|Starmobile PLAY Click Review; Budget Smart Phone That Makes Sense|
Entry-level phones today already come a dime a dozen in today's standard, that you'd actually be hard-pressed as to what you would want to get as a good old back-up phone or something that can you get kick started in the Android race. Apparently, Smart wants to bolster its presence even in this range, and that case has been evidently present from the My28s that fell below the Php1k mark. Now, the telco giant wants more piece of the action as it partners with Starmobile to bring the PLAY Click to more hands in the Philippines as it comes with a decent price tag of Php1,288.
The Starmobile PLAY Click is bundled similarly as to how the MyPhone My28s was packed when Smart presented it, at least for the inclusions. First off, there's the handset itself, as well as the standard fare inclusions such as a micro USB cable, a headset, a wall adapter, and some paperwork. And then, there are two SIM cards, one for Smart and one for Talk N' Text inserted on each SIM card slot of the device. This is ideal if you're jumping from another network to Smart, but it's an obvious fact you'll be taking them out if you're already with them in the first place.
Starmobile Play Click Unboxing and Hands-on
Take note that SIM 1 slot is dedicated to that particular SIM that is included in the package, meaning, even if you replace it with another Smart SIM, it will still not work. Meanwhile, SIM 2 slot can be used for other Smart SIM cards, including those from Talk N' Text and Sun Cellular.
The PLAY Click is quite true to its price, if I do say so myself. On the onset, the handset feels plasticky, which, you would most likely know, has been commonplace in the budget spectrum ever since the range was offered. To its merit, though, it has a solid feel to it, but a bit tacky and gaudy due to the gold coating of the back panel that's a tad too bright for a personal taste. Up front, Smart's previous logo still graces the device. In this case, it would have been great if the company managed to bring its new logo on the device. Just for brand consistency, if you know what we mean, but according to Smart executives, they will do so in future batches.
For the buttons, everything that's clickable, namely the volume rocker and the power button, is located on the right side of the device. It's a bit difficult to take screenshots, but it will be handy for some who like easier device access in one place. At the top of the PLAY Click are the micro USB port and the 3.5mm audio jack, and on the opposite end lies the microphone. At the back of the device, there's the primary camera at the middle, and below it is Starmobile's logo, and further down south is the speaker grille.
It's safe to say that the handset comes with the pure Android 5.1, at least when it comes to navigation. You'll be totally familiar with it, since it uses the basic homescreen-to-app-drawer setup. However, there's a bevy of bloatware that may be off putting for you. There's Starmobile's app store, Call History, Note, Starmobile Care, Spinnr, Get iFlix, Instagram, Twitter, and Clean Master pre-installed. This honestly takes a huge chunk out of the paltry limited storage space that you can work on, which we will be discussing further.
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You'll be working with a 4.5-inch FWVGA display on the PLAY Click. That's 854 x 480 pixels, translating to a pixel density of 217.7 ppi. Color accuracy is alright, but viewing angles could be better and the same can be said for the sunlight legibility.
The PLAY Click is a difficult handset to work with when it comes to the user experience alone. There's a Spreadtrum SC7731 chipset with a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, Mali 400 GPU, and half a GB of RAM. While we can agree that it can power an entry-level handset, it would get a tad difficult to play with since you'll only be working with 4GB of internal storage, which is already filled with pre-installed apps to begin with. Thankfully, you can solve this easily with a micro SD card slot.
Games such as Overkill 3 and Summoners War work well, although with some hiccups here and there. Simple games such as Clash Royale and Clash of Clans are playable, too. Just keep in mind not to push it too far.
There's a general rule when it comes to handsets priced around the Php1K mark. Don't expect a lot from it. The same can be applied to the 5MP primary shooter of the PLAY Click. Don't get us wrong. It's not bad if you keep your expectations to where it should be. It has its uses, of course, and you can work out the picture quality during well lit areas. Here are some samples:
|Sample Shot - Day|
|Sample Shot - Day with HDR|
|Sample Shot - Indoor with Flash|
|Sample Shot - Close up|
There's a heap load of connectivity options with the PLAY Click, so to speak. It comes with a dual SIM slot, and both of which are already filled in with Smart and Talk'N'Text cards for your convenience. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi also come standard, and you'll be given the option to expand the storage up to 32GB via micro SD card. On the other hand, there's the micro USB port at the top center of the device, and sitting alongside it is the 3.5mm jack.
The PLAY Click is powered by a 1,650mAh battery, which, as this day and age, come standard in budget offerings or entry-level devices. Unfortunately, we're having problems simulating real-life usage through PC Mark's Work Battery Life due to software issues, and we had resorted to Geekbench's test procedures where we scored 5:02 of battery life. On regular usage, such as making calls, sending text messages, and web browsing, we averaged about 12 hours, so that would give you ways to make for your daily 9 to 5 jobs and back, and still have some juice left. But do take note, your mileage may vary.
The Starmobile PLAY Click is Smart's plan to further expand its reaches and bring connectivity to the masses without the lofty price tags, and with ease of access as well. Sure, it doesn't necessarily prove to be a sleeper hit in the budget segment, but we're talking about a Php1,288 handset. It's within anyone's reach – it could serve as a nice starting ground for those who are still new to the Android platform, and it's a decent secondary handset for those who need something that just works.
Good battery life
Move apps to micro SD card
Smart and Talk N' Text SIM cards already bundled and installed
Viewing angles and sunlight legibility could be better
Starmobile PLAY Click Specs:
- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
- 3G/WCDMA: 850/900/2100MHz
- Dual SIM (regular+micro), dual standby,
- 4.5-inch capacitive FWVGA (854x480) touchscreen display
- Dimensions: 132.5mm x 66.5mm x 9.9mm
- Weight: 120 grams
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 1.3GHz quad core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400MP2 GPU, Spreadtrum 7731C chipset
- 512MB of RAM
- 4GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via a micro SD card
- 5MP auto focus main camera with LED flash, 720p video recording
- 2MP fixed focus secondary camera
- Multimedia player
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm audio jack
- GPS with A-GPS
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro USB 2.0
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Sensors: accelerometer
- Battery: 1,650mAh Li-Ion, removable
- Price: Php1,288
- Freebies: 100MB data/month, up to Php30 load reward/month, Talk N' Text SIM