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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review of Ninetology Black Pearl 2 i940

With the likes of Samsung Galaxy S3 , Iphone 5 ,Sony Xperia Z dominating the much saturated smartphone markets now , the Ninetology Black Pearl 2 i940 seems to be unlikely underdog . In fact , if you ask people , most probably 9/10 of those people have never heard of this Ninetology brand of smartphone before . However , emphasizing on their affordable price tag and good value of money , this smartphone company from Sabah , Malaysia is slowly making its mark in the market.

Recently , thanks to the RM 200 rebate for smartphones by the government ( Pakej Komunikasi Belia ) and also RM 100 rebate by the manufacturer , I manage to get this beautiful , curvaceous Ninetology Black Pearl 2 i940 for a cool price tag of only RM 299 ( RRP : RM 599 ) . Today , I will be doing a review of this phone . Details of how and where I get this phone is at the end of the review.

Screenshot taken from my phone.

Build
The Black Pearl 2 have a 4in display screen that nearly rivals that S3’s 4.8in display . The size of the phone is in between iPhone 5 and S3 . Measuring a dimension of 127mm x 65.5mm x 9.9mm , one can hold it comfortably in one hand with ease .


Screen
With a resolution of 800 x 480 ( WXGA ) , obviously it cannot compete with the likes of Super AMOLED HD display of S3 , but then again , it is not so bad as unbearable , in fact , in my humble opinion , it processes the graphic quite well . Running on a Dual-core 1Ghz processor , its IPS Capacitive Screen detects motion quite well too . There’s no laggy or jerky delayed feeling when I was scrolling and browsing web .



Features
This is where Black Pearl 2 stands out , frankly , a lot of phones with that range of price tag ( RM500-800 ) are lacking in features , but not this phone . Black Pearl 2 uses the latest version of Android , 4.04 ( Ice Cream Sandwich ) , which makes it capable of a lot of customization and handling a lot of applications . The latest OS doesn’t just offer yet another tempting-sounding treat to get our mouths watering. It’s a whole new interface which is redesigned throughout in contrast to previous iterations which have felt like layer after layer glued on top of the previous code.
Screenshot from my phone's home screen.

As mentioned earlier , BP 2 runs on a 1GHz MT6577 Dual Core Cortex-A9 Processor + 512MB RAM , which makes it perfectly capable of handling multi-tasking and takes on whatever tasks that Android 4.04 can handle . Personally , I have tried playing music on the background while surfing graphic-intensive websites at the same time and it handles them perfectly well . In their official youtube channel , they have tested visually demanding game , Dead Trigger on the BP 2 , and the end result is quite fine , as you can see from the video below .






Although they officially market it as a 5MP camera, in their camera settings , it is shown that they can take up to 8MP quality pictures . Additionally , it also comes with a face detection , auto focus and LED flash features. . It supports video recording , MP4/3GP/AVI/MPEG video format as well as MP3/MIDI/AMR/WAV/AAC audio format.



As far as their connectivity goes , it supports WCDMA 900/2,100MHz radios , Wi-Fi , and Bluetooth .

Now ,despite all the good stuffs that I have mentioned above , BP2 is not without imperfection . For one thing , its resolution pales in comparison of most smartphones with 4in display .If you just put it side by side with let’s say Samsung S plus , the difference is prominent .Next , its battery life is quite short . In my personal experience , with just LINE messenger app and wi-fi running , it lasted me for just 2 hours or less . Even without any application that requires Internet connection , a fully charged battery lasted only 4 hours by just playing around with the applications . Of course , I could be wrong as I haven’t fully explored the applications and ways to save battery life , but as it is , without any tinkering or modification being done , its battery life is satisfactory at best .

Also , its GPS seems to be abit lacking in finding locations efficiently . With all the settings ticked ( including utilizing Google's location service , GPS satellites , using assisted GPS and Location & Google Search ) , it still fail to detect my location even after 30 minutes .
What a shame . I hope the developers will be doing something about this .  

