Earlier today, Starmobile added a new phone-and-SIM bundle to its list of offerings, and the bundle includes one of the cheapest Android devices with a 5-inch screen you can get in the Philippines today.
More importantly, it gives you gobs of value, provided you’re okay with spending a bit of money on cellphone credits monthly. The Starmobile Super Pack, which bundles a Play Neo phone and a special prepaid SIM card from Smart, is now on sale in stores for P2,990.
The phone itself is pretty decent for its price: quad-core internals with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage; rear and front cameras capable of somewhat good resolutions; near-vanilla Android 4.4 KitKat humming under a 480 x 854 screen; the whole assembly encased in a smooth, metallic shell in gold, black, or white that fits snug in the hand.
But the real hook here is the free monthly allowance of 700MB — yes, 700MB! — of data (valid for 30 days) for 12 months. Smart puts the value of the accumulated data allotment at P3,500, which, if you’ve been paying attention, is higher than the price of the Starmobile Super Pack. Think of it as a data plan, but with the freedom that prepaid kits allow.
“Why give away so much, for so long?” you ask. “Has Smart gone mad?” Well, no, because there’s a catch to it: To claim your 700MB of free data, you first have to top-up at least P150 worth of cellphone credits.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, the Super Pack data bundle should play nicely with existing Smart offers and data packages. So if you spend your credits on, say, 750MB of data for P200, your data allotment for the month will shoot up to 1,450MB. That may be enough for the average user if video streaming is left out of the equation.
The real hook here is the free monthly allowance of 700MB of data for 12 months, which is valued at P3,500.
If we put the hardware aside for a second and look at the Starmobile Super Pack as a whole, perhaps the market will appreciate it for what it is: a kit aimed at smartphone neophytes who want the full Android experience sans a WiFi connection and without the inflexibility of a carrier contract, and at potential upgraders who are willing to part with P150 monthly to get their money’s worth.
Starmobile Play Neo specs (Price in the Philippines: P2,990):
* Dual SIM with 3G support
* 1.3GHz quad-core Spreadtrum 7731G CPU
* Mali-400 MP2 GPU
* 512MB RAM
* 8GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
* 5-inch display (480 x 854 resolution)
* 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 2-megapixel front camera
* 2,000mAh battery
* Android 4.4 KitKat
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