DTC GT3 Astroid Android Phone Review
Adam Parnala | On 30, Jul 2012
DTC, one of the newest Filipino mobile phone company, already has one android phone named as DTC GT3 Astroid just after a few months of its emergence. I have played around with the DTC GT3 Astroid for about a while now and I think I already know what do this device has to offer. Want to know more? Ride on and read our full review of DTC GT3 Astroid android phone.
DTC GT3 Astroid Specifications
- Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
- 3.5-inch HVGA LCD capacitive touch panel with 320×480 pixel resolution
- 650MHz MediaTek MT6573
- 256MB RAM
- 152MB internal storage (expandable up to 32GB via microSD)
- 5MP rear camera with flash, 0.3MP front-facing camera
- WiFi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth, GPRS/EDGE
- GPS, A-GPS
- (2) 1450 mAh Li-Ion battery
What’s in the Box?
The box contains all the usual package but it also has some useful freebies. It contains the unit, charger, earphones, manuals, and warranty card. DTC is also kind enough to provide a screen protector specifically designed for the phone so you will be saved of having a hard time finding one that fits the screen of the phone. In most cases, it will just be cut to fit in. If that’s not enough, the package also has two (2) 1450mAh batteries. Too many freebies, eh? One thing that’s missing though is a free microSD card. But with these set, we got to give it out to DTC.
Hardware and Design
This phone looks similar to the front face of some of the HTC android phones currently available like HTC Desire C and HTC Desire V. Even the placement of the manufacturer’s name, which is located in the top-center right above the screen, coincidentally looks identical. The back of the phone though has DTC’s name, website, and the android robot with an Android 2.3 text below. Above it, we can locate the camera shooter and flash.
The build of Astroid is not that sturdy and you can easily identify it even from the first look. The body is mainly made up of plastic all throughout. The screen display is also plastic which is the norm in the entry-level android race. It is also not that bulky and looks slim for its size which is a major plus. Take a look at our size comparison of GT3 Astroid to iPhone 4 below.
At the top part of the phone, we can see the headset port and the power/wake up button. The manner of waking up the phone is really frustrating whenever I need to type a quick text message or to move away into an application through a snappy operation. I tried to press the volume keys but it didn’t do the job. I guess it is the only way.
On the left side, we can find the volume rocker solely laid down nicely. The charger port is located in the other side. The bottom of the phone is just plain and empty.
Looking at the face of the DTC Astroid, there are four touch-sensitive control panels namely; the home button, menu button, back button and the search button. All of which are very responsive and doesn’t gave me any problem. The DTC Astroid’s front-facing camera and speakers are located atop the DTC name.
Performance, OS, Software
Out of the box, the DTC GT3 Astroid sports Android 2.3 Gingerbread which is not bad at all. Even though Android already have the Ice Cream Sandwich and recently, Jelly Bean, this version is still one of the sweetest that’s been made. Also, an Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone out of the box for the price of below 5k is still not existing – at least for now.
DTC GT3 Astroid runs Gingerbread smoothly. Whenever I navigate and roam around some apps, it is fast enough to register my touch and just takes about a blink to open an app. Of course, I’m talking about a normal or not-so-heavy app here. However, opening a large app is still bearable because it only takes a few seconds which can really go unnoticeable.
The widgets present in the home screen are undeniably adopted from that of HTC Sense. If you’ll notice, it looks like the HTC Desire C even its homescreen interface. The lockscreen was also copied and you can unlock it by dragging the circle ball upward. Though it seems like to be a copycat, all went well. It also has decent viewing angles and great screen resolution for its price. The graphics are clear and doesn’t look so absurd at all.
When it comes to apps, the DTC GT3 android phone carried some with it too. They are; Yahoo Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Messenger. Another noteworthy addition is the presence of a flash light app which can be very useful at times. The app uses the flash equipped with GT3’s rear camera.
Texting in DTC GT3 Astroid is fine. Although sometimes I find it annoying when it switches back to Google PinYin input method when all processes was killed in the task manager. This is not a problem because it is quickly solved just by some clicks in moving back to Android keyboard.
The Dual-SIM functionality worked fairly nice. You can choose which sim network to use in texting so you can immediately send someone a sms. The bad thing about it is you might mistakenly send a message from your other sim card and not from your preffered one. The switch from one network to another is very easy because you can do this directly via the notification bar. Drop it down, and from there, choose your preffered network. Just do take note of your activated sim card so you won’t get lost.
