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22 abril 2014

[REVIEW] iReadyGo Much G2 (Quad-Core, 5")

[REVIEW] iReadyGo Much G2 (Quad-Core, 5")





Note: This is the original and full version of this article. I do my best on posting in english, but it is not my natural language and for sure there are lots of grammatical and spelling errors (i did not use any translator), but due the nature of the information of this article, most of this is technical info, i assume most of this article is readable and understandable. If you think there are need to correct some parts for a correct understand of the info posted here, feel free on send to me your suggestions and i will try to improve this article with this.



Acknowledgments


To Belchine.net store for send me a sample of their product iReadyGo Much G2 to test it and write this review.


Usage of this article


Author give permission to use this review, part of this or by a link reference, to anybody wants to use it, with only one condition that you must keep the author of this article, and the original source, that is on my blog.

For any update for the content of this article, i suggest to visit the link avobe.



Introduction

This time, introducing this device is a very important section of this review, because this device is not a common gaming device that i usually test and review. I'll do my best on introducing and presenting this device for all of you that are looking for info, or just are curious about what this device can offer to you.

First of all, if you´re looking for a device that bring to you a complete portable game experience, including retrogaming, this device is not for you. The reason is simple, and as you can see, this device have only some basic controls for gameplay and are not enough for many kind of games, (emulation most of all). Please, if you want to keep reading this review, take this in mind when you get your own conclusions about this device.

Then, is this device a Phone-Console?

if we think in strict meaning of phone-console, then i must say no, this is not a proper phone-console for usual gaming. this is more a phone/smartphone (phablet) with some controls to play, but the feeling, looking and soul of this device is in first place a smartphone.

But, what is the porpouse of the controls?

Simple, these controls are for gaming. Yes, is a phone, but with some controls for play (i´m beign redundant. i know). The correct question you must do is:

What kind of games can i play with this device?

In simple words, most of android games can be played with this device, and there are lots of games that can be played too. Keep in mind that you have a stick and 4 (+ 2) buttons to be assigned, but if you need more buttons, you can complement these physical buttons with on screen controls from the own games.

I will show you this with an example of usage (There are lots of these similar examples). The android game Choplifter HD. For gameplaythere are the following controls (and the way i mapped to play):

  • Stick - For moving the helicopter (Mapped to stick)
  • Turbo - For fast move (Mapped to button A)
  • Missile - for missiles (Mapped to button Y)
  • Machine gun - for guns (Mapped to button B)
  • Button for change orientation - This button have 3 modes:
    • Swipe right - for center/right orientation
    • Swipe left - for center/left orientation


The orientation button i did not mapped, because i use the screen for activate it, as another control. Check this video:


I can play in comfortable way with this mapping, and don´t need to map ALL the controls on screen for play. Really i need to map the most comon controls.

Then. based on the previous premise is easy to understand what kind of games we can play.

Ok, i understand but i don´t see what the point of this device.

The goal of this device is to bring a smartphone that look and feel as smartphone, but you can use for casual gameplay (and may be some serious playing too). There are many people that wants a device that let to play, but don´t want to carry with a device that looks as a gaming console. This is the main reason some users avoid buying the Much i5, because if you get this out for answer a call in middle of a office metting, may not be the best image if you´re talking with a gaming console instead of a device that really look like a smartphone.

And well, there are lots of situations that you want to quick play, but don´t need a real gaming console for carrying always with you. When you waiting for a train, bus, doctor, etc, etc. This device is perfect for all these kind of situations, and may be a good alternative for people that want to play, but don´t like on screen controls.

Again, this device is not designed to play any kind of games (FPS mainly such Nova3, MC4, etc), not by power, because i do some testing about this and there is no problem, but for controls that are not comfortable for these kind of games.

Hope you understand what you can expect for this device, what can and what cannot do (or get a general idea), and with this in mind read this review and decide with the information contents here if the device is for you or not.




Product showcase

(Checking of the external view of the package)



The device come in a elegant package, that have the silouete of the device printed in the face (you can see with light reflection) and there are "G2" logo, and the characteristics green lines of the phones printed in the image too.




Back face have some basic info about the device, and we can see the following icons:
  • NotifyLight - The device come with a colored system of led indicators that are so useful and easy to configure.
  • Quad-Core Processor
  • 5" Full View Screen (There are no borders that hide parts of the screen)
  • Dual-Sim Dual Standby
  • 12 Hours Entertainment




Opening the box, there is the Device that fits in the cardboard mold that ensure the device don´t move when transporting.


When get the device out, there are 3 sections when you get the accessories that come with the device.




Package contents

(Unboxing y full description of the package contents)


When the package is opened, we found the following elements thats, i understand, are part of any standard shippment for this product.



  • iReadyGo Much G2 Smartphone
  • MicroUSB Data/Charge cable
  • USB Wall-Charger
  • 4200 mAh Battery
  • G2 Quick User Manual

G2 Quick User Manual detail




Product description

(Enumerate of components that conform the product)


In the following section i will explain briefly each component that comform the device, listing each component existing in their structure and doing comments about these elements when i consider.

In this section i will list only the device parts that may contain elements interesting to comment.

Note: I will consider the side with screen and controls in horizontal as front of the device.


