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SceptreCore

Chinese market phones.. are these a bargain?

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Some of these can be... but through the extensive research I've done, I've decided that the Chinese market Honor V9 is the best of them all. Just look at that price!

 

You get a 2k screen, 64gb ROM, Kirin 960 octa-core, 6GB of RAM, Micro SD, USB Type C, and Android 7.0 to top it all off. This can all be had for under $600 delivered.

 

The problem is... you have to do your own restore of Google Play as it's not allowed there... and I'm guessing there will have to be a little jimmying to do with the OS to make it nicer, but it should be basic Huawei here.

 

But $600 is a bit rich to risk IMO, so I'm putting the feelers out.

 

Does anyone have any experience with these or other Chinese phones? Hell... does anyone have any EMUI 5.0 experience? Is anyone else in my position?

 

Let's have a chat.

 

Honor-V9-640x306.jpg

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MS is a fan. I tend to err on the side of software (OS) support, which is fairly restrictive outside of Apple

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My previous 2 phones are Huawei. Problem with both being they can be a bit unstable, spontaneous reboot about 4 or 5 times in the 2 years I used the Y550 during phone calls.

 

Emotion UI is an annoying piece of crap. Android phones trying to look/feel like iOS phones - pah!

The main complaints being that it insists having every app showing on the desktop and that for a nearly 4.5" screen to have only 4 across oversized icons is ridiculous.

I think I've had 2 OTA updates on it since 2015 - in both cases seemed to be EMUI related and little or nothing to do with the core OS.

 

OK, just checked. This thing is EMUI 2.3 running under Android 4.4.4 (so maybe there was a little incremental OS updating there).

 

Al that said, if they're on EMUI 5 now then maybe a lot has changed. Lack of customizabilty was a big complaint here.

But the saviour of the situation for me was the fact that Nova Launcher can replace that mess and the initial version I had was crash-prone and buggy but just weeks later a subsequent release came out which was near perfect.

 

What I'd worry about though with such a phone is that it can operate in English. Possibly they cut features out to keep the price low for their domestic market.

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Emui is a bit weird. I have stock android on my tablet and I prefer that.

Yeah... from what I can tell it's like an iOS clone a la Android, so some people prefer to skin it, which is what I might do. Or I'll buy the Sony XZ Premium.

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My previous 2 phones are Huawei. Problem with both being they can be a bit unstable, spontaneous reboot about 4 or 5 times in the 2 years I used the Y550 during phone calls.

 

Emotion UI is an annoying piece of crap. Android phones trying to look/feel like iOS phones - pah!

The main complaints being that it insists having every app showing on the desktop and that for a nearly 4.5" screen to have only 4 across oversized icons is ridiculous.

I think I've had 2 OTA updates on it since 2015 - in both cases seemed to be EMUI related and little or nothing to do with the core OS.

 

OK, just checked. This thing is EMUI 2.3 running under Android 4.4.4 (so maybe there was a little incremental OS updating there).

 

Al that said, if they're on EMUI 5 now then maybe a lot has changed. Lack of customizabilty was a big complaint here.

But the saviour of the situation for me was the fact that Nova Launcher can replace that mess and the initial version I had was crash-prone and buggy but just weeks later a subsequent release came out which was near perfect.

 

What I'd worry about though with such a phone is that it can operate in English. Possibly they cut features out to keep the price low for their domestic market.

This might answer all your criticisms... let me know what you think.

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Missing link?

 

I had a quick search - seems EMUI is a whole lot better than it used to be with more customizable options and ability to use the app drawer.

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MS is a fan. I tend to err on the side of software (OS) support, which is fairly restrictive outside of Apple

 

Eh, you'll find Android is pretty well supported these days.

Especially in these 'bigger' chinese brands, I've had custom roms delivered within HOURS of asking for a change (from the manufacturer).

Meanwhile I've been working in a government role and had Apple refuse to make a change we wanted on their OS (ended up having to jailbreak)

 

 

The only thing to be sure of, is that there is a custom ROM available, whether it's CyanogenMod or a custom XDA-Developer Rom; just because you don't know what sort of interesting software can come baked in.

 

But really, Android is mature now, and most of the manufacturers (Honor is a BIG brand) are very concerned about keeping their market position.

