Friday, October 15, 2010

Rooting Spice MI-300

The process of Rooting your phone may brick your device and may void the manufacturer warranty, I hereby advise readers to be sure about what they are doing and I am not liable for any damage caused to your phone in this process.


  • Before Starting the Rooting process, I assume that you have updated your Spice MI-300 with official Android release 2.1 from Spice, and necessary data backup is done(rooting will erase all your phone data - but not the SDCARD data).
  • There are two different flavors of Custom ROMs available at Boston Mania, you can choose the suitable flavor either FiretrapVanilla or FiretrapSuger. Following Rooting procedure uses FiretrapSuger.

Simplest Method to root your Android Spice MI-300:
  1. Download the zipped nb0(Custom ROM) file from this link.
  2. Unzip the downloaded .rar file(using WinRAR) and rename firetrapSugar.nb0 to firmware.nb0
  3. Copy firmware.nb0 to your phones SDCARD under root directory(not anywhere in any folder).
  4. Switch OFF the phone.
  5. Press and hold volume_up+camera buttons, while holding these two buttons, also press and hold Power button(next to 3.5mm audio jack) for about 15 Seconds.
  6. Phone will boot and stay in "Android system recovery mode".
  7. Using trackball, scroll down to "Download nb0 from sdcard" and push trackball to start updating firmware.
  8. Wait for the phone to update firmware this may take 2-3 minutes.
  9. After the update, phone will reboot with new splash screen "Android"

Now you will have shiny Android flavor "firetrapSuger" with root access and some inbuilt applications.... Go-on and buy/download some nice apps like SetCPU/RootExplorer/QuickSSHD/CacheCleaner/WebSharing/Astro/Skype

SetCPU is a Paid Application using which you can set the speed of your cpu between 122Mhz to 600Mhz(try finding some free app for CPU clock from android market)

TIPS for your Rooted MI-300:
  • When Root Applications are invoked, Permission for root access will prompt user to confirm for access, you can check "always allow" for the needed applications to avoid re-confirmation every time.
  • Turn your camera flash to a Torch using a widget SwitchPro available in firetrapSuger.
  • Instead of adb through USB, Install QuickSSHd to gain shell access through wi-fi of your phone.
  • Using QuickSSHd, you can copy files and folders to your phone over wi-fi using winScp.

After Rooting, I also advise you to take the backup of all data partitions of Flash memory, follow these steps and keep the backup files somewhere safe:
  1. Login to your phone using adb or ssh/putty(for this you need QuickSSHd on your phone)
  2. If you login using adb, do 'su' and check your phone for super user confirmation and allow the root access
  3. Now you will have root permission to read your mtd partitions, run the following 11 linux commands to take the backup of all NANDFlash partitions(brief summary of Flash partitions of your phone can be viewed using 'cat /proc/mtd' command)
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd0 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt0.boot
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd1 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt1.misc
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd2 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt2.splash
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd3 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt3.recovery
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd4 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt4.ftm
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd5 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt5.hidden
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd6 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt6.dgbmask
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd7 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt7.system
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd8 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt8.misc2
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd9 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt9.cache
  • cat /dev/mtd/mtd10 > /sdcard/bkup.mdt10.userdata
Though you may not need the backup all partitions, but boot and recovery partitions are important, you can copy all these files from SDCARD and keep them safe somewhere on your PC.

There is one last important note:
In case if you want to go back to the official release to claim the warranty from spice, just update rooted phone with 'Software Update Tool' provided by Spice and your phone will be back to normal as it was.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spice Mi-300

Being a Linux enthusiast, I have had this though of buying a phone on which I can try my programming skills apart from using it as a normal phone. For sure Android was my favorite candidate for its open source development platform.

Recently when i saw an ad from Spice on their new android touch phone for 10k, I couldn't hold myself from exploring this phone offering attractive hardware specification.

Initially I was bit skeptical due to limited information and review of this device on the web, some how i went ahead and took the chance to keep my 10k at stake(later on I found tons of information when I searched with different model number-Vibo A688).

Following is the list of pros and cons which i have felt after using it for several weeks,

  1. Excellent touch response(much better than any other branded phone)
  2. Size and thickness are comparable with any other branded phone
  3. Fairly good quality picture(if taken at a good distance and good ambient light condition)
  4. Android 2.1 update is available.
  5. Active Android community providing custom ROMs(even Android 2.2 update is already under testing by the community).
  6. Fairly a good amount of hacking info available in the android community.
  7. If you are a Hacker, this is a best option to try your android development skills

  1. Poor Built quality with plastic body
  2. Poor battery life(dont expect more than 1 to 1.5 days)
  3. camera is unable to focus for the photos taken at a shorter distance(ex: document scan)

Basically this phone is known with the model name Vibo-A688/Z71 among the android community and as per the android wiki, it is made by Taiwan based company Commtiva. Following list shows different model numbers of same hardware sold in different countries,
  1. Apanda A60(China):
  2. ChinaVision Excalibur
  3. Cincinnati Bell Blaze f800
  4. Commtiva Z71
  5. Muchtel A1(Taiwan):
  6. Nexian Journey A890(Indonesia):
  7. Orange Boston
  8. Spice Mi-300:
  9. Vibo A688(Taiwan):,2c9681c62913f646012959ee62a500a0,,,.html#top
  10. Wellcom A88(Thailand):
  11. Videocon is selling the same hardware with modified body called evolve-V7500
Even Motorola is selling the similar hardware called Motorola Quench XT502(see spec from gsm-arena)

After I got the 2.1 update from spice, I was bit disappointed to see that CPU Clock was reduced to 480Mhz from 600Mhz(for improving the battery backup), but I decided Root and update with new ROM called firetrap Sugar 1.1 from boston-mania
Warning: Rooting the phone or updating custom ROM may void manufacturer warranty, dont try this if you dont know what you are doing!!!!!!

Once you root your phone, you are open to the wonderful world of Linux open-source and full control over your phone, as a developer you can do several different things as listed below
  • setting the cpu clock(with different cpu clock profiles, you can conserve battery)
  • using camera flash as torch
  • using ssh to login to phone's commandline access
  • using phone's 3G to provide internet access to other computers(wi-fi teathering)
  • running your own scripts writtne in ruby, python,pearl, java script etc.. for different automation purpose
  • write your own C program and compile with arm-toolchain and run on your phone

Here are some interesting apps which I have installed on my phone and got better control over many things
  • Root Explorer(paid app)
  • QuickSSHD(paid app, you dont need usb-cable and adb to get linux shell access, use putty to login to your phone and winscp/pscp to copy files from your computer to mobile over wi-fi)
  • SetCPU(paid app, its great having control over your cpu speed)
  • Cache Cleaner(free app)
  • Alarm Clock Plus(free app)
  • WebSharing(paid version allows more features)
  • Astro(free file browser)
  • skype(save money at home/office, use wi-fi and talk using voip)
  • Picture Viewer (nice app for picture viewing)
  • Talking Tom(funny app for your kid)
  • Lookout(phone securing app for tracking your phone in case of lost/stolen mobile)
  • Barnacle Wifi Tether(turn you phone as a wifi router to serve internet for other PCs).
Here are the pictures of my android phone and screen shots, Hope you are happy to know amazing things possible with your 10k phone, Wish you Happy Hacking and watch-out for more android tips and tricks ;-)