Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Installing the MIUI V4 ROM or Cyanogen Mod 10.2 on S3 Mini i8910N

This is the proven method for MIUI V4 ROM and CyanogenMod 10.2 (Jelly Bean 4.3.1)

1. Download the MIUI V4 ROM file, GApps for MIUI and Xperia keyboard from XDA forums over here for S3 Mini.

or Download the Cyanogenmod 10.2 files, and GApps from Maclaw over here.

2. Copy into external Sdcard.

3. Shut down device. Enter recovery mode by holding the volume up, home button and power button simultaneously.

4. I used TeamWin's TWRP. Then follow these steps:

- Full wipe (dalvik, cache and data)
- Flash the ROM
- Flash the GApps (check that they are for the correct Android version!)

For MIUI V4 ROM only:

- Flash the Xperia Keyboard (necessary for MIUI V4 ROM because the MIUI keyboard is 'force-closing' (but you can install other keyboards later).

5. Reboot.

Common Whatsapp issues and fixes:

(1) Whatsapp Contact List is missing

This is usually due to a Security app on the custom ROM that is denying Whatsapp permission to access your Contact Book. Under MIUI V4 Rom, go into the LBE Guard app to allow Whatsapp access.

(2) Whatsapp unable to send and receive under mobile data connection (but ok when connected to Wifi).

This is due to the phone having the wrong APN setting. Under M1, this was resolved by choosing the Sunsurf Internet APN. This should already been detected. If not, they are:

Name: Sunsurf Internet
APN: sunsurf
Proxy: Not set
Port: Not set
username: Not set
password: Not set
server: not set
MMSC: not set
MMS proxy: not set
MMS protocol: WAP 2.0
MCC: 525
MNC: 05
authentication type: not set
APN type: default, hipri

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rooting any Samsung android phone

The general principle behind rooting any Samsung phone is the insertion of the correct custom recovery for the model and android version.

For example, in the case of the Samsung S3 Mini i8190N (International version) running Jelly Bean 4.1.2, the following steps are proven to work:

1. Enable USB debugging mode under Developer Options. Ensure that Samsung KIES is installed to allow PC to detect the phone.

2. Download and install Odin v3.07 onto PC. Run as Administrator.

3. Put the phone in Download mode (Pressing Power+Volume Down+Home button simultaneously,then follow onscreen instructions 'Volume Up'). Odin is normally zipped up together with CF Autoroot .zip files.

4. Using the PDA function, select the appropriate custom recovery. For example, the correct Twrp .tar file must be downloaded from TeanWin's website. For example, for S3 Mini, it will be over here. Then connect up the phone via USB.

5. Once the phone is detected, flash the custom recovery .tar.

6. Reboot phone. Put phone into Recovery mode. (Pressing Power+Volume+Up+Home button simultaneously). Twrp will detect that the phone is not yet rooted and give you the option to install SuperSU.

7. Once SuperSU is installed, the phone is rooted.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rooting the Redmi 红米 for Singapore version

This is the proven method for the Singapore version first launched on 21 Feb 2014 by Xiaomi (and sold out in 8 mins) with the following build under Settings > About Phone:

Model number HM 1W
Android Version 4.2.2 HM2013023

Updated on 25 Mar: Framaroot no longer works for updated MIUI ver 13. For updated version 13, use the proven method over here.

Nice picture from Denny (taken from Xiaomi Singapore facebook page)


1. Download and Install the Framaroot apk into your Redmi. The MIUI forum link discussing this is over here. The apk version used successfully is Framaroot-1.9.1.apk 

(Note: You need to register as a forum user to download the apk.)

2. Choose the Barahir Exploit. (Note that besides the option to Install SuperSU, you can also choose to Unroot).

3. Reboot device after you see the Exploit Result screen.

4. You will have SuperSU installed after the reboot.

5. The main reason to root is to have the ability to move Apps to your SD card. This can be done using the app "System App Remover (Root)" over here. Photos are already saved onto SD card by default without rooting.

Note: If you need assurance or simply curious where are your apps on the SD Card, use a root browser such as the function in the app "ROM Toolbox Pro" to check the system folders that are normally hidden. In this case, the apps are under /mnt/asec. There is normally no need to change or move anything.

