Purchasing a cellphone from Chinavasion Dec 2009

March 12, 2010

Removing the touch screen (digitizer) proved to be no easy task. My Odyssey cell phone is  broken.  Therefore, I highly recommend paying someone to replace the touch screen, or ask Chinavasion if they can fix it on their end.  Unfortunately, one may have to pay additional repair costs.

One can purchase a replacement touch screen from Chinavasion for about 24 dollars Canadian, but one will have to make a purchase and send a request for a replacement.

March 10, 2010

My Odyssey cell phone has a cracked touch screen (digitizer).  It is my fault, and I am going to try to find a replacement glass touch screen to do the repair myself.  This maybe the last message I will be writing in this post.  It is a great pocket-watch though.

March 3, 2010

I have created a wiki page that will allow anyone to add/delete information.  This wiki page is available for anyone wanting to contribute tips on how to do various things on the Odyssey cell phone.  The page is located at http://asecurepc.com/wiki/doku.php?id=odyssey_cell_phone_help

NOTE:  Since the wiki is editable by anyone, it is quite possible that information will be deleted and/or replaced by spam.  If this is the case, please send me an email telling me this by using the email me link in the menu bar above.  I will replace the old information usually by the next day.

Feb 21, 2010

After owning the phone for about 2 months, I am starting to see how electronics can become annoying. It is pointless to return the phone for warranty repair if it starts working at the repair depot.  To better understand what is happening I will document exactly what is going on with my phone.

The Odyssey – WiFi Quadband Dual-SIM Cell phone w/ 3 Inch Touchscreen from Chinavasion will shut off without warning in my pocket.  Pushing the power button does nothing.  Removing the battery, blowing on the connectors and putting it back in will often make the cellphone work again.  There is the odd case where it does not work.  When reinserting the battery does not work, it seems that letting it sit unused for a few hours does.  Therefore, the problem with the phone may not be the circuitry and/or the battery, but the heat.

Like a computer, a cell phone is a miniature computer with a CPU and quite possibly heatsinks.  Therefore, it is quite possible that the cellphone did shut down due from overheating.  Being no expert, I am only giving my opinion on what the problem could be.

It seems that when it comes to electronics, heat is often the culprit behind many of the problems.

Feb 20, 2010

My Odyssey – WiFi Quadband Dual-SIM Cellphone w/ 3 Inch Touchscreen from Chinavasion is no longer working.  I have submitted a request for warranty repair.  It started working again a few hours later.  I guess the repair will have to wait.

Dec 25, 2009

I have just received my Odyssey – WiFi Quadband Dual-SIM Cellphone w/ 3 Inch Touchscreen from Chinavasion.  Reading online, I expected it to be Dead on Arrival (DOA).  Fortunately, this did not happen.  The price for Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone including all taxes, shipping, handling and duties came to $171.50 CDN.

NOTE: Before using the Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone, look through the storage and delete all files that do not seem to belong.  Mine apparently had some pictures of scantly clad asian female celebrities and various videos.  I am not sure if it was QA tested, or if it is a refurbished(used) product.  Any case, it is better to be safe than sorry.  One does not want to give a Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone with disturbing images  or videos on it.

Being a regular cellphone user, I do not have very high requirements.  Canada is very expensive compared to the US when it comes to cellphone plans.  Therefore, I stick with the basics.

Cellphone features

I only use Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone as a phone.  I do not text, surf, or do anything else that will increase my cellphone bill.  Therefore, this will be of most interest for people who use their cellphone for voice only.

