Friday, 31 May 2019

Another cheap chinese Android phone adventure

Well, because I'm an idiot I've gone for another Chinese imported phone!
The reason? My last chinese phone has developed an annoying fault with it's USB charge port, seems the connector is damaged and only occasionally takes power and charges the phone, so it's no longer reliable.
So I decided to try another one.

I ordered this phone from China (via wish) as specs were high and it was worth a bit of a gamble. Stated specs/product:
Quote:
CPU: MTK6595 Octa Core
System: Android 9.1
ROM: 128GB
RAM: 6GB
Screen Type: 6.3 inch full
Touch Screen: Support Capacitive
Resolution:Front 800MA makes you more beautiful!
Network: 4G
Network mode: GSM/WCDMA
Network: Dual SIM Cards Support T Card
Camera typeual Rear Camera One Front Camera
Camera Pixel:
Front Camera:800 MP
Rear Camera: 16.0 MP
Software: Play Store, Air, Distance, Gesture, SmartWake,



And lots more impressive information.
The bits that made me look interested was 6Gb RAM and Android 9.1. Ignoring the usual Chinese rubbish about how good it was, and how it made me more beautiful I thought I'd try it. After shipping it was around 80UKP.




Arrival was within the stated time, but after starting to install apps and get used to the phone I found a few oddities. A few apps wouldn't install, saying not compatible with the phone, and it lagged at times quite badly for larger apps (facebook, whatsapp, etc).

I then thought I'd delve in deeper and see more info, checking the about page (and enabling developer mode) I saw the stats and a few bits didn't add up.
Android patch level seemed old for such a newly built kernel. Kernel was supposedly built April 2019.
So I fired up ADB and wow, I found some interesting facts!




The product listed itself as the P35_Pro product with an ID of LMY47I. The hardware is mt6580 which is an older Mediatek chipset.
Quote:
[ro.product.brand]: [Welcome]
[ro.product.cpu.abi2]: [armeabi]
[ro.product.cpu.abi]: [armeabi-v7a]
[ro.product.cpu.abilist32]: [armeabi-v7a,armeabi]
[ro.product.cpu.abilist64]: []
[ro.product.cpu.abilist]: [armeabi-v7a,armeabi]
[ro.product.device]: [P35_Pro]
[ro.product.locale.language]: [en]
[ro.product.locale.region]: [US]
[ro.product.manufacturer]: [alps]
[ro.product.model]: [P35 Pro]
[ro.product.name]: [P35_Pro]
And then the magic part, the android release, SDK and security_patch level:
Quote:
[ro.build.host]: [mht-15]
[ro.build.id]: [LMY47I]
[ro.build.product]: [P35_Pro]
[ro.build.tags]: [release-keys]
[ro.build.type]: [user]
[ro.build.user]: [android]
[ro.build.version.all_codenames]: [REL]
[ro.build.version.base_os]: []
[ro.build.version.codename]: [REL]
[ro.build.version.incremental]: [1555497787]
[ro.build.version.release]: [5.1]
[ro.build.version.sdk]: [22]
[ro.build.version.security_patch]: [2016-06-01]
So it's actually running Android 5.1 Lollipop with an SDK of 22, security patch from 2016! So nowhere near Android 9.1. So my guess is the about app in the phone is hard-coded to hide what's truly running.
Memory is also different to stated:
Quote:
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 3 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 15.70
Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3 tls vfpv4 idiva idivt
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x0
CPU part : 0xc07
CPU revision : 3

Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 3 (v7l)
processor : 1
BogoMIPS : 15.70
Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3 tls vfpv4 idiva idivt
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x0
CPU part : 0xc07
CPU revision : 3

Hardware : MT6580WP
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000
shell@P35_Pro:/ $ cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal: 2022700 kB
MemFree: 106920 kB
Buffers: 6436 kB
Cached: 599428 kB
SwapCached: 268 kB
Active: 912156 kB
Inactive: 588852 kB
Active(anon): 620728 kB
Inactive(anon): 276328 kB
Active(file): 291428 kB
Inactive(file): 312524 kB
Unevictable: 1424 kB
Mlocked: 4 kB
HighTotal: 1555456 kB
HighFree: 27680 kB
LowTotal: 467244 kB
LowFree: 79240 kB
SwapTotal: 163836 kB
SwapFree: 16 kB
Dirty: 40 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 896404 kB
Mapped: 310784 kB
Shmem: 484 kB
Slab: 48328 kB
SReclaimable: 20672 kB
SUnreclaim: 27656 kB
KernelStack: 16976 kB
PageTables: 28424 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 1175184 kB
Committed_AS: 31332204 kB
VmallocTotal: 499712 kB
VmallocUsed: 102800 kB
VmallocChunk: 131012 kB
So only 2Gb of memory.



Now, I don't need a lecture about buying from Chinese sites/etc, I expected there to be problems, etc, but maybe not quite this level! I'm going to complain and see if I get anything, I doubt it. Otherwise it's a functioning phone, seems OK. I'll be watching it closely to see what else unusual I find with it.

(All images at: https://imgur.com/a/u1OZo4A)

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