Front view




  • Stick
  • Phone speaker
  • Proximity and Light sensors
  • Front Camera
  • 5" IPS Screen
  • Button ONE_DOT (For nomenclature on this review, i will call this Button Z)
  • Button River (For nomenclature on this review, i will call this Button Y)
  • Button Mountain (For nomenclature on this review, i will call this Button X)
  • Button Moon (For nomenclature on this review, i will call this Button B)
  • Button Sun (For nomenclature on this review, i will call this Button A)
  • Led status (on button A)
  • Button THREE_DOT (For nomenclature on this review, i will call this Button C)


Rear view




  • Right speaker (Media)
  • Side Grips
  • Left Speaker (Media)
  • Camera
  • Led Flash
  • Camera Microphone

Right side view




  • Slot for opening the back cover
  • Phone microphone


Left side view



  • [POWER] button
  • Headphone port



Top view




  • MicroUSB Port
  • [VOL+] button
  • [VOL-] button


Internal View




  • SIM1 (WCDMA/GSM)
  • SIM2 (GSM)
  • MicroSD Slot
  • Removable Battery 4200 mAh


First Impression

(What i feel in my first impression with the device)


From the first look of the boxing, i get a very good impression about the device. I know the quality of Much products, and my expectations are high talking in quality materials and manufacturer, and this device fulfilled these expectations.

At first look of the device itself bring the general idea that is just another smartphone, and is not so evident that is a gaming device. In fact, i do a little test, showing this device to some friends and asking what they think about this, without mention that is a gaming device.

Most of them asking to me about the weight, and why the buttons are a little bit stranges (sizes, icons, etc), but only one of these friends understand that this is a gaming device, but because he know that always i´m testing gaming devices (most of the time really), and after checking the device realize on it, and like the idea.

After testing and getting a better feeling with the device, i realize that this is not for hardcore gaming, in the meaning we understand "hardcore gaming". Buttons are so good as buttons for a smartphone, but are not really good for some kind of games. Pressing more than one of these buttons are a little bit hard, but this make to me to think about this, and i focus my mind into the kind of gaming and users that this device is designed. In fact, i liked so much the idea of this device when i see announced, and check photos, but when i get in my hands, i really like more the idea of this.

One of the first thing I realize when get the device with the battery loaded is the weight.


For me, this means a good capacity battery, because there is a direct relation between weight of a device and their battery capacity. In fact, the device come with a monster battery with 4200mAh, that is so uncommon for smartphones (and many tablets come with less capacity battery too)

Maybe the weight of the device could be uncomfortable for some users, but for experience i can say that is most unconfortable using a device that battery dead before few hours of activity. In my case, the relationship between weight and battery life of this device is ok.

Stick is on the center, and at first look this appear to be the speaker of the phone. The position is correct, because you can get the device with four fingers and play with your thumb, ensuring a firm grab of the device, avoiding falldowns when playing.

Buttons are hardest to press than any traditional gaming controller, but if you don´t want to play for long sessions, are enough. Again, these buttons and sticks are really good for casual gaming, and this is the target of this device.





There is a hole on the device that is not documented, but i used for installing a wirst strap, and with this get secured against accidental falls of the device.

In general, i get a very good first impression of the device.

About Much Keymapper (touch emulation)


The way to usage this Keymapper is so simple. There is a floating button on the screen that is the screen capture tool from the device.

When you long-press this button, will appear a pie menu with some functions


Last (bottom) icon is Show/Hide the icon for Keymapper.


This icon appear automatically with many apps, and sometimes (most of the times) is so boring. Personally i hate this icon because appear when i don´t want to get this on the screen.

Ok, pressing the icon we get the main menu interface for the keymapper:


Default will setup the keymapper for the current app, if there is exist a layout (the system will check on a serer for updates about layouts to use)

Custom will let the user to configure their own layout



From here, you can move controls and put on screen for configure a touch layout.


About keymapper (KeyDIY)


Check the "About buttons" section (KeyDIY)

About Stick


The stick of the device work as digital stick (dpad) when you map it directly on emulators. Some games recognize this as normal dpad and you can use it directly for play (Virtual Tennis, as an example)

When you use Much Keymapper, the stick act as analog. If you map on any game with virtual on screen controls (stick), you can use the stick as a normal analog device.

The stick is not the best alternative for fighting games, but for casual gampelay, you can use it and, with some practice, you can do hadoukens and shoriukens moves (tipically from these kind of games such Street Fighter).

The position of the stick is correct, in the middle of the screen. This allow to you to grab the device and avoid falling this from your hands.

For reference, this stick feeling is very similar (identical) as PSP analog stick.

There are some settings for stick behavior in personalization ('individuation') settings.



I'm not sure about differences between each of these settings, but with default setting (Smart rocker) i can play without problems.

About buttons



There are 4 main action buttons and 2 extra buttons you can use.

If you map on screen with Much Keymapper, then you only will have the following controls:

  • Analog Stick
    • Digital Stick
    • Digital 4 buttons
  • 4 action buttons (Standard nomenclature/Playstation nomenclature)
    • Mountain (X/Square)
    • River (Y/Triangle)
    • Sun (A/Cross)
    • Moon (B/Circle)


Analog stick and 4 buttons

Digital stick and 4 buttons

4 Buttons (stick) and buttons

The previous images show the 3 different ways you can map controls on games.

KeyDIY


Now, if you use the button keymapper KeyDIY, there you can configure 2 extra buttons for use in games:


As you can see, there are the 4 standard buttons (A, B, X, Y in normal nomenclature) plus ONE_DOT (Z) and THREE_DOT (C). These buttons can be configured for specific behaviors, depends on the app you´re running in first plane.

For convenience, i configured this way as standard gamepad template, that i will apply to all games and emulators i will install in the device:


With this, if there is any game that "understand" a standard controller, will can use directly this settings in the game for normal play.

Of course, you can configure buttons in your way/needs. In my case, i prefer to configure select and start buttons, but you can setup L1, R1, etc. (for pinball games, L1 and R1 are great alternatives)

Here is a sample of this. I configured L1 and R1 for play Marvel Pinball - The Avengers, using the device in vertical mode



About physical buttons usage


Buttons are firm, comfortable to use. Touch feeling is not a gaming buttons. Each button have a so little level relief, enough for touch recognize the position of each one, but are not a proper game console device.

