My 3 year old cell phone was almost dead. I narrowed my selection down to Blackberry and IPhone. I like IPhone for its seamless integration with music player, camera and web browser. However, if I purchased it from my service provider, my provider would lock me into a lifetime broadband for extra $30/month even if I damaged or lost my phone. I did not use that route. While I browsed Ebay, I was surprised to see there were lots of IPhone clone on it with price tag less than $100. They were called I68 or I9 phones. They looked like IPhone and according to their description, worked almost like IPhone except you can not run IPhone application on it. In addition to camera, it also had FM radio, MP3 and MP4 player functions. For around $85, I decided to give it a try.
I purchased a latest I9 3G phone with 10 pages menu through Ebay from a Florida based vendor. I though the manufacturer should have ironed out all the kinks.
The vendor delivered the package on time. I was happy when I received the phone. It did looked like the real IPhone with similar wall papers. It could take pictures and play music. I made and received phone calls after I inserted my SIM card. Actually it could take 2 SIM cards. You can have one SIM card for business and one SIM card for personal calls.
However, excitement dim after the initial usage:
- The I9 3G still could not synchronize with Outlook. I had to manually enter my contacts. After spending 30 minutes to enter 50 contacts, I just gave up. Not to mention that the phone would not show my Outlook calenders, email, task…
- The touch screen was not accurate even after numerous calibrations. When I touched the screen with my finger, it may translate my touch to different key. This was very problematic. When I touched 9, it could enter 6! And unlocking the phone with the on screen slide bar took forever due to the touch problem – the screen did not think I touching the slider. I missed a lot of phone calls. This was the biggest problem! If you use a plastic pen, the phone response better. But it was another step and another tool!
- The phone claimed it played MP4 movie. However, my phone did not play the MP4 movie I copied to it. It played AVI movie it recorded via its camera. But it showed format error when I tried to play avi files I converted with 3rd party software.
- Only first three pages of the 10 page menu were useful. The other 7 pages were all useless games. I could not find out how to delete the annoying games shortcuts.
- The phone claimed you could install Java program to it. I tried to install a MP4 movie player on it. However, it did not work.
- The charge and ear phone port was not standard USB port. You have to use the included USB cable. After 2 months’ usage, the port connection was loose and lost connection during charge. Using the special ear phone became more and more problematic with the loose connection. The manufacturer should use standard USB port for charge and data transfer. Use the standard round port for ear phone and mike.
- The volume control on the side was not very accurate.
- The speed dial on the touch screen keys did not work consistently.
- The camera was low resolution, 640×480 only.
This list went on and on. This phone was more of a headache than a usable phone. Stayed away from it.