MTK6577's Last Hurrah
Cherry Mobile does it again. They manage to up the ante whilst preempting their competitors with a price to spec ratio they can't possibly match. Their offering this time? A 5.0" Android Jelly Bean phone graced by a fancy 1280x720 IPS panel equipped with Dragon Trail (think Gorilla Glass) glass and a 12 megapixel BSI camera. Asking price? Php 7,999.
The recent wave of Android phones from local phone brands have spurred customers here in the Philippines to be more vigilant and eagle-eyed with regards to the specs of the phones they are buying. Just like computers, they want the best hardware for a little money as possible. When the Omega HD's specs were revealed, the most worrisome sight though for those in the know is the pairing of the 1280x720 screen with PowerVR SGX 531 found on the MTK6577. A massive bump in resolution from the common WVGA and qHD resolutions we have at the moment was deemed too taxing. Alas, the Omega HD shows that the MTK6577 does still have a few aces up its sleeve.
Design and Build Quality
If anything, the Omega HD looks like Samsung's new flagship, the Galaxy S4. The thin bezel. The 5.0" screen. The chrome bumper. Even the earpiece design. It's definitely not a clone though. But essential elements are there. The design and finish is clean, minimalist, modern and devoid of anything visually unessential, like the myriad of "black dots" beside the earpiece on other phones which constitutes as sensors. It screams: "Hey look! We have a lot of sensors and stuff!". The amount of spacing between the functional elements on the facade is just right. The Omega HD remains trim and classy, not barren and dull which others mistake for minimalism. There are also just enough curves in the right places to avoid looking too "executive". In short, it is just a design that works and should cater to a majority of people compared to other designs.
The front simply features the front-facing camera on the left of the earpiece and the light and proximity sensor on its right. The three backlit touch buttons on the bottom (from left to right) represent options/menu, home and back functions. Below the options/menu touch button is a tiny slit which is the mic.
The back of the phone uses a plastic that is similar in feel to the white HTC One X. Located at the back is the 12 MP camera, single LED flash and single loudspeaker at the bottom.
The left of the phone features the volume up and volume down buttons and a button which serves as a hardware shortcut to the camera.
The top of the phone contains the micro USB port and 3.5 mm jack. The right side contains the power button.
The Omega HD's dimensions are 143.5 x 70.8 x 8.8 mm and weighs a relatively very light 140 grams. The extensive use of plastics and Dragon Trail can be attributed to the phone's feeling of lightweightedness. In comparison, the 5.0" Titan W500 weighs in at a hefty 205 grams. Despite being light, the Omega HD feels solid, particularly thanks to the bumper which also gives it a subtle contrast in texture when gripping it with one hand as you can feel where the back cover's slippery plastic ends and where the bumper's matte plastic begins. The weight is also evenly distributed. It can be described as having the same feeling as holding a bigger iPhone which uses the same plastics as the HTC One X, if that actually made sense. The build quality and construction is tangibly better than other rebranded Android phones from local brands in the same price range.
Only the Cloudfone Thrill 430x comes close thanks to the Thrill 430x's OGS (one glass screen) implementation where the panel and glass are fused as a single component. It should be noted that the Omega HD also has an OGS implementation, with the glass used being Dragon Trail. Dragon Trail glass is notably used on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active which is penned for being ultra durable. Cherry Mobile themselves have demonstrated that the Dragon Trail glass on the Omega HD is very resistant to scratches and other abuse. The OGS implementation also helps the phone maintain a very thin bezel since a singular construction on the front provides better support for the body, much like a strong frame. The thin bezels ensure that the phone stays compact whilst maintaining maximum screen estate.
My only caveat with their design choice is letting the rear camera protrude about 2 mm which increases its chances of taking scratches in the long run. Then again, having protruding cameras without protection seems to be the norm these days, even on high-end models by well-known manufacturers.
The Omega HD also comes preinstalled with a screen protector out of the box. Just peel the plastic off the screen and you will notice that there is a screen protector underneath.
Here is the checklist of what comes inside the box:
- 1x Cherry Mobile Omega HD
- 1x 2100 mAh battery
- 1x CM-800 charger
- 1x USB cable
- 1x Earphones
- 1x User's manual
- 1x Warranty card
The "HD" in Omega HD refers to the screen's 1280x720 resolution. The 5.0" 720p IPS screen which supports 5 point multitouch is a marvel to behold at this price range. No other phone, even at twice the retail price of the Omega HD, has a screen with this resolution. As an IPS panel, it offers excellent viewing angles and brightness. In addition, IPS panels manufactured today at this size all offer a full RGB stripe so people who are worried about getting a PenTile pattern display will be at ease.
Here are some shots of the Omega HD's screen demonstrating viewing angles:
Aside from the obvious image quality improvements that an IPS panel provides compared to other panel technologies, the OGS implementation also reduces the gap between the panel and the glass. Although not to the same degree as on the Cloudfone Thrill 430x (the gap on the 430x is very, very small, which makes it look like printed stickers), the smaller gap reduces backlight bleeding, prevents additional diffusion and reduces reflectivity when the screen is on. In effect, this increases contrast notably under direct sunlight which makes the screen more legible in sunlit conditions. The screen on the iPhone 4 and later models is a good example of this, offering good sunlight legibility.
If you've held phones with an IPS screen before, you would know what to expect from the Omega HD. Contrast and saturation is great. Brightness is excellent as expected. Speaking of brightness, even on the lowest brightness setting, the screen is pretty legible, more so than even other upper-mid range and high-end phones. Panel response times are great and if you're upgrading from Cherry Mobile's Titan which has a MVA panel (which has slow response times), your eyes will be offered some relief when scrolling and watching fast-paced action. Color temperature is slightly on the warm side, but color reproduction remains fairly accurate.
There is a crispness in image that only more pixels can provide, and the Omega HD provides just that with its 294 PPI (1280x720 @ 5.0"). This will be most appreciated when reading text messages and browsing the web. On WVGA devices, which is the most common resolution found on Android phones sold by local mobile brands here, viewing web pages and reading ebooks and documents still require a bit of zooming in to become legible. The Omega HD allows you to comfortably view webpages and documents without zooming in in fullscreen on landscape mode. Even reading ebooks and documents in portrait mode is doable now with a good pair of eyes.
The screen on the Omega HD is a big step up from what any other local brand is offering as of this writing. The number of pixels increased over their current offerings alone is huge. 800x480 is 384,000 pixels. 960x540 is 518,400 pixels. 1280x720 on the other hand, is 921,600 pixels. To put it in perspective, most laptops sold today have screens with 1366x768 resolution -- 1,049,088 pixels, which isn't far off from what the Omega HD has.
It is simply a beautiful screen regardless of price point. It can hold its own or even outperform screens on some upper-mid range or high-end models. Below is a comparison between the screens of the Omega HD, Cloudfone Thrill 430x, Sony Xperia Ion and Apple iPhone 5.
- Upper left: Cloudfone Thrill 430x (4.3" Sharp ASV - VA @ 960x540. 256 PPI)
- Lower left: Sony Xperia Ion (4.55" VA @ 1280x720. 323 PPI)
- Upper right: Apple iPhone 5 (4.0" IPS @ 1136x640. 326 PPI)
- Lower right: Cherry Mobile Omega HD (5.0" IPS @ 1280x720. 294 PPI)
Here is a closer comparison between the Omega HD and Xperia Ion since their screens are both 1280x720 resolution and would have been the most appropriate comparison:
The ever ubiquitous MediaTek MTK6577 returns to power the 720p Omega HD. The MTK6577 is a dual-core Cortex A9-based SOC with a PowerVR SGX 531 Ultra GPU for graphics. Dual-core Cortex A9s (or equivalent dual-core Scorpions) have been plenty powerful even for devices equipped with 720p or WXGA screens as can be evidenced by many devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10" series, Google Nexus i9250 and Motorola RAZR HD to name a few. Even the iPad 3 with its uber resolution of 2048x1536 uses a dual-core Cortex A9! However, their dual-A9 or equivalent SOCs have always had a GPU that was more or less up to date. Samsung's Exynos 4210 had a Mali-400MP in quad-core configuration. TI's OMAP 4430 and 4460 had a PowerVR SGX 540 at higher clocks. Qualcomm's Snapdragon S3 line all had an Adreno 220. Apple's A5X had a monstrous PowerVR SGX 543MP4 to handle the iPad 3's 3 megapixel screen.
