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Chinese Clones MTK6516

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MediaTek MTK6516 based clones

MediaTek is a Chinese phone chipset manufacturer whose chips were used in the vast majority of Chinese non-smart dual SIM phones (both cloned and non-cloned appearance). Almost all Mediatek-powered phones utilise proprietary, phone-specific firmware (usually a variant of MTK OS, which in turn is a version of Mentor Graphics' Nucleus RTOS), even if that firmware may have a similar yet poorly-mimicked UI in order to fool the buyer.

The few real smartphones from China typically had HiSilicon-K3 or Marvell CPU's, often masked to report as other chips and rarely they were dual SIM capable.

With the Mediatek MTK6516 ARM compatible chipset, throughout 2010 a whole array of actual Windows Mobile and later Android based Dual SIM smartphones arrived. All very similar in base capabilities, but all with different shapes, screens and options. It seems MTK is cornering the dual SIM smartphone market in China (and in China almost all phones are Dual SIM).

General CPU specs

For all Mediatek MTK6516 based phones: MT6516 chipset Design Notice, MT6516 data sheet (really very useful!).

  • Two ARM cores: Main/AP 416MHz, Radio/MDM 104MHz
The Main CPU is an ARM9 (ARM926EJ-S precisely). It's an ARMv5TE which is the minimum requirement for Android CPU wise. That means some moderns apps optimized for ARMv6/7 will not work.
The Radio/Modem CPU is an ARM7, probably an ARMv3 or v4.
Often advertised as dual core, but this is misleading, the 2nd core runs the radio and will not be usable for applications. In fact, any proper smartphone has a separate smaller core for the GSM radio, so real dual core phones in fact have 3 cores
Often advertised as 460MHz, but this is an often repeated misunderstanding: fourhundredsixty vs fourhundredsixteen. Similarly 280MHz is probably constructed from 208 BogoMIPS that Android reports for the 416MHz CPU, or otherwise from the idea that the Radio/Modem core runs on 208MHz (it runs on 104MHz, see design doc above)
  • Memory can vary, but often 256MB RAM and 512MB Flash (the first models had 128/256)
  • Dual SIM Dual Standby or Active/Passive
(both are alert and active for new incoming calls & SMS, but only one call can be made at any single time. Also, if EDGE is connected on one SIM, the other SIM is unreachable, so do not keep your data connected all the time)
  • Quad band GSM
  • No 3G capabilities
EDGE does work, however in the west many EDGE networks are incomplete, or even dismantled again, as networks are pushing customers toward 3G. So you may find yourself on GPRS speeds.
  • WiFi 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS

Other features vary per model phone: FM Radio, Compass, Proximity sensors and even analog TV receptions exists on some models. Screens may be from normal LCD to SuperLCD and touchscreen to multitouch capacitive.

AMOLED is currently advertised for some expensive models, but based on my own phone (samplesize=1), I believe they embellish LED-backlit to AMOLED, and given the shortage on the market for AMOLED, this may be true for all AMOLED chinese clones. Feedback please.

Backup, Generate & Restore IMEI

A factory reset of full flash may clean out the IMEI. So it is wise to backup and restore IMEI, or even generate a new file with EMEI

For MediaTek MT6516 the IMEI is located in one of these two locations:

 /data/nvram/md/NVRAM/NVD_IMEI/MP0B_001 (older firmwares)
 /nvram/md/NVRAM/NVD_IMEI/MP0B_001 (rumored location for newer firmwares)

To backup the IMEI, simply backup the MP0B_001 file (using a rooted shell or adb)

 cp /data/nvram/md/NVRAM/NVD_IMEI/MP0B_001 /sdcard/MP0B_001_SAVED

To restore the IMEI, simply restore it, and set proper permissions (using a rooted shell or adb)

 cp /sdcard/MP0B_001_SAVED /data/nvram/md/NVRAM/NVD_IMEI/MP0B_001
 chmod 650 /data/nvram/md/NVRAM/NVD_IMEI/MP0B_001

Thanks to some clever russians called f_mulder & pvsurkov (though mulder does sound German/Dutch), you can even apply new IMEI by generating a brand new MP0B_001 file. Download their IMEI generation program, use the correct executable (PC, Linux, ARM provided) to generate a new MP0B_001 like this: <15digit_IMEI_1> <15digit_IMEI_2>

Not sure if this will work for a future MT6573 also.

