I was in the tail end of nursing a fever when the doorbell rang and a messenger dropped off two Torque phones. Usually, deliveries such as these would come with a lot of PR information but in this particular case, all it came with were the two units (not boxed, no accessories) and a sheet of paper with both IMEI numbers and units. Before turning these things on, I had a feeling what I was going to expect — I once told the guys from TORQUE that they should launch Android based phones soon and win the market share by sheer price. My guess was right when, upon turning on both phones, I was greeted with the Android logo.
Android phones are great — except that they’re a tad expensive. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the cheapest android phones in the market. These units are NOT YET AVAILABLE to the public and DO NOT HAVE a price attached as of late. These are prototypes so what I show you today may change in the next few weeks. What I write here is a fresh look on the two units, straight from my camera and initial tinkering.
The main differences between the GD55 and G88 is twofold. The G88 is a DUAL SIM Android phone with a 5MP camera. The GD55 comes with one SIM slot and a 3MP camera. Both units have Bluetooth and WiFi.
There’s a reason why it is priced lower than usual: the GD55 and G88 user interface isn’t as sleek and polished as other Android devices. You can tell from the UI lag. There doesn’t seem to be a way to drag the bottom menu upward as well. You will need to click on the “menu” icon to reveal the main menu. From here, you can drag applications out into the desktop screen.
UPDATE: After typing a few sentences, not once did I get a misspelled word. After using the device’s keypad for quite some time surfing the web, I realized that the keys towards the edges of the screen are cramped up, causing me to misspell some words. The only solution here is, apart from having really adept fingers, is to tilt the device to landscape view.
There is no Android Marketplace installed.
Charging and sync is via miniUSB. After plugging it into my Mac, I didn’t get a notification that I docked the device. I’ll try it with Windows later.
I will try to get more information with regards to the pricing and features (i.e. app store compatibility). TORQUE has a history of producing really good phones for the Philippine market. They have a rather impressive list of products including the F1 Imitation phone, the D100 that uses Nokia BLC batteries and the E72 clone. Now they’ve gone to bringing in more “valued” products with the launch of their Android line. This is Android for Everyone.