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Starmobile Up Mini Hands On Review

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Starmobile is taking everything to the next level. From its current naming system of alphabet style, the local gadget maker is switching things based on the price range. Feature phones are named UNO, entry level smartphones are named PLAY, tablets are ENGAGE, flagship smartphones are KNIGHT and mid range smartphones are called UP. We have here the a member of the UP family, the Starmobile Up Mini. We’ve been using this for a week now and here’s our review.

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Starmobile Up Mini:

  • 1.3GHz Quad Core Mediatek MT6582M processor
  • Mali 400MP2 graphics
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS LCD display (854 x 480 pixels)
  • 8 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash
  • VGA megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, LED Notification Light, Miracast and Chromecast support
  • GPS, A-GPS
  •  1,550 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat
  • SRP: P3,690
  • Status: Available on Starmobile stores and kiosks

HARDWARE AND DESIGN:

Compared to its sibling, the Up Lite, the Up Mini has a more square design. It is quite reminiscent of the Apple iPhone 5 especially on the sides. Build quality is top notch just like its siblings. Since it is a small device, the phone is can be used with one hand. Better grip is achievable thanks to its soft matte back cover.

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DISPLAY:

The 4.5-inch display is superb! It is bright enough to use outdoors but kinda reflects when using under direct sunlight. Viewing angles are good and colors are accurate. We find the FWVGA resolution is just right for a 4.5-inch display although we would like it in qHD resolution for sharper and better screen quality.

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SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:

The Starmobile Up Mini runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat with no custom UI on top. It performs smoothly on basic tasks. Multitasking is smooth too thanks it its quad core processor. When it comes to gaming, we advice you not to download games like NBA2k14, Asphalt 8 or Dead Trigger 2 simply because of its limited 512MB RAM. But it is safe to play Candy Crush Soda, Clash of Clans and Plants vs Zombies here. We didn’t encounter any stutter while playing the Candy Crush Soda.

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CAMERA:

The 8 megapixel rear facing camera produces good pictures despite its lack of autofocus. Using HDR improves photo quality and the advantage of Back Side Illumination (BSI) makes pictures taken in low light better and with more detail.

Here are some of our camera samples:

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photo taken from the VGA front facing camera

 

CONNECTIVITY:

HSPA+ connection using both Globe and Smart works well on the Up Mini. Internet speeds depends on your location and it is good to know that the phone is dual 3G. WiFi reception and Bluetooth works fine too.

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Speed test using Smart’s HSPA+ network at Greenbelt, Makati City

 

BATTERY:

The 1,550 mAh battery might underwhelm you but remember, this phone doesn’t require much power. The small and low res screen eats less power. On our moderate to heavy usage, we managed to get 7 hours of battery life with 15% left in the tank. We must say battery life is just average. Our usage includes 4 hours of onscreen time on auto brightness, 1 hour of games, an hour of You Tube, occasional use of social networks, calls, texts, and email.

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VERDICT:

The Starmobile Up Mini is your best option if you are looking for a no frills smartphone that just performs well on your everyday basic smartphone needs like calling, texting, social networks, and taking pictures. But if you are into taking selfies a lot, its sibling, the Starmobile Up Lite has a 2 megapixel front camera with flash that would light up your selfies at night.

Got questions? Tweet and follow us @filipinotechie and @immarkmarcelo on Twitter and Instagram.