back to article Ten weird Chinese mobile phones

Shopping for a mobile phone this Christmas? You could make the easy choice and get an Apple iPhone 5, one of Samsung's recent releases or take a punt on whether enough apps will emerge to make the Nokia Lumia 920 worth your hard-earned cash. But no matter how refined those phones, they're also common as muck, so they're never …

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  1. Syed
    Joke

    On the uses of the N688 Watch Phone...

    -- "Hey, why does your voice keep fading in and out every second?"

    "Urgngh"

    --"What did you say?"

    "Mmgghh"

    --"What are you doing?!"

    "Unghgh!"

    -- "You sick freak!!!" </Click>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On the uses of the N688 Watch Phone...

      It reminds me of the Holly Watch on Red Dwarf.

      'Urgh! I can see right down your gob!'

      1. BoldMan

        Re: On the uses of the N688 Watch Phone...

        I was thinking more of Brain's from Thunderbirds talking into his watch while the people around him think he's gone mental!

        I like the teddy bear phone though!

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: On the uses of the N688 Watch Phone...

          I like the teddy bear phone though!

          That only lasts until your next business meeting :p

  2. Evil Auditor

    Quad SIM mobile

    Travelling regularly between two countries I do have a SIM for each for private use - in a dual SIM device. The third one, now in a separate handset, would be for business use. And I could easily add a forth one, e.g. prepaid, with a favourable deal for data. Pretty sure it's not just me...

    1. A n o n y m o u s

      Re: Quad SIM mobile

      Imagine if they made cars like this - anyone else see that Simpsons episode where Homer designed (and built) a car.

    2. url

      Re: Quad SIM mobile

      Agreed, I've seen this on several occasions:

      business one

      business two

      Wife

      Mistress

      it's not uncommon and actually very handy (German pun intended)

      the travelling aspect simply makes it more viable than less.

    3. Guildencrantz

      Re: Quad SIM mobile

      Unfortunately it seems (per the website) to just take GSM SIMs, rather than 3G, so I'd worry it wouldn't be compatible with ANY current UK SIM cards :-(

      Still interesting though.

  3. Richard 120
    WTF?

    Michael Schumacher

    Has not driven a Ferrari competitively since 2006.

    How old is that phone?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Michael Schumacher

      That, and they have copied Vertu's old styling. Not that Vertu are any more tasteful than these.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Michael Schumacher

      And who'd buy it apart from 6-year-old boys?

      1. Tom 11

        Re: Michael Schumacher

        Who would purchase.....

        Guilable CEOs ;)

  4. Babbit55
    Thumb Up

    Where can I procure one of those mini phones, that would be awesome!

    1. The Envoy

      Her you go

      http://www.s-w-a-p.co.uk/models/swap-nova/

      Check links. Cheapest seem to be MenKind at £79.99

      1. Dapprman

        Re: Her you go

        Just had a look at the sites selling this - there's a review on Amazon - seem to remeber it followed along the lines of 'broke after 2 days'

    2. The Indomitable Gall
      FAIL

      ...that would be awesome!

      (Until you want to send a text.)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: ...that would be awesome!

        Broke after 2 days?

        Well, their brochure did say 'USB that make phone call' [singular].

  5. Cosmo
    Paris Hilton

    Quad Sim relevance

    It's easy to see where Quad Sim would be useful!

    1 SIM for your wife, and one each for your 3 mistresses.

    Paris, because she isn't wifey material

  6. Mike Brown

    Is it wrong...

    that i really want a watch phone? Like really really? I could use a tablet for facebook, and web and emails. Then turn into dick tracy when i want to make calls. If it does wifi hotspoting then all the better!

    1. David Given
      Meh

      Re: Is it wrong...

      I really really want a watchphone too. I actually had a look for one not long ago, but couldn't find any that aren't crap --- they're all featurephone grade, and I really want something with Android.

      I did find this: http://www.linuxslate.org/Review_Z1_Android-2.2-Watch.html

      ...but it's less of a watchphone and more of a smartphone with a wristband. Also, Froyo, eeagh.

