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Starmobile Diamond S2 Review

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I just want to share this story. I was contemplating on choosing a Diamond S3, a 5.5 inch smartphone or the this one, the Diamond S2. I choose the the Diamond S2 because I have not reviewed a 6-inch phablet on a budget. I am also curious to compare it to another phablet, the Cherry Mobile Omega XL. Anyway, let’s go on with the review.

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Starmobile Diamond S2 specs:

  • 1.3GHz Quad Core Mediatek MT6582 processor
  • Mali 400 MP graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 6-inch qHD IPS LCD display (960 x 540 pixels) 184 ppi
  • Asahi Dragontrail scratch resistant glass.
  • 12 megapixel camera with autofocus, Back Side Illumination (BSI) and LED flash
  • 3 megapixel front facing camera with BSI
  • Quad Band GSM, Dual Band 3G
  • HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 2.0
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,400 Li-Po battery
  • Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • SRP: 9.990

Here is a hands on video of the Starmobile Diamond S2:

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The Starmobile Muse (Left) and Starmobile Diamond S2 (right)

HARDWARE AND BUILD QUALITY:

It’s pretty obvious that this is a big, big phone. As you can see on the picture above, it dwarfs the 5-inch Starmobile flagship, the Muse. It is very, very hard to hold with one hand and has some weight to it. It’s not that heavy but if you put it on your pocket you’ll know that there’s a phone in it. I do not recommend putting it on your small pockets and for the girls, it is better to put it on your bag. The phone comes with a free flip cover (see picture below) and a regular back plate cover. Both are made of glossy plastic that attracts fingerprints and smudges.  The flip cover has a useful S-Cover like feature that reveals the time and also shows your missed calls and text messages.

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DISPLAY:

The phone has a 6-inch IPS qHD display with a resolution of 960 x 540. It has pretty low resolution since the qHD resolution is stretched on a 6-inch screen. But despite that, I was so amazed on how bright and vivid the screen is. It even has great viewing angles. I enjoyed watching my favorite ABS-CBN shows via livestream on this screen size.

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SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:

Powered by a 1.3GHz quad core Mediatek processor, everything is smooth and very fluid. Lags and hiccups are very rare. I do love the customizations made on top of Android 4.2 Jellybean which I noticed on these three Diamond series smartphones – the S1, S2 and S3. It gives some distinct look.  Everything was smooth as I play my favorite games especially Plants vs Zombies 2. Loading games are quick and very zippy. I would like to take note on the phone’s signal indicator. Compared to other dual sim phones, if you inserted only one SIM, only one signal indicator will appear on the screen unlike other phones which two signal indicators will still appear.

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INTERNET AND CONNECTIVITY:

3G?HSPA+ works fine using Globe or Smart. Remember, it internet connection depends on the network not on the phone. On areas where Globe and Smart are strong, we got the usual HSPA+ speeds of 3 to 5Mbps. WiFi and Bluetooth works fine too. The phone has better WiFi reception

CAMERA:

Photos taken from the 12 megapixel rear facing camera are generally decent. Colors and vividness are all adequate. BSI works just fine on low light areas. Flash give the right amount of light with overexposing photos. The front camera takes good selfies with good lighting.

Here some sample pictures:

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Photo taken from the 3 megapixel front facing camera. (that’s not me. its a good friend who likes to take selfies)

BATTERY:

The Starmobile Diamond S2 has decent battery life. During my days of heavy usage (4 hours straight livestream, gaming for 30 mins, heavy calls and texts, 3G on, GPS on, 100% brightness) we got around 8 hours before it need charging. It can be stretched to 11 hours if you are a light to moderate user.

VERDICT:

The Starmobile Diamond S2 is the best budget phablet under 10k today. It performs better than its closest rival, the Cherry Mobile Omega XL (comparison coming soon). If you are very particular about the display, then this is not the phone for you. I recommend  you to check out the Starmobile Diamond X1, a 6-inch phablet with a true octa-core processor. Despite its low resolution display, it is still acceptable for watching movies, livestream and You Tube. I recommend this to people who use their phone as a multi media device but has limited budget. Another two thumbs up for Starmobile!