Friday 13 July 2018

Xgody D24_Pro android 4g phone

My latest "basic" phone is the Xgody D24_Pro, which runs android 7.0 (Kernel 3.18.35) with baseband MOLY.LR9.W1444

(PS the photos are stock ones, as it's difficult to take a photo of it, using itself as that's the only decent camera-phone I currently own!)

This phone was purchased for under £100 as a temporary phone due to another phone being on order as I need something that did 4G and run latest android apps. It was bought from an ebay seller who seemed to be the Chinese importer of these, so as usual registered address was in China, but it's some UK shipping address, so it arrived after 2 days and it looks really good!
The outside on mine was a blue metallic on the rear, and a lightly curved full front screen without bezel.
It comes with the usual cheap power usb charger (1amp), charge lead, rubber casing and screen protector. This edition has the removable back revealing the battery, two sim card slots and memory card slot.. Taking the protective tape off the battery and connecting it to charge it showed a worrying 1% initial charge so I left it for 24hrs on charge to let it fill up and go happy.
Powering it on, it's the usual android thing, setup, add google play credentials, go online, etc, and it was working great, really fast going through the setup and no apparent issues.

The screen was very clear, if anything a little too bright/high brightness and the automatic brightness control seems to always prefer to be brighter than what I'm used to, but that's probably my preference.
The phone boasts a fingerprint sensor on the back, headphone slot and usual high-def screen. Inside it's got a quad-core processor at 1.3Ghz and a decent 2Gb of RAM along with internal 16Gb storage for the o/s, apps, etc. I always put an SD-card in for photos and all the other stuff.
Cameras aren't bad, rear 13MP is decent, if a little sluggish at waking up and focusing (processor?) and at first I was worried as the previewed photos looked poor quality, but after looking at them on a laptop they are really good. You also can use the UHD mode for really fine-grain detail. Front camera is 8MP which should do my snapchats decently (one for the kids there!).

The battery looks like it's the weak point, specs show only 2400mAh and I've started to notice that I don't get a full day's use out of it so ending up by around 5/6pm down to 30%, so I then pop it on charge again. It's also not equipped to use fast charge, so pulls current at around 0.8amps on charge, so full charge is around 2hrs something like that, which isn't too bad.

The buttons keep catching me out, but I think that's just because of what I'm used to.
On the side are (from top to bottom) volume up, volume down and power. I've always preferred power on the top, but that's from HTC phones! You can also wake it up by putting your fingerprint on the fingerprint reader which is nifty and works pretty accurately I've found.


  • Battery life/capacity/charging
  • No NFC (no android pay, etc)
  • charge port is at the top
  • Screen a little too high brightness (slightly whited out)
  • Camera slow to react
  • Price (Less than £100 for a VERY good android smartphone)
  • Fast - Processor and memory work well so keep android flying along despite all my apps
  • screen - slightly curved and really clear
  • weight - not too heavy at all, similar to most others
  • Camera - good front and rear cameras that take good photos
  • Android - 7 installed (updated Jan2018) and with NO bloatware installed, just raw android pretty much so it's very sleek
  • Good looking - I like the electric blue casing
  • Fingerprint - for unlock and in apps that support fingerprint unlock.
  • Removable battery - I always like the ability to remove the battery in case of problems, and in theory you can replace it (Not sure how easy that is with Xgody not being a popular/known brand)
So all in all, I'm really impressed with my "cheap" android phone buy!

Update: After a week, and it's still working great, battery life I've learned to live with, charger plugged in and it's fine. The screen is a little brighter than I'd like (Perhaps causing the poor battery) but running it almost constantly on lowest brightness seems fine in all conditions I've tried so far.
Fingerprint unlock is proving really good, I use that all the time now.

