Living with the Jiayu G4 Review: The First Week

jiayu g4 review hero
Like & Share
[templatic_contentbox type=”about” title=”Guest Post”] This is a guest post written by Gizchina reader Brian Jackson. If you would like to post your experiences with Chinese technology please get in touch. [/templatic_contentbox]

Andi completed a comprehensive full JiaYu G4 review a few weeks ago when it first became available . I receveived my phone seven days ago, after a long wait, see my previous article .

[templatic_contentbox type=”info” title=”JiaYu G4 discount for GizChina readers”] GizChina readers can now save $22 and receive FREE worldwide shipping when buying the JiaYu G4 Basic from Antelife. Use the following discount code to take advantage of the saving:

  • GizjiayuG4

Buy the Jiayu G4 here.
[/templatic_contentbox]

So I thought I would share my initial thoughts and feelings on living with my phone(a Black Basic 3000mA Jiayu G4) for the first week.

jiayu g4 review gizchina

My specific requirements for a phone are driven by the fact that we spend half the year in the UK and half in Spain. This deters me from a contact (or two contracts) and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on technology that is rapidly superseded. So a reasonably priced Chinese phone with two SIM cards seemed a good choice. I don’t like Apple products (good technology, well integrated but too restrictive/proprietary).

I like Android and it has matured sufficiently to be on a par with or better than IOS. I want stock Android without a lot of ‘bloatware’. Most of my friends have I-Phones or Samsung Galaxy S3/S4. I want a phone that can hold its head up against this stiff competition and which is well made.

I don’t play a lot of video games but I do listen to lot of music so ideally I wanted a phone that has good audio and which will support a 64GB TF Card quickly enough to find albums/tracks. I also need a sufficiently large screen that I can actually use to read web pages / e-books and play Suduko, Majong and Crosswords. I want it to fit in my pocket i.e. no larger than 5” and I want any glitches to be sorted with software that is regularly updated.

So the 4.7” Jiayu G4 seemed a good choice as it ticked the boxes on all counts. But would it live up to expectations?

Whilst waiting to get my hands on my phone my initial concerns centred around four main aspects:

  1. Would I like the phone and be happy to be using it? Would it be too heavy, too big, would it be well built, would I be happy to be seen using it, would the accessories I’d already bought for it be compatible, could I live with the Basic version or would I wish I waited for the Advanced Turbo version?
  2. Would the phone work as I expected? Would the dual sims actually work on both the UK O2 network and in Spain on Telefonica, would the camera be any good for stills and video, would the 1 GB Ram and 4 GB Ram be an issue, would the battery life be sufficient, would the screen be visible in bright sunlight and would the audio capabilities be any good?
  3. Would Android 4.2.1 be any good? Would it be an improvement on my MID tablet which runs Android 4.0, would the ROM be installed correctly, could I get rid of the Chinese Apps, would it be Rooted, would it run smoothly on the device, would all my Apps be available on this latest version of the OS, would the bugs in certain 4.0 Apps that frustrated me be corrected?
  4. Would the phone I got have early release problems? Jiayumobile sent me a G4 from the ‘first’ batch of 6000 phones released by Jiayu. This is one of the main disadvantage of pre-ordering….you get what you are given and if you decline you may have a long wait! In this case from Andi’s review I knew there may be a small number of problems (slow GPS lock on, potentially weak Wi-fi, focus problems on video recording and no OTG). How bad would these ‘glitches’ actually be and would I be able to ‘fix’ them? Would they all be soft issues that could be corrected by firmware updates?

Well my phone finally arrived and overall I have to say I love the phone and whilst there are a few minor niggles it has really impressed me (so far but it is still only one week old!)

Would I like the phone and be happy to be using it?

It arrived with a ‘free’ flip cover, a screen protector but no headphones or OTG cable. The flip cover is cheap but that doesn’t matter to me as I won’t use it. The phone does not feel too big it feels comfortable in my hand and I can easily use it single handed. It is heavier than my previous phone (160gm compared to 113gm) but doesn’t feel too heavy in my hand although I certainly know its there when its in my pocket! A number of people have mistaken it for an I-Phone even though its all black, the screen is much larger and it doesn’t have a metal band round it. Yes, I am happy to be seen with it. The display is large and vibrant, I can use all the facilities that I want without the need of a microscope or stylus and it displays photos and videos stunningly. Its well made and feels like a quality device and doesn’t feel like a ‘cheap Chinese knock off’ as my friends kept calling it. They don’t now they have seen it, well not to my face anyhow.

