Cherry Mobile Pulse Review: Is CM’s Most Affordable Octa-core Smartphone Worth it?

Cherry Mobile Pulse Review: Is CM’s Most Affordable Octa-core Smartphone Worth it?


We review the Cherry Mobile Pulse!

Cherry Mobile has a knack for releasing game changing devices. The Pulse is one of those devices, and while its reign as the most affordable octa-core smartphone was short-lived, it still a pretty solid choice for people looking to experience octa-core for cheap.

Cherry Mobile Pulse specs

  • 1.7GHz MediaTek MTK 6592 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display, Dragontrail Scratch Resistant glass protection, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
  • 13-megapixel camera with LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, HSPA+
  • WIFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 2000mAh
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with double tap to wake feature
  • Php 6,499


Wedge-shaped design makes it stand out from the pack

Because of the sheer number of devices out in the market (both octa-core and quad-core) making your device stand out from the pack is a difficult proposition, at best. Cherry Mobile tries to switch things up with the Pulse’s wedge-like design. The Pulse actually tapers down on the bottom, with the wedge-like design accentuated by the sloping sides.


The unique design of the Pulse doesn’t make it much more difficult to hold than other, similarly sized smartphones. Surprisingly enough, the Pulse doesn’t utilize the normal plastic backing of other devices – the back of the device is actually a plastic shell that you can tear off, revealing the two SIM card and the microSD slot, as well as the 2000mAh removable battery.


Because of the relatively affordable price of the Pulse, we were wary of the possible build-quality issues in the device. You can’t have everything, after all – and we’re sure that CM had to skimp out on something to achieve the SRP of the Pulse, especially considering the price of its competitors (SKK notwithstanding). We’re happy to report that we did not find any such issues in the Pulse – there’s no gaps, seams or flexing anywhere in the body of the device.


The display is your typical IPS HD display, and while it’s not the most vibrant display we’ve ever seen, it’s not a terrible one either. We did notice a rather deep scratch on the display even though it’s advertised as protected by Dragontrail glass, which is odd, as it usually went inside our jeans pocket with our keys and assorted change. Clearly, a screen protector is warranted with every purchase of the Pulse. The circular home key at the bottom of the display serves as the notification light of the Pulse.


Octa-core performance for cheap

The Pulse’s main draw is of course, its MediaTek octa-core processor. The hardware combination of the Pulse isn’t new, and has been used in another Cherry Mobile device before. The Pulse has a higher AnTuTu score now because the developers have pushed a new update that bumped the scores of devices up, but when we were using the old version of AnTuTu in our initial unboxing we found that it scored lower than devices using roughly the same hardware.

That’s not to say that the Pulse is a slow phone – far from it. The 1.7GHz octa-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HD display and more importantly, Android KitKat makes for a fluid user experience. Gaming on the phone is pleasurable, as is the case for most octa-core powered devices – Asphalt 8 on high pose no issues at all, and was generally smooth, as was NBA2K14.

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Unimpressive camera

If the Pulse has one weakness, it has to be the rather unimpressive camera. While the device managed to get decent looking snaps outdoors, in bright sunlight, things are a little different once you move indoors with artificial lighting. The images are washed out and weak, and look a little dull.

Battery life that you’d expect from an octa-core device

So, let’s talk about battery life. On a single charge, the Pulse can last up to 8 hours with moderate use (a bit of gaming, web browsing via 3G, calls and text). That’s not terrible by any means, but it is a bit average – heavier use will obviously degrade the battery faster, and sinec you’re not really working with a whole lot of mAh, it’d be best if you pair it with a powerbank.


Verdict: Bang-for-the-buck octa-core smartphone, even with its faults

The Cherry Mobile Pulse is a great octa-core smartphone with a very affordable pricetag. Granted it has flaws, especially with the sub-par camera, but compromises will always be made to achieve a certain price tag. While it no longer bears the title of most affordable octa-core smartphone in the market, it’s still a good phone to consider if you’re looking for a powerful, affordable smartphone.



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