Bought a Chinese Clone Phone (Review)

John Avis by | April 14, 2011 | Mobile Phones

Having been looking for a new phone on eBay I had been exposed to the many cheap clone phones from China and was curious about what they were like. Unfortunately there isn't much information online about them, although there are plenty of warnings not to buy.

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Anyway I really liked the thought of getting a Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro and thought it might be interesting to try the Chinese clone, of which there are a couple to chose from. I chose one branded "Perfect" which cost round A$75 and purchased it through aliexpress.com which was cheaper than the same seller on eBay and also offered a free escrow service which meant that the supplier wasn't paid until I said that I had received the item.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro Clone


I was very impressed with the aliexpress.com buying process, and my phone was delivered from China to Australia in exactly one week. The aliexpress.com site is very good (it looks like they have cloned amazon.com) but the search facility is bad, making it hard to locate items amongst the thousands and thousands of items for sale. Also many sellers do not classify their items correctly which makes them appear when not relevant to your search.

Right, back to the phone. Basically it's pretty crap, just as warned.

It is a touchscreen phone with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. It came with an Australian charger, two batteries, earphones and a USB cable (also used for charging). No user manual or software were provided.

It does have some interesting features however. Such as the ability to use 3 SIM cards simultaneously, and a built-in analogue TV tuner.

It has WiFi which connected first time to my home network and seems to work well.

The built-in browser is okay but doesn't seem to load some pages (reports server error). The control buttons are small and hard to select and there seems to be some bug that causes the buttons to display wierdly sometimes. Opera Mini is included in the Java applications and works better, if not as quick to load.

I was disappointed that it didn't have an integrated email client. I was able to download PicoMail, a Java email client, which is quite good but there are certainly a heap of clicks required to do anything. I was able to set up my Hotmail account manually (automatic detection worked for receiving email but not sending).

I also plan to download and install an instant messenger Java application too.

Incidently I couldn't install anything until I added a Micro SD card.

I haven't tested the phone with a SIM yet as I wanted to check that it wouldn't try and use my mobile plan for data first.

The QWERTY keyboard is useful and works well however the switch from portrait to landscape doesn't always happen. I also got trapped in some text prediction mode which I couldn't work out how to get out of. Very frustrating to enter web addresses with!

The phone also has handwriting recognition which looks impressive but had about 5% success rate in my test.

The advertisement claims the phone has Bluetooth but I haven't found any settings yet.

The camera is 1.3MP and from the one photo I have taken so far... Crap!

Battery life seems good, though I understand it will be reduced drastically if using more than 1 SIM. With little to no use (and no SIM card installed) it is down to 75% after 24 hours.

I will keep investigating the phone and post on what I find.

Edit: Although the phone didn't come with a user manual I found the following manual which has a similar version of the same MTK operating system:

Cect_P168__2007_06.pdf

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Comments

John Avis

by John Avis | April 16, 2011

Update: I tried the handwriting recognition again and his time it was near perfect. I also found the Bluetooth settings and paired it with my car kit successfully. The WiFi seems a little sporadic - sometimes working and sometimes not. My fiance used the phone to watch TV on a recent drive. It proved quite useful but used about 50% of the battery in 30 minutes. Without watching TV, my initial thoughts are that the battery should last around 3 days with minimal phone use.

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John Avis

by John Avis | April 20, 2011

I am liking the phone more and more now. Battery life is good now that I am not running WiFi permanently (on 75% on third day this charge with a handfull of calls). Handwriting recognition is poor again. The other day I wanted to dial a phone number but the usual touch screen button to do this didn't do anything and the only way I could make a call was using a contact. In bright outdoors the screen can be very hard to see. So far I have failed at finding a free instant messaging application that works on the phone.

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John Avis

by John Avis | April 28, 2011

Nearly two weeks on one charge, and still at 40% capacity. Pretty impressive.

Reply

Mark

by Mark | August 11, 2011

Hi can you please tell me how you got your bluetooth working on your china phone?

thanks
Mark , QLD

Reply

John Avis

by John Avis | August 11, 2011

I couldn't find the Bluetooth option at first but eventually found it in the "Tools" menu. It does pair with my BT car kit but I haven't been able to use it for hands free. I am guessing it only works for data transfer.

Reply

Mark

by Mark | August 12, 2011

Okay great thanks John you know heaps about phones cheers

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