The MediaTek MTK6577 was designed with mass market smartphones in mind and it probably didn't occur to MediaTek that display resolution on mobile devices would advance so quickly, explaining why they most likely opted for one of the lesser PowerVR GPUs, the SGX 531 Ultra, since it also costs less to license. They probably anticipated a ceiling of WVGA or qHD at most before their next-gen SOC comes to market and felt that the SGX 531 Ultra was "just enough" for that. Unfortunately, it did not stop OEMs in China from pairing the MTK6577 with 720p screens. The MTK6577's successor, the MTK6589, was meant to power the next generation of devices equipped with HD and full HD screens.
We have established at this point that application graphics on mobile devices are less CPU bound and more GPU bound. While those dual-A9 or equivalent SOCs have matching GPUs, the MTK6577 doesn't. It's stuck with the rather dated PowerVR SGX 531 Ultra. I've already stressed in my previous reviews how ancient this is by today's standards and it's a miracle that developers actually still support it as evidenced by the excellent application compatibility on the SGX 531 Ultra. Virtually all games I've tried on the Play Store work with it. The most important question now is this: "How well does it run on 720p resolution?".
Credits to Greg Tay of http://gt35pro-mobile-gadgets.blogspot.com for this video comparing the graphics performance of the MTK6577 across WVGA, qHD and 720p resolutions, and against a Sony Xperia S.
The video above demonstrates how the MTK6577 performs across 800x480 (WVGA), 960x540 (qHD) and 1280x720 (720p) resolutions. I've already stated the number of pixels for these resolutions and 720p has nearly 2.4x the number of pixels as WVGA, which is staggering. The SGX 531 Ultra must now work much harder to render games at acceptable/playable framerates. The video clearly shows how dated the SGX 531 Ultra is given how the Adreno 220 on the Sony Xperia S (720p + Qualcomm S3 MSM8260) effortlessly runs NOVA 3, a more recent release by Gameloft which is also graphically very taxing. In comparison, the MTK6577 device with a WVGA screen is already struggling. The MTK6577 device with a 720p screen running NOVA 3 was even worse, appearing more like a slideshow rather than an action shooter game. A run of Nenamark 2 and AnTuTu Benchmark on the Omega HD will reaffirm this.
The Omega HD scores in the 5.5K range in AnTuTu Benchmark and 17.5 FPS in Nenamark 2. In comparison, MTK6577 devices with WVGA resolution like the Titan TV score around 6.5 to 7K in AnTuTu and 27-28 FPS in Nenamark 2. If you look closely, the Omega HD only got 916 in the 3D graphics score on AnTuTu while the Titan TV I also reviewed scored 2153. The Omega HD's 1K+ difference in score vs WVGA MTK6577 devices come from the 3D graphics alone.
A comparison with the Sony Xperia Ion paints an even bloodier picture. Do note that the Xperia Ion is actually close in specification to the Omega HD. Both have 1280x720 screens and 12 MP cameras. Both have similar CPUs: a dual-core Cortex A9 (2.5 DMIPS) at 1 Ghz for the MTK6577 Omega HD and a dual-core Scorpion (2.1 DMIPS) at 1.5 Ghz for the MSM8260 Xperia Ion. The real difference lies in the GPU. The Adreno 220 on the MSM8260 is by no means cutting edge by today's standards. But it's still more than powerful enough to run a game as demanding as Real Racing 3 at 1280x720 smoothly. The Xperia Ion does have a slight advantage in CPU performance as well due to highly clocked Scorpion cores, but the bulk of the advantage in games comes from the Adreno 220. The Xperia Ion's 37.7 FPS in Nenamark 2 compared to the Omega HD's 17.5 FPS underlines that.
This isn't to say that it isn't capable of playing any 3D games. However, for those expecting the Omega HD to be a suitable gaming phone, don't get your hopes up. The Omega HD is capable of playing most games on the Play Store with acceptable framerates, but it should be limited to casual or not-so-graphically demanding titles. Demanding titles such as Real Racing 3, Dungeon Hunter 3, Modern Combat 4, etc. run with very low frame rates. Console emulators though work quite nicely on the Omega HD. So if retro gaming is your thing, the Omega HD is just fine. The following video demonstrates this:
The Omega HD is also equipped with 1 GB of RAM where 500 to 600 MB is available after a task manager "kill all" action. Like the Titan TV, the copious amounts of RAM ensures that you can multitask as much as you want without slowing the UI to a crawl and without forcing Android to kill tasks eating up a lot of RAM. i.e. games. This combined with Jelly Bean and the dual-core Cortex A9 processors make for a smooth experience on the Omega HD for the most part.
The Cherry Mobile Omega HD is equipped with a 12 megapixel BSI (backside illuminated) sensor that is capable of shooting 720p30 and 1080p15 video. There is also a strong single LED flash for pitch black scenes. One of the most surprising things is actually the presence of 1080p recording. Unfortunately, 1080p recording is only 15 FPS and chances are you will be using 720p most of the time. The viewfinder is relatively fast except in low light conditions. The shutter speed is also very fast, only requiring you to hold your hand steady for half a second to take a blur-free shot. The viewfinder performance overall is a slight step above the already satisfactory viewfinder on the Titan TV.
Auto-focus performance is fast and only takes about a second to fully focus. My only issue is the lack of various focus options to enable single/normal auto-focus, as you will find the Omega HD's auto-focus to be rather aggressive. For instance, you were focusing on a subject, and a face immediately pops into the viewfinder. It will focus on the newly recognized face instead since focusing is automatic. Another quirk I have with the camera is the removal of "hold shutter button to focus" feature. Tapping anywhere on the viewfinder to focus on a subject or setup a macro shot is still the same, but holding on the on-screen shutter button now makes the camera take a sequence of shots, similar to "burst shot" mode on other cameras. Note that it takes about 3 shots per second in full, 4000x3000 resolution every second you hold the shutter, which is a very impressive feature.
The lack of other focus options aside, there are plenty of manual controls and options. Everything from ISO, metering, exposure (3 steps -/+), brightness, contrast, hue, etc. are adjustable. For shooting options, there is face/smile recognition mode, best shot and beauty mode, etc. For special shooting modes, there is panorama and multi-angle shot mode. Like on the Titan TV and Titan, the panorama mode on the Omega HD is particularly good due to its intuitive implementation. When you hit the shutter in panorama mode, the phone automatically displays an arrow where you have to point the camera and when you overlap the arrows, it automatically takes a photo and the next arrow is shown. The photo stitching process is fast and seamless. You can shoot panorama in either landscape or portrait and from left to right, right to left, up to down, or down to up.
The 12 MP BSI camera on the Omega HD does bring the image quality as fancy as its description suggests for still shots. The increase in overall sharpness that a higher resolution sensor brings is apparent, but so is the noise level (which is why it is BSI in the first place). Noise isn't evident in moderate to good lighting condition when viewed from an overview, but as expected, noise is rather abundant in low light conditions. However, detail captured in low light conditions is pretty impressive, particularly color detail, provided there is actually some light. As with BSI sensors, scenes with little to no light is met with plenty of black clipping. Also, getting a clean focus in low-light conditions is much easier on the Omega HD compared to nearly all the Android phones released by local phone brands so far.
Shots taken in good lighting conditions are excellent as expected. Much better than one would expect at this price point. Given that, I have prepared a special section below comparing the camera of the Omega HD against stiffer competition: the similarly specced 12 MP Sony Xperia Ion and widely recognized as one of the smartphones with the best image quality, the 8 MP Apple iPhone 5.