      The one in the article may be a low-rent featurephone but at least it looks like a watch.

      1. Mad Hacker

        Re: Is it wrong...

        Isn't wanting a watch phone (something small that does one thing well) and wanting an Android phone (something that usually has nearly a 5" screen and does tons of stuff) an oxymoron?

      2. Wang N Staines

        Re: Is it wrong...

        @David Given

        There was a review of a Sony watch phone on the Gadget Show a couple of days ago...

        You get the full Android treatment. Check it out.

    2. Mostly_Harmless
      Thumb Up

      Re: Is it wrong...

      I'm with you - that watch-phone looks pretty cool

      1. Jediben
        Happy

        Re: Is it wrong...

        Just need a talking Trans-Am to go with it!

        1. ravenviz
          Coat

          Re: Is it wrong...

          @Jediben

          Yes that would be a nice bit of KITT!

          1. Test Man
            Thumb Up

            Re: Is it wrong...

            Watch phone - FINALLY I can imitate my fave show ever even further! Next: integrate a phone into the dashboard then download some sort of bar equaliser widget that works with incoming phone calls...

    3. Christian Berger

      What would be important for me...

      It should be easy to program. That way I could write software for it to do what I want it to do. Obviously telephony isn't really practicable with those, however a little "wristputer" with Internet access would be useful. The problem is that the input is quite limited, therefore you'd need software customized for your needs.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: What would be important for me...

        Obviously telephony isn't really practicable with those

        Psst, I've got a secret to tell you! Nobody watching? Good.

        Look up "bluetooth headsets". Don't tell anyone..

        1. Christian Berger

          Re: What would be important for me...

          Yes but seriously, you can fit a whole phone into the space occupied by a bluetooth headset. That's kinda like like having a tiny netbook and then carrying a 30 inch monitor with you.

    4. sabba
      Facepalm

      Re: Is it wrong...

      A watch phone isn't necessary to turn someone into a Dick. The iPhone seems to do that with some regularity. Not sure about the Tracey bit although I am pretty certain there'll be an appropriate attachment out there somewhere.

  7. Prof Denzil Dexter

    Lapland phone

    about as barefaced a copy of iPhone as it gets.

    I can only assume the sales aren't enough to tempt apple into action (or that action would be pointless given the meh attitude towards copyright in China).

    wonder if Foxconn make them!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lapland phone

      Shenzen Samsung was it? ;)

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Lapland phone

      Look at the Goopad Mini, and particularly the adverts for it if you want to see the ultimate in barefaced copying.

    3. jason 7

      Re: Lapland phone

      Guess where all the legit "slightly scratched" iPhone5 bodies go........

  8. Rob Crawford

    I'm dissapointed

    So nobody else looked at the sWaP Nova EC107 and thought Zoolander ?

    They should have called it the Blue Steel

  9. frank ly

    " ... do let us know how they went. " ?

    Surely, it should be, " ... do let us know how they are going." ?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: " ... do let us know how they went. " ?

      Considering the expected quality of these devices, I think "how they went" is the correct terminology... ;)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baby bear phone?

    "A lanyard is included with the phone. We’ve no idea if it has been tested to effectively throttle the child when they catch it on something".

    I fixed it for you...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just about spit up my coffee on this little gem:

      "This creation, a product of Concox & New Thinking, seems to be aimed at kids who need to phone a friend when they can’t solve a puzzle on Dora the Explorer."

      Lovely :)

  11. Haku
  12. Tom 35

    Star phone

    Looks like something Nokia would have made a few years back. One step beyond their love of putting all the buttons in strange patterns.

  13. Steve Foster

    Obvious Target Market for C99

    Given it's shape, it's clearly designed for ninjas. You'll find that a user-definable keypress causes it to split in half revealing a set of shuriken inside, cunningly positioned between circuit boards so as to pass through airport security (they're visible, but not seen, IYSWIM).