Games that requires two or more simultáneous buttons, are a little bit hard to do with the finger thumb, but with a little of practice can be done. Of course these buttons are not designed to be used in this way (simultáneous pressing), but i tested and confirm that you can play with this. As an example, i played Marvel vs Capcom and do special moves with these buttons.



Buttons come with a default config for KeyDIY, and in my opinion are useful for normal phone usage.


  • SUN (A/Cross) = [HOME]
  • Mountain (X/Square) = [ENTER]
  • Moon (B/Circle) = [BACK]
  • River (Y/Triangle) = [MENU]


The extra 2 special buttions are really shortcuts for apps that the user can define. With long press you access to key shortcut configurator.


There is a way to disable this button, in the same screen.




About Status led


I'm glad to see a complete status led solution implemented on this device. The SUN button (A/Cross) have a led-light with the shape of the button (circle and dot). This light can be configured easy with an app that come with the device: BreathingLightDIY


When you open this, will get the App Editor, and you can configure wich color and effect you want for each application if you wish.




A practical example, in my case i setup this way my notifications:

  • Gmail = Red fast flashing
  • Telegram = Blue fast flashing
  • Whatsapp = Green fast flashing





The led will get the last status app and set the led status for this configuration (if there is one)


About output sound (speakers)


The device come with 2 speakers in back side. The sound is clear, and with good volume. Stereo relief can be appreciated without problems.

In general speaking, sound quality appears to be good, and is enough for enjoy gameplay without hearphones (but i recomend to use), and for media


About device shape form


The back grips for handling are a very good idea. I tested other devices (smartphones) with a soft and smooth surface, but this make easy to fall down from the hands.

This device have texturized grips on their back/sides, and this helpl to handle firmly, reducing the possibility of falling.

Device feels good in the hand. Is big, but don´t appear to be so big really. Comparing with other solutions such Much i5, the shapeform of this device disimulates their real size, but is a little bit small than Much i5, but not so much.

There are some pictures i taked for comparisson with other devices.

Samsung Note 3 & Much G2

Samsung Galaxy S4 & Much G2

Sony Xperia Z1, Much G2 & Samsung Galaxy Mega

Much i5 & Much G2


About camera


Back camera is 8MPx sensor, with autofocus and flash led. Photos are with enough quality for printing.

Camera is located near the corner of the device, and is so easy that when playing some game, focus lens get dirty with our fingers. Is needed to be cleaned each time we take photos, for ensure good quality.

There are some samples of phtos taked by this camera, using distinct filters.


 HDR Samples

 Normal photo with no flash

Exterior with sun in front 


 
Interior with no Flash

Exterior Normal photo



Normal photos



 Photos in motion (120k/h aprox)



 Interior with Flash Led

Panoramic 180º


In general, i think i can count with this camera for normal photos with enough quality, but always for this kind of devices, better light conditions will get better photos. (Except panorama, that decreases a lot the resolution for capturing the complete image)

I printed a photo obtained with this camera, and their quality and resolution is enough for printing in 40x50cm photo (and may be bigger too)

Personally, i feel satisfied by the photos obtained with this device.

About Screen


The screen size is ok for this device. Bright and colors are ok too.

The main problem of the screen is their refresh rate, that is configured to 53.29 Hz, that is a weird value for a device focussed on gameplay, basically because most of emulators for Android will setup their framerate by the screen refresh rate of the device.

This mean that most of emulators affected by this value, will present glitches, artifacts, etc on screen, and will be required to setup frameskipping for normal gameplay. This will affect basically to any non PAL game (NTSC/SECAM) that run nativelly at 60Hz)

For undertstanding this, i uploaded a video from other devices running the same game at similar setup, but one of the devices are running with a screen distinct to 60Hz, and the other equal to 60Hz, and the difference is so big.


This video is for demostrating the difference and show the effect of this problem (screen refresh rate distinct to 60Hz)


About GPS


I get impressed with the GPS module of this device, because is one of the fastest devices i tested. Every time i need connect to GPS satellites, the device takes around 30 seconds or less on connecting, and considering this is a chinese device, configured as chinese settings for GPS, this is really quick.

I did not customized the GPS (not as other Mediatek devices, that is required some stuff on some files for get better gps antena reception)


In this example i capture (with ScreenRecorder) the usage of GPS from scratch. i taked around 25 seconds on get signal. (I´m using Sygic GPS navigator)

Another good point is the device have a digital compass, and work fine.


About help and instructions


Much G2 come with some apps that introduce to the user on the device itself, givign quick visual guides for understand how to manage their functions.



Usage of the status bar (how to hidding help screen, unchecking the option "Show notifications")





 Much G2 Help file with general instructions (FAQ)


Product information




According with the manufacturer, or searching info on web pages, we can found many sources of information about the device and sometimes these information may be not consistent (may be different from one web page to other), and this may cause some confusion for anybody that wants to get info about this product.

On this section i will post the info i get from the manufacturer (or is not possible, the web page that i consider more reliable), listing only the relevant points for a tech analysis of the product, and omit these points that don´t get any relevant info about the device (as many time we found on many pages, things such video capabilities, mail capabilities, etc, that really are software based features that we can install on the device, and not a real feature of the device itself)

