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Article/Guide: Q669 Unboxing + First Day Photo Review

 Posted - 4/14/2009 9:15:46 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions
Article Title: Unboxing + First Day Review and Report
Item Resource Page: Generic-Q669

Article:
I just received my SamKung Q669 today after just a little over 3 shipping days in the mail - and of course it just figures that the price went down $2.50 to $81.21 USD on DX today as well . Note that isn't a misspelling of Samsung - this is a generic type of Chinese phone that is sold under all sorts of different brand names. Still a good deal certainly, phones with half these features go for $200+ locally, and the cheapest local Quad-Band GSM phones you can get without a contract are $70 Used ones that do almost nothing besides make calls. This one has Dual SIMs, TV Viewer/Recorder, FM Radio/Recorder, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 2.0, Dual Cameras, MP3 Player, Video Player/Recorder, and even more features.

For full Specifications of the Phone, Ports and some other General Information please see the Q669's Resource Page.

Note I did about 90% of this review without a SIM in the phone - pretty much everything works out of the box, even if you never or rarely use the phone as a...phone

Ok, on to the box

First Impressions:

Physically it is a bit smaller than I expected and it's light, even with the battery in it. It seems pretty solid as well.

What's in the box:

- Q669 (Dual-SIM GSM Quad-Band Phone Extraordinaire)
- Two BL-5C Batteries - (Semi Standard)
- Mini-USB Data/Mini-Nokia Style Charging USB Cable - (Both standard, though usually not with all 3 connections in one cable)
- USB Charger (US Style Tips, Input AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 150mA, Output: +5V 500 mA) - (Standard)
- 3.5mm Earbuds with Mic & Accept-End Button - (3.5mm Standard, Mic/Buttons not)
- 256mb MicroSD card - (Small but Standard)
- Manual - (in this case: kindling)

Screen

First impressions I was actually very surprised how nice the screen is. You can't see it outside much at all, but inside it looks very sharp. I put on a universal screen protector (my 2.6" $1 protector is still in the mail) and I found that the screen measured approximately 5cm x 4cm

Sound:

Speakers

The Speaker is LOUD! It will deafen you when you first turn the unit on. But you can turn it down right away, its the button the side. Even on minimum it is a bit louder than I like though for personal listening - like some others I've heard of I opted for the electrical tape over the speakers approach and that helped bring it down to ok levels.

Earphones

My PX200 standard 3.5mm headphones work great - but the GUI decides to tell you when the earphones are plugged in by stopping what it is doing for 2 seconds to display a message saying 'Earphones Plugged In' (or alternately Earphones Plugged Out' ) ... which are both kind of unnecessary, but works to alert you that the profile state has changed. The audio output is also a bit louder than I like, but the same goes for the YP-55 on radio mode when it's late at night and everything is quiet - so maybe it just means I've been too careful with my hearing . The beep though for when you change options/menus is way too loud, especially through headphones. It plays whenever you hit a button, even when the unit is off and charging. I really hope I can find a way to disable it for those times - I've got it silent for most other cases now. (Update: Go to Profiles, Headset, Tones, Tone Setup, Keypad Tone, Silent - Do this for Bluetooth, General, Meeting, etc.. to disable the too loud beep always - and you can go to Settings and Select 'Touchpad Mute' as well).

The included 3.5mm earbuds include a mic on them, but the port still works fine with standard headphones - there's just no mic. So remember that with standard headphones when on a phone call you can hear the other person in stereo, but they can't hear you at all.

TV

TV Channel Search initially came up with not even a flicker of anything when I tested at my desk - so I opened up the antenna and went outside to make sure. Still nothing - then I noticed the 'Search Area' control - it was set to China. After changing it to 'America' I managed to get a few channels with acceptable reception (I didn't notice there was a 'Canada' option until later, it works the same). The phone detects if you turn the screen to the side and then it goes into wide-screen mode. Of course there is interference from other electronics and just about anything, but that's the nature of analog TV, especially with a small antenna.

Doing a channel search:

I could get about 13 channels all told with varying degrees of static and interference. About 10 of them were fully watchable. I didn't test recording any channels yet though.

The TV works even with the antenna retracted, though of course reception on weak channels is lower with it retracted. Of course the entire TV is analog (ie. Not HD), and won't work in a couple of years in Canada (Analog shutdown currently scheduled for August 31st, 2011) and later this year in the US. So it is useful now, but not for too much longer. For me it's a bonus feature I'll use it while I can - but on to rest :)

Charging:

It will charge through Mini-USB. It does also come with another extremely thin/slim charging port - which I found to be a Mini-Nokia. Tested with my Recharge-On-The-Go AA/AAA powered pocket charger - it worked great for a few minutes then gave a message saying 'Bad Contact with Charger' - I put in a new AA in the pocket charger and it started charging again no problems. I found the original AA was on the line between 'Good' and 'Weak' on my IOGear Pocket Battery Tester, so it all makes sense :).

