Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I just got the GOOPHONE i5 N2 (lite) from fastcardtech and I have made a custom CWM recovery file FOR THIS PHONE. This file must be flashed using the standard MTK65xx Flash Tool and load the scatter file. The recovery file provided is in chinese and not safe to be mucking around with so you can get it from this link HERE
I will not be responsible for bricked devices. This works perfectly on my goophone i5 N2.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


So I got myself an actual full time job this week so I did not have the time to update this blog.
From the start of January till now, there has been several large screen Phablets that has appeared on Fastcardtech which is worth taking a look at. If you feel inadequate and want to make up for the size, these phones might help you with your self confidence. LOL! These phones have screens larger than the real Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I will now analyze and break down the choices so that you buyers can make better decisions for your purchase.

A) HDC Galaxy Player N7300

This phablet comes with a large 5.7 IPS creen with 720x1280 HD resolution. If you are going to buy a phone with such a large screen, you would need it to have at least 720x1280 HD resolution. 540x960 QHD will not cut it for a screen this size. I would also like to point out that the MTK6577 processor is capable of driving a HD screen but not as fluid and smooth as it does a QHD screen. From studying the screen grabs of Antutu and Z-Devices this device has a real camera resolution of 5mp and a front camera of 0.3mp. By using the techniques in my previous article, I noticed Android version is 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich although the phone has been modified to report Android 4.1.1 because Kernel version is 3.0.13. RAM is 1gb. Price is $218 with FREE Shipping. So taking into all consideration including price, here is my Buy Meter:

B) HDC Galaxy S1
I wonder why they named this S1. S1 was the original Galaxy S. Perhaps they ran out of ideas for this Note 2 lookalike. This phone looks promising. It also has a 5.7 inch IPS 720 HD screen and 1gb ram. Checking the specs shows this to have a REAL 12MP CAMERA and a REAL 2MP FRONT CAMERA interpolated to 3mp. The best part is, this phone really JELLY BEAN. Picture shows a working compass. On a negative note, Antutu Shows 3D graphics to be below 900. 3D graphics should be around 1000 in a better performing phone like the UMI X1. The newer phones also appear unrootable for now. This negative points are actually quite minor considering the performance of the MTK6577 processor. If you're in the market for a Phablet, then this is the one to get. This phone only appeared today ( 19 Jan 2013 ) so the stocks might only be on the way. Expect up to 10 days before they ship it out to you. Price $220 with Free shipping. My rating:

C) Galaxy Note 2 Lord

This phone looks like any ordinary note 2 Phablet and it also comes with 1gb ram and 720HD IPS screen just like all the others above. After checking out the screen grabs, this one has a real 8MP camera and also a very REAL 3.1MP FRONT CAMERA. So if you like to take self portraits, this is ideal for you. Description on the fastcardtech website lists the screen as having 24 million colors and 3600mah battery. Just keep in mind that there is no such thing as 24 million colors. 16 million covers all colors in the digital realm. I would like to think the phone as having a 2800mAh battery instead of a ridiculous 3600mAh one. This phone will be a good buy if they lowered the price. Also take note that the new MTK6577 Jelly Bean phones are unrootable for now. If you are going to pay them $3 to root the phone, you will be wasting your money because they can't do it still. The price is too high for my liking at $229.99 with Free Shipping. My rating:


This also has a 5.7 inch IPS HD screen and 1gb ram. Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich is on this phone and it has real 8mp front camera and a real 3.2mp front camera. THL is a reputable brand in china and the cameras are usually of better quality. Build quality is usually very good too. If you want the smoothness of Jelly Bean and Google Now, then you will have to look at the above 2 options. The Antutu benchmarks shows this phone to have lower graphics scores in both the 2D and 3D categories. I will expect this phone to have a more sluggish screen response. It comes with a nice custom lock screen. This phone only has English and Chinese languages and none other as it is made for the China domestic market. The price is also higher at $235 with Free Shipping. The only good thing going for this phone is the THL brand name and the high quality cameras. I can't really recommend this phone unless you really like the THL brand. My rating:

Thats all for the 5.8 inch screen phones. They are all 5.7 inches actually and are really large so they are not in my list of phones to buy. But if you are in the market for a large screen phone then these phones can be considered. There are more 5.7 /5.8 inch phones on Fastcardtech but if I feel that they are not even worth considering so they are not in this list. I would like to mention that the ZOPO ZP950 is also a really a good phone but it is not available on fastcardtech yet and even the ZOPO site is only taking pre-orders. There is also the Changjiang N7300 and it looks like a clone of the first HDC Galaxy Player but does not have and screenshots so it is not in this list as well.

