Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MyPhone A919i Duo Review: Overall Performer

INTRODUCTION:

I know that it is already too late to write a review about this phone, however I think it would still help those people who want to purchase it especially that more and more quad core phones from local brand our coming out.

The MyPhone A919i Duo is the first quad-core phone that was released by MyPhone, though not for a local brand. It is a worthy upgrade from the original A919 Duo not only on its innards but as well as the looks.

MyPhone A919i Duo is the current MyPhone flagship carrying great specifications. It is powered by a MediaTek MT6589 that integrates a power efficient Quad-Core Cortex A7 CPU, PowerVR SGX544 and coupled with 1GB of RAM.

Key Specs:

  • Dual SIM , Dual Standby
  • Tri-Band GSM/EDGE/GPRS (both SIMs) and  Dual Band HSPA+ (SIM 1 only, 21MBps DL and 11 MBps UL )
  • 5.0" capacitive IPS High Definition LCD (1280 x 720)
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 (confirmed update to 4.2.1)
  • 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 Quad Core CPU, PowerVR SGX544MP GPU MediaTek MT6589 chipset
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB internal (2.75 GB available), expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 8.0MP auto focus main camera with LED Flash, geo-tagging, HDR, Burst Shot
  • 2.0MP secondary camera
  • GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct
  • 3.5 Audio Jack
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • MP3/MP4 Player
  • Micro USB 2.0, USB OTG
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Light, Orientation, Proximity, Sound, Magnetic
  • Led Notification
  • Great Audio Output

Main Disadvantages:
  • No panorama and no photo-sphere
  • Limited internal storage, cannot move application to external SD card
  • No TV output nor any option for wireless mirroring


UNBOXING:

MyPhone did not give any special attention to their flagship phone in terms of packaging and accessories. The retail package contains the usual MyPhone stuff, aside from the unit you will find a standard micro USB charger/cable combo, stereo headset, quick start guide, phone suite and warranty card. My unit is white and all accessories are also white. Sadly there is no freebie or whatsoever not.

Box and Unit
Unit and Accessories
The overall design and build quality are quite good. The bezels are now thin as oppose to the original A919, the inclusion of the silver lining (which I believe MyPhone trends on their current phones) gives it a more sophisticated look. Many will say that the 10.7mm waistline is thick, however the curve design makes it more comfortable to handle even for one-handed use.

Front
The front is mainly covered by the 5" IPS LCD, just above the display you will find an earpiece located at the center. The LED notification is located at the very end of the earpiece grill, after that you will find the proximity sensor, the light sensor and the two mega-pixel camera for video calling as well as self-portrait imaging. At the bottom of the display you will find the usual menu, home and back key arranged from left to right respectively.

Earpiece, LED, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor & Front Camera
Menu, Home & Back Key

The micro USB and 3.5mm audio jack can be found at the top. On the left side near the top we can find the volume keys. The right side there's the power key near at the top and slot for opening the back cover at the bottom. The mouthpiece is located at the bottom.

Micro USB & 3.5mm Audio Jack at the top
Mouthpiece at the bottom

Volume keys at the left side
Power key at the right side
The cover is completely plastic, which feels nice to touch and not a fingerprint magnet. The back houses the main 8.0MP camera which is accompanied by an LED flash below it. Surprisingly there is a secondary microphone on the left part of the camera for noise cancellation. You can also find the usual MyPhone logo and Philippine map at the back and below it there's the loud speaker.

Back, Main Camera, LED Flash, Secondary Mic, MP Logo & Loud Speaker

Removing the back cover is quite easy, once removed, it reveals the battery rated at 2000mAh, the slots for the two SIM cards as well as the slot for the micro SD card for memory expansion.

SIM & Micro SD slots, 2000mAh Battery


INTERFACE:

MyPhone A919i Duo utilizes stock Android interface with very minimal tweak. It is running on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and confirmed update for 4.2.1. The interface is pretty fast and fluid even though the refresh rate is capped at 45 fps.

Locked Screen
Home Screen

The locked screen can vary depending on your preference. For the purpose of this review I will use the slide option. On a locked screen, swiping the lock key icon towards the right side unlocks the phone, swiping it left directs to the camera interface (if you have other camera software like camera 360 installed you can opt to use it as your default interface). If you have any notification, it will appear in the upper portion of the lock key icon. Dragging the notification to the lock key icon will launch the corresponding software of the said notification, e.g. email or SMS.
 
Notification on a locked screen

On a locked screen you can also access your notification panel. The notification panel includes several shortcuts such as Wi-Fi, BT, GPS, Data Connection & Airplane mode. Swiping it left will show brightness, timeout and auto rotation. While swiping it right will bring audio profile shortcut (General, Silent, Meeting & Outdoor). It also includes the shortcut for the system setting (just beside the date).
Shortcuts under notification panel

If you have any notification you can directly access it on a notification panel which gives you several options to choose from. For example, a missed call will provide you the option to call back or to send a message.

