The DTC GT5 Astroid Plus is a budget Android phone from DTC. Despite its price tag, it isnt among the low-end devices that has slow CPU. It is packed with a 1GHz of single-core processor which is capable of running HD games and giving a smooth overall experience. While we already have made a series of features with the DTC GT5, here’s an actual review of the DTC GT5 from us.
The DTC GT5 has that box size similar to the previous DTC GT3 Astroid, printed on the box is the GT5 deviation, branding and some of its specs and features. The box is solid and sturdy.
The package contains one DTC GT5 unit, 1 piece of battery, 1 usb data/charging cable, 1 charger, 1 earphones, 1 extra screen protector and some instruction manual.
The DTC GT5 comes out of the box with a screen protector applied already, and still there is an extra. You can also get a free SMART Prepaid SIM on your purchase of DTC handsets.
Nothing fancy with the packaging, you can see the actual unboxing on the video I had uploaded at the Video section of this post.
The DTC GT5 is a 3.5-inch Android phone. It has that rounded corners and a not so thick body at 114×61×13mm. It feels more compact compared to the DTC GT3. It is actually lightweight, or I am just accustomed to the weight of my ZOPO ZP100 phone. The body is made of plastic material but there is a feel of rubbergrip matte finishing on the back and metallic finish on the middle plate of its body.
Bezel is not that thin, but the top curvature reminds me of an iPhone front. There is no physical buttons on front, only 3 soft-touch Android buttons; no search button here. The mic slot is located on the bottom as well. There goes the notch for easy flipping of the back cover, located on the bottom.
The mid-plate is silver, on the left sits the volume rocker keys while on the right is where the power/lock button is placed. The micro-usb port is on the top side along with with the 3.5mm earphone hole.
Centered on the top part in the rear of the DTC GT5 is its camera, aesthetically placed on a silver hole lining. No LED flash here. On the bottom you can read the DTC branding, which also reveals that this product was from DTC Singapore. Interesting. The speaker grill is on the bottom-left, which is slightly lifted with respect to the whole surface of the back plane.
Software and UI
The DTC GT5 runs on Android 2.3.6 out of the box. It has a secure boot.img as you wont be able to root it with the rooting apps/tools unless you can extract the boot.img and unsecure it, then reflash it. I am having a hard time doing this as I was stuck on extracting the boot.img of this device. Im not really familiar on how to use and execute ADB commands, if you can help me with this, please contact me.
It first amazed me that this phone managed to carry the Mango Launcher without any lags or sluggishness. With this launcher being default, you can still customized it with the available icons and animations depending on your preference.
You can only have a little less than a hundred MB of usable RAM so you might want to install a task manager/killer app so that you can actually kill the running apps in the background in case you dont need it just to save RAM.
Also, the phone comes pre-installed with a couple of apps (Social apps) and an Angry Birds game. The PlayStore is not updated yet to the latest version but it will update once you had logged-in with your Google Account. It would have been better if DTC just had leave it to users, the installation of these Social Apps as it is a memory concern.
The DTC GT5 has a relatively small ROM size on paper, which leaves you a little less than hundred MB of usable internal storage space as well. Even though you can move apps to SD card, those system or pre-installed apps cannot be moved or removed. At some point, its a waste of space.
This problem can be solved though, by using some tweaks on expanding the internal storage memory of our Android device. But this can only be done with a rooted Android device. Unfortunately, I am still not able to root this phone.
The 1GHz single core processor on the DTC GT5 is enough already to play any mid-high graphics Android games. Our only problem here is the memory (RAM and storage) dilemma on this device. Your gaming experience with this device will be limited by these factors: not enough storage memory, insufficient RAM, and no tilt feature.
Most games are playable but I do not suggest this phone as a gamer’s phone. The screen is small too. Download APKs from your desktop and save it on your SD card so you wont be dealing low storage memory when downloading on the PlayStore. Low RAM status will cause the game, be sure to minimize the usage of RAM on this device if you want to play games.
It has a 2MP of camera with no LED flash so please do not expect something awesome with it. The WiFi hardware works great, I get strong signal on my personal/home hotspots. Audio performance is decent. The screen protector on it is not that good, it somehow adds discomfort on usage as it makes the screen less responsive.
Here’s a recap of the DTC GT5 specs:
- Model: GT5 – Android phone
- Network: 900 / 1800Mhz – no 3G/HSDPA here. Just EDGE.
- OS: Android 2.3.6
- Dual SIM/Dual Standby
- CPU: MTK6515 1GHz – MTK6515 is basically the same with the single-core MT6575 CPU just without the support for 3G connectivity.
- ROM: 512MB / RAM: 256MB
- Screen: 3.5″ HVGA LCD, 320×480 pixels, capacitive
- Camera: 2MP
- Features: Bluetooth 2.0, FM radio, GPRS Class 12 / WAP, Edge, WiFi 802.11b/g, A-GPS, Light sensor / Proximity sensor, MP3/AMR/MIDI/WMA/AAC/MP4/MPEG4/H.264 playback, Tethering and portable hotspot, downloadable android apps from Play Store
- Memory for contacts entry, SMS and MMS: virtually unlimited
- Supports up to 32GB SD card
- Ports: 5micropin USB Charger, 3.5mm Earphone, 5micropin USB Cable
- Battery: 1500mah / Standby: 3 – 4 Days / Talk time: 2 – 3 hrs. / charge time: 2 hrs.
- Preinstalled game/social apps: Angry Birds, facebook, twitter, ym/google talk, google mail
- Size: 114×61×13mm
As being said, knowing that the DTC GT5 has the single core 1GHz MediaTek processor, it was expected that it can run the games i was able to play with my ZOPO ZP100. I was able to play HD games with that phone, no problems at all. That CPU also allows the GT5 to have smooth transitions, and not lagging/sluggish interface navigation. Only downside with that kind of processor is, it doesnt have 3G support.
It runs on Android 2.3 and with the 256MB of RAM on paper, dont expect official ICS/JB update for this phone.
I think the list below explains how the cost-cutting was done with the DTC GT5:
- No 3G support, only EDGE.
- No screen-rotate feature, wont be able to play games that requires tilting as well.
The rest, it makes itself a budget Android phone that stands for its price.
Here’s a video of the unboxing, touring with the interface, and some gaming.
Overall, the DTC GT5 is a good choice for those who still doesnt have their Android smartphone and is on a very tight budget. Even if the specs isnt that superb and a bit outdated, the price point will surely be appealing to those who are looking for their very first Android phone.
DTC Mobile is a local player on smartphones here in the Philippines, I wonder if when will they come up with Android devices of higher and latest specs.
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