  • Product Name: MUCH G2
  • Screen Parameter: 5-inch IPS full view screen, resolution 720 * 1280, 16 million colors
  • CPU(RAM): MTK6589 quad-core 1.2GHz
  • Memory :1G RAM LPDDR2
  • Memory storage: Internal 16GB
  • Storage :MicroSD(TF) support 64GB storage expand maximum
  • Display Chip :PowerVR Series 544
  • Operating System :Android4.2(Much Launcher)
  • Sensor :Nine-Axis sensor(Gyro+Accelerometer+Compass), and light sensor, proximity sensor
  • Back Camera : 8 MPx, digital zoom, auto focus, microspur support, LED fill light
  • Front Camera : 2 MPx
  • Network Function : Dual card and dual standby 
  • Wifi : 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth : V4.0LE +EDR
  • GPS : Supported + AGPS + Digital Compass
  • Key Grip : Standard handheld game key (4+2 buttons) + two-dimensional rocker
  • Touch Operation : Capacitive 5-point touch screen
  • Video Play : Hardware decoding, maximum resolution up to 1080P, H.264, MPEG4, MPEG2, VC-1, H.263
  • Audio System : D-class amplifier , AAC speaker (2x0.5w)
  • Power Supply : Polymer explosion-proof lithium battery, and 4200mAh
  • USB : 5pin  MicroUSB OTG 2.0 communication interface
  • External memory: MicroSD(TF) card
  • Audio output: Four-parts3.5mm stereo headphone interface
  • Dimensions: 165x72.5x12.2mm
  • Weight : 204g(without battery) / 256g (with battery)
  • Standby Time : Dual SIM standby 600 hours


Info from the device itself (Android info)


In first place, to get a reliable source of info about the system, i take some screenshots from the same device showing android system info (thata usually is insufficient), and from another software that can give us more detailed information about the system, and with this info we can get a general idea about the capabilities of the device.



Android system settings info

Botón de captura flotante. Este botón ahora se torna mas importante que en Much i5, ya que con el se puede mostrar y ocultar (sobre todo esto)  el botón del mapeador en pantalla.


El sistema no viene muy cargado de aplicaciones de relleno (bloatware), y disopne de Google Playstore por defecto en el firmware.


Los iconos de juegos y emuladores son accesos directos para descargarlos directamente desde la store, y no incluyen enlaces a software de pago.

First Boot of the device


Antutu Benchmark X System Info










Quadrant Standard Info








Vellamo Device Details






CPU-Z





Benchmarks



For people that don´t know about these programs, i can tell (in short words) that a benchmark is a program or normalized test that runs on a device. These tests give points (usually, averaging many results) the performance of a device, in the way that the final total point may be useful to compare, in a simple and direct way, the general performance between many devices.

There are so many benchmarks on Google Play Store, but in my test usually i use the most populars.

For the running of these benchmarks, the initial conditions of the device are:

  • CPU Frequency: 1209 MHz
  • CPU Governor: hotplug *
  • Screen Resolution: 720x1280 pixels

* I Used hotplug instead of performance, because performance set the cpu to maximum performance (speed), but only enable one core, disabling the others. Using hotplug with min and max speed to the top of the device (1.2GHz) i can simulate a performance governor,.



3DMark - The Gamer´s Benchmark

 (Google play version)


This benchmark have two parts, the first "normal" called "Ice Storm", and the second with high resolution graphics called "Ice Storm Extreme"

The final total is the averaging of all the test of the benchmark (in each of this parts)



Ice Storm





  • Total Score: 2990


Ice Storm Extreme






  • Total Score: 1522


Ice Storm Unlimited






  • Total Score: 2500






Antutu Benchmark X Edition

 (Google Play version)

This is a version special anti-fraud edition from this popular benchmark.

Many manufacturer do some tricks to bring best results when running Antutu Benchmark, most of these tricks is temporal overclocking the CPU/GPU, when the SoC detect the benchmark is running. For this reason, this special edition of Antutu Benchmark was created, to avoiding these kind of cheats/tricks from manufacturers, offering a real result for their tests.






Summarizing points:


  • RAM Operation:  1110
  • RAM Speed:  517
  • CPU integer:  1835
  • CPU float-point:  1266
  • 2D graphics: [720x1280] 582
  • 3D graphics: [720x1280] 3249
  • Storage I/O:  802
  • Database I/O:  625
  • CPU frequency:  1209 MHz (x4)
  • Multitask:  2642
  • Dalvik:  864
  • Total:  13492


RealPi Benchmark

 (Google play version)


The main goal of this benchmark is basically to calculate PI with a fixed decimals, and based on the time taked to calculate this.





























  • Pi calculated in: 27.74 seconds


  • CF-Bench



    This benchmark suite is specific designed to test performance of multi-core devices, and get 3 general values (totals): Native Score, Java Score and Overall Score.



    • Native Score: 21105
    • Java Score: 7539
    • Overall Score: 12965



    Epic Citadel



    This benchmark generate an intensive GPU usage, using the Unreal Engine 3 and get as a final result the average framerate that the device can show the test.

    Based on the kind of the devices and their features/capabilities, the benchmark can offer two or three kind of benchamark types: High Performance, High Quality and Ultra Hight Quality (This test only will be available for devices ables to run this benchmark).


    High Performance




    • Average FPS: 25.7


    High Quality




    • Average FPS: 24.3


    Ultra High Quality




    • Average FPS: 13.6




    Nenamark1



    This benchmark is designed to test OpenGL|ES2.0, and will show graphics with a variety of effects such reflex, dyamic shadows, lights, etc. This version was designed for medium-low devices, but i run as a standard in any device thata i write a review.








      • Total score: 53.0 fps



      Nenamark2



      In the same way as the previous version, this benchmark is designed to test OpenGL|ES2.0, but in medium-hight devices. In the same way, this benchmark show graphics but with Hight Resolution, and apply effects such reflex, dynamic shadows, light, etc.









      • Total score: 39.0 fps



      Quadrant Standard



      This benchmark is one of the first dedicated software for testing devices, and become a reference, but currently i use as a informative way, because this app don´t have multi-core support, then their results don´t get a reliable source of information, beause the performance of 1 core running on the device is not the same if the device can run with 2 or more cores, where distribute proccessing and run more relaxed in genearl, giving a better score to the system.




      • CPU: 13025
      • Mem: 3365
      • I/O: 4995
      • 2D: 273
      • 3D: 2212
      • Total: 4774



      Mindwill


      Windmill is a technology demonstration that showcases gaming engines from Allegorithmic and Unity. Windmill includes a benchmark mode that pushes your mobile platform to the limit by exercising multiple CPU and GPU cores with complex geometry and interesting texture and shader effects.

