Cherry Aqua GR Hands-on: The Best Cherry

Cherry Aqua GR Hands-on: The Best Cherry

Cherry Aqua GR hands-on initial verdict: Cherry is back with a vengeance with their new budget phone. Despite several strong contenders in the price range, the Cherry Aqua GR holds its own thanks to its competitive hardware and bloatware-free software.


  • Beautiful design
  • Stellar screen for the price
  • Good main camera on paper
  • Stock Android


  • Camera is interpolated
  • Sub 5000mAh battery

Cherry is back in the mobile game after almost two years of not selling phones. The lone surviving local brand released two phones recently, and today we’re going to take a look at the most premium of the two. The Cherry Aqua GR looks and feels like a capable budget mid-ranger, and while we’ve only started the review process for this phone we’re really liking what we’re seeing so far.

Read more:
Last Brand Standing: How Cherry Survived When Local Brands Died
Will Cherry Start Selling Foldables?

Cherry Aqua GR hands-on: Design and display

Most of the phones in the 15K to 10K price range look very similar: you usually get a glossy or matte back, as well as a twin reflex design with two large circles containing the camera modules set vertically on the phone’s back. Cherry’s new Aqua GR bucks this trend by sporting a matte, textured back, along with a fairly large and prominent camera module with the main shooter smack dab in the middle.

The design is certainly quite different from what we’re used to, and it’ll be polarizing for sure. That being said, the unique look of the phone is well executed, and the overall ergonomics isn’t affected by Cherry’s design choice.

If you haven’t noticed, the Aqua GR sports a curved front panel. The display is 6.8 inches overall, has a 120Hz refresh rate, and has a resolution of full HD+. Curved screens are more common on mid-rangers and budget phones as of late so it’s no surprise to see one on the Aqua GR. As far as the image quality of the display goes, it looks good, at least to our eyes.


The angle of the curved display looks a little shallow, though the Aqua GR has fairly good palm rejection. We haven’t seen issues with phantom or ghost touches yet – so far so good. The fingerprint scanner works rather well and is in the same league as other phones in its price range. The bezel is tiny, and the punch hole notch, while there, isn’t immensely distracting.

Overall the design and display of the Aqua GR look fantastic, and build quality-wise the phone feels on the same level as the offerings of other brands. Cherry certainly learned a few lessons during their 2-year hiatus, and their new phones are all the better for it.

Cherry Aqua GR hands-on: Camera and Hardware

Probably the biggest gripe we have with the phone is the camera, specifically the main shooter. Cherry’s marketing specifies that it’s a 108-megapixel sensor, and while they’re technically correct, they achieved that via Interpolation since the OmniVision OV50A sensor that’s in the phone is just 50 megapixels. Is that a bad thing? Not really, as it all depends on how the images are processed by the ISP. Unfortunately, we don’t have sample photos as of yet, so we’ll reserve judgment on camera until we get some more time with the phone.

The imaging package on the Aqua GR is complimented by an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro camera, which is basically useless as all filler cameras typically are. The selfie camera is a 16-megapixel unit.

Moving onto the hardware, you’re looking at a MediaTek Dimensity 7050 processor that’s paired with an ARM Mali-G68 MC4 GPU. There’s 8GB of RAM on top, and the phone only ships with one storage configuration, which is 256GB. We’re liking the general trend of budget phones now shipping with 256GB of storage, and we hope this continues for devices in the Php 10K above price range.

We haven’t gamed with the Aqua GR a lot, but from the looks of it the phone is a fairly capable gaming phone. You’re not going to be playing non-stop without any thermal throttling though (the phone does get warm during use) but it’s good enough for medium settings for most mainstream games.

What I really like about the Aqua GR is the software. You’re getting a stock Android experience here with little to no bloatware, which is something you don’t get with other phones in its price range.

The Aqua GR only has 4700mAh of juice, which is a little short of the 5000mAh that’s become standard lately. Thankfully the phone has 66W of fast charging, which means you’ll be able to get the phone up and running quickly if you run the battery flat.

Cherry Aqua GR hands-on: Wrap up and initial thoughts

Cherry looks to have a winner with the Aqua GR. This handsome-looking phone has a lot of great things going for it, all for a competitive price in the market. It’ll be facing tough competition from the likes of realme, Infinix, TECNO, and Xiaomi for sure, but the Aqua GR has a fighting chance even in this extremely crowded local market.

Cherry Aqua GR Price Philippines

The Cherry Aqua GR has a price of 11,999 in the Philippines. It’s now available to buy in both Lazada and Shopee.



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