We review the Cherry Mobile Selfie Two!
After three years, Cherry Mobile has introduced a successor to its Selfie smartphone with the Selfie Two. Aside from being more affordable (the Selfie was priced at Php 9,999 back in 2014), the Selfie Two boasts of a more conventional and streamlined design, along with Samsung ISOCELL cameras. and a bigger display.
While the processor on the Selfie Two has been downgraded (it uses a quad-core MediaTek processor instead of an octa-core MediaTek processor), the question remains: Does the Selfie Two live up to the reputation of its predecessor?
Cherry Mobile Selfie Two Specs
- 1.3GHz 64-bit MT6737 quad-core processor
- Mali-T720 GPU
- 2GB of RAM
- 5.2-inch HD IPS display with 2.5D curved glass, (1280 x 720 resolution)
- 16GB of expandable storage, up to 64GB
- 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera with Samsung S5K3L8 sensor, BSI, AF, and dual tone LED flash
- 13-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with Samsung S5K3L8 sensor, BSI, and dual tone LED flash
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
- 2,900mAh battery
- Android Nougat
Premium built for a budget smartphone
As we have detailed in our unboxing, the Selfie Two has a conservative yet nice build considering it is a Php 5k smartphone. On a rare occasion, Cherry Mobile decided to outfit the removable back cover with a mix of metal and plastic. It’s a unique setup, and it really helps in giving the Selfie Two an illusion that it is a premium smartphone. The use of metal did make the phone heavier than usual, but to be honest, we would go for a hefty phone as this speaks a lot about its durability.
We also mentioned that the rear does have similarities to the Desire R8, which is a definite good sign. Who knows, Cherry Mobile might make more budget smartphones with a metal rear in the near future.
As compared to other Cherry Mobile phones within the Php 5K price range—Flare S6 included, the Selfie Two has a pretty display. It may be only an HD panel, but colors do stand out with this display, making it perfect for viewing photos and watching videos.
We are not sure what glass protection is used on the Selfie Two, but it is harder compared to other phones in its price range. Despite that, we really suggest investing on a screen guard to keep the display pristine.
Average budget smartphone performance
A downgrade to a quad-core processor made the Selfie Two score lower in AnTutu compared to the original Selfie. At a score of 28581, the Selfie Two is on the average side when compared to budget phones in its price range. In real-life use, the Selfie Two can handle multitasking with slight lags at times, making it ideal for light-to-medium users.
As for games, the Selfie Two has limitations due to its quad-core processor. While you can run some games on high settings, expect noticeable drops in frame rates and lags during gameplay. That being said, it is advisable to lower down the graphics settings of games when playing using the Selfie Two. Let’s take a quick look at actual gaming benchmarks using GameBench:
With Asphalt 8 on high settings, the Selfie Two struggles, only attaining a median FPS of 8 with a low 58% FPS stability.
The same can be said for Marvel Future Fight on high settings, with the Selfie Two only attaining a median FPS of 11 and a low FPS Stability of 38%.
Keeping things vanilla
Unlike the Flare S6 and the Flare S6 Selfie, the Selfie Two keeps things simple by using a stock Android OS. You only have a minimal number of bloatware, which is a good thing considering Cherry Mobile used to stack their phones with a bunch of undeletable bloatware in the past.
While a stock Android OS would mean things are streamlined, we encountered a few hiccups along the way. We hope Cherry Mobile could issue some updates to optimize its OS.
Impressive cameras, but can be improved further
Armed with Samsung ISOCELL cameras, the Selfie Two does perform as advertised with its camera performance. Image quality and color rendition are great with the Selfie Two, though there are times that we feel that it oversharpens images. Its bokeh mode is underwhelming, as it is not easy to get good results with it. However, the Selfie Two performs really well with its HDR mode.
By enabling HDR, the Selfie Two manages to improve the shadows and add more color to the image without making it too artificial. As for the front camera, results are roughly the same as with the rear camera since it also uses the same sensor. That being said, the Selfie Two produces great selfies just like its predecessor.
Check out the photos we took using the Selfie Two:
Above average battery performance
Armed with a 2900mAh battery, the Selfie Two can coast through the day. With a PCMark battery life rating of 7 hours and 5 minutes, the Selfie Two is another battery-efficient from Cherry Mobile. On real-life use, we managed to last a day while using the Selfie Two for social media, web browsing, photography, and games, and still have some juice left.
The Selfie Two’s MicroUSB port does not support fast charging, so expect to fully juice it up in around two and a half hours.
Verdict: Sandwiched in between
While the Selfie Two does deliver as a budget smartphone alternative, its placement is a tricky situation: On the lower end, you have the Flare S6, which has downgraded cameras, an all-plastic body, and a better battery life. On the higher end, you have the Flare S6 Selfie, which has a better processor, better ISOCELL cameras, but a so-so battery life. So if you will ask us, the Selfie Two is Cherry Mobile’s way of offering the best of both the Flare S6 and Flare S6 Selfie while keeping the price at a hair below Php 5k.
While not having CherryOS is not a bad idea (stock Android is still cool, mind you), the Selfie Two does need some software optimizations (for multitasking and with the camera’s bokeh feature), which can hopefully be addressed via a software update. So if you don’t mind having CherryOS and USB-C connectivity but care about a quality camera, the Selfie Two is a considerable alternative to the Flare S6 Selfie and Flare S6.