Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 hands-on review

Cherry Mobile's Cosmos Z2 is the first Full HD true octa-core smartphone from a Philippine manufacturer

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine-based smartphone manufacturer Cherry Mobile has long been associated with low-cost Android smartphones and feature phones. Feature phones start at just under P500 while smartphones hardly ever breach the 10,000-peso mark.

That was until the launch of the company’s premium Cosmos line back in June 2013. Ranging from P10-15K Cherry Mobile’s Cosmos smartphones are boundary spanners – an offering of budget smartphones with premium specs, for a little bit more than what their user base is used to

On Wednesday, February 5, its latest flagship phone the Cosmos Z2 hit stores. The phone is the “first Full HD true octa-core smartphone from a local manufacturer.” 


True-octa core is a reference to other octa-core processors used in some smartphones over the last year or so. The non-LTE variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 for example has an Exynos octa-core processor but cannot use all 8 cores at the same time; the octa-core MediaTek processor on the Z2 can. Theoretically this is supposed to deliver more processing power to the phone. 

One other octa-core phone available in the Philippines is the Starmobile Diamond X1 with one more on its way, the THL T100 MonkeyKing2 Octa Core. Both phones however come with 720p displays. 

The decision to go with a 720p screen over an 1080p display boils down to performance. The Z2 and X1 share the exact same processor and come with equal amounts of RAM, but the X1 with its 720p display scores higher on benchmarking test Antutu. The smartphone scored 27,101 in our tests while the Z2 scored 24,596. While slightly lower, the Z2’s score is still an impressive leap from the 15,400 scored by its predecessor the original Cosmos Z. 



  • Processor: 1.7 GHz octa-core MediaTek processor
  • GPU: Mali-450MP4 @ 700Mhz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB (expandable to 64GB via micro SD card)
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD IPS / Dragon Trail scratch-resistant glass
  • Camera: 18MP AF + BSI / 8MP BSI
  • Battery: 2000 mAh
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 (a Android 4.4 KitKat update is promised in March)
  • Dual SIM (one standard size, one microSIM)
  • Dual Band WiFi (2.4GHz, 5GHz)
  • WiFi / Bluetooth
  • 3G / HSPA+



The 5-inch Cosmos Z departs from the usual design aesthetic of Cherry Mobile phones. The phone feels sharper and not as round. Its back plate tapers off to the sides of the phone, and while it is still plastic, its matte finish gives it a distinct feel. 

The design change is also evident in the custom user interface that Cherry Mobile built over Android. The experience is clean, refined with a subtle nod to the flat design direction the industry is taking. The design aesthetic which revolves around taller and thinner fonts and thin lines and circles is visible from the home screen, to the new app icons, and the messaging and camera apps.


The Z2 comes with 18 and 8 megapixel main and front facing cameras respectively. Images shot using the rear camera max out at 18MP, file sizes are roughly 2-3MB each. The photos we shot in 18MP-mode came out with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The Z2 can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.






The Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 retails for P12,999. –