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Teclast P78HD 7" Retina Allwinner A31 Android 4.4.2 firmware upgrade + root (tablet)

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http://liliputing.com/2014/05/teclas...ablet-100.html



Costing only about $100, the Teclast P78HD tablet is a decent bargain 7" tablet. It has a quad-core Allwinner A31 CPU, a 1920 x 1200 display, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, microSD slot, and micro-HDMI.

It lacks GPS and not pre-rooted. I purchased from TinyDeal.com and added a couple of bucks for faster, more reliable ePacket delivery.

The original firmware v1.1.2 comes with a boatload of (unwanted) pre-installed Chinese apps, most cannot be uninstalled, using up valuable internal storage space and reducing available RAM. The Teclast tUI launcher seems to try to prevent the user from accessing all apps since it lacks an "all apps" circle button. It does have Google Play Store installed along with a Chinese TaiDian apps store. I immediately downloaded the Nova launcher to replace the tUI launcher.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...oilsw.launcher

General operation seemed quite snappy and the Retina display resolution was clearly noticed while playing movies. I did get the impression that internet web access seemed a bit slower than it should be.

The P78HD is much lighter (half of the weight?) of my Nexus 7 (2012) tablet. Most of the lower weight is likely to be from a thinner battery. So, the downside is shorter battery time and upside is faster full charging.

The light weight makes the P78HD more comfortable for extended use than the Nexus 7. That comfort, however, was diminished by the hard metallic bezel edges of the P78HD when compared to the Nexus 7's softer rounded edges. When holding the P78HD in landscape mode, the wider top/bottom bezel was comfortable. In portrait mode, however, it was much less so. For comfort, I would definitely recommend adding a soft case/shell, example: http://gd1.alicdn.com/imgextra/i1/67...-678991471.jpg

I unsuccessfully tried several links and ways to "root" the P78HD in order to uninstall all the unwanted Chinese apps. There is a Teclast app called Update. One of the advertised features of Teclast is its easier OTA updates. Since a new firmware version v2.03 was just released, I tried to update, hoping that the new firmware would be "pre-rooted". Using the "automated" option of the Teclast Update app, I got an error (in bad English) that basically said that the file could not be found.

I then searched for a link to download new firmware in order to use the Teclast Update "manual update" option. The downloaded v2.03 firmware ( http://dl.dbank.com/c0ckts308s ) comes packaged in RAR format. I used Windows 7Zip to unpack the *.rar file and extracted the actual *.img file. I also repacked the package as a new *.zip file. I copied the *.rar, *.zip, and *.img files to the P78HD's internal sdcard root directory. Unfortunately, even the "manual update" option just gave a failure message when trying to update using the *.rar, *.zip, or *.img file as source. My experience suggests that the Teclast "Update" app is simply broken, at least for firmware updates.



Next method, try the Allwinner PhoenixSuit Windows software included in the downloaded RAR package. The MSI install program is in the Chinese language but you can probably guess how it works. If not, here is a (not tested) English version: http://itead.me/ITEADDownload/softwa...nixSuit_EN.msi

I started the PhoenixSuit software. It asks to upgrade to the latest version. I connected the P78HD via USB and got this display:



I clicked the Firmware tab and entered my source file P78HD(C4A5).img location. It failed. As my programmer hunch, I renamed the file to remove the parentheses and put it in C:\ root directory. This time it starts working.



You have two options: (Y) format or (N) normal upgrade. I wanted a clean start without any leftover bloatware apps so I chose YES.



The v2.03 firmware transfer process starts and when done the P78HD reboots. Everything worked fine.

Upon reboot I note that there are far fewer bloatware Chinese apps. Of course, I have to go into Settings, find the "A" icon and change the language from Chinese to English (top line). Next, set up my WI-FI and add my Google Account. Then add a few apps, starting with Nova launcher. Unfortunately, v2.03 firmware is still not rooted. However, I decided to try Kingo Android ROOT again (it did not work with v1.1.2 firmware.) With the P78HD connected via USB, this time it seems to work but too quickly. I checked using a Root Verifier app on the P78HD. It says no. I then try the Kingo ROOT AGAIN option. This time it really works.



Now as a rooted device, I used the Root App Delete app to uninstall pre-installed Chinese software, users apps and a few "system apps". (For safety, you can use PhoenixSuit's APK tab to backup most of your apps first.)

