Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cherry Mobile Superion 7-inch tablet

Being a Philippine based blog I should really spend some more time looking at Cherry Mobile's products. Cherry Mobile is a Philippine based mobile communications company which sells mobile phones manufactured by third parts under the Cherry Mobile brand. 

One of their more interesting products is a 7-inch tablet with full phone capabilities, called the Superion. Launched last October 2010, and hitting the shelves in the same month, it's Php19,990 selling price was pretty fair at the time. With the official launch of the Apple iPad in the Philippine last December 17, 2010, the 20K price is looking a bit less inviting. These days Superion will cost you Php18,990, which is Php1,000 less than it price at launch. That places it about 5K less than the cheapest Apple iPad and 9K less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Lest take a quick look at the Cherry Mobile Superion specifications:
  • Android OS 2.2
  • Quadband GSM, 850/900/1900/2100
  • Triband UMTS 900/1900/2100
  • 7" WVGA Capacitive Touchscreen
  • Qualcomm MSM 7227 600 MHz Processor
  • 512MB ROM, 512MB RAM
  • Expandable memory up to 32GB
  • 3G/HSDPA Connectivity
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Standard Mini USB 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • G-Sensor
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Google Mobile Services (Gmail, Maps, Marketplace)
  • 3 megapixels with Auto-Focus (Back)
  • VGA Camera (Front)

Two specification really stand out, the Qualcomm MSM 7227 600 MHz Processor and the internal memory of just 512MB, although it comes bundles with a 4GB MicroSD card. Both the iPad a 1GHz processors and at least 16GB of internal storage. Given the higher specification of the Apple iPad, the 5K difference in price seems more than worth it.

But there are some things to consider, the entry level iPad does not have 3G. A 3G enable iPad will cost you all of Php30,990. Basically, the Apple iPad price only looks close if you do not care about 3G connectivity.

A better comparison would be to the similarly sized Samsung Galaxy Tab. While both a similar sized and have similar features, the Galaxy Tab has a higher resolution 1024 x 600 screen, versus the Superion's 800 x 480 screen. The Galaxy Tab case 16GB or internal storage while Superion comes with a 4GB Micro MicoSD card for storage. Finally, the Galaxy Tab has the highly regarded 1GHz Hummingbird processor. You also get Samsung's excellent TouchWIZ interface.

Still you have to remember there is a 9K difference in the price. The Superion also has a better package with a Bluetooth headset, carrying case and screen protector which has a value of at least 2K.

What is our take? If you do not care about the 3G capability and the 10-inch size does not bother you, it really is worth your money to add the additional 5K an get Apple's iPad. With its 600Mhz processor and 800 x 480 screen resolution the Superion will not be able to run intensive Android Apps which will be developed for tablets hence it will have a short product life. It can easily Angry Birds and run many other Android mobile phone games and apps. There will be new Apple iPad in the market in a few months, but if you buy the current one, we expect it can keep you happy enough for the next two years or so and skip the next iPad release.

If you do care about 3G connectivity it is priced at just two-thirds the priced of its rivals, even without considering the additional bundled accessories.  Would I get one? Right now, despite the price advantage, I would say get an iPad or Galaxy Tab or wait. This one just looks like it will be obsolete really soon.

For the Php18,990, I would forget about getting a 7-inch screen tablet and get the Cherry Magnum HD 4.1-inch screen 1GHz Snapdragon Android smartphone. Basically, other than the much smaller screen there is nothing the Superion can do which the Magnum can do. And honestly, with just a 800 x 480 resolution, I really would rather have the smaller screen.

Still, for those who want a larger screen, it is a compelling option price wise. You can look at the following reviews to help you decide:

You may also want to take a look at the current Cherry Mobile Android line-up (and see what the Magnum HD device we are talking about is) at Purple Pieces. They have better front, back and side images there, than even the Cherry Mobile site.

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