Cherry Mobile Flare S Play Price Php 4,999 : DTV Android Lollipop Smartphone Unboxing, In the Flesh Photos, Key Specs, Initial Impressions

Just a few hours ago, I visited our dear friends from Cherry Mobile at their headquarters in Taft, Manila. And over pizza and coffee, they let me play with some devices that launched earlier this month, just in time for Pinoy consumers' Yuletide gadget shopping.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

All of the products that they showed me were great (I'll be talking about each of them in the coming days) but of the bunch, this one is my favorite.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

Donning an official SRP of only Php 4,999, Cherry Mobile Flare S Play is fairly attractive smartphone running Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system that comes with more than decent technical specifications for its price and has one feature that's sure to delight users who love watching TV on the go.

In terms of footprint and form factor, the handset's design identity is already familiar. What makes it rather special are the accents, including the metallic rim and the diamond-shaped ridges at the back.

Let's talk about the phone's key technical specifications.

Outside, the device is equipped with a 5-inch HD IPS display panel, a 13 MegaPixel main camera with BSI sensor as well as Dual LED flash for great low light performance, and a 5 MegaPixel front cam for selfies which will give you average shots when there's enough ambient light. I find the rear cam very good regardless of the lighting condition but the one in front could be better; If you're looking for a great selfie phone, you might want to take a look at other offerings by CM like the slightly more expensive Cherry Mobile Selfie.

Under the hood, Flare S Play runs on a 1.4 Ghz Octa Core MediaTek MT6592M chipset, has 2 GB of RAM, and comes with 16GB of ROM that you can easily augment using the device's microSD card slot. Not bad for a Php 4,999 phone right? This model can definitely handle 3D games with multiple open apps in the background quite well. And get this, it even supports LTE mobile speeds. "We found a way to make this LTE-enabled despite runnning on that non-LTE chipset," Mr. Lonson Alejandrino - Product Marketing Manager - told me.

Powered by a 2,000 mAh battery pack, users should get around 8-10 hours of uptime with the phone with regular use.

Of at least, if you won't use this accessory to watch DTV on this phone too much.

Using this antenna, which you can plug into the phone's 3.5mm audio jack for better reception, you can watch high-quality DTV channels for 4-5 hours on the Flare S Play on a full charge.

Actually, this is the phone's main selling point.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play has an integrated ISDB receiver that lets users enjoy Digital TV content on the go, as long as the signal is strong.

High-Quality Digital TV is next generation free TV broadcast superseding Analog TV, which is often blurry or hazy. And what's great is that the country's biggest TV networks - including ABS-CBN, GMA7, and TV5 - have already started offering DTV channels to the public so that means you can already enjoy them on phones like the Flare S Play.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

If you currently own a Cherry Mobile Android smartphone with analog TV functionality like 'Granite', you will really see and feel the difference when you finally watch DTV channels on this new model.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

Let's do a quick unboxing! Check out the packaging.

The phone's key features are listed at the bottom of the box -- albeit not as detailed as some of us would prefer each item to be. The icons or graphics at the bottom reflect the qualities of this release that CM is particularly proud of.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

The standard retail package includes the unit itself, microUSB to USB connector cable, travel charger, user manual, headphones with microphone and in-ear silicone buds, and free screen protector.

Cherry Mobile Flare S Play

TP Friends, Dual SIM (Regular Mini + microSIM) Cherry Mobile Flare S Play is now available at all CM Concept Stores, Kiosks, and authorized retail outlets across the archipelago. Again, it sells for only Php 4,999 and frankly, at that amount, I think it's already a steal.