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I came across a small mobile shop in Manila. Its in Greenhills, Quezon City. Its part of a huge consortium of mobile phone sellers. This shop interested me, because the lady was exclusively selling china mobiles. Although a huge percentage of the world’s mobile phones are manufactured in China, including Apple and Nokia, the name China mobile specifically refers to cheap and fake mobile phones. These chinese mobiles don’t go through FTC or any proper quality check. But they are feature rich and their user interface is very interesting to work with and explore. In the past, I have advised many friends to stay away from fake chinese mobiles after a friend of mine got duped into buying a fake N95. But this time, I couldn’t just resist it and I got myself a fake Chinese iPhone.

There are many fake iPhones in the market. There iPhones which are slimmer than the real one, fakes iphones with wifi and EDGE, iPhones faster than the real one and even one fake iphone has got a fake app store. This particular iPhone caught my eye, because it had 12000 megapixel camera. Obviously that was a typo, but now that its got my attention, I explored further. Let me list out a few of its features

  • 3.2 inch resistive touch screen with stylus
  • Tactile feedback/response to touch
  • Accelerometer to rotate screen in any direction
  • Java applications and Games pre-installed
  • Accelerometer based fun applications pre-installed
  • Support for SD card
  • Dual GSM Sim (both sim are simultaneously open)
  • Bluetooth
  • GPRS
  • A crude digital compass
  • Threaded SMS Chat
  • Swipe to explore image gallery and switch homescreens
  • Swipe to unlock screen and switch off
  • 10 homescreens
  • Camera with flash (3 MP)
  • Video and Voice recorder
  • micro USB connectivity
  • Battery can Charge via USB
  • Camera can act as Webcam
  • Scientific and Regular calculator
  • Calendar and Business organizer
  • MSN chat application
  • Predictive text input
  • World clock, alarm and stop watch
  • FM radio
  • Multi format Video player
  • Multi format Audio player
  • Shake to change track (works crudely)
  • 1200 MaH battery (Spare battery included in pack)
  • Dynamic wallpaper
  • Profile management (inc Flight mode)
  • Valid IMEI number
  • and many more features which I haven’t explored yet…

The finishing of the physical device is quite neat. I also got a silicon protector as a freebie from the seller. Memory card is expandable upto 4GB. The phone’s UI is a total rip off from the Apple iPhone. Everything from homescreen to icons, totally looks like and iPhone. But it doesn’t feel like an iPhone, because its not THE iPhone. Ok… time to wake up

On the downside, the battery is weak and drains fast even when phone is in standby. The speaker quality is not good. The touch screen is inaccurate and not very responsive. Typing a text message can be a tedious task. SAR radiation ratings are unknown for this FTC unapproved device. It heats up while charging. The camera quality is very poor. What more to expect from a mobile which costs 2800 INR?

I am not complaining because its not my primary or secondary mobile. This is my experimental device. I intend to do a lot of experiments on it like installing java based browsers, apps, games, dissecting the device, re-assembling it and many more. I appreciate the time and effort the chinamen have put in to manufacture this mobile which has no brand and just carries the name fake iPhone.

2 responses

  1. Gayatri Varma

    good luck with the experiments. As I spent the whole of yesterday trying to unlock my new 3GS I understood your statement “Life was much easier when Apple and Blackberry were just fruits”. That is so damn true!! Satish had bought this thing from the US as an Anniversary gift, didnt anticipate any problems because he bought it from an Apple store for a premium price WITHOUT the AT&T contract package. But when I tried to connect it thru iTunes it suggested an update to the latest 3.1.3 firmware.. and following it was my biggest mistake! I'm now stuck as it turns out I cannot unlock the phone with this version of firmware. I can access ALL other applications on this phone except for “the phone”. Now I enjoy taking cadid photos and videos of the kids and keeping my fingers crossed and praying for Devteam or some other god-sent hacker to find a way to unlock it. do let me know if you anytime come across a success story of unlocking 3GS 3.1.3.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:55 AM

  2. i was about to blog about a skilled mobile technician who fixed my N95. This guy can apparently hack/jailbreak any iPhone. he uses a software called snowrose or something. I dont remember exactly. But he is based in Manila :(

    March 24, 2010 at 8:02 AM

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