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Starmobile Play Click 1288 Bundle Review - A Good First Jump To The World Of Smartphones!

Smartphones are getting better and more affordable each day, thanks to the recent advancements in technology. As a result, you can now buy an Android phone for as low as 1,500 Pesos. However, while you can get a smartphone that cheap, you're not assured that the device is usable enough to do what a basic Android smartphone should do. 
Starmobile Play Click 1288 Bundle review
Starmobile Play Click 1288 Bundle review

Related: Raffle: Win A Starmobile Play Click 1288 Bundle And Coloud Knock Headphones!

Often, you'll still go back to your basic handset as you'll regret buying those type of phone. Most of the time their build is crap and they're loaded with close to un-usable specs such as a single core chip, dreadful 256 MB RAM, and a super small screen where you'll find it hard to type.

Is that what the masses deserve? Obviously not. Even if most of them they don't have the cash to spend for a decent entry level Android phone, giving them something usable is a must for me. Fortunately, that trend started when Smart started to partner with the local phone makers to give the masses what they deserve, your first jump int the smartphone world with unreal affordability and usability.

Enter Starmobile Play Click 1288 Bundle, the 2nd gen of their smartphone bundle that comes with bigger screen, stylish design, cool features, and good specs for the total asking price of just 1,388 Pesos.

That 1,388 price tag is broken down into: 1288 (Smartphone, FREE 100 MB / month in year, Smart, and Talk ) and 100 Pesos Smart load with 30 Pesos rebate.

Anyway, I used the Play Click for 2 weeks as a secondary phone, so here's our review.

Disclaimer:This unit was seeded by Starmobile and Smart Communications Inc. for an honest review

Starmobile Play Click 1288 Bundle Specs

Display: 4.5 Inch FWVGA 854 x 480 resolution at 218 ppi
CPU: 1.2 GHz SC7731 quad core processor
GPU: Mali 400
RAM: 512 MB
ROM: 4 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 32 GB
Back Camera: 5 MP f/2.8 w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 2 MP f.2.8
Battery: 1,650 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, FM Radio, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Others: Colors: dark gray, champagne, silver
Dimensions: 132.5 x 66.5 x 9.9mm
Weight: 120 g
Price: 1,288 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

The box
The box

The Play Click 1288 Bundle comes with a simple box with the new logo skin of Smart on top.
What's inside the package
What's inside the package

Upon opening the package, it loads with what a basic smartphone should contain. You'll get a 1A wall charger, regular USB to micro USB cables, and an earphones with mic.

While there's no free screen protector or case, there's no room for complains for a phone this affordable.

Build Quality / Design

The sleek looking back of the phone

With a super affordable combined SRP of 1,388 Pesos, I have very low expectations when it comes to the build and design of this handset. I was even expecting to get a phone with really flimsy build and ugly design.

Gladly, that was not the case with the Play Click. As a matter of fact, it was a well crafted device considering its very low price. It goes with an all plastic frame and back cover which feels good that's far from cheap. In front, the screen is made out of clear polymer that's acceptable for me.

Design-wise, Starmobile stepped up their game for this super budget phone. Surprisingly, they managed to create a stylish handset out of that budget. It's presentable enough, has good curves, and fairly thin.

Ergonomically, I love its small size, fits nicely in the hands, has nice curves at the back, and decent to hold overall. Buttons and ports were also easy to reach on this yet.

The navigation keys weren't just lit and there's no LED notification light, but that's a small thing and I can live with it.

Display Quality

Boot mode, showing both Starmobile and Smart logos
Boot mode, showing both Starmobile and Smart logos

At 4.5 Inch FWVGA 854 x 480 resolution at 218 ppi, I did not expect a lot from the quality of the screen of this device. Gladly, it performs a little better than expected as it its fairly nice quality. Even if it has a visible air gap between the glass and the display, the quality isn't bad at all.

It has great brightness and acceptable viewing angles. It struggled in broad daylight, but at least it gives you not that harsh picture quality most of the time. Just don't compare it with higher-end phones, and you can live with it.
2 point multitouch
2 point multitouch

It also has 2 points of touch that's quite responsive. It's not fast, but its far from annoying to use.

Audio Quality

Starmobile's Play Click 1288 Bundle has a single speaker at the  back of the phone. Fortunately, it fires acceptable tunes that's loud enough for an entry level device. It's even better than old ultra cheap phones in the past with bad quality. I'm not saying that this has great speaker quality, but its listenable and has enough clarity on 70-80% volume to avoid distortion.

