DTC GT3 Astroid Review (GT9326)

dtc gt3 astroid review Hi guys! I have been playing with this low-priced (P4,990) Gingerbread phone from DTC for quite a couple of days already since when it was announced, so here’s my full review with a video included. Check it out after the short jump.

DTC GT3 Astroid on the box

DTC GT3 Astroid on the box

Unboxing the DTC GT3

DTC GT3 Unboxing

Unboxing the DTC GT3

That’s how the GT3 Astroid’s box looks like. Its on a black box that pretty much tells some of its key features already. Here’s what inside the box:

  • 1 DTC GT3 Astroid unit
  • 1 earphone
  • 1 wall charger
  • 1 USB data and charger cable
  • 1 extra Li-on battery
  • 1 screen protector
  • an English manual and warranty card

Yes, an extra battery and screen protector for you out of the box. I failed to perfectly apply the very thin plastic screen protector. Its not the same as the usual screen protector I had used before for other devices. While the extra battery is good, its up to you if you want to use it as a spare battery when you travel, or a replacement in case it get screwed up for the long run. But still, these freebies is decent.

Design

DTC GT3 Astroid (GT9326)

DTC GT3 Astroid (GT9326)

The DTC GT3 Astroid, also named as GT9326 exhibits a 116×60.5×14 mm dimension. It has a 3.5″ capacitive screen with the 4 soft touch buttons as you can see on the photo. On its front face you can also see the 0.3MP VGA front-facing camera, the DTC logo, sensors and the speakers for the ear.

DTC GT3 (sideview-left)

DTC GT3 (sideview-left)

On its left side, present is the volume rocker. The GT3 seems to have different materials for its body built. Its top layer, which looks like a dark, metallic coloring is actually just plastic, while the mid-part and back cover is made from matte finish which is very decent.

DTC GT3 (sideview-right)

DTC GT3 (sideview-right)

While on its right side, you can find the slot for lanyard strap and on the bottom part, there goes the micro-usb port.

DTC GT3 (bottom)

DTC GT3 (bottom)

On its bottom part, nothing much here but the microphone.

DTC GT3 (top)

DTC GT3 (top)

On its top part present is the 3.5mm port for the earphones, along with the power and screen lock button.

DTC GT3 (back)

DTC GT3 (back)

Lastly, on its back you can see the camera lens, the LED flash, speaker and some prints with DTC logo.

When I first held the phone, my first impression was; its too light. Maybe for its somehow a little thick built, I was expecting a heavier feel but its actually very light. That really tricked my mind that time.

DTC GT3 Astroid GT9326 Specs and Features

Here’s the round-up of the specs and features of this GT3 Astroid phone.

  • CPU: 650MHz MediaTek MT6573 (ARMv5)
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX 531 (Imagination Technologies)
  • Internal Memory: 152.12MB, expandable via TF card up to 32GB, 212MB RAM
  • Dual Band (900/1800MHz)
  • Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
  • Dual SIM/Dual Standby
  • 3.5″ HVGA LCD 320×480 (touchscreen capacitive)
  • 5MP camera (main with LED flash), 0.3 (secondary, front-facing)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • FM radio (88 – 108Mhz)
  • GPRS/Edge
  • WiFi 802.11b/g
  • GPS with a-gps support
  • MP3/AMR/MIDI/WMA/AAC/MP4/MPEG4/H.2645 playback support
  • 1450mah battery (3-4 Days standby time)
  • Tethering and portable hotspot
  • Android market/PlayStore, pre-installed apps: Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Devil Ninja, Twitter, Facebook, YM, Gmail, WhatsApp, Messenger with You, Torch, Documents2Go, YouTube, TaskManager, Video Wallpaper, Maps

User Experience

No problem with using it. The 3.5″ capacitive screen is responsive enough. The screen performs transitions smoothly, but you can notice some lags at some times. Its understood because it just sports a frequency clocked at 650MHz. That also means that this phone is not for HD gaming. Still, if you remembered my post about playing HD games with the Galaxy Young, then we could do it on this phone as well, I guess. Pretty much what you can get from your P4,990.

