Cherry Mobile Cubix Max Review: A Phablet for the Masses

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We review the Cherry Mobile Cubix Cube Max!

The thought of being able to purchase a phablet for around Php 4,000/$79.5 got our attention. Cherry Mobile, under its online-exclusive Cubix sub-brand, just did such feat with the Cubix Max. There’s plenty of value to be had with the phone on papera 6-inch full HD display, fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh battery plus Android Nougat out of the box makes the Cubix Max hard to ignore. But how did this budget phablet phone fare in our review?

Cubix Cube Max Specs

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580 quad-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 6-inch HD IPS display; 1280×720 resolution
  • 16GB of expandable storage (up to 64GB via microSD card)
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • 3000mAh Battery (Removable)
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Quality build for its price

For its price point, it has a hefty body. The front panel feels sturdier than most smartphones in its price range. We think that it can survive a few drops (but of course you dread to drop your phone, whether intentionally or accidentally). You have to be mindful that the back casing is a bit hard to open. But since it has a removable battery, it’s not that much of a big deal. The back cover has a satin finish and is not a fingerprint magnet the front, where we had to constantly wipe off the smudges. The phone’s rounded edges make it easy to grip in spite of its size.

You have that large 6 inch HD display in front, along with capacitative buttons below the screen, and the earpiece, screen sensor, and its 8-megapixel camera above the screen.

On top of the phone, you have a Micro USB port and 3.5mm audio jack—a port that is omitted in modern smartphones like Apple’s iPhone 7 and HTC’s U11.

You have your power button and volume rocker on the phone’s right side. The buttons are integrated with the back cover when you open it, so be careful with the buttons possibly popping out.

There is nothing to see at the phone’s left side.

At the bottom of the phone, you have your microphone, and a notch for removing the back cover on the rightmost edge.

At the back of the phone, you have the 16-megapixel camera, the phone’s LED flash, Cherry Mobile’s Cubix branding, and a fingerprint sensora noteworthy feature to the phone, considering its price range. You will also find the speaker grille at the bottom part of the phone. Using the fingerprint scanner was a breeze: We barely had any problems with it with the time we were using it since it’s not easy to do a screen unlock using one hand on a phone this big.

 

Decent performance for a budget phone

Running the AnTuTu benchmark, the phone gave us a score of 24137while it is not high-performance figures, the phone can do well for daily tasks like email, messaging, texting, photography, and social media. Do note that AnTuTu reads the Cubix Max as Flare P1possibly because there are no official benchmarks (yet) for the Cubix Max. Cherry Mobile has confirmed that the Cubix Cube uses the same PCB as the Flare P1, though the issue shouldn’t affect retail phones being sold in Lazada. That being said, the phone’s 1GB RAM and Quad Core Mediatek MT6580 processor can only do so much, which means that you should take it easy when it comes to multitasking. Case in point: When I tried to use Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, the phone became slowuntil we force stopped Facebook (which can be a RAM hog at times). Despite the RAM limitations, the phone did not experience any form of overheating—an issue associated with pushing smartphones to the limit.

With its 6-inch screen size, it’s a pleasure to watch videos and play games with it. We tried playing a music video from CHVRCHES and spent a couple of hours playing Asphalt 8 on it, and the colors were crisp and clear, just what we expect from a Full HD display. The rear speakers are loud enough but can sound tinny at times so using earphones is recommended. Listening to it with any regular earphones, the sound quality is pretty good for its price range.

While it takes a while to load games, the phone managed to keep up with the processing power needed, in spite of a few frame drops.

The phone runs Android Nougat (7.0) straight out of the box, but be wary of the bloatware pre-installed in this device. In case you don’t need them, you can just delete these unnecessary apps to make the most out of its 16GB internal memory—enough for the light smartphone user.

A decent shooter, with a few caveats

Both its cameras take good shots. The rear camera takes decent photos, both in daytime and in low light conditions. Using a f/2.2 camera (as found in the EXIF file of these sample photos), the photos can match those taken using an iPhone 5. Since it is running Android Nougat, you have a “Pro” camera option where you can manually adjust for exposure, ISO, white balance, and shutter speed. It has a good close-focusing ability, useful for taking macro shots. As for its front camera, it’s not that hard to take good selfies, thanks to its beauty shot feature. Do note, however, that there noticeable delay in taking photos, and also with how it process photos after taking a shot.

Can get you through the day

Putting the phone on heavy load, the battery lasted for more than 4.5 hours, based on results from PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery life test. However, don’t be thrown off by the results: we tested the phone for calls, internet browsing, social media, photography, music, and even games, and still manage to last more than a day with its 3000MAh battery—not bad considering the size of its display. A battery-efficient phone should trump everything else like a good display and a high-performance processor these days.

Verdict: A good starter phone for those who want phablets.

For a Php 4,000 price, you can’t ask more. It has features most people would look for in a smartphone. However, one should take it easy when it comes to multitasking. It’s 1GB RAM can only do so much, so you should be mindful of the apps you run simultaneously with this phone. Other than that, it’s a definite bang for the buck from Cherry Mobile. While it is available only online (through Lazada), we hope Cherry Mobile decides to sell the Cubix Max in physical stores.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/d2kUyk)

 

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