Cherry Mobile's W900 smartphone also known as the 'Dragon Phone' paid the Techie lab a visit, and we got right down into business in seeing what it has to offer. Long story short, we were pleased with it. No, it doesn't spew out flames or fly, but it does have certain things and features we're looking for in a pretty good smartphone, all those for a price tag that's significantly lower compared to other handsets with similar specs from other brands. So, raring to know why we think this one has potential? Read on.
Looks and feel
We have this to say, the W900 is one of the best looking phones ever from Cherry Mobile. Its sleek curves, smooth finish, and golden exterior lining (for the black variant) gives it that air of sophistication and elegance, without going over board. We even think it'll look good next to your designer bags, even if it comes from a brand the offer affordable phones. The W900 is not anorexic, but it's also not something that you'd have a hard time pushing down your pockets. Let's just say it's safely inside the "just right" category when it comes to thickness.
Also, we found out that it's pretty solid, and by that we mean it doesn't have that "rickety" feel one might expect from a Cherry Mobile phone. However, if there's one thing we did not like about the W900's looks, it's the "curvaceous" tag that's somewhat engraved on the one thing that we think improves a lot on the handset's looks: the aforementioned golden exterior lining. We get it, the phone wants to project itself as a sosi device, but we think it already achieves that, and the addition of the word is not only unusual but also doesn't give plus points in terms of looks. Still, overall, the W900 is a certified looker.
The W900 comes with standard ports we see nowadays on most smartphones. However, the layout is pretty unusual. For example, on the right side you'll see the microUSB port (covered by a flap) as well as the eco-mode (more on that in a bit) and power/lock buttons where the dedicated camera key is normally located. A few times we pressed the power button because we wanted to open the camera app. The volume rocker is placed on the left side (not on the right which is usually the case) together with the 3.5mm audio port. This set up can be a bit confusing in the beginning although getting used to this is pretty easy.
Coming with Android Gingerbread and a combo of a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip (hence the Dragon Phone nick) and 512MB, the W900 has some power and speed. Running apps (games, multimedia, weather) was a breeze. The same can be said with mobile web browsing and navigation. However we did encounter slight lags and freeze ups when we ran, say, 6 apps (some of which are resource-intensive) or more simultaneously, something that stems from the limitations brought about the CPU and RAM. Still, overall, we give the W900 a passing grade. As long as you won't go all Rambo and run tons of apps at the same time, you'll be fine and contented with its performance. For those asking if it'll have Ice Cream Sandwich, the answer is it just might since its hardware can handle Android's latest version.
How about the display, you ask? In case you didn't know, the W900 sports a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 800 x 480 resolution. In terms of eye-candy, the screen has ample brightness while colors and image detail come out just right. However, as with most touchscreen handsets, it's a pain to use the W900 under direct sunlight as you'll barely see graphics on the screen. For responsiveness, we were pleasantly surprised that the W900 was really, um, responsive, most of the time that is. As expected, there will be some slow-downs in response time if multiple apps are doing their thing.
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Click here to view the Cherry Mobile W900 in the Buyer's Guide
Check out the gallery below for hand-on photos