As for the accessories I bought before I actually got the phone: the OTG to HDMI cable doesn’t work, the Samsung Class 10 64gb TF memory card works great once I allowed the phone to reformat it. The ‘Universal’ docking/adio/charging station I bought from AliExpress is still in the post (I hope) and the expensive leather case (Mediadevil for a Samsung Galaxy S4 which is almost exactly the same size) fits like a glove and makes the phone secure from bumps and knocks and look great.

samsung galaxy s4 media devel

I was originally waiting for the Advanced 32GB Rom 4GB Ram Turbo processor version of this phone but I decided to take the first one offered on the grounds that when the Advanced does finally become available I could always sell this one on Ebay and get the new one. It is not likely that I will be doing that! It performs very well, most of the Apps and all of the downloads go to my 64GB TF Card. I’ve down loaded all I want and there is more than 2GB of the 4GB still free and no matter how many Apps I seem to have running there is usually between 330 MB and 100 MB still available. Everything runs fast and very smooth.

Would the phone work as I expected?

The dual SIMs work well on both the UK O2 network and in Spain on Telefonica.
I have an O2 PAYG Sim in the full sized slot and that supports 3G 2100MHz and GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz in the UK and a Telefonica 3G microSIM (cut down as they don’t do a microSIM!) in the other slot which only supports a microSIM on 3G. No I haven’t tested other 3G wavelengths! It works fine and I am leaving it alone.

The camera takes good stills and video. The quality and definition is very good, ther video hasn’t shown and of the refocus issues that Andi suffered from. I do have an issue with the camera in very bright sunlight in as much as the automatic aperture control seems to slightly overexpose the picture, see below:

jiayu g4 sunny photo jpg

I can ‘stop down’ the phone manually in these conditions, which occur frequently in Spain and never in the UK. I am experimenting with other phone apps and I am hopeful that they will resolve this. I have tried Camera MX but it’s a bit cloudy so can’t really retest the problem.

The battery life is more than sufficient. From fully charged the battery supported a good two days of fairly heavy use, downloading APPS, testing the GPS, Camera, playing some games, playing music and watching some video. On standby with no wi-fi, no GPS from fully charged for 24hrs the phone used 7% of the battery so by extrapolation, 100% battery might last for 14 days (perhaps).

The screen is visible in bright sun light, better than I expected and much better than my tablet or laptop. The visibility is very good apart from when bright direct sunlight shines straight onto the screen. A hand above the screen solves the problem easily.

I am impressed with the audio capabilities. I use N7Player as I prefer its user interface, I have over 600 Albums on the device and I can select Artist/Album quickly in two clicks and the sound through my Koss headphones, my car radio or my old Hifi is very good. The built in speakers sound good but I rarely use those.

There is a tiny red led Notification indicator on the phone which is very useful and flashes to indicate missed calls, SMS messages, emails etc.

Would Android 4.2.1 be any good?

Android 4.2 is a significant improvement on my MID tablet which runs Android 4.0. It is slicker, it runs nearly all the Apps that I use with many improvements and downloads App updates quickly and trouble free in the background. The Internet performance is much better that my 4.0 tablet.

nova launcher jiayu g4 jpg

The ROM seems to have been installed correctly. The phone was delivered ‘rooted’ and in Chinese but it was easy to set the language to English. It had Google Playstore installed so getting my Apps was no problem. I prefer the Nova launcher and by installing that could I get rid of the Chinese Widgets and Apps from the home screen. There are still a few Chinese Apps installed and they won’t uninstall but they are not visible and cause no problems so I am happy to leave them to lurk in the App Draw.

A small number of my preferred Apps are not currently available on this latest version of the OS. Most noticeably Metro Station which I like for setting up Folders / Simplistic Icons on the home screen but I am sure it will be updated and available soon. There are some bugs in certain 4.0 Apps that really frustrated me, particularly the JazzFM App and Tasker, they all seem to be corrected in 4.2.

Would the phone I got have early release problems?

From Andi’s review I knew there may be a small number of problems: slow GPS lock on, potentially weak Wi-fi, focus problems on video recording and no OTG. Well the OTG is definitely not functioning although I can’t complain as it wasn’t a feature when I actually ordered the phone. This is now functioning on the later phones so I am hoping that a software upgrade may add the facility. The GPS is slow to lock but there are Apps such as Fast GPS and GPS Test which solve this. There is a Rom available already which corrects this problem but I am leaving it at the moment. I have not experienced the video focus problems and the wi-fi range and speed seems fine. It is at least as good, if not slightly better, than my Acer Laptop. In Spain most houses are made with concrete block internal walls, so normal wi-fi range is about two / three rooms and no more than two internal walls. I am going to reposition my router to remove one wall from the equation and I have two wi-fi boosters in the post from Aliexpress at $11 each…..I may do a review of these if they ever arrive!

Conclusion

In summary, I am delighted with my Jiayu G4, there a couple of very minor issues which will probably be fixed and all in all I can anticipate living happily with the phone for the next couple of years. I would probably have chosen the Advanced model mainly so I could have the 32GB Ram for another 300 albums but this model is more than adequate. I hope they fix the OTG and the GPS glitches but they are not show stoppers. Rather than updating the phone my next project (probably next year when the next generation of super SOCs eventually become available) will be updating my tablet….if this phone makes it to last a year!

