Jiayu G4T Review

This is a short review of an android Jiayu G4t unlocked phone. I decided to finally get a new phone because I couldn't even make any short notes on my current prepaid phone. I like the prepaid service I have because I only use my phone occasionally. My new requirements were simple. It had to be an unlocked phone that could be used almost anywhere and I liked the idea of having two sim slots. I didn't realized that one was a micro and the other was a standard size. This works out fine as it is more flexible anyway and also allows me to use a sim card from another country if I ever need it, installed at the same time. Jiayu is a company in China and I ordered the phone directly from China. Just google the model and you'll find it in many places on the web.

The good:
- Nice large screen. This is my first touchscreen cell phone ever so I'm still trying to get used to it. Okay my Treo was my first. I still have not found a belt clip case that can also be a stand for it as it is a little bigger than my old phone. I just prefer to use my pocket for change for example. I chose this model due to the larger screen than the Jiayu G5 since the specifications are exactly the same and cost less. The G5 has a smaller screen than the G4 but a tiny bit similar to the iphone. With that in mind the screen is larger so getting used to it still takes a bit of work. I find myself still having to use both hands. The G5 is nice, but I just prefer larger screen so I don't have to look at tiny letters and the double tap to zoom in is pretty awesome. I don't have a G5 so I can't say if there are any other differences other than the case and screen.

- It does support the android market and all you need is an account and start using it on the phone. I thought it would be a pain, but it worked right away after I logged in with my current account.

- I do like this android version as you can also disable the data connection from each sim card and change the color for each card individually. I like the quick up or down swipes to access the menus instead of having to tap, tap, tap too many times to get to them.

- Not many installed apps which was better than a bunch of random apps. I like to choose what I install so this was fine, but it did take a while to find non ad apps and without them having to access all my information. I have an old tablet with android 2.3 and although this has gotten a bit better, it is still very hard to find simple apps that don't have ads or want to access all your information.

- The back of the black phone has the rubbery feel, very nice. The battery gives the phone a nice weighted feel, but the phone itself is very light and mostly plastic. The edge around the phone is metal though.

- The included apps work fine as far as I can tell. The music app plays even after I get out of it, which is nice. The gallery works, I haven't used it much. The FM radio works well too. So far the only app that doesn't work is the sim toolkit, I am not sure what that does as it tells me it's not installed. I also played a movie and worked fine. The other one is the browser, it works, but I can't tell what it is. It's just a purple icon with an e. It works but I guess it would be nice to know. Unfortunately there was no manual included for the phone or android.  Well, there was a small Chinese pamphlet but that was it. Although you can figure it out, it would help if they included one in English.

The not so good:
- I could not change the Chinese apps language to English and could not uninstall them either.

- This is a big one, I kept trying to figure out how to get the menu, home and back button on the bottom of the phone to light up, but they never do. This was a big bummer, but once you get acquainted with the phone it gets easier to use, but it would be nice if they did light up since I still keep touching the wrong place on the back button.

- I connected the usb to the computer but my phone would not get picked up as a hard drive on the computer. I did a backup of my apps to my sd card which was very quick and easy with the included backup app. Then I did a clean phone reset and restored them back in. I really like the simplicity of this. I was trying to figure out how to back them all up before I decided to try this. It saves a bunch of time because all you need is an sd car and no connection to anything.

- This is the worst one I can find. The included usb cord is the shortest cord I have ever received with any phone. The cord barely reaches the table when plug it into the outlet on the floor. They really need to fix this and send a longer cord as I can't even use the phone on my bed next to it while it's charging for example. The cord is just too short.

- I also ordered the car adapter for this phone thinking it was some special adapter. It turns out it was just a regular car lighter usb adapter. Not a big deal, but I wished I had known. I already have one, but I guess now I can have one on each car. Either way you can buy these locally too.

- I got the rubber case from an ebay seller for much less than what the price is where I bought the phone. It looks and fits fine, so I really don't know what the difference between my ebay version and the one they sell would be as it also looks just as nice.

- A few dollars for a screen plastic cover is just ridiculous, so ebay got me a few for the same price they sell one. I'm now waiting for them, get those at the same time if you can so you don't have to mess with the plastic cover it comes with. It has the Jiayu logo and Chinese writing on it and gets annoying fast when you are trying to read. I don't have a phone service provider I can use with the phone at the moment so it's no big deal. I'm just using my home wifi with it. Now I just have look around for another affordable pre-paid service I can use with it. I just wished they would include a couple of the screen protectors for free, that would be nice considering you are paying a lot for the phone. I almost just bought the new google phone as the price is up there for the unlocked phone too, but I like that this one had two sim card slots. One for the old size and one for the micro size which are newer, but many countries still use the old one and having two should allow me to use a different card at the same time. The google phone only had a micro slot which limits that and it's what kept me away from it. Also being able to use it worldwide is nice even though I don't travel much if at all, but I have gone outside the USA so this is helpful and saw how sim cards are very common elsewhere. New services don't even use sim cards much, but anywhere outside the us, well technology is still playing catch up.

