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Starmobile Diamond S1 Review

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Last year was a great year for local branded smartphones – sales boom, big stars as endorsers, and users switching to an international brand from a local one. All of these were made possible thanks to the unmatched value for money that local brands offer. There are still some who question the quality and reliability of these brands but this year they have been proven to be reliable and durable too. Starmobile was one of the local brands who established a good reputation of quality after sales service. Our friends who bought their Starmobile devices could attest to that.

Starmobile has recently released a new line for the Diamond series and we were lucky enough to have the Starmobile Diamond S1. We are currently using it as a daily driver for more than 10 days now. We even compared it to another smartphone, the MyPhone Agua Cyclone. Related article – STARMOBILE DIAMOND S1 OR MYPHONE CYCLONE: WHICH IS BETTER?.

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Now the Starmobile Diamond S1 is said to target people who loves style even on their phones. In this review, we have tested almost everything you want from a phone – design, build quality, software, performance, camera, battery, internet and value for money. But before we go on, here is a rundown of the phone’s specs.

Related article – STARMOBILE DIAMOND S1 INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Starmobile Diamond S1 specs:

  • 1.3GHz Quad Core MediaTek MT6572M processor
  • Mali 400MP graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal usage expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 5-inch qHD LCD display (960 x 540 pixels) 220ppi
  • Asahi Dragontrail scratch resistant glass
  • 12 megapixel rear facing camera with Back Side Illumination, autofocus and LED flash
  • 3 megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby, Dual 3G
  • HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 2.0
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,000 mAh Li-Po battery
  • Android 4.2 Jellybean

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Design and Build Quality

We find the phone really stylish. The rounded edges, thin profile and curved glass make the phone like a pebble or a soap found in hotels. The style has a double purpose because it also makes the phone easier to hold.

Just like any other Starmobile, it is very solid with no hollow feel and creaks. The curved glass is an Asahi Dragontrail Glass which is proven to be scratch resistant.

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Watching our favorite show, Be Careful With My Heart live online!

Display:

The device has a 5-inch qHD display (960 x 540 pixels). At first we were quite disappointed that it lacks HD resolution but when we saw the screen for the first time, we taught it was really HD. The display is very sharp, vibrant, crisp and has good color saturation. This is perfect for watching streaming videos like watching your favorite shows live online. We were impressed! Probably the curved glass and one glass solution of the screen made the display so good.

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Software and Perfomance:

Starmobile seems to be veering away from stock vanilla Android UI and is now putting some customization.  We do personally like it and at least it gives a different look to set it apart from other phones which is mostly using vanilla Android. It also runs Android 4.2 Jellybean and since the phone is OTA capable, software upgrades is possible as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi. Android 4.4 Kitkat is just around the corner so better monitor your phone regularly.

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The device is using the latest quad core Mediatek processor. On Antutu Benchmarks, it scored 16,957 which is quite high. On day to day use, there were very minimal lags encountered and this won’t bother your everyday use. Gaming is great too. Our favorite games – Dead Trigger 2 ran smoothly on the device.

Camera:

The 12 megapixel camera takes great photos on good lighting conditions. However, it struggles a bit when it comes to low light shots. Autofocus takes time before it takes a shot. Overall, the camera is OK but not great. If you like to post photos to your Facebook or Instagram, its camera will work just fine.

Here are some sample shots:

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Low light with flash

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Good lighting

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Good lighting

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Low light no flash

Internet:

Everything is present here – WiFi, WiFi hotspot and HSPA+. For those who are not aware, HSPA+ is faster than regular 3G or HSDPA but not as fast as LTE or 4G. We used Globe as we test the internet. Loading pages are fast and watching You Tube videos is a breeze.

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Battery:

One gripe we had on older Starmobile models is the battery. Most of them didn’t last 12 hours of just light usage. The Starmobile Diamond S1 lasted for 10 hours of moderate to heavy usage (You Tube for hours, gaming for hours, intense Viber calling and texting). This is great! Its good to know that Starmobile have longer lasting batteries.

Value For Money:

At P8,990, does it offer good value for money? It depends. The Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0 costs P7,999 and that phone is already in HD but it sports an older processor and overall its an older model than the Diamond S1. Another phone, the MyPhone Agua Cyclone almost has the same specs but comes in a lower price of  P6,988. But the Cyclone is not as stylish as the Diamond S1 plus the Cyclone only sports an 8 megapixel camera. So, it depends on your preference.

Verdict:

The Starmobile Diamond S1 is meant for those who both want style and function altogether. The price may not appeal for some because there are other phones out there who offer the same specs at a lower price. But for us, we really can’t ignore how beautiful this phone is especially the display and the design. Oh, did I mention it comes in red and yellow too? Girls will love this phone. 🙂