Cherry Mobile W900: First impressions


Cherry Mobile’s latest frontrunner, the W900 Dragon Phone, arrived in our office yesterday, and we’re here to give you a quick rundown of its features, and how it looks and feels.

Housed in a glossy black plastic covering, the W900 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 1.2 GHz processor and runs on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread. The controls on the front face, however, hint that it could be ready for an ICS upgrade. The unit we currently have has a gold-colored lining, but the device is also available in a silver-colored one. It’s a bit big, though—slightly bigger than an iPhone—but it’s slim, lightweight, solid and has a pretty good grip.

Its front face houses the 4.0” capacitive LCD screen with a 480×800 WVGA Capacitive Touch Panel display. Below the screen are the Menu, Home and Back soft buttons. Right on top of it is the anterior VGA camera.The 5.0-megapixel main camera can be found at the rear—no built-in flash in sight. The W900 is capable of 1280 x 720p HD video recording and supports playback for DivX, AVI, MKV, FLV, WMV, H.264, MPEG4 and other video codecs.

On the right side, you will find the Power button, together with the microUSB port covered by a replaceable flap. You will also find a small switch that puts the phone into Eco Mode—the W900’s special feature that helps you preserve battery life. On the left side, you’ll see the volume buttons and the earphones jack, which is also protected by a plastic flap.

Offhand, the W900 looks like a really sophisticated phone, which is quite notable considering Cherry Mobile’s standing as one of the country’s providers of affordable quality mobile phones. One thing about the exterior, though, that doesn’t add to the elegant feel is the engraving at the top of the rear end that reads “CURVACEOUS”. If you’re looking for an adjective to describe the exterior, the word curvaceous could probably work since the edges of the device are all curved at the same angle, but we feel that they didn’t have to actually chisel it into the frame.

Starting up the device took a while, what with the 15-second startup animation, but once we got through, we were greeted by a homescreen that has a striking resemblance to that of HTC Android phones. The multimedia apps and the browser ran smoothly, but when a lot of apps ran simultaneously, the system encountered a teensy problem and was forced to terminate a few of them. The screen is fairly bright and is responsive enough, although it’s not as sensitive as some touchscreen phones produced by other manufacturers. I personally like the size of the keys on the virtual keyboard, which are a bit bigger than most touchscreen phones I’ve used.

The camera works just fine—nothing particularly unusual about shooting modes and image quality. The sizeable screen works great when framing and reviewing shots. We blasted some tunes on the device for initial testing of sound, which turned out to be suitably clear and audible.

The Cherry Mobile W900 retails at Php 9,999. We have a full detailed review in our upcoming August Anniversary issue, so be sure to get a copy once it hits the shelves.