The UP Mini (top) and UP Lite.

REVIEW: Starmobile UP Mini, UP Lite: good phones on a budget

Except for their prices, the Starmobile UP Mini and UP Lite don’t come off as cheap. Their build quality is excellent and the phones are very responsive.

Starmobile's UP Mini and UP Lite.

Starmobile’s UP Mini and UP Lite.

I passed the UP Mini around and asked friends and colleagues to feel its finish, check out the device’s responsiveness and guess its price: P15,000 said one, P13,000 said another. The lowest guess was P5,000 with most saying it’s price was higher than P8,000.

The UP Mini actually sells for P3,690 and what a device for such a price. It has a 1.3GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU with Android 4.4, a 4GB built-in storage expandable via micro SD, 8MP rear camera with Backside Illumination (BSI) and 1080P at 30FPS video capture. The device is dual SIM with dual 3G standby. Continue reading →

Nexus and disruption

A Filipino company launched in Cebu last week two dual-SIM phones with one that can, arguably, be called a smartphone, in a non-snobbish sense that it is a touchscreen phone that can connect to the Internet.

Starmobile’s FeatureSmart T601i costs just P3,290. Starmobile president Michael Chen said that although their phones are priced low, these have “top of the line craftsmanship.”

The company is also scheduled to launch an Android tablet in four weeks with a target price of P5,999. The tablet will come with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, said Starmobile president Michael Chen. I tried the device during the launch and found it very responsive.

Chen said that although it is a consumer product, their tablet can be used as an educational tool and deployed in schools. Android, after all, has a lot of educational apps and can display e-books.

Continue reading →