Friday, June 7, 2013

Cherry Mobile Q9TV TV phone

When it comes to anything except food gadgets, I'm a cheapskate. I'm not easily tempted by popular new models that people go ga-ga about. I tend to upgrade stuff only after years of heavy use, usually as the gadget takes its last breath.

My much-loved four year old Nokia E63 phone suddenly conked out last month. It had served me well but seemed beyond repair. I decided to finally upgrade to a smartphone. I got curious about Cherry Mobile's new smartphone Omega HD since it was cheap but it was hard to find so I decided to get a temporary phone while we continued looking for the Omega HD and researching other budget-friendly but possibly more expensive brands and models.

Once you go QWERTY, you never go back. That was my motto, so of course I chose a qwerty phone, even though I would only be using it for a week or so. I got the Cherry Mobile Q9TV phone because it had a qwerty keyboard and a TV functionality -- for just P999.

Phone Specifications:
  • dual-SIM
  • 2.2" TFT LCD
  • Mobile TV
  • VGA camera
  • multimedia player
  • FM radio
  • flashlight
  • Facebook mobile
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • microSD memory up to 8GB (memory card sold separately)
  • USB port
  • Proprietary Single Core CPU

The kit includes:
  • the Q9TV phone unit
  • USB cable
  • AC adapter charger
  • user manual
  • earphones

The one I got is colored blue green. I don't like the color much but it was the last unit available so I bought it. The keys are black with small blue green letters/symbols. It is not that obvious in the pictures since I used flash, but the color combination of the keypad makes the letters a little hard to see, so if you have not yet memorized the qwerty format and/or have poor eyesight, this may be a sticky point.

For me, the deal breaker with this phone are the inbox and addressbook limitations. You can only store 50 SMS messages and 100 contacts in the phone memory, the rest you have to save to your SIM. In a nation of avid texters and nowadays, when almost everyone has a cellphone and many people have two or more cellphone numbers (plus landline phones and work phones), such limitations on the inbox and addressbook are hard to swallow. Moreover, contact names are only limited to 20 characters -- you can't even save a common Filipino name such as Christine delos Santos.

With Q9TV you can watch 11 channels (Channels 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 23, 25, 33, 39, 41, and 49). The extendable antenna at the back of the phone can be rotated to improve reception. Images may or may not be clear depending on your location so manage your expectations.

The VGA camera only has two scene modes: auto and night. The camera takes passable sunlit shots but artificially lit indoor shots tend to be dark and grainy even if you use the night mode.
daytime outdoor shot
nighttime indoor shot, night mode on

(After a week, I was able to buy the Cherry Mobile Omega HD smartphone. I'll review the phone in a future post.)


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