Posts Tagged 'gsm'

Review: SciPhone i9++ (iPhone clone)

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Wow, I can’t believe people still hit up this old post. Anyways it would appear that nobody searches the comments for answers so here’s a quick rundown of the most commonly posted questions/problems.

Review Sciphone i9++ (more)

Dual sims – yes, you can have both active at the same time. Not sure how it works if you receive 2 calls at the same time though. 3G sims will work but you won’t get 3G speed.

Memory – the max is 2GB, however newer versions/firmware may support larger sizes. Mine only takes 2GB and it’s a Kingston brand so I can confirm that is compatible.

Transferring files to your phone – plug in the phone to your pc, when the dialogue box pops up on your phone select “mass storage”, it should pop up on your computer as 2 new drives. Select the larger of the 2 and copy your data over. It might take you a few tries to get the right folder for the appropriate media files. I’m not going to tell you where what files go where, you should be able to figure it out on your own. The other option is bluetooth adapter. I’ve tried it, it works, stuff gets dumped into the bluetooth folder (received files or something like that).

Vibration – settings> user profiles> customize> alert type. If you don’t want your phone to vibrate or ring at all (ie. silent mode) set the alert type to ring, then change the volume down the lowest setting.

Pricing – I’ve seen them as low as $40 US lately.

Apps – you cannot download apps. A handful of java games will work but not many. Plus the ones that you do get to work will run very slowly. It is not compatible with iTunes.

SMS/MMS/Internet – it doesn’t work out of the box. You will need to configure your SMS/MMS/Internet settings yourself based on your service provider.

Video files – need to be down sampled to 176×144 in mp4 or 3gp format. A 1 hour show should be about 60MB.

Quality issues – there are many unofficial manufacturers of the SciPhone i9++ so don’t be surprised if you get a dud. There are already quality issues with the phone to begin with. Let’s face it, you are the owner of a fake Chinese clone of an iPhone. Do not expect it have the same build quality, features, performance of a name brand product. Many of the people that post here are mistaken in believing they are getting a true iPhone clone when in fact they simply buying a phone that LOOKS like an iPhone. Remember, there’s a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. This phone does neither well. I bought the phone out of interest, this is in no way my main phone, nor did I rely on this phone for extended use. (I currently use a Nokia E71). While it does provide some usability, it really is a novelty product. In the end, you get what you pay for.

I will continue to approve comments but I have not been responding to inquiries.

How to turn off vibration for i9++ i68

*The Original Post*

I know what you’re thinking. WHY? Just get the real thing! Well for one the data plan is a big barrier for the average user. Up here in Canada the minimum iPhone plan will run you $60/month on top of the 3 year contract and the purchase of the phone itself ($199). So if you could buy a fake at a fraction of the cost ($99USD from eBay) and avoid the whole data plan wouldn’t you at least investigate it?

So here it is: the SciPhone i9++ unlocked GSM quadband (850/900/1800/1900 Mhz) 3.2″ touch screen mp3 video java bluetooth gprs fm radio 1.3mp camera video recording.

sciphone002Marketed as i9+ or i68+ or 3G i9++ (no 3G functionality). There are many sellers on eBay. Judging by the box, you think you’re buying a real iPhone (but of course you’d be wrong). Probably not a good idea to buy one of these if you’re vacationing in China. Don’t get fooled by those shady street vendors. Even the box shows “AT&T” in the picture and Safari as the browser, just looks good to me.

sciphone003Open up the box and still looks good so far. The packaging is nicely sealed and indeed it does look like an actual phone and not a brick inside. Looks like everything is here. 2 batteries (3.7v, 1000mAH, lithium ion), charger, USB cable, micro SD adapter, and wired headset. Each neatly wrapped up in their individual plastic bags.

sciphone004Hey look! It’s actually charging! This is a good sign. Perhaps the phone may even actually make calls. (photo is washed out due to the crappy flash, hey, it’s an old Fujitsu camera, that’s what was available at the office).

sciphone005The manual was essentially useless. Here’s an exaggerated sampling “SMS: to SMS type an SMS” or perhaps “To make phone call, press phone icon, and type in number”. Forget putting in important details such as setting up your SMS or MMS settings or video file resolution playback, or which folders to put what files in. Instead you’re left to figure that out all on your own.

I’m just going to put a bunch of pictures here. Yes, that does say “Phone” and “16GB” (no it isn’t actually 16GB, supposedly the limit is 8GB).

sciphone006sciphone007sciphone008sciphone010

Inside it has the badging “SciPhone i9++”, quadband, standard serial number and IMEI number. Spot for the micro SD card on the right and 2 SIM slots on the left. Stylus, yes, a stylus. It comes in handy sometimes, but it’s a bit too small for my liking. The tip tends to dig into the “webbing” between my thumb and finger when I hold it. The back plastic piece takes a bit of patience to get off the first time. Because it is so flimsy you don’t want to risk breaking it by being too forceful. It’s not a big deal after you’ve done it a few times (THATS WHAT SHE SAID! *budda-boom!)

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The touch functionality is good. The interface is not as quick as the real iPhone. Flow page navigation is easy with the thumb (up to 5 pages I believe, we’ll see after I install all of my java games). Compared to the CECT P168 and the previous SciPhone i9 the screen is better and the camera is better. The P168 is still king when it comes to reception. You will find reception to occassionally jump around with the SciPhone i9++. Call quality is above average. Hey, it’s even got speaker phone.

Bluetooth didn’t seem to work initially. I tried connecting my headset and it didn’t work on the first try. Powered it off and tried again and it detected instantly.

The volume is loud. Make sure you have your thumb on the volume tab when you get that first call. And for God’s sake change the default ringtone! Load that thing up with your mp3s stat!

