DAT BATT, Pt 2
When I first saw the Cloudfone Thrill 430x with its 4160 mAh battery in late 2012, I thought to myself: "That must be a typo!". I was wrong. It did have an absurdly huge battery and that's what made me decide to review it. I even decided to keep it as a backup phone because it took forever to die. Fast forward to early 2014, and its battery remains very strong and undying. The problem was if this were my main phone, it would be pretty much a pain in the ass to use simply because it's so damn slow. Yes, it was already relatively slow back then because the 960x540 resolution was too much for the Qualcomm MSM8225 processor. But it's even slower now considering all the new apps and how much more interactive webpages are. If you aren't the patient type you'd probably get brain hemorrhage from frustration while browsing desktop webpages and various games. Simply put, it remained unchallenged as THE big batt phone. Sure, Cloudfone also released the Thrill 530qx with a 4500 mAh battery, but it had a Qualcomm MSM8225Q processor which is pretty much dead-on-arrival with that 960x540 screen. *Update: I have finally confirmed that the Thrill 530qx sports a MediaTek MTK6589M chipset. I've led to believe otherwise by most sources, including Cloudfone sales personnel that it used a quad core Qualcomm chipset.
More recently, I heard news that Cherry Mobile would release a 5.0", 4,000 mAh phone with USB OTG. That piqued my interest. Then I found out it had a MediaTek MTK6582M processor and thought to myself: "Damn. The gamers would love this for sure.". More surprising is the price. "5,499 Php? Hmm... What's the catch?". Even if I bought it, I was doubtful it would replace my Thrill 430x as a backup phone, which is already sort of "battle hardened". But due to the sheer scarcity of reasonably price big batt phones, I also hoped that reviewing this will raise interest in bringing in more phones with higher capacity batteries, not just models with shrinking waistlines at the cost of battery capacity given that battery technology hasn't made any significant strides lately. Seeing as there weren't too many big batt phones, even amongst international brands, I finally decided to get one to review, exactly to find out the catch.
*While I have not yet identified the OEM of this device, Micromax of India has also released a virtually identical phone called the Micromax A96, difference being the A96 only has 512 MB of RAM.
Design and Build Quality
Personally, the Fuze is one of the better designed phones out there. Not just aesthetically, but in terms of layout and ergonomics. In terms of aesthetics, the Fuze is very executive by design. It's monolithic by stance, which is further characterized by the faux polished metal bumper rounding the phone and its flat surfaces. This also helps the phone visually maintain a slimmer profile. I would liken it closely to the Samsung Galaxy S4 as both are 5" phones and have similar design characteristics, albeit more macho and down to business due to the understated tone of the Fuze and the different materials used in the construction.
It is also surprisingly thin for a phone packing a big 4,000 mAh battery, measuring in at about 10.6 mm. In comparison, the 4160 mAh Cloudfone Thrill 430x is 14.2 mm thick and is noticeably thicker than the Fuze.
In terms of ergonomics, the Fuze puts both the volume and power buttons on the upper right side of the phone and both the USB and 3.5 mm port on top of the device. Having all the buttons on the right side allows the right hand thumb access, compared to other devices where the volume or power control are on opposite sides. This prevents having to switch between your thumb and index or middle finger when pressing buttons. Having both the USB and 3.5 mm port on one side also helps in handling the phone when both ports are being used. However, the location of the 3.5 mm port would've been better on the right side of the USB port so it doesn't intrude your resting fingers while holding the phone in landscape mode.
The recessed camera hole and the tiny nudge beside the loudspeaker are also well-thought design cues. It reduces the chances of the camera lens getting scratched and prevents the loudspeaker from being completely covered when placing the phone on top of a flat surface.
The slightly rubbery matte back cover is soft in feel and provides grip for resting fingers. The faux polished metal bumper also provides contrasting textures when holding the device. The Asahi Dragontrail glass that graces the display feels thick and provides a noticeable assurance of strength when tapping it with fingernails. The phone feels very solid too, with nary a flex or creak when gripping it tightly. Combined with its hefty 183 grams of weight, the Fuze impresses with its build and solidity which is personally, almost premium by feel. The Fuze is definitely one of the best built phones in its price bracket.
The Fuze's two SIM slots which sit atop each other both fit regular, mini SIM cards. The microSD card slot is directly above the battery terminals. Neither are hot-swappable since the battery covers the insertion points.
Here is a checklist of what comes inside the box:
- 1x Cherry Mobile Fuze
- 1x 4000 mAh battery
- 1x 1500 mA charger
- 1x USB cable
- 1x USB OTG cable (micro USB male to USB female)
- 1x Headset
- 1x User's manual
The Cherry Mobile Fuze is equipped with a 5.0" FWVGA (854x480) screen that supports 2 point multitouch. It also uses a TN panel. More depressing is that they used an even lower quality TN panel on the Fuze; lower than the usual. While other phones with TN panels like the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 enjoy a good viewing angle from three sides, the Fuze only has two. The top and right side viewing angle on the Fuze is bad. Only the left and bottom viewing angles are good. Heck, even the bottom side suffers from contrast loss when viewed from an angle, so I wouldn't call it completely good.
Here are some shots of the Fuze's screen demonstrating viewing angles:
Luckily, the Fuze's screen uses Dragontrail glass which improves clarity, light transmission and more importantly, reduces glare. The screen isn't a OGS (one glass solution), so there is a gap between the panel and glass, but the gap is rather small on the Fuze. The Dragontrail glass and small gap allows the Fuze to maintain decent legibility under sunlight as well as improve perceived brightness compared to other phones that use TN panels and inferior glass. At full brightness, the Fuze's display is almost as bright as many phones equipped with an IPS panel. Speaking of brightness, the light sensor on the Fuze adjusts the brightness very well as the sensor poll rate is high and the brightness update is quick and gradual. It can adjust the brightness in as fast as 2 seconds when going under a shade.
Another fortunate and important thing to offset the inherent deficiency of the Fuze's panel is how well calibrated it is. When looking at the screen dead center, you'd think the Fuze is equipped with an IPS panel -- no buts. Even the color gamut at first glance seems similar, although TN panels are just 6 bit and attempt to imitate 8 bit panels (16.7 million colors) via dithering. This can be seen in the color gradient test below, which also allows you to appreciate the calibration as there is little crushing between colors aside from blacks. The hue, contrast and gamma are done right as the color temperature is neutral with colors only very slightly saturated. Whites look white, not grayish white. And blacks look as black as far as the contrast can push, not blueish black.
In all, the Fuze's display is capable of churning out good looking images which look vivid, lush, yet accurate -- something you wouldn't expect from a TN panel. The display's refresh rate is also 60 Hz out of the box, so viewing moving images on the Fuze is smooth and blur-free.
Aside from the limited viewing angles, the other caveat with the Fuze's display is the FWVGA resolution which at 5.0" translates to 196 PPI. I expected it to be worse, but I can honestly say the level of sharpness is still usable even when displaying web pages fully zoomed out in landscape mode. The calibration on the display manages to trump the low PPI level.
The display on the Fuze is a mixed bag. They could've easily went away with any effort to improve the viewing experience considering this is a low cost device, but somehow I'd like to commend the manufacturer for thinking of ways to offset the lower quality panel being used.
The Cherry Mobile Fuze is powered by a MediaTek MTK6582M which has four Cortex A7 cores running at 1.3 Ghz and dual core Mali-400MP graphics. As with MediaTek's other current offerings, the MTK6582M is also manufactured at 28 nm. The "M" variants of MediaTek's SOCs usually represent a variant with a lower clocked GPU, and the MTK6582M's GPU runs at 416 Mhz, down from 500 Mhz on the regular MTK6582. Given that the Fuze's FWVGA resolution is relatively low, this maybe more desirable given how fast the dual core Mali-400MP already is. That way, power draw is lower while delivering a similar experience.
