If you’re following the Chinese low cost smartphone space, you may only think about phones based on Mediatek or possibly Spreadtrum SoCs, but Qualcomm is now entering the arena with its dual core Cortex A5 MSM8225 SoC, and Android smartphones based on the platform such as NEO NS Goddess are available for less than $100, and in this case just $87.
NEO NS Goddess specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Dual Core MSM8225 @ 1GHz with Andreno 203 GPU
- System Memory – 512MB RAM
- Storage – 512MB ROM + micro SD card slot (TBC)
- Display – 4.0″ 5-point capacitive touchscreen (800×480)
- Camera – 0.3MP front camera, 5.0MP back camera
- Connectivity – Wifi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS
- Network – 2G GSM 900/1800, 3G WCDMA 2100MHz (Dual SIM card)
- USB – 1x micro USB
- Audio – 1x earphone jack
- Sensor – G-sensor Support
- Battery – 1500mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery (up to 3 days)
- Dimensions – 124x64x11.6 mm
- Weight – 145g
This Android 4.0 (ICS) phone comes with the battery, a charger, a user’s manual, and a micro USB cable. The specifications are very similar to Cubot GT72 based on Mediatek MT6572 (dual core Cortex A7), but at least the “goddess” comes with 512MB RAM which should make it more usable. Screenshots seem to prove it supports Google Play, but unfortunately the 512MB flash will be very limiting. A micro SD card slot is not listed in the specs, but pictures seem to show an emplacement for micro SD cards, so it may help with storage.
If you’re interested in GPL source code for the processor, it does not seem available right now, and I’m not quite sure about Qualcomm’s GPL compliance history.
NEO NS Goddess is available for $86.99 on Lightake, or for about the same price or more from a few sellers on Aliexpress. If 512MB flash is too tight, there are also models with 4GB NAND Flash for about $100.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
46 Replies to “$87 NEO NS Goddess Dual Core Android Smartphone Powered by Qualcomm MSM8225”
Very similarly specced slightly cheaper model:
Looks like iPhone!
Except it’s MSM7225A (1x Cortex A5) with 4GB flash, running Android 2.3 on a 480×320 display, but you’re right the rest looks similar 🙂
Edit: Oups sorry, the page is a mess, they have both MSM7225A and MSM8225 in there…
I guess W655 (MSM7225A) costs $79, but W656 (MS8225) costs $108
Aliexpress ‘product descriptions’ strike again!:)
Looks like a few similar options with MTK6517A/6577 processors around this price now:
(some/all? without GPS/Bluetooth though)
I wonder how the MSM8225 compares with these? I think it’s Cortex A5 vs A7…
Here’s something that’s only 75$ and has 4GB of flash:
The offer gets even better as it has free SG post shipping included. From my experience SG post if very fast and reliable ( took 2 weeks at most whereas China Post can take even 1 month or more ).
I also actually have this K-Touch phone and can confirm it’s quite good. Battery drains pretty quickly though but GPS is fast to lock, very fast. The firmware is also decent but I don’t expect any updates.
One advantage I do see for the MTK6572 compared to low end Qualcomms is lower power usage due to 28 nm. Also performance is probably a bit better as it’s dual A7 vs. dual A5.
Thanks for the info (on phone, seller & CPUs!) For some reason that seller doesn’t like my location 🙁 I could get relatives to bring one. But that’d take a few months & no doubt everything will have changed again by then!
Try contacting them. There’s also other offers for the same phone, you should find a good one.
As an alternative there’s a more expensive quad core K-Touch , Qualcomm based too:
But just search for k-touch w760 on aliexpress and you should find it for about $80. It’s a a good phone IMO. Mine had to be rooted and I had to build a CWM recovery to install the play store and all that but that was the fun part.
Just search for K-Touch w760 on Aliexpress. I’m sure there’s got to be other sellers with good ratings that are selling this for a reasonable price and don’t have a problem with your country.
You could even try contacting the seller, maybe it’s just a mistake.
Oh and by the way the K-Touch U86 is also a pretty nice phone, quad core, Qualcomm based at about $114 with free shipping on Aliexpress.
Better and cheaper. Nice!
I can also confirm Singapore post seems faster than Hong Kong post for me. I’ve recently ordered a few times from dx.com, and they now ship from Singapore, and delivery is faster (2 weeks against 3 to 4 weeks).
“Mine had to be rooted and I had to build a CWM recovery to install the play store and all that but that was the fun part.”
Since I struggle quite a bit with Linux & find Android to be extra confusing, I’m not sure that’s for me! If you could point to explanations of how to do what you did though, more people would be able to get the most out of this phone, helping usher in the age of ‘smartphones for all’* 🙂
*Which I think already exists in China, but due to marketing & technical barriers like the ones you describe, is inhibited from spreading.
