New phone language difficulties English/Chinese OS

I went to FET just now to buy an HTC HD Mini. The operating system is Windows mobile 6.5 in Chinese. They told me that it isn’t possible to get an English version in Taiwan, which I think is probably not true as they’re made here and likely set up for all overseas markets/languages here.

Also I tried the X10 mini with Android, same problem. Actually you could select English but when writing a message the English can’t do predictive text and quickly reverts to Chinese if you press the wrong button.

They had the HTC Tattoo (Android) fully working in English but it’s a fat little bugger.

My questions are: If I get an HTC HD Mini here, how easy is it to reload the operating system in English from the internet?

Has anyone here been able to get FarEasTone or any other carrier to sprecially order them a phone with English operating system?

I’m against getting one overseas because the cost of running it for a year works out the same if you get it free from the carrier or use your own phone on unlimited tariffs.

Looks like my original reply in the iPhone 4 thread was deleted, but I assume you already read it. Here’s an abridged version for record:

Windows Mobile: Yes, in most cases you can have a different localization flashed onto the device. Find a phone reseller that is not owned/affiliated with a carrier and ask the salesperson if they can perform the service for you, as it can be complex for the new user. There is a ton of information on xda-developers about this for HTC-made winmo phones.

X10 Android: Simply long-press on the keyboard and change to the “Android Keyboard”, which is the standard latin alphabet keyboard. You will have no problems with automatic prediction then. You can also completely disable the Pinyin keyboard in the system settings if you feel you will not need it.

By the way, HTC has a new compact tablet style Android to replace the Tattoo, the Wildfire. Might want to put it on your short list instead of the Tattoo. … 2267&c=A10

Just a word of advice, if you’re getting an Android phone, get one with a HVGA (320x480) or higher resolution screen. You really don’t want a phone with QVGA (320x240), as they’re just crap to use for online content.

Also, if you’re going Android, I’d sign up for the Swype beta, it’s a fantastic software keyboard for Android which will hopefully be launched as a purchasable app in the future.

FET said if I have the OS reloaded in English it will void the warranty. My boss has an HTC and he was told by the shop 2 years ago they would do it, it would void the warranty but if it broke they would fix it for him like any other customer who bought a phone off them.

I’ve had a look at the Wildfire, it looks like it could be the one for me to save a load of hassle.

Is Android 2.1 regarded as being better than windows mobile 6.5? To be honest, all I want it for is Skype and Google maps. I’m not really an electrical gizmo afficionado.

There’s no downloadable Skype client for Android as yet, although some phones in the US and UK (and maybe other markets) come pre-loaded with Skype. I dunno about Taiwan. Skype has also dropped support for Windows Mobile, so no dice there either. There are some third party apps, but I’m not sure how well they work.

As I said before, don’t get a phone with a low resolution screen, you’ll really regret it. If you’re on a really tight budget, wait for the new LG GT540 to come out, it’s a nice small handset with HVGA screen at least, or get the HTC Hero which is going for cheap now, as it’ll be at least as good as the Wildfire, if not better despite being an older device. The Acer Liquid might be another good budget buy, very good hardware for the money, although not the best looking phone out there. If you really want to spend as little as possible, check out the various local devices, you can pick Taiwan Mobile’s T1 for under NT$6k without a contract and FET has a model or two of their own as well, although I can’t say I like the one with the keyboard all that much.

Android is way better than Windows Mobile imho (and I’ve had enough Windows Mobile devices over the years), but it does of course take a little getting used to. The integration with Google’s services is also really good if that’s something that’s appealing to you. On top of that things like Google Maps is well integrated, although it’s not really for navigation.

Also bear in mind that you’d want to get an unlimited data package with your phone which is about $850 a month, as otherwise you won’t really make use of many of the services on off (including Google Maps).

FET charges $775/mo for their unlimited internet I believe.

You can use Skype on Android via Fring. The current version, however, does not provide ways to let you check your balance or make modifications to the account.

Your can use Fring or Nimbuzz to do Skype on Android.

WinMo 6.5 is deader than dead.

I’ve had four mobile phones in the last ten years, all of them the cheapest one possible. Not because I can’t afford a good one, just because I don’t have much interest in them apart from talking and messaging.

My wife works overseas about 25 days a month so I want to get an intrnet phone so I can call her wherever for not much cash without having to be at home.

I need to get one asap as I smashed my current phone last week.

I like to be physically active so I want a very small phone that I won’t feel in my pocket, that’s why I would never consider a large but very functional phone.

As luck (?) would have it, my digital camera broke two weeks ago so I also need a new one of those. My iPod also died a couple of months ago. My wife says I should get a phone that does the lot, cost no object.

iPhone is too big, as are most HTC phones. I like the Sony X10 mini but I think there’s a good chance it will break in a few months, it’s not solid and it’s made in China.

Really all I want is VOIP capability and I love those Google maps with GPS for when riding in the mountains.

I’m not a big fan of Microsoft.

What would be the best phone for me, cost no object?

Small, VOIP capable, Maps and GPS, good camera.


PS I like brand names!

Seems like there is a solution for flashing any (non region-protected) ROM for HD Mini, so should be not too hard:

Theoretically you should be able to get an English ROM on your HD Mini with that. I needed the same for my HTC Touch2, and I found that the HTC shop in the department stores next to Taipei Station bus terminal even offered to do that for me (for some extra money). I found out later that they use exactly that stuff from xda-developers for that, so theoretically you can just do it yourself. The actual shop that did it for them was in Ba De Road.

A bit more of an issue is if you want an english OS, but still want chinese input by bopomofo. The Asian English ROMs from HTC don’t have that normally, and it is hard to find solutions but not impossible, like again xda-developers shows.

As far as I am aware of Skype for Windows Mobile is not officially supported any more - so that doesn’t make Windows better for you than Android in my opinion. I happened to absolutely want a windows phone, but for reasons that probably don’t apply to you (mostly sync with my Outlook at work, also have certain applications, tools and a MD-DOS emulator available, as well as ScummVM for old adventure games for those boring MRT rides).

Anyway, I guess if you can find out that Android has everything you need, then there are several phones you can probably use well. Just make sure the feature you need is available in the software version (like Android 2.1 or whatever) that your phone has, because upgrades to different versions are seemingly not often available (just like on windows devices).

You won’t find any phone that’ll replace your camera and a you’d need something better than Google maps to navigate, as navigation support isn’t available in Taiwan.
This might suit your needs … 2010-0630/ and at NT$8,900 it’s not going to be overly expensive to replace if it breaks. It’s meant to be getting an upgrade to Android 2.1 later this month if the rumours prove to be true.

Thanks for the advice dudes. I’ve decided to use my old phone until the HTC Wildfire is available at FET and then get that. I’ll have a look at that LG one too, it seems pretty similar technically and physically.

Everyone who has posted on this thread, thanks very much.