Despite the small 100 Mhz increase in clock speed over the MTK6589, the MTK6582M's CPU performance is noticeably faster -- up to 15% in some cases. I find this odd considering the MTK6582 line has half the L2 cache of the MTK6589 line. The performance improvement could be attributed to the MTK6582 using the new r0p3 revision of the Cortex A7 core. The MTK6589's Cortex A7 cores are of the old r0p2 revision.
Performance improvements from revision r0p2 to r0p3 have been officially documented under Section 1.8 'Product revisions' of the Cortex A7 MPCore Technical Reference Manual (revision r0p3) found here: <click here>.
AnTuTu Benchmark 4
Linpack - Single Threaded
Linpack - Multi Threaded
Vellamo - HTML5
Vellamo - Metal
Epic Citadel - High Performance
Epic Citadel - High Quality
Basemark ES 2.0 Taiji
Basemark X 1.1
3DMark - Ice Storm v1.2
GFXBench - T-Rex (Onscreen)
GFXBench - T-Rex (Offscreen, 1080p)
More exciting on the MTK6582 line is the dual core Mali-400MP graphics. It simply makes the PowerVR SGX544MP graphics on the MTK6589T (fastest in the MTK6589 line) look like a pushover, even against the MTK6582M and its lower GPU clocks. On newer graphics benchmarks where there is an emphasis on shader performance vs fillrate, the MTK6582M is up to 14% faster than the MTK6589T (i.e. GFXBench - T-Rex (Offscreen), 3.8 FPS vs 3.3 FPS) and up to 27% faster than the MTK6589M (i.e. AnTuTu 4 3D graphics, 4800+ vs 3500+). The real world performance difference is even bigger from experience.
Combined with the less demanding FWVGA resolution and the relatively potent graphics of the MTK6582M, this allows the Fuze to play graphically demanding games at higher settings compared to MTK6589 devices. Take for instance Real Racing 3. Whereas on the MTK6589 the graphics setting must be turned down to 'low' for smooth framerates, the MTK6582M can be set to 'high' yet remain as smooth. Heck, I was even able to turn it to 'extra high' via the 'RR3 Graphics' app and it still remains smooth on the Fuze. I surmise the farthest you can go with smooth frames would be 'high' if the resolution was 720p. Alas, the Fuze's display is only FWVGA so you can push even higher settings.
The Fuze also has 1 GB of RAM (971.5 MB to be precise) which should allow you to run any application, including heavy benchmarks without problems. All the benchmarks I've tried that closed on many phones with 512 MB of RAM, like Basemark X and 3DMark, ran without a hitch on the Fuze. Free RAM after a fresh boot is around 600+ MB. This is more than enough for general multitasking loads without causing your app in the background to stop. i.e you get stuck in your game, you open your browser to check GameFaqs for help, change song on your music player, go back to your game as if it were just minimized.
As with the MTK6589, I expected no less from the MTK6582M when it comes to its hardware video decoder. The Fuze is able to play 1080p60 H.264 video content with reasonable bitrate and encoding with its hardware decoder. The hardware audio decoder cannot process beyond two channel audio so multi-channel audio streams like 5.1 will be handled via the software decoder.
|1920x800 @ 24 FPS, AVC High Profile L4.1, with CABAC, 3 reference frames||1920x800 @ 24 FPS, AVC High Profile L4.0, with CABAC, 5 reference frames||1920x1080 @ 60 FPS, AVC Baseline Profile L3.0, with CABAC, 1 reference frame|
317 Kbps, 6 channel AAC
306 Kbps, 6 channels, AAC
132 Kbps, 2 channels, AAC
Plays via hardware decoder:
Plays via software decoder:
(HW) Has dropped frames:
(SW) Has dropped frames:
Yes, a few during fast paced scenes
The Fuze is equipped with a fixed focus camera that outputs 8 megapixel pictures interpolated from a 5 megapixel Omnivision OV5648 sensor. The OV5648 is 1/4" BSI sensor with a pixel size of 1.4 µm that can be fitted into fixed focus camera modules. The lens aperture on the Fuze's camera is f/2.8, which is pretty standard fare.
The camera interface on the Fuze is stock Jellybean where the still shot and video recording modules share the same interface. This means framing video may be a bit tricky since the FOV (field of view) is different when recording video as there is a crop factor where only a portion of the sensor is being used during recording.
As you can see from the video above, the Fuze's camera is well appointed although since this is a fixed focus camera, focus-related features are missing. I did wish though that tapping on the an area in the viewfinder would allow you to set metering focus. However, tapping on the viewfinder does nothing even if you set the metering mode to spot. Some of the phones I reviewed before with fixed focus cameras allowed this.
Aside from common manual controls such as brightness and contrast, there are a variety of shooting modes for most situations, although personally I find the default mode does the job fine except in low light situations. Other manual controls include white balance, exposure (+/- 3 steps), color effects/filters, and ISO 100 to 1600. There is also a zero shutter delay option which makes shutter lag virtually non existent, although the shutter lag is minimal even without it. Without the ZSD option enabled, I measured the shutter lag to be between 350 and 400 ms.
Shooting options include panorama, which can done from left to right or up to down and vice versa; face beauty, which attempts to enhance skin tones and whatnot when it detects a face; smile shot, which automatically shoots a picture when it detects a smiling face on the viewfinder; EV bracket shot, which generates several shots at different exposure values; and best shot mode which does additional post-processing on the shot to make it look better, though honestly the difference is minimal vs a shot taken in default mode. There is also HDR shot mode which is relatively fast as the shortest delay I was able to measure between the low and high range shot is between 700 and 800 ms, though this can take longer depending on the lighting conditions.
Shots taken by the Fuze can weigh up to 3 MB and they aren't trigger happy with the compression. Compression artifacts are minimal compared to some phones I reviewed before that used a MTK6589 processor + Omnivision OV36xx series sensor like the Arc Mobile Memo which had shots weighing in at 1 MB at most.
The sensor does well to keep noise down and details intact up to ISO 400 in good to decent lighting. Moving up to ISO 800 introduces too much noise and should be reserved only for low light shots. Despite this, I find the 'night mode' on the Fuze much more useful as you have no way to precisely control the exposure time. The lowest exposure time I was able to achieve is 1/10 seconds on default mode. But in night mode the exposure time can go as far as 1/5 seconds in genuine low light conditions, allowing for a much brighter picture. The downside is that subjects should stay perfectly still slightly longer due to the extended exposure time, and that night mode will automatically choose the sensitivity so images might have more noise than expected.
Surprisingly, you can enable the LED flash to fire even when night mode is activated. A lot of phones don't allow this. The flash performance on the Fuze isn't spectacular, but it's highly usable and it can adequately illuminate subjects up to 2 meters distance. Combined with night mode, shots taken of close subjects even in pitch black conditions are usable.
Since the Fuze's camera module is fixed focus, you will not be able to take macro shots. Although everything beyond 1.5 meters should be in even focus, the quality of the optics isn't very good and overall the images are devoid of sharpness. Applying additional sharpness doesn't help much since this is a deficiency in the lens.
While this isn't obvious at first, a quick glance at the sample pictures in my Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 review makes the difference in detail and sharpness rather apparent despite the pictures in my reviews already downsampled. Regardless, the sharpness is more than adequate when the pictures are downsampled for web use or for small prints, just like the sample images you see in this review. Compared to the original Cherry Mobile Titan though, the Fuze's shots look better.
Besides the lack of sharpness, the lower quality optics also doesn't filter the camera from things like hazing and tinting when shooting in very strong sunlight. Many of these can be very easily corrected in Photoshop though, even just on the Android version of Photoshop.