Headphone-out wise, I was honestly surprised. It's very listenable and competes with most sub-5K phones. It goes with a near full sounding warm sound signature that's actually pleasing to the ears. It has that decent type of bass with nice slams and speed which doesn't overwhelm the mids. Vocal-wise, this the clearest sub-3K handset around with forward presentation and great details. The highs is there, can deliver most of the time, but there are just some annoying peaks in some tracks.
The Play Click 1288 Bundle sounds unbelievably clear when paired with a good headphones considering the price.
Soundstage also wider than expected, can even make micro-details hearable, and can play 16 bit FLAC files. While its far from audiophile grade, its very good for a super budget phone.

Microphone-wise, its acceptable for calls, but too grainy and windy for general recordings.

Battery Life

Donning just a 1,650 mAh of power, battery life is perceived as the main weakness for most of this phone. However, they're wrong. The Starmobile Play Click Bundle again exceeded our expectations in this segment.

It has fairly long battery life as a secondary phone that can last up to 2 days on a single charge with light to casual usage. It also has great standby time. As a matter of fact, I'm currently on my 3rd day right now with it as a back-up phone for SMS.

Under straight abusive usage with calls, data, playing looping videos, and etc. I was able to record almost 4 hours of screen time.

Charging time is also acceptable at around 2 hours on using the stock charger.


Camera of the phone at the back
Camera of the phone at the back

For a phone with under 1.5K price, I'm just expected to get something with 2 MP cam at the back and VGA cam in front. Fortunately, Starmobile and Smart stepped it up by providing a 5 MP cam w/ f/2.8 aperture at the back and 2 MP f/2.8 in front.

Quality-wise, don't expect its 5 MP cam to be a good photography phone just like most budget phones. It's only good enough to take decent snaps under well lit conditions, but expect it to be bad and grainy in lowlight. If you have no choice and you have to take pictures in the dark, you can take advantage of the single LED flash even if its quite weak.

It has HDR, grids, and timer as well. However, it doesn't have an autofocus function so focusing will be hard if especially if you don't have steady hands.

In front, the 2 MP cam is acceptable and can be used for selfies if you do not have any other choice. At least it can take pretty bright photos with beautify like effect, even if this device isn't meant to be a selfie device. At least you have it unlike basic smartphones in the past that doesn't have a selfie cam.

For videos, it can record up to 720P HD at the back and 480P in front. As expected its shaky and doesn't have great performance. Only use it when you have no other choice.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight photo
Daylight photo
Evening shot
Evening shot

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie test
Selfie test


Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

Just like what I stated above, this phone isn't your typical single core or dual core sub 1.5K phone. Instead it uses a full blown quad core chip even if its a low-end one. It's also paired with Mali 400 GPU, 512 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of expandable internal storage.

For the price, it provided me a respectable performance. It's speedy enough as long as you're only using light task like messaging, social media, and basic smartphone apps. However, and just like what I expected it struggled when there's multiple apps running in the background.

In gaming, it did okay for the likes of Subway Surfers and other light games, but there will be understandable slowdowns and lags on 3D games. Heavy games are unplayable as well.

Storage-wise, it has a small 4 GB of ROM only. Gladly, its expandable with the use of a micro SD card. However, it can only be used as an alternative storage for photos, music, and cache of your apps.
The simple UI
The simple UI

In terms of software used, it uses a stock Android Android 5.1 Lollipop skin that's simple and easy to use. It's also loaded with nifty features such as gestures and even has a full double tap to wake ala LG Knock code.
Other features
Other features

There's just a lot of bloats here that includes Smart apps like iFlix, Spinnr, and Starmobile default apps. Gladly, most of the other pre-installed apps are uninstallable so you can save more space.

We also enjoyed that its loaded with complete basic connectivity options such as WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, FM Radio, and GPS to complete your smartphone experience. Plus they'ren't buggy and works just fine as a whole.

Note: SIM 1 doesn't work with other SIM cards even other Smart SIM, SIM 2 works even with SUN SIM though.

Pros - Amazing value for money, good looks, usable performance, nice audio out thru headphones, full double tap to wake
Cons - Brittle back cover, grainy microphone quality, small storage, lots of bloats (some of them are removable tough), SIM 1 only works with the included Smart SIM


With a low total SRP of 1,288 Pesos to avail this phone, the Starmobile Play Click Bundle that's powered by Smart is a must buy. It doesn't only provide you with what a basic smartphone can do, but also completes the experience by bundling freebies from Smart.

Overall, this handset is highly recommendable for those who wanted to jump into the smartphone scene coming from a basic phone with great affordability. It's also great for those who seeks a reliable secondary phone.

GIZ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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