The Google IDEOS U8150 Android Phone: My Review

As I promised, here is a long review of the Google IDEOS U8150 Android Phone. (a mouthful huh!?).

  1. Introduction

The first time I heard about the phone was around the same time I heard about a new operating system that would rival the likes of iOS and Symbian OS. I was still very green about smart phones and at the time I was using a Nokia 7230 (which runs on the S40 version of Symbian, I think). Jeez I sound so techie right now gatho! Anyway, I got excited even more when they said it would be the cheapest android enabled phone running the latest version of AndroidOS (i.e. v2.2 Froyo). They said it would cost just about $100 which would easily translate to like Kes.8,500 and true to their word, when it finally landed on Kenyan shelves, i.e. the Safaricom shops, it was that exact price. I got mine just about the time it was launched in the market. That was late January this year.

  1. The Operating System: Android

As I’ve said above, I have very little knowledge about different OS’s and therefore this is just my view of the one I’ve been interacting with, Android. I like it! The one thing that I really love is the multitasking abilities. It just does it so swiftly I loved it to the end when I first began interacting with it. The Android OS has a grey and green finish to it. They’re the main colours for Android. There are five homescreens on the phone that can be accessed by sliding on either side. These screens are also where one puts the most accessed widgets, shortcuts and folders as one wishes.

  1. Internet Connectivity

There is no doubt that most buyers of this phone are heavy internet users. The IDEOS has 3G connectivity, EDGE and GPRS plus Wi-Fi. That’s more than enough (although users of 3.5G may feel left out). Personally I use the EDGE connectivity more than the 3G since 3G uses more battery than EDGE. Does that mean that its slower? Well yea but EDGE is still pretty fast for me and since its a 2G network that means I have less chances of losing network (the 3G reach is far less than the 2G). I’ve also used the Wi-Fi and since its fast enough, it basically goes with the speed of the provider.

The browser is great and you can download opera mini from the market for better browsing. To me its comparable. Both can work.

An interesting aspect of the IDEOS is the tethering/hotspot feature. You can turn your phone into a hotspot or into a modem in an instant! Just make sure you buy enough bundles. Ive tried it and fell in love with the speeds! Wah! Unfortunately safaricom is too expensive and I tried and tried but failed to do it with an orange line.

  1. Applications

Its true that there are thousands of free applications on the Android Market. The android market comes pre-installed, together with other apps such as Facebook for Android, Twitter for Android, Gmail, Google Maps, etc. Which ones do I use most? I’d say the above plus twicca, calendar, whatsapp, foursquare and daily money. I have others installed but I don’t use them much. If you have too much apps open and/or downloaded they tend to slow down the OS. Much like a computer.

  1. Social Media

I like the facebook and twitter apps for android. I do think they spoilt the twitter for android after the last update since nowadays it just behaves funny hence pushing me to use twicca rather than tw for droid. The facebook app works just fine for me though sometimes I have to get online to do some facebook stuff. Like accessing pages and so forth.

I like the fact that foursquare for android is easy to use and is geo-tagged for better location sensing and adding new locations (such as the one I added recently).

  1. Messaging and Calling

Nowadays its easy to forget that one of the main reasons why you have a phone is to call, receive calls, send and receive text messages (and m-pesa, zap, orange money, yu cash); i.e. the usual stuff. These are seamless. I like the threaded message view since its easy to see the flow on conversations and you can have as many messages saved under one contact. My limit is 200.

Another thing I should mention is that the IDEOS is a touch screen phone. A capacitive touch screen. Is there a difference between the capacitive and the resistive? YES! Capacitive is better, way better than resistive. I didn’t fully understand the jargon on that link but through experience, I know that resistive touch screens are those that require you to tap using the nail or a ‘pen’ while capacitive requires thumb touch and does not respond to taps (like using your nail or a pen). I find this better since there is less chance for the screen being touched by mistake.. from my experience. Plus I find typing using a capacitive screen much much easier than a resistive especially when I’ve cut my nails short or need to type fast!