Conclusion
All in all , Ninetology Black Pearl 2 i940 is a great phone considering its value of money . ( Seriously , RM 299 for a 4in display smartphone thats runs on a 1Ghz dual core processor with the latest Android ? Where else can you get such a deal ? )

Pros
-       Affordable price tag
-       Great Value of money ( even without the rebates, RM599 is still a good price for its features )
-       Feature packed
-       Runs the latest Android
-       Handles multi-tasking smoothly
Cons
-       Short Battery Life
-       Mediocre resolution
-       GPS seems to be taking forever to find my location

I got my Black Pearl 2 at Lot A23-24, Ground Floor ( MTECH ) in Prangin Mall , Penang island . The RRP for this phone is RM 599 , however with manufacturer’s RM 100 rebate and also the RM 200 rebate from the government ( Apply at skmm.gov.my , print the receipt and show it to certified dealer to get the rebate ) . Furthermore , if you buy it now , you will be entitled to receive a complementary Digi Smart Plan prepaid sim card worth RM 25 ( bundled together with the phone , the plan have 300 MB free internet , minutes of free voice call and free mms ) . Thanks to that , I am now a proud owner of a Malaysian brand smartphone . I dare say that in the entire campus , only a few have smartphones made by this local company .
sample of pics taken using BP2 's camera. 

Second picture taken under 8MP setting. 

The sad thing is , our local brands have always been stereotypically referred to as the more inferior products , as opposed to the more overpriced , yet offers much or less the same functionalities products sold by the more “branded” foreign companies . It is true that some of the products sold by local companies are slightly defective and inferior , however , just because of these few bad apples , we shouldn’t stereotype the rest and avoid them . I would urge you all , fellow Malaysians especially , to give this brand a try , and even if it doesn’t work out in the end ( touch woo ) , hey it’s just RM 299 . If you can afford to spend thousands of ringgits on a perfectly overpriced foreign brand , I am sure spending an extra RM 299 to get a new smartphone won’t hurt right ?

* Note that this message is intended for those people who are wealthy enough to spend a lot on overpriced foreign brands , and never tried a local product before , yet scorns those people who can only afford these affordable local brand . Personally , I think RM 299 is quite a big sum already , but it is a good value of money and I definitely needed a smartphone so I bought it ! :D *


That's all for now , will update if there's any other relevant information ! Thanks for reading :)


*UPDATE*
I went to the their service center in 4th Floor, Low Yat Plaza and updated my firmware to version 16 . Now, the Talk Time is improved to around 17 hours , which is roughly equivalent to that of an average smartphone . So far,  I am quite satisfied with its battery performance . Note that if you are interested in having a better performance , you can actually root it and personally customize the cpu processing speed and etc ( deleting useless system apps ) . I will post about how to root it in the next post . Stay Tuned ! :

Their service center 

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

For normal use, such as only SMSing, I wonder how many hour the battery will last? Would like to know your feedback.

Please share more about this smartphone. Tips or things that user should know. &..

Very Nice Review, Not Just 'Decent Review' as Ninetology Malaysia wrote on their facebook wall. Very detail, attractive and Informative. Thank You.




Anonymous said...

my i know,how about sd card? that mean how to move all apps in storage phone to sd card?

KEN_G said...

The price is 299 not 200

KEN_G said...

the price is RM299 after 100+200 rebate not RM200

paskal said...

Bad battery life is caused by static core frequency. Normally an android device will increase/decrease CPU speed depending on usage. But Black Pearl 2 lacks that function. It seems CPU speed maintain at 1000MHz even in sleep mode. Ninetology developer really need to do something about this (rewrite the kernel).

Anonymous said...

''Bad battery life is caused by static core frequency. Normally an android device will increase/decrease CPU speed depending on usage. But Black Pearl 2 lacks that function. It seems CPU speed maintain at 1000MHz even in sleep mode. Ninetology developer really need to do something about this (rewrite the kernel). '' Should I wait for next improved version of Black Pearl 2 or buy now? :( I kinda worry about the battery, I often outstation, which limits me to recharge the smartphone often ? :( They should really fix this a.s.a.p :(

Faizal Azman said...

Hello, im just curious about the goverment rm200 rebate..There's a story that we would have to subscribe internet plan with Digi,celcom or Maxis to be eligible for the rebate..is this true?

=ʑɛɳ9night= said...

Hey there all , thanks for your feedback :D They are very much appreciated .

