Best of Shenzhen: $87 Android 3.5″ capacitive phone, MTK6516 FG8

Posted by – April 11, 2011

Here’s my initial video- and photo-review of this $87 Android smartphone that I found at the Shenzhen electronics market. It’s based on the ARM9 Mediatek MTK6516 processor, with Dual-SIM (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) support, Android Froyo 2.2 installed (seems smooth!), AGPS, 2Megapixel Camera, Bluetooth A2DP, the screen is a great 3.5″ capacitive touch screen, seems super! You read this right, this one now sells on the Shenzhen market for only $87 (565 Chinese Renminbi).

Here are the specs for this Mediatek MTK6516 ARM9 Based so-called FG8 Android phone:

MTK6516 ARM9 460Mhz + 260Mhz DSP (that can do certain video playback and other UI acceleration)
3.5″ Capacitive HVGA 480×320 screen
256MB RAM
Froyo Android 2.2 supported
Dual-SIM Card slots GSM Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz works worldwide on GSM/GPRS/EDGA (no 3G HSDPA data speeds though)
WiFi, FM, Bluetooth A2DP, AGPS, 2Mpix Camera, Microphone, MicroSD card slot (up to 32GB), Mp4 playback support claimed, 3-4 hours talk time and 200 hours standby time claimed (I haven’t tested yet).

Here are some pictures of this awesome product (click thumbnails for the bigger photos on Google Picasaweb):

Cheap Android phone cheap Android phone Cheap Android phone cheap Android phone Cheap Android phone cheap Android phone Cheap Android phone

Let me know in the comments what features you would like me to test in my next videos of this device. If you can find links for realiable-looking online Shenzhen exporters for where to order, post the links to export stores in the comments, so interested people can try to order with worldwide shipping.

  • Vojco

    Hi, thank you for the review. Do you know does FG8 support vibration mode for notification (ring)? I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that there is no vibration mode on this phone.

    Thanks,
    Vojčo

  • Vojco

    Hi, thank you for the review. Do you know does FG8 support vibration mode for notification (ring)? I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that there is no vibration mode on this phone.

    Thanks,
    Vojčo

  • Nicorac

    My FG8 has vibration both on calls and messages.

  • Rich

    Thanks for the video review of this phone. There is one issue I can’t find a straight answer to, Does the FG8 have a gps chip that will allow standalone navigation? That is, without any cell or data service available?  It says it has A-GPS which just improves initial satellite signal capture when using cell data service (3G,4G).

  • Nicorac

    Yes it has full GPS support and it works even without a SIM card inserted.
    Obviously if you download Agps data with wifi or 3G connection the initial startup is faster.

  • Vojco

    Thanks.

  • Rich

    Thanks Nicorac.
    To take it a step further, since the GPS will work independent of the phone service, are there apps (maps) you can download to the SD card and that work offline with the GPS?
    Also, is the capacitive screen multi-touch?

  • Nicorac

    I don’t know any of them. If you only wanna try the GPS for location/speed/time I suggest you “GPS Test”.
    Yes the screen is multitouch, I mean you can zoom in/out using two fingers if the app supports it.
    (integrated web browser and picture viewer do, also Opera Mobile does).

  • Tetonne

    Can you please tell me if the FG8′s camera has an auto focus mode, to use with bar scanner programmes like shop savvy

    If it does, I haven’t been able to activate it. If it does have auto-focus, should it work automatically to focus on the bar code?

  • God

    Лох

  • Sergio

    Hi, Claudio I wanted to know if you were able to find some way to fix this problem. I also bought two of these phones and mine worked for about two hours, i turned it off and it doesn’t turn on anymore. When i connected to the charger, the screen lights up showing me the battery is charging but it doesn’t turn on. Any help would be appreciated, thanks

  • Claudio Nicora

    Hi Sergio, I’m sorry to say I’ve given up.
    I kept the broken one as spare parts for the working one ;)
    But you’re a step forward, your screen shows something, at least when you connect the power source. Maybe you have a broken power button…

  • Sergio

    Thanks for replying so fast Claudio, too bad about your phone though, i’m gonna try to repair it or maybe have someone to look into it, i hope its just the power button… thanks again :)

  • Claudio Nicora

    Ok, waiting for your positive feedback…

  • Sergio

    I got my phone working :), it was just the power button in the end, thanks for your help claudio. The phone is great, dont have any complains so far
     

