A great alternative to the Starmobile Muse!
We are all guilty of taking selfies on our smartphones. It’s a guilty pleasure for most us, especially now that most smartphones have front facing cameras that make it easy to take a selfie. Unfortunately, not all front facing cameras are made equally – some are decent, but a lot of them are pretty bad. Starmobile’s offerings have garnered them a reputation for solid optics, both front and back, and was the first to come up with a smartphone to carry a high-end 8-megapixel camera with wide-angle lens in the form of the Muse. Aware of the fact that not everyone has 13K to blow on a smartphone, Starmobile has released a cheaper alternative – the Diamond D3. Does the Diamond D3 have the chops to become the company’s go-to alternative for a selfie shooter?
Starmobile Diamond D3 specs:
- 1.3GHz Quad Core Mediatek MT6582 processor
- Mali 400MP graphics
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
- 5-inch qHD display (960 x 540 pixels), 220 ppi
- Asahi Dragontrail scratch resistant glass
- 12 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus, BSI and LED flash
- 8 megapixel front facing camera with autofocus, BSI and LED flash
- HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
- Dual SIM, Dual 3G, Dual Standby (both regular SIM slots)
- GPS, A-GPS
- 2,000 mAh battery
- Android 4.2 Jellybean
- SRP: P7,990
Hardware and build quality
The design for the Starmobile Diamond D3 closely resembles its sibling, the Diamond D1. The phone has some weight to it but it’s not overly heavy, just enough to tell you it’s there. It’s also a bit thick, which in our opinion makes it easier and more comfortable to hold. Our review unit comes in Coffee (which really looks like Bronze) though Starmobile has said that they will also release a black version later on.
The device has a carbon fiber trim on the side, which is a nice touch.
Compared to the Diamond D1which had an FWVGA display, the Diamond D3 comes with a much nicer qHD display. The display produces rich, vibrant colors, and has great viewing angles. We did notice that the display does suffer a bit from glare, though as far as color reproduction and performance is concerned, the display of the Diamond D3 is good to go.
Performance and Software
The 1.3 GHz quad core processor fared well during the Diamond D3’s time with us. Navigation, transition and app switches ran well with minimal lag. We also encountered lag during graphically intense games like Dead Trigger 2, especially on higher levels with more zombies. Less graphically intense games, like Plants vs. Zombies 2 and Zombie Tsunami (we love us some zombies!) ran smoothly. We initially got an AnTuTu score of 15,875 during our unboxing of the device but another quick test with AnTuTu revealed an even higher score of 17,038. All of the wireless connections (WiFi, 3G, and Bluetooth) worked fine. We got the usual HSPA+ speeds using both Smart and Globe SIMS.
The 13-megapixel camera on the Diamond D3 is capable of taking decent photos, but it’s no match for the Muse’s 18-megapixel shooter, obviously.
The photos for the front facing 8-megapixel camera however, are just as good as the one in the Muse. The LED flash on the front is a nice touch, as it gives you an option to take selfies even in low light conditions.
As far as battery life goes, the Diamond D3 managed to give us 12 hours of battery life with moderate to heavy use, an improvement compared to the other Starmobile devices we’ve reviewed in the past.
If you’re a lover of selfies but can’t afford the Starmobile Muse, the Diamond D3 is just the ticket. While its rear camera is a downgrade from the Muse, the front facing camera is capable of the same great photos at a substantially lower price.