Anonymous 1 : For normal use such as only SMSing , it depends on how frequent your smsing is . For me , after installing some battery saving application , BP2 is able to last roughly 3 hours + , with constant checking message and calling that is :D

Anonymous 2 : I have installed a 8gb sd card and yes you can move ur apps to sd cards :) Android have default functions to do so . Alternately , you can download application such as App 2 SD ( available in Google Play ).

KEN_G : Yes , it was a mistake on my side . Thanks for the notice ! :D

paskal and anonymous 3 : yea they should really fix it then :(

Faizal : Yes it's true . Being the "big boys " they thought they can bully us the consumers by tricking us to sign their data plans . Luckily , there are still other dealers such as Clickster , umobile and tunetalk available , so if you want to buy a BP2 without a data plan , I would suggest you get it from them :)

paskal said...

@Faizal : you have 7 option to choose from. if you dont mind paying bills, then you can go buy from digi/maxis/celcom (but i dont think they got selling Black Pearl 2). Or you can get it from dealers that was listed on clixster.net, which selling Black Pearl 2 and other Ninetology's phone WITH Digi Prepaid Internet. However, since these phones got 2 sim slot, one of the slot already got Digi SIMcard and you cannot take it out as it'll void the warranty.

Kaoshi said...

Dear =ʑɛɳ9night=,

Recently, Ninetology had announced that they somehow have the solution to the battery issue. Can you give review on the battery issue once you had your BP2 upgraded?

Thanks in advance.

=ʑɛɳ9night= said...

kaoshi : Regarding the battery issue ,since one of the comments mention about the bad battery life is caused by bad cpu management . Actually , if u root the device , u can install apps to tweak the cpu speed. I am doing that right now. am actually quite bz now but will post updates about the battery life probably in a few days . thx for the comments ppl :)

Unknown said...

Hi... I just become a Black pearl 2 user and also new to android.
I wonder that how can i sync my contact, calendar from my outlook to bp2??
(previously use BBerry)

EricG said...

This isn't exactly "Buatan Malaysia" or local made. It's s rebrand of the Fly Mobile IQ442.

=ʑɛɳ9night= said...

Unknown : Hey , I am sorry as I don't usually use syncing . Perhaps you may try ask other people . As far as my knowledge is concerned however , you can auto sync everything using google calender . Perhaps you can try switching ? :D

EricG : Yup , apparently it is . Oh well , they have to start somewhere right? At the very least , they deserve the credit of making it affordable .

Mandy Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy Goh said...

hi, i buy this phone retail price RM 599 rebate RM 200 is RM 399,You said this phone after rebate is RM 299 but the phone shop rebate RM200 only,their said no rebate RM100 again .May i know can diskaun RM 100 again?

=ʑɛɳ9night= said...

Mandy : hey mandy , erm the RM200 rebate from government is confirmed sure have rebate , but the RM 100 which is supposedly manufacturer's rebate , is supposed to be available in every dealer . Perhaps the dealer are not informed of it or maybe they choose to ignore it to gain extra profits . https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=472479342812285&set=a.410995828960637.92925.408766549183565&type=1&relevant_count=1 Do take a look at this picture here provided by the official Ninetology Malaysia FB page for more information .

:D

dabeliu_y said...

Bro, if you are buying the case, can you tell me where can you get the case. It is hard to find the case of Ninetology.

dabeliu_y said...

Bro, if you are buying the case, can you tell me where can you get the case. It is hard to find the case of Ninetology.

Anonymous said...

Fly Miracle IQ442 Power management
- Standby time: 16 days 16 hours
- Talk time: 7 hours
- Li-Ion battery 1600 mAh
- Additional battery capacity: 1600 mAh

I wish new firmware able to reach this standby time, close or perhaps even more longer. Someone can give new info for the battery consumption? thanks :D

source: http://mob.org/phone/fly/fly_miracle_iq442.html

Mandy Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy Goh said...

=ʑɛɳ9night= : hey, i got show this website to the phone shop but they said they no under ninetology company so can't diskaun this supposedly manufacturer's rebate RM 100.
How i can doing now? because their already submit my document to the government so i can't choice buy with other dealer then they don't want rebate to me.

jeff said...

@dabeliu_y..
I have bought the case where I bought my BP2..

