Friday, December 28, 2012

Android phone Jiayu G3 and VOIP app review

My Jiayu G3 android 4 phone has arrived.  At 1280x720, it has more pixels than the iPhone 5.  At the front, it uses Gorilla glass as in the iPhone 5.  It's constructed from light weight alloy (aluminum?) just as the iPhone 5.  The back cover is plastic but well protected by the metal frame.  Somebody called it QHD that is wrong.  QHD is 960x540.  This is the same as 720p TV.  While 1080p HD may be called full HD or HDX (Vudu).  Somebody called it retina display.  The G3 has more pixels but half an inch wider than the iPhone 5.  Whether it's retina, you can do the math.  I don't care.  I'm not losing any pixels if I watch Vudu in HD.

What made it so popular is the price.  At well under US $200 (no contract), it is an entry level phone used by students.

The external appeal carries on to the camera at 8MP, and the very decent front camera.  Both are high end specs like the Samsung Galaxy III.  The cams look good but I can't try them without a micro SD card, up to 32 GB.

What make the price low is the lack of 4G, which doesn't make a lot of sense outside of US and Europe without substantial 4G coverage, and for incompatible standards.  It's 3G so there is decent data speed.

It's dual core, but the bench mark is at the low end of current Android phones. I got call during game playing without lagging.  I could have chosen cheaper single core CPU but dual core gives me more assurance for a home phone.  The advantage of dual core may not show up in the benchmark.

It's a pretty good toy - watching movies better than the iPhone 5, the same camera resolution (though quality depends on other factors), and a very decent video phone.  It's a pretty game console with a much better screen than the Nintendo's.  It's weak at 3D graphics compared to high end Android phones because of the cheaper GPU.  But then the phone is for a landline, not a game machine.

Now for the VOIP software.  I only tested those apps that work with Google Voice.  If you are new, you want to create a new Google account so you have nothing to fear if you give out your password to 3rd-parties.  Then you create a Google Voice account and get a phone number.  You can port your wireless number to it.  For landline you need to port it to wireless first.  You need at least a working phone number to associate with a Google Voice account.  (But you don't need this associated account once you are verified.)

You should create a GV account first before you install the VOIP apps.  You have to login using a browser and set forwarding to Google Chat only.  And then you need to logout, otherwise incoming calls are routed to your PC.

The apps I tested are Sipdroid, GroveIP lite, and Talkatone.  All 3 will ask you for the GV account name and password.  Sipdroid ask you if you want to create a PBX account first.  You need to say yes to work with GV.

Sipdroid is most integrated into the Android OS.  It's hard to stop it from running.  Any attempt to call will reactivate it again.

I use the 1st echo test number to test the voice quality.

PSTN Test Numbers


USA

  • 1-909-390-0003 - Ontario, California - Echo Test - No Ring, Immediate Echo

Fax

  • Send faxes to FaxToy.net: 1-888-877-1655 or 1-503-200-1300

UK

  • 44-785-584-1311 - Voicemail on UK mobile. If you pay more than $0.10 to call this, see Avi Marcus

Israel

  • 972-72-264-1749 (temporary)- FreeSWITCH echo test via 012 on UK server, by Avi Marcus
  • 972-72-264-1751 (temporary)- FreeSWITCH standard MOH via 012 on a UK server, by Avi Marcus

iNum

  • +883-510-000-000-091 - Blueface Echo test

SIP URI Test

  • sip:904@mouselike.org - Mouselike Sound Test - echo and others.
  • sip:echo@iptel.org or sip:3246@iptel.org for Iptel's echo test
  • sip:hangup$HANGUP_CAUSE@conference.freeswitch.org - trigger a hangup of your choice, e.g. USER_BUSY
  • sip:lenny@sip.itslenny.com:5060 - "transfer your telemarketer calls to lenny to take care of !!!!" - it's random voice that talks during quiet times. 
The best voice quality is Sipdroid.  The worse is Talkatone.   It should be noted that the voice quality depends on things like traffic, routing and server.  But at least I'm trying them one after the other.

GrooveIP only supports G.711, which is the standard PSTN (landline quality) codec.  The excuse is that Google Voice supports that codec only.  This is not very true as we shall see.  Sipdroid supports the grand daddy of wideband codecs - G.722, the oldest HD voice standard.  There are other codecs that is designed for packet loss.

Delay and echo is a problem in VOIP calls.  The delay is obvious if you compare your old landline and Sipdroid via the echo test number.  It's like the other end starts to hear "one thousand", right after you finished saying "one thousand".  The delay is much shorter with landlines.  I don't think it's crippling.  I hope so.  And I think that this delay isn't noticeable when you actually don't hear yourself when not in the echo test.  The delay is about the same with GrooveIP and Talkatone.

The advantage of Sipdroid is that it displays the codec inuse, the % packet lost and the delay.  The delay is 80 to 110 ms so far.  Round trip or not I don't know.  This may not meet landline standards, but I think it's regarded as a problem in VOIP if the delay is greater than 200 ms.

If somebody dial your GV number via PSTN (analog), the G711 codec will be used by Google Chat to forward the call.  There's no advantage to use better codecs.  If you dial out from Sipdroid, Google Chat will settle for G.722, which then downgrade to G.711 if the number you called is PSTN.  The echo test service is obviously supporting G.722 because I get much better quality with Sipdroid than with my PSTN landline.

There are other important settings if you need Sipdroid to work well.  Typically, the PSTN side will hear echoes of themselves.  You don't hear your own echoes because smartphones have echo cancellation at the endpoint.  The PSTN echo is due to their voice from the earpiece coupled to the mic on your Android phone.  This can easily be reduced.  Fire up Sipdroid and use the setting menu.

For some phones the receiving volume is weak even on highest setting.  In this case you need to set the earpiece gain to high.  If you two echoes in the echo test, the first one is the wanted echo for the test, the 2nd is the unwanted, annoying echo.  You set the mic gain to low to reduce the unwanted echo.  Usually you won't be able to hear the unwanted echo after that.  Or, the unwanted echo is hardly noticeable unless you listen hard for it.  You can set the earpiece gain to low to further reduce any echoes, provided the ear piece volume is still sufficient.

The speaker phone won't work for any apps.  I think it may work if both are decent Android phones with echo cancellation.  But I can sacrifice this.  Most of the applicationis, I can use skype, conference calls, and bluetooth headsets instead.

GV is reliable so far.  May be the phone rang sooner than cell phones.  Voice transcript to email takes less than a minute I think to reach my phone.

Now the remaining is porting.  By law you can port your landline to wireless.  Even the cheapest prepaid should accept your request.  They can delay but cannot screwup.  My good old favorite is the Go phone prepaid.  Then you can port from wireless to Google Voice.

BTW, Google announced that Google Chat calling is free for US and CA in 2013.  This does not mean that GV is free too.  There is still no announcement on the GV blog.

1 comment:

Aian cane Capiña said...

if you're looking at jiayu g3 then you're making a great choice, go for it.
If you're humming & harring about it, don't, the phone is fantastic and dare I say better than the majority of 'contract' phones out there. I love it, you can check out http://www.merimobiles.com/JIAYU_G3_Dual_core_4_5_inch_IPS_Screen_1280x720_An_p/meri5684.htm that's where I bought mine