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The late review: Starmobile Diamond is elegant at a surprising PHP 9,990

Starmobile Diamond Philippines

Every other tech blog has made the ‘Diamond pun’ so here’s mine: this post has taken forever to write (because diamonds last forever). So yes, this is late. Like one month late. The Starmobile Diamond was released back in April and has been making the rounds among the many lifestyle and tech blogs. About two weeks ago I had lunch with Starmobile’s Consumer Marketing Head, Katrina Tioseco, President Michael Chen and Asst. Brand Manager Paula Rivera. Immediate discussions naturally revolved around the state of the phone industry, local blogs and yes, SCUBA diving (as Katrina is also a licensed SCUBA diver). I swear, diving is the new golf.

For those unaware, the Diamond is Starmobile’s current flagship phone. The ‘before’ standard for smartphones scratching the PHP 10,000 price point would be a screen roughly 4″ with your typical generic China-OEM specs like a shitty camera. It is a relief that many local manufacturers have raised the bar in terms of quality while maintaining competitive price points. Starmobile is the poster child of such a phenomenon as the phones are designed locally (they are a local startup) but manufactured in China. Outsourcing OEM’s is a normal thing for these more affordable brands but Michael and Katrina have been harping the fact that what separates them from the rest is their QA testing and “small things” such as being able to cram more characters into one SMS vs other brands (and that’s a big deal if you’re on prepaid) that divide text messages into several messages.

Essentially, unlike many brands that simply do a “shopping cart” of looking through phones in a conveyor belt in China and then branding them, Starmobile designs the phones they want to spec such as the finish (type of material such as glass, plastic or metal) and other modifications and then have the devices built. This gives them better control over quality and flexibility with the phones that they intend to release in response to market trends.

For less than PHP 10,000, you can avail of an Android powered high resolution 5-in screen with a non-shitty 12MB IBS camera with dual core power. If you’re the type of person who goes for Antutu benchmarks, it definitely isn’t the best in class with a 5,609 score BUT that’s not the point. For a sub-10k phone, it’s nifty. It’s elegant and I can’t help but stress how beautiful the screen is. See specs below.

Starmobile Diamond Back

Starmobile Diamond insides

Starmobile Diamond vs iPhone 5 size


If you’re looking for an affordable smartphone that also doubles as a good media player, the 5-in Diamond with scratch-proof IPS display will definitely amaze you. I wish the 2000mAh battery were slightly bigger – perhaps 2500 to 3000mAh and this would add so much more value to the phone. But as it is, the Diamond is, for lack of a better term, solid.

– huge screen with sharp resolutions; definitely one of the best in its class
– overall design
– non-generic camera courtesy of the BSI flash technology

– battery life suffers due to the nice screen (bring a portable charger!)

Starmobile Diamond Packs the following:

Dual-SIM Dual Standby
1.0GHz Dual Core
PowerVR SGX531 GPU
5-inch scratch resistant IPS LCD display (720×1,280)
12MP rear camera w/ IBS for low light
3MP front camera
2000mAh battery
4GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
Android Jelly Bean (v4.1.1)

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.