Friday, August 27, 2010

Cherry Mobile D10 Review

I recently blogged about my china phone user experience two posts back. I was pleasantly surprised by the china phone's feature set considering that it was very affordably priced.

I had the fortune of being lent a newly purchased Cherry Mobile D10 unit by a friend. It was on sale a few days ago, selling for P600 off its normal price of P1,990 (about $45).

The retail box contains a standard phone charger, a headset that connects to the phone via Micro USB, a user manual, the handset and an 800mAh battery. Unfortunately, the charger I got was not working properly. It was a good thing that the charger is similar to the Nokia AC-4U charger I have for my 6120.

The specifications of the D10, according to the box, are: a 1.8" TFT display; dual band for 900/1800 MHz; dual SIM/dual standby mode; 3 LED flashlight; FM radio (needs headset); MP3 player; image viewer; and support for microSD cards up to 1GB in size.

The phone is supported by a one year warranty and an NTC sticker so the absence of Bluetooth/camera/TV tuner at this price point can be forgiven. I'm not sure about the extent of the warranty, though - some reports say that it is not comprehensive, and that the LCD might not be included.

On to my impressions:

  • The menu seems to be a little bit sluggish compared to my Nokia 6120 or the Accelerator (china phone) that I have been using.
  • If you've used a china phone before, the menu system and options will look familiar to you. Menus (in grid view mode) look like they were taken from a Series 40 Nokia.
  • The speakers are very loud. This is a welcome change from most of the cheap phones we see. It's not stereo but it's decent enough to listen to MP3s or an FM radio station without cringing.
  • The phone only contains 30KB of memory so a microSD is required to take advantage of the image viewer, sound recorder, and MP3 player. Compare this with the 494KB on the Accelerator phone or 44MB on the Nokia 6120. A custom wallpaper should not be more than 10KB to be useable. This memory bottleneck might also be the reason of the sluggish menu navigation mentioned above.
  • Overall call quality is excellent. It is as usable as any other branded phone.

Verdict: If you are on the lookout for an inexpensive, no frills Dual SIM phone, then the D10 is for you. You will not need to thoroughly test it like you would with china phones. And having the warranty would be reassuring for some users who would want a backup phone like the D10.

If you are looking for a feature packed phone on the cheap, look for a china phone and test it inside out before the swap warranty period runs out.

Hopefully, local companies that sell china phones like the D10 would be able to bring more advanced, affordable phones in the Philippine market.

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