One good thing for local brands like Cherry mobile is that they have the flexibility to bring in new innovative features into a new lineup of smartphones and they do this quarterly. Take on the new Cherry Mobile Iris, as the name suggest it has an iris scanner similar to the late Galaxy Note 7. How does this fair out?
Cherry Mobile Iris Specifications
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5-inch IPS HD 1280 x 720 resolution display
- 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 8-megapixel rear camera with AF, LED flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM with dedicated slot for Micro SD
- 3G HSPA+
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Iris scanning technology
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- 2300mAh removable battery
Now the Iris is an entry level phone, which is a good thing for its price as it has a unique security protection among its competitors. Fingerprint scanners in entry level phones are still rare especially the 4k price range because of their more complex requirements in parts and software. At the top leftmost is the red infrared camera for the Iris scanner, this is dedicated to scan your eyes and eventually unlock your phone.
The whole smartphone at the back has rounded edges, giving the 5″ form factor easier to hold. Interestingly the gray color is quite new in shade, we’re glad that full black phones are less now and welcoming gradient colors or pattered skin.
Setup of the Iris scanner was a bit of a task, unlike the Galaxy Note7 where we can have it around 40-50cm away from our eyes, we really need to match our eyes to the figure seen in the screen. Also, it’s ideal to scan in indoors to let your eyes be more seen as outdoor light will result to overflooding of light in the scanner.
Unlocking the phone using the Iris scanner was fast and easy, though using glasses sometimes work and doesn’t…for us it’s a 75% chance wearing non-shaded glasses will work so it’s still acceptable.
Now the quad-core MediaTek MT6580 processor with 1GB ram enables everyday usage that is normal, you can simply install applications like Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber, Messenger with casual games like Pokemon Go to use. Anything above mentioned will have longer loading times and even fill up the 8GB internal storage quickly.
We got a score of 24,190 score at AnTuTu benchmark, enough for an entry level phone in our opinion. The screen is also bright though has a more warmer yellowish tone rather than a cool tone which we usually find, colors is good but could still balance more due to the warmer color temperature.
Unfortunately, we are against bloatwares and Cherry will force you to be installed into several ones. We always get notifications every 30 mins with the Cherry Movie Club, which led for us to tweak our settings to disable the app to avoid the notifications further. Unfortunately this method is far too complex especially for entry level smartphone users, so we wished Cherry have the user’s concent to apply push notifications at the startup to avoid things like this.
Apps like Cherry Bonus is also a culprit for sudden ads appearing when unlocking the screen, yes you have to swipe right to unlock the screen which will enter to the iris scanner mode making your whole process even more complicated. Loading time of the ads is also slow, unfortunately you will have to wait 1-2 secs before you can see the iris scanner starts after closing the app.
Now the point of this is for Cherry Prepaid subscribers to get extra free load, if you avail the advertisments like subscribe to SM Supermalls via FB then you will get a free reward. This is completely optional, but make sure to disable it if you are not using Cherry Prepaid.
The Cherry Mobile Iris costs Php3,499 which is not bad for its specifications and special feature. Admit it that the Iris scanner is a cool feature to have and even aconversation starter, for Cherry to have it on an affordable phone is a remakable feat and can elevate entry level phones in the near future.