Jiayu G4 - the long-awaited Chinese flagship

    It so happened that for the second time in a row I became the owner of a smartphone from Jiayu. My previous Jiayu G2(left), which I managed to use for about 9 months, already managed to get old, but the device really worked out well, with its compact size it had a powerful processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 2000 mAh battery. But time does not stand still, new processors, new versions of the OS are coming out, and given the fact that the Chinese do not really care about further support for their devices, I decided to upgrade in terms of hardware. To all my regret, a smartphone with a similar functional / size / price ratio could not be found. Therefore, I had to raise the bar to a critical 4.7 inches. And the choice, as you already understood from the headline, fell on the very “long-awaited Chinese flagship” - Jiayu G4 (on the right). We will talk about him in this review.
    In fact, as of August 2013, calling the Jiayu G4 flagship is not entirely correct. The reason for this inherent in the Jiayu company is the slowness in the production of its smartphones. Initially, in January 2013, 2 versions of the smartphone were announced: standard (Standart) and flagship (Advanced). The differences were in the amount of RAM (1 and 2 GB), battery capacity (1850 vs 3000 mAh) and, accordingly, the thickness of the device (8.2 vs 10 mm).

    As a result, after almost 4 months, the first batch of devices in the amount of 2,000 units was released onto the market, but, as it happens with Chinese manufacturers, everything mixed up and “the queen gave birth to either a son, a daughter, a mouse, or a frog on the night and to the unknown animal. ” The devices from the first batch received 1 GB of RAM and a 3000 mAh battery and were deprived of OTG support. Now the situation has improved and in free sale there are models with an overclocked MT6589T processor, two types of batteries (1850 and 3000 mAh) and in two colors (black and white), well, and the version with 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM as of August 2013 year has not been published. In this article, after a month of use, I will talk about the very first-born, whose characteristics are given below.

    ► Specifications

    image4.7 inch IPS OGS screen with a resolution of 1280x720 and a protective coating Gorilla Glass 2
    imageQuad processor Mediatek MT6589 (Cortex A7) with an operating frequency in the 1.2 GHz
    image Graphics Processing Unit PowerVR SGX544MP
    image Operating system Android JB 4.2.2 with "custom" launcher and preset SuperUser
    image1 GB RAM memory
    image4GB user memory + card slot MicroSD (up to 64 GB)
    imagetwo chambers : the rear 13 Mn (CMOS BSI, LED, AF) and front3 MP
    image Communications: Wi-Fi (802.11 b / g / n), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS (with EPO and A-GPS), FM
    imageOptional: USB OTG (not available in phones from the first party, which is mine)
    imageLi-pol battery capacity of 3000 mAh
    image Dimensions: 133x65x10 mm
    imageWeight: 180 grams

    ► Packaging and equipment

    In many ways, Jiayu has evolved and the first thing that catches your eye is the new packaging. Now, instead of a plastic bath, more reminiscent of a food container than a package for a smartphone - a solid box of thick cardboard.
    So dense that it can withstand the weight of two well-fed Chinese ( proof ). So you don’t have to worry about the safety of the device itself, the mail will not be able to ditch it if it does not, of course ...
    The package is modest: the device itself, power supply (5V 1A), microUSB cable and warranty card. The instruction manual is located in the device’s memory.
    The power supply compared to that of the JY-G2 has also undergone changes. Firstly, the output current increased (up to 1A) in accordance with the increased battery capacity. Secondly, the design has changed, or rather, at least some design has appeared.
    But the lack of additional accessories in the basic package does not mean that they are not at all. In fact, the park of multi-colored covers, covers and even Powerbank is quite large, but you will have to buy it separately. You can get acquainted in the official Jiayu store (carefully, Chinese).