I should be able to write a tutorial on how I managed to root my K-Touch , then build CWM recovery and used that to install google apps ( including Google Play Store ). It’s been a while but I can still remember most of the stuff and how I got to finding the information needed.
Should I do it ? Are you interested in publishing it here ? ( provided it’s good and useful of course ).
A tutorial would be awesome, so I’d definitely publish it.
Another first for CNX-soft! 🙂
Nah… I’ve posted somebody’s tutorial at least once: http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/09/11/building-kernel-modules-for-allwinner-a10-devices-android/
But I don’t do it very often, because I don’t exactly receive tutorials everyday. People either post it on their own blog, or they don’t really have time for it.
Oh, I meant something more specific, like “How to get an $80 Chinese smartphone working like a $200*+ branded model (root, install Google Play**)’
**& maybe back it up along the way?
I see… I misunderstood your point.
Actually this type of information is usually available on XDA developers’ forums, but instructions may not always be straightforward to follow, as they may be spread over several pages of forum threads, so an easy to follow tutorial would still be great.
What I’m proposing here is indeed a specific tutorial for the K-Touch model in question but I also plan on making it a broad as possible. For example I will talk about a specific rooting method but you can find another one for your model and continue from there.
I’m thinking more along the lines of how to make a Chinese phone into a Google Phone with K-Touch W760 as our specific target. If you then choose to actually buy and use this very same mode it will be straightforward, if not you’ll have to dig a bit for how to root your phone and such but you can still follow the steps mentioned.
There’s tutorials all over the place on how to do stuff but I’ve failed to find one that takes you from A to B. One talks about rooting , another about CWM recovery, yet another about installing Google Apps and so on.
Going to try and see what I can come up with this weekend. I’d prefer it being posted here where more people can find it than on my blog or something. Besides I really appreciate what cnxsoft and other readers here have contributed so it feels right that I contribute something myself.
That would just be great. I’m looking forward to reading and publishing our review 🙂
Sure, I just need to see now, I’m tempted to order another K-Touch W760 for a friend so I might do the tutorial while rooting another phone. Since mine is already rooted I can’t fully replicated the steps and make sure they work.
Using Singapore Post shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks though. I’m counting on you to polish it up though and let’s see what comes out of it.
Or you could write it up, and test it on the friend’s phone when it arrives? Could start
a whole cottage industry of Shanzhai phone decrippling 🙂
Yes, as long as you can root and Android phone you can make it do anything you want. Just ordered another K-Touch W760 for $75. For this money and with Singapore Post shipping there’s no better offer.
I’m still hoping some nice MTK 6572 base models will come but until then this is the thing to have. MTK 6572 should have a little better battery life but then again about 50% of my phone’s power drain is the screen so maybe it won’t be that much better. Also I’m really afraid of the Mediatek slow GPS lock. The Qualcomm on the W760 is just amazing, I’ve never seen GPS locks so fast, even with no GSM signal at all.
I am also definitely interested in your guide. I am looking for a not-so-expensive android phone to replace my ZTE Blade and the W760 seems like a very good and very inexpensive choice. However there is little info on how to root it and add google play to it. What also somewhat scares me off is that there does not seem to be a cyanogenmod rom for it.
W760 for ~$70 with HK post (& apparently less country restrictions), but from a newish seller:
I will have a tutorial with all you need to do it before you receive the phone. It will be posted here once I get my new w760 which should arrive in about 2 weeks since I ordered it by Singapore Post.
Don’t worry too much, it can be done relatively easy. Rooting is done with a general ICS exploit:
Don’t expect any fancy ROMs or something like that though. I didn’t notice much interest in the phone and it’s reached its end of life so I’m not going to invest in too much for it. But it’s a good phone as it is, with the stock ROM, for $70 – $75.
Personally I’m waiting for a good MTK6572 phone which should have better battery life, at least in theory that is.
I’ve found that about 50% of the power used is by the W760 is for the screen so I’m not that sure a more power efficient SOC would make that much of a difference.
But what about the dreaded MTK GPS lock? 😉
There seems to be a pretty good list of MTK chipsets on wikipedia:
But MTK56572 isn’t there…
And are there others missing?
The GPS lock problems are the only think I’m really worried about with the MTK6572. Still I’m hoping it’s better than the previous Mediatek SOCs and I’ll probably find ways to speed it up.
The MTK6572 is on the wikipedia list now.
$95 shipped: Bambook S1 Dual Core* Android 4.1 4.3″ 1GB/8GB 960*540 GPS WIFI Bluetooth 0.3 +5.0MP Cams
* ST-Ericsson U8500 Dual Core ARMv7 1.0GHz; anyone know anything about this processor?
I just know ST-Ericsson joint venture broke apart (http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1280615), so it won’t be available for long.