On the other hand, your apps in your internal or phone memory are under the folder /data/app.

6. If something goes horribly wrong and you need the original SG ROM, check over here.

For more tips, including online purchases and shipping of phones from China, read this article over here.

For a full review of the Singapore Redmi, check over here.

Update on 5 Mar 2014:

Google Playstore prompted for SuperSU to be upgraded to version 1.93. After reboot, the SuperSU and Redmi appear to function normally. However, for future prompts to update SuperSU, it is suggested not to update until it is verified to be safe. In other phones, there are reports of possible incompatibility or instability after updating.

The default in Playstore is auto-update. To disable auto-update in Redmi, it is the same with other android devices. Just go to Playstore and under Settings "..."> Auto-update apps>Choose "Do not auto-update apps".

Update on 19 Mar 2014:

62 tips over here on the MIUI V5 rom that is used on the Redmi. The custom rom can also be installed on many other phones.

Friday, August 2, 2013

4G LTE bands in Singapore and USA

Do note that Singapore LTE networks mostly use bands 3 and 7.

Frequency (MHz)
3 & 7

Buying a 4G Nexus 7 '2' from the US would mean that there's a risk that you can't use LTE here (3G HSDPA will work fine however...). European models are preferable.

For the equivalent iPad Mini with Retina, do purchase the model that supports the most LTE bands as shown in the table I've compiled below.

Refer to this link here on Apple's website for the latest updated models with LTE support for iPads.

Nexus 7
North America
700/750/850/1700/1800/1900/2100 MHZ
(Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/13/17)

800/850/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600 MHz
(Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/20)
iPad Mini with Retina
700b/850/1900 /AWS
(Bands: 2/4/5/17)

(Bands: 1/3/5/13/25)

(Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/13/17/18/19/20/25/26)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Installing a custom ROM on the Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000

I dug out an old Samsung Tab P1000 that was launched back in Sep 2010 (reviewed here by Hardwarezone). Surprisingly, this Tab P1000 with only 512Mb RAM is still going strong in the modding community. With the stock Froyo 2.2 firmware, it was well behind the times. It was time to get to work...


First of all, I tried the Z4root method, but that didn't seem to work. Then I tried the Superoneclick method and was successful. However, I realised that most upgrade paths to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 (ICS) required Gingerbread stock ROM. Furthermore, ROM Manager didn't support the Tab P1000. After downloading and installing Samsung Kies, I successfully upgraded to Gingerbread 2.3.3 (and unrooted the Tab in the process). This took me several hours as the Kies took a long time to update itself, and the GB download was very slow as well. I then flashed Clockworkmod (CWM) recovery using the Superoneclick method again in order to upgrade to CyanogenMod (CM)9.1 Stable running on ICS. However something must have gone wrong in the process, resulting in unknown baseband and IMEI issues on my TaB P1000, effectively giving me a stable CM9.1 on my Tab P1000 with WiFi, but disabling my phone, SMS and 3G.


Subsequently, I decided to restock to Gingerbread using the Overcome method. My tried and tested update process was:

 1. Flash GB stock safe tar, gt-p1000_mr.pit and JPZ modem using Odin 1.7 (gets you back to stock Gingerbread 2.3.3 with the Euro ROM).

2. Flash Overcome 4.0.0 Kernel using Odin (gives you CWM ver

3. Flash Overcome 7 Series 4.1 ROM using CWM recovery.

4. Flash Android Open Kang Project (AOKP) ICS ROM using CWM recovery.

 I am using AOKP ICS Milestone #6 on my Tab P1000. Everything works i.e. WiFi, Phone, 3G, SMS, camera. The AOKP Jelly Bean 4.1 build is also available but the general feedback indicates that it is not yet bug free.


Follow the Team Overcome instructions at this google doc link. Alternatively, download the pdf here. Another installation guide in PNG image is available for download at the AOKP site under the comments section of the #40 build here.