The USB adapter that came with it is slightly smaller than almost all my USB chargers before and states that it gives 500 mA output. The North American style power pins do not retract into the unit though.

Update: After 30 minutes of use with TV and Video modes without charging since I put in the battery I got a 'Low Battery Warning' - I plugged in the Recharge-On-The-Go and I used it for an additional 2 hours without a problem after plugging and then unplugging the charger. After 1 hour of charging with the pocket charger it went from 0 to 6 bars (of 7).

You can't tell the status of the battery charging when the unit is on or off, but to condition the battery I turned the unit off to make sure it would completely charge it. Here's what it shows when it's done:

Audio Player:

The 256mb Micro-SD card included comes with a 5 MP3 files pre-loaded on it. It will keep playing when you go to other modes unless you stop it (or disable Background play in the menus). It also pauses and resumes if you go into some other mode such as setting the volume or changing the ring tones. The equalizer though is just a bunch of bars that are always changing even when the player is paused - eye candy I suppose, a function they never finished. It also has a display bar, but unfortunately through touch you can't jump through parts of the song via it.

Note that the player won't see audio files in sub directories and all the files are displayed in one big list - however you can easily scroll through the list via the touch screen to select the file you want. There are also shuffle, repeat and Lyrics display modes. Note that there is about a 6 second load time when you switch MP3 files.

You can also play files that aren't in the My Music directory by going to the File Manager. However in this mode you won't have rewind, fast forward or even pause options.

Video Player:

A few sample video files and trailers are included in mp4 format. The frame rate leaves something to be desired. The resolution of playback is good for this size screen

Sounds:

You can set the unit to turn on silently or to play a tune, same goes for when shutting down. It's all very customizable. The only complaint I have is that many sounds are too loud, especially over 3.5mm earphones - it'd be nice to be able to customize the system volume and lower it some more.

Ring Tone:

You get about 15 options by default: Tones, Midis and you can replace any or all of them with MP3s You can set different ring tones and settings for each SIM.

Vibration:

The vibration function works. If you hit a button or get a call, you can turn it on or off. Powerful enough to notice definitely. You can also turn it on for screen taps, but that was overkill for me.

The Stylus:

It retracts, and is actually almost identical to my A696 stylus, just a little thinner and a little longer. Unfortunately this means the two aren't quite compatible in terms of docking one unit's stylus in the other or vice versa. So don't lose it! I'm not sure where to get replacements at this point, or if it is even possible. Of course as with all good touch screen displays anything can be used as a stylus including your fingers if so desired. Just be careful not to use anything sharp or you may damage the screen.

Touch Screen:

The touch bar of icons just under the screen doesn't actually seem to work. The only button that does is the first one, and only when you are on the main screen. do work - they need a firm tap and they only work when you are at the Greetings Screen. When I added a screen protector it seemed to make detection of these and other taps even better and slightly more accurate.

A touch to the screen cannot wake the unit from sleep mode.

Having the touch screen though makes it so much easier to set settings and carry out all sorts of different tasks than without it imho. It's a great feature.

Bug: At one point the screen reversed itself on me when I hit a key to resume from sleep mode - it flickered and all the text was backwards and reversed on the panel (the touch panel was still as it had been so a click on one side triggered what was being displayed on the other. Resetting the unit fixed this. I have no idea why this happened. I had been testing the touch icons at the time. It hasn't happened again after 5+ hours of usage as I tested everything out.

Keypad and Button Controls:

All the keys work well, except for the right/left key on the main 4 way button - that one is a bit hard to touch without hitting the middle button at the same time. It's not nearly as bad as some other phones I've worked on in the past, and I think I may be breaking it in now.

Motion Sensor:

I haven't found a way to turn this off yet. It's usually good, but sometimes it takes some work to realize I've moved the screen (especially in Video mode for some reason). It'd be nice if the normal/wide screen modes could be changed without having to turn the unit, it often doesn't detect the turn if the unit is sitting flat, but if you pick it up and turn it and then put it down again it usually stays where I want it.

Update: I found both a G-Sensor and Motion Sensor control in the Phone Settings menu - so I calibrated the one and disabled the other. I also found there is a small button to change the orientation in Video mode with it on or off - you can also tap the video display in TV mode to change orientation.

World Clock:

Don't try setting this with the touch screen - trust me, the World is too small . Unfortunately Newfoundland is absent, but there is a 3.5 GMT time zone though that should work (La Paz). DST options exist as well.

Update: I also found an Auto-Update of Date and Time option under 'Phone Settings' - odd that it is not under Time and Date Settings, but I found it and it works :)

On Screen Keyboard:

Quite small, but accurate, it works and there is some space between keys which helps. The calibration out of the box was ok. I had a lot more problems trying to use that stupid iPod finger-only touch screen (though admittedly I've been using stylus based touch screens for 5+ years now and that iPod touch screen only for 3 minutes to help a friend with some settings and to enter my name and phone # on another friend's iPhone).

