Archive for May, 2010

Review Sciphone i9++ (more)

Lots of people are still buying these things long after my original post. I still get tons of comments about this phone. Some good some bad. Hopefully this follow up post will help you in your decision to buy or pass on this iphone clone. Personally I would pass. Technically it works as a basic phone but don’t expect all the bells and whistles. Remember it’s a cheap knockoff from China.

I’ve noticed some new issues when connecting to my computer. Sometimes it detects as a USB drive and other times it will only charge. Kind of hit and miss. Probably a sign the phone is starting to go. Also just a reminder, these phones are not durable. One drop and the screen will probably crack, invest in a $10 silicon case if you’re a clumsy bastard like me.

3G – no. Despite it’s branding it is not 3G capable. Your 3G sim might work but you won’t get 3G service.

Memory – again, despite what the back cover says it cannot accept a 16GB microSD card. The largest card I’ve been able to get mine to accept is a 4GB formatted with two 2GB partitions. I found my phone to be quite picky with what brand of memory it will work with. To access the memory card remove the back cover of the phone. The microSD card should be located on the lower right hand side. It’s fairly difficult to access. You need to pull the metal latch upwards, 2 hooks on each side. If you’re not careful you will probably break a bit of plastic or even bend the latch but the memory should still be held in on it’s own.

OS/Java – it’s not Windows mobile, it’s not an Apple OS variant. I don’t know what it is but Java should already be installed. If you want to install java apps you need to copy the .JAR file to your microSD memory card, then use the java application installer (one of the default phone apps). It’s hit or miss. Not all java apps will work and even if you do manage to get it to run it will be really slow. I’m guessing the clone uses a very old generation cpu.

Vibration – go to phone setup, scroll down, then press pen down vibration. That should turn it off. If you did that and it still doesn’t run off, the you bought yourself a really cheap knockoff.

How to turn off vibration for i9++ i68

SMS/MMS/Internet – this needs to be configured based on your service provider. SMS may work as soon as your plug in your sim but MMS and the Internet definitely won’t. The type of information you need to get is: gateway, username, password, port. Just do a web search for the Internet/MMS settings for your cell network.

Video files – slow or laggy? Audio out of sync? You need to convert the video down to a lower quality. MP4 or 3GP works best with a resolution of 176×144, choose the lowest audio quality you can to optimize performance. Like I said before the cpu is really old and slow.

What’s the difference between the i9++ and i68? The i9++ IMO is of better quality (relatively). The i68 feels solid and heavy like a real iphone but call quality was terrible. Also the i9 came out more recently so I’m going to assume the quality of materials have been slightly upgraded.

Headset – is crap. Don’t bother. Invest in a cheap bluetooth and you will already be ahead.

Bluetooth – not consistent performance. I’d often have sync issues.

(original post)

Google Problems

Remember the excitement when you spotted a Google camera truck driving around you neighborhood? Well they weren’t just collecting photos as it turns out. When making the rounds the Google fleet may have collected some personal data in the process. Oops. So what’s a little personal data? Um, maybe a few emails from unprotected wifi networks? Kinda like a roving fleet of wireless wire tappers at your disposal. Nothing significant was collected (they say) and also you have to remember that the trucks/cars were always on the move and access points can only stay in range for so long. By the way, if you haven’t secured your wireless network, now is probably a good time to do so.

I guess the Google phone experiment is over … after 4 months. I’m not exactly sure what sort of success they were expecting from their online store. To be come a major phone distributor? Boost their Android platform? Or maybe just make a bit of money? I guess after Verizon and Vodafone pulled their support the writing was on the wall. Perhaps they would have had more success if they stayed in “beta”. Way to stick with it guys! For those who still want the phone you will be able to get it at some retail locations and from the web store for the time being.

Gadgets: Asus EeeKeyboard

What’s that you’re typing on? A regular plain old keyboard? Look, it doesn’t even have a touchpad! Lame. Time to upgrade that dusty piece of garbage with an Asus EeeKeyboard. So what does $599 get you?

Atom N270
1GB ram
Windows XP
5″ touchpad (800×480 resolution)

Oh and did I mention it’s wireless? Go ahead and buy it. Be the envy of your douchebag friends.

Android platform surges ahead

Research in Motion (36%) is still king for the time being but there’s a new number 2 mobile platform. Android (28%) has overtaken Apple iPhone (21%) OS in popularity. The number of handsets available across multiple service providers probably has a lot to do with the Google platform’s success. The Apple iPhone is still only available exclusively through AT&T in the U.S. Sprint meanwhile has decided to stop selling the Nexus One. (link) The sales of the Google phone are lagging significantly behind the iPhone however the OS continues to show up on more and more phones.

Perhaps we are seeing a consumer backlash from recent corporate Apple behavior. Problems with AT&T’s 3G service, the arbitrary app store approval process, closed OS platform, public spat with Java, and the mishandling of the lost iPhone prototype. However if you love Apple, you will still love them regardless. On the other side, if you dislike Apple you will continue to do so. Each side remains polarized as ever.

Piracy still a problem

Industry experts estimate $50 billion is lost each year due to software piracy. The actual volume dropped slightly over the past year however the Asia-Pacific region is still a problem area which accounts for 60% of the activity. The United States and Japan had the lowest rates of piracy at 20% (link)

China says that they are trying really really hard to reduce the amount of software piracy that occurs but the thriving market is worth $19 billion and accounts for 12% of the country’s software sales. (link)

iPads landing in Canada

Apple’s set to strengthen their grip on Canadians with the release of the iPad on May 28th. For just a few dollars (or a kidney) you can own this magical device that even grandma can use. Touchscreen (no usb), WiFi (no memory expansion), access to thousands of apps (only thru iTunes), 10 hours of battery life (battery not replaceable), and the envy of everyone else at the coffee shop (jerk).

Another bit of news is that Rogers Wireless has released pricing info for the 3G version as well.

$15 gets you 250MB
$35 for 5GB
or piggyback off of your existing cell phone plan for $20

Just you get an idea of what pricing for the actual iPad 3G looks like … $779 for the 32GB version. $549 for the 16GB non 3G version. Ah, the price of becoming a member of the Scientology Apple brotherhood.


If you’re still on the fence perhaps some expert reviews may help you decide.
iPad Review

HP refreshes laptop lineup

HP has been putting extra time in the design room. Anything look familiar? The latest HP laptops have a distinct “appley” type of feel to them. I guess if you can’t beat them you might as well trick customers into buying something that looks like one.

The HP Envy is getting a screen upgrade. Gone is the 13″ and the 14″ and 17″ are ushered in. Top end models are equipped with an Intel i7 and ATI Radeon 5850 and at least 1TB of data storage. The video card alone might be enough to get some gamers to switch brand loyalties. Expect to pay top dollar, prices start at $1,400 for the 17″ model. Time to get a Mac -er an HP laptop.

The HP Pavilion dv6 lineup gets some changes too. A touchscreen. 15.6″ screen, lower end models equipped with AMD cpus while everyone else who’s willing to spend more money get the Intel goodness. Aluminum finish, fingerprint swiper, blah blah blah, go visit HP’s site if you’re really interested.

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