Saturday, September 3, 2011

G11i (Dual SIM)


As I already mentioned on my previous post, MediaTek has released a new platform and the first MT65x3 based smartphones are now appearing. This review will focus on the G11i, a clone of HTC Incredible S, featuring the new MT6513 chipset.



Name:MediaTek MT6513
CPU:650 MHz ARM11™
GPU:PowerVR™ SGX 531
Instruction set:ARMv6

Software environment

Embedded:OS: Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread)


(width x height x depth):
120 x 64 x 11.7 millimetres
Weigth:140 grams


Capacity: 1450 mAh


RAM:capacity:512 MB
ROM-capacity:512 MB
Expansion slot:microSD memory card, supporting up to 32 GB

Network support

Primary phone:GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
Secondary phone:GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
Data links:GPRS, EDGE


Type:Sharp LCD capacitive touchscreen
Size:4.0 inches, WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels)


Main (rear):8 megapixels (interpolated) with autofocus and dual LED flash
Secondary (front):1.3 megapixels


Bluetooth (802.15):Bluetooth 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate
Wireless LAN / Wi-Fi (802.11):  IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
USB:USB 2.0 Client, Hi-Speed (480 Mbit/s)
USB Series Micro-B (Micro-USB) connector

Satellite navigation

Built-in GPS module:MT6620 chipset
GPS antenna:Internal
Complementary GPS services:  A-GPS (Assisted GPS), MediaTek EPO (Extended Prediction Orbit)

Additional features

Gravity, Proximity and Light sensors
Analog Radio:FM radio (87.5-108 MHz) with RDS radio receiver

Design and construction

G11i is a very well built copy of Incredible S, which is distinctive due to its contoured and unmistakable rear patterned design. Since its capacitive touch buttons aren't printed on, we are presented with a completely clean looking surface.

Constructed out of black plastic, its soft touch feel all around enables it to better repel dirt, while providing that adequate firm grip as we hold it.

Thanks to the front-facing 1.3-megapixel above its display, we’re given the opportunity of video calling and shooting self-portraits more easily.

The narrow looking volume rocker is positioned on the left edge of the phone, but despite its flushed appearance, it actually exhibits a reasonable tactile response. Also, the micro-USB port is located on the same side as well for charging and data connection. Meanwhile, the top edge plays host to both the 3.5mm headset jack and dedicated power button – the latter of which is recessed, but still provides a moderate tactile feel when pressed down.

On the back side, we find the 8 megapixels autofocus camera with dual-LED flash and speaker grill located towards the top edge of the handset.

Placed squarely in the middle of the bottom edge, there is a small notch that allows you to easily yank off the rear cover – thus giving you access to the SIM card slots, battery and microSD card slot.

The two SIM slots can only be accessed after removing the battery. As far as it concerns to the microSD slot, it's easily accessible (while rear cover is removed) and as it can be seen, the memory card is hot-swappable.

Display quality and touch-screen

As well as with the previous phones that I've reviewed, G11i also brings a Sharp LCD screen, so quality is preety much the same. 

It features a capacitive display with a WVGA (800x480) resolution. The display produces some rich looking colors that retain their luster since it offers some great viewing angles. During my tests, I had zero problems in trying to view it in outdoor conditions with the glaring sun present.

At first, some might be surprised to find a clean looking front surface, but turning on its display, its capacitive touch buttons come to life. Interestingly enough, they don't appear to be painted on, but rather, they seem to be nothing more than LEDs underneath there.


From the moment G11i is turned on, we're presented with the new Gingerbread interface. One of the features that can be noticed from the start is the new place for shortcuts on the notification panel, giving the user a fast access for brightness and display timeout setting, enabling or disabling auto rotation, Wi-Fi, BT, GPS and data connection, as well as alternating between sound profiles.

And just when I thought that dual SIM integration on HD9 was good and couldn't get any better, that's when I got amazed with the refreshed interface. In call history screen, the list of missed / received / made calls can now be checked with the indication of the name of the SIM. In addition, you can filter calls by SIM.

Apart from the new dialer interface, it also brings a smart dialing feature which works wonderfully, enabling you to numerically enter a name, even if it's incomplete (i.e. 8632 for Vodafone, as seen on the picture) and  displaying all matches instantly. With this new dialer, it doesn't exist anymore the two call buttons to choose which SIM should establish the call. Instead, the green call button can immediately start the call when set to a certain SIM card or open a pop up which let's you choose it every time.

It's hard not to accept that this new user interface was definitely thoroughly developed.

Many new options can now be set under the dual SIM management menu. The user can edit the name of each SIM and also set the associated background color that will appear in call log as well as in the notification bar (behind the network strength bars).

Other than that, also in the same menu, the user has the possibility to set a default card to establish all outgoing calls or set it to always ask, thus enabling the pop up that can be seen some images above showing the dialer (with the options of which SIM card should initiate the call). The same thing can be set for messaging and data connection purposes.

Messaging application was updated as well and conversations are now displayed inside color balloons.

Colors have been now added to the icons present in the settings menu, making user experience more eye-appealing. The phone sports all the normal sensors, such as proximity, light and gravity.

It also natively supports portable Wi-Fi hotspot feature, letting the user share data connection over a wireless network.