One issue I have though is that you can change the mode of the Keyboard by clicking the ABC button - but there are 18 different settings, from lowercase to QWERTY Easy to QWERTY Standard to French to Arabic to 123 etc... - I'm hoping there is some way to go back on the list or to remove the extras because that’s a lot of options to scroll through each time I switch modes. You can also go to Options to change them as well.

Handwriting Mode:

This also worked ok, it is enabled along with the Keyboard when inputting to text fields and is part of the reason the keyboard is so small. Both are much easier to use than T9 imho.

Bluetooth:

Able to connect ('bond') to my headset with no problems. It also worked, and after setting it as my default headset it still worked right away after turning both off with no need to accept connection or do anything else.

Note though that if you have the 3.5mm earphones plugged in to use Bluetooth go into the menu while on call and selecting 'Switch Audio Path'

There are both Headset and Handsfree Profiles that I've tested. I connected both my Oricore ST-66 and Motorola H-300 Bluetooth devices without a problem. So far in my testing it appears only one device can be connected at a time, for my usage this is fine. It's also setup to make it easy to switch to the default device, which can help if using one for listening to music and the default when you need to make or are on a call.

To listen to music through Bluetooth set as Headset when connecting the device, then turn on Bluetooth in the Music Settings mode and then select it as the Headset. I was able to control the music with my ST-66 while in this setting (I noticed after that AVRCP was enabled as a secondary profile automatically with this connection).

The range is about 3 meters, but if something gets in between the transmitter (for example you) and you then it may cut out. From my experience the range is rather short. It actually is a lot more with my H300, it may be that the ST-66 - perhaps the headset battery was weak, or the phone's or a combination of the two. With the H300 (in handsfree profile mode) and the Q669 both having a full battery I can use the bluetooth headset with the phone being through 3 walls on the other end of the house. Update April 23 09: The extended range was a fluke, otherwise the range is fairly limited.

Here is a complete list of all the profiles:
Handsfree, Headset SPP, DUN, OPP, FTP, A2DP, AVRCP, BPP, and HID

Power Saving:

It has all sorts of power saving settings, including setting it so the Keypad light only comes on by default when it's between certain hours (default being 5pm and 8am). All very customizable.

File Management Mode:

You can delete, rename, copy, forward, play, read and otherwise work with all sorts of different files on the memory card from the phone directly - a far cry from the restrictions on my LG240.

Cameras:

There are two cameras on the phone, one on the front and one on the back and the one on the back has a flash and a cover. Though the physical phone says the cameras are 5.6 Megapixels they aren't.  The options for resolutions max out at 640x480.

Hit 0 while in Camera or Video Capture mode to switch Cameras.

FM Radio:

A bit hard to find, it's under Multimedia. You can set channels manually or use the Auto Preset Search. It sounds great, and the volume is a bit loud at level 1, but otherwise it works great. It works well to Record on the fly and it has a Scheduler as well with 4 slots. It has options to record as WAV, AWB or AMR along with quality settings.

Note that even when using headphones by default the Speaker is on. The annoying thing about using the scheduler is that it will not record with the loudspeaker off and you cannot mute it. Even on lowest setting the sound is still audible, and this is not desirable behaviour if you are recording FM because you cannot listen to it now (ie. you may be in a meeting and have the phone in your pocket). Also, if you leave the recording alone the FM Radio will stop at the end of the recording. If you stop the recording, however, the FM radio keeps playing out of the loudspeaker until you go to that option and turn it off. It still outputs to the loudspeaker even in 'Meeting Profile' (which otherwise disables almost all the loudspeaker noises).

Other functions/modes:

Simple Calculator, Ebook Reader, Games, Melody Composer, Magic Voice and a few others

As well when you connect to the computer it goes to USB mode where you can access the phone (506kb) and memory card storage (compatible with Micro-SDHC, 256mb with original card) - I read a report that it can be used as a Webcam as well, but I haven't tried that yet. I also haven't tried using it as a Bluetooth Remote control for my computer or to setup a Bluetooth FTP link.

As a Phone:

Put the SIM in, booted up the phone and it detected my network and played its little happy tune. It worked great on Rogers and I could access all my saved #s and call history on the SIM no problem .

I disabled SIM2 to save power while that slot is empty.

Boot Time:
It boots in about 5 seconds, and has the SIM detected and the network connected about 5 seconds after that. I haven't tested with two SIMs in the phone yet.

The Manual:

It was at this point I looked at the manual. Don't bother, it is extremely badly translated. The menus and options are much easier to understand without it. I think they just copied and pasted into Bablefish or Google Translate... or more likely a cheap Chinese knockoff of these services - it's that bad.

PJPeter

Last Edited By - PJPeter on 4/23/2009 8:31:59 PM


 Posted - 4/14/2009 9:46:53 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

The speaker/audio output being too loud, mp3 player taking 6 seconds to load a song and that scheduled FM recording playing over loudspeaker bug are all fairly annoying. Still I'd recommend this phone I might be the only one these bugs bug as much as they do

I may add more to this thread as I get more experience with the phone, and I definitely will post more info and more pictures on request, as well as adding a starred review once I'm sure I've played with everything.