 

Huawei are neat too, but are starting to raise their prices since the western world noticed them :P

 

I'd go a Xaiomi over any of those though. Just super great brand.

They also make my smart watch (Amazfit), my In home camera system, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

 

Just jump onto ozbargain.com.au and search Xaiomi for peoples honest opinions on price and experience.

Good chance you'll find Honor reviews there too.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Missing link?

 

I had a quick search - seems EMUI is a whole lot better than it used to be with more customizable options and ability to use the app drawer.

 

Yes... I think I have a few missing links actually. Here's the Tube

 

I'd go a Xaiomi over any of those though. Just super great brand.

They also make my smart watch (Amazfit), my In home camera system, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

 

Just jump onto ozbargain.com.au and search Xaiomi for peoples honest opinions on price and experience.

Good chance you'll find Honor reviews there too.

 

I've looked into the Xiaomi's. Ceramic that can shatter, no microSD support, 1080p screen. This Honor represents better value for money.

 

EDIT: How do I ask the manufacturer for a ROM?

Edited by SceptreCore

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MS is a fan. I tend to err on the side of software (OS) support, which is fairly restrictive outside of Apple

Eh, you'll find Android is pretty well supported these days.

 

While performance degrades, there's ~4 years of OS updates on a new Apple. The average for Android seems to be around 2 years. Feature updates are nice, but just security fixes, TBH.

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While performance degrades, there's ~4 years of OS updates on a new Apple. The average for Android seems to be around 2 years. Feature updates are nice, but just security fixes, TBH.

That's true. Although I would assume it would be hard to support everything for all manufacturers. I guess we'll see how long Google supports the Pixel?

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I got burnt with the Samsung Nexus phone, that barely got 2 years of support before I guess everyone got burned when the chipset/processor went EoL and lost support.

 

Google in the next or maybe next year's Android is meant to be focusing on abstracting a bunch of stuff to make it easier for manufacturers to push out patches. Wait and see I guess.

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Android updates are under control of the Telco or phone manufacturer.

Which means no, patchy or very few or sodding slow updates.

 

My Nvidia tablet gets updates months behind. Still on 7.0 but it's better than 6.0

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MS is a fan. I tend to err on the side of software (OS) support, which is fairly restrictive outside of Apple

Eh, you'll find Android is pretty well supported these days.

 

While performance degrades, there's ~4 years of OS updates on a new Apple. The average for Android seems to be around 2 years. Feature updates are nice, but just security fixes, TBH.

 

 

Oh for sure, if you keep a phone that long (and I actually do) then it can be relevant.

 

But performance degradation is a pretty big hit for these 'new features'.

If the phone was good enough for you in 2015 (features), there's every chance it's still meeting those requirements in 2017; but the 'extra features' you didn't ask for are making it a worse experience.

I wouldn't be buying a $1000+ device I'm not intending to keep for at least 3~5 years. Which is my usual phone turn around.

 

I mean, in 2005 I needed a web browser, MSN messenger, a media player, a phone, and a txt device.

It's now 2017 and (MSN switched to Skype) the needs haven't changed.

 

I mean, with the single exception of being able to actually consume web content (render pages fast enough, etc) I could actually go back to Symbian and not miss anything.

I'd also happily wager the vast, VAST, majority of people I know are doing the same thing they were doing 10 years ago on their phone, just with a ''different app".

Facebook, Chat of some sort, media player, memo\callendar\organiser, phone.

We could add games, but I'm yet to see a single game be as outright popular as oldschool 'snake' just was. EVERYONE had a 'snake score' to try to beat.

 

But on that note, we're talking $1400~ish (last i checked?) for the top of the top of the top iphone option?

And it doesn't even come close to matching the 'grunt' of the Honor V9 in this example. (of which you could almost literally buy 3 of, in that lifetime).

If you had a Xaiomi you could literally buy the phone 8 times, and have (for my use case) more features anyway!

 

Otherwise, there's likely a whole new Android revision in that time.

 

To be honest, it's just a clash of business model to personal values.

- I've never felt comfortable carrying $1000+ of tech as a (nearly) disposable tool.

- I really dislike how hard it is to repair them, if they get damaged, or when battery life starts to decline.

