Over the weekend, I was doing my regular gadget hunting activity in SM Gensan when I finally got a chance to do a hands on review with the Starmobile Knight, the newest and by far the best local branded Android smartphone to date. Thanks to the friendliness and generosity of the Starmobile personnels there, I was able to play around the device for a while without actually buying it.
Below is my Starmobile Knight review, my thoughts and experience with this pretty impressive quad-core local smartphone. If you happen to own this device, feel free to share your thoughts too by leaving a comment below.
You might also want to read: Starmobile Price List 2013: Android Phones
What’s in the box
* Starmobile Knight unit
* Standard earphones
* Charging / Syncing cable
* Charging adapter
* 1 front screen protector
* 1 transparent hardshell case
The Knight’s Design
One very impressive thing that I really liked about the Starmobile Knight is its overall design. From the moment I lay my hands on it, I was immediately astounded by its ultra slim form factor comparable to the iPhone 5. It’s even thinner by 0.1 mm (7.5mm) than the 7.6mm iPhone. In terms of weight, the Knight only weighs 120 grams making it almost feather-like comparing to my current iPhone 4s. Unlike other smartphones, this one is undisturbingly large and just fits on my hand upon gripping.
At a quick glance, you might thought of it as the iPhone 5 too but only taller at 4.7 inches. It has a 1280 x 720 HD screen resolution at an almost retina-like 315 pixels per inch (ppi). With Corning Gorilla glass technology covering its main IPS screen, this device will surely endure unintentional scratches acquired during daily usage. Still on the front, you will see the 8 megapixels autofocus camera that is perfect for video conferencing and selfie shots plus three (3) capacitive navigation buttons at the bottom.
As for the back portion of the Knight, it is covered by a removable matte finish plastic case with a few decals for the logo and camera resolution. At the top left corner is the whopping 18 megapixels rear-facing autofocus camera (with dual LED flash & BSI) and the built-in speakers at the bottom center of the device. Other standard buttons and ports (power/sleep, volume rocker, microUSB, microphones, headphone jack) can only be found on different sides of the device.
Impressive Hardware Specs
For a locally branded phone, I consider the internal hardware specs of the Knight to be quite rare and impressive. Powering up the whole device is a 1.2 GHz quad core MediaTek MT6589 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a hefty PowerVR SGX544MP GPU for optimal graphic performance. This same GPU chip is also used by other high-end and branded smartphones like the Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD, Lenovo K900, and Samsung Galaxy Premier.
Speaking of storage, it has a standard 4 GB of internal storage with which is still expandable up to 32 GB via its microSD slot found at the back. Not to mention also that the package comes with a free 8 GB microSD card upon purchasing the Knight. Not bad right?
The Starmobile Knight is also a dual SIM, dual 3G smartphone (with both regular and microSIM card slots) capable of reaching network speeds of up to 42 Mbps. In normal conditions, this will make video streaming and downloading faster than other usual local phones in the market. Other standard hardware specs are also included like Wifi, Wifi Hotspot, Bluetooth, and GPS w/ aGPS.
Click this link for the detailed Starmobile Knight specs.
The Knight’s Performance
Generally, the overall performance of the Knight is very impressive too. Upon powering up the device, I did some quick screen navigations as well as opening some built-in application on the handset and didn’t noticed any lags or problems with transitions, animations, whatsoever. It’s actually a very fluid device running Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean OS. For mobile geeks out there, the Starmobile Knight has scored an average of 13k in Antutu benchmark.
Speaking of gaming performance, the Knight is very capable too of playing both average and highly graphic-intensive mobile games. I tried playing Temple Run 2, Plants vs Zombies, and Fruit Ninja on the test unit and so far they are loading as expected thanks to its quad core processor and fancy GPU. I would say that it can actually be a very good gaming device (for hard gamers out there) because of its wide and bright HD screen plus its very light on the hands so will not bee too exhausted after playing for a long period.
Watching full HD movies is not a problem also with the Knight since it can playback 1080P videos at 30 frames per second (fps). Not to mention also that it supports a variety of audio & video formats.
Being one of the strongest points about this device, both the front and rear facing cameras never failed to amaze me. The 18 MP autofocus back camera is so good that every photo looks very clear and crisp. Believe me, the image quality is even comparable (or much better) than what I have with my iPhone 4S. It’s got a dual LED flash plus BSI (backside illumination) technology which enhance the camera performance even in dark/low-light places and make them brighter.
The 8 MP front facing camera will also give the best quality selfie shot! It’s Super duper clear that can capture even the smallest skin impurities on your face. (haha). Not to mention too that it also has both autofocus and BSI features similar to the back camera. Very awesome.
Internet Browsing & Battery Life
Accompanying the Knight is a non-removable, 2000 mAh Li-Ion battery capable enough to last the whole working day of calls, texts, 3G/Wifi internet browsing and occasional mobile gaming. Though I haven’t able to test it out for the whole day, generally user feedbacks suggest that they are getting an average of about 9 hours of moderate to heavy usage and around 15 hours of light to standby usage.
Given the short time I played around with the Starmobile Knight, I instantly feel in love with it. I mean who wouldn’t love this device given its high-end specs and a low price point of Php 11,290? This is by far the best local Android smartphone to date that I’ve seen and I would highly recommend this for aspiring iPhone 5 users who are on a tight budget as of the moment.
Tell me what you think about the Starmobile’s latest flagship device by leaving a comment below.