Calling is pretty simple too since the phone has a call and end-call button with an trackpad at the centre for when you need to scroll without using the screen.

  1. Sync Features

Since the phone is a google phone, one advantage (or disadvantage) is that one must have a google account to be able to use the phone. It uses your google account to sync all contacts by number and email and if this is done well then the same contacts you have on gmail are the same ones on your phone. Pretty cool if you ask me! You can also sync your facebook account with existing contacts and even be able to retrieve numbers of your friends on facebook that you do not necessarily have on your phone. One disadvantage is that new numbers are saved on the phone (and your gmail ac) and thus if you ever change the phone you don’t have these contacts on your sim card. The upside of that is that if ever you lose your phone (plus sim) the contacts are saved on your google ac. In addition to the facebook sync is where after its synced the contacts, then your friends’ profile picture become the ones on your phone book. eg. When someone who is your bud on fb calls you you see their number and their prof pic! The same can be done with your twitter account. I’ve had a few setbacks with that where the phone syncs a contact on my phone with another on twitter where they share the same name but are different persons! I had to delete the contact and save it again with a slight change to the name. One other downside is that I haven’t figured out how to copy contacts to my sim card. Someone please let me know if they know how to.

  1. Battery Use

This is pretty simple. Using 3G eats away on your battery. Using wifi, the same. Leaving your bluetooth on, the same. Leaving the auto sync on, the same. The cool stuff cannot be done without eating away on battery charge. Again, considering my slightly heavy use, I have to charge the phone everyday otherwise if I don’t it wont last a whole two days. If you must use 3G all the time then consider carrying your charger around!

  1. Shape, size, physical features

The IDEOS is a cute phone. The front areas are black with a glassy finish. The screen is 2.8inches and as mentioned above, has an trackpad and the two usual call buttons. On the screen are four distinct buttons: the back button, quick menu button, home button and the search button. On the home screen are the small ‘dots’ for switching screens, two on each side (making them 5 screens), the call menu button, the main menu (apps) button and the browser button. The top grey bar is the notifications bar where notifications land (messages, missed calls, twitter/fb/4sq etc) most of the times you will find yourself ‘pulling down’ that bar. It Is also where the date, time, battery, network, bt, wifi indicators are.

It has volume keys (that can be used for scrolling) on the left side, the power button on the top and the 3.5mm jack hole (I think) on the top too. The cover is the one that comes in different colours. Mine is a blue one. There is yellow, pink and black too.

  1. Multimedia

Im not a big fan of using my phone for music and others but I do save songs on my phone. I have a 2gb card on my hindiot and it serves me well. I rarely use radio but it works okay. The main reason why I don’t listen to music on the phone often is because of battery use! However, it doesnt mean that its not great. The sound quality is really good but can be better. I don’t think the phone was meant to be really good on this. Point to note though is that the youtube app is good for watching videos on youtube.

The camera is a 3.15mp and is fine. Ive taken good pics with it so I cant complain. The one thing to focus on when taking pics is not to shake and good lighting.

Sample pic (click on image to view full)

You can also share these items with bluetooth and with the usb cable which by the way is a standard micro usb.

Final Words

I love the phone. And ive said the good things about it. Let me say the bad things now. Nowadays its slower. I have no clue why but it gets to points where its so slow that I feel like smashing it on the wall or something. Mind you its not like I have any open apps that are running and making it slow or anything, it just decides to PMS on me! Nkt! Another thing is that battery use. So frustrating.

Check out the specifications on GSMArena. Also, please help improve this review by adding your own experiences on the comments section. Asante!

On the good side, its a phone that I will stick to till I can afford a Samsung android phone. I hear they’re stronger and more stable.

*Over & Out*

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48 Responses to “The Google IDEOS U8150 Android Phone: My Review”

  1. D Says:

    Good stuff. am waiting for the X3 and X5 to hit thre market. oh and the S7 tablet from Huawei.