Notification, Missed Call

Once you are on the home screen, you will be greeted with MyPhone wallpaper (you can change it anytime you want since MyPhone is kind enough to include wallpapers without their logo). The home screen includes five (5) panes which you cannot reduce nor add, at the bottom-center you will find the app drawer icon at the center accompanied by two shortcuts on each side. On the left side the default shortcuts are phone & contact while on the right side are message & browser. All these shortcuts can be edited based on your own preference.

Once you pressed the app drawer icon, you can now access the apps and widgets which you can swipe left or right. Here you can also access the play store any time by pressing the shortcut icon at the upper right hand portion. Adding a widget or application to the home screen is pretty easy, just hold the desire apps or widget and drag it to your desire location

Apps & Widgets


BENCHMARKS:

The MyPhone A919i Duo relies on a powerful 1.2GHZ quad core MediaTek MT6589 processor, PowerVR SGX544MP GPU and 1GB RAM. MediaTek claims that this is the "coolest" quad core SoC available in the market (which literally means extremely low power consumption).

It has an impressive score in well known static benchmarks.

Antutu, 12306
Quadrant, 3570
Nenamark, 37.5
Vellamo, HTML5-1375, Metal-452


PHONEBOOK:

It uses a tab interface for groups, contacts and frequently contacted. If you are having trouble finding your contacts you can always utilize the search button at the bottom. Under frequently contacted tab, any contact you "starred" will appear at the top.

Phonebook, Tab Interface
It has virtually unlimited capacity with all the functionality you need. You can opt to choose which address book you want to display - SIM card, Phone or Online addresses. Adding a new contact will prompt you to which account you want it to be saved. You can also import or export contacts.

Contact options

Each contact can contain multiple information such as emails, numbers, address etc. You can also join contacts from multiple accounts.


DUAL SIM FUNCTIONALITY:

Under settings-wireless & networks you will find the SIM management. You can switch each SIM on or off to help you save battery (especially if you are only using one SIM). Other SIM management settings are as follows:

  1. Voice Call - you can choose SIM 1, SIM 2 or Always ask
  2. Video Call - you can choose SIM1 or SIM 2
  3. Messaging - you can choose SIM 1, SIM 2 or Always ask
  4. Data Connection - you can choose SIM 1, SIM 2 or off
Sim Management

Remember that only SIM 1 is HSPA capable, so better use it for your data connection needs rather than SIM 2. Every time you change your SIM card  it saves your preference and naming scheme (it will not allow the same SIM card name if  they are different SIM cards).


TELEPHONY:

The call reception is quite good, the sound at the earpiece is clear and loud. The addition of secondary microphone (located at the back neat the camera) reduces noise making the call crystal clear. Smart dialing is also present which searches both names and numbers. The option during a call are loud speaker, mute, hold, add a person on the current call and record the call. One thing I am looking for is to have an option to write a note while on a call, which comes very handy when the person on the other line ask you to write something (e.g. he/she will dictate a number). The proximity sensor turn off the screen automatically during a call which prevents any accidental touch on the screen.

Call recording & SIM toggle

Under telephony, you can find the SIM toggle by just swiping the notification panel (options are SIM 1, SIM 2 or Always Ask). It also displays your recent call activity indicating which SIM card was used for every call log.
Telephony


MESSAGING:

The messaging application is quite simple, the new button is found at the bottom left while the search button is at the bottom right. The threads are listed based on the latest message created/received. The message thread is color coded, the background of your message is blue while on the recipient is grey. Your message goes on the right side while the recipient message on the left side. Under messaging app, SIM toggle is also available similar to the telephony.

Under a certain conversation, you can find two shortcuts at the upper right hand. The first option will prompt you to save a number if it is not in your contact list. If the person is already on your phone book, it pop-up the said contact. The second option (handset symbol) will prompt you to call the said person/number on that message.

MMS share the same editor as the SMS, under new message clicking the green + symbol will give you the option to add almost anything, once added to a message it automatically converts it to MMS.

Messaging

The default keyboard is only the QWERTY type, you cannot change it to phone pad or other method. It supports auto-capitalization, haptic feedback (vibration on key press) and sound on key press. It also offers an auto correction.

MyPhone A919i Duo also works without any issue with popular online messaging applications like Skype, Viber and WeChat.

WeChat & Viber


EMAIL:

For the email department, it consists of the stock email app as well as gmail app. The stock email app handles virtually every internet email. Adding an email account is quite easy you just need your email address and password then hit next and it will automatically look for the correct email settings. You can attach any file you want and can include CC/BCC. You can also change the frequency of sync, include signature, always BCC yourself and change the notification sound. Vibration for incoming email can also be set.