    ► Appearance and ergonomics

    According to the manufacturer, the entire front panel of the device is covered with Gorilla Glass 2. I could not confirm this information, but the fact is that the Jiayu G4 does have a protective glass. I’m not an admirer of films, which by the way was neatly pasted by default, and always carry my phone in my pockets. So, after a month of use - not a single scratch, even a microscopic one.
    The presence of a special oleophobic coating also indicates the high quality of the protective glass, so fingerprints do not appear as quickly as in the case of ordinary glass, but they are easier to remove. In the lower part of the front panel there are touch keys devoid of backlight due to design features. In the white version, they can be seen in the daytime, but the keys of the black Jiayu G4 are visible only at a certain angle. It would seem a trifle, but inexperienced users may experience problems when they first get acquainted with the device.
    Along the perimeter, the phone’s body is edged with a black metal frame, which is part of the smartphone’s frame. Above the screen are (left to right): a warning LED (unlike the same Jiayu G2 where the LED as a searchlight illuminated a good half of the ceiling, there is a light-scattering filter here), the earpiece (loud and clear, the interlocutor is heard perfectly), a couple of sensors (lighting and proximity) and a front 3MP camera.
    A 3.5 mm headphone jack is lonely sheltered on the upper edge. On the bottom there is a microphone, a Micro-USB-compatible connector and a special recess for removing the back cover.
    The "hard" buttons are located on two opposite sides of the smartphone. On the right is the power, on the left is the volume rocker. Such an arrangement will be convenient for both right-handed people (locking with the thumb, changing the volume with the index finger) and left-handed people (vice versa). The buttons are quite tight, I would say too much, but they have a good tactile response.
    We pass to the reverse side. In its upper part there are: a camera, a flash LED, a company logo and a microphone for an active noise reduction system. The latter copes well with its tasks, the quality of transmitted speech in noisy places has improved.
    Below is an external speaker (sound and volume quality at a good level) and another, now textual company logo.
    The back cover is made of flexible plastic with soft-touch spraying, which prevents the device from slipping out of hands. The cover is sturdy and fits snugly to the phone. And yes, pay attention, the white version of the bullshit cover in the white version is made of ordinary glossy plastic.
    For myself, the design of the black Jiayu G4, or rather its absence as such, I think is ideal. Brutal bar without extra inscriptions on the front panel covered with protective glass, the rear roof is made of rubberized plastic, a metal frame. The assembly is also at a very high level. There are no creaks and backlashes between the parts, nothing rings and does not hang. What else is needed for complete happiness?

    ► Hardware platform

    The heart of this device is the MT6589 system-on-chip. This is the latest Mediatek solution available. It is based on a quad-core processor (Cortex-A7) and a PowerVR SGX544MP video accelerator. Available in 28nm process technology. In addition to SoC, the device also carries 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash drive on board (2.5 GB available to the user). All this allows the smartphone to easily cope with viewing and recording video in FullHD-quality, games and other resource-intensive applications. An exception may be three-dimensional games of the last half year, not that they do not start at all, but the quality of the graphics will be at a minimum level.

    It is worth noting that those same 2.5 GB are reserved for the internal memory of the smartphone and for its full operation you will have to purchase a microSD memory card. For example, your camera will not work (save images) if a memory card is not inserted in the slot.

    We proceed directly to testing. The device scores a little more than 13 thousand points in the Antutu test and 4000 in Quadrant: The
    multi-touch on the smartphone supports up to 5 simultaneous touches. A whole bunch of sensors are diverse: an accelerometer, an ambient light and proximity sensor, a gyroscope, an orientation sensor and a digital compass. Judging by the test program, they all work correctly.
    The operation of the GPS module also did not cause any complaints. Cold start takes up to 2 minutes, hot ~ 10 seconds.Unfortunately, the last week in my city cloudy weather reigned, respectively, and the test program in such conditions.
    Autonomy. This parameter is one of the main trump cards of this device. In Antutu Tester, the smartphone scored a record 928 points.
    In everyday use, the JY-G4 also shows excellent results, for example, in a very intense mode, with constant use of GPS, Wi-FI alternately with 2G Internet, listening to music, browsing or reading books, the device lived 1 day and 14 hours. In a more gentle mode, only about 25% of the charge per day is used up, that is, at least 4 days of battery life are provided to you.
    ModeTime minutes
    3D games (GTA Vice City, NFS Most Wanted) 364
    Play Streaming 720p Video Using MX Player (Software Decode) 454
    These indicators were achieved thanks to many factors: battery capacity, “correct” display resolution, because I have already said that there is no longer any need for such a diagonal, marketing 1080p what they can do is to “eat” the battery and load the processor, well, the share of the latter in excellent indicators of autonomy is present.

    ► Inside and maintainability

    The design of the device, with the exception of the introduction of a metal frame into the base of the body and display made using OGS technology (more on this later), has not changed. We begin the preparation by removing the back cover, for this there is a special recess in the lower part of the device.
    For subsequent disassembly, you need to unscrew 8 screws around the perimeter of the rear of the device.
    Then, armed with an unnecessary plastic card or pick, we snap off the plastic fasteners and remove the back panel.
    With the previous step, you may experience “troubles”, since the back panel is additionally attached to the system board with tape (near the SIM card), but do not despair, you just need to apply a little effort and it will come off.
    At the top of the device is the motherboard. Again - nothing new, the layout is standard, the flux is washed off . It makes no sense to remove it, since everything is covered with screens on the back side, and I did not dare to unsolder them from my main phone. In the bottom there is a printed circuit board with a microphone, microUSB connector, speaker and antenna connectors. Here you can also see the reason for the lack of backlight for the touch keys - a solid metal frame. High build quality has already become traditional for Chinese devices. Of course, the percentage of marriage here is higher than that of branded devices, but it can always be justified by the final price of a smartphone.