  • Claudio Nicora

    Glad to hear that, you’re luckier than me ;)

  • Dave_bigras

    when the phone rings, the answer and end buttons appear,but they dont work,i have to shut the screen(top of phone) then reopen ,and then i can answer it,do you know if there is a fix for this

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    After using it for 3 months as my main phone, I think my power button also is a bit screwy, but I can still power it on if I somehow push very hard on the power button. Did you open up the device to fix your power button? How many screws do you unscrew to access the stuff where the power button is to eventually push things back in place? Is there just something inside for the power button that gets slightly out of position? Maybe there is a way to setup Android to use the Home button or another button as the power button when the screen is idle and maybe there is a screen power on/off widget that I could use as an alternative.

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  • Harris-karim

    yes it has, im using copilot navigation works great

  • Harris-karim

    does anyone using skype on it, i try to install skype ,it installed okay ,when i try to sign in ,it ask to reinstall the app ,and it keep on going like this ,any ideas

  • http://ozshaunm.blogspot.com Shaun McAtamney

    Hi, the touch screen can come from Taiwan or China. I understand HTC is made in Taiwan. Most phones I have seen from China are copies even though they are branded. I ordered one to try out recently. It’s described as having a ST – ERICSSON / NXP 6715 Platform and the operating system is Android 2.2. They say it has a Data UL/DL rate of: HSDPA:UL384Kbps/DL7.2Mbps, WCDMA:UL384Kbps/DL384Kbps, GPRS:53.6Kbps, EDGE:236.8Kbps, which, I am hoping means that it can handle 3G network signals. The screen/pixel size is: 3.2”TFT LCM,HVGA,320*480 pixels and the Touch lens is capacitive multi-touch. It does have a lot of nice features described; such as Google Froyo, A-GPS. The system memory is 4GB flash + 2GB RAM bit. It supports T-flash memory up to 32GB. It is just one of several I intend to try, so I will add a new comment to this as they arrive.

  • tony

    Here I found another video talking about this cellphone. Looks good and attractive
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIb3p-Q0e6Y

  • idiano

    there is just possibility to chat, without call with the skypelite version, the apk file you will easily find on xda developers or surfing on the web. Hope they will improve it fast…Developer open source are great!

  • idiano

    for those asking for Skype on FG8 here a link to the apk file (only chat available )

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=652232

  • Popa Anton

    Grate presentation. Thank you for your help.

  • Sshivakumar1026

    hi friend , i brought the android FG8 phone online shopping from china, when i inserted 2 sim cards it shows network access restricted and no network. pl help me out to make calls from this phone….

  • Popa Anton

    My coments about ths Phone are:
    Charger went dead soon after. It can now charged only using USB port. 
    Removing the back cover to remover the battery is not easy and got damaged.
    Manual has small print.. 

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    I always only charged using USB. I’ve openned the battery door about a thousand times and it’s fine, you just have to push it right and pull the tv antenna a bit to have it open right.

  • Popa Anton

    ah OK
    thank you…

  • Jorge Rod

    Hi, Charbax. Your effort on solving people questions is very appreciated. I have two. The first is how long your battery lasts when using it intensively. Also, is the AGPS restritive when compared with the GPS? Thks. Jorge

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    It lasts pretty long in the battery, I don’t know how long, I charge it about once a week but I’m not often on the phone. GPS is better than AGPS, but it’s ok.

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  • Metakiwi

    Hi mate,
     I am looking for a budget android phone which is able to run VOIP software.
     Not sure the minimium requirement of cpu speed but need Wifi, VPN capable .
     I joined  A HK Voip provider 2B HK recently & found that it doesn’t work or support a physical phone connected to phone adapter.
     Cheers
     Kiwi.
      

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  • Sheltondo

    where do i purchase this phone?

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  • helean

    i know this phone, but it is very old Chinese Android phone, i know one website sell many cheap android phone, http://www.lovebargaining.com, but i don’t know wheather it is safe to buy on this website, is there anyone knows about this website? is it scammer?

  • Anonymous

    From where we can buy?

  • http://www.sellyourphone.co.uk/ sell your phone

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  • Goophoney5

    Goophone Y5 1GHz MTK6575 Best Iphone Copy

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  • Ctroost

    help! great phone it has it’s problems but hey dual sim and lots of functions gps works fine and great mp4 playback.

    i changed one of the sim cards now none of the simcards register! i tried everything factory reset inserting the sims 1 by 1 …..

    what to do?