ePhone

OK, you are going to laugh at me by the end of this post. But that’s OK because I have been laughing at myself for some time now. Why? Because today I bought an ePhone. For those who don’t know, an ePhone is a cheap Chinese clone of Apple’s iPhone. The other day I was searching eBay for a car charger for my iPhone 3GS and noticed a listing of something called ePhone priced as low as 2,700 Rupees ($60). I use a BlackBerry 8830 along with my iPhone 3GS. My wife has an old iPhone 2G and I have lost track of where I kept my iPod. So an ePhone was the last thing I needed. But curiosity got the better of me and I went ahead and purchased it. I wanted to know what kind of an iPhone clone the Chinese could make for $60.

Here are some pictures. First lets get to the packaging.

Oops! But now that we are here, I’d like to mention that in my opinion, a box containing an exquisite pieces of electronic hardware is best served wrapped in newspaper. You simply cannot beat that. Anyways, here is the real product packaging.

I guess, as far as cloning is concerned this was the easy part. Here is what came in the box.

An ePhone, a charger with data cable, head set and two batteries. Yes, batteries. This thing just looks like an iPhone, but internally its quite a normal phone and its back panel can be slid open. Sliding out the back panel reveals its internals.

There are two SIM card slots. Like most cloned Chinese phones, this one is a dual SIM device and also has a slot for a data card. In the image above, the black thing sticking out of the top left of the phone is a stylus, which can be seen detached in the image below.

There is a very good reason for having a stylus. Although the ePhone comes with a touch screen, I prefer to call it a “press and rub” screen, because touching the screen yields nothing. You need to press the screen really hard. As far as swiping is concerned, that’s where the rubbing comes into play. So using an ePhone is quite similar to using an iPhone if you were angry with it and wanted to let it know – press and rub. And that’s where the stylus makes things easy. The nice thing about the stylus is that it is rectractable, which means that it can be extended to almost the length of a normal pen which makes it easy to hold.

The 260K color QVGA screen size is 3.2 inch (240×320 pixels) and the phone supposedly weighs 100 grams. It also comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera. But the best thing I like about the ePhone is that it does not have sharp edges like my iPhone 3GS. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😉

Needless to say, the build quality is pretty pedestrian. The back panel slides off pretty easily. In fact, a bit too easily. When shoving the charger jack into the phone you need to hold the body as well as a back panel tight, otherwise will end up sliding the panel out. I am not exactly sure what OS this thing is using. I wonder if its Android. There was no mention of it in the Settings > General > About.

Oh! I almost forgot. I can make and receive calls on it as well.

Now that the bulk of my curiosity has been satisfied, I am faced with a different problem. What do I do with this thing? I’m definitely not going to use it. I already have my hands full with an iPhone and a BlackBerry.

I know. I think I will sell it back on eBay. Who knows, I may actually end up making a profit. 😉

  • sdotson

    Next time just send me the $60 and I'll save you the trouble. 😉

  • Shyamalroy

    Forebodings of things to come – $60 ephone, $35 I(ndia) – Pad running Linux

    Yesterday I bought a patio umbrella for $17 made in China – the same thing cost $120 made in USA about 5 years ago.

    There is even a BMW killer Chinese car in Germany these days at half the price.

    Outsourcing was a short term vision – knowhow was exported at the same time.

  • I hear there's something called iPed. 😉

  • Daniel

    Did you check out the SciPhone i68? I'll price them them for you next time I am at the knock-off market

  • I believe there are a number of iPhone clones out there. I just bought the first one I saw, which they supposedly call ePhone. Interestingly the rear face on the phone has “Phone 3GS” or it and not “ePhone 3GS”

  • don't sell this and next time we're going to meet up, bring it and I'll buy it off you – but I need the newspaper wrapping too man..

    outstanding…

    al

  • Shyamalroy

    Al that would be kinda like buying fish and “chips”