Which camps allow Camera Phones?

From Saturday, active servicemen and NSmen can bring their camera-enabled smartphones into 14 army camps. The list of camps are primarily training institutes so if you are a NSmen in one of these area, rejoice! The list would be reviewed in about 6 to 9 months time and would hopefully expand by then. Interestingly, there are only army camps for now, none of the navy or airforce institutes make the list. Well, if you have to visit camps not on the list, how about the Huawei Honor or iNo-One?

14 camps and their Green zones:

– Bedok Camp (Bedok Fitness Conditioning Centre (FCC) )
– Maju Camp (Maju FCC )
– Khatib Camp (Khatib FCC & Artillery Institute)
– Kranji Camp II (Kranji FCC & Motorised Infantry Training Institute )
– Kranji Camp III (Army Logistic Training Institute & Human Resource Institute)
– Jurong Camp II (Infantry Training Institute)
– Clementi Camp (Infantry Combat Training Centre III)
– Seletar Camp (Engineer Training Centres)
– Pasir Ris Camp (Commando Training Institute)
– Sungei Gedong Camp (Armour Training Institute)
– SAFTI Military Institute (Goh Keng Swee Command & Staff College, SAF Advanced School, Officer Cadet School)
– Pasir Laba Camp (Specialist & Warrant Officers’ Institute, SAF Military Intelligence Institute)
– Pulau Tekong Camp (Basic Military Training Centre)
– Depot Road Camp (Central Manpower Base)

The iNo-One Non-Camera Phone

Rumours were floating about on the possibility of another camera-removed phone model to rival the Huawei Honor. It was the iNo-Sun A908 and we did a short review on it. Did the distributors read GadgetReactor? Apparently, the advice on the naming of the phone was taken and the iNo-Sun A908 has been renamed or rebranded as iNo One Non-Camera.


Details of the iNo-Sun A908 cannot be found on their website anymore and instead they are marketing the iNo-One Non Camera with similar specs.

What’s New?

  • Original non-camera model without holes and mountings for cameras. 
    This is huge! The declaration as an official non-camera model and the flushed casing is a one-up over the Huawei Honor. The Huawei Honor due to it being a camera-removed model, still requires a certification sticker for MINDEF locations. If this is marketed clearly as a non-camera model without any ports for camera, it should be able to be brought into camps just like the blackberry non-camera models. We have heard some areas to be particularly sticky in terms of releasing the certification sticker and this might be a good workaround.

  • Increase in price! (228 -> 268)
    Boo! Any price increase is always a bad thing. I guess some of the charges for manufacturing the new back casing and removal of the lens require an additional surcharge but the $40 here translates to approximately 17% price increase from the original.

  • ICS Compatibility
    The distributor has promised future updates to ICS. It is good that they are committed to supporting the phone and to improve it with new features. However, this skeptical author recommends readers to take this with a pinch of salt. The fragmentation problem of Android is huge and there have been many manufacturers, namely LG and HTC that have defaulted on their claims to update their phone OS to ICS.

 

Technically, the iNo-One is really no different from the iNo-Sun A908 and the 1 Ghz single core processor with 512 mb ram will chug along in comparison to the quad core monsters such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One X. The unique feature is still the dual-SIM and it’s probably the only non-camera phone with this feature. It will likely appeal to those who travel frequently and often have multiple SIM cards to switch around. The iNo-One is a basic phone at heart that would be able to cope with the usual phone, sms, whatsapp, angry bird or cut the rope-esque type of games, but heavy web-browsing and 3D games will take its toll (Update: Read out latest article on the iNo-One to see why web-browsing is no longer a concern).

Its available for pre-order and the expected availability would be in late Sep / Early October. Stay tuned for more information once its available.

Huawei Honor Non Camera for $398 (Brand New)

Update: Apologies. We were not able to accomplish the deal as the Telco has withheld the distribution of stocks to their resellers. We will continue to be on the look out for better deals in the meantime.

For those interested in getting the Huawei Honor Non Camera, do drop me an email. If there is sufficient interest (high chance as of now), I would be able to get it at $398 each for all of us. Included with the purchase would be an OEM certificate certifying that the camera has been removed (similar to what you get when you purchase the phone from starhub or m1), as well as a invoice from an official Singapore telco retailer.

Check out this review if you need to know more. Hopefully we’ll be able to install Android Jelly bean onto the phone. Otherwise, there is still ICS.

