Cherry Mobile Cosmos 3 Initial Hands-on Review: The X20-equipped Phone You Should Get?

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When Cherry Mobile released the Helio-powered X20 M1 a few months ago, we were excited at the prospects of the new chipset. The promise of a fast performing SoC that cost half of what competitor Qualcomm asked for was enticing, unfortunately the M1 suffered from a myriad of problems, chief of which was the unoptimized software that shipped with it, hobbling its performance.

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Enter the Cosmos 3. While the phone is packed with the same X20 processor that ran in the M1, Cherry Mobile says that they’ve learned from the previous phone and have optimized the chipset for far better performance. It also helps that the phone is far cheaper than the M1.

Cherry Mobile Cosmos 3 specs
  • MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor
  • Mali-T880MP4 graphics processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 5.7-inch FHD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, BSI AF, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE, 700MHz ready
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS
  • USB Type-C
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 3500mAh battery

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Initial Impressions: A better feeling, and better built, X20 phone

We were underwhelmed with the exterior design of the M1 when we first laid our hands on it. It didn’t feel like a flagship phone – it felt like a budget device with an exceptionally fast processor on it. The Cosmos 3 couldn’t be more different – the phone has a full metal body, which gives it an extraordinary premium feel compared to the M1.

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The phone has a passing resemblance to Huawei’s flagships, though the back of the device still has plastic for the antenna bands. The power and volume rocker is on the right, while the top holds the 3.5mm jack. On the bottom of the phone sits the dual speaker grille which flanks the USB Type-C connector.

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Overall build quality is good, though there were tiny gaps near the plastic at the bottom of the phone. Cherry Mobile told us that the Cosmos 3 that we handled was still an engineering unit, and those surface flaws would be fixed with the final retail version.

Flip the phone over and you’ll see the 13-megapixel rear camera with BSI, AF and LED flash, along with the fingerprint scanner. The phone’s large 5.7-inch IPS full HD display is bigger than the M1, and has good color and viewing angles. The fingerprint scanner is good, and unlocked the phone quickly when we used it.

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Inside the Cosmos 3 was is the Helio X20 deca-core processor, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The phone is also 700MHz ready, which means it’ll be able to take advantage of the new spectrum recently acquired by both telcos.

From our limited time with the Cosmos 3 the phone felt smooth and fast, but to be honest that was our impression with the M1 as well when we first got our hands on it. We’ll have to see if the Cosmos 3 really delivers in our full review – until then the specs look good only in paper.

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Speaking briefly about the M1, Cherry Mobile told us that they pushed out a couple of new updates for the performance and camera side of things. Theoretically the phone should be much better than it first rolled out, but we haven’t tried it out ourselves to be honest.

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That’s pretty much it for the Cosmos 3. The phone may be a little less capable than the M1 having less RAM and a lower-spec camera, but that’s not really that big of an issue. At Php 9,999 it’s far cheaper than the M1, which is still being sold in stores.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/Y6PUAn)

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