Lastly, the Omega HD also has HDR (high dynamic range) mode which generates two pictures, one with HDR and one without HDR. The BSI sensor helps the further in resolving shadow detail in HDR shots, thereby demonstrating greater range.
Omega HD Sample Shots (Good lighting)
Omega HD Sample Shots (Low light)
Omega HD Sample shots (Macro shots)
Omega HD Sample Shots (Panorama shots)
Omega HD Sample Shots (HDR Comparison)
The video recording on the Omega HD was almost a total upgrade from what we were getting so far from the local phone brands. Alas, the Omega HD is stuck with 1080p15. Captured detail on the 1080p recording without a doubt beats 720p, but you're stuck with a lowly 15 FPS. 720p30 recording is good, though oversharpened, with no hints of dropped frames or screen tearing even in fast paced scenes and while panning. Videos are encoded in H.263 with a constant bitrate of 12.5 Mbps inside a .3gp container. Video recording is around 120 MB per minute on both 720p and 1080p settings. It should be noted that 720p in the video recording settings is labelled "Fine" while 1080p is labelled "HD". You can also take lower resolution still shots while recording a video.
Here's the lowdown on the Omega HD's camera:
- Excellent shots in decent to good lighting
- Great low light shots, with very good color detail and quick focusing
- Excellent macro shots
- Excellent panorama shooting mode
- Plenty of manual controls and options
- Decent 720p video recording
- Auto-focus is a bit aggressive
The Omega HD one-ups the Titan TV by having a 2.0 megapixel BSI front facing camera. This ensures video calls in more unfavorable lighting conditions remain good. This is a big step up from front facing cameras on phones from local phone brands.
Below are sample shots from the Omega HD's front facing camera:
Camera Shootout: Omega HD vs Xperia Ion vs iPhone 5
Given that extremely high megapixel counts on mobile phone cameras these days are usually reserved for high-end models, I thought it would be ideal to compare the Omega HD's 12 MP snapper against tried-and-tested combatants in the smartphone camera arena.
The Omega HD's image quality upon closer inspection is a mixed bag. While the overall detail captured due to the sheer amount of pixels is great, the amount of resolved detail when zoomed up close is lacking against both the Xperia Ion and iPhone 5. This is also considering the iPhone 5 is only 8 megapixels and has a disadvantage is terms of raw sharpness. Oddly, the Omega HD is rather soft when it comes to straight lines and slightly overly sharpened for everything else. Shadow details on the Omega HD is clean and is about on par with both the Xperia Ion and iPhone 5, but falls short on dynamic range. To make up for it, the Omega HD boosts contrast where necessary to provide more "pop" and avoid looking washed out. Lastly, color temperature on the Omega HD is a bit on the cold side and there is also a subtle pinkish tinge to the pictures.
The Omega HD doesn't quite beat the Xperia Ion and iPhone 5, but don't mistake this comparison for downplaying the Omega HD. It is great pictures that the Omega HD churns out that prompted such a comparison. The fact that it even gets that close to those phones at this price point is a noteworthy achievement.
We do have eyes and I have provided comparison shots so you can see and make it out for yourself. Below are comparison shots of the Omega HD, Xperia Ion and iPhone 5.
The Omega HD is equipped with a removable 2100 mAh battery. Normally 2100 mAh is considered well above average in this size and performance class as shown by the Cherry Mobile Titan (2350 mAh) and MyPhone A919 (2000 mAh), but it's more modest for the Omega HD. The three primary power drains for devices are the screen, processor and radio. The upgraded screen also comes with an increased power drain as a much higher pixel count requires better backlighting to provide sufficient brightness since pixels are more densely packed and light transmission is lower compared to screens with lower pixel density. This is also considering the screen on the Omega HD is relatively bright even at the lowest brightness setting. The perceptible brightness by 35% of the brightness bar on the Omega HD is about 55% of the brightness bar on the Titan and Titan TV. Standby time and battery readings have no problems though.
For the battery test via looping playback, the application used to play the video is MX Player. The following were the conditions during the test:
- Screen brightness: 3/15 of MX Player brightness setting or about 30% of Android brightness bar
- Volume: 13/13 of MX Player volume setting or 100% of Android volume bar, with earphones attached to Omega HD
- MX Player-specific settings: H/W decoder used for video. S/W decoder used for audio
The following are the details of the video file used for playback:
Video playback began at 12:50 am with battery registering 100% and 4.130V and was looped until 7:45 am where the battery registered 20% and 3.674V. There were no breaks in this test and video playback was continuous.
The total playback time was 6 hours 55 minutes. The Omega HD managed nearly 7 hours of video playback. In comparison to the numbers I've been getting on my previous Cherry Mobile Androids who all have over 2000 mAh batteries, the 7 hour figure on the Omega HD is rather modest. As anticipated, the culprit is the screen with the screen accounting for 54% of the battery drain during playback. The battery should last at least 1 day of moderate use and 1 1/2 days of light use. By moderate use, I refer to 1 hour of gaming, 2 hours of 3G web browsing and 30 minutes of talk time and several text messages.
Charging times for the Omega HD are relatively slow given the stock charger, which only outputs 800 mA. If you charge the phone while turned on (but on sleep), It takes around 1 1/2 hours to get from 20% to 90% and roughly another 45 minutes to get from 90% to 100% charge.
Call clarity on the Omega HD is good and the earpiece volume is above average. Although there is no secondary mic for noise cancellation, voice quality is good with little ambient noise.
The sound output via the 3.5 mm port is powerful and very clean, similar to the Titan. Power output via the 3.5 mm port can still be increased slightly via 'Mobileuncle MTK Tools' on the Play Store, but out of the box the power output is already plenty adequate. It should be able to drive most IEMs without problems. Headphones up to 64 ohms can be driven with very little distortion. Anything higher will require an amp. The dynamic range on the Omega HD is impressive too and should be most evident if you have decent IEMs or headphones and know how fiddle with an equalizer. PowerAmp will cover the needs of those with decent gear demanding good audio from their source. There is also FM radio if you're getting tired of your audio library.
Wifi reception on the Omega HD is above average. It is still able to pick up a signal 11 meters away from the router with two (2), 1 foot thick walls in between. Signal to noise ratio is good and should be more resistant to interference.
The Omega HD also has GPS with A-GPS support. The GPS performance is very good, getting its very first lock in just 48 seconds under a clear sky, stationary position and without A-GPS. Subsequent lock-ons within the time frame of an initial lock takes less than 5 seconds. This ensures that when entering tunnels and places where you lose GPS signal, you can quickly regain a lock once you're beneath the sky again. Do note that the Omega HD does not have a magnetic sensor, so you can't use it as a compass offline.
As usual, for users wishing to use Google's own Navigation software, their turn-by-turn navigation with voice is STILL not available in the Philippines. However, you can still use Google Navigation to get directions and plot points for you whether you are driving or just walking/commuting. Also, you can use other navigation software on Android with turn-by-turn navigation with voice. Aside from navigation software, there are also maps like MapsWithMe from the Play Store that work well with the GPS to identify your location. MapsWithMe is particularly good as the map data for the entire Philippines is only around 75 MB and can be stored on your phone for offline use.
How do we sum up the Cherry Mobile Omega HD? Entry-level price. Mid-range performance. High-end everything else.
There are three elements on the Omega HD that are found only on phones in the Php 20K+ range at the moment: a large, gorgeous HD screen that looks good from every angle; a very high resolution BSI camera that takes great photos regardless of the conditions; and a striking design and profile that will catch the eyes of onlookers who aren't used to more expensive cellphones.
These are the main selling factors of the Omega HD. The processing performance for anything but gaming is more than adequate, but it is clearly far from high-end or even upper mid-range as entering 2013, 2012's high-end move a bracket down to upper-mid range. Putting aside performance, the Cherry Mobile has distinctly upper bracket features for a phone that costs only Php 7,999. Those features alone which are not present even amongst phones by local phone brands make the Omega HD unique, at least for a time, much like Cherry Mobile's own Titan was upon its release nearly half a year ago.