So that's a roundup of the large screen phones. Feel free to comment or let me know if I have missed out on any other good 5.7 inch Monster Phones.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


There has been a lot of hype about the MTK6589 / MT6589 Quad Core processors in the fourth quarter of last year and now it is already almost in the middle of Janurary 2013 and there are still no MTK6589 phones in sight. The only phones that are now circulating around are the engineering samples.

So, when can we expect to see these phones appearing on shelves or online stores? My guess is mid-March to early April.
Due to the arrival of the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival on Febuary 10, many workers are making preparations to go back to their hometowns. This will happen in the last week of January and early Feburary.  From Feburary 10, ALL companies will be closed for an entire week. The more traditional companies will close for 2 weeks. Factories which choose to operate during the second week of the new year will only have skeleton crew operating.
We can tell that the new MTK6589 phones will all be delayed because of this. Some companies will release their phones before the Chinese New Year but it will be in limited quantities and are expected to be sold out quickly. We will only start to see these phones in volume only in March and April.

If anyone wants to have a Chinese low cost quad-core phone NOW, there is the NEWMAN N2 which uses the powerful Samsung Exynos Quad core processor also used in the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.  You will have to order it quickly before Chinese New Year arrives. You can check it out here:

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


UPDATE (2 Feb 2013):  I received the phone and it does indeed have 1GB RAM. The special iOS seems to take up additional RAM and not 512+256mb as announced by Fastcardech. I used several memory optimization to check this info.

In a new discovery yesterday, a Fastcardtech engineer / technician has discovered that the new Goophone i5 N2 only has 512 or 768mb of RAM.

Before the site was updated Fastcardtech emailed me to inform me about this discovery and asked me if I wanted to proceed with the order. The engineers could not exactly tell if the RAM is 512mb or 768mb. Software shows the RAM amount to be 1gb but free RAM is between 200MB to 300MB with the Android OS loaded. Actually running Android ICS 4.0.4 does not take up a lot of ram. 512mb of RAM can comfortably run ICS smoothly.
768mb RAM is actually more than enough to run all apps and surf the net smoothly. Fastcardtech has already updated their listing with this update. I would still buy this phone so I told them to proceed to send it to me. Will check out this RAM issue and review it when it gets here. Check it out here:

Goophone i5 N2 Dual core QHD 960 Retina screen 8.0M camera 3G

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Quick, grab this phone here HDC Galaxy S3 G9300
This is the top Galaxy S3 clone available now.

UPDATE: This phone has been rooted by a member of XDA. Check out the links here

Basically what this proceedure does is to use Android SDK and Android Kitchen to rip out your ROM, modify it and write it back into the phone. This bypasses the OS entirely so it doesn't matter if there are any exploits or not. NOT for the faint hearted!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


With all the buzz surrounding the imminent launch of the quad core high end Chinese phones, I would like to go the opposite direction and highlight some budget phones worth looking at. The advantages of this list is that most phones would have been on the market for some time and people would have bought and reviewed it. The phones I will be looking at must have certain attributes to be in this top 10 list. These requirements will ensure the phones run Android 4.0.4 ICS smoothly. These attributes are:

1) Screen size must be minimum of 4.0 inches
2) Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and higher
3) Below USD $170
4) Minimum of 512mb
5) Dual core processor or higher
6) Minimum of FWVGA 854x480 pixels resolution

So let's get to it. These phones would make great gifts or even be your standby phone or phone for students. Phone are from Fastcardtech.