Things that I do not like about this phone

Here’s a couple of things that I do not like with this phone:

  • It doesnt supports 3G. The 2100MHz frequency isn’t supported by this phone, unlike the previous Dual-SIM Android phone I had reviewed before. This only supports up to 1800MHz which is just EDGE mobile data connection. I do not know why, DTC should have gone with putting 3G for the first SIM only if they are thinking about the battery life of the GT3. With this case, we cannot expect a very fast mobile internet connection; mr. WiFi smiles.
  • It has a PinYin keyboard. Or I just hate its default keyboard. First I gone tweaking its keyboard settings (I hate the “auto-*everything”) until I decided to opt for a 3rd-party keyboard. I do not understand Chinese characters and I do not want to use it. Its Android keyboard is decent, but I am not used to it so I decided to look for a keyboard that has T9 input support. I ended up with Smart KeyBoard Pro. Problem solved. DTC should be completely eliminating Chinese stuff for their next releases.
  • No support for upgrades. I haven’t tried to play and experiment it with myself. I want to upgrade its 2.3.4 Android Gingerbread OS (to 2.3.6 maybe or other modded ROMs) but I always fear the fact that I might end up getting the phone bricked dead. I also had confirmed that it isnt upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS, however there should be a better ROM for this, I just have’nt stumbled on it yet.
  • Bug with messaging. I am not sure with this. But I notice something isnt working fine with its default messaging app. Maybe its a 2.3.4 issue? I am not able to receive an SMS when I tried to make a Balance Inquiry on my GLOBE SIM, also Autoload MAX confirmation SMS isnt arriving. Go SMS Pro fixed this problem for me. The messaging app should be improved, or maybe as I had said; it might be already fixed on 2.3.6.

Camera

Okay, for the camera, it is said that it has a 5megapixel main camera. Sporting this camera, it could top among the other Android phones of same price, as per they only got 2-3MP cameras. I do not know much about photography, but here’s some sample shots with its 5MP shooting setting. {click to enlarge}

click to enlarge              click to enlarge
It outputs a 2560×1920 resolution of images if under 5MP settings. But I havent yet had an image of 1MB size. Kinda unusual. While on the first video I took, its a 13MB of 3gp video, with just 40 seconds length. MoboPlayer labels it as HD with its 720×480 resolution.

Skype video call Support

A lot has been asking this question when they hear of a low-priced Android phone that has a front-facing camera; if it supports video calling with Skype. I tried it. It is able to receive and make a call to an account on pc with Skype but the Skype app on the phone isn’t able to send and/or receive a video stream; just voice.

Battery Life

With its 1450mAh battery rating, its something slightly higher than the other Android phones that is considered to be under the affordable Androids bracket. I haven’t managed to drained it up for a day, maybe its because I just use it for SMS, few calls, music playback and a moderate WiFi/Mobile internet access.

How to Root DTC GT3 Astroid?

I had successfully rooted this DTC GT3 Astroid GT9326 device without a problem! I just used Super One Click, and viola! The phone is now rooted. I am now able to use apps that require root access. Proof here:

DTC GT3 GT9326 Root

DTC GT3 GT9326 Root

Now that this device is rooted, I know that I can now make the most out of it. I can finally remove the default apps I do not like, and even supercharge this phone to improve its performance, plus a lot more you can do having the  root access permission.

PROs and CONs

Here’s what turns out to be some PROs of this device:

  • dual SIM
  • very affordable at a low price of P4,990
  • 5MP camera
  • sleek body built
  • able to ROOT

While some CONs:

  • unable to update at ICS
  • cant expect much for its 650MHz CPU
  • no 3G

Here’s some screensnaps from this phone. Its default launcher UI is kinda similar with what we have on HTC phones.

I am not expecting much for the phone, but I can still say that its a value for money. For starters who want to opt for a smarter phone but on a budget, this DTC GT3 Astroid Android smartphone is never a bad choice.

Here’s a video I made, I am not good at it, hope you enjoy it. :D

I tried playing Temple Run (the ARMv6 version) with this phone. You can see it on the video. I used the old and buggy APK by that time, but still its good to know that the tilt function is working on Temple Run with this DTC Astroid phone.

Well, that’s it! That sums up what I can tell you about this DTC GT3 Astroid phone from DTC Mobile. Its just your affordable dual-SIM Android 2.3 phone. You can buy it for just P4990 on any DTC Mobile kiosks or Mega One shops (located on SM malls).

Hit LIKE if you kinda like the DTC Astroid, we’re cooking up another giveaway plan and yeah, you’ve guessed it right; this phone will be the prize. So stay tuned. Subscribe on my email list, and like DTC on facebook so you won’t miss the updates.

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