Snowball, the development based on on ST-Ericsson U9500, is also phased out. http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/06/28/snowball-board-phased-out-and-offered-at-a-discount/, and they’re getting rid off the boards for 50 to 75 Euros.
I just bought this one and I’ve had it for 3 days now. First impressions are very good, it’s a lovely phone. The SOC is not that fast though and I’m having some issues with cell radio standby power usage.
I’m doing my article on hacking Chinese phones using this one so stay tuned, it should be on in a couple of days.
This is a Bambook? BTW, it seems like you get through a lot of phones..!
Yes I bought a Bambook S1 and I quite like it and yes I do buy Chinese phones , I find it fun to hack them and stuff. Not expensive ones though.
I pass the old ones to my family or friends, the K-Touch w760 is going to my dad.
I do want to meddle with the Bambook firmware now so I’m going to try and see what I can do but first I promised an article about making a Google phone out of a China droid.
This one looks like a good deal, & with bog-standard MTK6577 (Dual-Core 1GB/4GB Android 4.0 WCDMA 4.5″ QHD, Wi-Fi, GPS, BT4.0, HDMI)
It’s $130+ on Aliexpress; maybe $94 is a mistake? Or maybe they’re finally trying to dump all the dual core phones as quad core becomes the new ‘commodity smartphone’ standard, and DX is ahead of smaller vendors in realising this? :s
any progress on the tutorial.
Decided to wait a little bit, but my zte blade died today, so must buy something new soon.
The one onebir mentions looks also nice, but not too happy with MTK. Good gps is more important for me than super gfx (I am not a gamer) Too much choices….
I’m on vacation right now but I’ll have something for you in 2 weeks max. There are 2 great buys for under $100 right now. The Bambook S1 and the K-Touch W760. The W760 I’ve seen for $70 even which is just fantastic.
If you want you can buy any one of these and by the time you get them I’ll have something online here. If you some tips sooner I can sent you some via email.
Both of these are good phones, well worth their money and can be quite easily transformed into google phone from china phones.
I’d stay way from MTK stuff right now, I you want something more there’s a Haier W910 which is also great for about $120.
Great. I indeed saw the W760 for $65 + $7 shipping from Singapore. Haven’t looked at the other ones yet.
Actually I almost decided for W760 but it seems very unknown/unused. I think even xda-developer forums did not mention it (or maybe once or so). But at $ 72 (which is probably eur 55) there is not much lost in any case.
Should you wish to establish a more direct contact, please email me at f.meulenbroeks at fontys dot nl
Note that that account will disappear in a week or two (otherwise I definitely would not have mentioned it here)
Thanks for your info. Just ordered the W910 at focalprice for $ 120.
gorilla glass, 1 G rom 8 G ram better cpu, water resistant (although I am not going to try that), better screen res
And somewhat better known. Seemed like a good deal to me for what I want (I don’t do heavy gaming on it)
It is a little bit bigger than my ZTE Blade, but I guess I’ll get over that.
The wait has started ….
It should be a good phone and it got an upgrade to 4.1.2. Don’t know if the latest ROM includes GApps though. Only one thing that bothers me with the W910, that it doesn’t have a very large battery and it’s non-removable. If it had a 2000 mAh removable battery I would have ordered that instead of my Bambook S1 ( 1900 mAh removable batter with a 4.3 screen ).
Still I expect the Qualcomm to be energy efficient as it’s a 28 nm SOC.
I just ordered a w760, and I am very much looking forward to your tutorial. I found this so far: http://www.needrom.com/mobile/k-touch-w760/ but it has few downloads and no feedback.
I’m thinking about “upgrading” to a Scud brand “2001mah-2500mah” battery for this too, since it will be my primary phone for the next year probably.
Since a few people seem interested in cheap Qualcomm Android phones, Pandawill will have an “happy hour” on Monday, where you can buy a MSM7227A/512MB RAM/4GB Flash phone called Mingren A1 (never heard about it) for $59.99. http://www.pandawill.com/happy-hour/?current=monday
MTK6517 (dual core no 3G) $63 cheepy just surfaced at DX: http://dx.com/p/237193
512MB RAM, but only 256MB ROM :s I guess that’s a dealbreaker…
K-Touch W68, $63:
I’ll just write some notes….
It’s based on a new 2x Cortex A9 processor with HSPA+ by Broadcom: BCM21663 http://www.broadcom.com/products/Cellular/3G-Baseband-Processors/BCM21663
720p HD hardware code only.
BCM21664T is similar with 1080p decode. BCM23550 is quad core with 1080p decode too. Maybe one of those two will show up in the “Raspberry Pi 2”, although HSPA+ would probably not be needed here.
Ooh – didn’t realise it was a new SOC! Makes the Raspi look kind of overpriced now, but does offer some hope for a Raspi 2…