag to match. The build quality is good without feeling too cheap. The only thing we didn’t like is the mushy volume rocker and power button as well as the screen protector, which can be easily scratched.
The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie comes with Android 7.0 Nougat on launch. The Flare S6 series also introduced the world to Cherry’s take on the Android OS, the Cherry OS. Much like other Android UIs, Cherry OS mixes both new and old design.
Cherry OS uses an alphabetized app drawer to quickly browse through apps. It also comes with several apps pre-installed but not too much to become bloatware. If you ever feel that some of the apps aren’t useful, you can easily uninstall them in the settings menu.
The most noteworthy addition in the Cherry OS is its Avatar Master and Privacy System. Avatar allows you to use two active social media accounts while Privacy System lets you hide anything that you don’t want to be seen by prying eyes without being obvious about it.
The Flare S6 Selfie’s 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 display packs a tightly knit 423ppi. You’ll barely see individual pixels from the display unless you put it right on your face. The screen delivers decent brightness even under sunlight while colors have good tint that delivers crisp and natural looking images to your eyes.
Meanwhile, the bottom-firing speaker isn’t something to write home about unlike the display. The speaker is simply too weak to be used in any kind of situation. The only time you’ll probably use the speaker is under extreme desperation or if you’re inside a soundproof room. You’ll be better off using the included IEMs with the handset.
Cherry’s camera app offers what most people would ask for from a camera app. It has a dedicated auto mode under Photo, a Beauty Mode, FaceCute (which is basically the Beauty Mode on steroids), Panorama, and Time-Lapse. You can even make Bokeh shots although aperture control is only through software as the fall-off is painfully obvious under close scrutiny and at times, the camera app feels sluggish.
The 16MP rear camera does a good job of capturing photos on a normal basis. Colors are fairly accurate given the handset’s price although the Flare S6 Selfie does have a tendency to use the wrong exposure when focusing on a subject.
Full Auto. Level 3 Beautification. Level 6 Beautification.
On the other side of the smartphone, the 16MP front-facing camera also takes the same quality shots as the rear camera. Beautification takes natural-looking shots its lower settings. Pumping up the beautification makes you look like a cartoon unless that’s your desired effect. Colors are good and details are not lost in translation. It seems that their partnership with Samsung has really paid off.
Performance and Benchmarks
Inside the Flare S6 Selfie is a MediaTek 6750T octa-core SoC running at 1.5GHz paired with 3GB of RAM. Performance is good with the handset being able to handle most of the workloads we’ve thrown at it without any experience-ruining lag.
As far as benchmarks go, the MediaTek 6750T inside the Flare S6 Selfie was able to get a score of 3216 in PCMark 2.0, 384 in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme, and 41870 in AnTuTu.
Unlike some of its peers, the Flare S6 Selfie only has a Dual SIM tray, which allows you to either use two SIM cards or a single SIM card with a microSD slot. It would’ve been nice if they included a triple slot tray instead to mend the 16GB internal storage as well as fully utilize some of the privacy apps that Cherry has thrown in on the device.
Despite those negative points, the device still performed up to par compared to other smartphones when it comes to connectivity performance. Data and WiFi were fast, signal coverage was outstanding, and voice over calls were clear given that we had a full bar of signal.
This is where the Flare S6 Selfie takes a dive. Powered by a measly 2,600mAh battery, the handset was only able to handle around 10 hours of medium use with light gaming and average data usage.
Benchmarks also disappoint due to the small battery with the smartphone only able to reach 4 hours and 58 minutes in PCMark’s Work 2.0 battery life test.
Let’s get all the negative points out of the way. The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie has a lackluster bottom-firing speaker, the battery and internal storage is way too small for a device this capable, the power button and volume rocker feels mushy at best, and the camera app is a bit slow at times (although this would be fixed in future updates).
Now that’s all out of the way, the Flare S6 Selfie is a surprisingly good smartphone for the price and all it offers. For under PhP 8,000, the Flare S6 Selfie manages to bring good camera quality and decent performance. It even has a fingerprint scanner and a USB Type-C port, which some of its more expensive contemporaries doesn’t even have. It seems that their goal to bring the definite selfie experience to an entry-level price point has been achieved. For these reasons, we’ll be giving the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie with our Value Smartphone Award for all the features it brings to such a low price point.
If you want a good selfie experience on the cheap with the performance to boot, then the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie is easily a good buy. So long as you bring a power bank on you at all times.