Starmobile UP Selfie Review: Back on Track with the Budget Segment?

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Starmobile’s UP series are budget-oriented phones that offer good features for an affordable price. The same goes for the UP Selfie, which is Starmobile’s most premium model in the UP line. At $136, you get a dual front camera setup (one normal and one wide-angle), 3GB of RAM, and a fingerprint scanner. Is the UP Selfie worth your hard-earned money this 2018? Let’s take a quick look at the specs:

Starmobile UP Selfie Specs

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6737 Quad-Core Processor
  • Mali T720 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 5.2-inch HD display; 1280×720 resolution
  • 16GB of expandable storage (up to 32GB)
  • 13-megapixel f/2.4 rear camera with BSI and flash
  • Dual 13-megapixel f/2.4 StarSelfie front cameras (normal and wide) with BSI and flash
  • 3G, LTE (700MHz Ready)
  • DualSIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB OTG
  • 2900mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Metallic unibody feels good at hand

Unlike the UP Prime and UP Groove, the UP Selfie has a non-removable back, while retaining the same design elements from the UP series. Notable differences include the presence of a fingerprint scanner and a 13-megapixel f/2.4 camera.

On the front, you have a better laid out upper bezel, consisting of dual 13-megapixel f/2.4 cameras, a premium-looking earpiece, and a LED flash. The capacitive buttons are similar in design with the UP Groove.

Display is pretty decent

As proof of the UP Selfie being a more premium device, it comes with a bigger 5.2-inch HD display that has better color rendition compared to its UP siblings. Aside from the display, the UP Selfie comes with a 2.5D glass, making the front extra durable. Though if you would ask us, it’s best to use the supplied tempered glass to protect it from accidental scratches.

Extra RAM is a big help for multitasking

While it has the same processor that the UP Prime has, the UP Selfie gets a performance boost with its 3GB RAM. Don’t be deceived if the UP Selfie’s AnTuTu score is 30321-around 1k higher than the one we got with the UP Prime: In real life use, multitasking is smooth, and lags were not noticeable. Shuffling between Google Chrome, Facebook, Instagram, and the Music app is a breeze.

However, the MT67367 SoC does have its limitations. One of these limitations is the slight lag we noticed when we play music with it. We’re not sure if it is an app-related issue, but maybe a few optimizations should fix that up (or you can just download a separate music app if you like).

Can do gaming, but…

While the 3GB RAM on the UP Selfie does help in improving its multitasking abilities, it can only do much when it comes to gaming. We played Marvel Future Fight and Asphalt 8 with it, and based on the stats we got from GameBench, the UP Selfie struggles running both games in high graphics settings.

With Marvel Future Fight, the UP Selfie struggles on max settings, with a Median FPS of 11, combined with a low 38% FPS Stability.

While we got a low median FPS in playing Asphalt 8 on max settings, we managed to get stable gameplay with a 95% FPS Stability.

While it is not advisable to play games like NBA 2K17 on the UP Selfie, you can run them in the lowest graphics settings for the smoothest gameplay possible.

Starmobile’s UI is good but can be improved further

There are no changes when it comes to the UP Selfie’s UI (it’s the same with the UP Prime and UP Groove), and honestly speaking, it’s a breeze to use. One thing we like about Starmobile’s UI is it has barely any bloatware with it. It is definitely user-friendly, though there are a few kinks that need to be addressed. Among these include a noticeable delay with the fingerprint sensor and the camera app crashing when you open it from the lock screen, both we hope can be addressed in an upcoming update.

Cameras are a BIG improvement

For the UP Selfie, Starmobile equipped it with 13-megapixel f/2.4 cameras: One in the back, and two in the front. The UI is friendly (although it has only basic features, and its Pro Mode is limited to exposure, ISO, and white balance), though there’s a noticeable shutter lag while taking photos.

Shutter lag aside, the photos taken with the UP Selfie are pretty impressive, even with low light. While the aperture might now wow people, photos managed to be sharp (though grainy) in low light situations. In daylight, the cameras shine through.

As for its dual front cameras, they do work as advertised: Regardless if you use the regular or wide-angle camera, getting good selfies is indeed the UP Selfie’s top strength.

Check out the photos we took using the UP Selfie:

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Battery is quite impressive for a budget offering

Equipped with a non-removable 2900mAh battery, the UP Selfie does quite fine as a daily driver. If the PCMark battery score of 8 hours and 30 minutes does not convince you, we tell you this: On regular use, we managed to coast through the day, with some juice left upon arriving at home. That being said, the UP Selfie has the best battery life from the rest of the phones under the UP line.

A slight compromise with its good battery life is that the UP Selfie’s MicroUSB port has no support for quick charging. Juicing up the UP Selfie from zero to 100% will take you around two and a half hours.

Verdict: Starmobile is back on track

If you feel underwhelmed with the UP Prime and UP Groove, the UP Selfie is Starmobile’s comeback phone. For its price, it offers an ample amount of RAM, along with an efficient battery performance and impressive cameras. What’s notably impressive with the UP Selfie is that it stays true to its name: Its dual front cameras deliver decent selfies, regardless if you use the normal selfie camera or the wide-angle one.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/3hv3H8)

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