If you frequent malls, chances are you’ve seen DTC booths offering a wide range of affordable mobile phones for sale. One of their offerings is the dual-SIM Android-bearing Astroid Plus. Lets go hands-on and find out what this phone can offer.
The Astroid Plus’s design was obviously inspired by the iPhone 3G because of its curved corners and glossy backside. Its front houses the 3.5-inch HVGA LCD display, the earpiece, and three capacitive buttons. On the right is the power/lock button while on the left is the volume rocker.
Located right on top is the microUSB port and headset jack. Found at the bottom is the microphone. Flip it on its back and you’ll find the speaker grill and the 2 megapixel camera with a ring design similar to the HTC One X. Even though its entire body is made of plastic it feels solid, and is comfortable to hold due to its small size.
The Astroid Plus’s display has a resolution of 320 x 480 with a quality similar to the Lenovo A60+ and the Starmoble Bright. It will suffice for basic use such as browsing the web and social media sites but expect limited viewing angles, poor sunlight legibility, and some pixelation.
The Astroid Plus runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread out of the box. DTC did not heavily customize the UI but they did pre-install some themes and widgets. A lot of apps come pre-installed as well such as basic Google Apps, Angry Birds, Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, Google Play Books, themes and wallpapers. Sounds like a treat but these pre-installed apps are considered as system apps and can’t be uninstalled or moved to a microSD card storage.
When Google Play Store downloaded updates for these apps, the Astroid Plus kept on bugging me that the phone’s memory is too low, that I should remove some apps, and force close some running applications. When I gave the phone a reboot it suddenly got stuck in a boot loop and won’t even start. Good thing I was able to do a hard reset and got the phone to boot again but I’m still getting the low phone storage issue after updating the second time. We informed DTC about this issue we’re experiencing and they were kind enough to send us a new unit. Unfortunately, the replacement unit also suffers from the same low memory problem.
At this point the GT5 Astroid Plus is a bit disappointing. DTC should have kept it free from pre-installed apps since it only has 127MB of usable internal memory. If it weren’t for the memory issues, the DTC GT5 Astroid Plus could have been a very capable Android phone for its price.
DTC GT5 Astroid Plus specs:
Dual SIM / Dual Standby
3.5-inch HVGA (320×480) capacitive display
1GHz MediaTek MT6515 processor
PowerVR SGX531 GPU
512MB of internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
2MP fixed-focus camera
Bluetooth v2.0 / WiFi 802.11b/g / WiFi Hotspot
GPS with A-GPS support
114 x 61 x 13mm