    Samsung handsets are very nice. i got a try on a Galaxy S – the HD screen renders video clips very well. the HDMI port can send a signal to a TV screen. how cool is that!

    cheers

    D

    • Joliea Says:

      @D,

      Thanks for commenting! First time I presume? I *so want that phone but the price wah! Siwesmek!

  2. savvykenya Says:

    We don’t have any 3.5G network anyway, so no one is left out. I use the 3G network coz I’m always next to my comp anyway and can charge it any time!

    Good review.

    • Joliea Says:

      @savvy,

      Thanks. There are phones using 3.5G via Safaricom my dear. The ones I have seen are the Nokias.

  3. The Greatrnk Says:

    Everything about the phone is great, apart from three things:
    1. Everyone, including savvy kenya in her review, agrees that the battery use is wanting.
    2. The music player is pathetic. The windows phones using windows media player beat it in this area 10-0.
    3. The camera is definitely not 3.15MP, again as noted by Savvy.

    My solution: If you can have access to a computer, then carry the cable all the time so that you can charge it.
    Use something else for the music like an ipod or mp3 player.
    Use a real camera for photos.

    • Joliea Says:

      @greatrnk,

      Yea you’re right. On the photo quality, I don’t mind it considering a) how expensive cameras are and b) one gadget is enough for all.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. flash drive recovery Says:

    I think android phones are awesome but things get frustrating with its slower speed of accessing apps.

  5. Stephen Biko Says:

    Hey,
    nice review. First and foremost does this phone work with other networks? I suspect that the likes of Airtel do not have settings for internet for the phone.

    Otherwise great job. I hope you continue doing other reviews.

    • Joliea Says:

      @SteveBiko, thanks for commenting. I did try using the Ideos with my orange line but it didn’t work so I guess no. I am yet to confirm that though.

      • Ong'anya Says:

        I am using Airtel connection with my Ideos, so I am sure it works.

  6. Karthik Says:

    >>one must have a google account to be able to use the phone
    No you can skip this. Of course then you cannot use android market and other things.

    I use this phone in Germany without any data plans – mainly to call .-)

    • Joliea Says:

      @Karthik, thanks for your comment. I haven’t tried using the phone without a google account but I hope its possible as you say.

  7. jho Says:

    which is better, IDEOS or Samsung Corby 2 ?? i mean in terms of durability,easy use,and net speed?? thanx

    • Joliea Says:

      @jho, I don’t know of the Samsung Corby 2 but I know that the Corbys don’t have EDGE and 3G so Ideos is better. Also, the Ideos is a smartphone so features such as multitasking exist whereas the Corbys don’t have that. On ease to use, I know of a Corby that’s a touch screen but is a resistive and I mentioned that capacitive touch screens are much much better than resistive ones.

  8. mackel9 Says:

    If only I didn’t have fat fingers which type qwe when I only want w Ideos would have been the phone for me… good review Joliea

    • Joliea Says:

      @mackel9, thanks!!! Oh, and with that keypad, I promise you such typos will reduce fast. I type pretty fast and usually w/o rotating the screen for a larger keypad!

  9. Zein Velji Says:

    Is the Ideos locked to Safaricom? I don’t want to spend all that cash then have to move from Airtel to Safaricom

    • Joliea Says:

      @zein, Im not sure but I don’t think so. You could ask @SafaricomCare on twitter.

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  11. mwixelligent Says:

    Super review!
    Got one this week and been wondering who the battery’s mother is? 😉
    Love the touch capabilities and youtube definitely rocks but kills your airtime dead.
    Pics, yeah not the 3.15MP but can be tweaked to suit one…
    Getting some apps off market is bothersome as they want all access which is another bummer
    but outta 10, it’s a 7 for me and this coming from a Nokia diehard!

    • Joliea Says:

      @mwixelligent, Thanks! Yea the battery is really pathetic. I am told that with an upgrade to 2.3 it improves but there are also rumours of instability. Getting apps off the market should be a breeze as long as you enable automatic background updates. For airtime, I suggest you subscribe to a 10MB or 25MB data bundle. Its cheaper. Oh, and using 2G also helps.