      The dynamic change of season and visual style (cartoon, spring, summer, winter) is made possible by the Substance technology.





      • Average Frame Rate: 10.76 FPS (1280x720)



      This becnhmark is a testing suite, that basically are routines for HTML5 and CPU specific (Metal) testings.








      • HTML5 score: 1508
      • Metal score: 519



      Official firmware




      The official firmware of the device is useful for, in example, if we have a "soft-brick", caused by some mods on the system and the device cannot start in a normal way.

      For these cases, is good to get a way to recover the device, and one of these ways is getting the official firmware (and the steps to flash it)

      I did not updated the device yet, but there is the official firmware for it, if you need

      Much G2 firmware

      I will update this section with steps for installing this firmware in the device.

      Device Rooting


      One of the best things that take advantage on Android, is precisely get the device rooted and the superuser privileges enabled for our needs.

      There are so much users that have scared about the methods to get root on their devices, and for this they don´t get encourage to root it, limiting their experience because there are so much apps that uses this feature. Applications such Titanium Backup or Tincore Keymapper (for mention few) requires root acces to work property.

      The device come rooted from factory, and integrate rooting administration on the same system settings, in Developer options.


       There is no need to do nothing special for root the device and grant rooting permissions to apps. (but for generating CWM will be needed some sort of different rooting. check next section)


      ClockWorkMod(CWM)/TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP) - Custom Recovery)




      Android have a special mode called Recovery, that is used many times to recover the device if this have problems to run properly, but there exist an alternative Custom Recovery that add a lot of new functionality and tools, and few of the most popular is one called ClockWorkMod Recovery, and another called Teamwin Recovery Project.

      The most important difference between these both custom recoverys, is the kind of interaction that offer to the user. CWM is focussed on functionality, and is the first that become popular. TWRP bring a nice and very functionaly touch interface, that may be more comfortable for most users.

      There are some devices that can install CWM, another devices that can install TWRP, or some devices that have both versions availables to install. In any case, is so recommended to install any of these custom recovery on the device.

      One of the most important features of these custom recovery, is the NANDROID generation, a way to generate a full backup of the nand (where the operating system resides) to a directory, and can be used as a recovery point for the device in case of semi-brick, or simply if you want to get a clean firmware on it.

      Take note that this backup (nandroid) is a image of the NAND, this means, there will be stored all your configs, users, passwords, accounts, etc. Is a good idea to get a clean firmware insatlled on the device, and install and configure all your base programs (file admins, cloud services, google account, etc) and then get a nandroid for your personal use. When you get back to this image/backup, you will get a clean and configured system, saving lot of time on basic configurations and installing basic software.

      For this guide, i will copy another guide i wrote for similar device.

      The installation of CWM on this device is easy. For this, i follow the next thread on XDA forum:

      How to install CWM on most rooted mtk devices

      This method is based on Rua1 tool (a russian guy that develop a specific MTK took), and i will try to explay step by step.


      • First, you need the drivers ADB installed on the system. If you don´t get yet, then download and install PDANet (for windows, there is the 4.12 installer).
      • Then install PDANet, and when the program ask for connecting the device (USB), connect your Much.
      • Program will install drivers (if ask to you, select "other manufacturer" for generic drivers)
      • When you get installed this program, then go and download "MTK Droid Root & Tools | MediaTek Android Smartphone" ver 2.5.3
      • Run the program. If the antivirus or firewall warning about a unknown thread, ignore it.
      • The program will run adb and connect with your device. No matter if you set root for ADB and Apps in System Settings, the program will inform that the device is not fully rooted. (there is a yellow rectangle)
      • Press ROOT button.
      • When finished, the rectangle will be green


      (I will do a copy paste from XDA thread, because is well explained what you must to do)

      • Click on the tab 'root,backup,recovery' and select 'to use boot from phone' then click on 'recovery and boot' and shortly after a dialogue box will appear asking if you want to 'make cwm recovery automatically' click yes



      • System start to generate the CWM version.





      • Is possible that the tool show a dialog with a warning "ATENTION! There is a probability to damage the boot block!". Select "Yes"


      (Again copy and paste from XDA thread:)

      • The tool will then create the recovery and another dialogue box will appear asking to 'install created recovery to phone', click yes



      • Finally, the program ask to us if we want to reboot in recovery mode (select Yes to test it)




      • The program will reboot the Much device.


      (Image for reference)

      CWM is now installed on Much!



      Note: The recovery is inverted on the device screen.

      For moving, use [VOL-] (for up) and [VOL+] (for down)
      For selecting, use [POWER]


      Note: First time you start the recovery, may have an issue, but is not important. When you try to select any item, the system will hide the CWM menu. Simply reboot the device and start again the CWM, and you will be fine!



      Custom Firmware




      A custom firmware usually is a firmware stock with some moddings, via tweaks or compiled directly from source code (if this exist), and generating an optimized version of the original system.

      Beside the above, the custom firmwares can add new functionality to the device, that originally don´t get in the firmware stock such bluetooth usb dongle support, gamepad support, fixing framework, updating modules, CIFS, etc.

      For now, there is no custom firmwares for this device, but with CWM enabled and running on it, i think is probably we can see some customs based on CWM nandroids, with some improvements in the firmware.

      I will update this section if there appear any custom firmware for this device.


      Game Performance




      As usual, the most common way to show the performance of a device is running and playing games, android natives and emulated (roms) using emulators.

      In the following lines i will show some games and emulators running on the device, and some comments with relevant info.



      Android Games




      Android games are specific for touch screens, and may use another device sensors such tilt sensor, and most of them show on screen controls to interact with the game, but only few of them have native joystick/gamepad support.

