27 Apr Starmobile Pushes Innovation Anew with PH’s first series of DTV Phones
[27 April 2015] Filipino smart devices brand Starmobile is once again leading innovation as it officially creates the first series of Digital TV- (DTV) enabled smartphones with the introduction of the new Starmobile UP Vision.
Available nationwide beginning the first week of May 2015 for only P5,990, the Starmobile UP Vision is capable of receiving DTV broadcasts wherever services are available in the country.
“DTV is the future of television viewing and the UP Vision, together with the Starmobile KNIGHT Vision, will play a key role in that future,” said Starmobile President Ulysses Lao. “Being products that comply with the NTC’s DTV standards, Filipinos can enjoy cable-quality pictures and audio wherever they may be,” he added.
Lao refers to the mobility which portable devices such as the KNIGHT Vision and the UP Vision offer. Compared to regular television sets which are “fixed” into specific areas (e.g. living room, bedroom, etc.), mobile DTV devices are handy and could therefore be used in more locations.
“This means users are no longer limited in terms of where they can watch good-quality TV—they can now watch telenovelas, basketball games, and even variety shows live and with absolutely no monthly fees,” Lao said.
The NTC mandates that local TV networks make the shift to the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard within the next 3 to 5 years.
A Plethora of Firsts
The launch of the DTV-enabled Starmobile KNIGHT Vision is but one of the many efforts of Starmobile to push the technology envelope in the mobile industry.
In November 2012, the upstart mobile brand launched the ASTRA, the first Pinoy Android phone with built-in Analog TV.
Just a few months later in April 2013, the company launched theENGAGE 7 TV, the first Filipino tablet with a Digital TV tuner. The ENGAGE 7 TV has gone on to become one of Starmobile’s best-selling products.
The advancements, however, are not limited to TV functionalities as the company is perhaps best known for democratizing new camera technologies.
In February 2013, Starmobile introduced a wide array of camera phones with Backside Illumination (BSI) starting with the Starmobile FLIRT.
A BSI sensor enables a camera to capture more light, therefore resulting in brighter shots even in low light conditions.
Until then, BSI cameras were mostly used by international brands for their flagship offerings. A typical phone with a BSI camera cost upwards of P25,000.
The Starmobile FLIRT was launched with an SRP of only P9,990 prompting competitors to follow suit.
Fast forward to November 2014, when the company introduced yet another first with the Ultrapixel-equipped UP Snap.
Ultrapixel is an improved version of BSI as it features a larger light sensor. The increased surface area allows the sensor to “absorb” more light, thus resulting in brighter and clearer photos.
And last but not least, theStarmobile KNIGHT Vision boasts of being the first Pinoy phone with an Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) camera.
OIS eliminates image blur caused by minor hand movements when taking photos.
A physical mechanism built into the KNIGHT Vision’s camera sensor counters these movements to create sharper images.
And like BSI and Ultrapixel before it, OIS was once exclusive only to top tier-offerings from foreign brands.
Always A Level Up
With its popularity rising, the scrappy Pinoy brand made even more headlines in mid-2013 with the introduction of the Starmobile KNIGHT, the company’s first Quad Core phone.
With an undeniably premium look and feel, the KNIGHT was and still is Starmobile’s most famous product. It holds the record for being the only Pinoy smartphone to have won 3 “Local Flagship of the Year” awards in a single year (2013).
The awards were given by reputable tech outfits Unbox.ph, Rappler.com, and The Technoclast.
In stunning fashion, Starmobile won the same honors in 2014 from Unbox.ph with the launch of the DIAMOND X1, the first Filipino phone with an Octa Core processor and the KNIGHT X, the most advanced Filipino smartphone ever made.
Featuring a Super Octa Core Processor, 3GB or RAM, and Worldwide LTE compatibility—again firsts for a local brand—the KNIGHT X continues to give multinational brands a run for their money even today.
Now an established player in the Philippines, Starmobile has partnered with international names such as Intel and Microsoft to introduce world-class products at Filipino-friendly prices.
In 2014, Starmobile launched the elegant ENGAGE 9i, an Intel Atom-powered 9-inch tablet with a full HD screen, stereo speakers, glass finish, and aluminum trim.
Then in March 2015, Starmobile made available the ENGAGE 10 Pro, a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet with a solid keyboard powered by Microsoft’s award-winning Windows 8.1 operating system.
To date, Starmobile is only 1 of the only 2 local brands that offer Windows products in the Philippines.
Such is Starmobile’s aggressiveness that in July 2014 (barely 3 years since its inception) the company has been recognized by UK-based research firm OnDevice as one of the “Big 3” local brands in the Philippines.
“People inspire us and that is why we will continue to excite, exhilarate, and invigorate the market,” said Starmobile Product Development Head Michael Chen.
“We will keep reaching for the stars as we strive to deliver the best products to our fellow Flipinos,” he ended. [END]