That uniqueness foreshadows the impending arrival of MediaTek MTK6589 phones which will become the defacto SOC powering the next generation of rebranded Android phones from Shenzhen. I anticipated MTK6589 phones from local phone brands around Q2 2013. Unfortunately, the supply problems with the MTK6589 itself will keep things tight until perhaps Q3 2013. However, common features found on MTK6589 phones such as HD screens (and soon FHD screens), cameras with high megapixel BSI sensors, thin profiles and scratch resistant glass are already found on the Omega HD. The only thing missing is the quad-core Cortex A7 with the powerful PowerVR SGX544MP2 provided by the MTK6589 itself.
Many people are looking to spend Php 20K or more on a nice smartphone right now, and if you are one of them -- do yourself a favor and reevaluate what you are really looking for in that "nice smartphone". If gaming and brand image are not part of it, then the Cherry Mobile Omega HD fits the bill at a fraction of the cost.
+ Brilliant 5.0" 1280x720 IPS screen
+ Scratch-resistant Dragon Trail glass
+ Excellent camera with tons of features and great image quality; front facing camera also excellent
+ Great audio quality
+ Dual-core Cortex A9
+ 1 GB of RAM
+ Dual SIM
+ Great build quality
+ Design and finish is decidedly premium
+ Very thin bezel; also quite compact for a 5.0"
+ 7,999 Php only
- Battery life is modest
- PowerVR SGX 531 Ultra just doesn't cut it anymore at 1280x720 resolution
- 1080p recording is half-baked at only 15 FPS
Official Cherry Mobile Omega HD H100 Specs
MediaTek MT6577 1GHz dual-core processor
PowerVR SGX531 GPU
5.0" HD IPS capacitive touchscreen
1 GB RAM
4GB internal storage
Up to 32GB via microSD
Up to 3G/HSPA 21Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
GPS w/ A-GPS support
3G WCDMA 850/2100MHz
12 megapixel BSI rear camera with flash
2 megapixel BSI front-facing camera
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
2100 mAh battery
140g with battery
SRP: Php 7,999.00
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.
© 2013 Kyle Lopez-Vito
jomar tuban on May 08, 2019:
How can I repair my cherry mobile HD 2.0 autofucoz
Cashkumar.com on November 05, 2014:
One of the best product is Cherry- Mobile- Omega
Andrea on March 20, 2014:
I would be very thankful if you continue with quality what you are serving right now with your blog...I really enjoyed it...and i really appreciate to you for this....its always pleasure to read so....Thanks for sharing!! http://goo.gl/pa1Faz
Chertiomale on October 09, 2013:
Pano po i'turn off ang shutter sound?
lenie tolentino on July 30, 2013:
where can i buy omega hd replacement?
Baisha on July 30, 2013:
Grabe! You're the best blogger and reviewer I've ever known! and i feel so lucky that i found this site to read your review about CM Omega HD 1.0 before buying. 'coz am planning to buy 2.0 , but i decided to buy 1.0 after nalang since i'm not a heavy user and also to save 1k haha.
Thanks as well for giving some tips on how to check the unit upon buying. I'll let you know once I got one and if I experienced some problems. Keep it up dude! More Power! :)
shoru on July 21, 2013:
Thanks for this wonderful review. Idol na kita. hehe. I'm going to buy my HD2.0 tomorrow.
Mark Davis on June 26, 2013:
I own a CM Omega HD 2.0 (H120), and my only concern is the "Magnetic Field Sensor because I travel on the roads (driving out of town) a lot and I use GPS and Google Maps more often than not. I like to know why both Omega HD 1.0 and Omega HD 2.0 does not have "Magnetic Field Sensors" enabled though it is available in the sensors list, it seems to be disabled though like my CM Blaze 1.0 when it was still using ICS, but after it got upgraded to JB 4.1, Google Maps could use its sensors to determine where's "true North" is.
I have not much issue w/c the performance and its battery life because overall, it is satisfactory for its price and usability. My only concern is its Magnetic Field Sensor w/c was detected (determined) by Quadrant among its available sensors as BMM050 3-axis Magnetic Field Sensor.
I've also read some articles that its hardware is available but just seem to be disabled. Would a software upgrade fix this..? Thanks!
ainaaniaa on June 18, 2013:
Why wala video call sa Skype?
den on June 16, 2013:
Hi, question lang po.. Have you experienced na ma-drain ung Omega HD Phone nyo? Mines not charging kasi or mg on man lang..
sad&frustrated on June 15, 2013:
Kabibili ko lang nito, and guess what, in just TWO WEEKS, nasira kaagad yung camera nya. Then hindi na siya pwedeng i-replace kasi lagpas na daw ng 1 week. So dapat ipa-repair nalang daw siya. When I called naman their service center dito sa Cebu, sabi nila ipapadala pa daw nila sa Manila kasi Android nga daw. And it will take pa daw 3-5 weeks before I can get my phone again!
Grabe sobrang inis ko talaga, kasi naman 2 weeks palang nasira na kaagad. Tapos hindi pa nila ako binigyan ng leeway kahit two weeks palang yung phone ko. Ang laki pa ng hassle kung ipapadala pa siya sa Manila. Sayang talaga yung pera ko. Money doesn't grow on trees!
To Cherry Mobile, if you're reading this, sana naman you'll consider i-replace yung defective phone kahit more than a week na siyang nabili as long as hindi lang siya lalagpas ng 1 month. Kasi naman diba yung 2 weeks is not that much of a difference sa one week? Then ipapadala pa sa Manila for repair. Ang laki na po ng hassle. Eh pano kung sira pa rin siya pagkatapos i-repair? Ang layo pa naman ng service center dito sa amin. Mura lang nga yung phone nyo pero dito naman maubos yung pera namin dahil sa inyong after sales service :(
Tedz-_- on June 04, 2013:
Hi symphonyx7 ,
I just checked out the CM Omeha Hd 2.0 earlier. WHy is that the typing of messages feels a little slower and less precise than most smart phones out there?
Bea on June 03, 2013:
Can I suggest something kuya? If it isn't too much of a hassle, could you make an article about buying a smartphone? Given that a buyer already knows which unit they'd like to buy, ano yung mga dapat gawin sa unit before paying? Aside from the Dead Pixel app, ano pa yung other apps na itest sa kanya? Yung ganun po. Kasi it would be really helpful for noobs like me. :) Sorry po, noob lang talaga. And I'd feel bad if I got unlucky and somehow invested in a faulty smartphone with my own hard-earned money.
I've tried researching about this topic but nothing came up. And you sound like you really know your stuff. Thanks!
Bea on June 03, 2013:
My worry actually about the 2.0 is if CM somehow sacrificed some features of the HD to give way for the upgraded processor. May isang nagsabi kasi na pumangit ang quality ng photos and sound. If you do discover something wrong with 2.0, please let us know. Maybe a review update or comparo, just like what you suggested. :D And agree ako, salamat CM for the upgraded processor! Too bad for those who bought the Omega HD though. Super buyer's remorse siguro sila ngayon.
I'm looking forward to your upcoming reviews!
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on June 03, 2013:
Unfortunately, I have no plans of reviewing the Omega HD 2.0. I've used one already and it's exactly like the Omega HD, but with the newer MediaTek MTK6589 processor which makes everything faster. If you've read my MyPhone A919i review, what I really wanted is an Omega HD with the A919i's processor which is exactly what the Omega HD 2.0 is. Thank you CM for answering my prayers.
If I review the Omega HD 2.0, the only tangible differences would primarily be the performance. Battery life should be better on the 2.0 too since the MTK6589 is more efficient. Camera should be more or less the same but with better video recording. I can confirm that it has 1080p recording at 24 or 30 FPS (not sure since I just borrowed it for a bit, but it's definitely not just 15 FPS like on the 1.0). I don't think that really warrants another review since I already reviewed the Omega HD 1.0. A review update or comparo with the 1.0 would be most appropriate imo.
