Monday, October 7, 2013

Cherry Mobile Apollo is probably the best phone Cherry Mobile has ever released

The Cherry Mobile Apollo could be the best phone ever released by the company. I say this because I think this low cost offering will stay relevant for a long time. The biggest drawback with buying a low cost device is that it tends to feel old fast, as newer low cost models are offered. When friends ask me if a low cost device is worth it, basically I look at it this way: You can buy one expensive device and keep it for two years, or a lower cost phone and replace it yearly. After one year, you get a new phone, new warranty and a new battery and can still spend less than investing in one high end model. If you bought a Cherry Mobile Flare or Titan last year, you are probably itching for an upgrade right about now.

The Cherry Mobile Apollo is changing my perception on this. It is a low cost device that you probably will keep for two years. 

The first thing going for the Apollo is the display. What is the perfect sized display is subjective. But if you, like me, are the type who likes to be able to use a phone with one hand, the Apollo is a good size. At 4.5 inches, a 720p display is fine. That is a sharp 326 pixel per inch display. There really is little point in having a 1080p display on a phone with a 4.5-inch display. So the displays of future offerings may improve over time with better viewing angles or Gorilla Glass. When this happens the Apollo will not feel old, since it has the most important characteristic in this regard. In terms of sharpness of the display, this is probably as good as it gets on 4.5-inches.

As for RAM, the Apollo has 1GB of RAM. I am guessing,  this will be standard for entry level phones for the next two years. By the time you see plenty of low cost Androids with 2GB of RAM, your Apollo will probably be on its second birthday. 

The MediaTek MT6589 chipset which powers the Apollo will probably be found even on the cheapest phones within six months. Still it should be powerful enough to keep you happy through two years of ownership. As processing power increases it becomes less and less relevant. Only hard core gamers will find that the Apollo will be wanting in power during the next two years. 

And that is what makes the Apollo the best phone Cherry Mobile ever released. At Php6,999 it is a low cost phone, with just enough hardware to make it viable for two years of ownership. 

Quick specifications:

  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 4.5-inch HD (720 x 1280) IPS display
  • Dual sim support
  • 4 GB internal storage expandable via a MicroSD card slot
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1.2 GHz quad core MediaTek MT6589 processor
  • PowerVR SGX544 graphics processor
  • 12 MP autofocus primary camera with LED flash
  • 5 MP front camera
  • HSPA+
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • A-GPS
  • 1800 mAh battery* (user replaceable)

*While specifications posted say the battery is a 1800 mAh unit, early buyers report that the battery supplied was a 2000 mAh unit.


  1. The technical specs are all good for the price, but I'd point out there are still a few uncertainties with the Apollo.

    1.) The screen protection... if it has any. If this was confirmed to be scratch-resistant too like Goriolla Glass, Dragontrail or even AGC Sodaline this would be a runaway hit. However I can't really find anything for it no matter how hard I google so to be on the safe you'll have to use a screen protector on this.

    2.) The OEM. Yes they're all made in China, but some local phones are distributed also by Indian OEMs like Micromax (A919 series, Vortex) and Xolo (Omega HD 2.0, Cosmos S) so we have some measure of quality from that. As far as I can tell this is the first one from the Cubot OEM so the quality is a bit of an unknown variable.

    3.) The local reviews. We can expect the local tech blogs to review this soon-ish but until then it's better to wait and see. We know how we were all hype for the Razor as the next big thing from CM and now we don't even see it advertised anymore.

    4.) The Omega HD 2.0... it's still the best phone Cherry Mobile ever released.

    As long as the above aren't addressed yet by determining the screen protection, CM rebranding more phones from Cubot, more locals reviews etc, I'm not entirely convinced yet that the Apollo is the best for the money.

    1. FYI . . . . . Myphone A919i is not a scratch resistant phone ok.

    2. 6990 php... at this price point the apollo is king. the ohd2 at its price point is the king as well. but which is the better buy? both are... it will boil down to aesthetics and size preference.

  2. apollo so far is good,i owned 1..

  3. May otg na ba toh? Ma cm phone na ba na may otg?

  4. it is cheap and it is worth the money come on 7k and then your looking for those added specs? as long as it serves the purpose and with a good specs youll never go wrong. again 7k go find a phone with that price range and what will you get?? wer not talking about 20k plus price here with that price everyone can afford and enjoy quad core and good camera ..

  5. bang 4 back tlga ...1800mah on casing . but on actual battery 2000mah..already got one ..all good :)

  6. For me, gorilla glass is overhyped. I managed to scratch my htc in my pocket with keys inside so its not worry free. I hope to see more ogs on local phones soon. The battery in china phones can be of inferior quality that is why the labels in them is approx only. CM may have adjusted the label to the true mah of the battery in Apollo.

  7. Gorilla glass will be scratched by anything from 7 and up in the Mohs scale. That should be quartz and harder (car keys should be somewhere between diamond and quartz).