Next, I ran AnTuTu and AnTuTu X benchmark apps to compare to my Nexus 7 (2012) tablet.
Code:
                    AnTuTu              AnTuTu X

Nexus 7 (2012)      13,309               13,730
Teclast P78HD       20,795               12,790
Using the DiskInfo app, it seems that memory optimization in Google's Nexus 7 is lacking in the P78HD. Ditto for internal storage usage.

As someone who experiments with lots of apps, I have about 300 apps installed on my old Nexus 7. So far, I have less than 100 on the P78HD. One reason is that even by moving from internal to SDcard storage, you have to manage the internal storage space much more deliberately on the P78HD. Despite having 3 times as many apps on my Nexus 7, I am able to keep my internal storage usage considerably lower than on the P78HD. Regarding RAM usage, the Nexus 7 is typically under 50% in use while the P78HD is over 70%.

Bottom line: Google's optimizations on its Nexus line can make up for a lot when compared to better spec'd but less optimized competing tablets. For the price, however, the Teclast P78HD is no slouch in performance or stability. It is still quite a bargain if screen resolution, and micro-SD and HDMI features and cost are high on your list of priorities.
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19th June 2014, 02:50 PM |#2  
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Thank you for the info if you find other update please share did you notice some weird things ? like desktop icons disappear randomly, fast battery drain an when you are on 10% last more, if you update supersu app can't update su binary, see ya!
19th June 2014, 05:18 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkly81

Thank you for the info if you find other update please share did you notice some weird things ? like desktop icons disappear randomly, fast battery drain an when you are on 10% last more, if you update supersu app can't update su binary, see ya!

I never had icons disappear but maybe because I don't use the Teclast tUI launcher. I had no problem with the much better Nova launcher.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...oilsw.launcher

I did decide that Teclast's less than ideal internal memory management required something better than the built-in Android App2SD method used by utilities like Clean Master, SD Maid, All-in-One Toolbox, and AppMgr III. These utilties are only able to move a small proportion of apps to the internal SD card. If you plan to install lots of apps, you need something better like Link2SD.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...m.buak.Link2SD

To use Link2SD, your tablet must be rooted and you need to divide an external microSD card into two "primary partitions", (1) one FAT32 (Windows) partition and (2) one EXT4 (Linux) partition. I used Partition Wizard's free "MiniTool" partition manager:

http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-...n-manager.html

I used a 16GB class 10 micro-SD card. I made the first (FAT32) partition 14GB and the second (EXT4) partition 2GB.

2GB is probably far more than enough for moved apps and linking used by Link2SD, especially if you go to Link2SD Settings and change preferred Move2SD location to "Internal".

I plan to leave this 16GB micro-SD card in my Teclast P78HD permanently. (The reason: if this external SD is not present while the tablet is active, you are likely to really screw up some links and changes made by Link2SD. Your moved apps may be considered either missing or corrupted.)

Using Link2SD, I can now move almost all "user apps" from "internal storage" to (external) sdcard, apps that cannot be moved by these other utilities. I can also "really" uninstall most of the unwanted Chinese apps that other utility programs claim to uninstall but actually fail to do so.

I am not certain if this is correct, but I tend prefer to use Link2SD's "move2SD" method and not Link2SD's "link" method because (1) links may be more vulnerable to corruption (2) links may add possible overhead that "could" slow things down or use more memory. If this is wrong, I hope that someone who is more experienced with Link2SD can correct me.
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20th June 2014, 09:33 PM |#4  
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Is there another download location for the firmware ??

Download breaks after 65Mb
20th June 2014, 09:50 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helmuteke

Is there another download location for the firmware ??

Download breaks after 65Mb

This appears to be the same site with a different URL:

http://dl.vmall.com/c0ckts308s

I downloaded in the early morning at 2AM PST.

Alternate link to the Allwinner PhoenixSuit (Windows to Android) firmware "installer" software:

http://www.gooplusplus.com/minmedia/...nixSuit_CN.msi
23rd June 2014, 08:22 PM |#6  
Quote:
Originally Posted by gooplusplus.com

This appears to be the same site with a different URL:

http://dl.vmall.com/c0ckts308s

I downloaded in the early morning at 2AM PST.

