My Davao Escapade Using The Starmobile Diamond S3

Its very typical when getting doing gadget reviews that I test everything from camera, gaming, performance and battery. This time,  I will mix my first love which is reviewing gadgets and my second love, travelling. As you might not know, I love to travel. I am not a jet setter though I travel at least twice a year for  vacation. My last was Bangkok in November 2013. I brought my Gionee ELIfe E6 that time to Bangkok for me to review.

This time, I am going to share my stay in Davao and Tagum,  a city north of Davao City. I have  the Starmobile Diamond S3 with me since first week of March. My good friends at Starmobile was kind enough to lend me a review unit. When I found out that my mother is flying to Davao, I immediately asked if I can tag along (para libre na ang hotel, hehehe) because I have never been to Davao or any part of Mindanao.

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I decided to insert my Globe postpaid SIM on the Diamond S3 for someone informed me that Globe has decent internet connection there. We flew to Davao March 11, Tuesday and traveled to Tagum City which is 1 hour drive from Davao City. My mom has important business meetings to attend to and I will be staying a lot in the hotel till Friday since there’s nothing to see in Tagum. I took the opportunity to explore the Starmobile Diamond S3 during my stay in the hotel. Here’s a short rundown of specs.

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Starmobile Diamond S3 specs:

  • 1.2GHz Quad Core Broadcom 23550 processor
  • Broadcom Videocore IV graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal memory expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 5.5-inch qHD IPS LCD display (960 x 540 pixels) 200 ppi
  • One Glass Solution (OGS) display
  • 8 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus, BSI and LED flash
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • HSPA+, Quad Band GSM, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, USB OTG (on-the-go)
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 2,300 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • SRP: P8,990
  • Status: Available on Starmobile stores, kiosks and retailers

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Note – The following pictures you will see are  taken from the Starmobile’s 8 megapixel rear facing camer and  2 megapixel front facing camera (except the screenshots)

Design-wise, I am quite impressed on the phone’s design. Personally, I prefer phones with sharper corners because it gives a masculine feel to it. As expected from Starmobile, the phone is well built and very solid but has some weight to it.

I do love using the Starmobile Diamond S3 as I explore coffee shops with in Tagum City using Google Maps. The phone’s 5.5-inch qHD display was just so stunning thanks to its One Glass Solution. It also gives the display great viewing angles and less glare under direct sunlight.

Well, I was a little disappointed when I found out there are no Starbucks or even Coffee Bean in the area. Good thing I found a nice and cozy coffee shop inside our hotel – 129 Coffeeshoppe. I love the food and their coffee here!

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Last Friday, I decided to go to Davao City which is an hour drive away from Tagum. My driver suggested that we go to Apo ni Lola, a local store of Davao’s delicacies. I bought some durian bars, langka yema and some of their famous durian-flavored sandwich spreads. Oh boy, they are so good!

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At last I got into my hotel in Davao City. Since its still early and have some energy left, I decided to go to Abreeza, an Ayala Mall in Davao City. Taxi drivers here are very friendly and they’re like tourist guides too. They told us where to go if I intend to buy pearls, or see places and where to find the best Davao delicacies. I suddenly remembered my trips to Kuala Lumpur because the taxi drivers there and in Davao are the same – friendly, like tourist guides and non abusive. If a taxi driver overcharged or refused a passenger, lagot kay Mayor Duterte! According to the friendly taxi driver I talked to, the Mayor will even personally find them and give sanctions. Then I had a thought, hindi ba pwedeng hiramin si Mayor Duterte sa Metro Manila? Hehehe.

When I arrived in Abreeza, I was told that it was Araw ng Dabaw and the city is going to be busy with festivities and all the malls in the city are on sale. In fact, March 15, Saturday, Abreeza and the nearby mall, SM Lanang Premier had a midnight sale. I spotted a restaurant that is only found in Visayas and Mindanao – Hukad. Food here is fantastic! Sa sobrang sarap ng food I forgot to take pictures! Luckily, I remembered to take a picture of the restaurant.

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Finally, I found my favorite coffee shop, Coffee Bean! I stayed here for a while to check my emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and played some games using the Starmobile Diamond S3. I even watched my favorite shows via IWanTV. There’s no need for me to connect to WiFi since Globe’s HSPA+ network is surprisingly good. I was able to get 2 to 3Mbps here. The 1.2 GHz quad core Broadcom 23550 processor may be another unknown processor but it handled our gaming experience very well. I love playing Dead Trigger 2 on the Starmobile Diamond S3! Based on Antutu Benchmarks the phone got 13,937 points.

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The following day, I went to SM Lanang Premier and took some pictures. It is said that the mall is the largest in Mindanao but for me it is just a third of the size of SM Megamall. I got really tempted and did some shopping because of the Big Davao Fun Sale event happening.

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Photo taken from the 2 megapixel front facing camera

I was out the whole day and I used the Starmobile Diamond S3 a lot for my calls to my friends and family back in Manila plus texts, gaming, internet and social networks. I use Google maps a lot since this is my first trip to Davao so expect the phone’s GPS is turned on all the time. The phone’s battery lasted 9 hours of moderate to heavy usage with 20% juice left. Really impressive!

I went back to Tagum City yesterday afternoon . Overall, it was short but a great Davao experience. Thanks to my reliable partner, the Starmobile Diamond S3 and I had a wonderful time using it.