Hands-on with the Starmobile Astra
Dual-core processor. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Dual-SIM, dual standby. 4.3-inch IPS screen. 8-megapixel camera. Analog TV Tuner. You’d think all of these features in a smartphone combined would set you back more than Php10,000. However that’s not the case anymore! Last week Starmobile showed us their upcoming Android handset, the Astra. The device itself is remarkably designed (doesn’t look or feel cheap at all) and it had pretty good specifications. What blew me away though was when they told me how much it would sell for – Php6,990. Boom.
UPDATE: STARMOBILE ASTRA REVIEW
Starmobile Astra Spec Sheet
- 1GHz dual-core processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
- 4.3-inch IPS LCD screen, 800 x 480
- 8-megapixel rear camera; VGA front camera
- Dual-SIM, dual-standby
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- TV Tuner (Analog)
- 1500mAh battery
To get a better feel for the Astra, watch this short 30-second hands-on video we put together showing how responsive the interface is:
Hands-on Video with the Starmobile Astra
Smartphone for the Filipino?
We talked to one of the top executives of Starmobile, Ms. Katrina Tioseco, and asked her how they were able to make the Astra so affordable. She explained that they source product components from different countries and then have it assembled and shipped here to the Philippines. Because the phone is developed from the ground up, they can actually customize it to the needs of the Filipino consumer. WIth the Astra you get a retractable antenna which lets you watch TV on-the-go. It’s dual-SIM and dual standby which is a major plus since a lot of Filipinos have multiple SIM cards. It also has a pretty sweet 8-megapixel shooter.
In terms of hardware and body design, the Astra can easily pass for a phone being sold twice its price. The brushed metal finish is very similar to what we first saw with the Netphone 701 from Smart (aka ZTE Blade). The 4.3-inch produces clear and crisp colors and the resolution ain’t too shabby at 800×480.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich runs fairly smoothly on the device thanks to the 1.0Ghz dual-core processor and the 512MB RAM. You can also load a lot of your favorite media (videos, songs, pics) and apps on this thing thanks to the expandable 32GB storage via microSD.
Excited to get our hands on one for review
We were only able to spend a couple of minutes with the prototype device but we’ve been assured that we will get to play around with a review unit once it becomes available first week of November. I’m sure a lot of you are also excited to find out if this is the REAL DEAL. If the Astra lives up to all the promises it’s making it might just be one of the best sub-Php10,000 smartphones one can get… just in time for Christmas!
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