Syawal kudin said...

Where is it? KL area? Price?

Muhammad Izzuddin Kamal said...

Did i need to pay for upgrading firmware?

Muhammad Izzuddin Kamal said...

Did i need to pay for upgrading firmware?

Anonymous said...

Hi..where to get this with skmm in kl??

=ʑɛɳ9night= said...

Muhammad Izzuddin Kamal : No you don't have to pay to get the firmware :)
Mandy Goh : Perhaps what you can do is print out the facebook picture by Ninetology showing that they DO offer rm 100 rebate and show it to the dealers. If they still refuse to give you the offer , I guess you will have to go to other dealers :)

The rest who asks about where to find it in KL , the answer is , every shop / dealers who are listed in the telcos ( Digi, Maxis , Umobile ,etc ) website :)

Anonymous said...

how long u take for charging? coz my my fren took almost 6 to 7 hours to fully charge.is there any way to increase the charging speed?

frantiqueene said...

Hye can I ask if you know if this BP2 can fit in any flip cover case or wallet case?

kio said...

just upgrade the phone to the lates version.. n the battery prob will b solved...

Anonymous said...

How? And what is the latest version?

Anonymous said...

CSL Mi501, CSL Mi450, CSL Mi406 and Ninetology Insight also very nice.....

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kJ said...

hi, i just bought my black pearl 2,my question, do they suppose to come with memory card, cause i just realise i didn't have one..

Anonymous said...

can i know how to setting the APN mobile network for BP2.... i'm using maxis and tune talk..... need help.. plez... some one... i cound not using the mms and intrnt for mxs.... ^_^

Ziera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ziera said...

Hai...i need your help a bit here. I just bought my BP2 n a starter pack of Digi smart plan. have received Digi message that i've been granted with 300MB internet and other stuff. My problem is that I cant connect to internet although I have already switch on my data connection. How do I fix this?

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alex lex said...

I just bought bp2.. and it awesome!! The best malaysian phone for now..

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Anonymous said...

How i want to move apps to sd card not phone storage and my sd card at phone setting not turn to green colour and remain grey..but still can read this card....How??Please Help???

Anonymous said...

i just bought a smartphone same as u..how does we set a photo to the contact???

Anonymous said...

I'm a Nigerian, studyin' in Kuching, and saw the phone with my friend [a nigerian] didn't even know it's a local brand till I read your blog, but thanks for the review and I'm definitely gonna buy it [my first Android phone] :D

Anonymous said...

Just bought this phone. So far it's running smooth. I highly recommend for those who want an android phone with affordable price. ^.^

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#ciksuzlin said...

How much it cost to upgrade?

kompy said...

Hi there. I have been using Black Pearl 2 since last 2 months. Recently I started getting this error :
process.android..com has stopped responding
Then Phone hangs and I have to restart. Can you please suggest me any good solution? I really dont want to do factory reset... :(
Inam

kompy said...

Hi there. I have been using Black Pearl 2 since last 2 months. Recently I started getting this error :
process.android..com has stopped responding
Then Phone hangs and I have to restart. Can you please suggest me any good solution? I really dont want to do factory reset... :(
Inam

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Anonymous said...

hello admin...
i wanna ask why my BP2 music app cant play the all the mp3 file that i put in???
can u guide me please, since im new to android...

Dash Aris said...

Is worth as it's price :)

Unknown said...

Hi,Can anyone advice how to upgrade firmware for battery issue.thx

Anonymous said...

my phone got the R sign at the network signal. anyone know how to disable it. i'm using celcom

Anonymous said...

I suggest you to call digi costumer centre..

Anonymous said...

Probably your data connection...

Droid Indonesia said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

Ridz said...

Can you help me please...
my bp2 cannot save any apps , photos, or another files more than 2GB in memory card...

I used 8GB memory card but if i reach 2GB and more the memory card will be like 157GB in used... it was awkward because where that GB come from...

What should I do? Can I used the warranty or is there another option?
If you know something can u help me.

Anonymous said...

Hi wanna enquiry where can I get phone cases.. If there a brand tat similar to this phone that I can use tat cases

Anonymous said...

Hi how to bluethooth songs with this phone ?

= Nuffnang =