If my delight during its unboxing wasn’t already a clue, I’m saying it now: this is a good budget phone. You’ll want to watch the video below to see this phone in action.
Even with the display off, it’s quietly beautiful (nothing ostentatious): with soft rounded corners (easy on the eyes that way), curved sides (for ease of holding), matte rubber back (for better grip), small side bezels (though nothing like the LG G3), solid heft (nothing creaky), decent weight (doesn’t feel plastic-light). The Cherry Mobile Infinix Pure, with a fast-enough octa-core processor, doesn’t feel cheap. It’s no Android One certified phone and it doesn’t need to be.
Cherry Mobile Infinix Pure Specs
1.4GHz MediaTek 6592M octa-core processor
Mali450-MP2 GPU | 1GB of RAM
5-inch HD IPS display, 720 x 1280 resolution
8 MP rear camera with BSI and flash | 2 MP front
Dual-SIM (micro SIM) | 3G
WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB OTG
Android 4.4 KitKat
UPDATE March 12, 2016 – The Infinix Pure is now only P3299!
A 5-inch good enough Android phone for P4,500, that’s something you want as a gift for your non-techie mother or as a peace offering for an aunt with whom you had a falling out, so that come family reunion, auntie, I have something for you, yeah it’s a good phone. Bati na tayo, ha? There.
You’ll want to see the Infinix Pure in action below before we hit The Good, The Bad, and The Verdict.
- Rounded look and curved sides make for a phone that looks great, feels good in your hand, and is not overly wide or long. The matte rubber back prevents slips, though it attracts dirt and dust and finger prints.
- Display “feels” just right, is bright enough even under outdoor conditions, and provides clear, crisp details, punchy colors (just a slight oversaturation), with great viewing angles. Photos and Instagram look great.
- Benchmarks well (28062 on Antutu) and doesn’t choke often, even when running and switching between multiple apps – Facebook, FB Messenger, SMS, Chrome. You can live with the very, very slight transition lag – remember this doesn’t have cutting edge hardware.
- Clash of Clans and Into the Dead run seamlessly, so that’s good to know. That means casual games have no problem. You don’t want to push it though. This isn’t a gaming-ready phone. This isn’t the ASUS ZenFone 5.
- Speaker is loud enough but not that clear – dialogue loses distinction on very high volume settings, so do use headphones.
- Videos can run smoothly (see video above). Good for those long, boring commutes. You can save your favorite movies on a high capacity USB OTG flash drive so you won’t crowd your microSD card.
- 7 hour battery life under moderate usage is actually acceptable. With a phone this cheap, you can afford a good powerbank.
- Call and WiFi reception are actually great, probably rivals those of the Huawei Ascend G6, which is twice the price. I received calls in basements, where people don’t usually get a signal.
Sample Camera Shots
The Slightly Bad
- Not enough design decisions were made to create a look of one-can-be-proud-of Cherry Mobile branding distinction – for example, you know that a phone’s homepage belongs to a Samsung, Huawei, HTC, LG phone. So the first thing I did was to download third party launchers, wallpapers, icon packs, and SwiftKey. (See slider below for the “after” look.)
- Rear and front cameras struggle in the dark, tend to over-expose photos, and get confused when subjects are against the light. But then it’s hard to to complain since this is a P5k-ish phone. If you want a better camera phone, shell out a few thousand more to get the ASUS ZenFone 5, but then you won’t get this slim and feels-good-in-your-hand profile.
- Battery charges slowly and lasts about 7 hours on moderate usage. On non-stop WiFi, about 6 hours – Facebook, surfing, Flipboard, Viber, FB Messenger, a couple of YouTube videos. Two 45 minute TV episodes leaves about an hour and a half of power. On non-stop data, stamina lasts about four hours tops – Google Maps, Facebook, FB Messenger, Instagram, camera shots and uploads.
- Rubbery matte black gets dirty as soon as possible – dirt, cat hair, wet tissue, sauce from sauce-smeared fingers, finger prints – they’re all suddenly there. Recommend a microfiber cloth.
- Notification panel does not include a one-touch-USB-storage-unmounting. You need to go to Settings>Storage>Unmount USB. So it’s a bit tedious.
- Capacitive keys on the phone’s chin are not backlit. But the noticeable haptic feedback are enough.
The Really Bad
Nothing. The not so okay cameras are NOT ENOUGH TO DISMISS THIS PHONE.
If you’ve been wow’d by flagships and bought one only to realize, later, that your needs have been distilled to text, instant messages, long phone calls, Facebook, a few shots of your nieces now and then, and Clash of Clans, the Cherry Mobile Infinix Pure easily costs one fourth of a gray market priced flagship. And you won’t cry for a week should you lose this phone.
If you don’t play high end games or if you don’t need to take pics and selfies in low light, this budget phone, which doesn’t look like one, is for you. With what you save, you can buy a powerbank and a screen protector and microSD card.