Camera , Video Recording
GT3 Astroid android phone shoots pictures admirably. I was a bit shocked that it produced a lovely image because I didn’t expect it to perform that way. The flash, which is small, obviously suffers from its size. It only gives a slight boost in the overall quality of a shot in dark scenes but nonetheless a good companion for the 5MP camera. Take a look at these sample shots I’ve taken using the DTC Android phone.
Video recording on this phone surprisingly works well too. The video sometimes look shaky but it is very rare. I’ll update this post with a video sample clip in the upcoming days.
Playing games with the GT3 Astroid is all fun. There are a few built-in games when I opened it: Angry Birds Rio, Fruit Ninja, and Devil Ninja 2. It amazingly launched and played the games fast enough without any lag. I was a bit surprised in this thing because I remember when my friend can’t play Fruit Ninja smoothly in his Samsung Galaxy Mini in stock Gingerbread OS. I think the pre-installed games were there to showcase its capability – and it surely did.
Gaming is smooth, fine and solid. Yes, I’m talking about within its price range. I played all the games I tried without any slowness. Some of them are; Cut the Rope, Spider Monkey, and Doodle Jump. Although these are just normal games, the GT3 Astroid played them all very well. No complains. But don’t expect too much HD games for it.
Connectivity , Web Browsing
DTC GT3 Astroid have the standard connectivity features of smartphones like Bluetooth, microUSB , EDGE and Wi-Fi. The 3G connectivity is missing here so this phone is stucked with a rather slow GPRS/EDGE connection.
I’ve tried using the 2G mobile data connection of Astroid and I’m not that happy. The page load time is slow and it has a hard time rendering the Facebook app and Browser(which needs a solid connection). I’ve had no problem with other lightweight apps like Twitter, Gmail, and Gtalk. To solve the sluggish browsing, I just installed Opera Mini. That way, it loads faster because it doesn’t have flash support.
Wi-Fi connection with this handset is quite solid. I walked away for a few meters from my Wi-Fi hotspot phone and it still receives an outstanding signal. I continued surfing the web and all went well. The heavy internet apps also get loaded.
As a Wi-Fi hotspot, the DTC Astroid is not so nice. With this slow 2G connection, I can’t even connect my laptop with it. When I do, it doesn’t load any site and just turns out the error page of no connection. Maybe if I get a stronger network signal it could work out but I doubt it.
Playing around with GT3 Astroid takes me to a decent battery uptime. It admirably handles a day and a half through moderate usage with random web surfing, playing games, listening to music, and camera snapshots here and there. The 1450mAh battery keeps up nicely even with its fairly large screen of 3.5 inches. Also, I have already mentioned earlier that it has 2 batteries with the same capacity included in the package which can be very useful for people who’s always on the go or just a secret weapon battery reserve in some unexpected occurrences. Charging the battery takes too long though and sometimes I just get frustrated when I need a quick plug to cover up the day with my unplanned activities.
The DTC GT3 Astroid is a good and solid entry-level smartphone. Although it doesn’t have much speed and features to offer, it has those standard android functions – from texting to gaming and even web browsing – it is all there. Occasionally slowdowns is very acceptable and bearable given its 650MHz CPU and 256MB (213MB to be exact) amount of RAM. But, please do take note that it doesn’t happen too often as it is snappy most of the time.
The only thing that’s bothering me is the absence of 3G. I am a 3G power user and I’m missing the speed. It sure loads fine using Opera Mini but if the default android browser will be used (a connection hog), it almost takes forever to load that’s why I end up downloading another browser. However, this mainly depends on your network signal in your area.
Another dual-SIM android phone which supports 3G with the same price of Php4,990, is Alcatel One Touch Blaze Glory 918N which we also reviewed earlier. You can read our review of the Alcatel android phone here. This Alcatel Glory 918N is the strongest rival of GT3 Astroid in my opinion. For other entry-level phones, you can also check out the Samsung Galaxy Pocket and LG Optimus L3 but unlike the DTC android phone, they are not dual-SIM.
Overall, I would recommend the DTC GT3 Astroid android phone for first time android users and even those who just want to change units. For a price only Php4,990, you’ll get all the basic android goodness and more. Of course, as I’ve said earlier, there are some drawbacks given its low price tag but it is almost unnoticeable if you’re not that tech savvy. These features are not part of the basic needs though so it is much more of a user preference.
*The unit was provided for review by DTC Mobile Philippines. The DTC GT3 Astroid is available for only Php4,990. You can check the location of their stores here. We’ll raffle this device too so be sure to stay connected so you won’t miss this out.