      For now, there are some alternatives that we can use to bring these kind of support (joysticks/gamepads and other devices) on these games, bringing another way of playing using physical controls. Most of these alternatives are based on emulating the events and mechanisms that the device originally support for interact with the games. Most of these events are touch screen based, then this kind of apps will "emulate" these touches, linking physical controls (buttons, sticks) to screen locations.


      Asphalt 8: Airborne




      This game run ok in the device. there are some slowdowns, but in general speaking the game can be played without major issues

      In the video, i´m running with this graphics settings:


      Lowering a little bit the graphics, the game run smooth and fine.


      After Burner Climax



      Really i don´t like so much this game, but i installed and run ok. Loading times are so long, but the same as any other device where i tested this game.


      Carmaggedon




      The game run fine and Much keymapper (on screen touches) works great with this.


      Reaper





      Using the KeyDIY mapper, this game run with controls directly. The game is nice, run smooth and is a good sample of the kind of games you can play with this device, and their controls.


      Prince of Persia Shadow and the Flame





      Another good sample of game that run ok with the controls of this device. The game run smooth, and controls are enough for comfortable playing.


      Marvel Pinball The Avengers





      This is a good example of vertical gameplay, and use of KeyDIY mapper. I configured ONE_DOT and THREE_DOT buttons for left and right flippers of the pinball, and the game really is comfortable and ennjoyable to play in this position.


      Riptide GP 2





      The game run nice and very smooth in the device. Controls are configured as gampead with KeyDIY and the game run ok with this.

      Controls of the device are enough for this game, and really is a good game for playing in this device, using their physical controls.


      Choplifter HD





      As i mentioned in the beginning of this review, this game is a very good example of how to implement mixed kind of controls for gameplay. Using the Much Keymapper, i mapped most of the controls to virtual controls (on screen controls), and the special button for turn left/right the helicopter, i use with my finger touching on the screen.

      The game runs ok, and implementing the mixed controls are comfortable for gameplay (considering there is no enough controls for all actions). Much Keymapper is enough for touch controls, and there is no need of special mapper with advanced features such swipes, for simple and direct gameplay.


      Nova 3


      Governor = hotplug, min = 49MHz

      Governor = hotplug. Speed min and max =1209 MHz

      I tested nova for checking performance (controls are not enough for this game, for this reason i´m playing with on screen controls).

      I do some testing changing speed of CPU. In both videos i´m using hotplug goernor, but in the first video, minimal speed is 497MHz, that means cpu may generate some slowdowns, and second video i´m running at full speed for mininmal and maximum speeds, simulating a governor = performance.

      In any case, this video is for showing what this device can do. The gameplay is not so smooth, but you can play it, using on screen controls as any standard smartphone.


      Soul Calibur



      Gameplay is ok, with some slowdowns. Stick may be used for play this fighting game, but is not the best choice in my opinion.

      Pressing two or more buttons at the same time (soul charge in this case) may be difficult because the buttons are not designed to be pressed at the same time with one thumb. (not as standard console controller, that buttons are easy to be pressed two, three or the four at the same time)

      In any case, for casual gameplaying (with a little bit serious game) you can play this title with no so much problems.


      Iesabel




      This is another good example on how to implement mixed controls for play with this device. With the Much keymapper KeyDIY (touch emulation) and four buttons, you can play in confortable way, using screen for some actions (such collect items, select slot items, etc)



      Emulation (Playing emulated games)





      In the same way that Android games are an important way of testing the performance of a device, emulation is another factor to get in concern, and most important, for systems that are quite hard to be emulated, because with these emulators/roms we can see differences between devices. (most of times, the pure power of a CPU/GPU can run better a game in a device, and get poor performance in another device)

      In Android, we get many emulator alternatives (emulated systems) that we can recreate on the device that we are testing. We can use emulators of old computers, videogame consoles, and is possible to run some x86 system (MS DOS, windows 9x but so limited), and we can run most modern systems such Nintendo64, Playstation one (PSX), both of these emulators are consider the top of the current frontier of emulation, but this is not limited to these systems. There are new emulators that most probably will become the new top/frontier, with emulation of PSP that many games currently are playables with near of 100% of speed, or Nintendo DS, that currently is able to run many titles.at full speed (or near to)

      This way, we can say that the emulators are important than Android games en terms of entertainment, and for this reason are a big and important part of any testing planning of any device.

      For emulation, you must take note that the games you want to play are suitable for the controls of the device. There are lots of titles that you can play without problems with the current layout cohntrol of the device, but there is other games that are hard to play this way.

      In other cases, may be you want to re-configure keys for specific games, because may be there are enough controls for playing, but the original device may use other controls that you don´t have configured in the current profile. Examples may be games that uses L1 and R1. In my case, most of the time i use gamepad as A, B, X, Y, Select and Start buttons, but there may be games that need L1 and R1, then on these cases i manage for on screen buttons appears for Select and Start, and configure some buttons for L1 and R1.



      DraStic (Nintendo DS)




      This app is able to emulate many commercial games, with full speed (or near to) and in a short time this emulator become as one of the most popular apps of this kind on Google Playstore.

      This emulator run flawesly in most of devices with average specs (dual core and up)


      Viewtiful Joe






      There is no much to say. The game run ok, with no visible/evident glitches and at full speed.


      Zelda Phantom Hourglass




      This is a very good game to play with device in vertical mode, because all the control interface is touch based, and the game is so interesting to play in this way, emulating in best way the NDS.


      PPSSPP (Playstation Portable PSP)




      The only PSP emulator for Android. This app can run many games in a playable way, and get so many updates to improve their emulation and new features.

      Soul Calibur Broken Destiny





      Gameplay is ok, there is needed frameskip, but with 1 fps is ok for normal gameplaying.

      Controls are enough for this title and you can enjoy without most problems the game.