Update: I also found out what the Magic Voice option is - it's a voice changer! You can set which type of magic voice you want to use (Male 1/2, Female 1/2) and then set it while in a call...and hilarity ensues

Update2: You have a customizable Shortcut menu as well, you can change what shortcuts appear. For example you can add Bluetooth Settings to it, Add New Contacts, or whatever settings you often access. That way you can get to them with fewer clicks/taps (just 4 from the greetings screen).

PJPeter

Edited by - PJPeter on 4/16/2009 12:01:58 PM

 Posted - 4/14/2009 11:32:09 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

Dave77
User
3 Contributions

This is awesome! You gave so much information, I'm still reading it all but I wanted to thank you for it! It gives me lots to think about and I am thinking I will buy this phone!

Thank you!


 Posted - 4/15/2009 12:47:14 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Happy it's useful for you Dave .

And I have more info to update you and everyone on.

One more Bug: With more usage I found that if you have "Answer Mode: Any Key" enabled and you're using Bluetooth mode (where this is the default option) then the phone may actually answer the call even if you don't do anything. From further testing I think this is because the bluetooth was at the very edge of its range and for some reason just when the call was about to drop it would pick up the headset and transfer over the sound. This might have been a fluke, I reproduced it twice and never again - it could also be some kind of compatibility thing between the H300 and this phone - but I'd keep it in mind. And I'd disable 'Any Key' answering anyway.

Also if the Motion Sensor detects significant movement it will mute the ringer - I'm guessing this is with the assumption that such movement is you taking the phone out, and therefore you are aware of it ringing (and therefore further ringing is un-nessecary).

The phone also a 'Divert' options when answering a call, along with a number of 'Divert if not answered in 20 seconds' and other similar options. However, when I attempted the latter I got a 'Not Done' error.

There is also an 'Ascending' volume option which increases the volume of whatever MP3 or other file you chose as your ring tone.

Also you can actually mute TV and Video - but not Audio Player/FM (presumably because these are audio only output formats).

Also the Audio Player takes up to 10 seconds to load a new track depending on the bitrate/length of the file - if it is a very long high bit-rate track it can take even longer. Short/lower quality ones though start quicker. There is also a delay when resuming after a pause, and this also depends on the quality/size of the file. There is probably some sweet spot/file format that it can load without a problem, it may be calculating the length of the track that is slowing it down. MP3s used as Ring Tones have no delay for example.

As well you can get rid of more of those annoying beeps by going to the Profiles and selecting 'Extra Tones' and disabling those there (Error, Warning, Camp On (?), Connect).

Also, flicking the unit while the screen is On and displaying the greetings screen changes the background for that screen (provided the Motion Sensor enabled, of course).

The phone has various options for IP calling as well as WAP functions.

You can reduce the volume of the MP3s of course, there is a free application called MP3Gain that can do it for you - it is annoying to have do extra processing, but if it improves the end result it can be worth it. With that in mind the only audio issues is with FM and TV that you can't otherwise edit in advance - and both can be set low enough to be fairly comfortable to listen to. The only issue then in the end then in terms of audio volume is the FM scheduling having the speakers going with no option to mute - still looking to see if there is a way around that one. However, if you don't need to do any FM Recordings then this is a 'moot' (or mute ) point. Either way though, I still do highly recommend this phone overall.

PJPeter

Edited by - PJPeter on 4/15/2009 1:23:41 AM

 Posted - 4/15/2009 1:34:44 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

A couple more quirks of the phone when on a call, without Bluetooth Enabled, the touch screen is disabled unless you hit a button first.

For me, calling *225 brings up an information box that tells me my current balance and expiry date on my PayGo account. On my old phone that would come up for about 3 seconds when I dialed that number. On this one however it does not come up right away. Instead the Information box comes up with the next call I make and it stays up as long as I want (or until I end the other call). It's a bit more work to get it, but I can call *611 (which is also a free call for me) and read the Info box at my leisure while the automatic system chatters to itself.

Still working on getting the Web browser to work - it isn't a huge priority for me since I don't currently have a data plan, but it would be good to setup. I'm pretty sure it can be done, I just need to select it through WAP somehow.

PJPeter


 Posted - 4/15/2009 2:18:31 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

I found the way to get the WAP to work with my carrier, Rogers - I posted the complete step by step instructions in the compatiblity report between Rogers and this phone: here.

These settings may also be partly useful for other networks as well - the phone by default comes with many WAP settings for various Chinese and other Asian based carriers. I also noticed Vodaphone WAP settings on it by default as well. Still, it wasn't hard to put in the data and took only about 10 minutes - it's just a matter of making sure you have the working information for your network. Now I can access the web with my Q669 .