Please note that all images aside from the low light shots are taken using auto mode.
All low light shots are taken using night mode.
Fuze Sample Shots (Good lighting)
Fuze Sample Shots (Low light)
Fuze Sample Shots (LED flash + Night mode)
Fuze Sample Shots (HDR)
Fuze Sample Shots (Panorama)
The Fuze is able to record videos at 1080p30, with a resolution of 1920x1088 to be precise. The videos are encoded in H.264 with a variable bitrate up to 17 Mbps while the audio is encoded in AAC with a constant bitrate of 128 Kbps. The framerates are a steady 30 FPS at 1080p in good to decent lighting conditions. In low light conditions, framerates can drop as low as 15 FPS. While this sounds good, again the low quality optics makes the video look unnaturally soft with smeared details, which is also partially the fault of the variable bitrate which can be conservative. The videos still look practically like 720p. The file size of the Fuze's 1080p video recording ('Fine' setting on the Fuze) can go as high as 130 MB per minute of footage in good lighting where the bitrate will remain up.
Below are video recording samples taken by the Cherry Mobile Fuze:
Sample 1 (outdoor):
Sample 2 (low light):
Sample 3 (indoor):
Here's the lowdown on the Cherry Mobile Fuze's camera:
- Soft, but usable shots in good to decent lighting. Good enough for web use and small prints
- LED flash + night mode combo can produce usable shots even in pitch black conditions
- No macro shots, no metering focus
- Can do steady 1080p30 recording in decent lighting, but overall quality is more representative of 720p
Lastly, the front-facing camera is VGA only and making video calls is advised in good lighting. Still shots by the front-facing camera are interpolated to 1.3 megapixels.
The highlight of the Fuze is its very large 4000 mAh battery. The MTK6582M is supposedly a rather efficient SOC, so I expected no less than half a day of continuous playback for video playback and wifi browsing. True enough, the Fuze was able to squeeze over 13 hours in both scenarios with a little left to spare.
However, when it came to the 3D gaming battery test, the Fuze only scored a little over 6 hours. 6 hours is actually pretty good considering the heavy 3D workload and the Fuze's bright screen. The thing is, my expectations have been raised considering the Cherry Mobile Life with its 1500 mAh but lower power SOC (MTK6572; dual Cortex A7 + single core Mali-400MP) was able to score 4 hours in the same test. Notwithstanding the dim screen of the Life and the weaker graphics, I still feel that the Fuze could've squeezed an extra 1 to 2 hours more especially given how big its battery is.
The following are the test conditions for the three tests. Note that brightness is set to 30% for all tests and that the battery has been calibrated prior to testing:
- Looping video - a 1 1/2 hour 480p XVID/H.263 video is played on loop until the battery level reaches below 20%. Hardware decoding is used for the video and software decoding is used for audio. Earphones are plugged and volume is set to maximum.
- 3D gaming - a graphics-intensive 3D game is run on loop until the battery level reaches 15%. Built-in loudspeaker is used and volume is set to 50%.
Battery Tests - Results
13 hours 32 minutes
13 hours 12 minutes
6 hours 9 minutes
The issue here is exactly that: the Fuze uses the MTK6582M which has double the CPU and GPU cores of the MTK6572, and a very big battery. To achieve the relative thinness of the Fuze despite its big battery, they crammed everything into the upper portion of the device which leaves less room for dissipating heat. Combine that with the big battery that acts as a heatsink and the MTK6582M being warm while gaming (goes up to 37C with an ambient room temp of 26C), you get a negative impact on battery life. This is the same issue with the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0, although the MSM8225Q on the Flare 2.0 ran much hotter. The MTK6582M remains pretty cool though when not gaming, but I still wish they added an implementation to limit the framerates (like on the Nexus 7) when gaming so the GPU isn't always on full load. The GPU on the Fuze is relatively fast, so most games run well over 30 FPS on default or lower graphics settings.
The standby time is exceptional and you can leave your mobile data on the entire day without worrying about its impact on battery life. Overall, the Fuze should easily last several days with light use (calls, text and light browsing only), two to three days with moderate use (a little bit of everything), and a full day of pure, abusive use (high brightness, mobile data on, mix of everything).
Charging times with the stock 1.5A charger is good considering how large the battery is. It took 2 hours 30 minutes to charge the Fuze from 15% to 90% and another 45 minutes to reach 100%.
Battery Test - Looping Video
Battery Test - Wifi browsing
Battery Test - 3D gaming
For the rating of audio quality, I will go by the following rubrics:
- Dynamic range - this determines how well the source is able to reproduce varying differences of sound, particularly their degree of quietness and loudness. How clearly a ringing of a cymbal and the boom of a drum is heard and how well-defined each is defined by how high the range is. Perceptibly, this governs the clarity of both low and high frequencies, and sound stage.
- Power output - this determines how much power the source is able to provide to your equipment (i.e. earphones and headphones). The better the power output of your source, the higher the resistance of the equipment you can use on your phone without suffering detail loss, in which event you will be forced to use an external amp. In my ratings, 4 stars defines that the phone is able to provide adequate power with only some detail loss to equipment with a resistance of up to 64 ohms, provided that distortion is also 4 stars. Perceptibly, higher power output allows you to lower preamp in the equalizer for cleaner detail. It also governs bass impact.
- Stereo Crosstalk - this determines how much leakage or interference is occurring between the left and right audio channels. Lower stereo crosstalk means more accurate sound from their respective channels and less mixing. In my ratings, 4 stars defines a low enough stereo crosstalk to provide a soundstage that only suffer minimal distortion when several instruments play simultaneously. Perceptibly, a better stereo crosstalk rating provides less distortion in poorly mixed tracks and to a lesser degree, affects how wide and defined the sound stage is.
- Distortion - this determines how much power can be delivered by the source without altering the signal. In my ratings, a better distortion rating perceptibly means your phone can playback at higher volume without suffering detail loss through distortion. In my ratings, 4 stars defines that the phone is able to play at 9/10 of the volume bar with minimal detail loss.
- Noise - not to be confused with SNR (signal-to-noise ratio), noise in my rubrics simply defines how clean the signal is when the frequency is at rest, or perceptibly how much hissing there is when there is quietness. In my ratings, 4 stars defines that there is virtually no hissing when there is silence in the track during playback.
Here is how the Cherry Mobile Fuze does against phones I have or have reviewed before:
*Do note that the scores for dynamic range and power output have been reevaluated, normalized and adjusted accordingly. Audio scorecards found in my previous reviews will apply only to those reviews.
The audio quality on the Fuze is decent. Power output is more than adequate even for lower impedance full-sized headphones, though I wouldn't use anything higher than 45 ohms impedance. With more sensitive gear like some of the better IEMs (such as balanced armature IEMs), there is distortion at maximum volume, so listening at 8/10 or 9/10 of the volume is best. The sound is relatively clean although I must say, the Fuze is particularly bright as a source. You'd initially mistake the lack of "punch" or "kick" for poor dynamic range, but the Fuze trades bass impact for better soundstage and imaging, although the treble can be shrill at times if you're already using bright gear like Vsonic VC02s and most Grados. The Fuze is better paired with gear that's dark and more bass oriented, though the equalizer should be enough to neutralize and add body to the sound if you use brighter gear. Overall, it should be able to replace most portable music players if you mostly use IEMs or smaller, lower impedance headphones.
