Cell Phones

the Chinese-Phone Thread

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
loserga wrote: Not mine. I'm using 4.4.2 and 4.4.4 isn't even available for me yet.

If that was the case then why not buy a Windows Phone? Android is all about features. It's clear that the people who buy order Chinese smartphones don't want to spend as much, but still want features and stability. You can't have both without paying more for software support.
Android is all about features, not going to argue there, but a LOT of those features are half-baked or in beta or not working entirely... OR an update comes out and breaks something that used to work.

I like android, don't get me wrong, but the update-itis doesn't carry the same wow omg fun that it used to, as it ends up breaking more stuff than it fixes, recently... again, just my experience with an S3, Nexus 7, and Tab3...

the chinese phone thing was just a whim purchase because my iphone died and lately updates weren't so hot on that either!!

in general tho, you have 2 roads... the name brand that takes forever to release an update thru the proper legit channels (non rooting/flashing etc) and when it drops it breaks something that used to work or your battery life is smoked, OR you go lesser-known brand, and roll the dice that an update may never come out, but at least its on a new build, right out of the box.
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
Member
Oct 29, 2013
269 posts
32 upvotes
Markham, ON
I'm looking to purchase a Xiaomi Mi4, any way to get it in Canada? Or are sales still restricted to Asia?
Member
Aug 15, 2012
339 posts
82 upvotes
Mississauga
Uh oh... seems I spoke too soon regarding Xiaomi's data-mining.

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002731.html

Xiaomi's phones definitely are collecting people's information and sending it to some strange database. Collecting this kind of information is even part of the company's privacy policy!

http://www.mi.com/sg/about/policy/
The types of personal information we collect from you depends on the type of products and services you request from us. However, it may include your name, username, contact details, billing information, transaction details and credit card information.

We may collect and store information (including personal information) locally on your device using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches.
NOPE. Especially their storage policies. Pretty sure even Google wouldn't go that far! And even if Google is pulling the same **** that Xiaomi appears to be doing, I'd rather trust Google. :x They've also lied about sales numbers and misled people into thinking that the WCDMA Xiaomi Mi 3 had a Snapdragon MSM8974 when it only has a MSM8274AB. I don't think I'll get this phone after all. I'll probably just end up getting a Nexus 5 or iPhone 5S from Koodo. If I get a Nexus 5 on a Medium Tab, that'd pretty much be the same as getting the Xiaomi Mi 3 for the price Flipkart's selling it at. Except I'd get a phone with a better chipset, more available storage space and LTE. On top of that, it's compatible with all Canadian carriers.

PLUS, the Xiaomi Mi 3 doesn't even allow for storage encryption. WTF, even my G2X can do that.
scension wrote: I'm looking to purchase a Xiaomi Mi4, any way to get it in Canada? Or are sales still restricted to Asia?
The Mi 4 isn't out yet. The ones being sold on Alibaba are fakes AFAIK.
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3633 posts
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RICHMOND HILL
garyhudson wrote: I actually went on the Windows store and found that there is quite a lot less apps available for windows devices. I was looking for a decent remote desktop app for a Windows 8.1 tablet but there simply is none except Microsoft's own app. Besides, if you really want Windows, get a tablet instead. Windows work much better as a desktop/laptop/tablet than in a mobile phone environment. You can even get Windows style themes (launchers) in Android phones too.
My point was that if you wanted a stable smartphone that is cheap, but don't care too much about features, then get a Windows phone.
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3633 posts
442 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
AA0913 wrote: Android is all about features, not going to argue there, but a LOT of those features are half-baked or in beta or not working entirely... OR an update comes out and breaks something that used to work.

I like android, don't get me wrong, but the update-itis doesn't carry the same wow omg fun that it used to, as it ends up breaking more stuff than it fixes, recently... again, just my experience with an S3, Nexus 7, and Tab3...

the chinese phone thing was just a whim purchase because my iphone died and lately updates weren't so hot on that either!!

