Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fastcardtech's merry Christmas Xmas Promotion

So I got an email from Fastcardtech yesterday about having some Xmas discounts and to my surprise, I got a call from their online sales person in the night while I was having some beers. He wanted to let me know that he wanted to give coupons to my blog readers. So here are the discount codes...grab it while they are hot. Only to the first 300 customers. Head over to Fastcardtech site and look for a place to put the code in. I haven't taken a look at the site yet so you guys figure it out.

First 200 guys to use this code 138888 will get a USD $10 discount.
Next 100 guys to use this code 137788 will get a USD $6 discount.

Just click the link here to check out all the phones.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

HTC ONE KNOCKOFF HDC ONE HX9299A or HX-9229 review


So its been awhile since I posted a phone review as I became busy with work. I finally found some time to write about this phone since I've been using it for the past 3 months and I must say it is one of the best Chinese android phone I have ever used. Here are the specs:
  • Model: HDC ONE HX9299
  • Phone Style: Bar, multi-touch screen, 4.7 inch Capacitive touchscreen
  • Operating System: Android 4.2.1 OS
  • Processor: MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz
  • Google Play Store: Support


  • Screen Size: 4.7 inch HD IPS touchscreen
  • Display reulotion: 1280*720 pixel
  • Color Support: 16 million colors
  • Screen Technology: Multi-touch screen


  • Camera Resulotion: 8.0MP rear camera + 2.0MP front camera, digital zoom


  • Connectivity Technology: GSM + WCDMA(single Micro Simcard)
  • Network Band: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz + WCDMA 900/2100MHz
  • Data Technology: EDGE, GPRS
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • WLan: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • USB: USB 2.0
  • GPS: GPS/A-GPS (Built-in GPS chipset)
  • HDMI: Support


  • Video Player: AVI、MP4、3GP、MOV、MKV、FLV
  • Audio Player: FLAC、APE、MP3、OGG、AMR、AAC
  • Image: JPG、PNG、BMP、GIF
  • Ringing Tones: Downloadable
  • Message: SMS, MMS, Email
  • Phone Book: 10000 contacts
  • Brower: HTML
  • Interface/Port:
  • Game: Downloadable
  • Radio: FM
  • G-sensor
  • Interface/Port: 3.5mm earphone jack / mini USB


  • Battery: Li-on battery(1600mAh)
  • Standby Time: 150-200 hours


  • Built-in Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM(Not support additional sd card)


  • Dimensions: 137.9*68.5*9.3
  • Weight: 137

What in package

  • 1 * HDC ONE Android Phone
  • 1 * Travel Charger
  • 1 * Built-in Battery
  • 1 * USB Data Cable
  • 1 * Headphone
  • 1 * Manual

Notice: HDC ONE installs android 4.2.1 os, and carries with MTK6589 Quad core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB Ram, 16GB Rom.

Build Quality:
This phone is made up of a little metal and a lot of plastic, unlike the actual real HTC ONE.
The metal is made of soft aluminium and not the harder aluminium alloy or stainless steel alloy used in brand name phones. Therefore it is easier to scratch the top and bottom metal parts especially the shiny bevel edges. If you are careful with the phone, you can keep it looking new for a long time.  Check out the pics below.

The back is also made of plastic which has an aluminium coated material. This material is very durable and I have not had any scratches in 3 months. This is also because I am careful with this phone and keep it in a phone belt pouch and not in my pocket with my keys (still managed to make a small dent though).

The 4.7 inch screen is really an OGS screen and is very bright and easily usable outdoors on a sunny day.  Viewing angle is excellent on this IPS screen. Colours does not change when viewing angle changes. My only complaint is that the screen is very sensitive. If you have oily fingers, the residue on the glass will make the phone think it is being touched. Water or sweat on the screen will also cause this. If you have sweaty fingers, you would need to put a screen protector. I have sweaty fingers so I put on an anti-glare screen protector and it works well.  Colours are rich and saturated. (not overly saturated like Samsung Super Amoled phones)

The camera is actually 5 megapixels upscaled to 8mp but it works quite well but not really that high resolution. 5mp works well for most web, blog and facebook pictures. The flash is not that strong but is usuable for closeer potraits up to 2 feet away. Panoramic feature works quite well.

Battery life:
The battery life is quite good and can last a full day on moderate use (not playing games).
From 100% down to 40% it takes almost a full day  but when it reaches 40% it depletes quicker, more so if you have a game like Candy Crush in the background. If nothing is running in the background, it will last for a fair amount of time. The battery will last easily from 8am-8pm or longer on moderate use and is pretty good. Too bad the battery is built in to keep the phone slim so it is not changeable.