You can’t change the default screen saver (at least I haven’t figured out how to) but you can switch between the basic ones. When you’ve got the lock screen up, give the phone a shake to the left or right (yes, it supports the shake feature, also during mp3 playback) to switch pictures. I like the stones one myself, something peaceful about those smooth rocks.

Overall it seems like a bargain for $99 USD. Anything more and it’s probably not worth it. I’ve only had it for less than a week but I’m pretty happy with it so far. I’m still trying to set up the GPRS to do some web surfing but that’s not a big deal for me since I’m not spending my time doing Twitter or Facebook updates. The stylus is really handy for texting since my fat fingers often press the wrong letter. Down convertering video files to 3GP is annoying but certainly helps pass the time when you’re sitting at the doctor’s office waiting. Also the video does auto rotate to both sides depending on which way you turn the phone.

Bottom line is: you could do worse. It’s a very good fake iPhone. Even fooled some of my friends after they picked it up and played with it. They found it to be a bit lighter but couldn’t quite figure out why this iPhone was different. Also you need to remember what you’re buying. It’s a iPhone clone, a fake, made in China, most likely from some shady dropshipper. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stopped working after 6 months. Make sure you get the right one. There are many models and believe it or not. There are actually clones of these clones. People making cheaper copies of these phones from left over parts! Probably why you hear horror stories from some people who bought this phone and how it sucks. They probably got a fake SciPhone or fake P168.

*Also don’t buy this phone if you’re big into texting. A touch screen phone is not meant for a great texting experience!

Update: July 27, 2009

ATTENTION: CHECK THE FORUMS! I’M TIRED OF ANSWERING THE SAME QUESTIONS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS, THEN CHECK THE FORUMS AND SEARCH FOR AN ANSWER

http://www.mysciphone.com/English_Sciphone_Forum/index.php

Update: May 7, 2009
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Excuse to wear a watch … phone

I haven’t worn a watch in years. Having a cell phone pretty much eliminated any need for one (as well, not caring about being on time also helped). However this phone might make me reconsider my position. When hearing about a watch phone combo you’d probably think that it would be a ginormous hunk of tech on your wrist but no so. Take a look at the video. Unless the size perspective is deceiving me it doesn’t look that big. For one, it’s a girl in the video, as well the specs indicate that it’s a 1.4″ screen. Stylus, touchscreen, bluetooth, tri-band, up to 1GB micro SD, and it comes in pink. Seems to be pretty loaded with features but at a $180 CDN price tag and the fact that it’s coming from a place in China makes me a little hesitant to jump on this. Resist the gadget urge!

Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 a sleeper hit

When the original Blackberry Pearl debuted it was a hit. It converted a lot of users for RIM. Not necessarily business users but regular users looking for a sleek phone with a lot of functionality. Instead of trying to compete with the Apple iPhone why not improve on one of your best selling devices? Forget the Curve or Thunder, I think RIM has a sleeper hit on their hands.

Here are the key specs:

First screen 65,536-color with a 128×160 pixel display
second screen a 65,536-color, 320×240 pixel display
2-megapixel camera
GSM 850/900/1800/1900
GPRS/EDGE
WiFi, Bluetooth
supports all the normal email programs
mp3, wav, mpeg, playback
A handy 3.5mm headphone jack
Room for expansion with a microSD card

Gadget: bear phone

Is there anything the Japanese can’t turn into a phone? It’s called the Kuma Phone. Looks like a candy bar GSM handset shoved up the bear’s ass. Ok, so it’s not amazing but it’s all about the packaging nowadays. Hey, maybe you can turn the phone around and use the camera to secretly record your girlfriend!

SIMable 3G phone unlocking

A company called SIMable has produced a little chip that they call the “10-second solution” for unlocking carrier-tethered GSM handsets. The gimmick is that, instead of unlocking the phone itself—and risking invalidation of your warranty— the chip works on the SIM card, provided—in certain cases—you punch a hole in the SIM.

Yes, I said “punch a hole.” The SIMable card lies flat against the SIM, and for certain 3G phones including the 8GB Nokia N95, Nokia E51, Sony Ericsson W200 and others to maintain “full 3G functionality,” you first have to perform the following surgical procedure: (link)

Dual SIM conversion mod

Check out this mod. Probably not useful for most of you but for frequent business travellers this can definitely keep you in contact with your multinational companies.

“DuoSIM is a very cool new conversion kit to upgrade standard mobile phones to dual SIM operation so you can have two SIM cards installed and switch between them at the push of a button. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while to make the best use of different data and call rate plans, but up till now the adapters have all required that you cut your SIM card up first, which is something I didn’t really want to do.” (link)

Telus abandoning CDMA for GSM?

Should they have decided this a long time ago? With their subscriber base as big as it is already, costs would be astronomical. What about existing handsets? Would customers have to pay to replace their phones? Change the phones, change the towers. Forget about profitability for the next few years. Although with all the availability of GSM phones and promise of better customer service would you make the switch from Rogers to Telus? We all know what kind of phone support Rogers provides. Could this open the door for an iPhone offering on the Telus network? Hmm …

“In the wireless equivalent of moving from Betamax to VHS, Telus executives are considering adopting new technology “as early as this year,” industry sources say. The change would effectively make all or part of Telus’s CDMA network compatible with the GSM-based systems operated by most carriers outside of North America. The two acronyms stand for code division multiple access system, and global system for mobile communications, respectively.

The idea “has been presented at the board level and is being actively considered,” said one source familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. The source cautioned that there were no guarantees Telus will go ahead with a changeover, which analysts say could cost about $500 million.” (link)


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