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Hands-on with TechFaith's QiGi i6 in Android mode

Chris Ziegler
02.17.09
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Remember that mysterious dual-boot QiGi i6 from a few months back? If you dream of Windows Mobile / Android dual-boot devices at night, then odds are you do, and we've been able to spend a little time with one humming along in Android mode today. It turns out that the i6's manufacturer is none other than TechFaith Wireless, an ODM more closely associated with WinMo devices -- but like so many other manufacturers these days, TechFaith is apparently looking to branch out by adding another platform into the mix.

Anyhow, let's just be straight about this: odds are you don't really want this phone, even if you think you do. The physical design feels one or two iterations behind, but the real problem stems from the fact that you're rocking QVGA resolution here; yes, granted, Android runs -- but in its default layout, it's clearly designed for a few more pixels both horizontally and vertically. Furthermore, we're told that end users can't swap ROMs themselves (in other words, distributors would choose one platform or the other and be done with it) -- the hardware is designed to run both Android and Windows Mobile, but it's not like you get some fancy Boot Camp-style setup for booting into either environment. Also, since the i6 features no physical keyboard and Cupcake was little more than a twinkle in Google's eye by the time the phone was released, you're dealing with a pretty poorly-designed soft keyboard that's been grafted onto the build; individual keys are small enough so that you need a stylus to press them, and when you call up the keyboard, it takes up the full screen so you can't see whatever app you were in while you're typing. Check it all out (for the hilarious power-on splash screen, if nothing else) in our video after the break!

Gallery: Hands-on with TechFaith's QiGi i6 in Android mode | 3 Photos



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