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Starmobile Engage 7HD Review: Refined and Polished Dual-core Android Tablet

Starmobile's dual-core 7-inch Android tablet reviewed!
Starmobile’s dual-core 7-inch Android tablet reviewed!

Starmobile Engage 7HD Review

This review is actually long overdue. We were actually thinking of not doing it anymore but we keep getting requests for it so here we go! The Starmobile Engage 7HD came out in December and it was Starmobile’s dual-core 7-inch Android tablet offering. Priced at Php7,990, the Engage 7HD attracted the upper tier of budget value seekers. The price, while arguably high given other cheaper alternatives, was “justifiable” because of the premium build, display quality, and the over-all stability of the software and hardware.

Before we jump into the review let’s do a quick recap of the specifications.

Starmobile Engage 7HD Spec Sheet

  • ARM Cortex A9 1.2GHz Dual-core Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal Storage, Expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 7-inch Capacitive Multitouch IPS Display, 1280ร—800 HD
  • 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash
  • 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • AGPS, WiFi, 3.5G via USB Modems
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4000mAh battery

Best looking local 7-inch tablet in the market today

If there’s one thing that we absolutely love about the Starmobile Engage 7HD it’s how the hardware was designed and executed! Instead of the usual boring black or white generic slates that are churned out in droves by a lot of companies, the Starmobile Engage 7HD sports some sort of sezzy metallic dark brown plastic chasis but with some sort of brushed metal-like finish. The aesthetics separates it already from a lot of its competitors so Starmobile definitely deserves props for this aspect of the device.

starmobile engage 7hd features

The Engage 7HD has a thin and light form factor making it easy for one-handed use for browsing, reading, and watching videos. All the ports can be found neatly lined up at the bottom of the device: microUSB, HDMI out, audio jack, SD card, and the power lock. One particular design element we appreciated was the placement of the speakers as they’re located at the sides of the display. Coolness! ๐Ÿ™‚

When you go to the back you’ll find the Starmobile logo proudly emblazoned at the center. The logo actually lights up each time you use the tablet which I’m sure a lot of Filipinos will find amusing, lol. Anyway, at the top of the logo is the 8-megapixel rear-facing shooter.

IMG_3514

To get a better feel for the Starmobile Engage 7HD, watch our hands-on experience with it during one of the earlier episodes of the Unbox Podcast. Segment starts at 12:10.

Performance is stable, respectable

Benchmark score results from Antutu
Benchmark score results from Antutu

The Starmobile Engage 7HD’s dual-core processor and 1GB RAM together with optimized software makes for stable and respectable performance. Antutu benchmark score results puts the Engage 7HD just below the Samsung Galaxy SII and Note. Note that the Engage 7HD actually scores much higher than the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt which boasts to have a quad-core processor.

So how do these numbers translate in real world user experience? For basics like home page transitions and animations, the Engage 7HD encounters initial lag after boot-up but quickly becomes smoother and faster. There are times it will lag a bit, especially if you’re running a lot of apps in the background.

Gaming

Fruit Ninja!!!!
Fruit Ninja!!!!

For gaming, the Engage 7HD can runs most games with no problems. We tried several casual titles like Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, and Cut-the-Rope and we didn’t encounter any lags or problems. For more high specced and graphics intensive games they run okay with occasional lag spikes depending on the activity on the screen.

Awesome Media Player

What we liked most about the Starmobile Engage 7HD was that it was an excellent media player, especially for videos. The display, form factor, and front-facing speakers begs you to use the tablet to watch videos and that’s actually how we used it the most in the last few weeks that we’ve been reviewing the device. Regardless if it’s streaming HD videos via YouTube or watching your favorite TV series or movie on the video player, there shouldn’t be any problem.

By the way, MX Player Pro is our favorite Android video player app. You guys might want to check it out. Very intuitive and it can play most, if not all, video formats.

Good for social networking and browsing

Another good use for the Starmobile Engage 7HD is social networking, reading, and web browsing. Over-all experience using Facebook, Twitter, Pulse, Flipboard and Google Chrome was very smooth and lag-free, thanks again to the processor, RAM, and software optimization.

Battery life: Bitin

IMG_3516

If we have one complaint though it’s the battery life. The Starmobile Engage 7HD just has a 4,000mAh battery and that really isn’t enough for a dual-core Android tablet. We usually got around 4-6 hours for a mix of watching videos, browsing the web, social networking, reading, and gaming. Hopefully the next Starmobile Engage model will have a more juiced up battery!

Verdict: Refined Dual-core Android Tablet

In so far as dual-core tablets go, the Starmobile Engage 7HD is polished, refined, and respectable. It delivers great performance but some people might shy away from it because of the Php7,990 price tag.

It looks like the products of Starmobile are really of great quality and we’re very excited to see them come out with a Jelly Bean tablet in the near future.

Carlo Ople

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

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10 Comments

  1. This is a crappy tablet. The screencapture button is so misplaced, very near the Home button. Very annoying since you can accidentally press this specially while playing games. Your gallery will fill up with screen captures in no time. There is no option to disable/remove this pesky button.

    Yes, the battery life is do short for a 4000mAh rating. That’s why the Starmobile logo at the back which lights up each time you use the tablet is a joke. This will consume your battery faster. I have to disable this option. That’s an indication on how Starmobile does not consider the usability factor of the product.

    The very font size is also a problem, even with the setting at a maximum. And lastly the Android package is full of bloatware,

  2. Actually 4,000 mah is high or at least, at par with other 7″ tablet. Even the Galaxy Tab has 4,000 mAh, at thousands more cost. That’s an indication that Starmobile delivers value with very respectable specs, without costing too much. Benchmark rating is also high at 6670+ with Atuntu — much higher than other “quadcore” offers by other local brands.

  3. if this gets upgraded to Jelly Bean, you will have an option to hide the screenshot button. i can’t consider it a deal breaker though

    this is a solid tablet performance-wise

    crappy is definitely not the right word for it. that’s just BS hyperbole

  4. Here is a link to another review of this tablet:

    http://www.mobiletechpinoy.com/reviews/previews/starmobile-engage-7hd-premium-looks-on-a-budget/

    68 comments.. No positive comments. but some supports the “crappy” label as the right word.

    http://www.tipidcp.com/viewtopic.php?tid=33987&page=2

    Issues:
    1. dead/stuck pixels
    2. problem is with the tab’s sleep functionality
    3. black bleeding

    http://www.symbianize.com/showthread.php?t=893689

    Users comments:
    1.Malabo lang ang cam pag low light at sa gav useless ang function ng flash nya
    2. tsaka ang issue eh ung battery lang

  5. bkt ang bilis niya mg init at mg hung kpg ng lalaro na.at hnd na mg open ulet ang tablet kpg nka hung na tlga..

  6. bakit po kapag itsinards(charging)ko po e ayaw magponu ang battery niya, bumili po ako ng charger na sa pasokan ng usb inilalagay, e yong dati pong paglagyan ng charger e nasira ano po ang gagawin ko?

  7. bakit ang starmobile engage 7tv dual core ay hindi maka pag install ng malaki game gaya ng real racing 3 kailangan ng 1.6 gig. tapos pag tingin ko sa system ay 1gig lang ang rom niya pero nka lagay sa specs. niya ay 4 gig parang naloko tayo dito ahh. kahit gamitin ko pa ng external sd na 8gig d ko parin ma download kasi wlang choices ang storage niya para sa external sd….. plsssss tulongan niyo naman ako dito sa concern ko…

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