in general tho, you have 2 roads... the name brand that takes forever to release an update thru the proper legit channels (non rooting/flashing etc) and when it drops it breaks something that used to work or your battery life is smoked, OR you go lesser-known brand, and roll the dice that an update may never come out, but at least its on a new build, right out of the box.
I'm not all for those constant updates either, but after that G2X fiasco I'm making sure that whatever smartphone that I get from now on will have consistent official software support. I'm essentially paying for peace of mind, but the last three years that I've used the G2X for has been nerve-wracking.
Deal Addict
May 12, 2012
2252 posts
228 upvotes
Toronto
loserga wrote: My point was that if you wanted a stable smartphone that is cheap, but don't care too much about features, then get a Windows phone.
A lot of Chinese Android phones fill that market, Windows is nowhere near a contender in that field. Actually, even the cheap ones are very decently equipped, as the affordable Android market is very competitive in China (much, much more competitive than in NA or Europe)
loserga wrote: I'm not all for those constant updates either, but after that G2X fiasco I'm making sure that whatever smartphone that I get from now on will have consistent official software support. I'm essentially paying for peace of mind, but the last three years that I've used the G2X for has been nerve-wracking.
I dont know what problem the G2X has, but my friend has a Samsung GS3 and he was complaining about the frequent system update that slows down the phone and adds unwanted crap to the system. His is a Korean/Asian version with the better CPU combo (not the watered down GS3 available in the NA market)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
sk2003 wrote: Uh oh... seems I spoke too soon regarding Xiaomi's data-mining.

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002731.html

Xiaomi's phones definitely are collecting people's information and sending it to some strange database. Collecting this kind of information is even part of the company's privacy policy!

http://www.mi.com/sg/about/policy/



NOPE. Especially their storage policies. Pretty sure even Google wouldn't go that far! And even if Google is pulling the same **** that Xiaomi appears to be doing, I'd rather trust Google. :x They've also lied about sales numbers and misled people into thinking that the WCDMA Xiaomi Mi 3 had a Snapdragon MSM8974 when it only has a MSM8274AB. I don't think I'll get this phone after all. I'll probably just end up getting a Nexus 5 or iPhone 5S from Koodo. If I get a Nexus 5 on a Medium Tab, that'd pretty much be the same as getting the Xiaomi Mi 3 for the price Flipkart's selling it at. Except I'd get a phone with a better chipset, more available storage space and LTE. On top of that, it's compatible with all Canadian carriers.

PLUS, the Xiaomi Mi 3 doesn't even allow for storage encryption. WTF, even my G2X can do that.



The Mi 4 isn't out yet. The ones being sold on Alibaba are fakes AFAIK.
keep bringing this research, this is good info as searching ANYTHING "android" or "xiaomi" brings up a crap load of unfiltered, sensational news diarrhea in google.. i was on the fence about xiaomi and thought they were breaking some serious ground and putting samsung in its place...

on a side note, in the search for a truly great camera app, it looks like GOOGLE CAMERA seems to be the go to as of recent, but I don't get why??

Android gives you options... ok sure.. so i get google camera.. and its an over simplified layout with FEW options and no way to reconfigure the video capture (640x480, wtg 2010!), and nevermind picture compression quality...... and yet its the same user-base that complains that the iPhone is too simple?!?? how about simple because IT WORKS??? the hardware gains up and focuses quickly and thats what can allow it be simple!!

Does this just point out that so many OEM camera apps are simply afterthoughts??? I can't believe the reviews that other camera apps like those bundled with the LGg2 suck worse that this!!!
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3633 posts
442 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
garyhudson wrote: A lot of Chinese Android phones fill that market, Windows is nowhere near a contender in that field. Actually, even the cheap ones are very decently equipped, as the affordable Android market is very competitive in China (much, much more competitive than in NA or Europe)



I dont know what problem the G2X has, but my friend has a Samsung GS3 and he was complaining about the frequent system update that slows down the phone and adds unwanted crap to the system. His is a Korean/Asian version with the better CPU combo (not the watered down GS3 available in the NA market)
But are they stable? Do they provide a smooth experience right out of the box without any additional optimization?

That's Samsung screwing everything up - interface, kernel, and what-not. There's a reason why I went with Google. LG was even worse - they just pretended that the G2X didn't exist in the first place.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
loserga wrote: But are they stable? Do they provide a smooth experience right out of the box without any additional optimization?
from using this THL 5000 for the last week and comparing it to the responsiveness of the iPhone, it does work well right out of the box.. it might be 8 cores, it might be 2gig cache, but i really think that the android world has caught up with overall user experience in any of their 4.2/4.4.2 roms.

optimization is something the OS should be doing automagically....... i don't know anyone would would prefer a non-optimized os... even if it is user-pref.
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3633 posts
442 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
AA0913 wrote: from using this THL 5000 for the last week and comparing it to the responsiveness of the iPhone, it does work well right out of the box.. it might be 8 cores, it might be 2gig cache, but i really think that the android world has caught up with overall user experience in any of their 4.2/4.4.2 roms.

optimization is something the OS should be doing automagically....... i don't know anyone would would prefer a non-optimized os... even if it is user-pref.
A friend of mine received a smartphone ordered off aliexpress with a MediaTek quad-core SoC recently. The performance in web browsing and video streaming at 720p is abysmal, while everything else seems to be fine. I believe this to be a firmware issue, as he could enjoy smooth playback of 720p videos on a microSD card.

