Just barely a year ago, we heard of Starmobile and their prime collection of dual SIM phones. Now, they have just released Crystal, another affordable yet impressive smartphone that will surely meet Filipino’s discerning taste when it comes to communication.
Crystal comes in a very familiar form factor that when seen from afar would often be mistaken for SIII. It is slim at dimensions of 136 x 68 x 9.1 mm and light weighing only 148.36 g. Precious and fragile as its name suggests, Crystal is actually the opposite. It comes in a sturdy and stable (no creaks and gaps) lightweight yet heavy-duty plastic that seamlessly blends with a chrome-like lining that stretches from one side running through the bottom then onto to the other side leaving the topmost side devoid of the lining.
The topmost side houses the micro USB port and the headphone jack. As always, the volume rocker sits on the left side. Immediately beneath the volume rocker lies the camera button which is incidentally the screen shot button as well. The power/lock button sits on the right while the 8 mega-pixel HDR (High Dynamic Range) camera with flash and speaker strategically placed at the back. Having no physical buttons on its front face and only the 4.5” touchscreen display and a less distinct 2-megapixel front camera, Crystal appeared seemingly flawless.
Starmobile Crystal basically falls on the entry level range of smartphones. However, Crystal seems to be re-defining the term “entry-level” because it seems to present itself higher than where it actually belongs. Let me tell you why. Let us start with the touchscreen display. For a smartphone that falls on the entry level, Crystal has a respectable 960 x 540 QHD screen resolution. Colors and images seem to appear brighter, clearer and pleasing to the eyes compared to its contemporaries. To top that, its capacitive touchscreen display is surprisingly sensitive; in fact more sensitive than what I expected it to be. Flipping through homescreens was smooth. It responds instantly to touch without falling behind.
Powered by 1 GHz dual core MTK 6577 processor, Crystal has the ability to multitask with ample speed and efficiency. It runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 so everything you expect to find and experience in ICS is present. On board, it has more than enough storage having an internal memory ROM of 4GB/RAM 512 and external memory expandable up to 32GB.
Above all its characteristics, Crystal is basically a dual sim, dual standby smartphone. As its name implies, Crystal accommodates two SIM cards that permits two networks to be on “standby” while waiting for a call; hence, one network will not be active, once a call on the other network has commenced. Dual SIM phone users often encounter mistakes or confusion on using the right sim. Crystal makes sure there is no such confusion as each network is color and name coded. In addition, Crystal gives you the freedom to choose a default SIM or you can just choose the “always ask” option when placing a voice/video call, sending a message or for data connection.
Calls made on Crystal are as expected clear. Voice quality is distinct on both ends. Not at all dull, softened or muffled and as to which network to use, as I’ve mentioned earlier, easy to make and not at all confusing.
I think everything is crystal and everything is clear, whatever you are looking for in a smartphone could very well be in this affordable gem. Did I mention it comes with its own jelly case and screen protector? Now that simple gesture goes beyond than just understanding our needs.