Either way, I'm planning on reviewing the Cherry Mobile Blaze 2.0 next. I was supposed to purchase the SKK Mobile Silver today to review since it's marked down 1K from the 10K SRP, but I've decided to wait for the Blaze 2.0 instead since it's bound to be here this June. They had Blaze 2.0 units at the Thailand Mobile Expo this May 23 to 26, so it shouldn't be far off. I was able to try the Silver which is actually a Star N9589 rebadge. Brilliant unit. Fantastic screen and semi-premium finish (on the gray variant at least). Makes me eager to get my hands on the Blaze 2.0 already. Alas, SKK Mobile has yet to have the reach of brands like CM and MyPhone so I've decided to skip them time around.
Bea on June 02, 2013:
Hi, I'm an avid fan of your reviews! :) We really need people like you who'd devote time to checking out local smartphones. What I'm waiting for now is your review of the CM Omega HD 2.0. Andami na kasing hearsay and I'd like to know which is true and which is paninira lang. :) I'm planning to buy one for my birthday kasi. Thanks much! And keep up the good reviews!
bossjeipi on May 27, 2013:
Cherry Mobile should pay you BIGTIME! Because dami na gusto bumili. haha!! btw i love reading reviews over the net, ur review is more than great. ammasay, SOLID! gawa ka site tas review k madami phones hehe. ang galing.
o btw, meron na daw OHD 2.0? wish ko lang yun e, ngayon meron na tlga. haha!!
sjpy on May 27, 2013:
This coming June daw yung labas ng OHD 2.0 :)
@JM may app sa play store , search mo na lang dead pixel ganun. Pero sa case ko kasi hindi na ko nagdl napansin ko lang . Lalo na kapag white yung background parang may mga glitters. :)
@vanessa , taguig area po ako e. Sa Pure Gold Taguig po ako bumili. :) May mga nagbebenta na din po siguro sa sulit.com kung ok lang sa inyo yung 2nd hand ( kasi may ohd 2.0 na kaya yung iba binebenta na ng mas mura yung unit nila ) . :)
kimbolatte on May 26, 2013:
Will you be doing a review for the ohd 2.0? If not what can you say about the mt6589 vs mt6577 difference between the two, I saw some reviews that mt6589 will be have a much improved battery life, is it true? Thanks!
Ryan on May 26, 2013:
its really legit... OHD 2.0 is out check out this post...
so na-address na po ung problem sa taas meaning super phone na ba itong OHD 2.0? I was planning to buy po sana myphone a919i tapos biglang nagpakita si OHD 2.0 so nagbago isip ko kasi based sa review mo maganda sana ang OHD kung wala ung mga cons na nasa taas...I hope makapagreview kayo agad ng OHD 2.0 para sa mga atat ng bumili gaya ko hehehe salamat ng marami at salamat sa mga nice and honest reviews nyo...marami kayong natutulungan :)
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on May 26, 2013:
I am not aware of that. That's a great find and I'm looking forward to the Omega HD 2.0. The quad-core MediaTek processor on it will almost surely be a MTK6589.
Ryan on May 26, 2013:
While reading this article, omega HD 2.0 just appeared on the group that I joined in...Is this true? i still can't believe it
Vanessa on May 24, 2013:
sir sipy, san ka po nkabili ng Omega HD mo? Ill almost tried ung mallapit d2 na mall samin , SM north , WalterMart Munoz, Ever Commonwealth, Pure Gold iisa lang mga cnsabi " Out of stock " any idea po saan pa po meron mbblhan? pang regalo lang po sana.. Ty
JM on May 24, 2013:
how will i know if there is dead pixel?
can i download any aps to detect it?
sjpy on May 24, 2013:
I just bought OMEGA HD and when I got home I just noticed dead pixels, we returned it to the store so that they could change it with a new one. But after opening almost 4 boxes of sealed Omega HD, you could still see dead pixels on them. The store said they'll contact me as soon as new stocks of HD arrives. If ever you experience this kind of defects iconsult agad sa costumer service ng CM or habang bumibili, be observant sa unit na bibilhin niyo. Kasi kahit yung mismong nagtitinda kanina sa store hindi din mapansin, buti na lang nakita nung naka-assign sa customer service nila yung inirereklamo ko, but all in all except for that defect, maganda naman yung Omega HD. :)
GemInc on May 23, 2013:
hello may i ask question?
Does LED flash of omega HD can use as flashlight or can you use it in taking video mode or can you turn it on when you are in the dark? as some nokia does?
thank you in advance!!!
GemInc on May 22, 2013:
you may try at SM fairview. recently ( i thought 2 weeks ago) a i saw the omega HD coz im intersted to buy this. I applaud this review coz it makes me eager to buy it.
However, I don't know if they have stock today.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on May 22, 2013:
The Omega HD doesn't have notification LED.
uykapakitik on May 21, 2013:
is there a notification LED?
shierey on May 20, 2013:
what are the video formats that omega hd can play?
JK on May 19, 2013:
Hey.. can I ask where can I buy Omega HD? cause I've tried in SM north Edsa and robinsons.. But its out of stock. T_T so where can I check its availability on stores?
gee on May 18, 2013:
guys na overcharge ko CM OHD ko ndi nag nag function yun battery san ako mkakabili ndi pa kasi available sa mga cellphone stores dio sa iligan at nag order ako sa cherrymobile store still ndi pa raw nagdeliver yung supplier almost weeks kona ndi nagagamit phone ko help naman oh.... pls contact me 09272387073
jay mark on May 18, 2013:
is it splash proof?. if you are going to choose between skyfire 2.0 and OHD which would you prefer? pasagot nman. .
JR on May 18, 2013:
quoting @symphonyx7 : "The app will run through several solid colors and if you notice an erring dot on the screen, that's a dead pixel."
marak on May 18, 2013:
there is no available unit at all stores and malls here at iloilo..naubos na kac ang daming bumibili..pwed po bang padalhan nyu naman ng stocks d2 sa iloilo city?gusto q kacng bumili eh.
jrc on May 17, 2013:
how will you determine dead pixels using antutu tester?? does it tell you "device has deAd pixels"?? or whatever. i just don't have idea how antutu works. thanks
JR on May 16, 2013:
No I do not experience such a message. Then again, my OHD is just 4 days old.
How old is yours and when did this start happening?
JC on May 16, 2013:
Im the one who asked about my s3 mini and the omega hd. So you are saying its just more than right ifI sell my s3mini and buy omega hd? Im really confused. Im worried that if I buy omega hd I would regret it and think s3 mini iw better. What do you think? I really appreciate your answer. :)
edz on May 15, 2013:
Bro, did you experiencing a " the battery is over temperature" message?
while using your cherry mobile omega hd
ken on May 15, 2013:
Tnx for taking time to answer. appreciated.
JR on May 15, 2013:
I just followed the advice I read here. And if you do have wifi / data plan coverage where you are buying the phone, its best to download it and have it run and check for dead pixels
edz on May 14, 2013:
Sir, regarding to your video test,
why the low light video sample is more smooth than the outdoor video sample?
it looks like in low light is in 30 fps..
ken on May 14, 2013:
Do we need to download The antutu tester?
JR on May 13, 2013:
You are the reason why I bought OHD yesterday. Thank you very much for this very detailed and informative review. I even got to learn more prior to buying it thanks to the comments which you took time to answer.
Ran Antutu Tester while at the store. Luckily got no dead pixels on the first try!
I know the battery is modest and discipline is required when charging and keeping the battery at its full potential. Question though, can the stock charger (from the box) be replaced by another charger (e.g. more power at a period of time) that would give the charging more "oomph" as to quicken the charging time? With that, question, does the concept of a "faster"/"more powerful" charger degrade or quicken the lifespan of the OHD's battery? (Thus would be better to just stick with the stock charger to get the most value out of the battery in terms of lifespan?)
ken on May 13, 2013:
Im really planning to buy CM Omega Hd and if ever this will be my first android phone, im just wondering what test should i do while on the store to avoid defective units? can you give some steps on how to choose a better one? thanks.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on May 13, 2013:
Spec-wise, the Omega HD is superior to the S3 Mini in every sense except screen technology (the S3 Mini uses AMOLED, although this can be disputed since the S3 Mini's panel is actually PenTile at only 800x480 res. Nasty...). In actual use, the Omega HD's screen is vastly superior to the S3 Mini's, particularly in terms of sharpness. The NovaThor U8420 performs about the same as the MTK6577 although the lower res 800x480 on the S3 Mini means games will run more smoothly.