1) Star B94M MTK6577 Dual Core 1G RAM 4.5 Inch QHD Screen Android Phone
This is the successor to the very popular Star B92M aka HDC Galaxy S3 EX. Comes with Jelly Bean, QHD screen 1gb RAM. Spec sheet says resistive screen but that is wrong. The spec sheet also says 5 point touch screen so it has capacitive touch screen. The B92m is already capacitive screen equipped.
Price: $165

This iphone5 clone is a very new arrival at Fastcardtech. The specs are all very good and the phone has Android 4.0.4 with an iPhone theme launcher. IPS screen, slim body, Antutu score of 7000 and low price puts this phone on the top of the list. RAM is 512mb. Price: $135

The maker of the top selling Newnam N1 and now the Newman N2, this phone is ideal is a very good deal for the price. The specs are similar to the much higher price clone phones. Newman does support it's product with ROM updates. Price: $125

Although this phone only has a FWVGA screen, it has 1gb RAM and Jelly Bean with large 4.7 inch screen. Note that the MTK6577 processor will run this screen resolution with maximum smoothness. 1GB Ram and Jelly Bean will make you think the processor is faster than it really is. Camera is really 5mp. Price: $159

Similar to the phone above but with a QHD screen, this phone is a good buy for just a little more. Price: $169

6) HDC Galaxy i9300 S3 Plus Android 4.0 MTK6577 3G Dual sim 8MP Camera

This S3 clone has 512mb RAM running ICS and one of the hottest sellers in Sept/October 2012. This phone is a very fast phone due to it's FWVGA screen and DDR3 RAM. Fastest phone in it's category. For $10-20 more you get a more updated phone above. That's why this phone is at no. 6.  Price: $149

7) 5I Smart Phone Android 4.0 MTK6577 Dual Core 3G GPS 4.0 Inch 8.0MP Camera
This phone appears to be an OEM version of the iphone5 clone at position no.2. It runs android ICS without the iPhone theme. Some of you would like to have real android in an iPhone housing. The MTK6577 processor will drive this phone smoothly. Very attractive price. I may buy one. Price :$132

8) HDC Galaxy Note 2 GT H7100 MTK6577 Dual Core 5.4 Inch QHD Screen Android 4.1.1 PhoneThis is the most current and cheapest Galaxy Note 2 Clone. Comes with jelly bean, 1gb RAM and QHD screen. 2 versions available. Price 1gb RAM: $165, Price 512mb RAM: $155

9) Small Chili Qualcomm MSM8225 Dual-core 1G Mhz ICS 4.0 3G Dual SIM 4.0" WVGA IPSAlthough this has a smaller screen it uses the Qualcomm S3 series processor which takes less power. Screen is FWVGA which is still very good for a 4 inch IPS screen. Very affordable phone. Price: $145

10) NEO NO2-M- MTK6577 1G Ram 3G Dual sim 4.5 inch QHD Screen Android 4.0.4 Phone

Although Neo re-released this with IPS screen this older version still has a very good and bright screen. I don't feel it is worth the extra $14 plus the shipping which probably come up to $34. This phone is highly recommended by me. I paid $175 for this but now the price has been revised. Price: $155

If any of you readers feel that I may have missed out any phone, please let me know and I will add it in.

Monday, January 7, 2013


This is the very slim and elegant UMI X1 which is one of the best selling phone in China right now.
This phone is very slim and has all the features of a branded phone. It has 1gm RAM, IPS HD 720p screen and a dual core MTK6577 processor. This phone comes with Android 4.0.4 ICS but the official 4.1.2 ROM is available and I have already upgraded it. This is now available at many other online retailers and on Fastcardtech which has the lowest price of them all. This is only $190 with Free Shipping. I highly recommend this phone and I advise you to get a second battery because the battery is small to keep the phone slim. This phone from Fastcardtech came with the KFT GPS antenna. Get this phone HERE.

XDA UMI X1 thread HERE

note: I apologize for the choppy video at the first part due to many video dropouts (glitches) that I had to cut away.

Below is a video of the antenna fix for those who received the first batch and the GPS fails to work.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


This article is an extension of my previous article here.

About 2 days ago I spotted yet another Galaxy Note 2 clone on Fastcardtech called the HDC (again?) Galaxy Note 2 MAGE. I was wondering what the hell does MAGE mean? Can it perform magic? Well, apparently the folks at Fastcardtech appear to have really bad english so the spelling is shite. Then when I looked at the web address, it said MEGA. That made more sense. You guys can head over HERE to have a look. And here is the picture on the site. Again the name is spelt wrong...LOL!

