The Spice Mi-300 Android Experience

person Bijeshfolder_openAndroidlocal_offer, , , access_time October 26, 2010

I wanted an Android phone to replace my aged and broken SE w700i. Given the way I treat phones I did not want to spend big bucks on a phone. Samsung seemed to have pulled the plug on all its entry levels – the Galaxy Spica, etc. The lowest priced Android I could find in the Indian markets was the HTC Wildfire and even that was never in stock. It was then Spice Mobiles launched the Mi-300. I was a bit skeptical but the neighbourhood Hotspot dealer gladly let me boot the phone and get a feel for it. And at 9990 (before trading in my SE) it was a yummy deal. The phone came with Android 1.6 installed but Spice promised that a 2.1 update would be out soon.

I was flying to Australia in less than a week and I knew I would need a GPS enabled phone when I had to go house hunting. So traded in my SE and bought the Mi-300. The box contained a manual, USB connector, USB charging unit, USB extender cable, basic headset and the phone, of course. Initially I did find the battery life a bit disappointed but it seemed to have improved after a few charges. The camera was almost useless but at 9k I didn’t expect much. WiFi and GPS connectivity was brilliant.

Around end September, I got an email from Spice about the 2.1 update and I immediately grabbed it and put it on the phone. Installation was not completely hassle free and took a few reboots to get right. Android 2.1 looked slick!! Touch seemed more responsive and the keyboard was much easier to use. The browser worked better as well. What I didn’t realise then was that the update capped the processor at 400 Mhz to conserve battery. As a result, having more than a few apps open dragged the phone down.

I chanced upon boston-mania and realised that the Mi-300 was a clone of the Orange Boston (and other names). Excellent. So following up with this “discovery”, I decided that now would be a good time as any to try out a custom ROM and both firetrap 1.2 or CMLEclair 1.2 were supposed to remove the processor cap.

I first rooted the phone using SuperOneClick 1.5. XDA-Developers thread here. This was a straightforward hack.

1) Unzip SuperOneClick (SOC) on your PC.
2) Unmount and remove SD card from the phone. Connect the phone to PC.
3) Replace the file “adb.exe” within SOC with the adb.exe from the Mi-300 CDROM drive that appears.
4) Run SOC and click “Root”
5) Allow it to run until it hangs at a particular message (IIRC it reads something like “rage against the cage”). Exit SOC when it does not go further.
6) Run SOC again and click “Root”
7) You should see a message that the phone has been rooted. If SOC hangs again, exit SOC and retry.

Notes: If SOC hangs at “Waiting on device” even after retries- open a command prompt, change to SOC directory and run “adb devices”. If your phone is not listed, run Setup.exe in the Mi-300 CDROM and try again.

8) At this point the phone is rooted but the root is not persistent yet. Follow the below steps
9) Open a command prompt on your PC and change to the SOC directory.
10) Run the following command command “adb push su /system/bin”. “su” is a file that shoud be in the SOC directory.
11) Type “adb shell”. You should see a # prompt
12) Run the command “chmod 4755 /system/bin/su”

I got on a custom recovery first – “ClockworkMod”. Boston-mania carried a custom version for the Orange Boston. Again installation was fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, the RUT tool needed to install firetrap or CMLEclair does not seem to work with a custom recovery image. I will probably need to revert to the stock recocery and try. Alternately, I will wait for the CyanogenMod 6 (Froyo) version that boston-mania promises for the Orange Boston. Now, that would be awesome.

Will post further on how it goes!
Disclaimer: Rooting your phone may void your warranty. It may also brick your phone. Try it at your own risk.

Useful Links

1) SuperOneClick

2) ClockworkMod_z71 – ported for the z71 and clones

3) Flash_image or here – use to flash images to phone


Comments

  1. Hey,
    I installed firetrap sugar 1.2 on my Mi300. Now, when I try to get into recovery mode, it just hangs at the Android Logo, displaying text “enter Recovery Mode”.
    Any solutions for this?

  2. Nick, does the phone otherwise boot normally? You probably have some options – 1) reinstall firetrap 2) get the firetrap recovery image from someone and flash it or 3) install the clockwork mod recovery

  3. Hi Bijesh,
    Thanks for the reply,
    the phone works properly. It just gets stuck in recovery and fastboot modes.
    1) I cannot reinstall firetrap as it doesnt go in recovery mode. Any other way to reinstall it?
    2) Do you have the firetrap recovery image, I’m trying to extract it from the .nb0 file.
    3) I tried installing the clockwork mod recovery but it doesn’t give su access through adb. I tried doing it through a GScript Lite app, but I think its the clockwork mod image which is faulty, coz when I installed firetrap sugar, I went to recovery mode on 1st boot.