  • Signal – Strangely, one can hear alot of static when talking on the cellphone in buildings on my bluetooth earpiece.  This building in particular is a large supermarket chain. Signals from other sources will be picked up occasionally.  Talking through the phone is crystal clear, therefore, the problem is the connection from the phone to the bluetooth headset is not perfect.  The person on the other end will have a hard time hearing you on a bluetooth headset, but the built-in answering machine can record a message with little static in buildings.
  • Answering machine – A very nice feature, that is sold separately with many voice plans, is built into Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone.  Therefore, one can hear and take messages directly on the cellphone.  Unfortunately, once the answering machine kicks in, the minutes are counted.  Therefore, limit the maximum length of the message that can be left to an amount that one is comfortable with.  One can hear the message while it is being recorded on the answering machine.  Therefore, purposely ignoring calls is possible.
  • Texting – A real pain.  The onscreen keyboard is obviously going to be too small.  Furthermore, typing should be done using the stylus if one has fat fingers.  A Blackberry is a better option for texters.
  • Address book – One will have to try to stuff all numbers on the SIM card.  A SIM card reader will have to used for phone numbers that will be put directly into the phone.  Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to get it into the cellphone’s phone book.
  • Camera – The picture is stored at 1200×1600 which is a 2 megapixel camera.
  • Ringtones – Any MP3 can be used.  Protected or unprotected.  Others can be used too, but I chose MP3 format.
  • WI-FI – Works great, but the on-screen keyboard will always be an issue.  Opera browser uses WAP (Cell phone) while the Safari browser uses WI-FI (Internet).
  • TV – Does not work in Canada.  TV is delivered either by satellite or cable here.  It maybe possible to get channels, but that will depend on the area one is in.  I can watch 3 channels in my location.
  • Radio – One can hear the radio on one’s bluetooth headset.  I believe it works on any bluetooth headset.
  • Icons – 80% of the stuff one may not use, therefore, deleting them is a option.  Unfortunately, there is no way to delete them.  Therefore, moving the icons to another page is the only option.  Adding additional icons is not possible.  At least I did not find a way yet.
  • Java games and apps – Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone is similar to the LG KS20.  Therefore, most, if not all, apps and/or games will work on Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone that work on the LG KS20.  I tested some games, and they all work so far.  Doing a search on Google for freeware LG KS20 java apps or freeware LG KS20 java games will provide many results that may be useful.  http://www.getjar.com/mobile-productivity-applications-for-lg-ks20/ provides many java apps and games that may work.   Java’s virtual keyboard does not work when selected from Java mobile.  The virtual keyboard works in a Java midlet, but it must be built into the game and/or app.
  • Comparison to IPhone – The Nucleus OS on Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone is not as responsive as the IPhone.  I have friends with IPhones test out my Odyssey cellphone.  They noticed that the Odyssey is not as smooth with scrolling from page to page and takes longer to load the various programs.  IPhone apps and games may not work on the Odyssey since the IPhone resolution is higher than Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone.  The IPhone’s screen resolution is 480×320 (HVGA) while Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone’s resolution is 240×320 (QVGA).
  • Navigation –  Some options require tapping the bottom of the screen to see the other options available off screen while some can be spun upwards.  Others require tapping around the bottom of the screen to see the other options off screen, and that can be quite a challenge.  I admit this inconsistency is annoying.
  • USB connection – Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone can be connected to both Window7 and Linux with the supplied USB cable in Mass storage, Webcam, Com port, and PictBridge mode.  I only tested Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone in Mass storage mode.  This allows one to copy files from the computer to the phone’s memory as a hard drive.
  • Cellphone size – It is noticeably smaller than the IPhone.  The Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone has a 3 inch screen compared to 3.5 inches for the IPhone.  The icons are smaller than the IPhone icons also.
  • Podcasts – Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone can play MP3’s.  Therefore, any podcasts that are in MP3 format will work.  Furthermore, my Nokia bluetooth headset works with the podcasts.  Putting the podcast in a folder called My Music will allow one to use the repeat, shuffle, and other functions available with the MP3 music player.
  • User’s manual – It is for the cosun M516 color-display mobile phone.  It could be that they gave me the wrong manual, or it is a typo.  In any case, it is useless.  The user’s manual had nothing related to the Chinavasion Odyssey cellphone.

NOTE: Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone uses Nucleus OS which is a competitor to Windows Mobile, Palm (Garnet) OS, and Blackberry OS.  There is a very good chance that any Java mobile software (midlet) that works on Windows Mobile with a touch screen will also work on the Odyssey cellphone.  The Java midlet must work on a 240×320 resolution (QVGA) screen though.  I tried larger ones, but they stretched off the screen.