So let's get on with deciding if this MTK6577 Dual core Phone is worth buying. Using the same techniques from my previous article, we look at the screen grabs. It is a good thing Fastcardtech did all the necessary screen grabs for us to determine if this phone is worth buying or not.

From the picture above, we can tell that the Android version is really 4.1.1 Jerry Beam..oops Jelly Bean I mean. The Kernel shows 3.4.0 which is the Jelly Bean because if you see 3.0.13 it would be ICS or Ice Cream Sandwich. (By the way this only applies to MTK6575 / MTK6577 phones. Normal branded phones have all sorts of different numbers.) So Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean is correct.

The phone also shows QHD resolution which is optimal for the MTK6577 processor. If you want to choose a HD screen you will trade speed (smoothness) for resolution. You can't have both using this processor.

1GB RAM is provided and is now mainstream in MTK6577 phones. Don't buy a 512mb phone unless the price is really low and you are on a tight budget.

Memory Size is only 503mb which is very small for Apps installation space but there are some instructions on how to make this partition bigger. There is also an option in Settings / Storage for you to set app install location similar to Apps2SD which makes storage space bigger but we all know that some apps can't be installed into SD card but internal memory alone.

Next, we look at cameras. The phone is advertised to have a 12 megapixel camera. The MTK6577 is documented to be able to drive a maximum of 8 megapixels so 12 megapixel is surely not real.
The red box highlights the real camera resolution and it shows 8 megapixel and supported 12mp which is software interpolation.
On the right, the front camera is 0.3mp which is only a VGA camera but interpolated to 1.9mp. Actually, a real 8 megapixel camera is not on every phone so it is pretty good to have a real 8mp camera on this. Most other phones are advertised to have 8mp cameras but actually the cameras are 5mp interpolated to 8. Front camera of 0.3mp is sufficient for video calls with less data needing to be transferred which is a good thing. The only bad thing is you want to take a self portrait shot you are going to get a low resolution picture.

Finally I would like to say this phone has the real Galaxy Note 2 brushed metal look which makes it more Note 2 like. LED notification light is most like omitted here.

If you buy from Fastcardtech, you can change that android logo to Samsung logo. As far as I know, many other online retailers are unable to provide this service.

To conclude, the phone is priced reasonably at $185 with Free Shipping and I would give this phone the go ahead and buy stamp. Check it out here- HDC Galaxy Note 2 Mega
Update: I just ordered this phone on 18 Jan 2013 and now waiting...Youtube review coming.


Now that the dual core MTK6577 processor is mainstream in most Chinese made phones, how does it compare with branded phones on the market. Here, we look at three phones and their Antutu Benchmark and compare the scores.

Sony Xperia P LT22i                 HDC N7100+ (S7100)                            UMI X1       

The closest phone in terms of performance is the Sony Xperia P so we will use this phone scores for comparison with out MTK6577 phones.

If you look at the first 3 items on the list: RAM, CPU integer and CPU floating point, you see that all are similar in performance. The Sony Xperia P uses a NovaThor U8500 1ghz dual core processor and the numbers vary just a little, so we can say that the MTK6577 and the Novathor U8500 are equal in performance (although the pics show the MTK6577 having marginal lead).

The RAM speed on the 2 Chinese phones are actually faster. This may be due to the DDR3 RAM being used.

When it comes to 2D and 3D graphics, the Xperia P pulls ahead due to it's superior Mali 400 GPU. The difference in speed is roughly 25% faster than the dated SGX531. It shows the Xperia P having a Mali 400 MP GPU but my research indicates that the Mali 400mp is actually a single core GPU running at 340 mhz used here.

The UMI X1 lags behind because it is the only phone with HD 720 resolution so the GPU has more pixels to push but the scores of the UMI X1 are respectable.

This is the real way to read the Antutu benchmark and not just look at the full score.

The MTK6577 is indeed positioned as mid range with performance close to that of the mid range Sony Xperia P. I have used the Xperia P and did not find and performance difference in normal usage. In fact the MTK6577 phones appear smoother due to Jelly Bean.
We now await the arrival of the quad core MTK6589 phones arriving soon. Production should be in full swing in March with many phones releasing in quantity in April.