The nice thing about Android is that anyone
can get in on the action.
It's open nature means that even companies
with smaller resource pools can cater to the lower end market with phones that
are fully compatible with modern applications. So what does this mean for the
CSL Dual II MÍ357?
Switch Dual II MI357
1. Judging a book by its cover
It's not quite what you expect from what
people perceive as a cheap low-quality phone; the MÍ357
actually looks like a modern phone; one that you can
carry around in public without being judged. The casing is solid, being mostly
metal of some sort. This gives it quite a bit of heft and you get the idea that
it could be lethal in the right hands, but it’s also not so heavy as to make
carrying it around uncomfortable. Like all modern phones the screen attracts
fingerprints like a magnet in a needle factory, and this feature also extends
to the stainless steel cover on the back.
2. Judging the insides by
On the inside comes a rather dated Android
2.3 Gingerbread, which isn't so old as to prevent you from using most Android
apps. Seeing as quite a few systems still run Gingerbread, there's no reason to
accuse CSL of cutting corners here. The interface is still relatively smooth,
not quite what you would expect from something like this; a pleasant surprise
really. You can tell that this phone was meant for a Chinese majority
population because the keyboard switches between regular English and simplified
Pinyin Chinese at the touch of a
button. A button conveniently located on the keyboard itself at all times.
the insides by its cover
3. Back to the cover
The screen is a little on the dim side, but
nothing that can't be fixed without hitting up the settings. Colours are decent
if a little blurry at times. The main issue is the sensitivity of the screen,
which thinks that every little brush is a barrage of taps by a maniacal user.
This is extremely annoying when scroll through call logs trying to find a
certain number, since you'll end up calling at least half the people who've
called you after the number you're looking for.
main issue is the sensitivity of the screen, which thinks that every little
brush is a barrage of taps by a maniacal user.
4. Extrinsic qualities
This phone scored a not-too-bad 742 on the
Quadrant Standard benchmark test. Which makes you wonder how much you would be
expected to pay for this phone. A quick (not really) Google session revealed
that the MI357 isn't quite as
cheap as one would expect. Which isn't surprising, considering all the stuff
that's packed into it; even the dual SIM feature is useful to some people. Just
don't expect an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.