It should be noted that the Fuze's 3.5 mm port is CTIA-compliant, meaning that newer headsets (earphone/headphone with mic) will work, such as those compatible the iPhone and newer smartphones. Very few phones by local brands are CTIA-compliant (most of them follow the old OMTP standard), so this is a plus for the Fuze -- especially with buyers of local phone brands who had issues before looking for a compatible headset. I have tested the Fuze to work with my stock Galaxy S4 headset, Apple Earpods and Sony MH1C which are all CTIA-compliant headsets. I only had a minor issue with my Earpods where the inline mic wasn't working. The inline mic works on my stock S4 headset and Sony MH1C though.
Lastly, the stock headset of the Fuze actually sounds pretty decent after at least 10 hours of burn-in. It sounds bloated and congested at first, but it really opens up after some burn-in. It has good synergy with the Fuze's bright sonic disposition.
Cherry Mobile's Android phones usually came with almost pure stock Android, but the Fuze comes with a modified lockscreen by Cherry Mobile that condenses the news feed from your social networks or other feeds into miniature tabs from your lockscreen. You can easily go through your latest Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, and other relevant feeds directly from your lockscreen. You can also access apps and call logs from the lockscreen, all of which is customizable. The video below is a short demo of the Fuze's lockscreen:
A highlighted feature of the Fuze is its USB OTG function, which allows you to use the Fuze as a USB host which means you can plug various USB devices on the Fuze and use them like you would on a Windows or Mac. With the included USB OTG cable in the box, you can plug flash drives, mice, keyboards, game controllers, portable hard drives, as well as power low power USB devices like USB lamps, USB fans, etc. You can even charge other phones through the Fuze's USB OTG. You can also use the keyboard, mouse and gamepad on touch-only games by mapping touchscreen commands to the peripheral inputs via apps like 'GKM Touch' and 'USB/BT Joystick Center'.
The only problems I encountered with the Fuze's USB OTG is the drop in current when the Fuze's battery voltage drops to below 3.8V (around or below 50-60% of the battery meter if properly calibrated). Some USB devices that require a higher current such as portable hard drives can't be used anymore due to the lower current. Mechanical drives can't function without enough power.
The video below is a demonstration of the Fuze's USB OTG function:
The Fuze is equipped with 4 GB of ROM, of which 2.65 GB is usable. The best part is that the micro SD is mounted as 'sdcard0' out of the box. Normally most people root their phones because of the tiny internal memory so they can either: 1) swap the internal memory and SD card; or 2) use an app like FolderMount so app data can be moved to the micro SD card. Since the micro SD card is the default storage on the Fuze, this means the extraneous data (usually found in Android/data or Android/obb) required by big applications such as graphics-heavy games are automatically put inside your micro SD card, not the internal memory. This is a welcome development as you will only need to insert a bigger micro SD card in the event you need more space for apps -- even if you don't root your Fuze.
The call quality is good on the Fuze. The volume on either end is smooth, with the microphone doing a decent job of filtering wind noise or the occasional spurt of saliva, and the earpiece dampening any sudden volume spikes. There's no secondary mic for noise cancellation, so it's advised to cover the earpiece when making calls in very noisy environments. The loudspeaker is also loud, but not alarmingly loud. There's minimal distortion and cracking at maximum volume although it does sound expectedly thin.
Wifi reception on the Fuze is average at best. In places with minimal physical obstructions, the Fuze picks up signal as well as most cheaper Android phones. However, introduce a wall or two and the range drops. It's able to hold on to a signal well despite the drop, but it'll remain limited nevertheless. With two (2), 1 foot thick walls, the farthest I could go was 9 meters away before the signal breaks. The big battery on the Fuze seems to be the cause of this as my Cloudfone Thrill 430x exhibits similar symptoms, although less worse as the Qualcomm chipset on the Thrill 430x has superior wifi pickup.
GPS performance is similar to that of devices using the MTK6589. Without A-GPS or EPO GPS data preloaded onto the Fuze, it was able to acquire a lock in 58 seconds under a clear sky. With data preloaded or a recent lock acquired, it can reacquire the signal in as fast as 3 seconds. There's no magnetic sensor on the Fuze, so you can't use it as an offline compass.
It's difficult to classify whether the Cherry Mobile Fuze is a niche product or not. The Fuze has two things going for it: 1) It has the gamer-oriented MediaTek MTK6582M which is the fastest you can get in these price ranges. 2) It has a very big 4,000 mAh battery for all-day stamina. The Fuze hits the mark on those selling points. So you ask, "What else is there?".
The Fuze isn't as ugly as one would expect a big battery phone to be. It's nowhere near as fat as its closest rival in terms of capacity, the Cloudfone Thrill 430x. In fact, the Fuze is pretty sleek and has a strikingly executive look. It doesn't look cheap nor does it feel cheap, relatively speaking. It even feels better built than the the far more expensive models being sold by local brands, Cherry Mobile's own models included. It also has USB OTG which very few phones have. Among local brands, normally only MyPhone had models boasting a USB OTG function.
Aside from those, there isn't much else in comparison. Despite the great effort to calibrate the display panel, the Fuze's great looks and more upscale feel is marred by the bad viewing angles. It's actually a nice looking screen, but only if you work with the limited viewing angles. Bottom line is, it's not a display you'd want to show off to friends unless you want them to get a headache when they look at it from an angle. The camera on the Fuze, while very usable even in low light, is fixed focus which is a death knell to wanna-be smartphone photographers.
Performance and endurance. Smartphone gamers particularly search for these qualities, but very few phones meet this demand and those that do are often very pricey. For those who value both performance and endurance above all else, the Fuze will definitely satisfy. In all other aspects besides its looks, the Fuze is average at best. As long as you consider the main selling points of the Fuze, you can easily make sense of its low asking price of 5,499 Php.
+ Very large 4,000 mAh battery offers all-day, non-stop heavy use
+ MediaTek MTK6582M is very fast and delivers a snappy experience throughout. Also very suited for gaming, even at higher graphics settings
+ Great build quality, ergonomics and design; upscale and executive looks
+ Great screen brightness for a TN panel
+ USB OTG support
+ 5,499 Php only
- Calibrated panel only looks good if you are willing to work with the limited viewing angles
- Fixed focus camera is a no-no for wannabe photographers; poor quality optics produce soft images
- Low display resolution for a 5.0" screen
Official Cherry Mobile Fuze Specs
5.0" FWVGA (854x480) capacitive screen with DragonTrail glass
1.3 Ghz MediaTek MTK6582M quad core processor
4 GB ROM
microSD card slot, expandable to 32 GB
1 GB RAM
8.0 megapixel camera with flash, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
4000 mAh battery
Wifi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Wireless Display
GSM 900/1800, WCDMA 900/2100
Android Jellybean 4.2
SRP: 5,499 Php
Below are select comparisons of alternatives to the Cherry Mobile Fuze.
Cherry Mobile Flare HD
Current price: 5,499 Php
The price stablemate of the Fuze. The Flare HD emphasizes its 4.5" 720p IPS display, iPhone 5C-like body and design and "12 megapixel BSI camera". While the Flare HD is also equipped with a MediaTek quad-core, it uses the older MediaTek MTK6589. Combined with the relatively high 1280x720 screen resolution, the Flare HD will feel like a Honda Civic in games while the Fuze will feel more like a Subaru Impreza WRX STi or Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. The performance difference will be noticeable, especially in games. The battery performance will be very different too as the Flare HD has a comparably tiny 1,800 mAh battery. The Flare HD lacks USB OTG too. However, you get a much nicer looking screen, a thinner, sleeker design, and a superior auto-focus camera. This is the trade-off Cherry Mobile asks and it's pretty clear.
