Ever since local brands have been offering smartphones at affordable prices, ordinary Filipinos can now access to information at their fingertips. But local brands has also received some sort of discrimination from Filipinos belonging to Class A and B which are the rich, well-off, and the middle class. Local brands are often perceived as low quality, cheap, “pang masa”, and with poor after sales services. A friend of ours who is not a fan of local brands said to us, “Yang mga local phones pangnakaw lang yan at sayang lang pera mo dyan”. For years, local smartphones have been trying to prove its worth to these people that their products are of great quality despite its affordability.
Starmobile, one of the big Filipino gadget brands today, announced the Starmobile Knight X, a smartphone with impressive specs including an Octa Core processor, 5.5-inch Full HD display, 13 megapixel camera and dual LTE -capabilities. Can the Starmobile Knight X lure “sosyal” people to buy a Filipino-made smartphone? Let’s find out in our review.
Starmobile Knight X:
- Octa Core Mediatek MT6595M processor (2GHz quad core Cortex A17 and 1.7GHz Quad Core Cortex A7)
- IMG Rogue G6200 graphics
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1080 x 1280 pixels)
- scratch resistant glass
- 13 megapixel rear facing Sony IMX135 camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 5 megapixel front facing camera
- Dual SIM (Micro + Nano SIM), Dual Standby and Dual LTE
- LTE , HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth
- NFC, USB OTG, Infrared Port
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- 3,350 mAh battery
- Android 4.4 Kikat
- SRP: P15,990
- Status: Available at Starmobile stores, kiosks, and retailers
Related story – Starmobile Knight X Unboxing and First Impressions
HARDWARE AND DESIGN:
Looking at the hardware, it resembles so much of the Sony Xperia Z3, one of our favorite smartphones when it comes to design. It may not have glass at the back but the plastic back cover isn’t cheap looking. Just like we’ve said on our unboxing, it is one beautiful piece of hardware. We love to flaunt the Knight X while we work at Starbucks and Coffee Bean and whenever we were asked what phone is it, we never hesitate to say it is Filipino-made.
All buttons are reachable with one hand thanks to its thin bezels making the phone smaller than other 5.5-inch smartphones out there. Audio quality may not be the best but it is loud enough to hear whenever there’s a notification or incoming call. Audio quality using our 3rd party earphones is better than we expected.
We’ve always praised Starmobile for its awesome display quality on their phones even if it is in low resolution. The Starmobile Octa, the company’s 2014 flagship, has a very nice 5-inch Full HD display but Knight X’s 5.5-inch display is so much better. Using the phone outdoors and in direct sunlight is no problem. Color saturation is accurate and has good viewing angles. We just find the auto brightness a little fuzzy at times but we think it can be fixed by a software update.
Speaking of software update, if you just bought a Knight X, kindly update the software version from V1.3 to V1.4. Simply turn on your WiFi and make sure you have enough battery too. Simply go to SETTINGS > ABOUT PHONE > WIRELESS UPDATE. This is what we did after unboxing it.
We were blown away on how fast the Knight X is. Normally, we install Clean Master, an app that cleans your phone’s RAM and optimizes your phone’s performance. We never bothered installing it because even after playing Dead Trigger 2, Clash of Clans and most of my apps are running, the phone never slowed down. On the 8-day duration of our review, we never encountered any lags, app freeze or stutter which is a first in our a year and a half of reviewing local smartphones. Hands down to Starmobile! Boom!
Update: You can download V1.5 for your Starmobile Knight X! This will bring improvements on the camera.
Starmobile has also up the ante when it comes to imaging. The company put a 13 megapixel rear facing Sony camera and photos are very impressive. It may not have the DSLR quality but photos are far better than any 13 megapixel shooter we’ve tested among local brands. The 5 megapixel front camera takes pretty good selfies.
One great advantage of the Starmobile Knight X even on the likes of the Apple iPhone 6 is the dual LTE feature. The ability of switching between Smart and Globe’s LTE services is our favorite feature. There are areas in the metro were Smart’s LTE falter like in Ayala Malls (obviously, it is a sister company of Globe). So we switch our LTE service to Globe. LTE speeds of both networks met our expectations but always remember, the quality of your internet depends on your location.
Having a very powerful Octa Core processor and a large full HD display will be very challenging for the battery. Good thing Starmobile placed a large 3,350 mAh battery. With our heavy everday usage, we managed to get around 10 hours of battery life with 10% left in the tank – that involves 3 hours of gaming, 2 hours of video streaming, calls, texts, social media and an hour of You Tube with LTE and WiFi on at auto brightness. On our moderate use, we manage to get 17 hours of battery – that involves usual social media, few calls and texts.
This is the fastest and most powerful local smartphone we’ve ever tested. The Starmobile Knight X is something we Filipinos can be proud of. This smartphone can match the flagship smartphones from international brands and sometimes, it can do better. And for us, it is a smartphone for keeps. We gave up our Samsung Galaxy S5 for the Knight X and it is the best decision we made this year. 🙂