  • Accelerometer games – The Nokia N95 is a phone that senses tilting is similar to the Odyssey cellphone.  Therefore, accelerometer games that work on the Nokia N95 should also work on the Odyssey cellphone.  Unfortunately, the games must be Java based.  There is currently no downloadable software that I know of that works on Nucleus OS.  If one is looking for other games, it must be no larger than a 240×320 resolution (QVGA) screen otherwise the game will stretch off the screen.

A comparison of the IPhone and Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone can be seen at http://aprivatebeach.com/blog/2009/12/comparison-apple-iphone-odyssey-cellphone/.  This is far from complete.  The table will be updated when I test out the rest of the functions.

In the end, I am happy with my purchase.  It is unlocked and fully functional.  If it works for a year I will be satisfied with my purchase.  If I need to send it back for repairs before that time, the shipping cost is going to be about $100 CDN, unless one is able to find a way to make a deal with the various shipping companies.  That is a hefty price for shipping.

It seems that one can ship it back much cheaper,  but it will require some research.  I did some research for Canada and the US.  My results can be found at http://aprivatebeach.com/blog/2009/12/save-money-on-shipping-costs/


Chinavasion Odyssey cell phone can be seen at http://www.chinavasion.com/product_info.php/pName/odyssey-wifi-quadband-dualsim-cellphone-w-3-inch-touchscreen/

14 thoughts on “Purchasing a cellphone from Chinavasion Dec 2009”

  1. See my comments in June – some praise for Odyssey phone. After 3 months of use Odyssey failed, would not charge, would not switch on. I’ve just got it back from repair under warranty – took about a month and all my files were deleted and some software changed (probably \updated\). Now I can’t recall how to record the answering machine greeting. Can anyone help as “User Manual Conten” is frightfully useful as firelighter only. This blog is my final hope – thanx. By the way, I’ve been in dialogue with Chinavasion to help with this and while they replay to emails, there is no hope for any help – the first response was a claim that Chinavasion is a wholesaler and that customers must go to phone service provider – no technical help at all. We are very much not used to this type of service as consumers in the western world.
    If it fails again, I’ll probably toss it and call it \lesson learned\.

  2. plzzz.. anyone can help me? email me plzz. i`m unabble to connect to the net although line is detected. it’s keep saying unable to connect. plzzzz anyone.

  3. Thanx David – I also Googled and got that site. The difficulties exist because service providers here will not help their customers if those customers A) use the prepaid option and do not commit to monthly plans (charges) or B) buy phones other than the ones that they sell. Hence, the information that’s required is not readily supplied because the provider wishes to use an online application to setup the phone rather than communicate with your personally. I have basically been told that if I can’t setup from their website, then they can’t help me. Also, I do understand the massive charges for these premium services, so I’m getting away without the MMS facility and may do so in future. The Odyssey is still working well and now I am using Bluetooth trouble-free with Blueant car handsfree. I still don’t see the dual SIM and built-in answering machine in brand name phones, so the Odyssey still has these competitive advantages. I wonder what the buying price will be if and when China “floats” their currency.

  4. Rob, I have found something that may help you out. Doing a simple Google search for Odyssey mms gave me this.


    Therefore, I would first try calling them and get the specific information. If that does not work, try picking a Samsung phone that is similar. Make sure that they will not charge you for trying to get it to work. The last thing you need is a massive bill from getting a bunch of MMS messages just to get the phone working.

    Direct from the Wikipedia “A large number of Motorola, Samsung, LG, Siemens/Benq, Sagem and NEC mobile phones [use Nucleus OS].”

    I do not know what every provider charges their customers, therefore, you better get the heads up before testing. For example, some providers may charge $1 for every incoming message.

    Good luck

  5. I live in Melbourne Aus and bought an Odyssey for 2 key features – 2 x SIMs and answering machine – I use prepaid service. Now that I have the phone, I want to use bluetooth and MMS. I’m having trouble working out how to setup MMS because my vodafone carrier asks online for me to send manufacturer and model details from their website so they can send a configuring message. What is the Odyesser Manufacturer and Model? Can’t find anything that looks familiar on http://vodafone.com.au/help/devices/ota-settings/index.htm . After about 4 weeks of ownership, I am fairly satisfied that the Odyssey’s key features work OK, even if it is a bit rough around the edges. Damn that User Manual – that is the big letdown with the product.