The good thing about this phone is that it has the full complement of sensors.
1) charging light
2) notification lights ( blue for sms, orange for whatsapp or missed calls)
3) Compass-working well
4) Proximity sensor
5) GPS works but is quite slow to detect satellites but it does work. It detects satellites in 3-5 mins on a partly cloudy day. Other phones with more powerful GPS hardware can detect in few seconds. I may have to calibrate it using the hardware engineer menu for it to work quicker. People other countries may not experience the same thing as me. Here is the screen cap.

Audio is loud and clear both phone and loudspeaker. A friend commented that I sounded clear when I switched to this phone. And I really like the speaker facing the front instead of those Samsung Galaxy models which has the speaker facing the back. How stupid is that?
Vibration is not very strong, normal for phones of this thinness.

Android Operation:
The phone works as it should. It does screw up when I have some app making the phone hot when in the background. When the phone is very hot and a sms comes in,  I sometimes cannot turn the screen back on. I have to hold down the power to switch off and back on and I can still read the sms. This happened about 3 times in total. Keep the phone cool and everything works good. There is no SD card slot but it has a total of 16gb of storage. Android partitions and phone storage takes us 2gb leaving 14 gb configured as SD Card.

This is a single sim micro sim phone and it has iphone style side loading sim slot on the upper left. Everything from phone calls to wifi and 3G/HSPA/HSPA+/Edge/GPRS (Auto switch when signal is weak) works good here in Singapore.

I really like this phone a lot because it has all the features important to me. It is a real MTK6589 quad core phone and very responsive and quick. The only bad thing is the softer aluminum material used so I have to be careful with the phone. I don't really use GPS so the slow GPS is a non-issue. Other than that I love it. It is light, slim, looks very nice in the sea of Samsung phones and I highly recommend it. If you are the careful type of person who takes care of phones regardless of the brand, I will recommend it even more.

View this phone from Fastcardtech HERE ( Just got news that this is no longer in production )

I will recommend THIS PHONE which by brother has been using for several months.
Also a newer HTC Butterfly Clone with a faster 1.5ghz Quad core 2GB ram 32GB storage DUAL SIM.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


It's been several months since I posted a new article on the new quad core phablets. I these few months I have used these 2 phablets extensively and here are my conclusions...

The HDC N9589 is also known as Star N9589 and I have already reviewed it earlier. MIZ Z5 is made by another independent company which is totally different to the HDC / STAR family. Both uses the MTK 6589 quad core Cortex A7 chip with the Power VR SGX544 GPU so the performances are similar. Both run Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. Both have 5.7 inch screens. Both come with the usual 2 batteries and a removable back cover with front protective flap. Both weigh about the same. This is where the similarities end.

N9589: Large screen, has a tinge of white brightness when tilted at an angle. The more the tilt, the more obvious the white brightness. This is however quite a minor issue as I don't really view the screen at an extreme angle. Color saturation is vivid and have no problems outdoors. Score: 7.5/10

MIZ Z5: It appears that the MIZ Z5 is using the same screen as the N9589 as viewing from an angle also shows the whitish brightness. Colour saturation is a touch less than the N9589. Also no problems viewing it outdoors. Score: 7.5/10

Screen Responsiveness

N9589: As stated in my previous article, the touch screen is very sensitive to tapping and sometimes the taps send the webpage scrolling downwards instead of a click on a link. This was fixed when I flashed a Star N9589 rom to replace the HDC one. This is probably due to a higher jitter setting when a touch is registered. Note that screen taps and swipes do make use of some jitter to control the movement. This setting was set a little higher which made it a little annoying when making small little taps. Score: 8/10 (9/10 after ROM flash)

MIZ Z5: The caliibration on the screen is good here. Even using wet oily fingers registers my touches properly. Score: 9/10

Build Quality
N9589: Superior build quality. Every bit as good as an original Samsung Galaxy Note 1 & 2 or even better. Button has a slight curve which is a nice touch. Score: 9.5/10

MIZ Z5: Not as good as the N9589. Back cover does not fit in snugly and does creak a bit when pressed at the bottom part. Side metal bezel trim does show a little unevenness when scrutinized upon. No biggie but I have to point it out in a comparison. Score: 7.5/10 (lost points on creaking)

N9589: Very good battery life. Easily last 2 days on light use. Score: 9/10

MIZ Z5: Also very good battery life but sometimes there is a charging problem. Android shows charging when plugged in but it is not actually charging. I have to remove the battery and replace then charging becomes normal again. I think this is due to a software problem. USB connector is a little wierd. Some micro USB cables does not fit snugly and moving it  while charging causes a break in the charging connection. Only certain USB cables will fit well. Score: 6/10 (points lost due to charging and USB problem)