 

The iNo-Sun A908 (iNo-One) Non-Camera Phone

This is the next non-camera phone that is expected to be launched in Singapore. It is a factory removed camera phone model and certification would be provided as well. It is expected to be priced at a relatively low cost of S$228 and would appeal to those whose contract is not up for renewal yet.  It is currently on pre-order and is expected to launch in August. Besides the price, the next interesting feature is that it has Dual-SIM support and could appeal to those with multiple phone lines to manage.At its price point, it could be the next mass phone for reservists to have access to a smart phone, browser, and more importantly, GAMES to pass time during their in-camp-training.

http://www.inomobile.com.sg/

Specifications

  •  Android Gingerbread 2.3.6
  • 1.0 GHz Single Core
  • 512 MB Ram
  • Dual-SIM card slots
  • 4.0″ capacitive 480 x 800 screen
  • GPS and Bluetooth
  • 124 mm x 64 mm x 10.95 mm
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable with microSD

The phone specifications are nothing to shout about and in fact, I would expect some minor slowdown due to the processor and lack of RAM as compared to the superior Huawei Honor. I would only recommend this phone if you are looking to use this phone for short periods of time and/or if the Dual-SIM feature is important, else the Huawei Honor especially at the promotion price of $400 would be a much better deal. Lastly, they really should have came up with a more attractive name for this phone.

Update (11 Aug 12): The iNo-Sun A908 has been replaced by the iNo-One. Read more about it here.

Samsung Galaxy SII Non Camera – Spotted!

M1 is doing the camera removal service for the Samsung Galaxy SII. This is indeed a smart way to clear whatever stock they are holding for the Galaxy SII now that the Galaxy SIII has launched.

The pricing for the non-camera Samsung Galaxy SII White for M1 is below based on my understanding and you can enquire for the availability of the phone through their corporate sales enquiry.
  • Mass plan $418
  • ValueSurf $268
  • LiteSurf $118
  • ExtremeSurf $18

Currently, the Samsung Galaxy SII is still an M1 exclusive and only for those with contracts to be renewed. It is quite expensive in comparison to the Huawei Honor for albeit slightly better specifications only but the Samsung branding is much stronger than Huawei and in terms of custom ROM support, the Galaxy SII stands out with it being ICS ready and likely to be Jellybean compatible as well.
 

Huawei Honor ICS Update – Malaysian Version

The Huawei Honor is out of stock currently but be a little patient. Rumours are that M1 and Singtel would start offering this phone soon so for those non-Starhub contract people out there, there’s hope! Also, apparently during the first day launch, there were a couple of fortunate souls who bought the phone without contract at $428, it is unlikely that Starhub would continue to sell the phone without contract but perhaps one can try when M1 and Singtel launches. Confusion tends to exist with first day chaos.

Since there are more users out there now, here’s an ICS video showing off the capabilities off the phone with ICS loaded. The Huawei Honor comes with pretty decent specs and why restrict it with Gingerbread? Free your phone :)

The malaysian version of the 4.03 ICS ROM has also been recently launched and you can get it from the Huawei Malaysia website here. Apparently this version is non-beta and comes with more features than the Cambodian one. When would there be a Singapore version? 

Starhub launches the Huawei Honor Non Camera Version

Starhub has annouced that it will be selling the non-camera or camera removed version of the Huawei Honor U8860. This would benefit many Singaporean military personnel and those who work in sensitive locations where camera phones are disallowed. The price is only $48 with a low-end data plan and makes it very attractive to personnel in this industry whose other smartphone non camera choice is the Blackberry (RIM has been going downhill) and small numbers of the camera-removed Apple iPhone 4S which has since been discontinued. I’m quite certain that blackberry adopters would drop significantly with the launch of the Huawei as the Blackberry experience isn’t as good and forces people to sign up for a BIS plan.

Update: The phone has been selling well and has fast emerged as the non-camera phone for the military and other sensitive industry personnel. Gadgetreactor is consolidating a one-time mass buy for the phone at S$398! Details are available here.

 

The Huawei Honor is equipped with high end specs (1.4 GHz Snapdragon CPU with 512mb of RAM) which should be able to cope with many of the applications and demands today. Storage is expandable through a microSD card and it comes with 4.0″ LCD display. GPS, accelerometer and all the standard connectivity options are included. The provided battery at 1950mA is larger than its competitors and should see this phone lasting awhile longer. The OS is dated as it comes default with Gingerbread 2.3 but it is easily upgradable to ICS 4.0, by downloading the upgrade file here. Yes, it is the Cambodia version but it is an English ROM and works well.

After this, create a dload directory on your phone’s SD Card and copy the ZIP package to the directory.

Now, remove the connected USB cable and turn off the phone and then boot the phone into the idle mode.

Next, Click the Menu button to select the “Settings”> Storage> Software Update> SD card upgrade> select “OK” to perform the upgrade operation.

After this, when the screen displays “Upgrade Complete” means that the upgrade phase is completed, the phone will restart. It will likely take another 3 minutes for the boot process before it is completed.