I got myself a cheap quad-band phone with dual SIM card, dual camera, USB port, and QWERTY keyboard, among other things, for a cheap price from eBay:
This phone apparently has many features, according to the seller:
Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Display Size 2.2 Inch
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Screen Color 260K Colors
FM Radio Yes, can play radio without earphone
Card SD card up to 8GB
TV Yes, analog TV with antenna
I spent a day playing with the phone, just for the sake of curiosity, and share some of my findings below.
- 2G (GPRS) only, does not support 3G mode
- Proprietary charger and headphones, small keys and slow keyboard
- The SIM card insertion direction printed on the back of the phone is reversed! This made me waste half an hour figuring out why the phone couldn’t detected my SIM card
- Outgoing calls/SMS are prohibited (incoming calls are still fine) until the SIM card is enabled by setting Settings > Dual SIM Switch > Use Default Mode and Settings > Dual SIM Settings > Dual SIM Open
- It is a pain on this phone to send an SMS. The keys are tiny, too many menu options and too many pressed to switch between alphabet, symbols and numeric mode
- Making and receiving voice calls seems fine during my testing
- New time zone prompt keeps on popping up. To turn off, go to Settings > Phone Settings > Auto update of date/time and set to Off
- To enable key lock, go to Settings > Security Settings > Auto keypad lock. To unlock, press the BACK key (RSK) and #
- Keypad tone default is ON. To turn off, go to User profiles > general > customize > Tone Settings > Keypad > Off
- To configure GPRS, go to Services > Data Account > Add your GPRS APN here and Services > Internet Services > Settings > Profiles. Delete one or more existing accounts and add your GPRS profile pointing to the above data account
- “GPRS/CSD connection exists” error will be shown if attempting to use camera when there is an Internet connection.
- Many attractive options such as Entertainment News, Amazing Beauties, HD Movie, Ring Settings are unusable and report “No Services”
- TV works ok, although reception is a bit weak, but able to view most channels. Works without headset.
- FM reception is a bit weak but otherwise work. Works without headset as well.
- Consumes a lot of battery and lasts less than 1 hour with TV on.
- Camera maximum resolution is VGA (640×480). Default resolution is QVGA. “Front camera” is actually on top!
- Default Audio Player/Video Player reports “No Service”, however File Manager can play some videos and music files (MP3, WAV)
- Many video files can be played. Tested with 3GP and MP4 files. To play in full-screen mode press the A key.
- DOC/CHM/HTML files are not supported as claimed. Only text files (TXT) are supported.
- Default browser is very limited. Common pages, including built in facebook app default to Chinese versions with no font!
- Opera Mini 3.3 is a good placement for the built-in browser
- Opera Mini 6.5 crashes after showing splash screen, presumably due to low memory. Opera Mini 4.4 installs and works ok but is a bit slow. Only Opera Mini 3.3 Advanced Edition works well on this phone.
- J2ME works in general. Installation can be from JAR files to either phone memory or storage card. Unicode is supported. Games are playable, albeit with tiny keyboard. Comes with some default games. Java apps and settings can be found in Fun & Games. Apps that consume lot of memory will hang at loading. Java apps launch in exclusive single task mode. Pressing the RED (hangup) key will terminate the app and go to home screen
- Some apps such ABCMsn terminate upon connecting to network due to device prompts about airtime usage and the app cannot wait.
- Some apps such as eBuddy can’t work, the app will run and say “your phone does not have enough memory”
- Supports sending and receiving file via Bluetooth. Allows browsing remote Bluetooth folder as well.
- Supports Bluetooth Audio service. To use it, user must start the connection from the device via Bluetooth >Search Audio Devices, otherwise connecting from Windows will say “Connection Failed”. If successful, “Bluetooth Audio” will appear in Windows as a playback device. However, playing music on device still plays on loudspeaker, and attempting to play through “Bluetooth Audio” will cause the headset to be disconnected.
- Support Bluetooth Serial Ports and act as GSM modem. Tested with Hyperterminal. Flow control must set to NONE for it to work. The modem is able to send SMS but cannot call out. “NO CARRIER” is reported if attempted, potentially because Bluetooth and phone share the same radio and can’t be simultaneously on
- When connected via USB, the phone supports many mode, including USB charging.
- Support USB mass storage mode for both internal devices & storage card
- Support USB Webcam mode and works well with Webcam Viewer, up to VGA quality
- COM port mode is included in the list of modes, however Windows 7 64-bit never finds drivers for it and I am not sure what this is for.
- Java Connection is also included, however Windows 7 plays the “device connect fails” sound and I am also not sure what this is for. Perhaps to debug Java apps?
After finishing testing the phone, I put it in my drawer and did not use it again until a few months later when my main phone failed. This is when problem began to appear. The battery capacity is poor and lasts for less than a day even with little usage. Occasionally the phone would just hang and require a reboot. I complain to the seller and although he was nice enough to send me a new battery, my usage of the phone stopped a few weeks later when it failed to boot up and hangs at the charging indicator.
In short, just as many other cheap Chinese phones from eBay, this is good as a toy and for experimenting, but never as a primary phone. For that purpose, my old Nokia 3210 is far better and can still serve me well after all these years.