Friday, March 8, 2013

Cherry Mobile Thunder Review: Is it worth the wait?

CM Thunder
Cherry Mobile Thunder Posting from their Official Website
Cherry Mobile Thunder was released almost a month ago.  The date of release was last February 9, 2013.  At first I thought that it will be exclusive forever to Lazada, but I was wrong.  It was launched in Lazada for the first week and was later released on their Official Kiosk and Concept Stores.  It was priced at 4,999 pesos in Lazada and several stores around the Metro when I was conducting some survey.  
Cherry Mobile Thunder Lazada Ad
During that time, I was still fetching for some information if this was really worth the wait.  I was really dragged to this device because it looks like an iPhone5 to me, the length of the phone itself.  I found several stocks mostly in SM malls and as expected some are also displaying boxes alone (out of stock already according to them).  Cherry Mobile Thunder's price for me is still a steal for the fact that it is a Dual Core, Dual-Sim and an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  So I decided to grab one and enjoy it for two weeks to check if everything will turn out good and smooth.

I assume that this is a rebranded phone from other country, just like the Cherry Mobile Flare and Cherry Mobile Titan.  As usual, they just replaced the back cover and put the brand there.  So let us check the specifications of Cherry Mobile Thunder first before we discuss each of the elements in detail.

Cherry Mobile Thunder
  • 1GHz Dual-core Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 4.5-inch FWVGA Capacitive Touch Screen
  • 5.0 Megapixel rear-facing camera
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • WiFi 
  • WiFi Hotspot
  • 3G, GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Dimensions:  36mm x 65mm x 9.9mm
  • 1800 mAh Battery
  • Suggested Retail Price:  Php 4,999

Physical Feel and Quality Display of the Cherry Mobile Thunder
CM Thunder
Cherry Mobile Thunder Market Display
You can observe that this Cherry Mobile Thunder has a smooth and glossy finish, thereby prone to fingerprints.  It doesn't have a plastic feel, and it has a solid body when you grip it.  One can have an impression that this device in worth more than its price.  This is much thinner than the Cherry Mobile Flare but it has a bigger screen.  It has a 4.5 inch FWVGA Capacitive Touch Screen as compared to the Flare's 4.0-inch Capacitive Touch Screen.  This is much better in terms of gaming experience since "the bigger the screen the better" thing goes with the gamers.  This is a better experience than the Flare.  Though I observed that the screen turns darker as you tilt it on a certain angle (Remember! This is not an IPS screen).

Cherry Mobile Thunder Screen Quality with the Capacitive Buttons
All of the capacitive buttons below are very responsive.  But the only negative thing that I observed was the backlight of these buttons, the light was quite dim as compared to other branded phones like Samsung.  It is a very minor issue for me since I don't care at all.  This is just a disclaimer for some people who are bright freaks.
Cherry Mobile Thunder Back 
Cherry Mobile Thunder is 90% black finish with some silver or chrome buttons.  On the side of this, you can see the volume rocker and the power button/lock and at the top, you can see the 3.5-mm headphone jack thogether with the microUSB port.  This device is much thinner than Cherry Mobile Flare.  You can see the actual thickness below:

Cherry Mobile Thunder Side View

Software Performance

Cherry Mobile Thunder was checked using AnTuTu Benchmark 3.1.1.  The benchmark result showed a rating of 6,805.  This makes this device at par with LG Optimus 2x which is priced at roughly Php 12,000.  Such a good deal given that this phone is only 4,999 pesos only - almost double the price.  Not bad at all!
Cherry Mobile Thunder AnTuTu Benchark 3.1.1 Result - Rated at 6805

Basic Daily Usage

I used this phone for two weeks and tried (most of the time) having most of the apps running on the background to check whether or not lagging would occur.  I also maximized the use of the live wallpapers to test if it will lower down the process.  Basic telephone functions, SMS, social networking and reading e-books from time to time were very smooth.  But when you open big, heavy graphic games together with this function, you will need to manage your applications in the process because you will experience slight lag.  But this was not really that significant because it just happened once or twice the whole two weeks.

Camera:  Very Decent BUT NOT for Low-light

Thunder has a big camera at the back but it lacks one thing -- LED FLASH.  It gave me decent pictures eventhough it has only 5.0-Megapixels to brag.  One thing that bothers me is the absence of the LED flash.  The picture quality is quite noisy or grainy if you will use it during the night or during low-light conditions.  The front camera is also good enough for Skype-ing and will give you a decent result.
Cherry Mobile Thunder Sample Picture
Video was also tested and it was okay overall.  Not lapses in between frames and took 720p HD video in a very smooth way.

Movie and Music Experience

I enjoyed watching movies on this device since it has a bigger screen compared to Flare.  I watched YouTube videos without lags (this will depend on the speed also of your internet).  The audio speaker is loud enough to be heard but if you like a better player to control your music experience better, I suggest that you find a decent application for this one from Google Play store since the stock player is very basic to start with.

Gaming Experience

I know many of the readers here are looking for this review.  I have good news for you!  My gaming experience was awesome for this cheap device.  For the price this low, I was able to play heavy graphic games like NBA2K13, Dead Zone, and GTA (make sure that you have a good microSD too.  I was using a class 10 microSD for this device).  Lags were not experienced at all.  Disclaimer:  No other apps were opened during this test.  As for the basic games like Scrabble, Temple Run 2 and Fruit Ninja - everything was smooth sailing, with several apps on the background.
Temple Run 2 with some background apps running

Battery Life:  Just your average Joe

Cherry Mobile Thunder has a battery capacity of 1800 mAh which is quite an upgrade from the Flare's 1450 mAh capacity.  Moderate to heavy use of this phone, without gaming, just basic plus browsing, lasted the whole day.  Light to moderate use - no internet usage - basic phone functions, lasted roughly 2 to 2.5 days.  But this is the hard part, heavy - gaming and movie mode - usage just lasted roughly 4-6 hours.  The longest for me was 6.5 hours on the past two weeks of usage.  So if you are a heavy user, make sure that you bring your charger with you all the time or likewise buy a spare battery or a powerbank for this one.

Final Verdict:  A BIG BANG FOR THE BUCK!

Cherry Mobile Thunder was a very nice deal with all the features for the price of 4,999 pesos only.  It can be compared to higher brands that will cost you roughly double.  You get everything you need in this awesome device with an Ice Cream Sandwich version already.  A very good deal!  All my expectations were covered for two weeks of usage.  I am a satisfied customer given the amount that I have paid for this device.  You get what you pay for... AND MORE.

photo credits:  cherry mobile, lazada, symbianize, SM cyberzone


  1. ii want this phone!

  2. This is very informative. I have a qustion, my cherry mobile doesnt play youtube vdeos and says "unsupported video format" Would you know how i can fix this?