Just like on previous MT6516 based smartphones, in the new MT65x3 platform, the feature to schedule power on / off is still present. Again, this feature must be evidenced because it can't be found in many smartphones.

Given that G11i is a clone, people might be worried that not all features work, but that is not true. The user can achieve the full Android user experience. It features full Android Market access, provided by the latest version of the application.

The latest version of Google Maps is installed as well.

Other than that, Skype (version works like it is supposed to and there's already modified version of the Adobe Flash Player application working on ARMv6 devices.

In terms of GSM reception, G11i performs greatly and beats any other clones. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to test a call in a place where I normally couldn't establish it, while using my HD9. Sound quality is clear enough and microphone quality seems to be pretty decent because people tell me that they can hear me perfectly.

Photos and videos

Camera interface provides enough manual controls, such as the ability to modify exposure, contrast, saturation, to enable the user to perfectly capture specific shots in all of their glory. And finally, its vast mix of effects will entertain just about anyone who wants to add a sprinkling of quirkiness or fun to their shots.

When switched to video recording mode, it can be noticed that effects can be applied as well. The maximum video quality is 480p.

MT6513 chipset and benchmarks

MT6513 chipset features a 650 MHz ARM11 processor and a PowerVR SGX531 graphical processor, thus providing support for advanced 3D graphics.

Although I'm not a big fan of benchmarking applications, I just decided to do some benchmarks in order to show the huge differences of G11i when compared to HD9 (MT6513 versus MT6516).

 G11i benchmark scores

HD9 benchmark scores

HD9 wasn't even able to run all the 3D rendering tests, while G11i behaved pretty well. With the same microSD memory card (class 10), the full write speeds can only be reached with G11i.

It's obvious that the comparison between MT6513 and the old MT6516 is not that fair, but in order to see how great the MT6513 performance is, here you have also the benchmark results of HD958 (which is based on MSM7227 chipset):

HD958 benchmark scores

I wasn't expecting to see such a difference between G11i and HD958, but the fact is that there are notorious differences between MT6513 and MSM7227. Not much in terms of CPU (only 650 MHz against 600 MHz), but specially in terms of 3D graphics. The GPU integrated on MT65x3 - PowerVR™ SGX531 - completely outperforms the one used in MSM7227 - Adreno 200.

Video reviews

Here's a video review:

Final thoughts

This was definitely the successor of my HD9. It performs much better than I expected and is indeed a great phone. MediaTek did a good job with the release of the new MT65x3 platform... and, although a little bit late, it was really worth the wait. If people ask me, MT65x3 surely beats MSM7227, not even for the better CPU and GPU performances, but also for the beautiful dual SIM user interface.

  • Based on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Beautiful and renewed Dual SIM user interface
  • Lack of 3G support


  1. Nice review!
    Do you think the the beautiful dual SIM user interface wil be availible for HD958, also? I personally hope the new interface will come with Gingerbread.


  2. Well, it's hard to predict if HD958 will have the same interface, but I doubt it very much because this one found on G11i was developed by MediaTek. As you know HD958 is Qualcomm based.

  3. Bruno,
    Do you have a forum thread link already going with the work you done on the ROM for this phone? I just spoke to ella at and they said you were working on an updated ROM, that true? Can you provide the forum link?

  4. Yes, that is true, I was working on an updated ROM for G11i. At the moment, it was only for internal use, but I plan to release it soon and create a thread dedicated to G11i in the normal support forum:

  5. The new version of this smartphone, now called G11i Pro, has been released. It is based on MT6573 chipset and support 3G / WCDMA.

    You can get the new G11i Pro from ( and use my voucher code for discount, as well.

    The review will be published soon. Please keep posted!

  6. Hey Bruno, thanks for taking all the time and effort to review and custom ROM for these Chinese phones. Information on these has been very frustrating to come by.

    I have been trying to find a "perfect" active dual sim phone for months, but don't seem to have much luck. According to what I've read of your work, most of these do not support complete activity of both sim cards at a time, correct? Meaning for example, I'm on a call using one, and the other one will be off or inaccessible to people calling its number? Do they just get sent to voicemail with no ringing on my end? etc

    Are there dual sim phones that do support both being fully active at once?

    Thanks again for your time

  7. Dear Bruno (I´m also Bruno),

    I liked the etotalk site and your blog, but there is too much option.. hehehe some times this is not good to decide what to buy. :)

    The "Tops HD2 HD9 3G" ( has a new processor - MT6573 ARM11 650MHz+ARM9 400MHz - That is the same than the G11.

    I read some where in the etotalk website that the G11 software is a litte bit unstable. Is that correct?

    the g11 has a better design..

    they have the same fuction, similar cameras etc..,

    So G11 or Tops HD2 HD9?


    Bruno Lima

  8. Between G11i Pro or the new HD9, both based on MT6573, you just have to decide what you prefer in terms of design.

    All other aspects (stability, speed, user interface) should be equal.

  9. Great review! Was about to buy this phone, but size is also quite imoprtant to me so went for the lenovo A60.

    How did you change phone menu? Rom on lenovo has russian keys on phone keyboard. Maybe you could give some hints on making this a bit more portuguese... or at least fully English!

    Thanks! and keep up good work!


  10. For those who may have missed, I've published a new post with some comments about G11i Pro.