Current price: 6,300 Php
Released 10 months ago with a SRP of 9,599 Php, the MyPhone A919i impressed with its well-rounded specs and lack of protruding weaknesses so to speak. Now at 6,300 Php, this phone is a bargain as it matches the more expensive MTK6589-equipped models from local brands in terms of spec and performance of their features. The A919i's bright f/2.4 lens will particularly give any phone below the 10,000 Php price bracket a drubbing in terms of camera performance, especially in low light. Like the Flare HD though, it also has a 720p IPS screen (but bigger, at 5.0") and a MTK6589. So the performance definitely will not be as fast as the Fuze, but more than fast enough for casual gamers. The A919i's battery is also only 2,000 mAh. However, spare batteries for the A919i are plentiful and relatively easy to find, so carrying spares is also an alternative. The A919i also has USB OTG. The A919i may not be able to match the raw power and battery capacity of the Fuze, but it makes up for it by being a well-rounded, mature product with more premium features.
Cloudfone Thrill 430x
Current price: 4,999 Php
The original "big battery phone" locally. Originally priced 7,777 Php, the Thrill 430x with its 4160 mAh battery remains the benchmark for locally branded phones when it came to endurance. 15 months later, the 430x I reviewed then still holds a mighty charge. It also has a beautiful 4.3" qHD (960x540) Sharp ASV screen that is more than a match for any IPS screen in this price range. It's also equipped with Asahi DragonTrail glass and is built like a tank, with my 430x surviving countless drops that would make a Nokia 3310 proud. It also has a nice 8 megapixel camera that takes very sharp looking shots, but is let down by poor video recording. The biggest dents on the Thrill 430x is its performance and dimensions. It's true the 430x consumes less power than the Fuze, but this is because it has an old, weak MSM8225 processor. The same one you'd find on the first Cherry Mobile Flare. The performance gap between the 430x's MSM8225 and the Fuze's MTK6582M is so big, it's like comparing a Suzuki Alto to a Ford Mustang. That big. Say goodbye to nice looking 3D games on the Thrill 430x. Also, while the Thrill 430x is smaller, it's noticeably thicker too. The Thrill 430x doesn't have USB OTG either. With the Thrill 430x, you get a smaller, but much nicer looking screen, a much better still shot camera, and just as much endurance -- but can you stand how slow it is?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2014 Kyle Lopez-Vito
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on May 11, 2015:
I hope you realize that the original Fuze has been released over 1 year ago while the Fuze S only came out recently. You can tell from the age of the comments in this review.
Rudel Dianala from Iloilo on May 11, 2015:
I am a Fuze user and I upgraded my Fuze from JB 4.2.2 to KK 4.4.2.
Before the upgrade I tried Antutu benchmark and it scored 20000-22000. After the upgrade, it scored 17000-18000. Any explanations?
Fuze S is now on market and costs 4,499.00. Compared to Fuze which costs 5,499.00. Here's the catch, Fuze S is Octa-core while Fuze is only quadcore. Why the 1k difference?
Dhex on February 13, 2015:
Fuze S review please Kestana :-)
request on February 10, 2015:
request for review : fuze s
question : can original fuze run "injustice : gods among us" ?
hunkyminik on October 20, 2014:
Before ako bumili ng fuze, I did my research. At ito yung pinaka(or the only) helpful na post. Knowing it's real pros and cons.
Ngayung nakabili na ako. Babalik nanaman ako dito para matanong.
Bat ang laggy ng fuze ko sa RR3, medyo ok siya sa mc4.
Bago lang ako sa android. Kaya hindi ko alam kung ano nangyayari. Ok CPU usage niya. Kaya hindi ako sure kung ram ba talaga(about 500mb free before ko open) o baka mabagal lng memory card ko(sa phone nakainatall, sa ext yung data. Sandisk xtreme pro naman sd ko)
Kailangan ko pa ba kunin mga bloats before ako makalaro? Hmp.
Sayang warranty. Kaya nd pa root fuze ko. Tsaka bago lng ako sa android kaya nd ko pa tinatry sa fuze ko.
Vhinz on September 09, 2014:
cken din mag 1 week palang prang nagloloko na ung battery tpos npkapoort ng wifi signal nia hlos 3 meters lng ung distance from the modem router, 1 bar lng ung nkukuha niang signal, gnon din s sim status nia
missFLERIDA on September 06, 2014:
san ba makabili ng batirya nito...?
ayaw na mag charge e..
Raven Garcia from Philippines on August 29, 2014:
Thanks sir! :)
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on August 22, 2014:
I can't confirm anything about a new Fuze variant having an auto focus camera. But honestly, I suggest the following instead: ASUS Zenfone 5, Cherry Mobile Omega Icon. They may not have the battery size of the Fuze, but both are relatively battery efficient and have much better features than the Fuze. I also suggest the Cherry Mobile Nova 2.0 if you don't mind using another 4.0" sized phone. If you really love taking pictures, get the Zenfone 5.
Raven Garcia from Philippines on August 21, 2014:
Good day sir! I was searching for some affordable smart phones with my 4k-6k budget and I found Cherry Mobile Fuze that offers the best specs in it's price range . In searching for its specs, I find your review the most informative and honest among the others. This makes me want to buy it soon because I find it necessary having an affordable but efficient smart phone as a college student. I joined the group in facebook named Cherry Mobile Fuze saying there's this version 6 of the Fuze that added an auto focus feature to it. At first I was hesitating in buying this phone because of the fixed focus feature because I love taking macro shots from my Cherry Mobile Flare before. So I just wanna confirm if is it really true that the version 6 of the Fuze has now an auto focus feature? And how long is the charging time for fuze? I don't want to overcharge it if i'm going to buy one because my cm flare got broke when I always exceed it's full charge. Thanks!
jmc on August 07, 2014:
Sir tanong ko lang po. Bakit po minsan ayaw magcharge ng maayos tong fuze ko. 3 months old pa lang po xa. Salamat po.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on August 03, 2014:
The Fuze's performance for gaming is good due to its low resolution display. However, it only has 2 point multitouch so it may not suffice for some games when it comes to controls.
There are no big battery phones out there atm with serviceable performance, but I recommend the following:
- Cherry Mobile Omega Aeon, 5K Php (used to be 6.5K Php). Snapdragon 200 MSM8212/8612. Very power efficient and better performance than MTK6582 at 1280x720 res. Should provide good runtime despite 2,000 mAh battery. Just be wary of screen brightness.
- Lenovo A850+, 6.7K Php at Lazada.com.ph. Just search it. It has the "lite" version of the octa-core MTK6592 (aka MTK6592M) which is more power efficient. It has a 5.5" 960x540 IPS display, much better than the Fuze's display. Also has a relatively large 2,750 mAh battery. The MTK6592M is pretty overkill for the 960x540 resolution, so gaming performance will be very, very potent on the A850+. There's also the A850 (non-plus) at 5.6K, but it uses the MTK6582M and the battery is smaller. I suggest the A850+.
GabO!!! on August 03, 2014:
Good review sir! Straight to the point and no B.S. whatsoever.
I'm planning to buy one when I get my backpay. I'm currently using a Flare 2X, and I admit, it's a good phone but the battery is like meh...
So, is the Fuze good for portable gaming? I do go out a lot, so I need a phone that can keep me busy a bit when traveling.
Keep it up! :3
captfaw on July 11, 2014:
I appreciate the honest review on the cm fuze. Meron ka na bang review for starmobile up? It has a price of 4990 php.
jona on July 04, 2014:
pano po tanggalin yung sound pag nagtetext
Pao on July 03, 2014:
Wala ka bang sample shots na malapitan yung pinakasubject? For example, baso or anything na bagay para mkita rin ntin.
clint on July 03, 2014:
CM fuze po gamit ko ngayun.. kahit mabibigat na mga games kaya nya!!!
Polx on June 02, 2014:
Suzuki might look slow by specs, but obviously you haven't driven one, because below 80 kph (97% of the time...) this car rocks. Weight matters big time...
