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Starmobile may not be making as much noise lately compared to other local brands, but they have been releasing a steady stream of smartphones in their affordable Play and Up series of devices. The latest one to arrive at Unbox HQ is the Starmobile Up Sense, a name that it gets from the added layer of security it has via its fingerprint scanner. Before we open up the box and reveal its contents, let’s take a look at its spec sheet.

Starmobile Up Sense Specifications

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek 6580 quad-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Mali 400MP GPU
  • 5-Inch HD IPS Display with 2.5D Curved Glass; 1280×720 resolution
  • 8-megapixel rear camera, AF, LED Flash
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, HSPA+
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • 2500mAh Removable Battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

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What’s in the box?

The Starmobile Up Sense comes in a bright red box with arrows emblazoned on it to indicate that it is indeed part of the local brand’s Up series.¬†While most local brands have slowly been upping the quality of their packaging, we appreciate the fact that Starmobile provides a full spec sheet for potential buyers to peruse so they know exactly what they’re getting out of the box. Opening up the packaging reveals the Starmobile Up Sense, a silicon case, a screen protector, cleaning cloth, the USB wall charger, microUSB cable, and in-ear headphones. We’re a little bummed that there are no extra tips for headphones since they do require the right fit to keep them in, not to mention really bring out sound quality and volume.

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Initial Review: A Budget Device with a Capable Fingerprint Scanner

The Starmobile Up Sense is primarily made out of plastic and the local company isn’t hiding it with fancy paint jobs. Despite that, it actually looks rather good with its removable back having a cross-hatched pattern. It curves out to its edges that make the phone feel thinner than it actually is and its corners have also been rounded, but the sides of the device remain flat. Thankfully, the Up Sense sports 2.5D curved glass to protects its screen and makes the phone handle well with one hand. With that, let’s take a quick tour around the Starmobile Up Sense.

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Behind the device you’ll see the 8-megapixel camera with its LED flash. The camera has a bit of a hump to it, but the accompanying silicon case levels everything out for when you place it on flat surfaces. The right side houses the volume rocker and power button, up on top is the 3.5mm jack and microUSB cable, and on the bottom right of the Up Sense is its speaker grille.

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Removing the back cover reveals the two SIM card slots and dedicated microSD card slot, plus the UP Sense’s removable battery.

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In front is the 5-inch HD IPS panel that’s covered in 2.5D curved glass. Colors on the display had decent saturation and contrast with generous viewing angles, but sunlight legibility could have been better. Above the screen are the speaker grille for taking calls and the 2-megapixel camera, and on the chin of the Up Sense is its fingerprint scanner. The device does use on-screen navigation, but the scanner can double up as a home button too.

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The fingerprint scanner on the Up Sense is rounded, like ones found on Apple devices, and so far its been pretty accurate but it certainly isn’t the fastest we’ve seen.

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Under the hood of the Starmobile Up Sense is a MediaTek 6580 quad-core processor that clocks in at 1.3GHz. This is paired up with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, and a Mali 400 GPU. Yes, there are a few red flags with the amount of RAM and on-board storage configuration, which means you’ll constantly want to close programs running in the background. You’ll also definitely want to use the microSD card expansion slot because after installing benchmark software, there was only about 4GB left to play around with. Despite all that, navigating through the phone was pretty smooth but we’ll have to see how it all plays out in our full review. The Up Sense runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box and is juiced up by a 2500mAh removable battery.

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The Starmobile Up Sense has been priced at Php 4,290. We’ll be taking it out for a spin in the next few days, so check back for its full review.