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Obvious Target Market for C99

      I'm assuming this phone was custom designed for Naomi Campbell. For when hitting your staff with blunt instruments just isn't enough...

  14. Steve Knox
    Devil

    Begin GT Ferrari Phone

    "You’ll be buying this one for its looks..."

    Well, I won't, but I'm not a masochist with a gold fetish...

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: Begin GT Ferrari Phone

      No shit, there's a Lamborghini version of that same phone too.

      http://www.chinatronic.com/products.php/LamborguiniX8/cPath,1

      I cant say Id buy either of them myself but Im also not a masochist with a gold fetish.

      Nor am I from New Jersey.

  15. Lockwood
    Trollface

    Lapland Tech i5

    I hope Samsung sue them for copying their design

    1. NightFox
      Thumb Up

      Re: Lapland Tech i5

      I see what you did there :-)

  16. Armando 123

    "Gravity sensor"

    Meaning, what, that it falls if you drop it?

    1. Montreal Sean

      Re: "Gravity sensor"

      No, no. It tells you what the current gravity of a situation is, and deploys blackout sunglasses if the situation is too dangerous. :)

      1. ravenviz
        Joke

        Re: "Gravity sensor"

        I thought it meant it could detect minute variations in the Gravitational Force Constant, G.

        Great for boffins.

  17. Silverburn
    Thumb Up

    Best El Reg product review yet. :-)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    BPhone 1

    The BPhone 1, is this a replacement for the IBM PC110?

    Does the TV tuner pick up Freeview?

    Can it run android.

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: BPhone 1

      Ohh had to look up the IBM PC110. It's a palmtop. Yes, we need more palmtops, really.

  19. Katie Saucey
    Thumb Up

    Star Phone

    I want that star phone sooo bad, just so I can whip it out when I get the "my battery is dead...can I make a quick call.." request.

  20. SkippyBing

    Dear Apple

    This is innovation, not making your screen one icon taller.

    Incidentally the spec sheet for the quad-sim says it has an analogue TV tuner, does anyone know of a mobile freeview box to go with it?

  21. mickey mouse the fith

    The sony-ericcson t303 i had a while back isnt much bigger than that tiddly phone, probably a lot more reliable as well.

    Note that this isnt a recomendation, as a phone it was bloody awful with its lo-res mirrored screen that made it impossible to see outside (doesnt anyone fieldtest these things?), crippled bluetooth stack that wouldnt connect to anything and a truly awful keypad. It did feel good in the hand though, very solid.

  22. The Alpha Klutz

    i want the Ferrari phone

    oh wait, no i don't

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tbh some of these are pretty interesting, I wouldn't want one but it's nice to see all the random ideas as opposed to rectangle screen (with or without round corners) with a button and a touch screen. Suppose that's the bonus when you barely have copyright or ip law and costs of manufacture are pretty low and you can get left over parts from any old factory.

  24. JaitcH
    Go

    Joking aside ...

    when you consider the pure technical aspects of these products, it should make people sit up and think.

    Apple couldn't make it's products in the West and, even if fully automated, couldn't do it for the price. And British readers shouldn't laugh, Britain doesn't even make cell handsets. Period.

    These products represent viable products to the masses of Chinese, and Africans, who can't afford iThingies and highlight why Apple might not do so well in China. The Babiken is available in VietNam and is an affordable buy for school children. (The standby terminology used in their website means that incoming calls on any SIM will be detected,) With 16GB of SD memory priced at an honest $16.00 these things are set to sell.

    The only area the Chinese fall down on is finish, but given they have the talents to make Apple and Samsung products, this area could be effectively addressed as if need be.

  25. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    N688

    Gotta admit, for a 'party-phone' (One you're less likely to lose with a night out on the lash with the lads, or drop out of your shirt pocket when you're puking over the Great White Telephone in the bog), and at £50, price of a couple of beers, pack of fags and a decent 'Ruby Murry' it looks good to me. Think I'll have one. Tells the time, makes calls, no need to try to listen to the music when your buddies are yelling into a Karaoke microphone...