E-mail

The Gmail can automatically sync the Google account you use during Play Store set-up. The Gmail app is basically the same as the email app, however it limits your attachment to only picture or video. The workaround you can do is to go to the file you want to attach, press and hold the file and you will have the option to share it on Gmail. While reading a message, you have the option to report it as spam or phishing as well as mark it not important.

Gmail

Both email apps can handle multiple email accounts.


MULTIMEDIA:

Gallery:

MyPhone A919i Duo uses the stock Android gallery, you can arrange it based on Albums, Locations, Times, People or Tags. The camera shortcut is always present at the upper right hand. The gallery also houses both pictures and videos.

Gallery

Video Player: Can play 1080p MP4 Video

Like the gallery, it uses the stock Android video player, it will list all the supported video in your device (both on the internal storage and external SD card). It can only play almost any file I throw at it .3gp, .avi, .mp4 even .mkv the only file it is unable to play was .flv. Impressively, it can handle 1080p video without any lag or stuttering. You can play the video as normal, stretch or full screen. There is also an option to share the video thru facebook, email etc. The only let down of the video player is that it does NOT support subtitle.

Video Player
1080p Video

Watching a movie on its vibrant 5" screen is comfortable. There is no TV out option nor wireless mirroring (MT6589 supports Miracast technology for multi-screen sharing but it is not currently available on MyPhone O/S).


Music Player:

The music player has a tab interface, it will list the music based on four (4) categories namely Artist, Albums, Songs & Playlist. It has the option to search, party shuffle, shuffle all or sound effects. Selecting sound effects will bring you to the equalizer settings. The equalizer has several presets like Normal, Classic, Flat, Rock etc, you can also turn it off if you prefer.

Music Player
The music interface is quite simple, it provides the option to shuffle, repeat current song, repeat all songs and even use it as a ringtone. It also displays album art if available in your files. Once the music player is running, you can easily access it through the notification panel.

Music Player Interface

FM Radio:

Basically you need a headset for the FM to work. Many people will say that FM radio is a thing of the past, but still its inclusion is a bonus. The FM radio interface is pretty neat and straightforward. It can search all the available channel (or you can add them manually), you can also record your favorite music and play it on speaker.

FM Radio

Camera/Video:

The camera and video share the same interface. The camera can shoot from VGA and maxes out at 8.0MP and accompanied by a single LED flash. The volume keys can be use as a hardware shutter, therefore in order to zoom in you need to pinch out the screen. It provides plenty of options such as Exposure, White Balance, Color Effect, Scene Mode & others. It can also store location (Geo-tagged your photo) thanks to its built in GPS. Self timer is also available and ISO can be adjusted manually. Continuous shot is also available (4, 8 or 16 shots), however it seems to be unusable when the subject is moving since it saves the picture first for about half a second before proceeding on the next shot. The most important part that is missing are the Panorama and Photo-Sphere, I do not know why MyPhone left out this option since it was available on the other model (A818g).

Camera & Video Interface

The video option is similar to the camera. It can shoot from 176x144 (low quality) up to full HD 1920x1088 (fine quality). You can also use the front camera for video capture as well as for taking pictures.


Sample Shots (A919i at the top, SGN2 at the bottom)




The picture created was good enough for day to day activity. I included Samsung Galaxy Note 2 photos for comparison.

Browsing:

The MyPhone A919i uses the stock Android browser. The browser itself is quite fast, it loads the web pages even those with many images pretty quickly. Thanks to its high definition screen you can easily ready text on a web page even without zooming. It supports up to sixteen (16) tabs. You can save a web page for offline reading or even share it to someone.

One flaw I noticed is that "request for desktop site" option is not working, even you enable it, web pages still display mobile version. The only way it can display "desktop version" is to click it at the bottom part of the web site.

Browser

Gaming:

It can handle the most popular games in the Play Store like 4 pics 1 word, Temple Run 2, Cut the Rope, Candy Crush etc. I played extensive graphics games like Dead Trigger and NBA Jam, both works like a charm, pretty smooth without any noticeable lag. The main limitation is the storage, since the total capacity is only 2.75GB (0.98GB for internal storage and 1.77GB for the phone storage). Even you have the micro SD card, it will not help since you cannot save the games into it only on the phone storage (this is something I hope MyPhone will resolve soon on their phones).

I know advance users can do "memory swap" in different ways, however this memory swap can be done easily without root access with competitor brands (e.g. CM Flare, you can easily choose which default storage you want, once external SD was chosen it becomes your default storage).