N9589: Nice full sound but not very loud in volume for a phone of this size. I even increased the volume in the engineer mode but there is still a limit. Score: 7/10

MIZ Z5: Nice and loud but the sound is much thinner so not as pleasant as the N9589. Score: 7/10

N9589: Nice usuable images but I can tell that it is 5mp scaled up to 8mp so it is not a true 8mp shooter. Color is average but the flash is quite weak. There is a slight lag when a picture is snapped. Video quality however is above average. Score: 7/10

MIZ Z5: Very fast true 12mp camera which produces detailed images. Very fast camera response when snapping pictures. Panoramic mode works perfectly. Colors are slightly  less vivid as the N9589. Video recording is average. Flash is stronger than the N9589. Score 8/10

Signal and Connectivity
Both are about equal.

GPS and Compass
N9589: GPS detected all 13 satellites and accuracy is 24 feet. No compass hardware  on this phone. Score 8.5/10

MIZ Z5: GPS detected only 6 satellites but accuracy is 10 feet. This phone includes an accurate compass. Score: 9/10

N9589: 8gb internal storage and 1gb RAM Score: n/a
MIZ Z5: 8gb internal storage and 1gb RAM Score: n/a

The rest of the features I will not compare as they are the same and they all do work properly. The differences are quite a lot but I would still recommend the N9589 over the MIZ Z5 due to the excellent build quality and non-problematic battery and charging system. Compass and picture quality are not important to me. For some of you who want high resolution camera and stronger flash and compass might want to take a look at the MIZ Z5 but I would recommend taking a look at other models as well. Next week I will take a look at the HDC ONE HX9299A and Star Butterfly X920.

UPDATE March 2014: The HDC N9589 now comes with the faster MTK6589T 1.5 ghz quad core processor. This old review was based on the older MTK6589 1.2ghz quad core processor.

Here are the links of the two phones you can view.
HDC N9589

Monday, April 29, 2013


I noticed that there have been up to 6 HTC Butterfly clones on Fastcardtech and I spotted one that is dubious.
This is the HDC Butterfly. All the Star Butterfly phones seem to be legit and correct. Here is the link to that offending phone.

Screenshots show specs that contradict itself.

Antutu screenshot shows a fake 17,000 score. Obviously this has been doctored to cheat people into believing this phone had quad cores. The scores shown are consistent with the dual core mtk6577 phones and there is no way you can get 17,000 score if you add up all the sub scores.

Second screen grab shows screen resolution to be actually 720x1280. This is indicated by the 320dpi and the SGX533 gpu which is the mtk6577 GPU. The mtk6589 has a SGX544 GPU. 1920x1080 resolution is not correct. Full HD screen should have a value of over 400dpi. Also note that free ram is only 136mb. A 2gb ram phone should have more than 1gb free ram. Only phones with 512mb have that little free ram. 2gb ram is obviously wrong.

Screen grab  shows this to have ICS and not Jelly Bean.

Z devices screenshot shows front camera to be 0.3mp and back camera is 5mp.

To conclude here are the real specs of this phone and is not worth $255. This is considered a scam.
HDC Butterfly X929e:
Dual core MTK6577 with SGX533 GPU
720x1280 screen resolution
512mb ram
Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4

I will recommend this instead. Lt least the specs listed are correct (rear camera is 5mp though)

Saturday, April 13, 2013


As I had expected, this phone which I ordered more than a month ago just arrived from Fastcardtech. Again they advertised as 'in stock' but actually not in stock yet. I actually ordered the white version but they did not have stock so I changed my order to the metallic brushed metal blue when they emailed me. I was pleasantly surprised when it came as the phone looked very slick and very high quality even better looking than the Samsung Galaxy phones.

These 2 pictures shows exactly what I received. Note that there is a screen protector already installed on this phone. Just pull the tab off and the front layer comes off. There is another new screen protector included in the box. Also included are 2 cases. A sillicone bumper case and another back cover replacement with the front screen flap cover. The usual wall charger with USB cable, earpiece and spare battery are there as well.

The phone has true Android 4.2.1 and with all the new enhancements that are available in the new android version. 

The screen is 5.7 inches large and larger than the Samsung Note II. My friends having the original Samsung Note and another having the Note 2 were amazed at the quality and size of the phone. The downside is that the phone has thicker glass which makes the phone heavy and when looked at an angle,  shades of colours that are bright and close to white get washed out because the screen becomes brighter at an angle, probably due to the thick glass diffusing the backlight. This appear to only affect the light colours at an angle. Text on darker background colours still appear very clear and pin sharp. The resolution is really 720x1280 and colours are correctly saturated and beautiful. The whites have a touch of non noticable bluish tint at lowest brightness but disappears as the brightness is increased. Whites are really white without any blue or yellow tint. I confirm this screen to be IPS but the brightness increase when viewed at an angle is a minor flaw but i am not really bothered by it as I never look at my phone from a steep angle. Outdoors, the screen is very readable when the brightness is turned up. Here is a Russian video showing the screen. 

