We go hands-on the Knight Elite!
Yesterday Starmobile officially announced their newest smartphone, the Knight Elite. Starmobile’s latest phone is chock full of photography enhancements, along with a design that’s reminiscent of Sony’s Xperia Z series of phones. Today we have a retail example of the phone to take a look at to see if the company’s newest offering is worth checking out. But first, the specs:
Starmobile Knight Elite specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor
- Adreno 405 GPU
- 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM
- 5-inch full HD IPS JDI display, Corning Gorilla Glass protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera with AF, flash and BSI, re-focus capability
- 5-megapixel front focus
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 2600mAh battery
- Php 9,990
Initial impressions: thin and light, and is a dead ringer for Sony’s Xperia Z3
There’s no easy way to say it, so we’ll just point out the obvious: the Knight Elite is a dead ringer for Sony’s Xperia Z3. It’s not a direct clone obviously, but the resemblance to Sony’s OmniBalance design is very easy to see. The Gorilla Glass panels in the front and back of the phone along with the metallic looking frame with rounded edges gives it a very Z3-ish vibe. In Starmobile’s defense, they’re not exactly the first company to take liberal design cues from the Japanese company, and the build quality of their offering is pretty good, though it’s a bit lighter than we expected it to be.
The physical controls are all located on the left side of the phone, exactly where your fingers would be if you were holding it in your right hand. The phone uses a recessed SIM tray that you pop out via a SIM ejector tool, and one SIM slot pulls double duty as a microSD slot just like the phones of other brands. The 3.5mm jack of the Knight Elite is on the top of the phone while the USB port is on the bottom, and is flanked by speaker holes on both sides.
The front of the phone is dominated by the 5-inch full HD display that uses a JDI panel. The phone uses on-screen Android navigation keys instead of the usual physical capacitive ones, which reduces overall bezel size. Speaking of bezels, the side bezels are pretty slim too, and while it’s no match for phones like the OPPO R7 Plus, it’s still skinny enough to reduce the overall size of the phone. All of this contribute to the ease of use of the Knight Elite when using it one-handed.
Inside the Knight Elite beats Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor that’s paired with 2GB of RAM. That gives the Knight Elite a fairly respectable performance, though it’s nothing to write home about. Interestingly, the Snapdragon 615 processor inside the Knight Elite is running at a reduced clock of 1.5GHz instead of the default 1.7GHz that it usually runs at, which should make the phone less prone to thermal issues that plagued first generation chips.
The biggest differentiator for the Knight Elite is the refocusing camera tech that’s baked into the camera. Since the Knight Elite doesn’t have a secondary camera for dedicated depth information, it’s safe to assume that the refocusing feature relies entirely on software trickery to achieve the effect.
It does work as advertised, but the bokeh effect we achieved wasn’t as drastic as the one we got from say, the Honor 6 Plus, but it’s there. Obviously we’ll have to spend more time checking out the feature during our review, along with the other shooting modes of the camera.
Anyway, that’s it for this hands-on. The Knight Elite is a very interesting phone from Starmobile, and while it’s not the bang-for-the-buck device many people have been waiting for, it does bring something unique to the table. If you’re not keen on waiting for our full review of the device, you can purchase this phone from Starmobile on September 15 for Php 9,990.