- The phone did not include earphones, this has always been an included piece on older phones. I ended up using my old tablet earphones with this as it also has a volume control built in. All you get is the phone and charger. It would be nice to have the accessories included.

- I'm still having a hard time using the keyboard as it feels like the letters are a bit close to each other. The sound and vibration feedback helps a lot so we'll see how this goes after I use it more. I do like their feedback. They seem better spaced in landscape, but then there goes the one hand typing. I also like the key press sounds, so those have been helping me get used to typing on glass. It just feel weird to me as I prefer actual buttons.

- Lastly, I bought the T version of the chip which is supposed to be the later or Turbo version which is supposed to be a bit faster. I downloaded the antutu app which doesn't say if it is or not. I also downloaded a hardware info app and all I get is amv7 Processor rev2 (v7I), max frequency 1.508Mhz. So I don't know what to tell you about this.

- The biggest and not really the phone's fault is that I can't use my net10 phone sim card with it. I need to purchase a new sim card that uses a monthly service which I don't want. I have the internet at home. I currently use prepaid cards as I don't use the phone to talk much or to surf the internet. I just wanted a better phone that allows me to make notes and do some reading while I'm not at home and well, just be able to do things like that. In any case, I had the same problem using a sim from an old net10 phone and a new net10 phone, so it's a locked company problem as I have also gotten free sims before and from other carriers and they worked fine on other phones.

- The default calculator that Jiayu put in is very basic, I can't even find the percent option on it which is something that we use. So I had to find a new calculator app. There are many so that's not a huge deal, but the included calculator just seemed to be missing that and I'm sure many other things people use.
-The Chinese calendar was finally gone after the reset but the icon persisted. I was able to delete it though. Just hold down your finger on it, wait until it moves and drag up to the top of the screen to remove it. I tried a root app, but that didn't work well I don't think, so this is why I also decided to just do a reset.

- I can't put the nice weather widget back on the home screen after the reset. It just won't allow me to do it now which sucks. I read a bit on the web and some say it may be due to security. I'm not sure, but it did look nice on my main screen. Oh well it's has been moved to a different page.

-My phone came with different languages and I noticed this is also the default after the reset. It had French/Russian and some other language as the defaults. I'm in the USA and can't speak or read any of those. I only wanted to change the Chinese apps (Two of them now) to English or delete them as I also can't read or speak Chinese. The two included apps on the left screen are nice, but the names are still in Chinese, this just looks weird to a non Chinese speaker. One icon opens six of your downloaded apps, the other six of the internal apps. They are nice icons/apps, but the names are still in Chinese which really don't help me. I suppose you can delete the icons too. I also can't find how I can change the icons that they display so I may end up deleting them which is too bad.

- I have changed the screen to pattern, but now I can't change it back to pin or anything else. I noticed a few weird things like this so I'm still trying to figure out what is happening. I did figure out the pattern, so you can change back to pin or gesture again. Phew!

- Make sure to change the default clock time zones to your time zone. I seem to have to do it in like three different places. The settings, the digital clock home time zone which I wish displayed all other time zones at the same time too. I guess it's fine if you only show your local time in the home screen, but it would be nice if you had the option to display other time zones at the same time if you wanted to. I think the weather widget also needed the time zone set up. Just make sure it's done or you'll get some things like Google telling you something is not supported in China when you connect.

- The volume has predetermined settings. For example I wanted to have a very low volume at night out of the speaker, but the lowest setting was still a bit too loud on the speaker. If I went lower, it was basically muted, so this needs a bit of work. Either way the sound is fine for watching videos and movies if you want.

- One thing I forgot to mention is taking pictures. Every time I take a picture, it slides over to the right. I just find that very annoying because it's seems to do it while I take the picture. So it doesn't just snap the picture and leave it on the screen. It scrolls it over. Maybe I'm just not use to it, but I don't like the way it does that.

These are the specifications for this cell phone.