Alternate link to the Allwinner PhoenixSuit (Windows to Android) firmware "installer" software:

http://www.gooplusplus.com/minmedia/...nixSuit_CN.msi

Hi, but could you also upload new firmware on google drive or dropbox?
I have 4kb/s download speed and it always fail after approx.1mb - for me no way to update to 2.03 (((

Thank you!
24th June 2014, 01:57 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillka

Hi, but could you also upload new firmware on google drive or dropbox?
I have 4kb/s download speed and it always fail after approx.1mb - for me no way to update to 2.03 (((

Thank you!

A link to the P78HD firmware 2.03 img plus 2 zipped files: (1) PhoenixSuit firmware installer and (2) Kingo root installer.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?...0U&usp=sharing
24th June 2014, 07:51 AM |#8  
Quote:
Originally Posted by gooplusplus.com

A link to the P78HD firmware 2.03 img plus 2 zipped files: (1) PhoenixSuit firmware installer and (2) Kingo root installer.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?...0U&usp=sharing

Hi, thank you!

I am really looking forward to root and update the FW on this tablet.

Did you also optimized it somehow? (modify of build.prob etc..)

I think there is lot of space for optimization because device is laggy in normal 2D mode, more that my old 1 core 512MB memory phone on Android 4.4. Also kernel is pretty old on original FW 1.1.2, CPU is underclocked (looks like)....

Otherwise it's good tables, screen is great, resolution is ideal for web browsing. I don't play games so 3D performance is not a problem for me.
HD movies are played smoothly and OK
24th June 2014, 05:37 PM |#9  
Hi,

I have problem root the device, your kingo_android_root.zip archive is "infected" regarding google drive:

"Sorry, this file is infected with a virus

Only the owner is allowed to download infected files."

I have tried to root over version I downloaded from internet but it doesn't work, it detect that device is already rooted (not true) and re-root is not successful.

Any idea? What version of Kingo root do you have tested and it's working OK?
25th June 2014, 05:59 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillka

Hi,

I have problem root the device, your kingo_android_root.zip archive is "infected" regarding google drive:

"Sorry, this file is infected with a virus

Only the owner is allowed to download infected files."

I have tried to root over version I downloaded from internet but it doesn't work, it detect that device is already rooted (not true) and re-root is not successful.

Any idea? What version of Kingo root do you have tested and it's working OK?

It is not infected. Rooting software typically contains methods to bypass security so you may get a false positive.

Here's the direct download link: http://www.kingoapp.com/android-root/download.htm

For rooting, make sure that you have enabled "USB debugging" in your tablet's Settings -> Developer options

Connect to a USB 2.0 port if possible and not a USB 3.0 port.

Swipe down from top of the tablet's screen to see notifications.

The bottom line notification will probably be 'Connect as ...'

Click that line and make sure that 'USB large storage' is checked (not MTP or PTP)

Swipe down again from the top line notification may say 'USB connected'

Click that line and click 'Turn on USB storage'

After it is "really" connected, try the Kingo Root software again.

If "ROOT" or "ROOT AGAIN" works, then you're done.

If not, disconnect the USB cable and reconnect a few seconds later. Try again.
26th June 2014, 05:00 AM |#11  
Quote:
Originally Posted by gooplusplus.com

It is not infected. Rooting software typically contains methods to bypass security so you may get a false positive.

Here's the direct download link: http://www.kingoapp.com/android-root/download.htm

For rooting, make sure that you have enabled "USB debugging" in your tablet's Settings -> Developer options

Connect to a USB 2.0 port if possible and not a USB 3.0 port.

Swipe down from top of the tablet's screen to see notifications.

The bottom line notification will probably be 'Connect as ...'

Click that line and make sure that 'USB large storage' is checked (not MTP or PTP)

Swipe down again from the top line notification may say 'USB connected'

Click that line and click 'Turn on USB storage'

After it is "really" connected, try the Kingo Root software again.

If "ROOT" or "ROOT AGAIN" works, then you're done.

If not, disconnect the USB cable and reconnect a few seconds later. Try again.


Hi,
I have found that I must turn on "USB Storage", then it's rooting really successful

So correct procedure is:
- turn USB debugging ON
- select "USB large storage" in "USB computer connection" pop-up
- >> activate USB storage in "USB connected" pop-up << (this was missing in my previous attempt)

After that, rooting is succesfull!
I have removed over 20 applications and now I have 13862 score in AntutuX. In older fw was around 11000.

There is also possible to overclock CPU from default 1200Mhz up to 1450Mhz. For me, 1350Mhz is max. stable.
So I can finally recommend this tablet, it's great ☺

Now it would be great to figure out how to enable CWM...
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