Nice cell phone review, thanks!
Paul on May 31, 2014:
hello everyone nid help for my cm fuze about its usb mass storage, because whenever i try to connect my phone to my computer, my pc does not detect the sd card in my phone, don't know why.. but my phone says "USB storage in use" when i tick the "turn on usb storage".. don't know what to do.. please help me guys.. nid ko help niyo..
John on May 22, 2014:
Hi SymphonyX7, Have u ever tried RAM expander??
iriah123 on May 15, 2014:
Cna you have a review with the newest cherry mobile nova 2
Here the specs
Monday, May 12, 2014
Cherry Mobile Nova 2.0 Now Available For Php3,899, 1.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm MSM8610, Android 4.3, Pictures and Antutu Inside
FrontThe Cherry Mobile Nova 2.0 unboxing and actual photos appeared online for the first time earlier today, thanks to Cherry Angel who uploaded it on their Facebook page. The Nova 2.0 is one of the most affordable quad-core currently available in the local market, which cost only Php3,899. At the back of the box shows the sign of Qualcomm Snapdragon and the 1.2GHz quad-core processor. At first we thought that it has the same chipset with the Flare 2.0 and Flare 2x which has Cortex-A5 CPU. However, a certain Alexander Tan posted an Antutu benchmark result and info wherein it reveals that it uses a newer MSM8610 chip which has Cortex-A7 CPU and Adreno 305 GPU.BoxAntutu - 16403Check the rest of the physical attributes and specs below:BackRightLeft BottomTopSpecifications:Dual Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Single Band HSPA+Dual SIM, dual standby4-inch capacitive IPS WVGA touchscreen displayAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean1.2GHz Quad Core Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8610 chipset1GB of RAM4GB internal, expandable up to 32GB via microSD8MP main camera with LED Flash,VGA secondary cameraMultimedia Player3.5 Audio JackGPSWiFiMicro USB 2.0Bluetooth1500mAh batteryPrice: Php3,899
iriah123 on May 15, 2014:
Can you have a review with the newest cherry mobile "nova 2"
Raimai on May 07, 2014:
can it be updated to multi touch?
bryanchua on April 30, 2014:
Can you pls review myphone rio?
shock on April 21, 2014:
been to sm tarlac to check this unit, to my surprise, the cellphones on their stall doesn't have a battery,
ganun na daw patakaran nila ngayon, kung bibili kana ng phone dun pa lang nila lalagyan ng battery,
kaya hindi mo matetest yung mga unit nila kung hindi kapa bibili,
2-D on April 19, 2014:
how is the tn panel compared to cherry mobile titan? the 1st cherry mobile titan? i bought the cherry mobile titan because it got a good review from you.. hoping to be enlightened by your advice. thank you in advance.
Olrac on April 18, 2014:
Does fuze have the multitouch bug flare has?
Thanks in advance!
technician on April 12, 2014:
So far in all my readings about tech blogs, yours are by far the most brutally honest, and i honestly love that.while all other blogs are more like of ad blogs, it is gratifyin to know that there are blogger like you who can't be bought by tech companies. And for that, mabuhay ka.
krishi on April 09, 2014:
i follow your link and i downloaded a chinese one.. i may be dumb but i just click and clicked.. don't know if it will be a success... hahaha..
i'll be on touch for future problems.. :)
rodeth on April 08, 2014:
you can root you cm fuze using framaroot 1.9.0 and higher.. just choose farahir then reboot...
engrfrog on April 06, 2014:
yipee.. finally a real fuze-rio showdown..
(2 of d best 5"-usb/otg- budget-friedly local phone to date..) hehe.
sir is it true that mt6582m can only support up to qHD resolution only?
and what is its effect when mt6582m is used on a HD phone like rio?
jb on April 05, 2014:
Sir kita ko sa mga youtube vids mo na may review ka about sa mga games ng fuze meron nakayong vid na naglalaro kayo ng nba 2k14??? Pwede din ba ang usb controllers dun o katulad sayo???
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 03, 2014:
I got a MyPhone Agua Rio yesterday. I'm already working on the review. It should be done by the end of next week.
engrfrog on April 03, 2014:
hope u also review myphone rio.. hehe.
d best and sensible review i've ever read.. keep on rocking!! :)
rod! on March 28, 2014:
Hi! I love your review! Any plans to review CM Omega XL? I'm torn between buying OXL AND Fuze. I hope you can help me with this one.
JR on March 27, 2014:
Sorry I only got back to you now. :)
Specifically which files/directories in the system folder do you look at to find out what the sensor is? I'm kinda curious about what sensor my phone uses..
Benj Bautista on March 26, 2014:
Kudos to your work here! A really great review of the phone, almost wanna buy it until I saw that it has only 2 point multitouch which is basically a bummer for me as it delays my typing. BTW any plans on reviewing the Cloudfone Thrill 530qx just to compare it to Fuze?
ferdiz on March 26, 2014:
The way you review smartphones obliterates all other tech blogs reviews. I like the fact that you don't water down the facts. More power, and more reviews!!!!
Ernesto Arnaiz from Valencia, California on March 25, 2014:
Sir nababasa ko po sa mga comments ng reviews ng Myphone Cyclone na hindi daw po transferable yung apps from Internal/Phone Storage to SD Card. May other alternatives po ba para ma transfer yung mga apps installed? Sa Cherry Mobile Fuze po ba ganun din? Or transferable naman?
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 24, 2014:
Accurate enough. I can put two fingers 1.5 cm between each other before the points converge in a multitouch tester app.
Use Root Genius for Windows. Just Google 'mtk6582 rooting root genius'. Instructions are easy enough. Just tap on 'build number' 10 times (located inside 'About phone', under 'Settings') to reveal developer options so you can enable USB debugging. You need to enable USB debugging to root the phone using Root Genius.
No, not unless Starmobile themselves offer me a phone to review, which is highly unlikely.
Joanna on March 24, 2014:
Are you planning to review Starmobile phones soon?
Joanna on March 24, 2014:
Very thorough review! Congratulations!
krishi on March 24, 2014:
How can i root my cherry mobile fuze?
patocho on March 23, 2014:
at ang bagal mag charge
patocho on March 23, 2014:
mga sir pa help naman. may cm fuze ako. ndi gumagana touch screen pag nag ccharge. may kailangan pb ko baguhin sa settings?
Jayson on March 23, 2014:
Mr. symphonyx7, how responsive is the capacitve touch screen? is it accurate?
Gov on March 19, 2014:
I'm really surprised to find a review as detailed as this.
Keep it up. :)
Det Bul on March 15, 2014:
Thanks for the heads up!
Actually, I will be keeping the SG3 till my next renewal Jan next year. Fuze will be for the son, and son's Lenovo will be handed down to daughter.
BTW, I bought a pair of Cherry Magnum HD before, a good nice screen phone, but we had issues on screen going wild (static I think is the term). I hope the Fuze don't have this.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 15, 2014:
@ Det Bul
Among local brands, I don't think that phone exists yet. Since you already own a Galaxy S3, I suggest you purchase an extended battery instead. It's an easy way to fix your battery problem. Besides, the Galaxy S3 is still a great phone by today's standards. The extended batts are plentiful on Sulit and should also be readily available at malls with lots of cellphone tiangges, like Greenhills. Also, Greenify + DS Battery Saver should keep unnecessary power consumption during idle to a minimum. I suggest you try these two apps first and keep away from auto-task killers.
Personally, I wouldn't go for a Samsung if it isn't upper mid-range or high-end. Since they have a device in every price bracket, they really skimp out on features the lower you go down the price ladder.
Det Bul on March 15, 2014:
thank you for the detailed, in-depth review..hats off to you!
