Local branded smartphones are bringing smartphones with rock bottom prices. Nowadays, a 5-inch smartphone can costs around P3,000. So, when competitors are offering such value for money smartphones, Starmobile followed but offered something no one has offered before. When the company announced the Starmobile Play Neo, they partnered with Smart Communications, Inc to offer a unique smartphone experience. Did the Play Neo stand out among the rest? Find out with this review.
Starmobile Play Neo:
- 1.3GHz Quad Core Spreadtrum 7731G processor
- Mali 400 MP4 graphics
- 512MB RAM
- 8GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
- 5-inch FWVGA IPS LCD display (854 x 480 pixels)
- 5 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus, BSI sensor and LED flash
- 2 megapixel front facing camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 3G/HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth
- GPS, A-GPS
- 2,000 mAh battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- SRP: P2,999
- Status: Available on Starmobile stores and kiosks
DESIGN AND HARDWARE
There’s nothing outstanding with the Play Neo’s design but we do love this gold variant we are reviewing. We just find it quite hefty but still manageable holding with one hand. Its curved back along the edges makes it more comfortable to hold.
Audio quality from the speakers is not outstanding but it is loud enough for you to hear incoming calls or SMS when in pocket or bag.
In order to maintain its price tag, Starmobile has to cut corners like the display. The 854 x 480 pixels on a 5-inch display may look underwhelming but Starmobile managed to make the display bright and vibrant. Good thing it can withstand the outdoor sun. We just find the display too reflective when using it outdoors.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
Overall performance is generally smooth, as long as you don’t open too many apps. It may have a quad core processor but with its small 512MB RAM, it can only run a few apps on the background. We recommend you use the pre-installed Clean Master app and constantly clean your junk data and cache.
When it comes to games, it can run Clash of Clans and Candy Crush smoothly. We do not recommend you install graphic intense games due to its limited RAM.
We find photos taken from the 5 megapixel camera decent as long as you take photos in good light situations. Take photos in low light and you’ll notice some noise on your photos. The camera isn’t the phone’s best feature but we are quite surprised how photos look better compared on the same phone from another brand with the same price.
This is where Starmobile’s unique offer comes in. When you buy this smartphone, it comes with Smart’s SUPER PACK SIM. Load up at least P150 and get free 700MB worth of data good for 30 days. That’s more than enough for checking and updating three of the popular social network apps – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Not just that, just load at least P150 a month for a year and get 700MB of data and use your load for calls and texts.
The Play Neo is 3G capable and has the ability to get HSPA+ speeds. Internet is decent in most areas we tested it. Calls are also clear with no issues.
Just like we been saying on our past reviews. Having a low res display has its benefits. It gives you longer battery life. The 2,000 mAh battery lasted more than 3 days on standby and 12 hours on moderate use.
We enjoyed using the Play Neo especially with its included Smart SUPER PACK SIM. It is like getting more what you’ve pay for not to mention that Starmobile included freebies like screen protector and a clear case which means, no need to buy accessories. Sulit diba?