The recent announcement of Starmobile‘s UP Ultra not only offers an affordable LTE device, but also includes additional freebies just like with the Zenfone Deluxe Special Edition. In partnership with SMART Communications, the company is throwing in Php4,000 worth of free data for 12 months using a prepaid SIM pre-loaded in the device. Additionally, the bundle also comes with 6 months of free iFlix ready to be used. Here are our first impressions on the device.
The Starmobile UP Ultra carries a 5.5-inch display which covers the entire face of the handset. By making this move, they were able to make the device look a bit more premium. On-screen buttons are also implemented making the overall UI look neat and presentable.
Tucked in the center and near the base of the device, there is a small LED light for notifications. This, for us, is the most overlooked feature in smartphones, but definitely makes day-to-day usage easier.
Lined up at the upper area of the screen are the sensors for light and proximity, speaker for calls, and the 5-megapixel front camera with fixed focus.
Positioned in the middle is the 13-megapixel rear camera accompanied by a single LED flash. The company mentions that the UP Ultra’s optics are made using Samsung’s sensor so it should, at some extent, be worth checking out.
The back plate is designed with leather-like texture as to add a bit of character to the smartphone. There are three color models available namely: dark blue, coffee, and gray.
The right side is populated by the volume rocker and power/lock button. These two are the only physical buttons you’ll see on the device and are easily reachable by the thumb.
From this angle, we also see the chrome lining that surrounds the handset giving it a dash of elegance. Additionally, there is another trimming surrounding the display up front.
At the top we have the 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port for charging and transferring files, and an IR blaster for controlling appliances (such as TVs, AC units, and DVD players) at home.
A 7-hole speaker grille is situated down under. From the short time that we tried playing music on it, our initial impression is that it needs more volume. We will be testing more of it in the full review.
Popping off the plastic back cover reveals the UP Ultra’s removable 2500mAh battery, the dual-SIM slots, and storage expansion slot. As mentioned earlier, a Smart SIM card has already been loaded in the device and comes with Php4,000 worth of data for 12 months.
The device, which maxes out at 8.1mm thin, feels secure in the hand and doesn’t slip easily. Using one hand for navigation is also not that hard, but people with smaller hands might opt to go for both hands.
After setting up the phone, we fired it up and installed our usual benchmarking apps to get a good gauge of where it positions itself and what its capabilities are. Below are the scores:
- AnTuTu: 27,996
- Quadrant Standard: 11,828
- Vellamo: 1,423 (Multicore), 922 (Metal), 2,047 (Chrome Browser)
- 3DMark: 123
- PCMark: 4,505
Being pegged as a multimedia phone, the snappy performance of its UI so far results to hassle-free browsing. Its 5.5-inch display also makes it enjoyable to watch videos and play games on. The question is, will its 720p resolution suffice for these kinds of use? Stay tuned as we prepare the full review of the UP Ultra.
Starmobile UP Ultra specs:
5.5-inch On-Cell HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720 resolution, 267ppi
1.3GHz 64-bit MT6735 quad-core processor
Mali T720-MP2 GPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 32GB via microSD
13MP rear camera with BSI and Samsung sensor
5MP FF front camera with BSI
146.5 x 74.9 x 8.1mm