By July this year my phone started misbehaving. I had been using it for more than two years now so this was a signal that it was time for a replacement phone.
With so many good phones available lately the question was which one ? Both Apple and Samsung had dominated the market over the past 2 years but other manufacturers such as Motorola, LG and even Huawei were releasing good alternatives.
Anticipating a glut of phones over the next 6 months, I decided to wait out the flurry of release announcements and only make make my move after the Christmas holidays when the dust has settled.
For a while now I wanted to dip my fingers in cheap Chinese phones as they are known.
Chip maker Mediatek has almost single-handedly created a huge market of cheaper smartphones through its cheaper CPUS that rival those by Qualcomm and Samsung.
I decided it was time I got one of these smartphones. Before long I had purchased the S5/I9600, only one of the numerous Samsung Galaxy S5 clones. I paid just under $92 and chose not to use DHL but rather free delivery. That wasn’t a good decision as this option relied on the Post Office who were on strike. I got it eventually after two months.
First order of business was to test whether or not the phone was rooted. I loaded SuperSU from the play store and I was able to confirm indeed the phone was rooted.
Next, I needed to make a backup of the ROM. I was able to do so using MTK Droid Tools.
I proceeded to load all the apps I have on my Galaxy S3 and then a week of fun began. Much to my dismay I could not install all the apps as I was soon greeted with the “There is insufficient space on the device”.
I thought, but how could this be ? Surely this phone with 32 GB of space can handle all of my applications ? I returned to DHgate to look at my order and was annoyed to discover the unit really had only 4GB of storage ! As it turns out a tiny print towards the end of the page clearly reveals this but why was it buried so far down the page ?
Now if you are barely following me, I am about to delve into the technical side but stay with me if you can.
4GB might not sound too bad until you consider how that storage is partitioned. I found a great app (Partition Table) to help me understand how the storage is split up,
- 2gb internal SD
- 1gb for data
- 1 gb for system and other partitions (boot, recovery etc)
With the 8GB external SD card installed, using applications such as Link to SD did not help. Somehow the apps stubbornly installed on the limited data partition.
After days of searching I eventually found a solution. It involved re partitioning the limited 4GB to reduce the “Internal SD” partition in order to expand the data partition. This involved getting into the phones sensitive firm ware in order to manipulate was is known as EBR files.
After reading this the EBR how to manual, I was able to expand the data partition giving me a total of about 2.5 GB
I felt triumphant after this whole exercise, however I have to say that I have a little more appreciation of the work that is put into the more established brands such as Samsung and others.
I think I will keep the phone for a while then I will hand it down to someone who isn’t so demanding.