Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Cherry Mobile Thunder versus the Lenovo A800

Earlier this month we put Lenovo's A800 on our recommended list of low cost smartphones. Why? The A800 combined a MediaTek chipset with a PowerVR SGX531 graphics chip with a large 4.5-inch display with a lower FWVGA resolution (480 x 854), instead of the qHD (540 x 960) you find on most of its competition. Why is lower resolution a benefit. While MediaTek chipset with a PowerVR SGX531 is the performance king with the low cost handsets, it is not fast by todays standards. Mating it with a FWVGA display will give it substantially higher 3D performance than if it came in a phone with a qHD display. Basically, a trade off between a sharper image and performance.

The Lenovo A800 was also reasonable priced at Php6,999 and had a bigger battery than most of its competition.

What a difference a few weeks makes. Cherry Mobile launched its Thunder with a MediaTek chipset with a PowerVR SGX531 graphics chip with a large 4.5-inch FWVGA display at a price of Php4,999, which is 2K below the price of the Lenovo A800. 

The two phones have identical specifications, except:

1. The A800 has a 5MP camera with a LED flash. The Thunder has a 5 MP camera too, but no LED flash.

Camera performance of this low cost phones is marginal. Most smartphones, even those with better cameras perform poorly when you use the flash. Basically, it is nice to have the flash, but it is not a deal breaker.

1. The Thunder has a VGA front camera, while the Lenovo A800 has none.

Unless you never do video calls, you will want the front camera. 

2. The A800 has a dual core 1.2 GHz Arm Cortex A9 processor, the Thunder has a dual core 1 GHz Arm Cortez A9 processor.

Faster is better, but it 200 MHz does not justify a 40% difference in price.

3.  The A800 has a 2000 mAh battery, while the Thunder has a 1700 mAh battery.

The Lenovo should give you about 18% more battery life, that could mean 2-4 hours more a day, and that is worth paying more for. 

4. The Thunder is thinner a 9.9 mm, as compared to the 11.5 mm A800.

Thinner is better.

It is a close fight I think, but in next month buyers guide, the Cherry Mobile  Thunder will take the  Lenovo A800's place in my list.


  1. Please review the quality not the price.

  2. please check the quality of the phone not the price.. lenovo is what we called ibm before.. one of the largest company making laptops while the cherry mobile begun producing phones.. and wait they are what we called class A china phones.. cheaper phones and less expectations.. sorry but ill go with the a800 rather than china phones..

    1. Lenovo is not IBM. Lenovo was the sub-contractor IBM used to make IBM Thinkpads. That is like saying Foxconn is Apple.

      If you really want quality, you really should not be looking at either of these two phones. The A800 is really more of an Ideapad than a Thinkpad.

  3. I recently bought Thunder and for the 5k price tag it's really a steal. Except for the camera, it performs quite well and can even play HD games like Dead Trigger, NBA2k13 and Blood and Glory.

  4. correction po, wla po LED flash ang A800

  5. Lenovo manufactures their smartphones. CM rebrands phones from China.. Yeah Lenovo is China made too, but I'd rather trust an internationaly-known brand than a low-priced but sub-standard brand. Their phones feel so cheapy and plasticky. And try visiting CM's service center, it's always filled with people asking for repairs for their shitty CM phones. LOL

    1. Lenovo manufactures it high end products, like Thinkpads in its own facilities. Lower end laptops and its smartphones are outsourced to third party manufacturers.

      If you are looking for premium mobile phone China brands, it really is Huawei and ZTE. Lenovo's primary market for its smartphones is China, where it became the second largest seller selling low end units. It has now branched out to Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

  6. ARM processors are called Cortex not Cortes/Cortez. Nice blog.

  7. This post is great. Thank you for this post. I like this kind of people who share their knowledge with others.


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