It's not an inappropriate comparison, but the Omega HD's 12 MP camera, 2 MP BSI front-facing camera, 5.0"1280x720 IPS screen with Dragontrail glass, slimmer body, more premium design and better price tag seriously beats the S3 Mini.
JC on May 12, 2013:
Im planning to buy this phone, Im using samsung galaxy s3 mini right now. Do you think its right if i compare my s3 mini with omega hd?
dolly on May 11, 2013:
thanks for the info...i dn't have plans on rooting the phone since i'm planning to use it just for browsing and taking pics..just want to know ur opinion on this.. ^_^
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on May 11, 2013:
It's fine even if you don't root it. The most common reason why people root is because many of them steal/pirate their games, so they have to root their phone to make some of the pirated games work. Also, rooting is like giving administrator rights (like on Windows) to the user, which means you have access to hidden and protected files on your phone. Apps like Link2SD require root access. I suppose attempting to explain any further is useless since you don't know the benefits of rooting in the first place. But know this: you don't need to root your Android phone to enjoy it. It's just that some people are picky and/or feel limited and would like to make further tweaks and customizations to their phone. These tweaks allow them to bypass the tiny internal memory to be able to install more apps, change system-wide font, to run pirated apps, etc. to name a few.
dolly on May 11, 2013:
is is better to root the unit. or left it just as is? dmi kc ngssbi na to be able to use the unit better...it's better to be rooted? thanks..
Jovelle on May 11, 2013:
Hi. This is amazing.
You just convinced me to buy this one. Haha! I even think you take Marketing as your course in College! :) More power!
I'll buy mine tomorrow! Cheers!
KingLicker23 on May 01, 2013:
Sir, is that really true that this month of May a new OHD will hit the market? same specs with the present OHD except its processors that is more powerful and faster than the present one? thanks Sir...
prinsess on May 01, 2013:
Hi! I'm planning to buy my Omega HD this May. Can you please give me tips kung pano ko malalaman na defect-free yung mabibili ko. Thanks!
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 30, 2013:
Volume DOWN and Power button. NOT volume up.
ariel on April 29, 2013:
screenshot didn't work.... pressing power and volume up button simultenously.. please help.
bright on April 27, 2013:
how will u know na faulty ung batt? sorry for the stupid question
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 27, 2013:
4.2 most likely. 5.0? Don't know. Most likely not. Even the SGS2 hits a dead end at Jelly Bean.
1) Read the review.
2) Read the review.
3) Hold both volume down and power buttons SIMULTANEOUSLY until a screenshot is taken.
4) You need Windows. Use Boot Camp.
lex08 on April 26, 2013:
Hi there! I have a few questions I how you can answer.
1. did your unit come with 2 screen protector out-of-the box? mine looks like it has 2.
2. should the hdr mode take only a single image(2 shots merged into a single image)? Mine takes 2 shots without any difference in the image quality.
3. I can't figure out how to take a screenshot on this phone. I tried holding down the Power button plus the volume up/down button but it's not doing anything. Also tried holding down the Power button alone but no screenshot option available. Tried other combinations but to no luck, I can't seem to get it working.
4. Lastly, do i need to use a windows pc to root this phone or a Mac os will do? I only have a mac computer.
thanks in advance. cheers!
anonymous10 on April 26, 2013:
sir since this runs on a 4.1 jellybean platform can it be upgraded to 4.2 jellybean or perhaps the next best thing the 5.0 lime pie of which i read won't come out til the next 2-4months ?
kai on April 25, 2013:
I bought my CM Omega HD just today. And ang sabi ng sales clerk sakin from the CM kiosk eh kailangan i-drain muna ang battery, meaning 0% before i charge ng 2-3 hours na nakapatay. But i read ur review stating otherwise. Pano po ba ang tamang gawin pag initial charging? Need po ba na i drain to 0% before charging the battery? Hoping for ur reply. Thanks!
nashty_blue on April 24, 2013:
one more thing pag may tumawag ba sa inyo or ikaw ang tatawag do you need to adjust the volume para marinig mo kausap mo? kase na experience ko na i need to adjust the volume sa bawat tawag or bawat call na gagawin ko para magkarinigan kami ng kausap ko.
nashty_blue on April 24, 2013:
Kahit ba naka headset ka at hindi naka silent mode or meeting mode ang phone pag may tumawag or mag text rinig ba ng lahat?
Bert on April 23, 2013:
Quick question : What is ewarranty app? Because I tried clicking it and it asked for a Frontliner Code which I don't have any clue at all. lol
Al We Ongsuco from Bacolod City on April 22, 2013:
hi, very great review! this is the review that actually pushed me to buy the omega HD after my previous android phone bricked, leaving me literally phone-less just days before leaving for Hong Kong . . and every time i used the omega HD in Hong Kong, i thought to myself what a smart decision i made buying the phone for my travel, it has a superb screen with thin bezels, it's comparable to high-end phones, and the best feature that i really love are the cameras, both the 12mp main and the 2mp front,
though i must say that the picture quality on the omega HD depends on the owner's ability to adjust the screen mode, white balance, flash and exposure . .
--after a lot of adjustments and re-adjustments(every time the lighting changes) the 12mp camera on my omega HD could take very clear and sharp photos that i could take a photo of a high-rise building from afar and zoom so close to see clearly the individual aircons and even the silhouettes of the insides of each window . . the pictures i took in Hong Kong looked like they were taken using my DSLR
--front camera takes very clear photos much better than 1-3mp camera of other phones' main camera, i could say it looked like i was taking a picture with the main camera, though zooming in obviously would not give the same quality if i had used the main 12mp cam . .
--on the video . . i was even able to take a great video of Hong Kong Disneyland's fireworks after tinkering with the settings on screen mode and exposure . . and this was in an almost pitch black surroundings, anybody who has tried taking a good video or even a photo of a fireworks show knows that a good camera is needed, i had to adjust the setting like reducing exposure to -3 so the fireworks would not just appear like i'm taking a picture of a fluorescent light directly . .
i think i will hang on to this phone until cherry mobile releases an mtk6589 phone . . i've had initial plans on buying an mtk6589 phone directly from China, but had second thoughts after thinking through the lack of dev and online support, unlike when buying known brand like Samsung, LG and even Cherry Mobile . . . i'm not too interested in buying high-end brand phones . . i like betting on the underdog and showing people that good phones need not be expensive
Richard Daniels on April 19, 2013:
@symphony, thanks for the reply. Seems strange that they are not interested in meeting demand especially if there are higher spec phones coming soon as you say. Churn and burn.
I may just buy a hyper /titan just to have a phone ( lost another iphone !) and order the google nexus from the states.
Great reviews though. The best I have seen on the web. Keep up the good work.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 18, 2013:
That's one thing I hate about Cherry Mobile. They release something new, well specced and cheap and demand simply outstrips supply. I've seen this with their previous releases. Stock availability normalizes after a month, so you should expect it to be readily available there by May.
Just be wary of defects. There's a high defect rate for this phone, particularly dead pixels. Just download AnTuTu Tester on the phone while you're still at the store to check for dead pixels.
P.S. I heard they will be releasing new phones this May too. Similar spec to the Omega HD, but with faster processors. It may be worth holding out for IMO.
Richard Daniels on April 18, 2013:
great review. i want to buy one . trouble is i can't find stock anywhere in Cebu? any ideas on why this is or where there's a hidden stash.
SHINE on April 18, 2013:
WITWEEW! VERY GOOD REVIEW!