The Android interface is so fluid and smooth that I sometime get the menus and webpages scrolling down if I touch the links or icons improperly. The screen is so sensitive and smooth that it is sometimes not such a good thing. Screen grabs show the usual Antutu and Quadrant benchmarks.
Performance is really very good and about on par with any Tegra 3 device. The Tegra 3 devices are always clocked higher and has a slight overall performance lead but Antutu benchmarks show the SGX544 PowerVR GPU is faster than the Tegra 3 in 3D performance by about 20 percent at the same clock speed.When compared to the MTK6577, the SGX533 GPU registers about 900+ in the 3D antutu benchmarks when running a 720 HD screen. The SGX544 is 3100 so it is over 3 times the performance of the older SGX533 running at the same resolution.
This phone has stock Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 installed and is stable without any crashing in the past 4 days that I have been using it. Google Play Store, Maps, and Gmail are installed. I had to download youtube from Playstore which worked flawlessly.

I tested GPS outdoors and got a lock in about 3 minutes. When all satellites are discovered, the GPS locked on and gave me the most accurate position ever  within 8 feet. ( Singapore ) Screenshots below. It is a real pity because this phone does not include a compass.
Camera is of fairly good quality. This phone is advertised to have a 3mp front camera and a 12mp rear camera but that is all nonsense. Actual front camera is actually higher at 5mp and rear camera is also 5mp instead of 12mp. It is 5mp interpolated to 12mp. This has a 5mp quality but just resized to 12mp.( very good quality in daylight ) The LED flash is somewhat lacking in brightness but still usable at close range. The camera sports the new android 4.2.1 interface with photo and video record buttons next to each other. There is also new the smile detection which works very well. Check out the demo samples.

When I first got this phone, the audio volume at maximum was very weak. I had to get into the engineer menu to adjust the audio settings to full. After that it became ok. Just ok but not as loud as how I would like it to be. But sound quality is very good with a fuller sound. Some other phones like my G9300 has louder volume but higher pitched and more scratchy sounding. Vibration for such a large phone is also weak. I can barely make out the vibration when it is in a loose pants pocket. sic You can access the engineer menu by dialing *#*#3646633#*#*

When the phone is in standby mode, the 3600mAh battery (really 2800mAh I suspect) the battery last forever. A full day from 9am, with several whatsapp messages, several sms and 2 Gmail accounts with sync and 3G data connection turned on all day, 2 or 3 short phone calls leaves me with about 70% battery when I go to bed at 12 or 1am. This is without any internet surfing on the browser or any games. Just basic communication activities and checking emails. If you are going to be writing many emails and surfing, the spare battery should take care of that for the rest of the day. The large 720 screen does take up a fair bit of power.

I consider this phone to be average due to low volume, missing compass, 5mp back camera and weak flash and over-sensitive touch sensors of the screen, and heavy. But the build quality and the huge screen with nice bright colours and quad core processor, above average battery life makes up for all that. Call quality and Internet speed is also all very good. This phone has more pros than cons and if those cons dont really bother you, go ahead and get this phone. 
Here is the link to fastcardtech. It is 100% in stock now since I already received it. Click on the picture below.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Screen Protector Problems? Here's the fix.

Some of these Chinese phones come with a free screen protector or if you ordered one from the online store together with your phone, they just include it in the box and they don't put it on for you. So, if you're like me having a hard time getting these to stick on without the bubbles, here's a video for you as it helped me out a lot. You can also use the tape to pick dirt off your screen. Enjoy...

Friday, March 8, 2013

A LOOK AT THE HDC Galaxy Player N7300 EX

If you have read my last post you would know that the MTK6589 phones have already realeased and on sale and in stock now. As requested by one of my regular readers, I will now single out one phone and analyze it from the screen caps provided. This phone is the HDC Galaxy Player Ex. Here are the specs:

    Operating System: Android 4.1.2 OS
    Processor: MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz

    Screen Size: 5.8 inch IPS HD touchscreen
    Display resolution: 1280*720 pixel
    Color Support: 16 million colors
    Screen Technology: Multi-touch screen
    Camera Resolution: 8MP rear camera + 3.2MP front camera, digital zoom

    Connectivity Technology: GSM + WCDMA (Dual Sim)
    Network Band: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz + WCDMA 850/2100MHz
    Data Technology: EDGE, GPRS
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    WLan: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
    USB: USB 2.0
    GPS: GPS/A-GPS (Built-in GPS chipset)

    Built-in Memory: 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM
    Battery: Li-on battery (3200mAh) 

We see that the specs are indeed impressive and will set you back USD $400 easily if it carried one of the big brand names on it. On to the screen captures... 