1) On Fuze (1.0, hehe): would be buying this (mostly because of your review) for my 14yo son..Son's a gamer and a heavy internet user (FB, Twitter, Internet, etc..), thus, would be needing: the gaming performance of the hardware you've mentioned + the big 5" screen + the big batt + the sd card would integrate with the internal phone mem (son would put in 32Gb to have more memory-hugging games)..Also, this fits him, despite the cons: he's not fond of taking pics, viewing angles not an issue coz as per him: "will you use your CP on those (bad) angles?"
2) Hope there'd be Fuze 2.0 for the Dads! - 4000 batt (or better), 5.0", good hardware (or better), BUT, with IPS or better OGS screen...more than 2-point touch (though not for gaming purposes but for text messaging)...better Cam (low light, auto-focus, job sometimes requires me to take some shots)...LTE (faster connection for emails/web research)...definitely these would entail higher cost (I hope circa 8K) but there would be a niche market for professional Dads like me..
What do u think? Or is there already a phone out there?
FYI, currently have:
Me-SG3 (batt issues, non-LTE, freebie from Globe) & G Ace (Poor batt, low RAM & ROM, freebie from Globe); Wife-SG Duos (batt issues/low internal ROM & RAM); Son-Lenovo A800 (small mem, slow, batt issues/low internal ROM & RAM); Daughter-Alcatel Glory (many issues, freebie from Sun)
Lastly, I think you're better not having sponsors...as you've said you're already better off anyway.. cheers!
Al on March 13, 2014:
Does the Fuze have an LED notification?
Heisenberg on March 13, 2014:
Very detailed and straight to the point review. You're the main reason I bought the Thrill 430x and still loving that "tank" :). I'll be upgrading soon to a bigger screen phone with the same price range and specs as the Fuze. I'm thinking of getting this one or Cloudfone 500q, but I don't see any detailed review of the latter on the web. I saw the preview from your post at Tipidcp of the Cloudfone 470q and looking forward for the full review. By the way, what can you say about the display of the 500q? Have you got your hands on it yet? Thanks. As always, very honest review. Cheers!
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 10, 2014:
What effect do you mean? You mean accidentally pressing more than 2 points on the screen? If you're typing too fast and accidentally touch more than 2 points, that touch won't register. But personally, I didn't find any problems at all while typing with it. I'd imagine it would only be problematic for games that require more than 2 point touch.
1amj0s3 on March 10, 2014:
May affect ba 2 point touch sa keyboard typing?
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 10, 2014:
I don't know of any methodology to create a completely controlled environment for testing 3G performance, and even if I did I would need the full cooperation of a telco to perform it which is nigh impossible.
If you're just asking about the speed, the MTK6582's HSPA modem is Rel 8 compliant (not sure what category though) which means it should have a downlink speed of at least 21 Mbps. I don't know of any teclo here that can commercially reach those speeds though, so it's moot point to even test it. But the last time I used the Fuze (I already sold it), the fastest I got on the speed test is 6+ Mbps in Paranaque, early evening. That's Smart postpaid btw.
Also, I'm currently reviewing the Cloudfone Excite 470q which also has the MTK6582M. Review should be up before the end of the week.
teremmy on March 10, 2014:
Wow! You're one of the best gadget reviewers in town. Kudos! May I just ask the performance of its 3G connection. I believe it has HSPA+. My Lenovo P780 bursts to 1MBps sometimes in the morning with Smart Prepaid LTE 50 connection. Thanks a lot.
jwww on March 07, 2014:
very nice review
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 06, 2014:
The Fuze and Cyclone have the same chipset, the MTK6582M. The difference in screen res is small (FWVGA - 409,920 pixels vs qHD - 518,400 pixels), so their performance should be practically identical. Both also have USB OTG. Screen and camera go to the Cyclone of course while battery goes to the Fuze.
You should ask yourself: "Do I REALLY need a big battery?". If I didn't have any other phone, I'd personally take the A919i over these two because I prefer the 720p screen res and bright lens. I don't play games on my phone. But if it's just between the Cyclone and Fuze, I'd get the Cyclone because I'm never too far away from the outlet. There's always the USB port on my computer and my car when I'm away from home.
As for a friend of mine, I made him purchase a Cyclone because he plays a lot of games on his phone and is also never too far away from the outlet. It really depends on the person's use pattern.
Africa on March 04, 2014:
First and foremost, KUDOS to you for the great reviews!!! You have the best reviews i have ever read! I hope there are more to come!
I was able to play with this phone today and i would like to ask for your expertise on helping me come up with a decision. Mejo torn ako between CM Fuze at Myphone Cyclone...
Nagustuhan ko ang cyclone dahil sa combination ng good battery life pero i think i am compromising the screen quality. On top of that, parang mabigat ang phone. i am not sure if it is something i want to bring on a daily basis. from your review, wala ang Myphone Cyclone sa similar comparisons... is it worth comparing? can you do a comparison for us? thanks in advance!!!
tomo on March 03, 2014:
thumbs up for mentioning feedback on older phones ( myphone, cloudfone ).
always wondered if local brands can survive past 1 year's use.
Erl on March 03, 2014:
Thanks! Best review of the phone.!
By the way, can I ask a favor?
Could you please do a "Stress Test" video for FUZE (like your browsing, while gaming or watching movie)?
Thanks in advance!!!
melvin on March 03, 2014:
again thanks for the very detailed review. super praise with standing obation.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 03, 2014:
I actually thought the 530qx had a MediaTek quad core and wanted to review it before. But apparently everywhere you go it's listed as having a Qualcomm chipset. Even the sales people at their stores don't know. I'll update this review if it turns out to be a MediaTek.
jeff on March 02, 2014:
wow, this is how a gadget review should be. no-holds barred, in-depth, objective, honest, and technically detailed but still in easily understandable language. and no grammar flaws too. i'm tired of reading tech blogs that seem more like product endorsements than reviews, pretending to be knowledgeable about technology and stuff, and full of grammatical and spelling errors. some blogs were obviously made just to score free gadgets.
i hope there will be more tech bloggers like you so ordinary consumers will have the confidence in where to put their hard-earned money. i am now a fan. mabuhay ka.
anton on March 02, 2014:
Obviously not an HD phone
quack on March 02, 2014:
to correct you review sir cloudfone Thrill 530qx is a quad-core mediatek processor clocked at 1.2ghz
Ryan on March 02, 2014:
can be upgraded to from 2 point touch to 5 point touch??
all specs of this phone are good except this one..
Ichigo on March 02, 2014:
pwede ba ma upgrade 2 point touch to 5 point touch???
www.philsabroad.com on March 02, 2014:
this is the best fuze review ever, fully detailed .. i hope all reviews will be like this.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on March 01, 2014:
Play your playlist on loop at moderately high volume. I usually burn in my gear using my amp, but for the stock earphone on the Fuze I just plugged it into my laptop and let my playlist run on loop overnight at 9/10 of the volume bar.
Just remember that "moderately high volume" is relative and varies depending on your source. While 9/10 on my laptop is perfect, 9/10 on my amp may damage the earphone's drivers. Just make sure it isn't extremely loud as to prevent damaging the drivers.
fan on February 28, 2014:
I admire you for always being honest in your reviews. Yung ibang blogs kasi halatang nagpapagamit sa mga companies. Anyway, pano magburn in ng earphones?
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on February 27, 2014:
I take a look at the build or project config of the phone. If that isn't available like on the Fuze, I look up the IC drivers loaded into the phone. The Fuze has camera sensor drivers for the Omnivision OV5648, Toshiba T8EV3, Sony IMX179 and some 8 megapixel Samsung sensor (I forgot the model number since it was pretty long and I already sold the Fuze yesterday). Only the Omnivision OV5648 fits the description and characteristics of the Fuze's camera.
