We’re continuing on from where I left off the other day, we’ll continue to check out the latest phones from Fly-ying. We reviewed 2 of the lower-end smartphones Fly-ying recently released on the previous post. We’ll continue to move up the price range today, and we’ll be looking at 3 phones with better specs and features than the L913 and the F132. All three phones are already available from online wholesalers. So without further ado, let’s begin with a Fly-ying clone of Nokia’s flagship smartphone for 2010, the Nokia N8.
If you’re a fan of the Nokia N8′s design, but can’t find any space in your budget for the $350 – 500 plus original phone, then you might want to consider the Fly-ying FN8. At $114.28, the FN8 gives you that distinctive N8 design for less than half the retail price of an original N8, without the same performance, of course, but with enough features to keep you satisfied with it considering you didn’t have to fork out quite as much.
To start you off, the Fly-ying FN8 draws its processing power from the same source as the F132, the MTK6235 processor. I failed to mention in the earlier post that the MTK6235 processor actually runs at 208MHz and has it’s own Digital Signal Processor. Now, 208MHz is really not a lot of power to run on, so before picking up the FN8, be warned that you shouldn’t expect it to do everything that the N8 can do, in fact, it’s best to consider them in totally different playing fields in terms of performance.
To offset the lack of power for the features it offers, Fly-ying have setup a custom OS on it meant to approach, although not totally resemble, the Symbian^3 OS of the Nokia N8. The low resource requirements of the custom OS allows the FN8 to allocate enough processing power to applications and to making the 3.3 inch 320 by 240 pixel 260 thousand color resistive touch screen display responsive and good looking.
In terms of the unit’s external design, it’s easy enough to distinguish a definite difference in layout – to be quite honest, any comparison with the N8 should have stopped here. Instead of the single multi-function button on the face of the N8, Fly-ying have included 5 distinct buttons on the FN8 that allow you to make and answer calls from any of the four SIM cards on standby, a home button, a back button, and a button to end calls. The camera on the front of the phone has also changed position, moving from the extreme right of the phone’s face over to an offset left. This 0.3MP camera complements the 1.3MP camera on the rear and is intended for video calling.
Additionally, the Fly-ying FN8 has 14.6MB of internal memory, and thankfully, this can be expanded via SD card up to 8GB. This can be used for storing videos, music, and e-books or additional applications, as the phone is also capable of running Java. For connectivity, the FN8 is able to utilize 802.11g/b Wi-Fi connections for hot spot or access point connections to the internet, and GPRS for internet over a mobile phone network. Cross-device connections are also possible via Bluetooth, and the FN8 can be connected to a computer via USB. As with the L913 and the F132, analog and digital TV reception are the norm here. Also, GPS is advertised for the unit, however, how it actually works still has to be clarified.
With the a 1200mAh battery supplied with the FN8, it is able to stay on stand by for up to 150 hours, and it can provide up to 120 minutes of talk time.
Fly-ying F602 and Fly-ying L601
The Fly-ying F602 and L601 is where it really starts to get interesting. At $130.83 and $149.99, respectively, they are designed for people who want to have the convenience and flexibility associated with the Android mobile OS for a fraction of the cost of name brand smartphones. The F602 is designed to look somewhat like a clone of a Blackberry device, however, in actuality, only the form factor is shared, Blackberry users will find it a totally different experience altogether. The L601 on the other hand, seems to draw inspiration for its simple design heavily from HTC phones, however, it is not a clone of any phone out in the market right now. Both phones run on Android 2.2 Froyo.
Although differing in price with the FN8 by only about $20 and $30, the F602 and L601 are able to bring a lot more processing power and better features to the smartphone playing field. They are powered by the significantly faster MTK6516 processor running at 416+280MHz. The 416MHz of processing power is dedicated entirely to making sure that the OS and all the installed applications run smoothly, and the other 280MHz is used by the radio for processing signal information. The MTK6516 processor is the exact same processor used by its counterparts from Star, so you can expect similar performance values.
Fly-ying, however, besides being able to implement Android 2.2 with the MTK6516 for cheaper than Star did with the X12, put their usual extra mile into the product by including a custom designed installation of the Android OS that is easily distinguishable at the home screen. Their customized user interface looks strikingly similar to the user interface made popular by HTC. If you’re not a fan of the HTC inspired user interface, with it large date or time display, then you can always go back to the original Android 2.2 interface with the Google search bar.
A further step up from the smartphones from Star, Fly-ying was able to implement a 3.2 inch capacitive touch screen on the F602 and a 3.5 inch capacitive touch screen on the L601. That basically means that you can expect a more responsive touch screen experience without having to “fight” the screen. The native resolution of the display is 480 by 320 pixels, making the F602 and L601 great even for reading smaller font.
The F602 and L601 can also be used for GPS navigation and support voice navigation as well, just in case you want to use it in the car. Besides the GPS navigation capabilities, the smartphones also come with a compass, just in case you do get lost out in the wilderness where GPS doesn’t always help.
Very few smartphones come without dual cameras for voice calling and for general picture taking, and gladly, both the F602 and the L601 aren’t any of them. On both the F602 and the L601 the rear camera comes with a 2 megapixel sensor that is able to produce outputs of up to 1600 by 1200 pixels and the front camera comes with a VGA sensor and produces outputs up to 640 by 480 which is pretty much all you really need for video calling.
For connectivity, the F602 and L601 are able to access the internet via 802.11g/b Wi-Fi connections, although there are some indications that they may also be able to use the N protocol as well. For wireless over cellphone networks, the they are both also able to connect via GPRS. Inter-device connectivity is achieved via Bluetooth v2.0 and they can also be connected via USB to a computer.
Fly-ying has chosen to use a smaller battery than Star, rated 500mAh lower at 1000mAh, however, the F602 and the L601 still manage to achieve a maximum of about 270 hours on standby, which translates to roughly 240 minutes of talk time.