[templatic_contentbox type=”author” title=”About the Author”] Brian Jackson – Chinese Gizmo addict. Thirty years IT and Telecoms experience including IT Strategy Manager for one of the UK’s largest Insurance companies and Project Manager of the software development for the UK’s Local and Main digital telephone exchanges Signalling Interworking Subsystems. [/templatic_contentbox]

  • CESAR

    gj

    • Norman Zakaria

      Yeah! Totally good job. I like this review. Unfortunately I cannot wait anymore as I will be needing a phone right now for my new job so I cancelled my Jiayu G4 Advance order and bought the iOcean X7 Elite instead from Aliexpress for about USD300. Hope someone will do a review of the Jiayu G4 Advance when it comes out =D

    • DiselPower

      I have bought this phone because of the long battery life. BUT! wa very disappointed… it holds less than 24 hours in standby! HOW CAN IT BE? i feel like just spent my money for nothing. less than 24 hours but wifi is disabled!!!! my google nexus (before i broke it) holded almost 2 days with wifi enabled and bluetooth. mabe the battery is broken? or maybe it is something with the phone?

  • Simon

    great review – good to hear some real world comments on wifi and GPS as these two things and the reported issues around them are really putting me off investing in a cheap Chinese phone. I was looking at the iocean x7 elite and the thl w8+ – (which are not that cheap but you do get a lot for tyour money) but I may hold off until some more good reviews and tests come through like yours.

    Does the fasterGPS work then? If so it is a software glitch and not the chipset/antenna?

    • BrianJackson

      The GPS seems to lock on faster using TestGPS and once its locked on so far its been fine…mind you thats just walking about outside havent tried it in the car yet..waiting for a universal holder with CD slot mount…on its way from China I think I might have blocked up the trade routes!

    • C Puzz

      On my Chinese phone, the GPS in the USA was 7+ mins to lock even on a clear day. I came across a post on an Android forum that said the fix was to enable the GPS downloading. Something like Settings -> Location -> GPS -> enable GPS downloads -> touch GPS on left to configure it -> turn on all the checkboxes, say yes to all the data usage warnings.
      I tried it and viola, everything GPS and location based worked fast. Outside, even on cloudy days, I get a lock within 5 to 10 seconds consistently.
      Apparently it uses a data connection to download the latest satellite coordinates so it can pre-guess where the satellites are, enabling the faster lock. GPS downloading is not enabled by default on the stock Android Chinese market phones. The download then says it’s valid for 30 days before next download.

      • BrianJackson

        Thats very useful thanks will try it out..i guess thats what GPS Test and Faster GOPS actually do.

      • Smyl3

        Its even a problem with your phone’s gps, if it can fix only just after 7 mins without internet and agps (any any earlier datas). Good working cold started gps can fix in 1-2 min max without any additional helper tricks.

  • waterresist

    Thank you. Nice job.

  • pell

    nice review, what about the lack of backlight buttons? is easy to get used to it or not?

    • BrianJackson

      No problem..you know where they are and your thumb soon gets trained..if they were lit they would use battery so Im happy with them unlit

  • DASDAS

    You heared from micro sd?

    • BrianJackson

      Dont understand? But 64GB TF card in micro SD slot works fine and Ive 48 GB of music that plays well off it..and some video

  • Rafal

    Nice review! Thanks!

  • Greg

    Thanks for the update. I’m still trying to make up my mind whether or not to wait for the advanced model so reading about your experience is very valuable, so thanks for helping all of us who are waiting….and waiting ;)

    It’s a shame the G4 had to re-format the 64GB card for it to work. If your card was new his might suggest that it does not support the exFat format. I have a 64GB card myself, and read/write speeds are much slower when it is formatted to fat32 as opposed to exFat. It’s not a deal breaker of course.

    There still seems to be some confusion over USB OTG and MHL. They are two different standards and two different adapters….

    • BrianJackson

      The card was fairly new but I originally loaded on my PC but it came formatted but I didnt check just filled it up with music and a few 100 books. When I put it in the phone it said error card unreadable…I thought initially that the claims for 64GB were incorrect but then I let the phone reformat it and it said that it worked but the SD was empty. So I reloaded the data from my PC via the USB lead connected to the phone. Which now works fine. Its a Class 10 Samsung microSD and its plenty fast enough once it was loaded and indexed by N7player…much much better than my old Samsung which struggled with a 32 GB card on its own music player.

      • Jan Bouvrie

        Some linux-based devices can be picky when it comes to filesystems. I managed to work around this by first explicitly _partitioning_ the card before formatting the partition.

  • LacusClyne

    If the phone is rooted the app rootappdelete should solve the problem. Also I doubt USB otg will be supported with software update. Great review!

