Product Listing

Starmobile Engage - Star of the Show

By Marvin R. Velasco - 15 Nov 2012
Launch SRP: PhP5990

Introduction and Physique

Our Very Own

When speaking of electronic gadgets that are “made in the Philippines,” one would likely get mixed reactions. It could spark a local’s national pride, but considering how Filipinos love foreign products, it could also attract more questions than instant praise – but this is old fashioned thinking. Homegrown consumer electronics have been on the rise for some time now, bumping up their games through competitive features and attractive celebrity endorsers. Starmobile gets both done, but focuses a lot more on the former, which is great. The recently released Engage tablet is one of Starmobile’s many products that follows this trend, and is the focus of this review.

Even the box breathes a simplistic yet attractive look.

It doesn't steal the show in terms of looks, but the discreet physique would keep it from standing out too much in our dangerous streets.

A quick look at the Engage won’t elicit any shocks. It’s simplistic all around, from the plain front to the matte back. This can be a good thing, however, for those who want to maintain a low profile while using their tablet in public. It’s not the thinnest 7-inch tablet we’ve handled, coming in at 14mm and 296g, but it’s still slim enough to fit in anyone’s hands comfortably. The combination of the back’s curvature and matte finish make for great handling even in clumsy grips. It felt like it would fall apart though when dropped just once, since the back seems to detach from the screen quite easily. As for the display itself, it produces decent visuals on its resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It won’t win awards for vibrancy, but it gets the job done for solo movie watching.

Every single port and hardware button can be found on one side. The one that stands out most is the USB port, which lets you stick in a flash drive. It may add to the overall thickness, but you can't deny how handy this could be for file transfers. Otherwise, a mini-USB and microSD slot are also available.

The back is as plain as the front. On the bright side, its texture makes for a good grip in your hands – just be sure not to cover the speaker grill when watching movies since it's weak as it is.

A peculiar trait of the Engage is the location of its hardware buttons and ports, which are all located on one side. It’s convenient in the sense that you don’t have to rotate the device to find something, but at the same time, some placements don’t feel right. For example, the power button is positioned in a spot that’s cumbersome to reach whether you hold it horizontally or vertically. Same thing can be said for the ports, which might cause some discomfort to your hands when a cable curiously sticks out, particularly during vertical handling. To add to the curious setup is a USB port beside the already present mini-USB. It may seem unnecessary at first, but it actually adds to the connectivity by allowing you to connect either a USB modem or a flash drive to the tablet.

A 0.3MP front-facing camera is present for simple video calls.

The main camera is 3MP which is good enough for everyday shooting.