PJPeter


Edited by - PJPeter on 4/15/2009 3:57:01 AM

 Posted - 4/15/2009 6:21:26 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Updates:

1. I had a bit of an issue with my device in that it seemed as if it was hanging. It turned out though that it was just that when I flattened my custom cut screen cover it went into the edge of the screen and was continually setting off the lower right hand touch button. Therefore the device thought I was holding down on that side of the screen and no other button pushes/taps were therefore being accepted. So in the end just be careful with the screen cover, if you use one make sure it is the right size.

2. You can't add a custom ringtone, video or picture unless the contact is saved to the Phone – that’s not a limitation of the phone, the SIM just isn’t designed to save all this information. Alternately you can add the SIM # to a Group and add the custom data there. Copying/Moving the name and number from the SIM isn't difficult though and takes only a few clicks – then with the copy you can add all the settings you like.

3. Factory defaults reset many settings but not quite all of them. Bluetooth is set to off, but your Bluetooth devices are still linked, the Time doesn't reset, nor do any of your FM presets or scheduled recordings - however the volume and all the default profiles are reset to their original values. As well, your WAP settings are reset, but not the Data Account ones.

4. To do a Factory default reset the phone will ask for a Security Code. Unless you changed it, the default code is: 1122

5. After doing the factory reset MP3 files now load instantly. There is no longer any delay between tracks at all and pause and reset are instantaneous as well. I have no idea why they were so slow previously - corruption, a full buffer - but after the Reset it's extremely fast with no delays at all.

The video of the phone in the Features/Information thread showed MP3s loading instantly when you shake the player (when you have the Motion Sensor On of course) so I found it very odd that it was so slow on my unit. After the reset though it's as fast as the vid - instantaneous

PJPeter


 Posted - 4/15/2009 7:24:35 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

Dave77
User
3 Contributions

Thank you for all the details. You have a lot to read, but it is interesting and tells how things work so it's good to have. I have one question though: What happen when you plug in the USB cord into a computer? Can you still use the phone when it is connected?


 Posted - 4/15/2009 9:56:36 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Hi Dave, happy to oblige

- If you connect the Phone when it is off it will display Charging status and a USB cable on the display - and works in Mass Storage mode by default.

If the phone is on and you connect the USB cable it will give you three options: Mass Storage, Webcam and COM Port

- When in Mass Storage mode you can still watch TV, listen to Radio, access your Calendar, Phonebook, make a call - Camera, Video and Audio Player are disabled though (which makes sense since they all need to access memory to carry out their primary functions). If you get a call while in this mode it will use one of the built in ringtones (the default one) - since the others may not be accessible as they are reserved for Computer use.

- As a USB Webcam, my computer detected it and it came up as an option, but it didn't work. It may be a conflict with my Bison Laptop Camera, perhaps a reboot since the drivers were just installed might work as well. I have heard it does work for others. Either way though, when using the phone as a Webcam you don't have access to other options on the phone - if you get a call the phone exits webcam mode temporarily and then goes back to it. When you're done you can click the Red button to exit Webcam mode. Either way, you won't miss a call if you use it in this mode.

- If you select 'COM Port' mode Windows installs the 'MT6225' device - a USB Modem driver - but everything still works on the phone (can still send and recieve calls). I didn't try connecting to anything with the phone in this mode though since I don't have a data plan.

Note I also saw the flickering & reversed LCD display/colours bug again - once again after using the touch bar at the bottom of the screen. Restarting the phone once again fixed it. I wasn't 100% sure the colours were reversed the first time (since the display changed when I picked it up and I thought that might have confused me) - however they most definitely are. Red became blue, Light blue became orange, etc...

Other than the bug though - if you're in any of those modes you will still receive calls. So you shouldn't miss a call - though in Webcam mode you won't have access to almost any other phone feature and in Mass Storage mode you won't have access to your files

If you or anyone has  any more questions please do post them and I’ll try my best to answer them ,

PJPeter


 Posted - 4/16/2009 12:00:30 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Some more updates and question answers:

- I like having a TV reciever in my pocket, even if just to recieve the audio which it does very well for many stations. I was watching the news waiting to see one particular story before heading upstairs to make a sandwhich - then I realized I can do both. Hooked up my earphones and put the TV in my pocket, went up, made my snack and just as I finished making it, the report I wanted to see came on, took the TV out of my pocket and watched it at the table - very convinient :).

- I confirmed my 2 GB MicroSD card works, I'll test it with a Micro-SDHC card as well when I get the chance. I've read a report that it should work.

- Alarm mode is highly customizable, it has 5 slots and lets you set dates, Repeats, Auto-Snooze as well as letting you choose between the default tones and rings and any MP3 or other ringtone you added, in combination with Vibration, or FM Radio. This is where the most cryptic message I've yet seen when you confirm an alarm: "Plug earphone in when expiry" - maybe meaning you should not have your earphones plugged in when the alarm goes off, but you should plug them in afterwards?

- The FM radio works well, I just wish there was some easier way to activate it. Adding it as a Shortcut cuts down on one click/tap, but even still it takes 5 screen taps/button clicks to activate it. It'd be nice to be able to add its icon the main screen, but that doesn't appear to be an option.

