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Starmobile Knight Elite Review: Starmobile’s Best Knight Yet

Starmobile Knight Elite 03

We review the Knight Elite!

Today we’ll be reviewing Starmobile’s latest entry into their hi-end, Knight lineup, the Knight Elite. The phone was announced a few weeks ago and we’ve been using it as our primary smartphone for a while now, so we have a good read on what the pros and cons of this phone is. Priced at Php 9,990, it’s one of the company’s most expensive smartphones, but does its performance live up to that pricepoint? Find out in our review below:

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
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Php 9,990

Starmobile Knight Elite 04

A design that’s heavily inspired by the Xperia line of phones

Since the Elite is part of Starmobile’s Knight family of phones, it boasts one of the nicest designs of the lineup so far. Regular readers will also be quick to point out that the Elite looks a lot like
Sony’s Xperia line of phones, and you’d be right. Not that that’s a bad thing – the Elite is has a solid construction and an overall elegant design, though it is a little bit on the light side. While most
brands use metal bodies for their devices, the Elite is an entirely plastic and metal affair.

Starmobile Knight Elite 05

Because of its design the Elite feels nice to the hands and isn’t as slippery as other all-metal flagships. The corners of the phone are plastic, so it’s capable of taking a few drops here and there
without any major issues. Both the front and back are covered by Gorilla Glass.

Starmobile Knight Elite 02

Both the power button and volume rocker are located on the left side of the phone. The power button pulls double duty as the notification light – a green or red light shows up on the side of it if you have a text or a notification when you’re using the phone. Up front, you’ll see the 5-inch full HD IPS JDI display. The phone uses on-screen capacitive navigation keys, and smaller than average bezels.

Starmobile Knight Elite 11

The phone uses a hybrid dual-SIM layout which allows you to use either an extra SIM or a microSD card to boost the phone’s 16GB of storage.

Starmobile Knight Elite 09

Turning the phone over you’ll see the 13-megapixel rear camera on the upper left corner of the device, along with the LED flash. Starmobile’s logo is displayed prominently at the middle. We’re happy to see that the Elite uses a bottom speaker layout for the phone. Because of the overall size of the Elite, it’s super easy to use it one-handed even if you have smaller than average hands.

Overall display quality of the 5-inch, HD display is quite good, and the JDI panel produced nice, bright and punchy colors. Viewing angles are good, and the phone isn’t fazed by bright light – the phone’s display is easy to read even under the noon sun.

Starmobile Knight Elite 13

Good performance, but bloatware pulls it down

The Knight Elite is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, paired with 2GB of RAM. That hardware combo isn’t new, and is typical for most mid-range smartphones. While it’s not the fastest processor around, it’s still good enough to ensure the smoothness of the Elite when you’re using it. The Elite is capable of playing newer games without issues like Mortal Kombat X, though the graphics will be slightly worse compared to SoCs that have better GPUs.

Starmobile Knight Elite 10

Well, that’s the theory anyway. While the Elite’s performance is relatively smooth during normal use, it does get bogged down by the number of bloatware that’s in the device. It’s been a recurring theme in some of Starmobile’s phones, one that we hope gets addressed in the future. You can just uninstall them to free up space, but they’re still a bit annoying just the same.

One thing we do like about phones from local brands that have Snapdragon 615 processors on them is the fact that they have far better antennas and radios compared to MediaTek-powered phones. This means faster GPS lock times, and faster and more stable LTE signals in areas that have it.

Starmobile Knight Elite 06

Good camera performance

The Knight Elite carries a 13-megapixel BSI camera with AF and LED flash. As far as image quality goes, the Elite is capable of producing good photos with excellent detail and color reproduction, even under artificial light.

 

Unfortunately, the much-vaunted re-focus shooting feature wasn’t as good as we expected, and there was only a minimal shift in focus when we tried it in some of the photos we shot. We never really did get the same re-focus effect as we did with other phones that had the feature, sadly.

Selfie shots
Selfie shots
Selfie shots
Selfie shots

Starmobile Knight Elite 12

Decent battery life

Running our standard PCMark Battery benchmark test on the Elite on our usual settings (50% brightness using manual settings) yielded a score of 5 hours and 26 minutes. That translates to around a whole day’s battery life with moderate use – that’s with LTE on, light gaming and heavy internet usage. With a little more battery management, you’ll probably be able to get better endurance from the phone.

Starmobile Knight Elite 14

Verdict: despite some issues, it’s Starmobile’s best yet

The Knight Elite is probably one of the best phones Starmobile released this year. It has a good overall design, adequate perfomance, good camera and excellent battery endurance. While it’s eclipsed by MediaTek offerings of other rival local brands, there’s still something to be said about a phone that runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips. While MediaTek’s managed to close the CPU and GPU performance gap, LTE, GPS and other things radio-related still need to be addressed in their next generation of chips.

The Knight Elite is priced at Php 9,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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14 Comments

  1. looks like a xiaomi mi4i with expandable memory..alas could have been a winner if it wasnt priced like that,compared with meizu,alcatel and lenovo’s offerings.

  2. Sir John,

    Off topic po ito. Sana sir magkaroon ka ng comparison between Cherry Mobile Flare X at Cherry Mobile Flare S4 Plus since these two phones from CM are almost identical when it comes to the specs. Looking forward to reading your future article regarding this. Thank you so much po.

    1. 1.7ghz to 1.3 ghz.
      Full HD to HD
      3000mAh to 2100mAh
      3gb ram to 2gb ram
      7,000 php to 5,000 php
      This is just off the top of my head pero it seems to me napakalayo ng specs at presyo ng mga namention mo.
      That’d be an odd comparison.

      1. Flare X is priced @ almost 7K hndi 5K.. parehas na FULL HD ung Flare X at Flare S4 Plus.. You might be thinking of Flare 4 or Flare S4.. I am pertaining to Flare S4 Plus and Flare X.. FYI

        1. I didn’t see you mention Plus, and yes I did mention the spec comparison of flare x to flare 4/s4. I was wrong on that part, and I admit that.

          FYI however, I never mentioned that flare X was priced as 5K, I mentioned that it was priced at 7K while the 4/s4 was priced at 5K.

          It seems we are both having reading difficulties.

      2. The new flare x has identical specs with the S4 plus. The price difference now boils down to preference in storage expansion. S4 plus is hybrid while X is a true dual sim and storage expandable. Another difference is the removable battery.

  3. Meron na po ba yng black? Marami po nagsasabi na yng white lang daw ang available ng knight elite. Hopefully meron na

  4. ang ganda ng mga reviews pero nadidiscourage talaga ako sa mga comment 🙁 . nagdadalawang isip tuloy akong bilhin to.

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