By Charlemagne Losaria
Mobile operator Smart Communications recently announced a venture with Filipino smartphone brand Starmobile Philippines to bring the experience of owning a smartphone to a wider audience with the Starmobile Play Click.
Priced affordably at P1,288, the phone comes in three colors: champagne, silver, and dark grey. After spending sometime with the device as a daily driver, here is my take on the Starmobile Play Click.
Build and design
The build of the Play Click is fairly impressive, especially considering its price. It?s made primarily of plastic but is still quite a solid device. No apparent creaking sound can be heard when you try to apply pressure on it.
In terms of design, I honestly think it is outdated, especially the front side. The Starmobile Click has a 4.5-inch non-HD screen. Just above it is a 2MP front-facing camera. Below it are three un-lit capacitive buttons. You will also see the former logo of Smart Communications on top, if you do decide to get it via Smart.
The lack of good looks may not have been so evident if the Play Click was launched two years back. Then again, do consider you?re paying only P1,288 for the device and I am sure the design won?t bother you at all.
The back part, however, somewhat makes up for the lack of good looks at the front. Here, you will find the non-AF 5MP camera with LED flash. The battery cover is removable and will give the user access to the 1650 mAh battery, a single speaker grill, the dual SIM slot (3G capable, locked to Smart) and a microSD slot, which supports up to 32GB.
The charging port and headset slot are placed on top, while the single mic port is placed down below. The volume rocker buttons and power button on the right side are very tactile.
The Play Click runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box. I am quite impressed since the phone only packs 512 MB of RAM. But then again, Google did mention that Android Lollipop will also cater to low-end devices.
The engine that drives this device is a 1.2GHZ quad-core Spreadtrum 7731C ARM Cortex-A7 processor. Like you, this is the first time I have heard of this brand. It may not be your usual Snapdragon, Exynos or Mediatek processor but it still gets the job done.
It also has a Mali-400MP2 GPU, a 2GB internal storage, and supports FM Radio.
Occasional lags are to be expected under heavy usage. When buying a smartphone, price and performance are usually inversed. Make sure to close memory hogging apps like Facebook when not in use.
The interface of the Play Click is stock Android with no custom skin from Starmobile. However, the default wallpaper and boot animation has Smart?s logo in it.
Below are some screenshots of the interface of the Play Click.
Here are some shots taken with the 5MP non-AF camera.
One thing to note is that it lacks a proximity sensor, which is really, on my book, is quite unforgivable in this day and age of smartphones.
You will have to lock the phone manually when placing a call so you don?t accidentally click the screen using your cheeks. But that?s about my only gripe on this budget phone.
Though a budget phone, it?s not lacking in gimmicky features including a double-tap screen to wake and sleep feature. It also supports gesture writing on the lock screen to launch certain apps. For example, writing ?O? will launch the camera.
It also has a built-in user manual. I am not sure if this has been integrated with other Starmobile phone in the past but should be the standard for other brands as well.
The Starmobile Play Click was launched with a target niche in mind. It can do what other high-end smartphones can do, albeit with compromises. You can check your e-mail, set appointments, browse news feed, and play some games on it.
This is ideal and can be a go-to device for those who are just venturing out in using a smartphone and also those on a budget.
The openline version of the Play Click is priced at P2,690 and is available in Starmobile concept stores and kiosks nationwide.