Starmobile Engage 7i Quick Review
Back in December, we reviewed the Starmobile UP Ultra, the company’s affordable LTE smartphone with Smart’s Super Pack included in the package. This time, we’re going to test a call-and-text tablet powered by an Intel Sofia chipset, Intel Atom X3 CPU, and the same Smart freebies – the Starmobile Engage 7i.
Design and Construction
The Starmobile Engage 7i is an affordable offering from the local smartphone brand. That being said, the call-and-text tablet doesn’t have a lot to boast when it comes to this department. It’s pretty much made of plastic with a design that reminds you of those released in 2013.
Up front, we have the 7-inch display bordered by thick bezels. Above it are the earpiece with metallic grille, the 2-megapixel front camera, and the light sensor, while down at the left corner is a tiny hole for the microphone.
Looking at the right side will reveal the reset pinhole, volume rocker and power / lock button.
Right up top are the microUSB port and headset jack.
Flip it on its back and you will see the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. This part has a removable backplate (difficult to open, by the way), giving you access to the SIM and microSD card slot. The rest of the back is covered with Starmobile and Intel’s branding while the loudspeaker is located on the lower right corner.
On hand, the Engage 7i is pretty much narrow for a 7-incher as we can still grip it with one hand. Still, it’s still too large and awkward to use as a phone. Build-wise, it’s hefty, chunky, but feels solid as there are no creaking parts. The matte finish also feels good in the hands. The only downside here is the outdated design.
Display and Multimedia
Again, it’s an affordable device, and that fact is also evident on the quality of the display. Resolution is low, as mentioned earlier at 1024 x 600 or equal to 170ppi. It’s straining to look at given the 7-inch screen size.
Starmobile mentions IPS which is good as it gives decent viewing angles and colors. However, the glass on top is very reflective which makes it painful to use outdoors.
As for the loudspeaker, it’s audible if you’re using it privately in a quiet room. It’s very trebly and doesn’t put out noticeable bass. We highly recommend using an external speaker or headphones if being used for watching movies or listening to music.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software side is Android 5.1.1 Lollipop which is good. Starmobile kept the UI stock with some minor tweaks like the quick screenshot button on the lower left.
It also doesn’t have a lot of pre-installed apps save for the usual Google goodies, Clean Master, and MX Player. Also included are Starmobile’s App Store and the Starmobile Sync 2.0. All in all a total usable storage of 12.68GB.
The Engage 7i is equipped with a 5 megapixel rear with LED flash and 2 megapixel front for selfies. Quality is dismal with images coming out peppered with noise even when there’s ample lighting.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the device is a 1GHz Intel Atom X3 64-bit quad-core CPU, Mali-450 MP4 GPU, and a very disappointing 1GB RAM. It’s good enough for not-so-demanding tasks such as social media browsing, multimedia consumption, or light gaming like Clash of Clans.
Don’t expect this to handle graphic intensive tasks. It even crashed and rebooted while the Vellamo benchmark tool is running. Take a look at the scores below:
* AnTuTu – 19,460
* Quadrant Standard – 67,907
* Vellamo – 875 (Multicore), 483 (Metal), 1,456 (Chrome)
* 3D Mark – 2,885 (Ice Storm Extreme)
Connectivity and Call Quality
As mentioned earlier, the Engage 7i allows you make calls and texts. Earpiece and microphone performance is okay but doesn’t have background noise cancellation which can be distracting for the person on the other line.
The Engage 7i also features 3G connectivity and comes Smart’s Super Pack. It includes a free Smart Bro SIM card that offers Php2,400 worth of free data for 6 months that can be used for apps like Facebook, Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram, Clash of Clans, Spinnr, and Google Search.
Providing juice for the Engage 7i is a 3,000mAh battery which is below average for a 7-inch tablet. We ran the PC Mark battery benchmark on it and only got 4 hours and 19 minutes which is not really impressive.
The Starmobile Engage 7i is a very useful yet not so impressive device. Its main features are the call-and-text function, affordable price of Php3,990, and the freebies provided by Smart. However, if you’re looking for something that can do more than that, you’re better off looking somewhere else.
Starmobile Engage 7i specs:
7-inch (1024 x 600) IPS display, 170ppi
Intel SOFIA 3G-R chipset
1GHz Intel Atom X3 64-bit quad-core CPU
Mali-450 MP4 GPU
16GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
5MP rear camera w/ LED flash
2MP front camera
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
188 x 108 x 9.9mm
What we liked:
* Dual-SIM with 3G
* Affordable price
* Free Smart Super Pack
* Android Lollipop
What we didn’t like:
* Low-resolution display
* Chunky build and old design
* Below-average performance
* 1GB RAM
* Below average battery life
* Poor camera