We go hands-on with the Flare S8 Plus!
Aside from the insanely affordable Flare S8 and Flare S8 Pro, Cherry Mobile also launched one more smartphone today: the Flare S8 Plus. This particular smartphone is aimed at the mid-range segment of the market, sporting a pop-up selfie module with two(!) cameras, powerful mid-range processor along with a triple camera module that has an interesting composition.
And thanks to sneaky pricing, this particular phone also holds the crown of the most affordable phone in the Philippines with a pop-up camera, since it’s priced 90 bucks less than the previous title holder, Huawei’s Y9 Prime 2019.
Two selfie cameras in a pop-up module
While the Flare S8 Plus isn’t the first phone in the market to have a pop-up camera module, it is the first phone that will be sold in our shores with two selfie shooters in one module. The selfie shooters, composed of a 16-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel sensor for depth information makes the module look a little thicker than your usual phone with a single selfie camera.
The rest of the phone looks like what you’d expect from a mid-range device. The rear of the phone is glass – quite different from the typical plastic rear of other, similarly priced smartphones today.
The display doesn’t have a notch thanks to the pop-up camera module, which means that 6.26-inch full HD+ display has smaller bezels than your typical notched phone.
While we appreciate phones with hella large displays, the 6.26-inch panel on the Flare S8 Plus feels just right – not too small, not too big either. The phone’s curved back makes it easy to grip and use the device one-handed.
The power and volume rocker is located on the side, joined by a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The USB Type-C port is located on the bottom, along with the speaker grille, though there’s no 3.5mm jack anywhere.
The Flare S8 Plus uses a unique triple camera arrangement: you get a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.6 aperture lens paired with a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel sensor for “low-light enhancement”.
We’re not sure exactly how that third sensor helps with low-light shooting, though we’re itching to try out the phone in low-light situations to see the photos it produces. We’re assuming that the really wide f/1.6 aperture on the main camera doesn’t hurt either.
Moving right along to the phone’s internals, the Flare S8 Plus is powered by a MediaTek Helio P70, paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. We’ve seen MediaTek’s Helio P70 power more expensive phones from other Chinese brands like The OPPO F11 Pro and the vivo V15 which are considerably more expensive than the Flare S8 Plus.
The MediaTek Helio P70 gives the Flare S8 Plus a lot of grunt, certainly enough to run most mainstream Android games in the market today without that much issue. The processor is enough to keep the phone running smoothly, and thanks to Cherry Mobile’s use of mainly stock Android 9 Pie on their phones this time around, there’s no custom UI layered on top to slow things down.
Battery is around 3250mAh which is a little low compared to the capacities of other smartphones in its price range. Thankfully the phone has fast charging capabilities, though we’re still trying to confirm the actual speed is for the phone’s charger.
The Flare S8 Plus is an impressive device, and for just Php 12,900 it has a lot of things going for it. It’s not as value-packed as the other members of the Flare S8 family, but people looking for a decently powerful mid-range phone with a good price may want to take a look a the Flare S8 Plus.
Cherry Mobile Flare S8 Plus specs
- MediaTek Helio P70 processor
- 6GB of RAM
- 128GB of expandable storage
- 6.26-inch full HD+ display, 1080 x 2280 resolution
- 16-megapixel f/1.6 rear camera, 5-megapixel depth sensor, 2-megapixel low-light
- enhancement sensor
- 16-megapixel front camera in pop-up module, 5-megapixel depth sensor
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C connector
- 3250mAh battery, fast charge
- Android 9 Pie