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If you have spent some time on the Net looking for information about the i68 +, you have certainly noticed that they are different types of i68, the Sciphone i68 + is often called the "original" and all the others types are called "clones". The Sciphone i68 + is produced by Bleulane Communication where as the other phones are manufactured by different factories in Shenzeng area and are basically OEM or unbranded phones. Among others, you will hear about i9 +, i9 ++++, i9 3G or even about i68 +.

So which one to choose and is it worth to pay more for the branded cell phone? As we have in our Lab two types of i68 + we just did a comparison test.

The presentation

We received our Sciphone i68 + in a nice glossy box with photos of the phone on it. Our clone, a Scellphone i68 + was delivered in a plain brown cardboard box. But as they say, you do not eat the box.

Both phones come with earphone, car and wall chargers, 2 batteries and a user manual.

Sciphone accessories are packed in bags with a sticker which says "Sciphone original accessory" with a serial number while Scellphone's accessories are packaged in simple transparent bags with no markings.

The wall charger has an integrated slot for a battery where the Scellphone can only charge its batteries with the phone plugged in. The car charger comes for the Sciphone with its own cable where as the Scellphone has to mutualise its cable for the car, and wall charger and USB connection.

Overall, the Sciphone accessories are better built.

What is also striking when comparing the contents of the 2 boxes is the color of the batteries. The Sciphone batteries are white, others are golden. To check their relative capacity, we left both phones on standby next to one another, connected to the same operator for several days: our Sciphone worked for 185 hours and our Scellphone for 240 hours. We had often read on forum that golden batteries where worthless, but our test shows different results.

The Sciphone is shipped with a 24 pages user manual and a quick start guide, whereas our Scellphone is provided with a quick start guide, which is only a low quality reprint of the Sciphone quick start guide.

The look

Now let linger at the two terminals. At first glance they look identical; the same buttons, the speakerphone grills and the USB connectors are all at the same places.

By examining more closely the 2 phones, the original device is slightly better built, the battery cover is better adjusted to the rest of the phone. As for the weight, 10 grams separates the two phones and guess which one is the heavier?
The label under the Sciphone battery is written exclusively in English and shows a serial number and IMEY codes whereas the Scellphone is written with a mix of English and Chinese.

Performance

Both phones are now loaded, let turn them on, the Sciphone displays "SciPhone" in white letters on a black background and the Scellphone shows a small animation on a white background.

At rest, they display the same wallpapers (the earth, clown fish ...). The small icons at the top of the screen are larger on the Sciphone and more refined on the second. Both devices have a 3 pages menu and share some of their icons.

We must admit that the user interface is more pleasant and ergonomic on the ScellPhone.

Most of the features are the same on both phones: dual sim, quadband, GPRS / WAP, Bluetooth, USB, microSD card slot, camera, digital camera, viewer ebook.
The Sciphone adds: an agenda, a call recording, a melody builder and it can wake you up with a choice of radio, MP3 or alarm ringtone.

Even if both phones offer the same multimedia functions, the quality of the delivery is quite different. Indeed, it is not possible to change the photos resolution on the ScellPhone which offers a regrettable definition of 320x480 pixels while the original i68 + offers several levels of definition up to 640x480. It's even worse for the digital camera on the Scellphone: the video stops recording after 20 seconds and displays the following message: Storage too slow or busy.
For audio functions, the main difference is the speaker quality, here again the Sciphone remains the best.

Both phones are providing Java functionalities so you can install new applications. Notice that the Scellphone comes with a preinstalled Opera Mini V4.2 while the Sciphone comes with a very limited standard WAP browser. So If you want to enjoy browsing experience or use email services, you will have to install an Opera Mini.

On the hardware side, both phone phones are quite alike, they use the same processor (MTK MT6225) and the same types of components.

Which one to choose?

It is the perpetual question, well; it all depends on what are your needs and budget.

The Sciphone has a slightly better built quality, it comes with a guaranty from the manufacturer and applications providing more settings or options but they look a bit austere.

The Scellphone has a much better user interface. Its price is also more interesting you save at least USD 15. But do not count on the still and video cameras.

At the end, take time to choose the right store and here, the price is not necessarily the most important. A good after-sales service and good reputation are worth a few more Dollars.

Do not trust necessarily all what you read on forums, make your opinion by contacting the directly the vendor and ask few questions about the phone and about the purchasing and shipping processes.