  12. ipad 2 review Says:

    Great review! You actually overviewed some curious news in your post. I came across it by using Yahoo and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the RSS feed, it’s very great 🙂

  13. kenydo mathaiya Says:

    Most android phones install applications on the RAM i think. hence it being slow after a while. There’s an application in the android market that helps you back up applications in your Micro SD

    • Joliea Says:

      @kenydo, Thanks for commenting. So does that help speed up the processor?

      • kenydo mathaiya Says:

        Hi, when you install many applications they will use up most of your RAM and you will be forced to delete some of the applications but theres an application in the Android market called ADAO FILE MANAGER that will create a folder called backup in your SD. You can use the application to back up applications (mostly the ones you don’t use often, but feel that they are important). But the tricky bit is that if you want to use the backed up applications you’ll go to the backup folder in your SD n run the setup again and after you are through delete it to free space in your RAM.

  14. jobe Says:

    Good review. Ideos is one of the best phones to toy around with to discover the power of android. If you have the superuser app then consider your phone a p.c. you have to root it first Though. Now i can take screenshots, i have Skype which refused to install before and. Changed my rom to 2.3.4. You can also download an app called iclone via web to make your phone have an iphoneUI

  15. Paul Says:

    While the size of the phone is nice, it has drawbacks – it’s really difficult to type on the u8150, especially when it’s held vertically. I’m forever hitting the wrong keys.

    Also, it’s not a particularly fast phone – I’m really starting to notice this now, as I get more applications installed on it.

    Good review, though.

    • Joliea Says:

      @Paul,

      Thanks for commenting. I agree that it gets slower. I did a factory reset and that speeded things up but also meant everything was deleted! On the size, I guess one just needs to get used to it.

  16. Gamil Says:

    I have a problem with my ideos, when the phone is not in use, it lights up on and off for 5 times in intervals of about 6 seconds and then stops for about a hour, then it repeats the flashing. What could be wrong ?

  17. Danilo Felipe Rojas Felicio Says:

    primeira vez que tenho um aparelho da ideos sou de recife e meu pai mandou para min da angola ! assim que ligo o aparelho ele esta pedindo o ( pin para desbloqueio de rede do cartão sim) , como fasso para descobri esse pim ?

    • Joliea Says:

      Oh, eu sinto muito Eu não sei como desbloquear a rede questão sim. Aqui no Quênia, eles não foram bloqueados a uma rede específica. Tente googling ao redor.

  18. The Google IDEOS U8150 Android Phone: My Review | Barbra's World Says:

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  19. ideos Says:

    ooo. I LOVE THIS PHONE

  20. muwonge hassan Says:

    ineed the apn ,proxy for my ideos phone please

    • Joliea Says:

      @muwonge, you can search the internet for these

  21. peps Says:

    Where was that pic taken?? i have to go there!! — as long as its not a private residence.

    • Joliea Says:

      it was sopa lodge naivasha 🙂

  22. Wambui Says:

    Any luck with transferring contacts to sim card?

    • Joliea Says:

      @wambui, you should be able to transfer. just go to contacts, click the menu button and look for “import/export”

  23. WILLY Says:

    I LIKE IT

    • Joliea Says:

      Thanks willy!

  24. Aloyce boi Says:

    i love this phone but one thing need to know,can i retrieve the deleted messages.

    • Joliea Says:

      @aloyce, nope. unless you go to data recovery gurus.

  25. george Says:

    my phone pops a message the the the process com.adroid.phone has stopped unexpectedly.please try again
    what should i do

    • Joliea Says:

      @george, i stopped using the ideos but with many android phones, try doing a restore. it cleans up the phone well.

  26. ife .o.lawrence Says:

    pls can somone tell me wer i can get the calibrator of this phone

  27. becki Says:

    Hi There, i can’t log out from my gmail, i need help on that

  28. nand kishore Says:

    how to send songs by bluetooth


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