We still remember the days when the brand name largely determined a purchase, especially for gadgets. It's not like it's been that long, but you know what we mean. Basically, aprub kaagad kapag imported. (Aminin. Alam natin na totoo yan.)
That's not true anymore, at least for many gearheads. Sure, the name still matters, but Pinoy consumers are now more open to trying out other brands, with local makers getting much more attention than before.
That's awesome news for Pinoy brands like Starmobile.
They've gone all out for the past three years, outing phones and phablets as if we're having a global shortage. The latest phablet to bust out of the company's doors is their new flagship device, the Diamond X1. We've finally calmed down after that very enthusiastic unboxing session to see what this octa-core beast can do. We had only a week with it, but hey, it's better than nothing.
So, is this octa-core phone really unkabogable, or will it end up short of expectations? We do a thorough check-up below!
SIZE MATTERS (NO SQUINTING REQUIRED)
First up on our checklist: Size. Starmobile went with a six-inch display size, reminding us of recent bigwigs like Samsung's Galaxy Mega, Lenovo's S930, and ASUS' FonePad—hell, the Diamond X1 could've made it into our palakihan showdown last year if it came out then.
We may not like saying “phablet,” but over time we've gotten used to handling—and are quite happy to handle—larger, uhm, hardware. With the Diamond X1, we didn't had to squint to read what's on its HD IPS display, and we found it more comfortable to view various media on it. We can't quite stuff the slim X1 into our pockets, and texting's still a bit awkward with one hand, but for the most part, we do like its bigness.
IT LOOKS SLEEK AND POGI
We know we've already mentioned this in our unboxing story, but we just have to say it again: The Diamond X1 really looks nice! It's not the best-looking device out there, yes, but it still scores a few pogi points in terms of its facade. It's super thin at just 7mm thick despite its 6-inch display and is really glossy. However, like most touchscreens, it does fall victim to fingerprint smudges. The remedy is really simple though: with a few wipes using a piece of cloth and it will look shiny once again.
IT CAN USE TWO DIFFERENT SIM CARD SIZES!
Another X1 feature we really like: It doesn't really matter if you use a regular SIM or a microSIM, because this dual-SIM phablet can accommodate both. It has slots for both regular SIMs and microSIMs! No need to go to your telco to have your regular SIM cut, or use adapters. Cool beans!
IT'S REALLY FAST...BUT IT TENDS TO SLOW DOWN A BIT
We now shift to the X1's much-hyped brains. Having eight cores does make it real zippy, responding to user commands with little to no waiting time. It did what we wanted right after every press, and it didn't slow down when we quickly switched from one app to another, or had several apps active at once. And for 'di mapakali users like us, who use our smartphones as if we're in a pressing contest, that's very important.
If you're looking for speed stats, here's something that will blow you away:
Higher = better, faster
As fast as it is, do remember that modern gadgets have their limits, too. After prolonged use, the X1 does slow down. The lag isn't that long that we can actually make a cup of 3-in-1 coffee while waiting, but it is noticeable. We still say it's no biggie for this biggie though.