Cherry Mobile has introduced the Aqua S10 Pro. It’s not a flagship device, but it’s one of the best smartphones that the local tech brand offers.
With a price of only Php7,999, this device was created to cater to people’s growing needs, even if they’re on a budget. That said, is it worth your hard-earned money? We find out in our Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro full review.
Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro Specs
- Android 11
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 6.67-inch FHD+ TrueView IPS display
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio G90 octa-core processor
- 6GB RAM
- Mali-G76 GPU
- 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 16- megapixel front camera
- 48-megapixel + 5-megapixel (ultra-wide) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) + 2-megapixel (macro) rear cameras, LED flash
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- USB Type-C
- 5,000mAh battery, 30W wired charging, 10W wireless charging
Design and Build Quality
The Aqua S10 Pro immediately impresses the moment you take it out of the box. Compared to a couple of its competition, this device feels surprisingly thin and light, with a smooth back surface and curved edges and corners that make it comfortable to hold.
Although, this device has a 5,000mAh battery, so it still has some weight to it, but nothing you can’t get used to.
Cherry Mobile is also keeping up with the times by implementing a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera instead of the traditional notch. Besides giving it a modern look, more of the screen space is being utilized. The bezels are not the thinnest, but it has a quite impressive screen-to-body ratio.
The company didn’t mention the glass they used on the display, but it has a pre-applied screen protector for extra peace of mind. There’s even an extra protector on the box in case the one applied needs replacing.
Around the back, we have a frosted glass finish, which really compliments its sleek gray color gradient. We also have the clean CHERRY logo on the back instead of the usual Cherry Mobile branding.
The four cameras and dual-tone flash are in its own glass. They protrude a little, but nothing too obtrusive. The fingerprint scanner is positioned high enough, but we wish it was a little bigger for easier access. Cherry Mobile could have also went with a side-mounted one for a cleaner look, but we’re not complaining.
It then has a shiny chassis that you can see on the sides. On the top, there’s a secondary microphone for noise isolation on calls. The main microphone is at the bottom, together with the loudspeaker, headphone jack, and thankfully, USB Type-C.
The SIM tray is at the top left side, while on the right, there are the volume controls on top of the lock/power switch. The physical keys are protruded well enough and have a tactile feel and satisfying clicky sound when pressed.
Overall, the Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro looks well-dressed and sturdy enough. Just make sure you slap in the free clear case in the box if you want it to last longer.
Display and Sound Quality
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro has a 6.67-inch FHD+ IPS screen, a bit larger than the usual 6.5-inch displays we see on devices at this price.
Display quality is fine, and honestly, for a device at this price, we really can’t be that picky. It is large to make work and entertainment use enjoyable, has decent colors, and usable enough outdoors even when it’s sunny.
Like most entry-level phones, it lacks a stereo speaker setup. However, the single bottom-firing makes up for it by having a surprisingly loud volume and decent clarity.
Hardware and Performance
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro boasts a gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G90 octa-core processor, coupled with a generous 6GB of RAM, 128GB of fast UFS 2.1 storage, and a Mali-G76 GPU.
Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro benchmark scores
Performance was pretty solid, especially for the price. With its generous 6GB of RAM, multitasking was a breeze, and running basic apps was fine. Although, some software optimization could further improve the performance and can better harness the power of this chip.
The MediaTek Helio G series were forged for gaming, and it shows here, at least for the game we’ve tested. As big fans of shooters like the Call of Duty Mobile, we were able to play it under High graphics quality and Max frame rate with no issues or noticeable frame drops.
It got hot after a while, but nothing too alarming. Ambient weather conditions could still affect performance (i.e if you’re gaming in a hot room or outdoors), so be on the lookout for that.
Software and User Interface
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro ships with Android 11 out of the box, the first from the brand to do so. It comes with an unknown skin, but don’t worry, as it’s so light you barely notice it.
It has navigation keys, which you can customize in the settings. You can change the layout and even the background color. If you don’t like it, you can opt for an iOS-like gesture navigation.
By default, all your apps are on the home screen. You can go to the settings if you want to enable the app drawer, which then you can easily access by swiping up from the desktop. There’s also a search button on top so you can look for apps faster.
I also liked how Cherry Mobile didn’t put bloatware apps on this one. Most of the pre-installed apps are from Google so you know they are safe and reliable.
We’ve also noticed that the Android Auto feature is featured prominently in the settings menu, right below the Bluetooth setting.
The Intelligent assistance in the menu lets you configure a couple of settings to make your daily life easier. For one, you can set it up so you can long-press the fingerprint scanner to answer calls, take photos, screen capture, or return home. You can also click the sensor to go back.
Cherry Mobile also included a DuraSpeed function at the bottom of the settings menu.
I also like the quick customization you can do when you take a screenshot. You can crop it, adjust the color one, and more.
The Aqua S10 Pro uses Google Keyboard out of the box. The autocorrect is pre-enabled, which is annoying, but you can easily disable it on the settings menu that’s easily accessible right on the keyboard itself. Meanwhile, the camera app, while still needing to be worked out, is fine and quite easy to use.
Overall, the software and user interface are fine and compliments the hardware it’s on, but do need some polishing.
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro has a quad-camera setup. It starts with the 48-megapixel main shooter, 5-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and 2-megapixel macro camera. On the front, we have a 16-megapixel selfie snapper.
Now, let’s talk about image quality. The main camera takes fine images, but it could be better with better software. The focusing and shutter is a little slow, even in good lighting. However, it’s still usable. The colors are fine and can be tweaked a little in editing.
Low-light performance is also fine. There’s a night mode feature that makes things look better, but don’t count on it too much.
Meanwhile, the images from the ultra-wide is unsurprisingly bad considering its low-resolution sensor. Pictures look really soft and washed out. Still, it’s a nice addition if you want to take group photos or large subjects on a single frame.
The macro camera takes okay images too, but we wish it allows you to get much closer to the subject.
Meanwhile, the 16-megapixel front camera is enough for taking pictures and video calls. It has sharp details that gives you enough room to use filters. You can also play with the face beauty modes if you want to.
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro features a 5,000mAh battery, quite a standard capacity for a device at this price.
It got a screen-on time of 7 hours and 46 minutes in PCMark’s battery test. That’s a loop of synthetic workload until the battery drops to 20%. Definitely not the best score we’ve seen, but not the worse either. Chances are, you have to reach for the charger every night or even before the day ends.
Thankfully, the Aqua S10 Pro shines in the charging department. It’s one of the cheapest phones to come with 10W wireless charging, which may take about three hours before it can reach 100%.
It also boasts a 30W charger, one of the fastest in the price. A full charge will only take about an hour.
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro is a good all-around smartphone, especially for the price. It has a desirable and comfortable design that’s great to carry around, a reliable performance, decent cameras, and as a cherry on top, it has 30W fast charging and wireless charging support.
If we were to nitpick, we wish it has better battery optimization for longer screen-on time. Also, it could use some polishing in the software department.
Still, for the price, the Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro is packed with the right qualities to be a rightful contender in its price range.
Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro price in the Philippines
The Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro has a price of Php7,999 and is now available in physical stores nationwide. You can also get it online via Lazada, Shopee, and the company’s own www.cherryshop.com.ph website.
- Sleek and slim body
- Capable performance
- Fast wired charging and wireless charging support
- Battery life could be better
- Software needs some polishing