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 17, 2013:
Unfortunately, I don't experience that problem. I have also set mine to 'WCDMA only' and I still get signal. I'm using Smart on my Omega HD btw. You should try it with other networks first and if it still persists, have your unit checked or replaced.
Also, I only charge mine for 2 to 2.5 hours max. My battery is already broken in and calibrated though.
Dantoy on April 17, 2013:
ASK KO LANG PO....Bakit po walang signal ang Omega HD ko when i enable the 3G and then set it to "WCDMA only"? But if i select GSM/WCDMA (auto-mode), EDGE naman ang signal....For the record, may 3G naman sa area ko....Anyone? Please answer.....Thanks in advance..........Pahabol lang, Battery charging is almost 4 hours daily...!
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 17, 2013:
Personally, the choice of owning an iPhone, any iPhone, has more to do with being part of the iOS ecosystem than anything else. I own an iPhone because I enjoy iOS and knowing what new thing Apple has to offer as the iPhones have always had longer service lives compared to Android phones. Heck, even the 4 year old 3GS is still upgradeable to iOS 6!
Comparing Androids to other Android with basis on specs is essential, as it is the only differentiating factor amongst them. But it is useless to compare Android and iOS devices on specs alone, not to mention the latest iPhones are always outspecced by newer Android flagship phones after a month or two of release, not that it matters since iOS is supremely refined and is its own selling point.
However, if you are just looking for something specific, like a great screen and still shot camera, the Omega HD should be fine. You save a shitload of money too. But if you're looking for the complete package -- buttery smooth experience included -- I suggest you look at Android phones with beefier specs from more established brands instead. If you have money for an iPhone 5 but REALLY want an Android, I suggest you take a look at the Sony Xperia ZL, HTC Butterfly, and Samsung Galaxy S3 (if the price is cheap since the S4 is almost here, like in GameXtreme Virra Mall where it's only 20K Php cash).
jeri on April 17, 2013:
Thanks for the review, i was planning to buy iphone 5, but with your review of the CM Omega HD i'm having 2nd thoughts regarding iphone 5. Thanks for the review.
pfb on April 17, 2013:
wow! one of the best reviews for budget phone i have read in a long time. keep it up!
j8 on April 16, 2013:
nice review. more power to you. now i decided to buy ohd. thx to your review
litzkie on April 15, 2013:
hi very nice & informative review. My CMOHD is now on its seventh day so far no probz encountered except for the short battery life which is normal for android phones with 4 - 5 inch display. my experienced is that when making and answering calls the earpiece seems to be hotter in comparison to the flare and starmobile units of my daughters even for short duration calls (say 3-5 minutes). Ganito din ba yong na experienced mo with the CMOHD? TIA
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 11, 2013:
Having dead pixels alone is enough reason to return the unit. As for the battery supposedly overheating, two days ago my battery told me it was 55C and that I had to remove it. I took it out, definitely didn't feel 55C. I put it back in, the readings became even more wrong (9-12C, lol). I only realized then it was the battery itself or the pins. So I took the battery out again, lightly blew on the pins and the battery's contact points and slowly inserted the battery. Turned the unit on again and it's reporting accurate temperatures and voltage again. My temp readings go anywhere from 28C in a cold room to 39C when playing a graphics-heavy game with 3G on at the same time or when using it as a wifi hotspot.
If the pins aren't making good contact with battery (i.e. unsuspecting piece of dirt got in between), readings as well as charge may be compromised.
patriciaH on April 11, 2013:
hi its was a great review! but I need an opinion about the battery.. I just bought my OMHD last Monday and road testing it, the gal from the store said to just charge it 1-2 hrs but I played with it immediately testing wifi etc. when we got home as I was just FBing, downloading apps from the playstore etc. it got warmer and then said to take the battery bec its over temperature,, I took the battery off and then I searched online on what to do but never really found a concrete answer. I charged it for a few hours that night (turned off) also downloaded an app to see the temp of the battery.. when I browse the net it goes up to 40C - 42C even in a cool room. should i get it replaced? its been 4 days now and still the same and even if its on standby in my bag in an air conditioned room as in its on but not in use (wifi off) I presume its not consuming too much screen power..i also saw 3 dead pixels btw. :)
Jinpol on April 11, 2013:
Awesome review. Very detailed. No nook nor cranny was left undiscussed. I used to only get this calibre from American reviews. Thank you for this. It is of utmost help. I'm now a fan.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 09, 2013:
I'm getting tired of people complaining about the headset on local phones. It's the same on the Facebook groups of these phones. All the Androids I've reviewed from local phone brands are NOT CTIA compliant. That means newer headsets like the Apple Earpods and Sony MH1C which I both own and can confirm, are NOT working, either partially or fully. If you want to use a headset, get a CTIA to OMTP adapter which are virtually impossible to find, or get an OMTP standard headset. Using a CTIA-standard headset on these phones is useless because there is a stripe mismatch, which is why the inline mic and buttons don't work or sound is garbled, or both. The stripes on the 3.5 mm jack itself aren't making proper contact with insides of the 3.5 mm port. Those whining should just do themselves a favor and use an earphone or headphone, NOT a headset. It's not like they'll die if they don't have an inline mic. Jeez.
Also, I don't share the same sentiments with you with regards to the Titan's sound quality via the 3.5 mm jack. It's fantastic and I did an RMAA test and it shows that both dynamic range, SNR and crosstalk are all nearly as good as the iPhone 5. Either your earphone or headphone sucks or your Titan is broken. I'd be more than happy to lend you my cheapo Philips SHE3570 and calibrate PowerAmp on your Titan. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. You can contact me on FB if you'd like, the link is on my profile here in Hubpages.
And for the record, the Omega HD's sound quality is great. I've already made it a point in my review, TWICE.
John Kelly on April 09, 2013:
To symphonyx7 :
Thank you for your opinion. I'm sorry I got you in hot water with that blog. I just needed a different opinion. I hope no permanent damage was done.
My apologies if I lead you to a scrape when I cited your blog. I had no intentions of offending you. I
Bhem Mheloc on April 09, 2013:
This is the most informative review for the ohd, thanks a lot makes me wanna buy it too:)
jazz on April 09, 2013:
i just have one question.
how is the quality of sound when used with other headset with mic? aside from the one on the box?
CM Titan was my phone before until i got pissed with the sound produced if used with other headset with mic or even without mic. Is that a factory defect? coz ive heard, from other users as well, the same issue. i hope to hear from u. btw, kudos to the informative review
gretelligan on April 09, 2013:
wow! you just sold me one. thanks a lot!
kimbolatte on April 08, 2013:
thanks for the info symphonyx7, and btw great review! your review made me chose this phone over the lenovo s890!
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2013:
When Android prompts you to connect your phone to a charger at 15%, that's an ideal time to start charging. You'll notice that most battery saver apps like 'DS Battery Saver' has by default an option enabled to enter deep sleep mode when battery reaches critical like 10%. This is to prevent the battery from fully discharging.
You won't feel any damage yet to the battery if you've only done it two or three times. But if it's frequent and recurring, don't expect the cells to hold the same charge in the coming months without "recalibrating" the battery itself, which requires an extended discharge and booster charger.
Here's a great source for all your battery-related concerns: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/chargin...
kimbolatte on April 08, 2013:
Hello symphonyx7, I saw one of your comments saying "My charging times are still as indicated on the review though. 20% to 90% in about 1 1/2 hours and around another 45 mins to 100%. I haven't tried 0% to 100%, as that will damage the battery. I have a hunch these people who are complaining about the battery are draining them to 0% before charging. Not only will this cause the nominal voltage to drop beyond the recovery threshold, it will also affect voltage readings and in effect, battery percentage readings." Unfortunately I'm one of those users who drain my OHD til 0%, I've done it about 3 times now so I just want to ask what would be the ideal % before I charge it and is there any "permanent damage" already done to my battery after that?
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2013:
If there's anything I like from information, it's transparency. And I hate sugarcoating and bullshitting the most.
