We check out Cherry Mobile’s latest wearable!
While Cherry Mobile appeared to be relatively quiet for 2018 save for its Android Go phones and the Flare S7 series, the Pinoy brand has been focusing on new products beyond mobile phones. The company released Cherry Roam, a pocket WiFi device that offers great prices for data roaming, and a line of smartwatches comprising of the Flare Active, Flare Sport, and Flare Watch.
The Flare Watch is the most premium smartwatch among the three, and at Php 2,499, it aims to be an affordable smartwatch with most—if not all—features found on more expensive smartwatches.
What is it?
It is a smartwatch from Cherry Mobile. While the brand has made smartwatches in the past, the Flare Watch deviates from its usual offerings as it looks premium with its metallic aluminum body and interchangeable straps.
Hey, it looks gorgeous.
It actually does. We’ve worn this for several days, and people often mistake it for a more expensive smartwatch, only to be surprised when we tell them that it is a product from Cherry Mobile.
Our review unit comes in blue, and its metallic appeal makes it an eye-catcher. The Flare Watch has an aluminum body and a plastic case back and is rated IP68—meaning you can take it for a swim without any issues.
The controls are pretty straightforward, as you have only two buttons: the lower button is a power switch, while the upper button is a back button that works when the display is on. Speaking of the display, you get a 1.3-inch TFT touchscreen display that comes with gesture functions. Colors are decent for a small display, and it is viewable even in direct sunlight.
While Cherry Mobile did not disclose the glass used, the Flare Watch comes with a screen protector.
What can it do?
Aside from the usual fitness tracker features (sleep tracker, pedometer, heart rate monitor to name a few), the Flare Watch comes with extra apps like a stopwatch, calculator, and calendar. Pair it with your smartphone via Bluetooth with the FunDo app, and it acts as a notification reader, dialer, phonebook, music controller, and remote shutter.
The watch itself has four watch faces to choose from, so you can change it to match your outfit. As someone who often wears mechanical watches, the sports watch display is our go-to watch face.
As for its fitness tracker features, the Flare Watch can track your goals from practically any sport you can think of: running, swimming, basketball, biking, football, and badminton.
How is the user experience?
It is pretty easy to use: from the watch face, you swipe from the top to access the pedometer, and you swipe left to access its plethora of features. The menu interface will remind you of Samsung’s Tizen watch interface, so you do various swipes and on-screen taps to access some of its features.
The pedometer accurately recorded our daily step counts: comparing it with the results we got using our smartphone, the Flare Watch closely matches the number of steps recorded with our phones, with a difference of -/+ 150 steps. The sleep tracker takes a while to set it up properly (you will need to tinker a few settings through the app), but it tracked our sleeping habits well, segregating both light sleep and deep sleep times. While the watch gives you an overview of your sleep, you will need to use the app for a deeper breakdown.
For its interface, the Flare Watch needs some improvements in handling notifications: in times when our phone’s notifications do not get pushed to the Flare Watch, we have to reboot the Bluetooth on our phone and repair it with the Flare Watch to get it functioning properly. Save for that, the Flare Watch works well as a remote dialer, a music player controller, a calculator, and a stopwatch.
What’s the catch?
If there is one aspect that the Flare Watch can improve on, it has to be battery life. Based on our use, a full charge would last us around 1 ½ days—which is below average since other smartwatches can last up to 3 to 4 days on a single charge.
Another drawback with the Flare watch is its charging cradle. While it uses a magnetic connector, the charging pin can get dislodged easily when placed on an uneven surface. Charging the Flare Watch takes around one and a half hours.
Is it worth buying?
At Php 2,499, the Flare Watch is feature-packed for its price. While battery life is not the best in class, it is hard to complain given its price, especially with its premium build and the option to change straps. Overall, the Flare Watch is an affordable option for those who want to have a smartwatch that will not break the bank.