    • BrianJackson

      Thanks I’ll give it a try….Im not really very hopeful about the OTG either to be honest

    • pipo

      “If the phone is rooted the app rootappdelete should solve the problem. ”
      Or you could also use Mobileuncle Tools (secon icon at the bottom; “Installed”)

      I successfully removed all apps with it that I don’t use.

  • TerrorSpawn

    Great Post Brian Jackson!
    Can’t wait for your next post: “Living with the Jiayu G4 Review: The Second Week”!
    (Just kidding! :P) Again great post, good job! :)

    • BrianJackson

      HA HA LOL..might do another one ‘ one year on..and still waiting for OTG!’

  • Rashdan

    Do you think a 3000mah battery would fit into the 1800mah version with just a different battery cover? I would just like the option of a slim phone for everyday use and a thicker phone when I travel.

    • LacusClyne

      i think it might be possible if jiayu releases it. I saw china reviewers/taobao selling a back cover together with the 3000 mah battery for the iocean x7 youth/advanced version and i think it works. Except it will just make the phone thicker. Otherwise theoretically it should be possible. I also saw someone doing it for a galaxy s2. The person bought a bigger capacity battery and it came with the cover

  • BrianJackson

    Yes but not sure.. I suspect that there are two thicknesses of backs and two thicknesses of battery and whilst the thick battery needs the tick cover the other combinations are possible..I am contemplating buying a thin white back with a thin battery for evening events( to match my evening dress suit) whilst keeping the thicker black/big battery for daytime use…but then again its probably about 50euros to upgrade and other than me not many people will give a sh*t on the three or four events a year that I dress up for!

  • AndyW

    Cheers Brian, great review.

    I’m still hanging on in there for the advanced model :)

    Andy.

    • BrianJackson

      Should be soon now and well worth the wait!

  • tommmyyy

    Great review mate, always good to get some first hand info! One particular question reference audio and music > are you able to use media control buttons on the wired headset to play / stop / skip / volume +/- ? That is one of the features that does not work on G3 that I have and although not a deal breaker would like to know if it has been corrected on G4. Thx!

    • BrianJackson

      Sorry dont know my headphones don’t have that facility and I just stick an album on play and leave it alone!

  • 01101110110110

    Indeed this is a great review, exactly the type of reviews I look for when deciding to purchase a phone. Right now I’m torn between the Jiayu G4 Advanced Turbo version (yet to be released) and the Neo 003 (not many similar reviews for it yet). For me OTG is a must so thats a deal breaker for me, which is why I’m also waiting.

    I have 3 questions though,
    1) The first one regards the external speakers, would you mind testing them in a public enviroment and report on their sound quality as well as loudness ? I understand you prefer to use your headphones for personal consumption but I’m just curious how well it’ll sound when playing something for friends and such. Would they be able to listen to it clearly over the surrounding noise ? Would it sound clear or distorted….etc .

    2) Wifi is also another deal breaker for me, you said it seems normal but I’d appreciate some more details if you don’t mind. How often do you use wifi, how long and how far away is the router usually. You described the house in spain but didn’t mention where you stay when using the phone. How would you compare it to your old samsung phone ? Also would you mind posting links to those 11$ wifi extenders ?

    3) I am glad the refocus issues haven’t hit you, hopefully they’re not universal and just some kind of software bug. You mentioned camera MX, have you tested it much ? Do you believe its preferable to the stock camera software or the difference is negligible ?

    Thanks again for a great review

    • BrianJackson

      Will do the sound test when I get the chance but I have to say the speakers on full volume do seem loud enough.
      The wifi is difficult to quantify I am in Spain for the next two months so all I can say about the UK was it worked everywhere in our UK house (upstairs and downstairs) and its a big house. Here is Spain the concrete internal walls are wifi killers everywhere for every one. I can access the wifi in our bedroom which is two rooms and three walls away from the router but its just on the edge and I have to get a connection nearer before entering the room. We went into town last night and 10m outside the restaurant it kept dropping out but nearer it was fine. We later went to a bar and 10m outside that I had a strong connection and a beer.
      If you search Aliexpress for wifi booster 802.11n you will get 382 results from £9 upward, the plug in ones are also available on Amazon and from HK on UK Ebay (which was where I bought mine from it was actually £12 as Aliexpress wont post to Spain with a UK credit card!

      Not really tested Camera MX much and not in very breight sunlight…wife needs some attention too at the moment she says I love my phone more than her!

    • BrianJackson

      Just took some pics with Camera MX and although its not full sunshine they are still a little over exposed so I will be uninstalling it. Thereare hundreds of other camera apps the best is reputed to be Camera JB but that costs over a £1 LOL. I talked to a professional photographer friend and she said you often have this type of problem with camera phones as they are too small to build it a decent light meter…dont know if thats true or not..hopeful that its something Jiayu will tweek a bit in a future Rom upgrade.