Jiayu G4T Advanced Features:

OS: Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
CPU: MTK6589T Quad Core 1.5GHZ
GPU: PowerVR SGX 544MP
RAM     2GB,DDR3
ROM     32GB
Sim Card: Dual SIM Card Dual Standby
Service Provide: Unlocked
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 2100MHz
Size:  4.7 inch
Shell Material    Plastic
Screen:  Retina screen, 312PPI, IPS screen, Corning II Gorilla Glass,OGS full lamination technology
Size:  4.7 inch
Resolution:  1280*720 IPS
Screen PPI: 312
Navigation     GPS\A-GPS
Daul Camera:  Front Camera 3.0M ,13.0M Pixels High definition back camera Auto Forcus
Extend Card     Support TF card up to 64GB extended
Sensor:   Gyroscope,Compass,Gravity Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor
Google Play: Pre-installed
Bluetooth     Support
Email and Browser: Yes, built in
WIFI:    802.11b/802.11g / 802.11n
Other:    GPS, WIFI, Bluetooth, FM

Jiayu G4T Advanced contain:

1 x Jiayu G4T Android Smart Phone
1 x USB cable
1 x Charger
1 x Battery 3000mAh
Note: Jiayu G4T Phone will be shipped with adapter plugs according your shipping address.

Jiayu G4T Advanced Size: 133*65*10mm  (2.9mm narrow bezel, ultra-narrow metal frame)

Now for the pictures:

Here's my main screen, the two icons at the top are the ones I can't change from Chinese to English. They are like small file managers. If I open them they show me more app icons. So they are useful, but I can't change the names which just looks weird to a non Chinese speaker. I found that you can hold your finger on the Chinese characters and change the name. I have to wait to download something in order to do it on the download icon since I had to reset my phone for the second time. I had the free ez multiwii app that I removed and my BT would not work again after that. The reset fixed it but now I have to get all my settings fixed and I did back up my apps so that is not problem putting back. Good thing I didn't have much else in it, but that's not a good either way if something stops working like that again. I think that would be rare as I was just testing the BT and trying to get it to connect with a multiwii controller.

These are some of the included apps, pretty much all of them in this screen come with the default android OS. I have to admit, I like the clean simple icons. They do look nice.

Here's the widget screen. I'm still playing with this, but I like to keep my stuff pretty simple and clean without any unnecessary apps.

Here's the menu, home and return/back button on the bottom of the phone. It's too bad that they don't light up. It would help specially in the dark. With the phone being all black, I have managed to hold it upside down in the dark. Yes the screen changes, but still.

The plastic but rubbery back cover. It does feel really nice in the hand and not slippery.

Here's the plastic cover that comes on the phone. At least it did the job of keeping my screen clean until I got my screen protectors today.

Here's the rubber case I got from ebay. It's thin, but works fine. Since the phone uses the 3000mah battery it takes a bit to make the edges reach, but it stays put. I do prefer a belt clip holder though. Also if you want to watch anything on an airplane you have to hold it in the hand the whole time, so this is why I want to see if there's any case that can stand the phone horizontally so I don't have to.

Here's the back of the case. They all seem to be the same and it's a nice looking back too. The black rubber cover with the logo needs about .5 to 1mm more to fit perfectly on the 3000mah battery. It stays on, but you can tell on the sides that it's not quite there. Ebay has some others that say they fit the 3000mah battery.

The two sim card slots are on the right and the mini sd card all the way on the left.

I was looking for some pdf books and got this, so nothing is immune from junk on the internet. No harm done, but still. Don't just download any app or files from the internet. Unfortunately android still has a way to go as I did notice a bunch of apps with ads still, just like they were on my old android 2.2 tablet. That gets very old and annoying really quick so this is why I'm only downloading the few apps that I actually use and don't need access to everything on the phone. This is still a big problem with these android apps, they tend to change other settings I have already set up and I have to keep going back in order to change them to what I like and had set them up as. So you will notice things acting a bit differently every now and then which doesn't help if you're the paranoid type when it comes to these things. This is why I don't like to just install any app that want's access to anything it shouldn't. Hopefully this will get sorted out over time.

Here is a video I split in two since it was long. It's basically me installing the screen cover. It's not as easy as I thought.


T. Cs. said...

Deer Jaime,

I plan to buy a phone like yours, and your blogpost was really useful for me.

You wrote that there in backlight for the android icons, so I asked jiayu store whether is it already fixed.

Their answer:
Jiayu Mobile:
Thank you for your mail.
Please choose Setting==>>Reset your phone.

How do you see does it make sense?



Jaime said...

Hi. I'm glad this was helpful for you. As for the three icons on the bottom of the phone, I think that's what you mean. They don't light up. I don't think they ever did, but so far there is no difference still. I have had to reset the phone several times as sometimes it has just frozen on me. Sometimes I had to remove the battery in order to reset it, but this was before I unchecked the quick boot under accessibility. Now I get a full reset. With the quick boot checked the phone does not completely reboot and still says that the phone has been on for however many hours it was on. So you have to make sure you do a complete reset or take out the battery to make sure it completely reboots and clears whatever is causing the freeze. I think sometimes apps tends to screw things up a bit which is why I don't install anything that wants too much access to the phone.