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Say Cheese

Some of the beautiful architecture at the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

MANILA, Philippines — As soon as we landed in Bangkok, I flipped out the newly launched Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie to check the weather. It was around 30 degrees Celsius — hot. We met with our tour guide inside the airport and I noticed that she had a tiny stuffed animal hanging at the end of a stick to guide the pack. Bangkok felt very much like Manila, with similar tropical weather and the same bustling streets. But the Flare S6 Selfie was an unfamiliar device, and I was eager to get to know it.

I have never owned a Cherry Mobile phone before, but having lots of Android experience under my belt, I was familiar with the new Cherry OS. It has a dual SIM card slot and 16GB of internal storage, expandable to up to 128GB, so I knew that I never had to worry about taking too many pictures. The phone was easy to use, but I had a tricky time handling a phone with a USB Type C charging port. The good thing is it has a 3.5mm audio port that you can use to plug your favorite earphones at, unlike some of the flagship phones that are currently being released on the market that do not have it. The phone feels premium on the hand because of its light metal body and curved edges. Plus, it has a fingerprint scanner, too.

We were on our way to our first destination in Thailand, and to get things started, our tour guide mentioned that traffic there was way worse than what we have here. Even if it were, I wouldn’t have noticed because I spent time on the road under my earphones, listening to my road trip playlist on Spotify, which was available to download from the Play Store on the Flare S6 Selfie.

 

 

 

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Our first destination was Wat Saket, also known as the Temple of Golden Mount. The steps to get to the top of the hill total around 318; bells were lined at some of the platforms on the way to the top, and striking them was said to bring good luck. I saw a beautiful and quiet Bangkok at the peak of the temple. And though I’m not fond of taking selfies on trips, the 16MP Samsung S5K3P3 front and rear camera on the Flare S6 Selfie was made exactly for this job. So I tried. Funny thing: the Cherry’s Selfie Camera has a Beauty mode where it scans your face and “guesses” your gender and age. It also has a FaceCute mode where you can play with filters for selfies like the ones you use on Snapchat, and a Bokeh mode where the background is blurred from the subject. The rear camera also has features like Panorama, HDR, Monochrome and Night mode.

Later that night, dinnertime was set for the group while we were given our specific rooms at the lobby of Centara Grand at Central World Bangkok. The view from the glass-walled lobby was a calm night sky overlooking Bangkok’s streets, and it set the mood for the rest of the night. I charged my phone even though it was not yet low on battery. With only 2600 mAh, I had to make sure I had enough power to take photos of the food at Somboon Seafood where we were set to have supper.

The next day, we roamed around Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. Dating back to the 17th century, the palace boasts beautiful architecture that makes you want to immortalize it in photos. With an IPS panel and Full HD resolution, the phone displays beautiful colors, but it was a bit challenging to view the display under the sun. Using the rear camera on the Flare S6 Selfie, I was able to capture the beauty of the palace. I never had trouble taking pictures with the size of the screen since it’s packed with a 5.2-inch display.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is where I had the most fun during the tour. It was like shopping and haggling at Divisoria or Baclaran, but on a boat. The LTE connection in Bangkok was fast, and my Cherry Mobile phone having a 1.5GHz Octa Core processor and 3 GB RAM did not disappoint me, keeping up with the speed. I checked online the exchange rate of the Thai baht to the Philippine peso just to make sure I was bargaining the right prices for the things I bought. Safe to say that we left the floating market satisfied with our purchases.

For a price tag of P7,999, the fast and reliable camera of the Flare S6 Selfie is definitely a lot of bang for the buck… even if you aren’t just taking selfies.

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