  6. HELP!!! I recently purchased this mobile but don’t know how to connect it to the internet. When I search for networks in the WLAN icon I can pick up the net but when I try to download the Google map icon (or Opera, Facebook, eBuddy etc the message says I can’t connect to the net and for me to go online to a webpage. Then I do but get lost. I’m not computer savy so HELP!!!! Need a step-by-step for dummies.

    I’m pissed off and stressed trying to make it work.

    All my friends have I phones google map and they all tell me that I have to connect to the net once and I then can get Google maps for free after. So how do I connect to net? I have net on my laptop and weeks ago my phone asks for my web key which I typed in and Google map looked like it worked. Then later I clicked on the Map icon again and it asks for my web key again, then again. And now I can’t even get the Google map at all, nor does it asks for my web key anymore. It detects my net but can’t connect to it. Why?

    Anyone that can help me before I go crazy then please email me. Please.

  7. Has any one worked out where, if anywhere! on the Odyssey you can find your replies to an SMS. I know if you want to save a new outgoing SMS you have to hit “send and save” and it is stored in the “outbox”but I cannot find my replies ? There isn’t an option to send and save when replying. I am dissapointed that you cannot use photos of people in the address book for incoming callers, and you cannot customise incoming SMS alerts but you can with ringtones, voice dialling would be good too.

    Help with the SMS replies issue would be greatly appreciated.
    P.s Good job well done, I’ll be back.
    oops! I see there is another page to this thread,maybe my answer is there.Will post this just incase,don’t want to type over it again…

  8. The program you can use is Super. If you run into video files that cannot play on the Odyssey cellphone, Super may be able to convert it into a compatible format.

    Another option, if you use Firefox, is to install a plug-in to rip videos from various video hosting sites. The plug-ins that I use are 1-click YouTube video downloader and download helper. These can be found by going to Tools -> Add-ons -> Get add-ons.

    Hope this helps

  9. Yes I love this cellphone a lot . Every time I watch the video introductions it really blows me away . I cant find any other cellphone that can compete with it . Non. This is easy , perfect, understandable
    I have been watching this cellphone in action and I want to buy one . As soon I get a business concluded, This phone is thee one Im gonna purchase . One question . What software would it be required to upload a movie? ..

  10. Texting is surprisingly easy with finger or stylus, the number, letter switching is intuitive and one touch.
    The tv works well in Australia and the tv record function works but at a low quality on the recording.
    Answering machine is brilliant and works well it was the main feature I was after along with the dual sim, as works network provider has disabled voice mail.
    Wifi is quick and easy to setup but you are limited by screen real estate for surfing.
    Audio quality of calls is fine on mine but the loudspeaker is pretty tinny for hands free listening.
    The touch screen is good with some resevation right at the edges, experience suggests with use it will get even better.

  11. boogienomore, I realize that many reviews are quite biased. If you look at the comments at Chinavasion.com, you will see that they are all stellar reviews. Looking at others websites, you will see that they either bash it or praise it.

    Unfortunately, without any detailed explanation of what functions they hate or like, I cannot get an accurate picture of how it will work. Therefore, I made this to try to give people a better understanding of what they can expect from the Odyssey cellphone.

    I am glad that you find this useful. I only hope that many others do to.

    With all my product reviews, I also post hints and tips that will help others make the most of their new gadget. When I get a new gadget, I do the best I can to use it to its fullest potential without voiding the warranty.

    In any case, this post will constantly be updated with new information as I discover new things.

  12. oops … you’re in Canada, not US….but we love Canadians!

    We already know the TV will not work as the US has switched over to digital tv over the air signal for any major broadcaster. And it would be fun to fool friends with our Nigh-phones!

  13. Thanks for posting your experiences. I am thinking of purchasing a couple of chinese knock-off phones for my wife and I. I have been searching for honest reviews by USA users. We mainly use our current phones for talking only and discourange anyone from texting to us. We ARE interested in the wi-fi for occasional use lightly websurfing at open hotspots.

    Thanks again! Very informative!

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