Starmobile Crystal Review: Mid-Range Performance at an Entry-Level Price

Starmobile Crystal
Starmobile Crystal

Starmobile Crystal Review

We’ve been using the Starmobile Crystal for well over three weeks now and we can definitely that this device stands above other budget-friendly smartphones in the market today. In a sentence, the Starmobile Crystal simply gives you everything that you’d want in a smartphone. It has competitive specifications, a good camera, slim form factor, and you even get a silicon bumper and screen protector already bundled inside the box! Win.

Let’s quickly go over the specs.

Starmobile Crystal Spec Sheet

  • 1GHz Dual-core MTK 6577 Processor
  • PowerVR SGX531 Graphics Card
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 2G/3G/HSDPA/WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth
  • 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and backside illumination
  • 2.0-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Dual Sim, Dual Standby
  • 4.5-inch IPS Capacitive Touchscreen, qHD Pixel Resolution (960Γ—540)
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1700mAh Battery

Not bad right? By the way if you missed our unboxing and initial review post of the Starmobile Crystal, click here. Okay, now that we have that on the way let’s move on with the full review!

Not a Shameless Rip-Off

Starmobile Crystal: Not a Galaxy S3 Rip-Off
Starmobile Crystal: Not a Galaxy S3 Rip-Off

One of the things I like about the Starmobile Crystal is that it doesn’t blatantly copy the designs of other high-end devices. While it may look a little bland, I’d take that over a shameless rip-off of the Samsung Galaxy S3. πŸ˜›

The Starmobile Crystal boasts of a thin and light form factor and this is accomplished mainly because of the plastic material for the chasis. There are no physical buttons at the front (you have three touch-based capacitive buttons at the bottom below the display). The Power Lock button is on the right side while the volume rocker and a dedicated screenshot button (eh?) is on the left. The micro USB port for charging and data transfer is at the top together with the standard headphone jack. If you go to the back you’ll find the 8-megapixel shooter side-by-side the LED flash. The Starmobile logo is at the center of the back plate and below that is the speaker grill.

Here are a few photos of the device in different POVs:

View of the back
View of the back
View from the side
View from the side
That's a 2-megapixel front-facing camera at the top.
That’s a 2-megapixel front-facing camera at the top.

Not bad right? Looks good from anywhere you look at it from, hehe.

Good Display Quality

qHD ftw!
qHD ftw!

The Starmobile Crystal has 960×540 resolution for its 4.5-inch screen. That’s comes out to around 220+ pixels per inch which is respectable given the Php7,990 price tag. Remember that most smartphones in this price range have inferior display quality but that’s not the case here. The higher pixel density results to more crisper and detailed images as well as sharper colors. Two thumbs up to Starmobile for making sure the display is good!

Smooth Android ICS Experience

When I said that you can do almost everything with the Starmobile Crystal, I wasn’t kidding. Most of the graphics intensive games like Dead Trigger, Temple Run 2, and Shadowgun play flawlessly on the Starmobile Crystal. Yes, there are times when it will lag but only when there’s so much activity going on like hordes of zombies attacking while you have other apps running in the background as well (nothing that good memory management can’t cure).

One of our favorite FPS titles on Google Play, Dead Trigger!
One of our favorite FPS titles on Google Play, Dead Trigger!

When we talk about the basics like transitions and animations, the Crystal delivers pretty well. Scrolling through different home screens is no issue unless you have it peppered with multiple widgets and you have a live wall paper running in the background. Going up and down websites on the browser is a fairly smooth experience as well unless the site itself is heavy with videos and images.

Here’s a screenshot of the Antutu Benchmark test result. It’s in between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the LG Optimus 2X which isn’t too bad! It still scores below the Samsung Galaxy SII but hey it’s half the price, hehe.

Benchmarking test
Benchmarking test

As far as performance is concerned, the Crystal has checkmarks on almost all the boxes.

One of the best cameras we’ve seen on a sub-P10,000 smartphone

Another not-talked-about thing going for the Crystal is the camera. We took it out for a spin earlier and it was able to take impressive shots given the lighting conditions. I daresay that the Starmobile Crystal has one of the best cameras we’ve seen on a smartphone that sells for less than Php10,000. It puts to shame a lot of the other 8-megapixel cameras being touted by other manufacturers.

Check out the sample shots below:





I’m kinda satisfied with the photo quality especially since this one can take decent macro shots. Looks like Starmobile listened to us when we said that the camera of the Starmobile Astra wasn’t too good! <3

Everything you need is in the box

Last, but definitely not the last, Starmobile was thoughtful enough to put in a free screen protector and a free silicone case inside the box. This is a welcome gesture! You don’t need to buy anything else (maybe save for a 32GB micro SD card). Here’s picture of the Starmobile Crystal while in the silicone bumper-type case.

Not bad right?
Not bad right?
I dunno why they cut out a portion of the back but at least it looks funky this way, hehe
I dunno why they cut out a portion of the back but at least it looks funky this way, hehe

Verdict: The Starmobile Crystal is a Solid Mid-Range Offering at an Entry-Level Price Point

Given all the features, freebies, and the quality of the Starmobile Crystal, we can easily give it our stamp of approval and recommend it to anyone looking for a good Android smartphone under Php10,000. Yes, this ain’t as cheap as the other Php4,000-Php6,000 local brands but the Crystal is one of the most polished. I think they’ve earned the right to price it at Php7,990.

By the way, I didn’t expound anymore on the review but let me just point out that the Starmobile Crystal is dual SIM, dual Standby and it also has a 2-megapixel front-facing cameras for clearer video calls and self-portraits (most front facing cameras are just VGA). Again, this is a “polished” offering. πŸ™‚

Starmobile Crystal: Highly Recommended by Unbox!
Starmobile Crystal: Highly Recommended by Unbox!

Congratulations Starmobile for delivering another awesome product! Hoping to see a Jelly Bean smartphone soon from you guys!

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. If Starmobile isn’t coming up with its next flag carrier mobile device next month, this is probably in the basket for me. πŸ™‚ But just imagine how they’re able to do such a highly polished phone with uncompromised quality and specs, such as the Crystal, just think what they can do next?

  2. Hi,

    Been eyeing on this phone for quite some time…

    Request naman po sir carlos… add ka pa po sana more pictures using the rear 8MP bsi camera… hihi… im sold!

  3. Sir carlo, would you be able to review Sharp SH631W, almost same specs din ito ng SM Crystal..4.5″, qHD, Dual core, 8MP camera..hope you’ll be able to do po..tnx!

  4. good day carlo, i was hoping if you could give me some new feedbacks/reviews regarding lenovo A800. am really excited about this phone. i am a very budget conscious person and this is the phone i’ve been waiting for a long time. hahahahaha. have been calling some retailers of cellphone units or scouting cellphone stores at malls for sometime now but they cannot give me a definite date when this model will be coming out in the market. thanks and more power.

  5. sir gumagana ba sa review nyo ang gps ng crystal nyo? coz a lot of users sabi di gumagana ang gps nya which is a very usefull tool for me when travelling.

  6. hi sir bakit po hindi ako maka pag install ng app sa play store? pag nag install po ako error eh, it yung pop up message “Error Retrieving information from server. [RPC:AEC:0]”. anu po to? paano ko po ba to na sosolve? pls helpme po..

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