  8. Planning to buy cm Apollo, but which is better cm Ohd2.0 or cm apollo?

    1. the real front camera of omega hd 2.0 is just 8mp while the apollo has 12.6mp

    2. Wrong anon, both has the same SoC, so same max pixel capabilities. The difference is in the quality of the cam lens.

  9. Good review. Would be better if you put screen shots of some tests.

  10. dalawang phone nilagay sa aparador habang naka.charge

    ohd2.0 nang kaibigan ko at ang apollo ko.

    nang lumindol dito sa cebu bumagsak ang dalawang phone

    ang apollo gas.gas

    pero ang omega ai nako basag...

    so saan na kayo...:) simple...

  11. sir, ask ko lng po kung 4g or hspa+ ready po b omega hd 2.0? planning to buy in a few days.

    pls. help po.

    mlki po ba speed difference ng 3g lng with 4G/hspa+ ready connection? thanks..

    accdg to this it only has 3.5G ready connection.

    im also having trouble choosing between hd 2.0 or blaze 2.0 especially because of the price drop, the two are identically priced. both mostly have the same specs but i guess it all boils down to personal preference on screen size, but i am leaning more on hd 2.0 but as i've said, i have no idea if it will have a big difference in terms of speed between having hspa+ ready connection or only the 3g ready of the HD 2.0. I'm asking this because i will use often my phone as a wifi hotspot for my laptop at school.

    I pm'ed you because i guess ur knowledgeable with this kind of stuff..

    your helpful reply would be mostly appreciated. thanks and godbless.

  12. It's a good balance between cost and power. I still think that it's a little heavy, and gets warm fast. But yes, good performance and decent camera, I agree that it might be the best phone they've released so far.

  13. Ah, this is the re-branded Cubot GT99. Detailed specs here ->

  14. I am planning to buy a CM Apollo.. But I heard bad things about their service centers. I think with a price like this, it's really a great phone. I'm excited to have one and test it myself.

  15. Hi, sana makatulong po sa mga questions about scratch resistance: Post ko po sa mga blogsites para sa mga users na interesado bumili.

    CM Apollo is Scratch Resistant.

    CM Apollo has G+G feature. If you'd look at the box itself, it is indicated there. Now others think it pertains to the Telephony Network (SIM1 GSM, SIM2 GSM). Others insist that it means Gorilla Glass, which, is related to the feature but not exactly at par with what it really accounts to. Ang G+G ay isa sa mga screen technologies na ginagamit sa phones. Ang Screen ay consisting ng maraming layer. Sensor, touch panel, diode, film at iba pa. Ang G+G ay technology na nagfu-fuse ng mga layers into glass para maging manipis at mas malapit ang display sa mismong touchpanel or outer screen para maging mas vivid at malinaw ang display. sa G+G, ung unang letra ay nagdedescribe ng Sensor type at yung 2nd letter ay Type ng screen, touchscreen, panel, or yung outer cover na nadudutdot, napipindot, nasasalat natin sa phone. So ang G+G means, yung sensor ng screen ay Glass type, at ang Touch Panel or outer screen ay Glass type din.

    Marami pong type ng screen techologies. Yung iba, ginagamitan din ng glass ang outer screen pero hindi tempered.Pero sigurado ako na sa G+G at sa OGS(One Touch Solution-mas manipis ito kesa sa G+G at High Resolution din) tempered or reinforced glass ang ginagamit.

    *note: Ang CM Apollo po ay rebranded na Cubot GT99 from China. Since Chinese technology sya, Naisip ko lang na kaya hindi nkasulat na Corning, Dragontrail or sikat na glass manufacturers as Tempered Glass na ginamit ay dahil china made din ang tempered Glass.

    Ngayon, eto ang magandang part, since G+G ang Screen natin, Ibig sabihin, ke-Corning Gorilla Glass, Asahi Dragontrail, Xensation Glass or ano pa mang tempered glass ang ginamit dyan, Scratch Resistant po ang Apollo. Hindi po ibig sabihin na hindi sya nagagasgas (scratchproof). Pero, mas mataas po ang resistance nya sa gasgas kesa sa ibang phone na ang gamit na touchpanels ay Plastic or Thin Glass or lower screen technology.

    Sana nakatulong.. Proud owner of CM Apollo and Flame 2.0 (OGS Screen)

  16. I'm planning to buy CM apollo next month. pero marami akong nababasang bad comments/reviews about it. Now I heard maglalabas ang CM ng new flare (FLare HD) -- ngayon nag dadalawang isip ako kung anong bibili na ko next month ng CM Apollo or wait ko i release nila ung new flare... pls help me..

    1. apollo was still better than flare HD as far as i read it's reviews

  17. What is otg? and what it stands for?

  18. Cherry Mobile Apollo user po ako. My G+G nklgay s box. My screen protector nklgay pero nung tinanggal ko screen protector ay ni hindi ngasgas at di ako nkuntento ay ginasgas ko gmit susi ng doorknob at di p din ngasgas. Wish this help

  19. Planning to buy cherry mobile phone. ask ko lang po kung anong mas okay bilhin? Omega HD 2.0? o Titan 2.0? Reply po sana kayo. Thanks :D


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