Head-to-head: Cherry Mobile Pulse VS. ASUS Zenfone 5

Head-to-head: Cherry Mobile Pulse VS. ASUS Zenfone 5


Which one is better?

Today we’ll be pitting two bang-for-the-buck phones against each other: the Cherry Mobile Pulse and the ASUS Zenfone 5 (8GB). Both devices are priced at Php 6,499, so naturally a lot of people keep asking us which one is better. Well, today we’ll find out if ASUS’ new smartphone is up to the task of taking on Cherry Mobile’s most affordable octa-core smartphone.

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

ASUS Zenfone 5 specs

  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 8-megapixel f/2.0 PixelMaster Camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, HSPA+
  • 2110mAh, non-removable battery
  • Android 4.3 ( will update to 4.4 KitKat ) with ASUS ZenUI
  • Php 6495



So, let’s check the specs of both devices. The Pulse theoretically has a faster performing processor with more cores, as it posesses a 1.7GHz MediaTek MTK6592 processor compared to the Zenfone 5’s 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560. However, the Zenfone 5 has the Pulse beat in terms of memory, having 2GB of RAM compared to only 1GB of RAM in the Pulse. In terms of screen resolution, both devices have the same HD resolution in their display, though the Zenfone 5 has the Pulse beat in protection, posessing Gorilla Glass 3 compared to the Dragontrail one in the Pulse. In the imaging department, the Pulse has the Zenfone 5 beat by having higher megapixel cameras, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into better pictures (more on this later).


It’s hard to pit the designs of two devices against each other simply because people have different prefences when it comes to smartphones. What might be amazing for you may not rock our boat. That being said, the Zenfone 5 has more color options available compared to the Pulse. As far as overall size is concerned, both devices are pretty much the same size.



In our performance tests, the Pulse did better in gaming compared to the Zenfone 5, even though the Zenfone 5 has more RAM. The Pulse managed to load games faster, and handled them better compared to the Zenfone 5 even though the Zenfone 5 had more memory. On Dead Trigger 2 for example, the Zenfone 5 exhibited a lot of lag when it came to playing, especially with the graphics set on high. The Pulse did not have those issues, and played the games smoothly, with very few lag spikes.

Zenfone 5
Zenfone 5
Zenfone 5
Zenfone 5

CM Pulse 2


In our camera tests, the Zenfone 5 did a better job, despite having a lower resolution camera. While the Pulse managed to do a good job in brightly lit environs, it struggled in low-light, producing washed out photos and exhibiting soft focus issues. The Zenfone 5 does a bit better, as you can see in the comparison photos.

(Full size unedited photos: ZF5 1, 2, CM Pulse 1, 2

CM Pulse vs Zenfone 5 01

Battery life:

To see which smartphone has the edge on battery life, we charged both devices to 100%, loaded a full HD copy of 300: Rise of an Empire on both and ran the movie. After the 1 hour and 40 minute movie was over, the Pulse still had 69% left in the tank, while the Zenfone 5 had 77% left.



Both devices clearly have their strengths and weaknesses. The Zenfone 5 wins out in battery life and camera, but suffers in actual performance when it comes to demanding applications like games. The Pulse may have a middlin camera and slightly worse battery performance than the Zenfone 5, though it wins out when it comes to raw performance. If you’re looking for a powerful, affordable gaming phone, the Pulse may be your ticket. If you’re looking for a smartphone that takes great photos, then the Zenfone 5 is the answer.



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