We see that it has got real quad core processors utilizing the MTK6589 / MT6589 quad core processors running at 1.2ghz max speed. Linux Kernel version of 3.4.5 is really Jelly Bean 4.1.2 with 1GB of RAM.

A. Rear Camera is really only 5mp 
B. Software upscaling to 8mp or 6mp anamorphic size
C. 5mp Front camera with no upscaling ( which is a good thing )
D. 5mp max front camera resolution.
E. Both cameras support full HD 1080p video recording resolution

A. RAM size is 1GB
B. Internal storage partition for installing apps is 1GB
C. External storage partition for all other storage needs is 5.44GB
D. 8GB total storage space ( 7.26GB  after formatting )
We can conclude that storage space is really 8GB. You might be wondering B+C= 6.44GB. What about the rest of the 1.56 GB. This partition is used by the Android Operating System giving us a total of 8GB.

If you are wondering about the new phones having 2GB of RAM, I would say that that totally not necessary and overkill. It only add bigger numbers for marketing purposes. The Android OS is very memory efficient there are no app with really require 2GB of RAM unless you have a bloated OS with a lot of bloatware.

The screen is 720p HD and operation should be very smooth as the MTK6589 has the SGX544 powerful GPU built in. 
There is no mention of a compass so this phone may not have one. You have to look at the other similar phones if you really need that compass for navigation. I personally have only used the compass about 3 times in my entire experience with smart phones.

Last point to note, the specs shows the battery to be 3200mAh. In reality I would guess the battery to be about 2500mAh which is still pretty good.

Many of the MTK6589 phones carry similar specs and should all be about equivalent in performance and user experience. If you ask me, I would give this phone the OK, go ahead and buy recommendation. If you like a phone with a hardware home button, there are several phones similar to this with the Samsung styled home button built in.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


It's finally over. Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is finally over and we can now all get on with out crazy electronic gadgets filled lives.
Finally the Chinese phone industry along with the Taiwanese firm Mediatek has caught up with the big players like HTC, Samsung and LG with quad core phones.
Mediatek, unlike Samsung, has opted to use a different strategy. Instead of going for maximum performance, Mediatek has chosen to use the Arm Cortex A7 in a quad core configuration. The Samsung Exynos 4412 quad core SoC still uses the A9 which is faster than the A7 but uses more power than the A7. The A9 support out of order instruction execution while the A7 supports in-order execution which makes the A9 chip faster than the A7 at the expense of higher power consumption.

We all already can see that quad core processors can be overkill for most everyday tasks and a fast GPU will take care of the most demanding games. So Mediatek chose to go with a reasonably capable quad core config and a fast Power VR SGX544 GPU which will maximize battery life. It's all a delicate balance of speed and power. Mediatek also has the dual SIM standby capability that the other SoCs do not have.

Several MTK6589 / MT6589 quad core phones have appeared at fastcardtech within the last few days and I will list these these down. Many new phones are also expected to appear in the next 2 months and I will update this post to include them. These phones are listed as 'IN STOCK'. This post is not a review... just a listing of these new exciting quad core phones.

UMI X1S MTK6589 Quad Core 4.5 Inch IPS HD Screen Android 4.1 1G RAM 5.0MP Front Camera

HDC Galaxy Note 2 N9589 Quad Core- MTK6589 1.2Ghz 1G Ram 5.8 inch HD IPS Screen Android 4.1.2 Phone

Isa A19Q Smart Phone MTK6589 Quad Core Android 4.1 1G RAM 4.7 Inch IPS QHD Screen 5.0MP Front Camera


HDC Galaxy Note 2 H9500 Plus- MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz 1GB Ram 5.0inch QHD IPS Screen Android 4.1.2 Phone 


CAESAR A9600 Smart Phone MTK6589 Quad Core Andriod 4.1 1G RAM 5.3 Inch IPS Screen 5.0MP Front Camera

I2000 Smart Phone MTK6589 Quad Core 5.7 Inch HD IPS Screen 1G 8G Android 4.1 5.0MP Front Camera

  HDC Galaxy Note 2 H7500 Plus- MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz 1GB Ram 5.0inch HD IPS Screen Android 4.1.2 Phone 

HDC Galaxy Player N7300 EX- MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2Ghz 1G Ram 5.8 inch IPS HD Screen Android 4.1.2 Phone