    Actually, floats my boat! When I get my dole money, I'm going for it!

    1. ravenviz
      Joke

      Re: N688

      Makes you think, why not just make one that looks like a big toilet bowl that you hold with both hands?

  26. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    I would just like..

    .. one of those suppliers to make an exact clone of the gun metal grey Motorola RAZR V3i, and only swap out the keyboard for something that is actually usable when there is more than 10 Lumen worth of light in the vicinity. Hell, I'll even suffer the same crap software as Motorola installed, and a dual SIM option would naturally be appreciated.

    That silly thing is the most discrete, most portable PHONE I have had in my hands for as long as I have used phones (and I started with mobes just past the Motorola Brick years), and I still have them as they are small enough to fit in a suit pocket, yet large enough when open to place mike and speaker near where they actually physically are on my face.. I think it's getting time I got some new batteries for them. And spares, before they vanish. The physical design of that phone is nigh on perfect, and any flip phone after that has only been a poor imitation of that specific golden combination of elements (I did already exclude the keyboard from that praise, though).. Shame.

    But hey, I still have a working 6310 as well :).

  27. BogBeast
    Unhappy

    I would just like....

    .. to find somewhere to buy an import dual sim Samsung Note 2....

  28. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Now THIS would set the cat amongst the pigeons..

    You know, I am almost tempted to buy this one and wander around some tech sites - just to see what would happen (evil grin)..

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Now THIS would set the cat amongst the pigeons..

      Last update on the page is 2009. I do wonder why it would still be available.

      But yeah, it would catch the eye...

  29. Scarborough Dave

    Had a few in the past

    Bought some small credit card sized touch screen java phones a couple of years back £15 each (they were K9 model), they were great for receiving calls and the ring tones were great - no one and I mean no one had my ring tone on their phone. They were great for times when you needed to leave the expensive branded phone at home boating, beach etc....

    Really enjoyed using them - until the time when I needed to make an outgoing call at that point I might as well have gone to the nearest pay phone - mental menus!

  30. Dave Bell
    Coat

    Early Digital Watches

    This sort of stuff is a lot more varied than digital watches, because of the variety possible in what smartphone tech can do. In the early days of digital watches, they were pretty much the same, and then the makers realised that these standard, rather cheap, circuit boards could be put into all sorts of different cases. There's a place for the cheap plastic, and a place for expensive quality. And when the analogue dial electronic watch appeared, it happened all over again.

    I have a Chinese-made mechanical pocket watch with a skeleton movement. I doubt it will last, it was so cheap, but it is a marvel to behold.

    This is where bling is intersecting with technology. And sometimes we're forgetting the technology. I expect those wristwatch phones will work best with a good Bluetooth earpiece, but we all think of Dick Tracey or Brains when we see the idea.

  31. masked_freetard
    Coat

    Weird phones...

    Were they discovered by a mom? Do Samsung and Apple now "hate" her?

  32. Waspy
    Facepalm

    So this is where HP get their inspiration...

    When HP revealed the near bizarre postage-stamp sized Veer last year, contrary to all signs that the market wanted giant screened slab-phones, they seemed convinced that they had conducted lots and lots of consumer research into it and argued that a phone you could lose down the plug hole was what everyone wanted. Now it seems clear that all the respondents were sWaP Nova Phone owners!

  33. Droolster
    Thumb Up

    I love them all!

    Every single one of these is great and should be available all over then world. I want to see more random shapes, like the Star. It would be great to answer my ringing/buzzing coffee cup or stapler.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lapland

    Are Shenzhen Lapland Technology Co in any way related to the company running the Lapland park that used to be in the New Forest?

  35. RonWheeler
    Thumb Up

    At least they're inventive

    Got to love their inventiveness and willingness to experiment. Over here we seem to only be obsessed with 4.something inch battery eating identikit smartphones with crappy touchscreens.

  36. Ken 16

    Internal Market for EC107?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/29/prisoner_phone_charger/

    If you're going to shove a phone up your jaxie, best use the smallest one in the world

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