- There isn't an active call onscreen timer unfortunately, I had this feature on my old phone and it was useful to keep track of how long a call was going. During the day I'd use it to try to avoid paying extra minutes, unfortunately the counting would start from when the I accepted the call, but the charges would start from when the phone started ringing so it wasn't all that useful. Still it was nice to have a general time display. This phone will give a pop up at the end of the call to tell you the length, and there is custom Periodic/Single timer you can enable to beep at some interval, selectable from 1 second to 3000 (50 minutes) for Single reminder and 30 to 60 seconds for Period reminders, to let you keep track of time in a fashion. I have mine set to single 40 seconds interval to give me a safe 10 seconds to end a 1 minute call without having to worry about being charged for a second minute during the daytime - which is more useful than the previous phone's Minute Minder which had no options and would either go off after every 60 seconds after accepting the call or not at all.

- A friend of mine in real life asked if the TV would work in Europe. I can say for sure it works here in Canada under NTSC, and according to the specs it will also work under PAL. There are about 20 different country TV frequency settings, probably it's just a matter of finding one what contains the channels broadcast where you are. I'll definitely try this out when I'm in Greece in June, though I can't do much more from here now.

- Also there is a 'Flight Mode' in addition to "Dual SIM" - "Only SIM1" and "Only SIM2" options.

- As well my IMEIs were both different for each slot and do appear to be unique.

PJPeter

Edited by - PJPeter on 4/16/2009 2:22:52 PM

 Posted - 4/16/2009 7:08:16 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

Itoro
User
28 Contributions

WOW... I certainly agree with Dave. The amount of information on here is AMAZING. I too want this phone. After reading all about this phone my current phone suddenly seems boring.

 Posted - 4/18/2009 3:06:10 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Glad you like information because here's some more

- The Audio Player files are ordered based on the time they were copied to the player (File Creation Times). So if you want to change the order, change the order you copy the files onto the player (or move them off and then move them back on in that new order). You could probably alter the file creation times artificially. For me, this actually works to find new files I added, and if I have it set to shuffle it doesn't make a difference at all. It can be a challenge to find some files, however this is because I copied them over at different times. If I had one big folder on my home computer with the music files I could order that however I want and then copy it over. I certainly do like being able to find the latest files in one spot, since I tend to get addicted to a new song (or set of songs) when I first hear them and it's nice to be able to find those easily when I need my 'fix' - as well loading up a new file to show someone, this makes it super easy to find that new file - just look at the end

- Wish it had a hold switch like my A696 - so the screen is disabled - therefore the touch screen is disabled and the device saves power - this would be especially useful when listening to the TV while it's out of view or in your pocket.

- I formatted my 2GB card to FAT32 and it is recognized fine and seems a little bit faster

- I wish there was some way to write down some text beyond 35 characters, without having to write and send a SMS (since there is no drafts option)

- 3.5mm stereo jack output sounds great, just a bit loud depending on the file

- One quick update about Magic Voice: I have been informed by a friend that it is the most awesome thing in the history of cell phones

- As well you can do Sound Recordings during calls and save them to the phone as AMR files - with 1 GB of space left on my 2 GB MicroSD, I was told that I could hold 138:06:01 worth of recordings - assuming the 138 was hours, 6 minutes and 1 second - I said ok :p. At low quality it recorded 12 minutes which sounded only a little below a regular cell call in 500 kb before it ran out of the Phone's internal memory. I think reset it to go to MicroSD instead.

- I really enjoy this customization and the fact that you can access all the files through My Computer without needing any decoding or connection software. This is what phones should be - but what many companies in North America won't allow because it means they can't gouge you for ring tones and other content. Not being allowed to use a file you can play on the phone through speakers otherwise as a ring tone smells of a cash grab more than anything else - and this phone doesn't have any such restriction - it lets you use your content as you want to.

- Also I found a free AMR Player which can convert the files to WAV or MP3s. It's nothing fancy, but it works and it's freeware. I haven't been able to find any restrictions in my use of it so far. You can get it here: http://www.amrplayer.com/ - AMRs (Adaptive multi-rate compression files) are the default file type for FM/Sound recordings on the phone.

Here is a bonus, here's a picture - the reverse-colours bug struck my phone again two more times, making a grand total of 5 in 3 days. This time I took a shot when it happened, bugged and after the reset showing the exact same screens:

As always a reset, taking about ~12 seconds, was all it took to fix the distortion. No data was lost and no call was dropped. It was just mildly annoying.

PJPeter

Edited by - PJPeter on 4/18/2009 3:15:37 AM

 Posted - 4/20/2009 4:04:42 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

My Q669 is still going strong and I haven't had any further issues in the past 3 days of fairly heavy usage. No more repeats of the reverse colour bug at all. Note though that if you take out the SIM and boot the phone without it then you lose your recent call history.