      • BrianJackson

        The settings for white balance, exposure etc are all tunable (see http://developer.android.com/reference/android/hardware/Camera.Parameters.html) so now hopefull that exposure issues will be sorted out in updates to the rom

        • 01101110110110

          well thank you for the response to my questions & others, you definitely set my mind at ease about the camera issues. I’ll certainly keep watching this topic.

          My fear of wifi is the result of purchasing a chineese tablet (Pipo M3) with fairly crappy wifi, there could be a door between me and the router and I would lose connection, even though when it reconnects its full signal.

      • Airyl

        Snap camera is really good too.

    • Jan Bouvrie

      Re: 3)
      The user at http://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_message/40468619#40468619 seems to have found a workaround for the camera focus, installing Snap Camera HDR v3.3.0 Beta 2 as camera app, and setting focus mode to infinite. So I guess perhaps alternative applications can make a difference!

    • BrianJackson

      Checked out the built in speakers yesterday on the beach..crowded, Spanish very noisy and waves crashing in …about as noisy as I can find here. The sound was ‘just ok’ not very loud but could be heard a couple of feet away, slightly tinny but not bad..what you would expect from the tiny speakers that they can fit in a phone

  • http://virtualwebwales.com Rob

    Nice review Brian, has convinced me to order a Jiayu, but will wait for the advanced. 720 screen is fine for me.

    • BrianJackson

      720 screen is great….anything higher is wasted on my eyes!

  • meni

    great review Brian. is there any data about the sar level ? maybe it is written in the manual or in the box.

    • BrianJackson

      I left the manual and boxin the Uk so I cant help you on Say perhaps someone else can?

    • BrianJackson

      Just noticed this posted on Lowyat.net, dont know how truthful:
      “I just compared the leaked SAR levels of the JiaYu G4, iOcean X7 and the confirmed levels of the UMi X2 to most mainstream phones, and the results were about equal to the Galaxy Note’s. Just in case you’re wondering, the UMI X2 SAR level is one their Facebook page, Umimobile. The ratings are- 0.495 W/kg (Head), 0.537 W/Kg and 1g(Body)”

  • Ronnie Katsie

    My has OTG functions and have no WiFi issue is using the software release of 15-5-2013 thank you for your review i have been looking for Nova Launcher but couldnt know the name to use in Google play now im the happiest man on earth with my awesome G4 basic version. thank you

  • Mr.BlackWolff

    I dislike this phone, because of no lights in keys and no logos on keys..full black glass will make another person upset if we give for some work…or it is difficult to use…

    and specially it is huge shame, the reason they not lightning up is manufacturing fault of OGS screen …so they have built bad phone, faulty manufacturing ….

    • Airyl

      Nah, they wanted to leave the G4 looking like a mirror, which is why they removed backlights. And there are symbols of the buttons there, and they’re made of really reflective material, so you should be able to see them just fine in the day. Seriously, why do you need to complain about backlit buttons? They’re not exactly important or anything.

      • pipo

        “Seriously, why do you need to complain about backlit buttons? They’re not exactly important or anything.”

        here’s a tip. By adjusting Root\System\build.prop

        the line: qemu.hw.mainkeys=1
        to: qemu.hw.mainkeys=0

        And reboot.

        You get the standard Android 4.x onscreen keys back :-)

        • Bert

          Nice tip Pipo! However, this doesn’t physically add light to the buttons, instead it adds an additional bar with lit buttons above the bottom bezel, resulting in some lost screen space.

  • Kanishk

    @Brian
    Nice review! :D
    Also, can you pls tell me about the OS that came pre-installed in your G4 ? :3
    I thought it was the Aliyun OS(with square styled custom icons/drawers); which they’re showing off in many videos/pics.

    @Andi
    Can you please confirm about whether the soft keys will be Back-lit or not in the final retail version?

    Thanks..

    • LacusClyne

      aliyun os is only for selected phones such as the zopo c2. Jiayu definitely is not aliyun os and it is just a skinned version of android which resembles miui icons slightly. It is also unlikely they will have backlight capacitive button.

  • John05

    Hello,
    yeah the overexporsure on the camera is a very big problem.
    Will jiayu release a ROM or an uptade to fix that problem or is it something unfixable?
    with best regards

    • http://www.bicgate.com/jiayu-g4-basic-android-4-2-quad-core-smart-phone-4-7-inch-hd-ips-retina-screen-1g-ram-13mp-camera-white.html Lauren

      Hello
      Jiayu official website has uploaded Brush Pack, you can go and see.

