Starmobile Icon Full Review
The Starmobile Icon is the most affordable quad-core in Starmobile’s mid-2013 line-up. Priced at Php7,990, the device features a quad-core Qualcomm MSM 8225Q processor, 1GB RAM, 4.5-inch qHD display, and an 8MP rear-facing/5MP front-facing camera set-up (both have BSI). To make it a good offering, Starmobile also threw in their usual freebie set: jelly case, microSD card, and a screen protector. Over-all it’s a pretty solid package.
Starmobile Icon Spec Sheet
- Quad-core Qualcomm MSM 8225Q Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD Card
- 4.5-inches capacitive touchscreen, qHD display, 540 x 960 resolution
- 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with BSI, autofocus, HDR, LED Flash
- 5.0-megapixel front-facing camera with autofocus and BSI
- Dual Sim, Dual standby* 3G, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, FM Radio, GPS/aGPS
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 1,800mAh Battery
- Comes a free Jelly Case, screen protector, and 4GB microSD Card
- Read on for our full review!
>>> SEE ALSO: Starmobile Icon Unboxing and Initial Impressions
Hardware: Practical and Durable with a Little Heft
The Starmobile Icon has more emphasis on practicality and function over aesthetics. It’s not the thinnest quad-core device out there but it definitely feels like one of the more durable and sturdy ones. There’s a comfortable and natural heft to it which makes it easy to handle and manage with just one hand. That’s in part thanks to the 4.5-inch display.
At the back of the device we have a smooth black matte finish which helps with the grip. Unfortunately though while it does help with grip it seems to be a fingerprint and smudge magnet, hehe. Make sure you have something in your bag to wipe this with if you’re the type that always wants their gadgets pristine. Also, the Starmobile logo is in red which is the brand color of Starmobile for their quad-core devices.
On the sides we have all the buttons and ports. To add a little sophistication to the device, the manufacturers used some sort of metal-like coating to it giving it a more premium feel.
The display on the Icon is qHD (960×540) which is standard for smartphones in this price range (anything less is a bit of a hard sell for us). Images, videos, and text come out very nice on it. Viewing angles are okay but we did encounter some issues when the device is put directly under sunlight.
Performance and Software: Quad-core Android Jelly Bean Experience
The Starmobile Icon packs a quad-core processor (slightly older series) from Qualcomm. Coupled with 1GB RAM and Android’s Project Butter, the Icon delivered a very fluid, smooth, and nice Jelly Bean experience. We rarely felt any lags or delays even if we had a live wallpaper running in the background with multiple widgets up on the home screen. We did notice though that it took a little bit longer for the device to load graphics and memory intensive apps than other quad-core devices. After it loads though it’s mostly smooth sailing.
Here are our other experiences with other case scenarios.
Gaming: Lag at the start, picks up after a few seconds
Like what we said earlier, starting up was a bit slow but after that it was good. We tested a couple of titles – Wild Blood, NBA 2k13, Dead Trigger (on Ultra High settings), and our current favorite, Minion Rush. The experience was the same with all of them. When it came to the lower graphics requirements games, it performed exceptionally well with no lags. Yep, we’re talking about Candy Crush, hehe.
The Starmobile Icon has all the basics covered. It did well with social networking, web browsing, and reader apps. The 4.5-inch display was actually quite refreshing since most of the phones we’ve been testing lately were phablets (requires two hands). It was a joy to navigate Twitter with just one hand again, lol.
When it comes to media consumption, in particular video, the Icon also delivers a good experience. That’s mostly due to the qHD display which will let you enjoy 720p content. By the way, just in case you guys haven’t done so yet, please do subscribe to the Unbox YouTube Channel.
Camera: Better than the usual 8M Shooter
Over-all image quality of the rear-facing camera was actually very good! This is arguably one of the best 8MP shooters we’ve seen in this price category. We did some research and it’s probably thanks to the BSI (Backside Illumination) which helps capture more light and color.
Unfortunately while we’re loving the pics, we’re not digging the camera interface. It can be chore just to focus. Definitely something they need to improve on, hehe.
Here are some sample shots:
Not bad right? Nagutom ba kayo? Chicken Joy tapos Cake. Win.
Battery Life: A bit Lacking
If there’s one criticism we’ll throw at the Starmobile Icon it would be battery life. I’m not sure if the Qualcomm processor they’re using eats up more power but we just got around an average of 7 hours with moderate-heavy usage. That’s with 3G and Sync on. Of course that also includes calls, texts, some browsing, and a lot of social networking.
It’s a good everyday phone but there will be times you’ll run out of juice. It would be a good move to bring a Power Bank with you if this will be your main phone.
Verdict: Good Camera, Solid Hardware
Compared to other devices in the same price range, the Starmobile Icon offers impressive optics (both front and back) and a sturdy chassis. It’s a complete package with little compromises and a lot of value given the Php7,990 price tag. Just make sure you always have a Power Bank so that you’ll never run out of juice in a busy day.
The Starmobile Icon is now available in Starmobile kiosks and stores for Php7,990.
Want more? Check out Unbox.ph’s Top 10 Quadcore Smartphones Under 10k
We compiled what we consider the top 10 quad-core smartphones under Php10,000 in one list for your perusal. Click here to jump to that article. Don’t forget to leave a comment and see you guys on the other side!