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* * * * *

CIDotW - Zopo ZP900 Leader / H9500

Welcome to our new feature - 'Chinese Import Device of the Week'. Here at MoDaCo we've developed something of an obsession with scouring the likes of AliExpress for interesting (and super cheap) devices, so we want to help you find the interesting ones!

We'll be covering generic brand devices as well as the better known brands like Xiaomi, ZTE and Huawei, with highlights and lowlights together with reviews of some of them both from the team and from MoDaCo members. This week... the Zopo ZP900.

What is it and what makes it worth of CIDotW?

The Zopo ZP900 Leader, also known as the H9500, is a Dual Core, Dual SIM Android device with a whopping 5.3" qHD screen. It comes in Blue or White, looks a lot like a Samsung device and runs Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Galaxy Note is pretty interesting, but for a lot of people it's too pricey. This phone gives you a similar size screen at a much, MUCH cheaper price. In common with a lot of the Chinese devices it's dual SIM (both active simultaneously), which is pretty neat. I'm kinda sold on the concept since I reviewed the Acer Gallant Duo, which is based on the single core version of the chipset in this device.

The ZP900 / H9500 is the 'higher end' device of a two model range, the ZP900S / H9300i has an inferior camera and half the RAM. Order with care!

What's the specs?

The device features (according to the listing)...
  • Dual SIM
  • 5.3" qHD screen
  • Android 4.0.4
  • GPS
  • MTK6577 Dual Core CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB ROM
  • microSD expansion
  • 2 Megapixel front camera
  • 8 Megapixel rear camera
  • 2800mAh battery
  • 149.6 x 78 x 10.2 mm
  • 140g
  • Free case included
How much, from where?

The ZP900 best price at the time of writing is $235 from this seller with free (slow) delivery, which works out at £146.15. You may be charged import duty on the phone and express delivery is also available at additional cost.

Pros and cons?

Bear in mind that a lot of the pros and cons apply to pretty much any device you buy from the 'no-name' companies!

  • Cheap!
  • Hackable
  • Good dual SIM functionality
  • Decent performance
  • Big screen
  • Warranty claims may well be troublesome if required
  • Build quality is an unknown
  • Be sure to buy the 1GB RAM version not the reduced spec 512MB RAM version
  • Google Play Store may / may not come pre-installed
  • Free slow delivery is slow
  • Upgradeability to future OS releases is very much unknown
  • Battery size quoted depends on who you ask
Do you have an Zopo ZP900 Leader?

Do you agree / disagree with my thoughts? Post below!

Posted Image

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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anything more on the Huawei Ascend G500 Pro?
be interesting to hear more about it after you tweeted that a Modaco has brought 1 :)
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I've been a long user of China brewed phones and devices. I think I've owned one of each generation of Mediatek's Android chips, right back to the severely underpowered 416mHz MT6516. The devices have really been shining since the release of the 6575 @ 1GHZ last year, and the new dual core chips are really rocketing.

For the past 2 months I've been using the ZP900S/9300+ as my primary phone. It might only have the 512MB of RAM, but it's still a great performer.
Posted Image
The Battery in the device is very large. Like most China phones, 2 batteries are included in the box. I'm a reasonably heavy user, I always leave WiFi on and have the screen brightness locked at the second highest level and it gets to about 15% when I go to bed.

The screen is the star, it's not an old TFT where you can see the lines between the pixels. Colors are accurate, and outside of looking at it from a 90 degree angle it holds up well.

It is the cheaper model with the lesser camera, but it still performs OK. It does capture at 8MP, but It's probably doing a bit of software interpolation to get to that. I've noticed the camera can have a bias towards red, but you have to look for it. A couple of samples:

Now, like most phones from China, out of the box they're not very appealing. They always come with a big stack of Chinese bloatware. This phone in particular had an annoying partition arrangement. It had a 4GB rom, but Internal Storage was partitioned to 500MB, 2GB was set to /sdcard and the actual sd card slot would mount as /sdcard2. Fortunately, I was able to use Google Translate, browse a few Chinese and Russian forums to find a clean firmware allocating a full 2.5GB to the internal storage and having the actual SD card slot be /sdcard. It also included ClockwordMod recovery, and I was able flash a zip to load SuperSU and root the phone.

The 512MB of RAM might be an issue for some, but it works well for me. I regularly use Opera Mobile, Twitter, Gmail, Viber and Maps and they all never get killed in the background. When I run a game or a more resource intensive app it does kull out a few of the programs, but for day to day use it should be fine. I used to run a ZTE Blade for a while, and as you'd expect this runs rings around that. I've been playing the HD version of Bad Piggies since it came out and that runs flawlessly.

