This is my product review of Starmobile Knight Elite – an all-new sleek, tough and luxurious 4G LTE Android smartphone with built-in Star Camera features to enhance the point-and-shoot experience.
Starmobile – one of the most innovative tech brands in the Philippines – officially launches its newest top-of-the-line Android smartphone the Knight Elite today, September 15. I was one of the very first people to own this model, having been given a unit two weeks ago to road-test before the official product launch, where I will be sharing my personal experience with the phone during the event.
Like the Knight Luxe (read my full review here), the latest model is only 6.85 mm thin but, unlike its predecessor, now sports rounded matte edges – reminiscent of the iPhone 6. This new design has a more luxurious finish and feels more comfortable in the hand but, however, lacks the grip of the Knight Luxe provided by the textured back cover. While the Knight Elite is pretty to look at, it’s also one tough cookie. Both sides of the phone are laminated with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass! The package also comes with a screen protector and clear hard plastic cover case for added protection.
The Android 5 Lollipop operating system ran almost flawlessly on the 1.5 Ghz Quad + 1.0 Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53 (64-bit Octa-Core) processor. Heavy apps like YouTube and Waze ran smoothly on the phone. Webpages and photos displayed boldly on the 5-inch Full HD IPS Multi-Touch Capacitative Screen which was brighter than the AMOLED screen of the Knight Luxe but noticeably displayed less saturated colors with less contrast.
What’s a beautiful screen without a powerful camera? Of course, this model also comes with top-performing cameras – a 13MP BSI with Flash rear camera and 5MP BSI FF with Flash front camera – to capture Full HD videos and crisp photos. To enhance the point-and-shoot experience, the phone’s built-in Star Camera features make shooting in challenging situations easier. This special mode has three settings: Refocus, Chroma Flash and Opti Zoom, designed to make your photographs look great in challenging shooting conditions.
ReFocus allows users to choose the focal point of a photo after they’ve taken the photo. Star Cam takes five photos simultaneously at varying focal lengths and combines them into a single file. Users can then select which object to focus on simply by clicking on the desired area. This feature was particularly useful when fine-tuning macro photography, i.e. photographing subjects like food or flowers up close.
Chroma Flash, meanwhile, improves low light flash photography. Star Cam takes two images in rapid succession–first with flash then with no flash–and combines both to produce a single photo with natural looking colors. This feature greatly improved the appearance of indoor flash photography, reducing glare and overexposure.
Lastly, Opti Zoom improves on the camera’s digital zoom feature. By shooting multiple photos, Opti Zoom analyzes the details to improve on the texture and sharpness of zoomed-in photos. While documenting the traslacion of the Peñafrancia Festival in Naga City, I used the Opti Zoom to capture both the magnitude of the procession and more detailed images of the crowd. Unfortunately, while the OptiZoom was impressive for lower magnifications, zoomed-in images taken with higher magnifications like 4X to 6X resulted in grainy photos. You may check out my unedited sample photos using these Star Cam features below.
After taking beautiful images, sharing and geo-tagging them was a breeze! The Knight Elite has seriously upgraded its navigation technology through the combined strength of American GPS, Russian GLONASS, and Chinese BNSS (BeiDou) satellites for more accurate location data. Navigation using apps like Google Maps, Uber and Waze and geo-tagging in photo sharing apps like Instagram were more accurate than all the previous Android phones I’ve used.
There’s definitely much to love about the new Knight Elite, but there’s still one major letdown – its battery life. Yet again, the non-removable Lithium battery of the Knight Elite fared averagely. Even with a 2600 mAh Li-Po battery (higher than that of the Knight Luxe’s), my fully-charged unit only lasted for only a little over five hours with heavy use (i.e. frequent internet browsing and video streaming, brightest screen setting and 3G/4G LTE data always on). There are built-in apps that help you manage and conserve your phone’s battery consumption, but with a powerful processor and super-bright display it’s no surprise the Knight Elite drains its juice pretty fast.
A luxurious yet tough design, LTE connectivity, upgraded navigation and enhanced point-and-shoot features are winning qualities of the Knight Elite. But its Full HD IPS display lacks the richness of the Knight Luxe’s AMOLED screen and its battery life leaves much to be desired, as with most Android smartphones in the market. Still true to the Starmobile brand, however, the Knight Elite packs a punch with its sweet-spot price point of less than PHP 10,000.
For more product information, visit the official product page.
These are unedited images I took with the Starmobile Knight Elite:
How Much Is It?
Starmobile Knight Elite retails for PHP 9,990 (USD 214).
Where to Buy
Starmobile has concept stores and kiosks at major malls and shopping centers across the Philippines. For a complete list of outlets, check out their store locator.
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the opinions herein are my own. I accept advertising in this blog as long as they are relevant to travel, tourism, adventure and outdoors. For inquiries, please send me an email.