by: Juan Loco
We review the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Force!
The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Force is a budget LTE phone that was released last January 2015. Its launch has been overshadowed by the arrival of Android One phones in the Philippines, along with a slew of sub-P5,000 octa-core phones from various brands. But the CM Cosmos Force deserves a lot more attention for being an affordable LTE phone that has great display and a new 64-bit Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor that is “ready for Android Lollipop”.
Cherry Mobile Cosmos Force specs
- 64-bit 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 5.26-inch HD IPS display with Dragontrail glass protection, 720 x 1280 resolution
- 16GB of storage
- 18-megapixel rear camera with AF and BSI
- 8-megapixel front camera (fixed focus) with BSI
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, USB OTG
- Android 4.4 Kitkat, Android Lollipop ready
- 2500mAh battery (non removable)
- Php 6,999
Looks good for a budget LTE smartphone
At first glance, we mistook the Cosmos Force for another bang-for-the-buck international flagship, the OnePlus One. The body is mostly matte plastic with metal sides. Power button and volume rockers are located on the right side. While the back cover is removable, you can’t take out the battery which is a bit of a bummer. There are two micro-SIM slots though only one is meant for LTE. There’s also no microSD slot for the Force, though Cherry Mobile throws in a micro-SD card reader with micro and regular USB connectors.
The 5.26 inch 1280 x 720 HD IPS display is nothing extraordinary but still delivers bright images and good viewing angles which is a joy at this price point. The screen is also outfitted with scratch-resistant Dragontrail glass. The phone is slim and feels easy to hold with its rounded corners. Texting with one hand is still possible for some users.
The Force comes with Android Kitkat 4.4.4 with some tweaks, with a few customized icons and messaging app and contacts list. Cherry Mobile advertises the Force as Android 5.0 Lollipop ready but we’re not exactly sure when the Android Lollipop update will come. As far as updates go, we’ve only been able tot get bug fixes through OTA and not Lollipop as of yet.
Hardware that gets you through the day
The Force is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 SoC which is perfectly capable of running the phone smoothly, without any issues. The SoC isn’t going to break any records when it comes to AnTuTu or gaming, but it’s a very reliable and more importantly, economical processor while giving you enough horsepower to get through most apps and games.
The biggest draw of the Force is its LTE capability, and the Force is capable of delivering LTE speeds if you’re in an area with LTE coverage. We registered using Smart’s pre-paid LTE package and got fairly consistent LTE speeds in the Timog area of Quezon City.
If not registered to any LTE package, mobile internet users will only see a 3G icon on the signal bar. You might wonder why there’s no HSDPA or HSPA+ icon that comes out. Fear not because the phone still supports HSDPA and HSPA+ connection speeds even if the H and H+ icons do not appear atop the signal bar. Simply go to Settings-About Phone- Status to see the kind of mobile internet connection that you’re on and you will see either HSDPA and HSPA. I had several CM Force units tested and it seems that that is the case for all phones.
Here is one Speedtest result showing a download speed of 5.53Mbps even if the signal bar only indicates “3G”.
The 18 megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture captures very good images in well-lit and low-light settings. Swipe up the screen and the camera settings and effects appear. The camera can take HD and full HD videos but quality and smoothness can be a problem. With just 1 GB RAM, the phone appears to struggle when taking HD videos.
Battery life is enough for a whole day of moderate to heavy use that includes SMS, calls and web browsing. The phone makes use of Snapdragon’s Battery Guru to monitor daily use and adjust settings for more efficient use of power.
Verdict: A really good smartphone for people looking for an affordable, LTE capable device
So why buy the phone? For P6,999 you get an LTE-capable phone, decent display, an 18MP camera and a solid 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor whose true potential can be realized once the phone gets a Lollipop upgrade. That is the bottom line. The phone is definitely better than previous Cherry Mobile budget LTE handsets such as the W900 and the Ultra which are now in the same price range as the Force.