HDC Quad Core B943- MTK6589 1.2GHz 1G Ram 4.5inch QHD Screen Android 4.1.2 Phone 

Newman NM890 Smart Phone MTK6589 Quad Core 5.0 Inch IPS HD Screen Android 4.1 1G 4G 8.0MP Camera 

 CAESAR H7500+ Smart Phone MTK6589 Quad Core 5.0 Inch IPS HD Screen Android 4.1 5.0MP Front Camera


HDC GALAXY SIV - MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz 4.99inch HD 1280 IPS Screen Android 4.2.1 Phone


Jiayu G4-MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz 2GB Ram IPS HD OGS Screen 13MP Camera Android 4.1.1 Phone (pre-order Shipping in May)

HDC Galaxy S3 Legend- MTK6589 Quad Core 1.2GHz 1G 5.3 inch QHD IPS Android 4.2.1 Phone

Monday, February 18, 2013


Here is the long awaited video review of the Fastcardtech Galaxy Note 2 MAGE / MEGA
I apologize for the over exposed section on web browsing and maps testing but I hope you guys can still know how it performs. I will update this page with some pictures to demonstrate the camera quality later.
CWM recovery and root for this phone is 2 posts back so be sure to check that out as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Most MTK6577 / MT6577 are advertised with having 4Gb of ROM. Actually it is 4GB of total memory space. This 4GB is shared between the main Android OS partition, the main internal memory where apps are installed and the phone storage.

The main internal memory is almost always configured at 503mb and is really too small for installing many apps and will fill up quickly. The phone storage partition is configured to be about 2GB for web downloads, photos and videos plus some space used for cache. Total space is slightly over 2.5GB.

Although the MTK657x phones have the option to install the apps into the sdcard, some of us don't like it as we want the option to change sdcards anytime.

There is an app on XDA forum which I have download and put it on my 4shared account for you guys to download. This app gives you the choice of changing that smallish 503mb to the whole 2.5GB leaving about 80mb for Phone Storage space. We can then use an sdcard to add extra storage space.
Why the phone producers do this is because the low end users can use the phone without adding a sdcard.
This app gives you the option to change your internal memory to 1gb, 2gb, 2.5gb or even 3gb if you have an 8gb phone.

But before you download and use this app, you need to be
2) HAVE CWM recovery installed
2) BACKED UP using CWM recovery.

I made a mistake and the phone refused to boot. You might also want to do this on a new phone because you have to factory reset your phone. If you fulfill the 3 conditions, go ahead and install the app. You will have to check 'install from unknown sources' in settings.
When you run the app, you can choose 1gb or 2gb or 2.5gb. Don't select 3gb unless you have a 8gb ROM phone and above. After you select your size preference, select 'boot into recovery' and the phone will reboot and send you into CWM recovery and you will need to Factory Reset or data wipe.
WARNING: DO NOT DO ANY OTHER WIPES LIKE WIPE CACHE AND WIPE DALVIK CACHE! This will cause your phone to hang during booting up. DO ONLY "WIPE DATA/FACTORY RESET" in CWM recovery and nothing else. Do not factory reset from your Android settings menu or your phone will go into a boot loop. I repeat again, do your factory reset only in cwm recovery menu. Use at your own risk.
Get it from HERE

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I have created the custom recovery for the HDC NOTE 2 MAGE or MEGA ( supposed to be the correct name ) from FASTCARDTECH
Download it HERE from 4shared. This file is password protected. The password is the address of my blog here

password: gt35pro-mobile-gadgets.blogspot.com

You can buy this phone here HDC Note 2 MAGE

Use Flash Tool to flash the recovery.img file. Load the scatter file and just click the checkbox next to recovery ONLY. Make sure nothing else is checked and proceed to flash.

To root, copy the superuser zip file into your SDCARD or internal phone memory (both works)

After you have recovery, enter recovery mode by pressing power and up volume buttons simultaneously. Use the "install from zip file" option and locate the superuser zip file in your SDCARD and flash it in.

Enjoy your rooted phone.

WARNING: This is only for HDC Galaxy Note 2 MAGE from FASTCARDTECH. Please be sure that this is the correct ROM for your phone or it will not work or brick your phone. I will not be responsible for bricked devices if anyone does not know what they are doing.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The past week has seen the much anticipated Goophone i5 N2 reaching customers including me. There are also several youtube video reviews by Colonel Zap and also Mayiandjay so I will not be making any youtube video reviews. Many people are saying how close it looks to the iPhone 5 even the operating system but in terms of functionality, I am disappointed. I will however share my experience of this phone with all you interested buyers because this phone is not for everyone.