JR on February 27, 2014:
Best phone review I've ever seen from any site.. But I do have to ask.. How do you find out who manufactured the camera and the type of sensor it has?
JR on February 27, 2014:
Best phone review I've ever seen from any site.. But I do have to ask.. How do you find out who manufactured the camera and the type of sensor it has?
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on February 26, 2014:
First we have to define that there are two types of degradation in viewing angles. You have either a polarization effect where the colors "invert" as one would describe it and contrast loss. If you noticed from the shots in my review, the Fuze suffers the former on both the top and right viewing angles while the bottom suffers the latter. TN panels always suffer at least the former on one side. However, the TN panel used on the Fuze is of even lower quality, so you have more than one side affected.
The Xperia Z uses a VA-type panel and it only suffers the latter, unfortunately regardless of side. So you have gradual contrast loss the more acute the viewing angle is. This is similar to the original CM Titan which also uses a VA-type panel.
I was generalizing. Of course some apps may close in the background, especially if the foreground app is consuming a lot of RAM, or both. The consensus is majority of apps can run in the background with 1 GB of RAM and still safely multitask with common apps like messaging, browser and music player. Also, I wasn't offered by Unbox though I doubt they could handle all my content.
QAZ on February 26, 2014:
one problem i had with less than 1gb of RAM is that apps that SHOULD run in the background, doesn't. they stop/force closes.
often, i stopped receiving messages on this chat app. i need to constantly open this app just to check if there's a new message. is this the same with 430x?
even unbox can't handle your content?
Kasparov on February 25, 2014:
Resolution aside, how would you compare the Fuze's screen to the Sony Xperia Z? AFAIK, hindi rin siya IPS and notorious rin yun sa poor viewing angles.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on February 25, 2014:
The Thrill 430x is smaller, has a nicer looking screen, better camera and it's built like a tank. Plus I can't resell it anymore at an acceptable value. It's been with me for a while now. It's been tried and tested and it fits my needs as a backup phone perfectly. I don't need a powerful processor on it.
There were offers from some local sites before, but when I said I wouldn't water down my content, they couldn't have me. I don't blame them since bandwidth is expensive and my articles are media-heavy. This is exactly why I chose Hubpages as my platform.
egor on February 25, 2014:
Kudos!! First time reading your review. Will be coming back for more =B
QAZ on February 25, 2014:
so you would choose 430x over fuze as a main backup? why?
also, im planning to get a phone mainly for text, call, skype (or other wifi chatting app). ALSO it has to last a day (preferably 2 days) of that usage.
i know you don't earn anything from this.
maybe you can offer your "review service" to popular sites? we, locals, need a review that's in-depth like yours. i hate reading "tech" sites reviewing products and then seeing that its more of an advertisement. reviews (locally) nowadays are written for the makers of the products, not the buyers. lol.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on February 25, 2014:
You should preload your AM Memo with GPS EPO data. Just make sure enable A-GPS and you can access the internet while trying to lock in just once. It will automatically download EPO data so your phone isn't just playing guessing games when it tries to acquire a lock. Your subsequent lock-ins will be much faster afterwards.
Oh yeah, my main backup phone is the Thrill 430x. I actually use it as my portable landline, but I keep my micro SIM adapter tucked in the extra SIM slot just in case my main phone runs out of battery.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on February 25, 2014:
It's about as heavy as the original Titan. I have doubts about the Titan's weight though. I just copied the weight spec from the OEM's spec sheet for the Titan review. Now I actually weigh the phone myself and the Fuze turns out to be over 20 grams lighter. But from feel alone I can tell they're about the same weight, same heft. Also, I still prefer the Titan's screen despite its slow response times. I'm a sucker for better viewing angles.
I don't earn a single cent from this. I do this simply as a past time. Even if I bothered starting a blog and became successful it wouldn't be as profitable as what I currently do. So no go. I also asked for review units before and even offered a collateral/security deposit while the phone is in my possession. None of them wanted me to review their phones. One marketing officer came clean with me and said they didn't like how transparent I was with my reviews. Apparently, they're not too confident with their products or aren't too forthcoming or honest with their specs. Remember the whole debacle with the original CM Flare not being IPS despite the spec sheet? Yeah... Now imagine if a site like Anandtech or Tom's Hardware reviewed their phones. They'd be merciless.
I'm actually jealous of some of the local bloggers who I became acquainted with. I found out that most of the time, they actually get to keep the devices the companies send them for review.
I'm too chicken to try out serious scratch tests. I'd only scratch test with keys or a coins -- stuff I'm sure that can't scratch the special glass on the hardness scale.
Gemma on February 25, 2014:
How does the size and weight compare to the Cherry Mobile Titan?
Comparing the Titan's screen to the Fuze, ano mas ok?
QAZ on February 25, 2014:
as far as i know,
-he buys his phones off of his money
-sell the reviewed phone
so scratching a phone you're planning to sell afterwards isn't really practical.
you should get sponsored, kestana :D
ikotboy45 on February 25, 2014:
sir i suggest na gumawa ka kaya ng scratch test? interested un!! if gusto mo! pro ako gusto ko! :-)
ikotboy45 on February 25, 2014:
by the way sir, is't really a dragon trail glass protected phone? as in ung ginagamit sa omega hd 2.0?
ikotboy45 on February 25, 2014:
da best talaga review mo sir kestana!! but hanggang ngaun di parin ako sure if u r mam or sir ^_^... updated lage ako sa review mo mahilig kasi ako sa smartphone... lage kung binabasa review mo kahit wala kung planung bumili keep up the good work kestana!!! tagal mong di naka review ulit!!!
QAZ on February 25, 2014:
WOW! this is what a review should be. kudos.
popular techblogs should pay you to write reviews for them. they should.
so what's your backup phone now?
ricky on February 25, 2014:
sir, what a nice review as usual. can i just ask something sir? it's not about the fuze, it's about the arc mobile memo. i have a problem getting my gps. would you happen to know the problem? i also have a friend who has a memo but also can't pick up the signal even under a clear sky. thank you.
and lastly, will you review cloudfone's excite 500q??? :)
aj16 on February 25, 2014:
hi sir what is the physical size of cm fuze?? can you capture holding cmfuze in one hand....
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on February 24, 2014:
@ John Kelly
I currently don't have any plans of reviewing MTK6592 devices from local brands for two reasons: 1) They're well over 10K Php. I have a firm belief that they have no business being over the 10K Php price range especially given the relatively bad aftersales of local brands. Also, you have upper-mid range and high-end devices from international brands dropping below the 20K Php price range -- it's a losing battle. You can easily get a Sony Xperia Z Ultra for a hair under 20K Php or an LG G2 for 21K Php in the gray market. 2) The MTK6592's synthetic performance may be very good, but it's no match for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 or S4 Pro in real world performance. Even in terms of wireless connectivity, Qualcomm's chipsets fare noticeably better than MediaTek's. The only saving grace would be the Mali-450 graphics on the MTK6592.
If they out a device with a MTK6588, it will probably be below 10K Php and might be worth reviewing.
John Kelly on February 24, 2014:
I find it unusual that this phone only supports 2 point multi-touch, especially for a 5-incher. I mean, this is supposed to be a portable gaming device too. It's not like we have to plug our USB controllers every time we want to play, right? I do hope there will be a software update that would allow 5-point multi-touch soon. Will you be doing reviews for newly-released local octa-cores soon, or only after their prices reach the Php 10,000 range and below? One thing I've noticed with the phones you've reviewed is that their prices never go above Php 10,000. I do hope to hear from you soon.
Philip69 on February 24, 2014:
Thanks for the the review, Its time to buy CM Fuze