Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini Price is Php 2,299, Specs, Actual Photos, Initial Review

"Sir Mark, is it true that Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini looks and feels like the Apple iPhone 5S (or Apple iPhone 5 and SE) in the flesh?"

That's the question that several of my readers sent me on Facebook right after my guesting stint at Cherry Mobile Facebook Live Show Episode 3, featuring the company's new Desire Series, last night - June 30, 2017.

Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini

Well, my short and sweet answer to that is: Yes.

I mean, just look at the photo above. It does like an iPhone when viewed from some angles.

However, I'd like to note that Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini is not a complete clone of Apple's previous flagship smartphone.

They have similarities in design language but there are also differences.

The biggest similarity between Cherry Mobile's very budget-friendly release and Apple's high-end model from a few years back is their real metal body.

Both are crafted from anodized aluminum and have diamond-cut edges that give them an air of corporate sophistication. This feature is a real treat particularly on Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini since it costs only Php 2,299.

Also, the footprints of both handsets - that is, rectangle with rounded sides - are largely identical.

Now - as for the differences, if you look at the photo above, you'll see that the Desire S7 Mini's real metal volume rocker and power button, which has brushed feel and texture, are both on the right panel. Likewise, you have a microUSB port on the CM phone, which is located on the top panel along with the 3.5mm combo jack.

CM Desire R7 Mini's face couldn't be more different from the face of the iPhone 5, 5S, or iPhone SE.

For one, its glass touchscreen gently curves on the sides. It's not flat like what's on the above-mentioned iPhone models.

Also, this model doesn't have a clickable circular home button and instead has a row of capacitive buttons below the display for navigating the interface.

Anyway, enough about the looks. Let's jump to technical specifications.

As an entry-level release, Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini has pretty modest specs both inside and out.

The handset sports a 4-inch WVGA IPS display panel, a 5 MegaPixel rear camera with LED flash, 2 MP front cam for selfies, Dual SIM Dual Standby capability, 3G HSPA+ mobile connectivity support, and non-removable 1,500 mAh Li-Ion battery pack.

Under the hood, the device runs vanilla Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system with a 1.4 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 and Mali 400 GPU based MediaTek MT6580 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded using the microSD card slot.

Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini

Here are some of my initial impressions of these features and what they can do collectively:

1. The screen is a tad small for my taste but it's pretty responsive to touch gestures -- especially when the resources are not so taxed by many apps running at the same time.
2. It's good that the display is IPS so it looks readable when viewed from more than one angle. I find the colors a bit muted, though.
3. The phone's imaging capabilities are not particularly in the device's list of strong qualities or top selling points. Nonetheless, having those two shooters is certainly better than having none at all.
4. If you use your smartphone mostly for checking Facebook, browsing the web, playing non-resource-intensive 2D or 3D games, posting status updates, or uploading photos to social networking sites and the cloud, this model should be able to handle those tasks well.
5. The phone's battery size is just right given the size of the display and its resolution, as well as the other hardware components. According to our friends from CM, this handset is capable of delivering up to a whole day of uptime with regular use.

Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini

Obviously, the strongest suit of Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini is its "iPhonesque" design and build. I would say that if only for that, this model is a good purchase at its current official suggested retail price. If you want to own a classy, durable, and elegant Android handset but your budget for a new gadget is very limited, I'd advise you to check out this interesting release.

Cherry Mobile Desire R7 Mini is available in a number of colors including Gold, Rose Gold, White, and Grey.

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