  • bert

    Great article Brian and thanks for posting.
    I have the same phone for 10 days now. I agree with with your overall comments.
    A few things from me:

    *WiFi – no problems whatsoever
    *Camera – I do get the re-focus issue that Andi mentioned. Haven’t tried any software fix as yet. The camera does work well though and takes great photos. Haven’t had any over exposure problems.
    *GPS – was slow, but is much better after installing Faster GPS and GPS Test
    *Capacative buttons – agreed, you do get used to these, but I would prefer if JiaYu give us the choice of switching them on or off. Because the screen is completely black and if you have the phone mounted on your car windscreen as a GPS, it’s difficult to know which end is which! The buttons do have a faint blue tinge but you can really only see this when you angle the light on the phone.
    *3G – this phone only supports 2100MHz WCDMA. I only found out that my network uses 900/2100MHz so I have a lot of data drop outs when travelling. This is my main issue. I’ll likely sell it because of this or give it to the wife who doesn’t travel.
    It’s a very solid phone though, with a nice feel, and others have commented how it looks like the new iphone.

  • fonix232

    “The OTG to HDMI cable doesn’t work” – first of all, it is not ‘OTG to HDMI’. It is called MHL, Mobile High-definition Link, and is a new standard that can be implemented in microUSB (on mobile-end) and HDMI (on receiver-end) ports. Now, for this to work, you have to understand how this works:
    The MHL port is basically a combined HDMI+microUSB port on the receiver-end (for those who support MHL. For those who do not, it is the HDMI port). It acts like a simple HDMI port, but has a few extra pins for extra features, such as:
    – Remote controlling the device via the receiver-end’s remote controller (this way you can use your phone as a multimedia center)
    – Charging the device

    Now, there are two mainstream implementations of this standard: the 5-pin generic MHL connector, where the HDMI and USB ports are used only for the MHL communication and nothing else, and Samsung’s 11-pin solution, it makes the USB port available for “mass storage” mode, and can also power the cable itself (this way it can be used with any regular HDMI-enabled screen or TV). Usually the standard MHL port that is used in Chinese phones is the 5-pin solution, as the 11-pin Samsung one is licensed, and more expensive to produce.

    So, to answer why your ‘OTG to HDMI’ cable didn’t work: the Jiayu G4 is NOT MHL-enabled. So no wonder it did not work, it was an unnecessary purchase to begin with. There’s no point berating an otherwise good device for the inattention of the reviewer.

    • BrianJackson

      Thanks for that …I could have saved £1.50! ANybody want an unopened ‘micro USB to HDMI Adapter’. It was only a punt anyhow just in case it ever did work..obviosly wont as G4 doesnt support MHL just OTG.

  • nidget

    I have received mine today. I’m still in the process of discovering it. However, I seems to me the vibration is really low and far too short. And I can’t find how to modify it. Did you experience the same ? Do you have a solution ?

    • BrianJackson

      The level is a bit low but its fine for me ..it seems that this is a common complaint on many Android 4.2 phones (Inc the expensive ones). Google changed the Vibration attributes in 4.2 and a lot of people arent very happy with it. I understand that some custom Roms can increase the vibration intensity if the vibrator is the right type otherwise you have to live with it. Audio Manager Pro is usually the solution to setting volumes but currently doesnt adddress vibration parameters on 4.2.1

    • pipo

      “However, I seems to me the vibration is really low and far too short. And I can’t find how to modify it.”

      From what I discovered so far, you can increase vibration for the keyboard (only). I have my phone in Dutch so certain menu-options could have different describtions as I’m translating this from mine.

      Go to Settings –> Language and Input –> Android Keyboard -> press the little sliders-icon (settings) next to it.
      Scroll to the bottom –> Advanced settings –> the 6th item from top (settings for vibrationduration). This is standard 1ms but you can adjust the slider to your desire. I’ve set this to 60ms myself.

  • Venugopala BS

    Thank you, Brian Jackson and others. What are the phone book capacities of the two versions of Jiayu G4? Some websites mention it as 500 contacts for both the versions. I need a phone of at least 10,000 contacts. Will you kindly let me know the phone book capacity of your G4?

    • BrianJackson

      Thats a bit of a weird question! Why do you need so many? How do I find out the answer. Surely the App would be the limit not the phone. My contact file is on the 64GB SD card so surely if the APP didnt have a specific built in limit and you didnt put anything else on the card then you could have a 64GB divided by entry size (say 1000 bytes max)….thats alot more than you need. I use Go Contacts Ex and I cant find anything about max number of contacts although I can find a quote somewhere that it handles the most. It handles my 200 well.

    • pipo

      “Some websites mention it as 500 contacts for both the versions.”
      …which is completely wrong.

      I don’t know how many contacts the Stock Android dialer/addressbook can handle. I thought there was no limit (except memory restraints). I have about 700 contacts myself which are no problem at all.

  • turbo retro

    ok.. i’ll add to this.. been lurking on here for the last few months now and what an episode its been..

    I bought a zopo field ZP300+ last year in june.. build quality was average, dust getting behind the touch glass and the battery life rubbish. Ordered 2 batteries over the span of about 8 months and it just drove me nuts.. zopo support.. ok.. but didnt want to follow the path..

    the goal was to get a phone around 4.5inch with a big battery… as big as I could get. I have been trying to get a phone from various chinese websites for awhile and I am in australia.. After being ripped off to the tune of nearly $900 with false websites (go paypal as i got the monies back and the same with VISA) I finally bought a Jiayu G4 black edition from SPEMALL.

