We go hands-on with the Knight Spectra!
Today, we’ll be taking our first look at Starmobile’s newest flagship, the Knight Spectra. Starmobile is one of the few local brands out here in the Philippines that takes pride in offering phones with great cameras in them, and the Spectra is simply a culmination of that effort. The Spectra is probably the first locally branded smartphone to run a dual-camera setup that’s been favored by companies like Huawei on their Honor 6 Plus.
Starmobile Knight Spectra specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor
- Adreno 405 GPU
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD, On cell AMOLED display, scratch resistant glass, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
- 13-megapixel rear camera with flash + 2-megapixel rear camera
- 8-megapixel front camera
- Dual-SIM 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, ISDB-T, OTG, DVB Digital TV
- 3500mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
Initial impressions: handsome, good looking phone that has re-focus capabilities
The new Knight Spectra’s design is straight out of Apple’s playbook though that’s not really a bad thing. The phone is wrapped in a metal chassis that’s rounded and chamfered at the edges. On the right side lies the volume and power buttons, with the power button doubling as a notification light. The dual SIM tray is located on the left side, and one SIM can be used as expandable storage if you don’t fancy using two SIM cards at the same time. Both the front and back of the phone is wrapped in scratch-resistant glass.
The front of the phone is dominated by a 5.5-inch, full HD, On-cell AMOLED display. The phone uses on-screen buttons to keep the bezels from becoming too unwieldy. Up on the top left corner is the flash for the fixed focus 8-megapixel front camera.
The Knight Spectra also sports Digital TV capability, so you’ll be able to watch all 10 supported free channels without static. You can also record any TV show you want with a single press of a button – perfect for those kilig, Aldub moments.
The most prominent feature of the Knight Spectra is its dual-camera setup, a first for any local brand. The cameras are not the same in terms of resolution – one is a regular 13-megapixel shooter and the other is just 2-megapixels. The bigger sensor is the primary camera that takes photos, while the smaller 2-megapixel camera reads depth information and other variables.
This setup allows the user to change the focus point of each shot. Starmobile also says that the dual-camera setup allows the phone to have automatic distortion correction, fast focus times and more vibrant colors.
Internally the Spectra sports Qualcomm’s venerable Snapdragon 615 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The processor setup is something that’s not new to us, and was used by the brand because the 615 is one of the few SoCs that support dual-camera setups. A 3500mAh battery keeps the lights on, and if our previous run-ins with Snapdragon 615 equipped phones are any indication, we’re expecting the Spectra to run for quite a bit before needing a trip to the charger.
While the Snapdragon 615 processor isn’t the fastest one around, one thing that you can expect from is its reliability – we’ve yet to see a MediaTek processor that’s capable of matching Qualcomm SoCs in terms of radio performance – things like GPS, LTE strength, etc. It’s simply one thing that Qualcomm has over MediaTek, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
The biggest hurdle that the Knight Spectra faces is price. At Php 14,990, it’s one of the most expensive locally branded devices in the market. It sits in direct competition with the Zenfone 2, ZUK’s Z1 and a myriad of other mid-range devices at the price it’s asking for, and that’s definitely not a good thing. Still, if the Knight Spectra manages to impress with its camera performance, it may just entice budding mobile photographers despite its price.