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, 1280×800 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.
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! 🙂
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.
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
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.
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
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.