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Starmobile Play Click Review: Best Budget Phone Under 1.5K?

Starmobile Play Click 05

Last year we were all blown away by MyPhone’s my28, that sub 1K Android smartphone that wasn’t a complete joke. Aside from giving more than decent specs and performance to a price point that’s usually reserved for really, really slow Android devices, the my28 also included free internet for 1 year from Smart, which is just cherry on top of an already sweet deal.

Starmobile Play Click 06

Despite the refusal of both MyPhone and Smart of releasing sales numbers, the phone bundle was one of the hottest selling bundles when it hit the market. Now Starmobile is looking to replicate that same success with their new Php 1288 prepaid bundle with their Play Click. Is this the best budget phone under Php 1.5K right now?

Starmobile Play Click Specs

  • 1.2GHz quad-core Spreadtrum 7713C processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4.5-inch display FWVGA TFT display
  • 4GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, HSPA+
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 1650mAh battery

Starmobile Play Click 10

Budget phone that feels nicer than what it actually costs

Budget phones aren’t necessarily known for their looks. Starmobile tries to get around that by offering the Click Play in different colors, with ours being a shade of Rose Gold. The frame looks to be made out of metal but it’s not – only plastic that’s made to look metal. The phone easily fits the contours of your hand because of its relatively small size.

Starmobile Play Click 09

There’s not much going on at the back, save for the 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and Starmobile’s logo. Once you tear away at the back cover, you’ll see the dinky 1650mAh removable battery, as well as the two SIM slots which will be occupied by a Smart and Talk N’ Text SIM card if you get the phone via the Php 1288 bundle. There’s a microSD expansion slot as well which is vital, since the phone only has 4GB of storage space (less after you factor in the OS and pre-installed apps in the device).

Starmobile Play Click 01

The 3.5mm jack and USB port are both on the top of the phone, while the volume rocker and power button are on the right. Overall the build quality is okay, though there’s a noticeable gap on the upper part of the phone at the back where the frame meets the cover. It’s a little bit of an eyesore (especially for people who are a little OC) but it’s not a big deal.

Starmobile Play Click 11

The display is a 4.5-inch, FWVGA deal with an FWVGA panel. It’s not the best display out there and it being TFT means that there’s significant color shift if you don’t look at it dead-on. But considering that the phone is a budget device, it’s more than forgivable. It’s certainly bigger than the 4-inch display on the my28 when it first came out. You’re limited to two multi-touch points for the display.

Starmobile Play Click 02

Not the fastest phone on the block, but considering the price, it’s a deal

Just like the previous Smart collab phone, the Starmobile Click isn’t the fastest phone in the world. It’s armed with a 1.2GHz quad-core Spreadtrum 7713C processor paired with a measly 512MB of RAM and just 4GB of internal storage. Putting a microSD card in the phone is a must, especially if you want to run any kind of app with it.

Just like the previous Smart collab phone, the Play Click comes pre-loaded with several smart apps, including iFlix. That’s on top of Starmobile’s pre-loaded apps as well. This takes up much of the already low storage in the phone, which again, means you’ll have to stuff a microSD card into the phone if you want to get any kind of use out of it.

So how is it in terms of daily use? Well, the phone is a little sluggish, which is normal considering the processor and the RAM. Apps take around a second to load when you press on the icon, which isn’t completely surprising considering the phone’s budget nature. Closing previously used apps helps a bit, but nothing can hide the phone’s budget nature. Naturally its AntuTu score is pretty low, but considering the price you pay for the device it’s definitely forgivable. While Smart’s pre-loaded apps are unavoidable considering that they’re effectively paying for half of the cost of the phone, we really wished Starmobile didn’t pre-load it with their apps.

Because of the relatively weak processor, don’t expect to play demanding Android games on the Play Click unless you like being frustrated by lag. Basic games like Clash of Clans will work on it though, so there’s that.

The phone does have 3G and can go online, and as an added bonus you get 1 year of free internet worth 100MB, plus load rebates of up to Php 30 per month when you load up at least Php 100 per month, accumulated.

Starmobile Play Click 08

The less said about the camera, the better

Since the Play Click is a budget device, you really can’t expect it to deliver miracles when it comes to camera performance. Photos taken in relatively bright light is passable and can probably be uploaded to social media, but as the lights go down, so does the camera’s performance.

We’ve also seen some white balance wonkiness when shooting things under LED or fluorescent light, with photos coming out pinker than a 5-year-old girl’s birthday party. The lack of an autofocus system also hurts quite a bit.

Small battery means you’ll have to manage use

The phone has a 1650mAh removable battery. If it wee any other device, we’d say that that wasn’t enough to really get you through the day. However, the phone’s relatively budget processor plus low resolution, low power display means that it’s capable of running for around 7 hours on a single charge. If you want to get more out of the phone, we suggest that you monitor your usage by reducing the phone’s brightness and turning off data when it’s not needed

Starmobile Play Click 04

Despite its faults, it’s still a great buy at Php 1288

While the phone does have its share of faults, it’s still a great buy for people looking for a budget Android device. Because of its extremely affordable price, both first time Android users and people looking for a secondary phone will be well served by the Play Click. The 100MB of free data per month, for 1 year plust the Php 30 rebate alone is just icing on top of an already awesome deal.

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.


  1. Buying a smartphone with a 512 mb of ram isn’t so smart. What are u going to use with that?
    1 gb ram nowadays can barely cope with apps. If it’s just call and browsing you want go for feature phones. It’s half the price cheaper than a useless not-so-smartphone.

    1. im browsing this page on a “just one gig of ram” phone (specifically the skk chronos ace), along with 3 other tabs, switching to FB, playing COC, and listening to music. and i still have 200mb of ram left. so no, your statement is invalid.

  2. Doesnt feel like a review of Starmobile Click Play. Just basically talking the device is good since it is priced below the offers of other brands with the same specs.

    While I do think it is a good buy, it is because of the perks of free data and rebates on relatively low price.

    Saying it is a legit review of the Starmobile device is misleading.

    1. You must have missed the parts where we talked about the sluggishness of the processor, the terrible camera and the display’s issues. But that’s just me.

      1. Which was always followed by how it’s forgivable for being priced liked that. Must have missed that it’s a mobile device review not review of the Smart bundle or a write up about user experience. But hey, that’s just me.

        1. because it is, given the price. what’s your point? if you want a really detailed review go to gsmarena or notebookcheck.com. good luck finding a review for the starmobile play though

          1. tangina’t-ama marami na talagng matatalino dito…but hey,TheAnti dont me, not us!!

          2. Then say it is a Smart prepaid bundle review. Then are you saying that this review site is just for general, vague reviews only?

            Again, it’s just me.

  3. nice fone,,, pero mas maganda pa rin my 28s kasi both sim 1 & 2 ay pwede palitan ng smart/tnt or sun munbers… starmobile play click sim 1 locked ony to a smart specific number (bundle sim only) pero sim 2 pwede sa tnt or sun…. what a wrong move smart…..

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