Firstly, this phone is meant for the Chinese market so there are many apps in Chinese. Also, the google play store is not included and neither are the rest of the google apps or gapps.  There is a chinese playstore included that resemble the Apple app store but you will not be able to search for apps if you don't know chinese.

There is a recovery built in but somehow it doesn't work. Goophone has provided a working recovery but it is in Chinese ( I have built an English CWM recovery for this phone. HERE )
Therefore, if you want to buy this phone, be prepared to do some firmware flashing and you must be able to locate some usable rome to test. I will include some rome here as well.

Secondly, the Android ICS 4.0.4 has been heavily skinned and is very laggy. The Settings controls have been modified to look exactly like iOS and can be very confusing to find certain menus and switches, for example, to add google account or modify your google account, you will need to look at Settings > iCloud. Settings > Privacy has the backup and factory reset functions. In Settings > General > Location services is where the GPS switches are located. There is no Storage and Apps menu. UPDATE: I found the storage and apps menus hidden in some other settings menu.

After switching on all switches, I am still unable to pinpoint my location on Google Maps (in a newer rom) And GPS sucks. All I manages to get was only one satellite with a very weak signal. The compass however works well.

Because the Android UI has been modified heavily, some of the apps do not work well with the modified Android. Some apps even crashed the Settings app when the app request a settings change.

The camera produce fairly good pictures and videos but you will need to install another camera app like the LG camera pro to get full resolution pictures as the stock built in Apple styled camera takes low resolution pictures....maybe 3mp pictures.

I am sure there will be more and more improved roms as time goes on but at this stage this phone is only meant for experienced folks that know how to do firmware flashing.

On the positive side, this is a very beautiful phone and if you order from Fastcardtech, you can request for the one with the apple logo.
The thickness of the phone is no doubt 7.6mm. I measured it at 7.8mm with the factory installed screen protector on.
 The camera flash is powerful for it's size and can produce good looking pictures and videos with the correct camera app.
The screen is brilliant and is 100% IPS. It is most likely using the Gapless screen technology ( OGS ) as the screen images seem to be on the top glass itself. Brightness is good and colors are rich.

There is a pure Android ICS rom also available for this phone and I will test it out. It will run faster and more responsive without all the glitches because of the iOS modified skin. I probably will do a youtube review if I find the Android ICS ROM ( Lewa ROM ) fast and stable. UPDATE: ROM NOT NOT RELEASED YET.
 18 Feb.
If you like to play with gadgets and have the knowledge to do the rom flashing, you will find this phone very fun. But if you just want a phone that works out of the box then you have to look elsewhere unless you read and write chinese fluently without Google apps.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


So Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is just round the corner and we still have not seen a single much anticipated MT6589 / MTK6589 Quad core phones yet. However, there are some affordable quad core phones released using the Nvidia Tegra 3 and the Samsung Exynos 4412 quad core processor. These processors /SoCs do not have dual sim capability in them so they are just simple SIM phones. If you need the dual SIM capability then you will need to wait for the MTK6589 phones to appear. I will now give you guys an overview on these very affordable quad core phones priced at USD $300 and below. I think the quad core phones that are above $300 are too expensive as you can easily get a quad core used phone like the HTC One X for that price. This list is by no means in any particular order. All phones are currently available from Fastcardtech and IN STOCK NOW.

Quad Core 1.3Ghz 1G Ram 4.7 inch 720p HD IPS Screen Android 4.0.4

For those of you who would like a larger screen phone, this is the one to get. This phone has a 4.7 inch IPS screen with 1gb RAM and Nvidia quad core processor. Make no mistake that this Quad core processor is a Cortex A9 processor and will indeed outperform the new  MTK6589 Cortex A7 version by up to 30 percent. Very reasonably priced at $219 (update: increased to $229) with free shipping to certain countries (over $200 phones have a free shipping option but only to selected countries)

2) ZTE U950
Tegra 3 Quad Core 1.3GHz 1GB RAM 4GB ROM Android Smartphone IPS Screen

This is a smaller phone with a 4.3 inch FWVGA screen, a little larger than the small iPhone 5. Although this phone only has a 5mp camera, you can be sure it produces reasonably good pictures because ZTE is a reputable Chinese brand. I would like to reiterate that the Nvidia Tegra 3 is a Cortex A9 processor and will outperform the new  MTK6589 Cortex A7 version by up to 30 percent. It will however not be as power efficient as the MTK6589. The 480x800 resolution helps to keep the price of this phone affordable. Now only $182 with free shipping. This is the cheapest quad core phone here.