Another way to restore IMEI in MT6516 is write modem commands directly to the modem device:

 echo 'AT+EGMR=1,7,"YYYYYY04XXXXXXN"' >/dev/pttycmd1
 echo 'AT+EGMR=1,10,"YYYYYY04XXXXXXN"' >/dev/pttycmd1

The first line write SIM1 IMEI; the second line write SIM2 IMEI. The actual IMEI numbers are generally inside the phone, below the battery. Reboot needed.

Restore factory settings / Hard reset

To be completed

WARNING: Backup IMEI before you flash or factory reset.

ROMS and Radio's

WARNING: Because all these MTK6516 phones look similar in specs, it may be tempting to flash ROM's from one to another. Be careful! If the ROM you are flashing is for a model with different screen driver, or a different camera driver, best case is those devices will not work, and worst case you end up with a brick.

So we will list ROMS only for specific phones below.

The Radio portion of the ROMS may or may not be the same throughout all MTK6516 phones, even not being dependent on OS. More info is needed, please provide feedback, especially if you have a newer radio.

  • MAUI.10A.W10.48.MP.V5.F1,2011/01/27 (from HD2/HD9 via Android info panel)
  • MAUI.10A.W10.48.MP.V5.F1, 2011/01/27 16:48 (from Y803 OEM brand Wei Dream)
  • MAUI.10A.W10.48.MP.V0, 2010/12/18 (from HD2/HD9 via Android info panel)
  • 6516.8a01.8a01 (from A1, A1+, A1++, A1- Windows Mobile bootloader info)
  • MAUI.09B.W10.28.MP.V51.F2, 2011/05/07 15:12 (from Alcatel OT-890, branded version on VIP Serbia)

Similar looking baseband's but not MT6516

  • MAUI.11AMD_FDD_SP.MP.V1.F4,2011/07/06 (early production MT6573 on Lenovo A60)
  • MAUI.11AMD_FDD_SP.MP.V1,2011/05/18 (early prototype MT6573)

ROM Flashing

WARNING: Backup IMEI before you flash or factory reset.

All MTK6516 seem to have similar flash instructions. For detailed instructions, please visit [this excellent blog]. It also contains links generic utilities for flashing you can use. It is for the HD2/HD9 specifically, so take care not to use the ROMs, unless if you have that specific phone.

Specific Phone Models

General tips & trics Windows Mobile 6.5

General tips & trics Android 2.2 Froyo

Data Counter

Most data counters do not work because of the Dual SIM. These do work:

  • Network Counter by mapeapps
  • Network Traffic Recorder by WooBoo
  • Network TrafficStats lite by Solvation

T9 Dialers

A T9 dialer makes it easier to search, as you can use the familiar T9 grouping ("2=abc" etc). Most (if not all) T9 dialers work with the default SIM. However, to also have the ability to sometimes go to specific SIM, the dialer must call the standard contact info page, rather than have build his own contact info page. These do that:

  • DialerOne by Yermek Zhumagulov
  • AContact by movesti
  • Touchpal Smart Dialer by CooTek (update March 18 'improved' by adding their own contact page, so lost its usability for Dual SIM)

Rooting your Android 2.2.1 Froyo

Understand whether you need to root, before you do this. Rooting is only useful for people hacking the phone on Linux levels.

  • Download and install the latest z4root
  • Follow the z4root instructions
    • Put USB in Debug mode
    • Reboot
    • Run z4root

Additional, you may want to download these apps that need root:

  • BusyBox
  • Systemapp Remover
  • Move2SD

Other sources of information

(use google translate if you are not a native speaker)

*NOTE*: Anyone can edit these pages and add content here, please don't be shy and USE THE EDIT BUTTON on the bottom left corner of the page if you feel there's something wrong, missing, or you have some useful info. But avoid suspicions, rants or ad's.

Back to Diamond2 clones

And here you can find the sources of kernel for this chip