4 pics 1 word
Candy Crush
Cut the Rope
Temple Run 2
NBA Jam
Dead Trigger

One this I noticed is that the games usually load a  little bit longer than branded phones. Once the game was loaded it runs pretty snappy.


CONNECTIVITY:

The MyPhone A919i supports Triple Band GSM/EDGE/GPRS which can be use for roaming. It also supports dual band 3G. However, keep in mind that only SIM 1 supports HSDPA up to 21MBps. It supports tethering and hotspot.

Wi-Fi Connection is good, it can get a good signal even I am upstairs (my router sits beside our home phone downstairs) and also supports Wi-Fi direct.

In addition MyPhone A919i has Bluetooth 4.0 and Micro USB 2.0 that support OTG.

External USB Storage

The 3.5mm audio jack completes the list, I used the supplied headset, pioneer headset (without microphone) and stock SGN2 headset (with microphone) and all of them works fine.


SENSORS:

MyPhone A919i Duo is equipped with plenty of sensors which you can verify if working by downloading Android Sensor Box via Play Store (thanks to Sir Angelo for this tip).

Sensors


PRODUCTIVITY:

The MyPhone A919i Duo is well suited for work on the go. The productivity applications include Calendar, Clock, Calculator, Sound Recorder, Notes and To Do. What is missing is the King Soft Office which you can always download at Play Store for Free.

Calendar, Clock & Calculator
Sound Recorder, Notes & To Do


GPS:

It also boasts a capable GPS with A-GPS support as well GPS EPO assistance. Using the inbuilt Google Map, I manage to get a satellite lock at around 1 minute, which is quite good (A-GPS and GPS EPO are on). The satellite tracking is also pretty accurate.

GPS


BATTERY:

I used it for about 3 days to gauge its battery performance and honestly I am quite satisfied with it. Note the data connection is always enable on with 6 accounts that are always in sync on the background (3 emails, 1 Facebook, 1 tweeter & 1 yahoo mail).

Battery Data


CONCLUSION: OVERALL PERFORMER

I can safely say that MyPhone A919i performs pretty well in every aspect. The screen is pretty vibrant and can be use under direct sunlight. Its fluidity is comparable to high-end brands. You do not necessarily need to bring multiple devices, it can perform as your point and shoot camera, a good music and video player and a capable browser. You can also work on the go, productivity is well covered.

MyPhone A919i Duo an overall performer for both work and play.

24 comments:

  1. nice , hmm can I use free facebook in myphone A919i by just turning on the data connection ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pero bakit yung saken hindi ? ano kaya pwede ko gawin ? thank you

      Delete
    2. Ca you help me resolved it sir. Plss,, Thank you

      Delete
    3. Go to settings, mobile networks and network settings.. try to change the default setting (do trial and error)

      Delete
    4. i tried it several times , its not working ;(

      Delete
  2. Hi, doesn't the upgrade from Android 4.1.2 to 4.2 enable the phone to have photo sphere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Panorama and Photo-Sphere are working in 4.2.1 update..

      Please see..

      http://dralm17.blogspot.com/2013/06/myphone-a919i-duo-android-421-update.html

      Delete
  3. I have a problem on message app.

    I cannot sent message by using search contact from message app. But when creating messages initially created from contacts app, it works.

    Please help. You can also contact me on my FB account for this issue. Need help ASAP.
    Facebook: i3hmarjorie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marj, if you are referring to the recipient input wherein it won't search the name/number it is a software bug, did you recently update from 4.1.2 to 4.2.1?

      Immediate solution I can suggest is use third party messaging app like Go SMS

      Delete
  4. Hi sir. any review for Myphone Vortex?

    ReplyDelete
  5. so how we save games on sd card? thats my problem on my 919i dou..

    ReplyDelete
  6. nice ! nasabe na lahat lahat pero ung presyo hndi naisulat

    ReplyDelete
  7. ♥♥MiCkZiE♥♥January 24, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Hi just want to ask how didi you do all the screen shots?? Im having a trouble doing screen shot in this phone.. thanks appreciate your reply.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. press power at volume down po ng sabay.

    ReplyDelete
  9. may mga stocks pa of this phone sa shops dto. do you think this is still a good buy nowadays with its price at 6300?

    ReplyDelete
  10. where can i update my A919i 4.1.2 to 4.2.1? can you help thx.

    ReplyDelete
  11. sa mga MyPhone sevice center po

    ReplyDelete
  12. at 6300 it is still a good buy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Got a question, my notification bar does not appear like what is shown on the screen shot above.. How can we have that fixed? Need help please..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cheng del RosarioJuly 29, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    how do u turn off the shutter sound of the camera...
    and how do i get a software update...tnx

    ReplyDelete
  15. habang nasa camera app, click the settings icon at mahahanap mo un dun. for the update, you need to go to service center.

    ReplyDelete

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