    Communication was great and got the order in 4 days from the time I finished buying it.. I have been trying to get a new phone for 2 months.

    This phone is fantastic.. screen is bright, even in daylight. The tactile feel of the product is nice. and battery life is perfect. I can get whole day of browsing, pushing emails etc. This phone is excellent value for money and Linda at SPEMALL was a pleasure to deal with… After being shafted 3 times, i just wanted to receive a product full stop.. Would like to thank Gizchina for the link!!!

    I use Gmail to sync all my contacts.. and no issues.. they are all in there.. over 800 of them. email addresses and pics.. one thing i noticed about new android platform is you can move pretty much 90% of all apps to SD card. Running a Class 10 64gig micro sd card in this and wow.. its fast on everything.. and my OTG works??? not that i bought it to use it for that purpose..

    • BrianJackson

      Wow thats a tale but with a happy ending….g’day sport!

  • BrianJackson

    Small addition to my review…the led lights up green when the battery is fully charged and when there is a diary appointment reminder..red the rest of the time for notifications.
    Just tried Bluetooth connectivity in my car …no problems, full contacts available and phone calls clear. I drove with GPS on for the first time for a distance..worked great once it locked on (used Test GPS to boost it then was fast)

  • Manos

    Thanks for the review!
    I haven’t any problems with WiFi ! I have problems with BT when the phone call ends cit close the antenna and asking pin!
    The volume doesn’t go at full it say to protect from hearing damage !
    Can’t delete Chinese APS something happening with the root…r
    The torch ap doesn’t work! Other is working.
    That’s all for now others haven’t tested yet
    If you can help me with some tips for this problems…
    Thanks

    • BrianJackson

      I didnt have any problems with BT but then I only made two calls on the one day I was in the UK. Could be a setting in security needs changing as its asking for thhe PIN. Ive had the hearing damage message with headphones so I just turned the volume down but not had it with calls.

      In the end Ive decided not to delete the Chinese Apps I installed RootAppDelete as recommended by LacusClyne above and when it got to the bit about actually deleting the apps (there only about 4 of them) I chickened out! My torch App works great….did you turn it on?

      • pipo

        “I didnt have any problems with BT”

        Initially I used to have BT problems with my G4 Advanced. I couldn’t send anything to my PC. Upgraded the device with the latest firmware from jiayu.es:
        ROM Oficial Jiayu.es 20130907-000001-20130816-151656. No problems with it so far. haven’t tried my BT-headset yet. Sending and receiving to my PC and Samsung SGS3 works great.

        Unfortunately their website is in Spanish

        http://www.jiayu.es/software.php?soft&jiayu=G4A

  • Manos

    When you close the call it close the network is a bug for sure. Can’t delete Chinese APS I have the same program is good I have try it again to G2S and it works .The calendar is in Chinese and can’t use it the weather/ clock the same! This is the second models and for sure have some problems I’m waiting for new model and for a firmware update because I need one more phone..

  • JanM

    I’ve had fix issues in general with all MTK sets. I’ve also found quite a simple solution that have worked out well on all MTK sets I’ve tried it on:

    Install Mobileuncle Tools (MTK), prowl through: Engineer Mode > Engineer Mode ( MTK ) > Location (sidways scroll) > Location Based Service.
    Enable A-GPS. (A-GPS Mode MSB has worked best for me, but MSA uses less bandwidth if it works for you).

    This gets the fix data from cell towers nearby. Its only a few bytes, you get fix in a matter of 1-3 seconds – and GPS operation is great after the fix done.

    Note: The very first initial fix can still take several minutes. This is normal for pretty much all GPS units. You might have to do this again if you flash another firmware etc.

    There is also the EPO option. However, I have not tried this one out yet as AGPS was quite satisfactory for me. It does not need to update as often though.

    • http://www.gizchina.com Andi

      Great tip!

  • oioioi

    Hiya Andi, great review. I have just got my phone, but my t-mobile sim does’nt seem to work,(uk) when i make a call it says local sim not available, will charge for roaming!!!! it only has data connection highlighted under sim information; default settings. Help??? Do i actually need 2 sims for it to work? I’m using sim card slot 2. Thanks

    • http://www.gizchina.com Andi

      This was actually written by Brian. He might be able to help.

      • BrianJackson

        Don’t know. I put an O2 sim in the larger sim slot and nothing in the smaller and it worked fine in the UK. The larger slot is supposed to have GSM and 3G whilst the smaller only 3G (2100). I have since put a cut down Telefonica PAYG sim in the smaller slot and they seem both fine although I havent tried making a call on the O2 one since ive been in Spain I mainly want it for receiving SMS messages from the UK ( 4bank statements every Saturday morning!).

    • Bea

      Hello!

