The are a lot of low cost mid-sized Android handsets being released in the local market. One of the latest offerings is the Starmobile Crystal. The Crystal has a 4.5-inch qHD (540 x 960) display and is powered by a dual core 1 GHz ARM-Cortex A9 processor, on a MediaTek MTK 6577 chipset. The phone also sports a 8 MP primary camera and a 2MP front camera. The battery is a 1700 mAh unit.
The other specifications are typical for this class of phone with Android 4.0 for an operating system, dual SIM capability, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of storage expandable via a MicroSD slot, WiFi, HSPA, AGP and other features you find on Android smartphones.
The Starmobile Crystal closest direct competition is probably the Cherry Mobile Flame. Both phones sport 4.5-inch displays. The Flame is powered by a Qualcomm S4 Play chipset, which the Crytsal has a more powerful MediaTek chipset. Mainly the PowerVR SGX531 graphics on th Crystal is probably better mated to the the qHD display, as against the Adreno 203 on the Flame.
While higher megapixels do not necessarily mean better image quality, the Crystal also has the advantage here with an 8 MP primary camera and a 2MP front camera, as against a 5 MP primary camera and a VGA front camera. You should not expect too much from the cameras of entry level phones.
The Cherry Mobile Flame has a slightly larger battery, an 1800 mAh unit as against the 1700 mAh unit on the Starmobile Crystal. Price is where the two vary a lot, with the Cherry Mobile Flame being priced at Php6,299, while the Starmobile Crystal is priced at Php7,990. Given the difference in their price points, both phones offer good value for what they offer.
Other phones in the same price range are the Cloudfone Thrill 430x, and the Cherry Mobile Blaze and Skyfire.
The Cloudfone Thrill 430x will appeal to those who value the large battery and are willing to live with the bulk and weight (I fall in this camp). I am not too fond of the Cherry Mobile Skyfire and Blaze because of smaller 1500 mAh batteries. It is pretty though choosing between the Cherry Mobil Flame and Starmobile Crystal.