Page 7 onwards of the 15-page Overcome guide details the steps required to restock to Gingerbread and flash the Overcome kernel to install an updated version of CWM Manager. For my Singapore Tab P1000, installing the JPZ modem works. The links for the various files are most likely not working though, so you can try to download from this XDA forums thread here. Also available for download at the AOKP site under the comments section of the #40 build here.

The AOKP Milestone #6 build ROM can be downloaded at the AOKP website under the downloads section. The mirror site is faster for folks in Singapore, with the link over here.


If we compare the Tab P1000 specifications (circa Sep 2010) with the Huawei Mediapad (launched in Sep 2012, reviewed here at Hardwarezone), the Tab P1000 is comparable in many respects. The P1000 runs on a 1Ghz single core ARM Cortex A8 CPU vs Huawei's 1.2ghz dual core ARM Cortex A8 CPU.

Though RAM wise, the P1000 only has 512Mb RAM vs 1Gb RAM on the Huawei, other tabs launched by Shinco and Toshiba also only have 512Mb RAM. Furthermore, the P1000 has its own venerable GPU (Power VR540SGX). This is a pretty good GPU in its time.

A comparison of GPUs of that generation and how they render:

Motorola Droid: TI OMAP3430 with PowerVR SGX530 = 7-14 million(?) triangles/sec
Nexus One: Qualcomm QSD8x50 with Adreno 200 = 22 million triangles/sec
iPhone 3G S: 600 MHz Cortex-A8 with PowerVR SGX535 = 28 7 million triangles/sec
Samsung Galaxy S: S5PC110 with PowerVR SGX540 = 90 million triangles/sec

Quadrant Standard Edition benchmark

Based on the Quadrant benchmark, the HWZ review indicates that the Huawei Mediapad scores 1,747 on Honeycomb 3.2 (and between 1000-1500 depending on review for ICS) vs P1000 Tab score of 1,784 (without overclocking). Hence ICS objectively can and should run smoothly on P1000. Admittedly, the Quadrant benchmark isn't optimised for multicore tablets, and hence the Tab P1000 can appear to perform.

Smartbench 2011 benchmark 

Over here, the Tab P1000 feels its age, coming in at only 894 for the Productivity index and 2091 for the Games index. After overclocking the CPU from 1Ghz to 1.2Ghz, the scoring improved to 1019 for the Productivity index and no significant change for the Games index(~2034). After bringing back the CPU to default, the GPU was overclocked from 200Mhz to 320Mhz. This time, the Productivity index registered 897 while the Games index improved slightly to 2118. The overclocking options are available on the AOKP ICS ROM in the Performance Tweaks section under Settings. In this instance, the benefits of overclocking can be considered to be in line with analysis at Tom's Hardware Forum discussed in the article over here.

For the entire plethora of benchmarking tests possible on an Android, refer to this article here which incidentally demonstrates how the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the top dog.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Samsung S3 4300mAh OEM replacement battery

Since my switch to a Samsung Galaxy S3, while the battery life is slightly better than my iPhone 4, I have increasingly found the 2100mAh battery insufficient. It is a vicious cycle that once you have better battery life, you end up using more of the smartphone functions, and what was once enough becomes unbearable. Recently, I came across a battery accessory that appears to promise a quantum leap in battery life. It is a thicker replacement 4300mAh battery with a customised S3 backcover in order to accommodate the extra battery thickness.
At a price of $19.90 (available from the online Singapore marketeer Gmarket), I thought this would be the answer. The only downside was that it did not appear to be an NFC-enabled battery. However, the NFC feature was not important for me.
The customised backcover comes in choices of white or matte purple, and the white version matches with my S3.
Some people might be put off by the increased resultant thickness. However, I found it easier to actually hold the phone now and the battery does not add significantly more weight. The backcover is also plastic and practically weightless.
Some customers at Gmarket has complained that their case was damaged during postal delivery. Fortunately, this did not happen during my purchase. However, at this price, the vendor did not provide any fanciful protective packaging. My purchase arrived in bubblewrap inside a normal brown envelope. Some of you might even be able to obtain a better price if you have coupons from Gmarket for being their VIP customers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


All dads know who pays for all those Apple gear on the cool crowd.