Jelly hero
We generally ignore phones that have sub-4-inch screens, but the Cherry Mobile Jelly caught our attention because of one very curious thing: mobile TV. Indeed, its ability to show local TV programming on the go is one of this phone’s highlight features, and this alone makes it unique among many of the newer Android models announced and released before the New Year. The question is, is there anything else about it worth considering?

Hardware and display quality

Jelly screen
First, take a look at the Cherry Mobile Jelly’s face. It sports a 3.5-inch HVGA screen which means it has a native resolution of 320×240 pixels. This screen covers about two-thirds of the space available on the front, and has to be adjusted for brightness manually because of a lack of an ambient light sensor. The Jelly also has dedicated soft-touch menu buttons — Options, Home, and Back — and an earpiece for phone calls as well as a front camera.

Meanwhile, on the left side of the Jelly, there is a pair of easy-to-locate volume buttons. And a power/lock switch can be found on the right side, while the built-in micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack are both located at the top.

As far as the screen is concerned, we’ve definitely seen much better quality from other handsets. The display appears to be covered by a layer of plastic instead of the usual glass, so colors are noticeably washed out. Viewing angles are severely limited, so when using it, it’s almost a requirement to be looking straight at it. On the bright side, the screen can be very bright, and this helps greatly especially when watching mobile TV.

Audio and camera performance

Jelly back
The back of the phone is home to a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera and built-in speakers, plus on the top right corner you’ll find a portion of the mobile TV antenna sticking out. The sound quality from the speakers is acceptable though nowhere near impressive, but the camera quality is just disappointingly poor. The auto-focus feature doesn’t seem to help things much when taking snaps, as photos turn out somewhat fuzzy and with a lot of noise. We suspect it has to do with the low quality camera sensor that’s in use, and the fact that a built-in LED flash is missing only makes things worse — moreso in dimly lit environments. In any case, such underperforming components should be expected in something so cheap.

Software and other features

As a phone, the Cherry Mobile Jelly covers the basics quite well. It has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and even HSDPA data (included dual SIM support). So it’s not lacking anything in the communications department. What’s more, you can easily install the latest calling and messaging apps because it runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean by default. You can install Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Line, WeChat, Kakao Talk, and Viber. And of course, you can still use the default Android apps such as Phone, Messaging, Hangouts, and Email.

It can be used for some light gaming — Candy Crush, 2FUSE, Temple Run, etc. — on Android, too.

Other basic smartphone features that are present include an FM radio, music player, built-in Maps, and a file manager. In other words, the Jelly offers a fairly standard basic phone package on top of it being a portable TV set. It should be noted that its mobile TV feature only covers local channels, and picture quality highly depends on the signal beamed out of the TV stations. But we found no problems getting reception for the most popular local channels such as Channel 2, Channel 7, Channel 9, and Channel 13.

The battery life lasts about 4-5 hours with watching mobile TV non-stop.

Conclusion

Jelly in hand
What can we say about the Cherry Mobile Jelly? It’s a truly basic phone with the added bonus of being a mobile TV. It would be easy to give as a gift and if it got lost or stolen, it would hardly hurt your wallet. We’ve seen shoes and bags that cost more than this phone. If you’re the type of person who still enjoys watching TV, then the Cherry Mobile Jelly would allow you to take your fixation to new locations at all times of day.

Cherry Mobile Jelly

Price: Php 2,299

Best features
  • Mobile TV
  • Dual SIM support
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
What’s missing
  • LED flash for the camera
  • Adequate amount of internal storage
Bottom line

If you’ve ever thought it would be great to be able to watch your favorite cartoon shows, televised dramas, or sports events no matter where you are — inside or outside of the house — then the Cherry Mobile Jelly is worth considering.

  • xel

    aw 256 lang ang RAM, balak ko sana bumili kaso parang deal breaker ung RAM, ung mobile TV ang gusto ko.

    Pwede bo ba pa post ng Antutu Scores or any benchmark kung pwede, tapos paki specify po ung mga Sensors

    • I know Wut you did Last Winter

      Don’t expect anything from a 2.3k priced phone specially kung medyo packed na sya ng features. 3k and above should feed your needs.

  • xel

    pahabol po, rooted po ba ito kagad? kung hindi po pano po i root

    • http://www.davidvgonzales.com/ David Gonzales

      Not rooted out of the box. RAM really could be an issue if you plan to multitask and play memory-intensive games and whatnot. Sensors: accelerometer only (no ambient light sensor, no gyroscope, no compass).