As for your phone, from your review I can't say anything but that it seems to be a decent product, but when you factor in the components, it really does look like the manufacturer really didn't put much effort into optimizing the OS. You're lucky because they stuffed in a massive battery to compensate for the octacore's ridiculous power draw which the OS should be limiting in the first place.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
loserga wrote: A friend of mine received a smartphone ordered off aliexpress with a MediaTek quad-core SoC recently. The performance in web browsing and video streaming at 720p is abysmal, while everything else seems to be fine. I believe this to be a firmware issue, as he could enjoy smooth playback of 720p videos on a microSD card.

As for your phone, from your review I can't say anything but that it seems to be a decent product, but when you factor in the components, it really does look like the manufacturer really didn't put much effort into optimizing the OS. You're lucky because they stuffed in a massive battery to compensate for the octacore's ridiculous power draw which the OS should be limiting in the first place.
Nailed IT.

for quad core, that should do very decent HD, im surprised it doesn't perform..

My old HP touchpad can do HD and thats on ICS and way way older hardware.

BUT, to be honest, I don't think any Android platform is truly optimized. They all churn pretty strong when the usage demands it. The handsets warm up to a point where its a bit questionable...
In my experience the octacore seems to be pretty thirsty when at full bore, because 5000mah would probably take an iPhone 5 into 3 days usage... and that iOS 7 is the most power-effecient mobile OS in my books.
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
Deal Addict
May 12, 2012
2252 posts
228 upvotes
Toronto
loserga wrote: But are they stable? Do they provide a smooth experience right out of the box without any additional optimization?

That's Samsung screwing everything up - interface, kernel, and what-not. There's a reason why I went with Google. LG was even worse - they just pretended that the G2X didn't exist in the first place.
My honest opinion: it really depends. If you choose brands that are practically unheard of (in the Chinese market of course, I am referring to some ~$150 phones you can find on e.g. pandawill). For example, somebody a page or two before said he jumped on a Doogee 310 or something. Usually (USUALLY) these phones are very plain with vanilla Android OS in it, very generic hardware and software and don't really expect to find any OS updates to it. However, I know that Huawei has a very good $150 phone called the Honor 3C, plus a bunch of other Chinese manufacturers. Whether those phones are available to buy outside of China, I don't know, I visit Chinese sites and forums for the latest Android phone news.....
Deal Addict
Mar 5, 2005
2204 posts
20 upvotes
Vancouver
I got the Elephone P2000. It's so usable to the point that I have my Samsung S5 sitting in a box.

Ya the Samsung is a way better phone. But I find it so cool that a sub $200 phone can perform as well as it does.

Doogee is doing great things in the Chinese phone industry. They mainly target international buyers so they are
learning that the OS is important to other markets. When making a purchase for a Chinese product, you just have
to do the research on which companies are the ones to go with...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
Fatman wrote: I got the Elephone P2000. It's so usable to the point that I have my Samsung S5 sitting in a box.

Ya the Samsung is a way better phone. But I find it so cool that a sub $200 phone can perform as well as it does.

Doogee is doing great things in the Chinese phone industry. They mainly target international buyers so they are
learning that the OS is important to other markets. When making a purchase for a Chinese product, you just have
to do the research on which companies are the ones to go with...
Thats the truth, it appears that us Canadians are behind the curve with trying these Chinese phones that Europeans/Russians seem to have been quite familiar with for the past year and a half.... and usually by those that want to root/customize etc.. so for us, the wrinkles seem to have been ironed out.

I just had a full weekend with the handset and to my friends with iPhones/Nexus5's/G2/G3's/Galaxy4/5's they were quite surprised with the responsiveness and build quality in-the-hand feel.

On the surface, its just the same as any android phone, but when its specs are told, at the price point its at, its just silly that its so competitive for well < $300.

Here is a 1080p video i took as a test for another forum.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1VcWW ... sp=sharing

And this was on day 2 of a single charge, and the first day was spent mainly filming material to create a video of my daughter's bday. and a lot of that was spent uploading the videos over wifi so Magisto can sort them out..... took > 13 tweaks to get my first one right. so think of the battery right there!