Saturday 7 July 2018

Smart Watch - Bakeey HB08S

I've done it again, I've looked at smart watches, and again got confused and surprised by the range and prices they go for. Sure, you can spend several hundred pounds on a smart watch that looks amazing and does all sorts, but generally I'm not a watch wearer, I don't use it as a fashion statement, so my main requirements:

  • Alerts me of messages/chats on my watch and lets me see the contents/partial info
  • Easily adjustable for my tiny/thin wrists
  • Comfortable, not square and unweildy
  • Extra functions of stepcounter, heart-rate, etc, a nicety
  • Actually shows the time
  • Battery life longer than a couple of days
So not the biggest range of requirements, but enough to discount a lot of the cheaper brands that are in the low £10-30 it seems.
This is the one I've ended up with, the Bakeey HB08S which should normally cost £40 (In this case I got it free, as a free gift so non-sponsored item!).

The first thing that stands out is the strap, it's really quite impressive and I'd never seen this type before. It's a sort of chain-main strap, BUT with a twist, it uses a strong magnet to fasten, so simply slip it round to the right place and let the magnet catch any part of the strap. That's great for me, as no fixed fastening holes or positions, so you can get the comfort level just right, and let's you adjust it constantly, so for a non-watch wearer like me, getting used to it is easier.

Next is the watch face, it's not huge, it's rounded and actually looks OK. When the screen is on you can see the simplicity of it though, the screen is square and just goes into a round bezel, but it's clear and shows the info you need.

I prefer the first two options for display, I was a little disappointed there was no "classic" watch display graphic, but these do work and give you a few good bits of info just when the screen turns on:
  • Time and date (month-day fixed format)
  • Heart rate at last sample
  • Stepcount
  • Bluetooth status (not too reliable, or I kept reading it wrong!)

Next up is battery life. AMAZING, it lasted me for 5 days before needing a charge on my first test run (Which admittedly was without being paired to a phone), but so far whilst paired to a phone it's made it two days and battery still shows 90+% so that's good. Also the battery level indicator works well, full is 4 bars and they go down slowly, no sudden drops/jumps. That also takes me onto the charger. It's a nice neat little 'rest' charger, just place the watch onto it (you see the contact pins on it) and it charges, so far it's always just sat right on it and didn't move off, so again, really easy for charging.

The alert reminder goes with the app itself you install "iband" and out of most of the chinese applications, this one works really well! Setting it up and connecting to the watch was quick, and all the settings in the app seem to work without a crash or problems.

You can set how it wakes up (I set it when I turn my wrist, and it's surprisingly good at detecting when you lift your wrist and look at the screen!), medium brightness (It's fixed, so in bright light it can be difficult to see) and the various notifications so I get alerts based on txt messages, whatsapp, etc. You can't add all notifications to be alerted to, which is a shame, but they include the main ones.
The alerts are pretty clear, when you get a TXT message the watch vibrates and shows you the first 6 characters of the name of person sending and a letter icon. You then touch the watch to see the contents of the message, and it will scroll through each page of the message, which is really impressive! The text is very blocky, not very elegant, but it works well.

It's difficult to comment on the step count and heart rate as don't have a good frame of reference, but the step count does seem reasonably accurate based on me counting my steps and seeing how it increases on the watch, so it seems close enough for what I'd want! The sync back to the phone is regular and shows steps, activity, sleep cycles, heart rate over monitored period (It does periodic checks), blood pressure (Unsure on this one!) and the last one, SP02 in percent (No idea!).

So in summary, I'm liking the watch, it's not stylish or particularly clever but it does the job really well and compared to a lot of the Chinese "smart" watches I think this one is really impressive.

One problem: I'm not sure how, but I managed to crack the plastic casing of it, which meant the front watch face was starting to come off. Taking a peak inside I could see the battery li-ion package is glued to the base and the screen with the circuit is attached to the face, so if you do prise it apart, you need to disconnect the thin ribbon that joins the two before you lift the screen too far. Prising it from the bottom of the face looks the best option! I used a few dots of superglue to put it back together, hopefully it will hold.