    ► Display

    At least 2 abbreviations appear in the graph of technical characteristics of the display - IPS and OGS. And if everything is clear with the first of them (the widest viewing angles, bright, contrasting and even “juicy” picture), then I would like to dwell on the second in more detail.
    OGS (One Glass Solution) is a display technology, the essence of which is to combine the display elements and the outer glass together.
    The use of this technology makes it possible to further increase viewing angles, make the display thinner (which, in theory, should affect the thickness of the smartphone itself) and, most importantly, improve readability in bright sunlight.
    The display resolution is 1280x720 pixels, which, in my humble opinion, is an ideal indicator for smartphones with a screen diagonal of less than 5 inches. As for the display, there’s nothing to complain about.

    ► Operating system and software

    Jiayu G4 comes on the market with a preinstalled version of Andriod 4.2.2. On top of the standard interface, a launcher from the manufacturer is installed, something similar to that in MIUI firmware. Of the nice features: the ability to open / close the application menu with swipes up and down, themes for every taste, smooth operation.
    In general, the default interface is nice, but I, as a supporter of "bare" Android, began to look for a solution to return to the original appearance of the system. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go far, the latest official firmware from July 12 uses the standard Android interface. I won’t write the next firmware instruction, the lesson is trivial and has been repeatedly described in many forums .
    In general, the device is gradually, but confidently gaining new users, which means that they will cut and finish the firmware. Already now in the profile topic (link above) on w3bsit3-dns.com there are several custom firmware and patches, well, the main storage of the OS is located here (LeWa OS, MIUI, etc. are available).

    ► Camera

    The main camera in the hero of our review today is a 13-megapixel module with a BSI-sensor and autofocus. The quality of the photo has increased compared to previous models, but is still far from ideal. The minimum focusing distance is 5 cm. Macro on a smartphone is surprisingly good, so a test with a sheet of text will also not be a problem. There is only one flash LED, so you should not flatter yourself at night photos. The maximum radius of action is not more than a meter. The front camera has also undergone changes. Now this is a 3-megapixel module, but there are no complaints about it, the quality is enough for video calls, and if you play a bit of Snapseed, you can post bows.




    The device is also able to shoot video in FullHD quality. The quality of the footage is average, there is an electronic stabilization system and a 4-fold digital zoom (by the way, in the photo mode it also exists).

    As far as the camera is concerned, there is nothing corny to counterbalance the flagship branded smartphones with, but you can “compete” with the average price range.

    ► Summary

    Chinese companies are growing, and the Chinese mobile technology market as a whole. After a year, there are shifts, and cardinal ones (remember the same packaging). Both in terms of workmanship and in terms of the hardware platform, the Chinese devices, if they still haven’t caught up, then come close to the famous brands. And the software is already on the level, no, it is not perfect, but in terms of stability and overall speed, a huge step forward was made. All the disadvantages are in the details, there is no backlight for the touch keys, the built-in LED flash is rather weak, the camera would still be filed, but should we expect more from a smartphone with a price around 230-240 dollars? Write your opinion in the comments.

    Advantages and disadvantages
    imageErgonomics (thanks to the narrow frames around the display and the tight layout, the device fits perfectly in your hand, even despite the rather large screen diagonal)
    imageMetal frame and practical materials of the case
    imageProductive hardware platform
    imageDisplay that “shows” even in sunny weather and is covered with a protective glass
    imageActive noise canceling system, loud and clear speakers
    imageLED (RGB) indicator + a huge set of various sensors
    imageSupport for OTG function by phones launched different from mid-June

    imageThe quality of the main camera is still far from ideal (there is no front pritenz)
    imageSubjectively - the volume and power buttons are tight
    imageLack of backlight for touch keys
    imageLED flash

    ► Cost

    You can buy a smartphone at a price of $ 225 dollars by joining a group purchase at chinatablets.info . Also, I advise you to pay attention to the no less productive, but cheaper ($ 169.99) Jiayu G3ST (differences between the ST version and the usual G3 in a 3000 mAh battery and the new MT6589T processor). Well, if the budget is really running out, then look in the direction of the time-tested Jiayu G2 ($ 140, review here ).

    The text can and probably contains spelling, punctuation, grammar and other types of errors, including semantic. The author will be grateful for information about them (of course, in private), but does not guarantee their elimination.

    ► Related links

    Product on the manufacturer’s official website
    Overview from china-review.com.ua
    Topic on w3bsit3-dns.com
    Discussion on china-iphone.ru

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