Image Image

screen on is about 6 hrs.
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
Deal Addict
Mar 5, 2005
2204 posts
20 upvotes
Vancouver
Amazing! Now bring on the LTE!!!!!! You know, throughout the internet, people are all like ohhh, no LTE, ohhh, no FHD screen on the low end models.

Just give it time. You can't really mess with China and their manpower/resources. It's all about getting over the mental barriers.

One a side note:

OH NO THEY DIDN'T!!! :D
Deal Addict
May 12, 2012
2252 posts
228 upvotes
Toronto
Fatman wrote: Amazing! Now bring on the LTE!!!!!! You know, throughout the internet, people are all like ohhh, no LTE, ohhh, no FHD screen on the low end models.

Just give it time. You can't really mess with China and their manpower/resources. It's all about getting over the mental barriers.

One a side note:

OH NO THEY DIDN'T!!! :D
I don't really feel for LTE, i just want a well speced phone. I am inching closer to actually buying one, it's just a matter of which one.
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3633 posts
442 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
Can someone explain why LTE on a phone is desirable to begin with? 6GB of data is used up pretty quickly if you're streaming videos or music...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
garyhudson wrote: I don't really feel for LTE, i just want a well speced phone. I am inching closer to actually buying one, it's just a matter of which one.
I can tell you that the THL has been great, and I even dropped it once. Still working great. Not sure what your expectations or budget are, but on the bright side, i just received an OTA update, and the vendor which i bought mine from is putting together a support section for those that want to root/rom the device. If you are anything like myself, its reassuring to see the manufacture and vendor chipping in to support the device.
loserga wrote: Can someone explain why LTE on a phone is desirable to begin with? 6GB of data is used up pretty quickly if you're streaming videos or music...
People like LTE.. its faster than what was before it...(faster, lighter, thinner, smaller etc etc etc) again, in TORONTO its OK, but LTE modems crushes the battery on this generation of devices. Personally, I don't really care if pulling up my webpage is 1 second faster, or my youtube video search result list comes up maybe, 2 seconds faster... If the phone is in my pocket, does LTE matter when refreshing my mail or receiving whatsapp messages? hardly.

LTE coverage where I frequent (Newmarket/Richmond HIll/Vaughan/Thornhill) isn't 100% and I have witnessed my iPhone just hang on LTE when trying to pull up a page, but if I drop it back to HSPA the page loads instantly..

basically. LTE is good when you can get it, but getting it doesn't seem all the time unless you are in the CORE, maybe South of bloor, and even then, it can be spotty.... Canada just isn't prime time for LTE......... but hey, to the big 4, its great marketing, they are Canada's FASTEST network, right?
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 12, 2009
1399 posts
82 upvotes
With Power Save mode enabled:

[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-UzII ... -26-52.png[/IMG] [IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LPa5 ... -27-48.png[/IMG] [IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vhPf ... -31-09.png[/IMG] [IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-A9r3 ... -33-52.png[/IMG] [IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-drPb ... -41-19.png[/IMG]

total screen on was 6 hrs but
camera was used for 23 minutes,
~10mins won a few races in Asphalt 8,
Tweaking a magisto movie 13x and uploading ~1gig of movie data
and the bulk of the 5 hrs was web browsing/whatsapping..


got 2 days out of it.. so basically if it was one 2500mah battery, it would last 1 day of decent-heavy usage and that sounds about right to me.

and crossposting from XDA Developers:
xda-developers wrote: I was googling more THL 5000 reviews just to see whats new and decided to bounce some ideas off the company that I bought my phone from.

They have a support section that is rare for many Chinese online sellers, and they have posted this:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Imagi...90322544333196

Its the official firmware and rooting tools for the MT6592 chipset and is official for the THL 5000!

I don't have facebook account so I cannot confirm, this, but I hope this will help out some of the users here that have problems or are looking to root their handsets!!

Looks like they will have a group-buy for the THL 5000 pretty soon, so if you are on the fence for this great handset, this will probably get you across with the help of a trust-worthy retailer!!
if you guys have any questions, just ask.

The phone is as thin as the oneplus at 8.9mm and the build quality impressed my friends sporting nexus5, and oneplus/LG g2/g3 handsets..

and here is a video i shot at 1080p with the handset

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1VcWW ... sp=sharing
"Remember: a bicycle is an elegant and efficient tool designed for seeking out and defeating people who aren't as good as you."

--BikeSnobNYC
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2011
3633 posts
442 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
Nice! Have you tried running other benchmarks, like Vellamo?

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