      Did you get to solve it? I have the same problem in the Netherlands…

  • Horror Stories

    Is the notification LED “RGB”, i.e does it have the capability to display all colours, red green and blue… and work with light flow? and where is it on the phone? :3

    • BrianJackson

      Suspectit could be RGB but only seen Red and Green so far. Red for messages and charging, Green for Diary appointments and ‘charged’. Its on the front top in the middle. It quite bright. Whats light flow?

      • Horror Stories

        An app on play store that let’s you test the LED to see if it’s RGB or not, ie all colors not just red and green :-)

        • BrianJackson

          Downloaded it..tested it. Its RGB!

  • Horror Stories

    Also, what dock did you get (link) and did it arrive in the end? :3

  • BrianJackson

    No yet arrived..its in the post still I hope….I bought it from UK Ebay / International seller 1buywang from HK item:
    USB Cradle Dock Charger Audio Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 Note 2 Case Support
    Link : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221237106669?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

    I see he has increased from £8.09 inc postage to £19.99 since I purchased. Suspect the Audio out wont work on my phone as no OTG (but might) which was one of the reasons I bought it. Will also have to wait to see if the USB plug actually fits/line up but says its adjustable..should be here any day now.

  • Bob True

    I got my phone a three days ago, and on the whole I’m really happy with it so far. However I’ve found the GPS to be pretty useless, I think it has managed to lock on twice in the three days or so I’ve been trying to use it. I’ve a dusty old iphone 3gs as well which I’ve tested alongside it and it has managed to connect to GPS instantly so there is no issue with being out of range. Hopefully a fix will appear some time soon.

  • Job_CF

    Hi Brian, Noticed that you are interested in the sound quality, hi-fi etc. I have about 900 CDs ripped to HD. Most of them are lossless FLAC files. It took me ages! Does the G4 support lossless formats? If not, are there any apps that would play FLAC files? Thanks!

  • BrianJackson

    Mine are all 320Kbps MP3s.. I even converted a few FLACs that I downloaded to MP3 so I havent got any Flacs or tried them but some of the Android music players will play flac so I would suspect that they would work fine on the g4 but I have no means of testing them for you

    • Job_CF

      Our Panasonic can stream and music from the hard drive through the router. It can not play FLAC but converts FLAC to MP3 on the fly. May be the Android music players does the same.

  • chris

    don’t buy this phone…. the touch screen got problem… its not so accurate

    • Manos

      Have you try a Lewa ROM? Can someone try it?

  • Brian

    There’s a fix with the latest rom from needrom.. Sent from my G4 with a recalibrate screen!

  • KAUSTUBH

    hey brian,
    does the phone comes with the lewa os?
    or any other os?
    and how to test the gps?

    • KAUSTUBH

      i am buying jiayu g4 advanced version!

  • BrianJackson

    There are a few ROMs available for download at needrom/Jaiyu/G4 including a Lewa rom. I dont know what the Lewa rom has to offer so I have stuck to the official roms. I guess if you have bought the Advanced model it will have installed the latest ROM and screen calibration software so there should be no issues.

    The GPS is a bit weak, there are various tips on this site on how to improve the lock on time just search for them..there is a ccomplete article by Eduardo. The GPS is ok outside once locked on but I found it problematic in the car but I do have my phone low down away from the screen so I have invested £10 and bought a GPS Bluetooth Received which pairs with the phone and replaces the internal GPS and works great. To test the GPS there are quite a few Apps ..I use FasterGPS which shows the acquisition of each satellite and has the added advantage for me that it gives a full screen current speed reading digitally in km which is good as I drive a UK car and I can only read the mph normally.

    • KAUSTUBH

      hey thanks brian!!
      i actually wanted to delete all Chinese apps..
      is there any way to do this!

  • BrianJackson

    yes its easy….download ROM Toolbox Lite and its App management function gets rid of most things..there are other tips on this site. I also changed the Launcher and deleted the Jaiyu one..no problems at all

  • Brian

    Also GPS test is a good App

  • KAUSTUBH

    OTG is working with my jiayu g4!!!!
    :0

  • darkbaby1991

    Is it safe to uninstall Baidu input, chinese calendar and the manual applications?

  • Brian

    Yes just take them off…. Works fine. Sent from my G4 with them removed

    • darkbaby1991

      thank you Brian!

  • FlacMan

    The Jiayu G4 is a very great Phone for this Price. It cames rooted, so i installed rootuninstaller to delete the chinese apps…gps, wifi…no problems, no interrupts…works great :-)

  • BrianJackson

    Agreed I am very pleased with mine although I do have problems with the GPS in my car but solved it with bluetooth GPS receiver and now its great.

  • Job_CF

    A solution to GPS problem is this thread “Get your MTK6589 GPS Working” at
    chinaphonearena.com/forum/Thread-Get-your-MTK6589-GPS-Working-Method-B
    Apparetly problem is with the mtkgps.dat file