As well Rogers add a +1 on their system and in order to recognize the phone number on the phone when receiving the call you need to have an entry with the +1. Which works fine as long as the number is local, if not you may not recieve a warning if it is a long distance call. This is in no way the fault of the phone though - it is a 'Feature' of the Rogers network.

I found through examining the data in COM mode that the chipset of the phone is an MT6225. This info led me to a number of resources for fixing various hardware/software modifications an fixes including some common ones:  

quote:
Permanent "Flight mode", "Camera module is not ready", "Touchscreen calibration", "Bad software", "Reboot with sim card", "White LCD" "Black LCD" "White screen" "Black screen", Phone can not power-on (in many cases it's a result of bad soldering quality), "Enter password after 10 sec"

Those are general issues with other Chinese cell phone models.

The Q669 could be using the design I found mentioned in a Wiki on another site:

quote:
Dual-sim models (mono CPU, new design)
Based on one CPU at PCB: has one flash chip with software that can serve both sim cards at a time.

MT6225 CPU (in most cases) for first (master) and second (slave) sim cards.


I also found some codes that work for this phone:

*#06# Show IMEI Info
*#8375# Show Software Version
*#1234# A2DP PTS Mode (Bluetooth output)
*#1234# A2DP Normal Mode (Bluetooth output)
*#900# BT Power on (Bluetooth output)
*#901# BT Power off
*#33778# Serial number display
*#87# Auto Test

Through *#8375# I found this firmware information:
Q669: Version: T308S2_S9_TF_Foreign1_V1.14 Branch: Gemini Buld Time : 2009/03/02 20:55

Which is pretty current - as of today it is only a one and a half month old firmware version (early March to now, mid-April).

I wasn't able to get into any version of Engineering Mode or Factory Mode. I tried about 5 different codes with no luck. Be careful though, there is one code (that I do not give here) that apparently will block any futher use of Engineering Mode unless the phone is completely formatted and reflashed. I'm 99% sure I did not use that code, but I read reports about it on 3 different sites so I'm going to assume it is true. All the codes above though are safe.

I attempted to use an "MTK-FlashTool" to back up the firmware of my device incase something were to happen, but I had no luck. I kept getting an "S_BROM_FAIL_TO_GET_BBCHIP_HW_VER(2022)" error whenever I tried to do a 'Read Back' to back up the firmware. I read that perhaps the Tx and Rx pins in the Mini-USB connector are backwards or that you need to connect directly to the PCB - it could also be that I need to be in Engineering Mode and activate some option in that mode. I tried to access it via COM mode while using a standard Mini-USB data-cable.

I also found a free PC Suite/PC-Sync Manager application that allows you to back up the Phonebook, Text Messages and doing some other simple operations. To use it, go to COM mode after connecting your USB cable.

All Mini-USB operations in PC-Sync work though in terms of copying the Phonebook and Text Messages. It also has Images, Melody, MMS and File Manager modes along with Settings where you can set the COM port (for me it was COM4) as well as loading an Outlook/Lotus Notes phonebook. When attempting to copy a file it may fail, either due to the file size or for some other reason. You can enter Mass Storage Mode to do other file operations so it isn't much of a loss. Only the Phonebook (SIM especially) is unaccessible outside of this, or some other, app. There is also an 'install Java Application' modes that fails for me since the phone does not have java.

I uploaded the PC Suite to Stuffopolis.net here:
Link

I can post the Flash Tool as well if anyone is interested (though as of now I haven't had any sucess using it).

I also played around with putting .NES ROM files in various folders to see if they are detected by some part of the firmware to load an Emulator. So far no luck. Many of these phones are pretty similar though, and it may be possible to load up some other firmware or modify (or upgrade) this firmware to have this and other features.

PJPeter


Edited by - PJPeter on 4/20/2009 4:07:55 PM

 Posted - 4/23/2009 8:27:09 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Some more updates:

Q669 Power Test:
- Started 2:07am on April 22 09 with an Energizer Rechargeable 2500mAh AA in a Recharge on the Go. First used Mini-USB, then found an actual charger tip from my Noma Crank Lite (Mini-USB one worked fine to charge from my experience, but I wanted to test out the charging only port as well).
- Started about 10 minutes after first noticing report of 'Low Battery' - battery was at 1 bar
- Still charging at 58 minutes - Showed at start of D when testing the battery with the JuiceMeter Battery Tester
- 1 hour 30 minutes displayed "Bad Charger Contact" - AA down to edge of G. Phone shows full 7 bars
- Battery still showing full @ 1:25pm April 22 09
- Died at 12am on April 23 09 - Total use: 22 hours standby (including 1.5 hour charging time), 15 minutes talk time, 5 mins MP3 playback, taken 3 pictures with Flash and 5 Vibration/Ring Cycles)

So this shows that it will charge and last a fair amount of time charged from 1 AA battery. It did not fill the phone battery from the single AA - and it probably had a fair amount of charging that could be done (the battery probably shows full at just 3.8V but it can charge up to 4.2V safely.