      DJ Max Black Square Fever Pitch Girl





      This is really a proof of concept. The game need a DPAD for proper gameplay, but with some practice you can play with the stick.

      The game show many glitches, but most of them (or all) are generated by the device, because their screen refresh rate is set to 53.29 fps, and this configuration will affect to most of emulators.

      Tekken 6





      This game requires a powerful cpu for proper running, but with some frameskipping (5 fps in this case) may be "playable" for casual gaming. (never i will consider this gameplay as serious play, but for someone may be enough for waiting in the bus stop)

      This game show the limit of the cpu for emulating games.


      God of War Chains of Olympus





      This is one of the hardest game to be emulated in android, with the current emulator state. As you can see, the game need so much frameskip for play, and you must consider this only as a testing of the cpu power of the device.


      Mame4Droid (Arcades)




      Personally, i think this is the best arcade emulator on the Store. I prefer this (for arcade) instead of another alternatives than Retroarch or similar, because many titles run smoothly than another emulators.


      The Simpsons





      This is a very good examples of what kind of games you can expext to play with this device in mame. A classic layout of 2/3/4 buttons with coin (select) and start (player 1) is ideal for this game.

      In this case, the layout of the game fits ok with the hardware of the device. In performance we expect a very good gameplay in general for this kind of games.


      Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate


      Normal Settings

      Speed Hacks Settings


      The game with normal settings run with many slowdowns, but applying speedhacks settings (press select and start at the same time for in game menu, select speed hacks and change settings), the game is playable.

      The game runs smoothly in Retroarch, but this video is only a sample of running this title.

      Street Fighter vs Capcom





      A classic game that i use for testing devices. In this case, this device is not the best choice for playing fighting games (sticks are not the best controls for these kind of games), but i want to test in any case for get the feeling of the device for this kind of games.

      Definlely, the device is not good for fighting games (or almost i can´t play normally with stick instead a proper dpad), but for casual gaming is ok if you want to try.

      In my case, i must learn where are the diagonals for proper gameplay.

      In general, emulation (with frameskip) is ok and there is nothing to mention about this.


      Aerofighters





      And other good example of the kind of games you can use with this device.



      N64Oid (Nintendo 64)




      There are many Nintendo64 emulators on the Google Play Store, but personally i prefer to use this one, that you can buy directly from SlideMe store, and in my opinion, this emulator run better than other options that i tested.



      Conker´s Bad Fur Day





      This game is one of the hardest roms to emulate. This device can run this game, not at full speed but with a good speed that become playable in most cases this title.

      This emulator is an example of mixed controls (physical and screen), and let to play many titles without problems.

      In this case, because DPAD and Analog Stick do the same in this game (in the N64 device), i used the mapping tool of Much for gain analog stick with the physical stick, and gain better control for play.



      Zelda Ocarina of Time





      The game run with good speed (with some audio glitches). Control schemma can be configured to play mixing physical and virtual controls. In this case i´m using:

      Stick for movement (mapped to the on screen analog stick)

      • Sun = A
      • Moon = B
      • Mountain = C-Left
      • River = Z
      • ONE_DOT = Right Trigger
      • THREE_DOT = Left Trigger


      Start, C-Buttons are on screen as virtual buttons



      Reicast (Dreamcast)




      This great emulator allow to us to play our dreamcast games in android devices that don´t requires high end specs (but some decent needed). The emulator is under development, but for now can execute many games in smooth way.


      Soul Calibur





      The game is not perfect emulated, but is enough for gameplay with the device buttons. For some game may be enough using on screen controls, but for others is better to try to configure in the same emulator specific buttons such L and R triggers.

      Performance is not full speed, but is enough for normal play.



      Gamestreaming




      With this section i want to test devices for gamestreaming, focused in control usage and wifi (strenght, stability, heating)

      My tests are based on the article i wrote for gamestreaming "From PC to our Android Gaming Console" (in spanish, but you can use english translator of the blog), and this may help to bring examples of another kind of usages of the device.

      Usually, i test with the same games, for comparing devices. You can visit my youtube channel for more gameplays on many devices, and compare with this.

      Of course, the image quality of these gameplays are poor than original image on PC, but are enought (most of time) for normal gameplays. There are a little lag too, and for this reason i use games that can play correctly, even with this lag in sound, image and/or controls. For more info, i suggest to visit the link of the article i mentioned previously.

      If you want to see these videos, i suggest to see on your device (mobile/android gaming device). These videos will looks well in small size screens. If you see them in your PC or similar, in full screen, of course you will see a low resolution image quiality, but for devices are enough for playing.



      KAINY





      This app allow to stream from PC (Windows and Linux) to many kind of devices, including:

      • Android (Smartphones, Tablets, Set top Box, etc)
      • IOs (iPhones, iPads, etc)
      • Chrome browser (chrome plugin)
      • PC to PC (using Chrome version, or native windows client)
      • Allow to connect via 3G/4G


      Support up to 4 gampeads (4 concurrent connections to a server), Direct XInput implementation on gamepad and more other features.

      I've tested some games using this alternative, and there are some videos of these testing.

      For this device, and as i comment many times, you need to think in games that will be comfortables to be played with the control schemma of the device. This time i map controls on screen in Kainy, for completing a standard gamepad. For this reason, i put the following interface:



      Left side are L1, L2 and L2 (Toggle button)
      Right side are L1, R1, L2, R2 and R2 (Toggle button)

      Bottom side, Sticks, L3 and R3

      I duplicated L1 and L2 for easy usage with my right hand. (Left hand only control the stick), but let the same buttons on the left side for convenience (if i feel is better to press these buttons with my left hand, then i will u se this way)

      Both sticks are analog and mapped to left and right gamepad sticks.

      With this layout, i can play any game with physical or virtual controls, but again, i will use games that really are comfortable to be played with the physical controls of the device.