- I find the OS limiting in that if there isn't an 'app for that' it just doesn't do anything (though now you can sign your own apps, I could pay more money to a dev to make said app)

- Less ports available

 

Don't get defensive, because I'm well past the point of "iphones suck!" because they don't. They just suck for me.

 

I've always had the Sci-Fi 'portable computer' in my mind.

I want to be able to plug in everything. Interface everything. Modify Everything.

I want the 'one computer I carry' to be able to do whatever I need it to do; even the things I don't know I need it to do yet.

And for me? I find the Apple ecosystem limiting (one key example, I don't think it can screen mirror without an apple TV; where as even without a ChromeCast Android can MiraCast).

 

Horses for courses really.

Android updates are under control of the Telco or phone manufacturer.

Which means no, patchy or very few or sodding slow updates.

 

My Nvidia tablet gets updates months behind. Still on 7.0 but it's better than 6.0

 

Usually the phone manufacturer is pretty good in my experience.

 

I get monthly updates on my Blackberry KeyONE.

And my Samsung before this got at least bi-monthly updates.

 

CyanogenMod updates the most reliable in my experience.

 

I think that's the biggest thing about Android, you get to make it your own.

So you can literally make it your own experience.

 

It's the tech equivalent to people who would prefer to build a sports car up to their specs, versus the type who would find it more fun to just 'Buy a new SLK'.

I couldn't think of anything more boring or heartbreaking lol

Edited by Master_Scythe

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But on that note, we're talking $1400~ish (last i checked?) for the top of the top of the top iphone option?

 

 

And it doesn't even come close to matching the 'grunt' of the Honor V9 in this example. (of which you could almost literally buy 3 of, in that lifetime).

If you had a Xaiomi you could literally buy the phone 8 times, and have (for my use case) more features anyway!

 

Otherwise, there's likely a whole new Android revision in that time.

Alright then mate... So if I bought the V9? How would I go flashing it with the Honor 8 Pro ROM? How hard is it. The XDA forums aren't exactly step by step

 

I'm really not confident with bricking $550

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But on that note, we're talking $1400~ish (last i checked?) for the top of the top of the top iphone option?

 

 

And it doesn't even come close to matching the 'grunt' of the Honor V9 in this example. (of which you could almost literally buy 3 of, in that lifetime).

If you had a Xaiomi you could literally buy the phone 8 times, and have (for my use case) more features anyway!

 

Otherwise, there's likely a whole new Android revision in that time.

Alright then mate... So if I bought the V9? How would I go flashing it with the Honor 8 Pro ROM? How hard is it. The XDA forums aren't exactly step by step

 

I'm really not confident with bricking $550

 

 

They're fairly step by step, perhaps look into the guide made by Cyanogen\Lineage, if you don't know the basics? It's probably the most long lived and 'noob friendly' OS out there, so their step by step is priceless.

That said, just a simple reflash with the stock rom it comes with, from Honor should be enough to ensure no 3rd party seller threw on some spyware.

 

Basically, as long as it's an official ROM it shouldn't require any magic.

 

Copy rom to phone.

Enter fast boot menu.

Install ROM

Reboot

 

I got my father an OPPO phone which I installed ColorOS or whatever OPPO's official alternative OS was, onto it.

Literally download, drag, drop, reboot, install, reboot.

 

Official roms dont usually need trickery :)

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Trouble with a lot of ROMs on local telco phones, those are like special roms for that telco and Optus/Telstra/Voda don't have those publicly available for download.

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Trouble with a lot of ROMs on local telco phones, those are like special roms for that telco and Optus/Telstra/Voda don't have those publicly available for download.

 

If it can be rooted, first thing people usually do is copy the modem file off, and flash to a 'stock rom'.

 

I didnt even need to do any modem trickery for the Oppo.

 

Just flashed the manufacturers optional 'vanilla' rom.

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Isn't unlocking the bootloader a relatively simple thing to do, yourself? Even if it means wiping the phone?

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Isn't unlocking the bootloader a relatively simple thing to do, yourself? Even if it means wiping the phone?

 

No, unfortunately.

Since the bootloader is effectively the BIOS of the ROM, its handled a little differently.

In PC terms, think of it as trying to flash some firmware, by formatting your hard drive.

 

And when you DO eventually flash that firmware, if you've picked one that doesn't quite know how to talk to the controller, then it's a brick.

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