I also want to update the range of the bluetooth - when it was working across the house it may have been some kind of freak occurrence just after I enabled bluetooth it might somehow have been overpowered. I tested it again and found I would only get about 3 feet (1m) or so of completely static/crackle free bluetooth use, which is rather weak compared to my other devices. It will hold on to the signal up to about 15 feet (5 meters away). It won't work that far away if there is things in the way though. It works well to use with my bluetooth headset if I put the phone in my pocket, but from waist level you can hear some static. This weaker bluetooth means the range is quite limited - but it also probably means that the bluetooth function itself is not eating up too much power, which can lead to longer battery life while still being usable.

I tested with a friend's 4GB Micro-SDHC card and I can confirm it does work 100%. So this phone does certainly have Micro-SDHC support.

PJPeter

Last Edited By - PJPeter on 4/23/2009 8:30:39 PM

 Posted - 4/26/2009 9:55:40 AM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

schadow4301
User
10 Contributions

Something I don't see mentioned in any of your assessment... How long does the battery last before needing to be charged. It's the only question I have before I go and buy one :-)

 Posted - 4/26/2009 9:18:40 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2017 Contributions

Welcome to the forum - That's very true schadow, I didn't mention much about it because I wanted to make sure I had fully charged the batteries and had gone through at least a couple of charge/discharge cycles before passing judgment on them. I've noticed you can do a fair bit with the batteries, but when they go they go fast - it stays at 7 bars for a fair amount of time, but drops quickly once it reaches 5.

The BL-5C Battery included with the Q669 charges quickly - 5 minutes gives you 5 bars. Unfortunately, as one might expect, they do not last very long with that much charge. I found that it would go down from this level to empty after only about 12-15 minutes talk time.

From a full charge yesterday I was able to watch ~20 minutes of TV and 20+ minutes of talk time - without a problem. However the phone did run out of power later that day, and I wasn't really paying too close attention to the charge at the time.

The speaker and headphone ports are very powerful, and that may be taking a fair amount of power to run. I also leave Bluetooth enabled at all times, and that could be a fairly large power drain in itself.

I found that if I left the phone on standby it could last about 2-3 days if I do not use it much otherwise, if at all. The included batteries are quite weak though, they are rated at 700 mAh and I can't see them being much more than this.

I noticed when I was helping out an event yesterday that the batteries were running out quickly, so I left the phone attached to my laptop to charge and unfortunately missed an important call. I wish in hindsight that I had used a Recharge-on-the-Go instead and charged it from my pocket, which does work - but hindsight is 20-20 of course.

With two batteries I found I would lose track of the charge on them and not really keep track of how long each was lasting.

I have a Universal Lithium Ion Battery charger that I've used a couple of times to charge the batteries - and it seems to work. I'm planning to post that later today - though the one I received seems to have a bit of a problem with this battery and charged it to 4.35V before turning off - it could very well be the battery's fault though - or the charger's - I'm not sure yet. I ordered one with a Micro-SDHC slot in it, and that may have added too much complexity to the circuitry, so I ordered another without that to see if it will help simply matters. It is still useful to charge the spare battery, I just make sure to unplug it as soon as the red light begins to dim (which indicates the charging current is being reduced because the cell is nearly full).

I use my Q669 to watch the occasional TV program, and record 2 radio shows scheduled each week, as well as using it as my main MP3 player for the car - and this is all in-addition to using it as a phone. So I decided yesterday to invest in a $7 USD Japod 1200 mAh BL-5C Battery to increase the battery life. As only a phone it gets reasonable battery-times, but if you use all the other great features on it they tend to eat up that battery fairly quickly. I'm hoping that replacement battery will be of higher quality as well as higher capacity - in which case it could last a lot longer than the ones included with the Q669. I figure that even with the extra cost of the replacement battery, ~$90 US (now ~$88 US with the price drop) is still a pretty great price for this phone with 2 spare batteries and one large primary one. There is also a lower capacity cheap $3 battery of the same size on the same site, but I'd rather pay the bit extra for the increased capacity - the $3 one looks like it could infact be identical to the ones I already have, which wouldn't add much value if so.

Dual SIM phones usually take more power when operating since they are connected to two networks at once, so this double the standby power requirements - though I've had the second SIM slot disabled all the time I've had the phone, the fact it's there might be reducing the power-on times somewhat. I'm ok with the power times, I just need to remember to plug it in my car whenever possible and if I take it to watch TV again I think I'll hook up the AA charger as I do to reduce the power loss - at least until the new battery arrives.

I'll be sure to post more info as I test it out more - I paid close attention to my usage with the AA battery power the other day and posted it a couple of posts back, but I hadn't watched carefully how long an actual complete charge lasts. I'll also post whether the new replacement battery fits and works once I get it, though that could take a week or so.

I'll update here with the stats as I use one of the original batteries that came with my Q669 that I fully charged:
Usage as of April 26 @ 9:13pm - 4 hours standby, 20 minute talk time - still 7 bars.

PJPeter

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