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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cherry Mobile Pulse Mini Review

It’s been a while since I reviewed any phones and now I finally get to review the Pulse Mini. Surprisingly, this is my first time to review a Cherry Mobile phone. A few weeks ago, Cherry Mobile announced the release of the Pulse and the Pulse Mini. The Pulse is a higher-end offering with an Octa-Core chip while the Mini is more of a budget offering with just a Dual-Core chip but at an affordable price of just Php 2,799.  Let’s list down the specs and see if this budget smart phone is really worth it.


- 1Ghz MTK 6572 Dual Core
-Android 4.2 Jellybean
-Dual SIM / Dual Standby
-5MP Camera/ VGA Front Camera
-4.0-inch Capacitive WVGA IPS Touchscreen
-ROM: 4GB RAM: 512MB
-3.5mm Stereo Audio Jack
-Expandable Micro SD up to 32GB
-w/ Double Tap to wake feature (to be confirmed)
-1300 mAh Battery
- 15month warranty
-Price: Php 2,799

Design, Features and Performance:

When I first saw the press shots of this phone, I couldn’t help but notice that it had a very slim profile. But after seeing the actual unit, it is really just the rounded back that gives it the illusion. It’s an all-plastic construction but to be honest, at this price range, the fit and finish is quite acceptable and I do like the way the capacitive buttons light up.

One of the benefits of improving technology is that you get to see stuff that used to be exclusive to more expensive products finally trickle down to more affordable offering. One of the most surprising feature of the Pulse Mini is the IPS screen. It really makes quite a difference when you’re using the phone. While the rest of the specs might be you would expect at this price range, because of the screen’s better color and viewing angles, it gives you a more enjoyable experience than what you would expect. The performance of the Dual-Core processor is just average and while playing some games like Temple Run, Zombie Killer, SOD and Bubble Shoot showed  acceptable gameplay performance. As long as you keep it to casual games then you should be fine. Navigating around the device was also quite fluid and with minimal lag, however I can’t help but imagine how much better it would have been if they had installed Kitkat OS instead of Jellybean.

Dual SIM management is your standard Android affair. However, I like that both SIMs support 3G and you just need to select which one to use. SIM 1 is Micro and SIM 2 is standard size.  Battery performance might be an issue for some as the 1300mAh was down to 60% after using  it for about 30 minutes. Granted I was doing demanding stuff like Benchmarks and heavy game testing. Photo quality is not one of this phone’s strengths. I could not seem to get it to auto- focus. The video seems to be limited to 640x480 resolution even at the highest setting. I’ll post sample photos, videos and benchmarks below.

VGA Front camera


I have to say that it is quite difficult to choose a phone from Cherry Mobile’s line up. You have to be very careful in looking at the specs. For example, the Pulse Mini is Php2,799 but the Life 2 with a Quad Core processor is Php 2,999. You could easily pick other models like the Ruby, Marble, etc., all of which are just a few hundred pesos from each other.  I really don’t know how Cherry keeps track of all these models and I can only imagine it must be an inventory nightmare. But the real killer specs on the Pulse Mini is the IPS screen. It really does make a difference. However, if you have the extra cash to spare, I would suggest the Flare 3 at Php 3,999 as  it does seem to offer the best bang for your buck.

The Good:

-        - IPS Screen
-        - Dual SIM and HSPA+
-         - Capacitive Buttons look nice

The Bad:

-         - 1300mAh Battery

-         - Jelly Bean OS not KitKat


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