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.