The Android implementation across Mediatek phones is generally identical. The Dual Sim functionality in this device is exactly like the Acer Gallant Duo as detailed in Paui's review. It's running 4.0.4 with all the standard trimmings. For my device Google Play was working out of the box and in every firmware I've been able to find. I get no incompatibility warnings with any apps I've wanted to install.

If anyone has questions about this or other Mediatek based China devices, I'm happy to answer. I'm a long time user and have been buying them for friends and family for a while. (If you're after a 4" phone I'd recommend the Jiayu G2+ - one of the best screens I've seen on a phone and a stunning camera for ~$160 US). But until then enjoy this full sized image of the stats as reported in Antutu!
Posted Image
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You got me looking on Aliexpress, I really like the look of this S3 clone
If the software is reasonably bug free and the screen is any good then it looks like a bargain, has anyone heard of bluebo before? Will modaco sponser me to write a review ;)
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I've been a long user of China brewed phones and devices. I think I've owned one of each generation of Mediatek's Android chips, right back to the severely underpowered 416mHz MT6516. The devices have really been shining since the release of the 6575 @ 1GHZ last year, and the new dual core chips are really rocketing.


were did you buy yours from, if i was to order one, were can you recommend, im in the uk
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Same question here ... where can I safely order an JiaYu G2+ (MT6577 Dual Core, 1GB RAM) shipped to Europe / Austria without customs problems? I have no experience whatsoever at importing directly from China.
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Deliberate avoidance of Customs and Duty is illegal, no ? and you expect others to offer advise on how to break the Law ?
If the device clear Customs without charges then you are lucky, otherwise be expected to pay your dues................
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Who said anything about custom avoidance and breaking the law? A little paranoid, are we? I said custom problems, like blatantly wrong value declaration (10$ or gift) with missing invoice where the shipment stays at customs for days while awaiting a proper invoice ...
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ahhh, now your talking my language, nice work Paul.

The big news from domestic chinese phone brands over the next few monthes will be the introduction of the new MTK chipsets. The upcoming quad core MT6588 will be Cortex A7 based, 28nm process and finally see them dropping the PowerVR SGX530 and upgrading to the 544. I think MTK will also introduce some other chipsets too.

A couple of links:

http://www.gizchina.com/, for some nice news and reviews etc
http://www.zopomobileshop.com, an online store for all things zopo
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I think the forthcoming 6588 looks great, the 6599 will bring 8 core too! :o

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Yeah total madness, with 4G and LTE on board too apparently. If I was qualcomm i'd be crapping my drawers right now.
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While the hardware seems to have become decent these on low end Chinese phones how is the community development?
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Great idea for a series of articles! Look Forward to reading more on these...
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Surprised no mention of the Lenovo S2005A, the Dell Streak replacement http://www.merimobil..._p/meri3875.htm
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Glad you recognise china at last.
On account of my hanging nexus7 I'm looking at things like the visture v4hd with keyboard n case for 255$ or a pipo m1/2/3 with 3g for around 200$ also cube u30gt.
Phonos - oppo find 5 is hard to pass up but the latest HTC one x clones look amazing or as of now xiaomei x2 :)
Tbh zp900 is pretty old news. Zte quad looks cheap and probably appealing to uk buyers. Personally I'll not go near nvidia or anyone with closed software drivers again. Chia really deserves to kill the overpriced phone marks in the west anytime soon.
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The ZP900 has dropped in price a lot lately, a sound one to start with I reckon. :-)

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were did you buy yours from, if i was to order one, were can you recommend, im in the uk

yup. would be interesting to try and share such info in a proper way.
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I like the idea of these devices but have trust issues where quality is concerned. I only bought something once (wifi dongle) from China and it packed up in a few weeks. Not a problem when it's a few quid, but £100+ I'd be gutted. SO, really looking forward to your reviews and recommendations on devices, sites and sellers!
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Oct 10 2012 04:08 PM
This could cost me a lot of money this series if articles :D

Would it be worth having a Chinese import area of the forums? Seems to be the same few questions coming up and might be a good place to share new purchases and a naughty and nice importer list
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custom rom support etc? what it like?
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Jun 22 2013 02:33 AM
Old thread I know, but I just picked up a H9500 (I think it's the same H9500) for $195.
I'm wondering what other software loads I might be able to find for it.
It seems like a nice phone, BUT so far I've found that A) It won't talk to my AT&T 3G microcell, B) The camera saves photos to the phone memory, not the SD card, and C) It won't mount the SD card as a USB drive.

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Just ordered a Zopo C2 platinum. Might take up to 15 days to arrive
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