Let's wait for Starmobile Diamond users to post their detailed AnTuTu benchmark scores. The Diamond scores 5.7K as per your source and most of us get 5.5K on the Omega HD on stock/no mods. The difference of about 200 will be shouldered by RAM, SD card I/O, etc. Then again, those things are negligible. CPU and GPU scores will be undoubtedly similar since they sport the same SOC.
I have no plans of acquiring the Diamond since MTK6589 phones are imminent, not to mention the Diamond is practically the same as the Omega HD.
P.S. Apologies if I do come off as aggressive. I like to be brutally honest and straight to the point.
Daniel Gubalane from Ormoc City on April 08, 2013:
Thank you. I'll keep all of that in mind. I just joined the Facebook group.
I think you're right about the model used in the test being a prerelease one. But Starmobile Diamond still has the higher score. What do you think?
You're review is very good. It's very detailed. Even the best of the local tech blogs do not create reviews as detailed as this.
I'm just starting so I have to learn from all of this. Thank you once again.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2013:
You're going to have to update your blog then. You have the wrong information. If you've read my review, my Omega HD scores in the 5.5K range, not 4.5K as you claim it to be. You have the burden of proof. I don't as I already have my fully-fledged review. Join the Omega HD Facebook page, everyone will attest to scores in the mid-5K range with screenshots and pictures in tow. That will settle it.
As for me, I don't blog. I just review these phones from local brands because they need the coverage they deserve and I don't think the current crop of local bloggers are giving these phones proper reviews. I have high hopes for cheapo smartphones here furthering mobile internet penetration rates. I don't see the need to review phones from international brands because GSMArena and other famous tech sites make every other review irrelevant. I don't earn a single cent from doing this. Not like I need to -- luckily I'm very well off.
I'm convinced the Omega HD from those blogs score lower because they're prerelease units. Mine isn't. I got mine from SM North EDSA.
P.S. You need to brush up on your reading comprehension, I called your information bullshit. Not your blog, as obviously the usage pattern of the word "bullshit" would imply. *sigh*
Daniel Gubalane from Ormoc City on April 08, 2013:
Hello symphonyx7, I'm Daniel - author of the blog that you called 'bullsh*t'. This one: http://www.pinoytechnoguide.com/2013/03/cherry-mob...
I admit that I did not own or even touch Cherry Mobile Omega HD or Starmobile Diamond. What I do with my blog is search for information about different gadgets and write my thoughts.
That's because I live in Ormoc City, away from the action in NCR. But I love to blog. I even quit my job last week to focus on blogging and freelance web programming.
As with my opinion about Cherry Mobile Omega HD vs Starmobile Diamond, I stand by it. The better performance of Starmobile Diamond is confirmed by Antutu Benchmark tests conducted by unbox.ph and Tech Local.
Cherry Mobile Omega HD's Antutu score is 4497 while Starmobile Diamond's Antutu score is 5771. I think that settles it. :)
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2013:
Minor error. MTK6515 is single A9. MTK6517 is dual A9. I haven't seen any devices with a MTK6517 for sale though. They probably realized the price segment for dual A9s also necessitates HSPA.
Also, by four variants, I mean four variants you'll commonly find on the market.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2013:
@ John Kelly
There are four "variants" of the Cortex A9 MT/MTK65xx line up from MediaTek: the most common is the MTK6577 (dual 1.0 Ghz A9, with HSPA), MTK6577T (dual 1.2 Ghz A9, with HSPA), MTK6515 (dual 1.0 Ghz A9, 2G only), and the MTK6575 (single 1.0 Ghz A9, with HSPA).
All of them are integrated with a PowerVR SGX 531 Ultra/531T. As far as the Starmobile Diamond/iMobile IQ4 is concerned, it also uses a MediaTek MTK6577 -- the exact same one found on the Omega HD/iMobile IQ6. I don't know where that blog got their information, but it's bullshit. As far as processing performance is concerned, they're equal unless they have any proof otherwise that the SGX 531 on the Diamond/IQ4 has HIGHER clocks compared to the Omega HD/IQ6. The only way the Diamond will have a clear cut performance lead over the Omega HD is if it has the MTK6577T, but apparently it doesn't.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but c'mon! The iMobile IQ6 has a better design than the iMobile IQ4.
The thick bezel alone on the IQ4 screams cheap, so is the lack of spacing between the capacitive buttons. I have no idea how that blogger could say the Diamond (IQ4) looks better. Check the last paragraph on his article. roflmao
P.S. The MTK6577T is listed as having a Cortex A7 core on MediaTek's wiki, but a few minutes on Google will say otherwise. IIRC, only the new MTK658x has Cortex A7 cores.
John Kelly on April 08, 2013:
I've been reading your reviews for quite some time now, and I would like to congratulate you for putting in an effort to introduce us to technology we otherwise would have to pay before we get to know it. At least you help us save some money.
Which brings me to my inquiry. I saw this review comparing the Starmobile Diamond with the Cherry Mobile Omega HD, and I can't help wondering how reliable is this review. It claimed that the former is a much better choice, what with the free 8GB SD card, and having a better GPU card. Unlike your posts, the said review presented no proofs in making such statements. We cash-strapped readers know better than to trust such unfounded statements. The said review is reproduced here: http://www.pinoytechnoguide.com/2013/03/cherry-mob...
I would like to hear an opinion from you regarding this matter. Thank you.
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2013:
The Omega HD doesn't support USB OTG.
Sorry, I'm too chicken to perform a scratch test. However, here's a video demonstrating the Omega HD's Dragontrail glass in action.
mark on April 07, 2013:
ganda ng review mo sir!
nightwish27 on April 07, 2013:
have you tried the anti scratch test?
alex on April 07, 2013:
possible ba ang usb otg sa CM OHD?
Kyle Lopez-Vito (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on April 06, 2013:
I suggest the Burst over the Flare. The screen is better and it's more ergonomic due to the curved body. Older people will appreciate a bigger and clearer screen and the Omega HD will definitely fit. The only problem is if your father can wield a device that big without problems. One-handed operation on 5.0" devices is already problematic for most people. As a compromise, I suggest the CM Thunder, Lenovo A800 or MyPhone A888 instead which all feature bigger screens (4.5") and better batteries.
I am also part of the Omega HD Facebook group and have seen people complaining about the battery. I did explicitly state in my review that the battery is modest given the results of my tests. As with my battery test, everything is stock. Vanilla. No tweaks, mods or battery saving apps. Obviously, this is to be fair. As for the battery performance, are they even sure they followed instructions for the initial charging of 4-5 hours while the phone is turned off? The initial charging is important to begin battery break in. I kinda lost count but I'm probably already on my 14th or 15th charging cycle right now and battery life is noticeably better with just the use of 'Deep Sleep Battery Saver' from the Play Store. My battery is definitely past break-in period now and oddly, it took that MANY charging cycles compared to the other Cherry Mobiles I've reviewed before. Regardless, what I got is only what I can present. I will perform another battery test when I have time and I reckon I can get 8 or maybe 8 1/2 hours now vs 7 hours in the review. However, I will not change the results in the review since it is representative of phone's performance out of the box. I will update the battery section though if there's anything worth noting. My charging times are still as indicated on the review though. 20% to 90% in about 1 1/2 hours and around another 45 mins to 100%. I haven't tried 0% to 100%, as that will damage the battery. I have a hunch these people who are complaining about the battery are draining them to 0% before charging. Not only will this cause the nominal voltage to drop beyond the recovery threshold, it will also affect voltage readings and in effect, battery percentage readings.
Lastly, most of them are whining about the battery without even posting numbers and whatnot. I bet they're getting the same battery performance as I am yet are still complaining, probably because their previous phone does better. *facepalm* For a while, I was disappointed with the Titan TV's battery life relative to the Titan's. Then the Omega HD came and posted even worse scores. rofl
Press 'Volume Up' and 'Power' buttons simultaneously, just the same as on any Android that's 4.0 or higher.
anon on April 06, 2013:
how to screen shot this phone?
Alx on April 06, 2013:
I forgot to type the number "5" on how long I've had my CM Titan -5 months and still a-ok.