  4. Nick,

    1) You can install using RUT in download mode (Call End Key + Volume Up + Power). This is how I installed CMLEclair. RUT does warn about using download mode.

    2) I don’t have firetrap installed. You can extract the nb0 using this guide http://android-dls.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_to_unpack_and_repack_NB0_file. The A688 tools can be downloaded from http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IFO209MS.

    3) Did you use the clockworkmod ported for z71? Get it here – http://uploading.com/files/9ef66e9f/clockwork-z71.img/

  5. Hi Bijesh,
    Thanks for the advice.
    The problem was with a Clockworld Mod Recovery image, which got installed through ROM Manager App.
    I extracted the recovery image from firetrapsugar.nb0 ROM. Then flashed it to phone through GScript Lite.
    After this the phone went into recovery mode and worked properly, but I lost root access.
    I had to install the Spice 2.1 Version then flashed firetrap vanilla to get the root.
    Another thing is about apps2sd, I partitioned my SD card (32MB swap, 256Mb ext2) through the recovery mode before installing Spice version and vanilla. Now do I have to enable apps2sd from recovery mode, or will it start working automatically. How do I know if apps2sd is installed and working?(It shows an option Enable apps2sd in recovery mode)

    Regards,
    Nick

  6. enter in recovery mode and wipe all data, after that the phone does the reboot correctly :)

    Rom 2.2 for soon :D
    http://boston-mania.blogspot.com/2010/10/cyanogen-mod-61-froyo-no-boston-video.html

  7. @termoflua: Good News!! So it’s already in porting and perhaps being beta tested. Yay!!

  8. @Nick: to check if Apps2SD is active. In ADB shell or Terminal emulator, run a list on /data

    #ls /data

    If the app and app-data folder show up as symlinks pointing to “/system/sd/app” and “/system/sd/app-data”, then Apps2SD must be active. I don’t think Apps2SD would be active after a reinstall, though.

  9. @Bijesh: when I enable apps2sd from the Recovery menu, The fone doesn’t boot.
    I had to Master Reset it. Any idea why this could be?

  10. Bijesh, could you please upload the stock spice recovery image somewhere? Turns out that the spice 2.1 updater checks for the the recovery image and displays an error if it’s different. I flashed clockwork-z71 and somehow could not take a backup of the stock recovery. The phone works fine with Firetrap vanilla, but I’d like to be able to claim warranty :-)

  11. @Bloodyhippo: Download from http://dox.bijesh.info/bkup_mtd3_recovery.zip. Note this recovery img was created by simple concatenation (cat) command and I haven’t tested this backup. And btw, what is the error that the spice 2.1 updater shows with the custom recovery image?

  12. @Nick: I am yet to try apps2sd but one of the pre-reqs is to have formatted the SD card to create the swp and app partitions. Did you do that?

  13. Spice updater says “error: software does not match phone software”.
    I THINK it means the recovery and bootloader. I’ll try and flash your spice recovery and get report. Thanks a lot!

    PS: I extracted a the boot and recovery images from the spice 2.1 update nb0 file. Those should work too, right?

  14. @bhippo: Yeah, the img from the nb0 will be a better bet to use.

  15. So I flashed the recovery image from the spice nb0 file, and it worked :-)
    Then I proceeded with the spice updater tool, but it stil gave me the same error: “software image file does not match with phone software”.
    Anyhow, the original recovery was back, and it had an option to flash nb0 from sdcard, and I did that, and all’s well now. Thanks for all the help :-)

  16. hey bijesh,can u tell me step by step how to recover back to my original spice rom..i had the same problem like bloodyhippo..now i’m using boston rom and clockword mod recovery..when i’m trying to locate the original rom,the problem is it doesn’t match to image..i already download your recovery there but i dont know how to use it..if can,pls send the method ad supa_sapiens89@yahoo.com..TQ

  17. hi
    can anyone send me the official spice 2.1 nb0?
    or tell me how to get it from the installer?
    vibhor15@gmail.com

  18. @vibhor, @rain : run the installer, and when the software update tool starts, just go to programs files\software update tool\ and look for the nb0 file there.

  19. Hello All,

    I have installed the firetrapSugar 1.2 and facing the same problem e.g. unable to boot in recovery mode.
    Could you please guide me (step by step), to how to get back to spice original ROM and unroot the same stock ROM of spice.
    Thanks in advance.

  20. I tried SuperOne Click and it did not work, I found a way to root my mobile without even connecting to computer and it is 100% guaranteed root, refer here http://wahedkhan.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/root-z71spice-mi300-gingerbread-is-available-to-flash/

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