QMobile Noir A10: Review & Specs

The wait is finally over—QMobile has officially launched Noir A10. It also has 3G technology which Noir A8 lacked. The question is, can this phone outperform Noir A8? Read below.

Some of its features are:

1GHz dual-core CPU

Android OS – Ice Cream Sandwich

512MB RAM

4GB ROM (2GB usable)

5 inch IPS screen

MTK6577 chipset

8MP back camera and 1.3MP front camera

And rest of the perks that come with usual Android phones including GPS.

To read more, click here (Lab Android). Detailed review & comparison with Noir A8, Sony Xperia is done there.

Launch of LabAndroid.com

I was feeling the need for a dedicated platform where Pakistani coders and enthusiasts can unite and provide development/modding support for Android phones. Particularly those, which are not usually supported at international platforms like XDA-Developers.

The response I received after the rooting and CWM posts of Noir A8 was very positive. These phones have made it easy for youth to get a taste of decent smartphones at a relatively cheaper price. They’re in no way inferior, are powered by open source Android OS but what they do lack is development support.

So in hopes of building a development and modding community which can contribute things like custom ROMs, kernels, mods, performance improvements etc., I have launched Lab Android.

From now on, all posts related to Android, QMobile Noir A8, Noir A6, Noir A10 and rest of the MediaTek based phones will come live on http://www.labandroid.com.

I’ve posted the procedure to backup stock ROM of Noir A8 and stock recovery there. Check it out and contribute if you can. 🙂

If you can code, develop, write, and want to volunteer, you can join the team. 🙂

Tutorial: Install ClockworkMod (CWM) Recovery on Noir A8

I’ve successfully ported ClockworkMod recovery (CWM) to QMobile Noir A8–now you can enjoy the benefits of having a custom recovery which can make full Nandroid backups i.e backup your ROM and data. It can then be used later to restore your phone to working condition, in case something goes wrong while flashing custom ROMs/kernels.

I had to first extract the stock ROM, recovery and boot partition of QMobile Noir A8. Then, made this particular CWM version 6.0.1.2 from stock Noir A8 recovery and a CWM for V970 MT6577 using Android Kitchen. Thanks to yuweng from XDA-Developers for providing the porting plugin, and bgcngm for V970 recovery!

Although you can backup your Noir A8 ROM using this CWM, for getting the stock ROM .img file, stock recovery etc., I’ll post the procedure later.

Steps To Install ClockWorkMod Recovery On QMobile Noir A8:

Warning: Do not perform the procedure if you have no idea why you’re doing this. Doing something wrong can brick your phone, so please make sure you follow it exactly. If something goes wrong, I will not responsible for it.

Your phone must already be rooted! Check this thread to root your device first.

1) Download this file. Extract all files somewhere, e.g., D:\noir. You will get 3 folders – “MT6577 USB VCOM drivers”, “recovery_files” and “SP_Flash_Tool_v3.1224.01”.

2) Installation of VCOM driver: Even if you have already installed VCOM drivers, install these as well as they’re a must. Run InstallDriver.exe to install. Then, turn off your phone, connect with USB cable and drivers will get installed automatically.

3) Open SP_Flash_Tool folder and run Flash_tool.exe. Click on scatter-loading button, navigate to recovery_files folder which you extracted earlier and select “MT6577_Android_scatter_emmc.txt”. Click OK and ignore if any errors come up.

4) Make sure only recovery is checked! All other entries must be unchecked. Your SP Flash Tool should look something like this:

QMobile Noir A8 clockworkmod recovery
QMobile Noir A8 clockworkmod recovery using SP Flash Tool

5)Turn off your device. Remove the battery and reinsert after few seconds. Do not turn on the device yet.

6)Click the Download button in Smart Phone Flash Tool. Now connect your Noir A8 while still in off state.

7)It will be detected in SP Flash tool, a red bar will progress to 100%. Then it will ask to connect cable in 12 seconds but DO NOT remove the cable or do anything. Just let the timer finish, it will again show progress bar and at the end you will get a small window with green circle.

That means the recovery was successfully flashed ! Congrats, you did the job! 😛

In Case Of Errors When You Press Download & Connect Phone:

If you’re getting errors like BROM DL_ALL failed, then follow this procedure, which will flash recovery to all MTK phones without SP Flash Tool:

  1. Download the script from here and extract.
  2. Three recoveries are pre-included. Rename the one for your phone to recovery.img.
  3. Set phone to USB Debugging mode from developer options and connect to PC, or start it in recovery mode.
  4. Then run the file named flashit.bat.

If any errors occur like phone not detected, your ADB drivers are not installed. So, install MT6577 / MT6575 drivers properly.

Few things:

  • To go in the recovery mode of Noir A8, hold down volume up and power button. Release when the logo appears.
  • For backup, you should have at least 1GB free on SD card. Go to backups/restore and make a backup. You should get the folder clockworkmod on your SD card with 2 sub folders in it, backup and blobs.
  • I have tried the backup and so far, it successfully makes the backup. Haven’t tried the restore functionality yet so please either wait for confirmation OR you can try to test the restore functionality on your own and report here. 🙂
  • UPDATE: Restore works too as per user reports. So, this is a fully functional recovery for Noir A8! 🙂

Easily Root Noir A8!

A week back, QMobile surprised (rather shocked) everyone in the tech world by launching QMobile Noir A8. It’s a dual core 1GHz phone running Ice Cream Sandwich, PowerVR SGX 531 GPU, 4.3 inch capacitive screen and 1GB usable internal memory (total 2GB). All these great specs just for the price of PKR 14,500.

It runs on MediaTek MT6577 chipset (SoC) which is a respectable hardware platform and includes the above CPU/GPU. This same chipset is also running on several other Chinese phones like Lenovo A789, Haipai X710d, Bird v1277, HDC S3 clone etc.

The best thing for you is, it already has been rooted! Bin4ry at XDA-Developers has created a universal rooting script for ICS and Jelly Bean devices, and it should be able to root your QMobile Noir A8 as well. Here’s how to root Noir A8:

Steps for rooting QMobile Noir A8:

  1. Download and extract this archive.
  2. Go to Settings->Security and check “Unknown Sources”.
  3. Set phone to USB debugging mode from settings and connect to PC. When Windows ask for drivers, manually choose the location of the folder Noir A8 USB ADB drivers and install the drivers.
  4. Remove the cable, turn off your phone. Connect again to PC while it’s off, it will again ask for drivers. Now install driver from the folder “Noir A8 preloader VCOM”. (Thanks to max414 from PG for driver.)
  5. Now turn it on, still keeping it in debugging mode. Navigate to folder “Root_script_by_Bin4ry_v15” and open Runme.bat. Follow the instructions (choose normal mode) and you’ll have a rooted Noir A8! Check for superuser app and it should be in the app drawer.

 

Now, what you intend to do with this powerful beast for its price is up to you! You can modify it the way you like, install custom launchers and many more fun stuff! If you’re running out of internal memory (though 1GB is quite a lot for apps), you can always use Link2SD with microSD card.

If you have any more questions or corrections, please comment below! Thanks.