Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Does the Cherry Mobile Thunder Eclipse the Flare

For over three months now, the Cherry Mobile Flare has been a darling to the local phone community. For Php3,999 you get 4-inch Android phone with a nice WVGA resolution (480 x 800) and a dual core Qualcomm processor.  The Flare brings mid-level specifications at a entry level price. Cherry Mobile has several other popular phones, but none of them is as popular as the Flare. This is evident when you visit a Cherry Mobile store. When the Flare is on stock, expect a long line to buy one. But yes, the Flare is worth lining up for. It has no direct competition. No other phone comes close to matching the Flares price and specifications, even after three months. 

I think we are all familiar with how the Flare looks like. Here is the Thunder.
The good looks carry over to the side.

OMG! Who designed the camera housing? Trust me, it looks worse in person.

Cherry Mobile has come up with another seemingly unbeatable value for money proposition, and this one is aptly name the Thunder. This phone is priced Php4,999, a full 1K more than the Flare. You won't see any long lines for this one though, since you can only buy it online from Lazada. 

The question is, is the Thunder worth Php1,000 more than the Flare.

Display. The most evident difference is the display size. The Flare has a 4-inch display, while the Thunder has a much larger 4.5-inch display. The bigger display does have its drawbacks. The 4-inch Flare has a WVGA (480 x 800) screen which has a pretty sharp 233 pixels per inch (ppi). The Thunder has a larger 4.5-inch FWVGA display (480 x 854) which is a bit less sharp at 218 ppi. 

It is real estate versus pixel density. Both phones look reasonably sharp to me, so I will go with real estate.

Thunder value added: I think the bigger display alone is worth another Php1,000.

Flash: Both the Thunder and the Flare have 5 MP primary cameras and VGA front cameras, but the Thunder has no flash. This means no night shots, and no flashlight functionality.

Thunder value added: I think the absence of a flash and flashlight is worth at least Php500. So negative Php500.

Processor. The Flare come equipped with a dual core 1.2 GHz processor on a Qualcomm S4 Play chipset with Adreno 203 graphics. The Thunder comes with a slightly more powerful dual 1 GHz on a MediaTek chipset with PowerVR SGX531 graphics.  

Thunder value added: I actually prefer the Qualcomm chipset, not so much for the power but because the Qualcomm chipsets on my phones seem to last forever. I don't have any long term experience with MediaTek chipsets. But faster is faster, so I would think the MediaTek chipset is worth Php500 more.

Battery. The Thunder comes with a larger 1800 mAh battery as against the Flares 1500 mAh unit. But the larger screen will also consumes the battery faster. It is pretty much a draw in terms of battery life.

Thunder value added: Php0.

Modern design. The Flare retains the older three button format of Android Gingerbread phones. The Thunder uses the newer Ice Cream Sandwich/Jelly Bean three button format. In some cases, it actually is better to have the four buttons, but apps are now designed around the three button format, and it does make the Thunder look more current.

Thunder value added: A newer look has to be worth something. Php250 value added to the Thunder. 

The other specifications of these two phones are identical with 4 GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD card slot, 512 MB of RAM and WiFi and HSPA connectivity. 

By my rather subjective valuation, the Thunder is worth the Php1,000 premium over the Flare. It is not a better value or money choice than the Flare. It really comes down to what size of phone you prefer, and how much you want the flash and the flashlight functionality.

Me, I like real estate. I would happily cough up Php1,000 more for the Thunder.


  1. I totally agree! great review. thanks for your unbiased opinion.


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