      Razor 2 Hiden Skies





      This is a shooter game with simple controls that can be mapped to the device without problems.



      Limbo





      Another simple control game that can be played without problems with this device.

      Note: Please, apologize my poor gameplay. I don´t know how to escape from the saw in this level.



      Burnout Paradise




      Very nice gameplay, very nice controls, very nice game to be played on the device.

      I did not notice low level of graphics. The Wifi Antenna of the device demostrate to be a very good component, because i did not feel low graphics or speed. Really i get impressed with the preformance of he device. (you must consider i´m running at 1280x720 pixels, and the streaming is smooth and responsite.



      About Splashtop THD


      I did not tested using this solution, because this app simply "translate" a joystick connected to the device to a gamepad in windows, but don´t allow to remap keys or generating proper virtual controls on screen, for supply those controls that the device don´t have.

      For this reason, i prefer to do gamestreaming tests only with Kainy, because allow to me to map controls directly and generate all the controls for completing a standard layout for play.

      About Battery




      Battery usage is a little bit hard to comment in absolute terms, because each user have their own needs of usage of their devices.

      In my testing, i will use some battery logs that help to me to show what i´m using in the device, and with this, you can get a general idea about the real battery duration on my kind of usage.

      I don´t have a better way to talk about this point, without using subjetive judgments that may not be so clear for many users.

      The graphic basically show the evolution of the battery from 15-apr-2014@00:00hrs to 18-apr-2014@00:00hrs. I do a full charge 16-apr-2014@03:00hrs aprox, then in the morning i go to my office, and plug the device to my computer (for using as modem) up to 15:00hrs aprox, then i let the battery down as normal usage by 1 and half day aprox, lowering the power to 20% of capacity, then i connect again and charge.

      This is the normal usage that i can bring to the device. A full charge may reach two days, with normal usage (wifi on, bluetooth on, gps on, governor = hotplug, normal playing around 2 hours by day)

      Hope this help to you to get a general idea about the duration of the device battery.




      Pros, cons and improvements.




      As in every product, there are pros and cons points that are good to mention in a clear way. These points will help to us to decide if the device features are enough for what the user are looking for in a device of this kind.

      Pros are based on features that highlight, comparing the device with another similars, or these features improve the experience of the user.

      In the another hand, the cons are these points that worse the experience, or the feature is not enough for fulfill what we expect from the device.

      Finally, the improvements pints are some features or specs that i think must be improved in a supposed new version of the device, and will generate a better experience in my opinion.


      Pros




      • Of course the most important point and feature of this device is their shape form. Is a Smartphone with some controls for play, but looks as standard smartphone.
      • Quality build and materials are very good.
      • Led status personalization
      • I really don´t know if this is a feature of the device, but there is a hole that can be used for installing a wirst strap (and i consider very positive this point in any device)
      • Antenna wifi is very good. Doing a comparisson test, while a iPad wifi cannot get any near wifi in a specific place (where is no near wifis), with Much G2 i get up to 5 wifis signals, and i can connect to some of them and can watch youtube videos without cuts or slowdowns. (iPad cannot connect to any near wifi, even manual configuring these wifis)
      • GPS antenna module have a very good reception and is so fast on getting GPS satellites signals.
      • Screen bright is good, better than other devices with IPS screen i tested.
      • Two configurable buttons that are so useful for quick launching apps (in my case, i configured ONE_DOT as flashlight, and THREE_DOT as camera)
      • As default layout, the 4 main buttons have android behaviors, and with this, you can use the device as normal smartphone with standard buttons (Home, Enter, Back and Menu)
      • Good quality audio output (speakers)
      • Enough buttons for most casual gameplays
      • Battery duration, is one of the best features of the device.
      • There is CWM that can be installed on the device.



      Cons




      • There is no real joystick driver for analog stick.
      • Buttons are a little bit hard to be pressed more than one at the same time with a thumb.
      • Buttons are a little bit heavy to be pressed.
      • The device come with a very good capacity battery, but this means the device weight is more than other devices (traditional smartphones)
      • Mediatek bluetooth implementation don´t allow to connect some external controllers to the device (Phonejoy, iPega)



      Improvements




      • I think adding L and R buttons can improve a lot this device, without risking the main goal of the product that is offer a look and feeling as a traditional smartphone, but with some controls for play.
      • Add a proper joystick driver for analog stick and buttons
      • Create a custom case (belt case) for comfortable usage and transport.
      • Add few default templates for the KeyDIY, for quick assignment (gampead, android, etc)



      Conclusion




      For who is looking for a comfortable and good specs device, must check this one. In my opinion, this is the most comfortable 7" device i´ve tested until now. Ergonomics is the main feature of this device.

      Controls, specially analog sticks are so comfortables. Nova 3 and similar games are not my favorites really, but I have enjoyed playing these games in this device.

      The device itself does not go unnoticed. I used this on subway, train, etc, and people get their attention on it.

      First impression of many friends is negative, because all of them think this is a monster device (too large for 5" smartphone), but after testing and playing something, most of them get impressed with the comfort and change their perception of the device, get interested on it.

      For now is one of the most interesting devices, taking their relationshipt between specs/quality/price, and is a serious alternative for 7" gaming device.

      I really like this device for normal usage. The device itself is nice, comfortable as smartphone, with good CPU response for this kind of device (Cortex A7) and fulfill all my "smartphone" needs without problems, and for my casual play needs, this is enough too for me.

      Final words





      I really enjoy this device, because i can show another kind of devices for many new users that are not usual of gaming devices, because they don´t want really a "console-phone". In my near circles, many people starts to know these kind of devices focused on gaming, and they really liked this product.

      This device become in my main smartphone for daily use, and i enjoy using this.

      Hope this article help for those are looking for info about this specific device, or simply read this by curiosity, and get interested on it.

      I will updating this article with more info if i consider, and again, apologize my rude english.


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