Review: Starmobile Flirt, a sub-P10,000 dual-core phone

Alora Uy Guerrero
Technostorm Reviews

The Starmobile Flirt at a glance

  • Price: P9,290 (as of April 2013)
  • Dual-SIM slots
  • MediaTek MTK6577 chipset
  • 1GHz dual-core ARMv7 processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage with microSD card expansion slot up to 32GB
  • 4.5-inch qHD IPS display (960 x 540 resolution)
  • 12-megapixel rear camera with BSI, dual-LED flash
  • 3-megapixel front camera with BSI
  • Dimensions: 132 x 66.6 x 9.5mm
  • 1700mAh battery
  • GPS
  • Android Jelly Bean

Its name is interesting as it is ironic. Because if there's a smartphone that's doesn't need sprucing up to get anyone's attention, it should be the Starmobile Flirt, an Android Jelly Bean handset with two SIM slots and dual-core power.

It looks like a Nokia or HTC Windows Phone device, and that says a lot about its looks. The Nokia Lumia, for example, screams "pretty" and "fun," ergo the Flirt looks "pretty" and "fun" as well.

If there's one thing we want to change, it's the smaller-than-the-usual volume rocker. But everything else is spot-on: the metallic accents; the soft, matte back plate swathed in either deep blue or pinkish red; and the large, brightly lit touch keys. You'd think it's a high-end smartphone when it only costs P9,290.

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Of course, the Starmobile Flirt isn't all looks and no substance, and the main things going for it are its sensors.  

The device's 12- and 3-megapixel cameras make use of backside-illumination or BSI technology, so they tend to perform better in low-light conditions, producing photos with better colors, contrast, and exposure. They are also able to focus on subjects more effectively.  

It helps that the device offers a lot of shooting options. For example, there's Panorama mode that works horizontally and vertically. There's also its own version of Burst mode.

At this point, we'd like the sample pictures taken with the Flirt do the talking.

With a screen measuring 4.5 inches, the Starmobile Flirt is by no means an upsized smartphone, though it has enough screen real estate to offer a decent gaming and movie-watching experience. By the same token, you'll appreciate looking at 12-megapixel photos on the phone's above-average-sized screen.

The qHD resolution of this model is obviously not in the same league as 720p and 1080p displays especially when it comes to clarity, but it nonetheless gets the job done.

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The display itself flaunts a fair degree of brightness and balance. What's more, the inclusion of in-plane switching or IPS technology means that colors tend to be more natural-looking than oversaturated and viewing angles are wide enough to comfortably view photos and videos from off-center.

The clumsy in you will be happy to know that the Starmobile Flirt's front side is clad in scratch- and splash-proof Dragontrail glass, so it’s less likely to crack when dropped or roughly handled. And whether or not you see yourself actually benefiting from this smartphone's security blanket on a daily basis, reinforced cover glass is always a welcome feature that should be standard fare for all handheld electronics.

Specs and performance
As for the rest of the features, the Starmobile Flirt sees a trident of familiar silicon: a MediaTek MTK6577 chipset, PowerVR SGX531 graphics, and 512MB of RAM.

As most budget efforts go, it has dual-SIM slots and GPS and Bluetooth radios; however, internal storage maxes out rather quickly. Fortunately, there's a microSD card slot in tow to give you more leeway after you've filled up the 4 gigs of onboard space (up to 32GB).

The 1,700mAh battery beneath the removable rear panel rarely gets past the first day without requiring charging.

A quick glance at the spec sheet makes it perfectly clear that the Starmobile Flirt won't win over anyone expecting lightning-quick responsiveness, and that's fine with us. For an Android Jelly Bean device with modest specs, the Flirt actually runs pretty smooth, with minimal lag when switching between home screens and apps.

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The overall pace is surprisingly fluid, and input delays are hard to come byso much so that we're hardly reminded of its limited memory. Also to its credit, Google Now works like a dream after firing up the Play store app and installing the requisite Google Search update.

Seeing that the Starmobile Flirt makes use of a dated Adreno graphics chip, slowdowns are to be anticipated from resource-hungry games like NBA 2K13, Real Racing 3, and God of Blades. It should have no problems playing bread-and-butter titles such as Angry Birds and Temple Run 2, though. The same can be said about high-def video playback. 

In case you're curious about the smartphone's benchmarks scores, we urge you to check out the gallery below.

The Starmobile Flirt may not have the most attractive price point; there are more affordable dual-core handsets on the market. However, it does offer great looks and above-average imaging and display quality. If those are your priorities, then it's possible that you are already looking at your match.