Meet the Starmobile Muse
The newly announced Starmobile Muse caught the attention of the local tech world when it was revealed that it had an 8.0-megapixel front facing shooter with BSI technology, a wide angle-lens, and an LED flash. It’s literally the ultimate selfie device since it gives you a lot of the features that you get with high-end rear-facing snappers. More than the megapixel count though we’ve come to trust the quality of the optics of the products that Starmobile ships. Their Starmobile Knight and Diamond V7 still carry the best cameras among the local flagships so we trust our gut feeling that the Muse won’t be a disappointment either.
The good news is we get to go beyond gut feel because we actually have the Starmobile Muse already here at the Unbox HQ! We will definitely be giving this the full treatment so that we can churn out a comprehensive review but for now we’d like to kick things off with our ceremonial unboxing.
As usual let’s check out the specifications again first.
Starmobile Muse Spec Sheet
- 1.5GHz Turbo Quad-core Processor, MediaTek
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB Internal Storage, not expandable
- 5.0-inches Full HD Display, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441 pixels per inch
- 18.0-megapixels primary camera with LED flash and BSI technology
- 8.0-megapixels secondary camera with wide-angle lens, BSI, and LED flash
- Dual SIM, Dual 3G Standby
- 3G, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
- 2300 mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- Comes in Black and White
- SRP: Php12,990
As you can see it has a lot of ups and a couple of downs on the spec sheet. The non-expandable storage might be a turn-off for people who love installing and watching videos on their smartphones. Some people might also raise their eyebrows on the price since it’s at Php12,990. We can’t overlook though that it does run a turbo quad-core processor, sports a 5.0-inch Full HD display, and has the killer camera set-up. Makes for an interesting gadget to review, hehe.
Unboxing and Packaging
For the box we have the usual packaging of Starmobile. It’s the printed hard carton with the product shot with major benefits and features up front and the complete technical specifications at the back. We’ve always liked how Starmobile does their product packaging and the Muse is definitely no exception. It’s clean, packed with info, and didn’t feel cheap at all. By the way, notice that they really made it a point to highlight the LED flash at the back and at the front of the device with the hero shot. Coolness.
Unboxing, as usual, was straightforward. We pulled out the inner compartment and we were immediately greeted by the Starmobile Muse. First impression on the hardware? It looked like the bigger brother of the Starmobile Knight! That’s definitely a good thing though since we absolutely loved the hardware, aesthetics, and design of the previous flagship of Starmobile.
We set aside the phone and dug deeper into the box. We only found the charger and the micro USB to USB cable which is okay since what we had was just the final engineering unit and not the final commercial model.
Over-all it’s your usual Starmobile style of packaging. We’re not sure yet though if the Muse will also follow their other models that are packed with freebies inside the box. Hopefully this is also the case with this device and we get a free case, screen protector, or micro SD card bundled with it when it officially hits stores next month.
Initial Impressions: Solid!!
The moment we picked up the Starmobile Muse we already impressed. The build quality is superb as it uses the same smooth polycarbonate material as the Starmobile Knight. Unfortunately it’s not as thin as the Knight but it still looks fine. One thing we immediately noticed about the form factor was that the phone kinda looked “long”. The 5.0-inch display was stretched vertically, same as what Apple did with the iPhone 5 or what Samsung did for the Note 2.
The back, as expected, has the red Starmobile logo which stands for quad-core. The 18MP camera with LED flash sits comfortably at the top part of the back as well. Note that the back plate is not removable. There’s no micro SD card slot here for storage. The SIM card slot is at the top (there’s a tray) together with the usual audio jack. All other buttons and ports are in their usual locations running along the sides of the Muse.
Up front we have gorgeous 5.0-inch Full HD display. Quality is absolutely stunning. We get over 400 pixels per inch and the level of detail and the vibrant colors that you get when you turn it on is superb! The display is definitely one of the major highlights of the Muse.
A very noticeable addition to the front of the device as well is the LED flash. The lens of the front-facing camera also looks bigger than your usual front-facing shooter.
For the software the Muse runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. We haven’t spent enough time to give you a fair assessment of the performance but we can say that our initial tests show that it’s a pretty smooth. The turbo quad-core processor and the 1GB RAM does the job of pushing all of those pixels up to the 5.0-inch display.
As expected also from Starmobile, there are a lot of useful pre-installed apps already in the Muse. The most obvious and useful ones include the suite of social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and messaging apps like WeChat and Viber. There are also a couple of games that are also included already in the device.
As far as initial impressions go, the Starmobile Muse passes with flying colors!
Full Review Coming Soon
Over the next few days we’ll be abusing this phone to see if it can really be a good daily driver. We’re keen on seeing how the battery life is seeing that it has a bigger-than-usual 2,300mAh battery pack. Of course we also want to test it for gaming and lastly check out if both rear and front facing cameras offer the same quality (or better) as the Knight and Diamond V7.
Watch out for the full review when it drops early next week!