3) ZTE V985 Grand Era 
Quad core 3G cell phone 1280*720 screen 1G RAM 4GB ROM

Another phone by the huge Chinese phone maker. This Tegra 3 phone runs faster at 1.5GHz. The first 2 budget Tegra 3 runs at 1.3GHz. This phone is positioned as a higher end phone with a IPS 4.5 inch IPS 720p HD screen, very slim body at 8mm thickness and a good 8mp camera. This phone has all the characteristics of a higher end phone. Price is of course slightly higher but still affordable at $275. (over $200 phones have a free shipping option but only to selected countries)

4 ) Newsmy N2 Newman N2
4.7 inch HD Screen 1.4GHz Quad-Core Android Phone

This is the successor to the hugely popular Newman N1 and has already been released last year in December. It uses a Quad core processor from Samsung, the Exynos 4412 with fast Mali 400 MP GPU. This phone is as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S3. This phone, like the other 3 phones in the lineup only supports English and Chinese languages because they are actually made for the China domestic market. None of these phones are clone phones and you can expect reasonably good quality because they are made by real phone manufacturers. Price is $290 with free shipping.

5) Freelander I20 
Quad Core Smart Phone 4.7 Inch HD IPS Screen Android 4.0 Exynos 4412 1.4GHz 13MP Camera 
This is the international version of the Newman N2 above at no. 4 and both phones should be identical except for the name.
Benchmarks somehow show this phone to be slower in 3D performance. It should be identical because they are both using the same Samsung Exynos 4412 SoC. Since this is an international version, other languages should be present in it but I can't be sure. You will need to check with the seller. This phone is slightly cheaper at $285 and free shipping as well.

6) Deovo V5
Nvidia Tegra3 Quad Core 1G Ram 4.7 inch HD IPS Screen Android 4.0.4 Phone

This phone has very similar specs to the phone at no.1, the XiaoLaJiao (small chill / little pepper) at a much higher price. Also using the Nividia Tegra3 Quad core SoC. I would guess that it has better cameras and better quality screen. Most likely this phone only have Engligh and Chinese languages. The design of this phone is more iPhone 4/5 like while the Small Chilli looks more like the HTC styled design. This is much pricier at $296 and of course shipping is free.

7) K-touch V9
Nvidia Tegra3 Quad Core 1.5Ghz 1G Ram 4.5 inch QHD Screen Android 4.0.4 Phone

The K-Touch brand is also a well known Chinese brand so most likely it will have only English and Chinese languages only. This phone has a 5mp camera and only a QHD 540x960 IPS screen but has the Nvidia Tegra 3 running at a full 1.5GHz speed. This will also be much faster than any phone that is going to be released with the MTK6589 quad core processor which will only run at 1.2GHz and A7 processor. The Nvidia Tegra has been shown to be faster than the Samsung Exynos 4412 in terms of 3D performance. This will be an excellent gaming phone. Price is reasonable at $264 and free registered airmail shipping.

NEW UPDATE 5 Feb 2013: The very first MTK6589 quad core phone.
8) ThL W8 
MTK6589 Quad Core Android 4.1 1G 8G 5.0 Inch HD IPS Screen 3.2MP Front Camera

Finally listed on Fastcardtech as 'IN STOCK'. However, they will only ship after 20 Feb due to the coming Chinese New Year. Knowing Fastcardtech, they probably have a shipment on the way to their warehouse but already advertised as in stock. This is the first real MTK6589 quad core phone to be shipped....although not now but at least the last part of this month. The processor used here is the ARM Cortex A7 and will be slower the the other quad core processors but will have much better battery life. This has all the features of the above phones plus Jelly Bean and a larger 5 inch IPS screen. It has got that Galaxy S3 shape which is overused in my opinion. THL probably found it a safe design to follow. THL is a popular Chinese brand with better build quality and cameras. Price is affordable at $245 with free airmail shipping.

9) HDC Galaxy Note 2 N9589 Quad Core- MTK6589 1.2Ghz 1G Ram 5.8 inch HD IPS Screen Android 4.1.2 Phone

Just appeared on Fastcardtech, the screen grabs matches the description on the website quite accurately. This is the second mtk6589 phone to be released and IN STOCK. This has the latest jelly bean 4.1.2 with a real 8mp camera and real higher resolution front camera of 3.1mp. I have just ordered this using free shipping option. The price is $249 which is nice. Free shipping is available using the slower registered airmail.

This concludes my roundup of affordable quad core phones available from Fastcardtech. There are more quad core phones from Huawei and Xiaomi but all above the $300 price point so bang for your buck is not there and not listed here. Remember, Greg's Mobile Gadgets is all about good affordable phones so I hope these write-ups help you guys decide which phone is best for your needs.