General Mobile DSTL1 Unboxed, Reviewed


It isn’t an Android Phone by a major carrier and the distribution channels are few and far between, but that doesn’t make the General Mobile DSTL1 any less of a phone!  Michael Oryl from MobileBurn just got his device, unboxed it and did a pretty thorough run through all of its features:

So what is the conclusion?  Here are some highlights from the review:

  • Overall pretty nice
  • Resistive touchscreen works fine (compared to capacitative)
  • 5MP camera is great
  • Google Maps and Android Market are MIA (What the heck?!?!!??) There are some alternatives fortunately but still… WACK
  • 80% of the apps worked fine, other 20% were victim of half-VGA resolution
  • A few noticeable bugs
  • Text input is slow
  • No 3G is disappointing
  • Dual SIM is awesome
  • Battery life is rough

Not too shabby for an “off the beaten path” manufacturer… but personally, this isn’t a mobile phone I would consider putting in my stable.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Your question here:

    – Google Maps and Android Market are MIA (What the heck?!?!!??) There are some alternatives fortunately but still… WACK

    Was answered here:

    – 80% of the apps worked fine, other 20% were victim of half-VGA resolution

    The platform does not currently support this screen size, and we certainly do not want to cause 20% of the developers to find their apps delivered to a hardware configuration that the platform has been hacked to work on but they could have no way of planning for and thus getting poor reviews through no fault of their own.

    That said, the 80% working part is a very encouraging sign for the feasibility of supporting some different screen configurations in the future. ;)

  2. @ Dianne

    What is your source for this “answer”?

  3. I was led to believe that Resistive touchscreen does support multi-touch… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistive_touchscreen

    A bug I noticed that Mobile Burn probably did not encounter: with too many incorrect SIM card PIN attempts it will lock you out, but will not give the option to enter a PUK as it should. In fact it gives no indication of why there is not any service. I had figure this out by putting my SIM back into my old phone.

    Could not get a data connection with ATT – but I expected this because ATT uses MediaNet.

    I had also encountered the same Wi-Fi bug when the phone goes into StandBy mode.

    And I am very disappointed with poor Blue Tooth support – but I believe this is Android’s fault.

  4. instead of putting a 5mp camera maybe they should have invested in a bigger screen size or a capacitive touch screen but still its not that bad and actually a bit better than i expected

  5. Android donut (1.6) is supposedly more compatible with the WQVGA resolution.

  6. If comment 1 was Dianne Hackborn from Google, then thanks very much for that new and interesting information. 80% of the apps working IS very encouraging. In view of a future API supporting the possibility for apps to indicate resolution support (as mentioned in the video), this even does not seem too bad a disadvantage for the device. It does not even have to be in the next version of Android. As an app developer I concur it is a sound decision not to rush an API.

    Oh and did anyone notice the resemblance to the HTC Touch Diamond?

  7. Wow. Me likes. This is the type of phone I’d want, if I ever got one – a lot of other phones just seem too bulky.

    This one doesn’t waste space, it has a pretty nice camera, and it uses android. And it’s obscure (not by a major brand name), which is another thing that attracts me to it.

  8. Well it is a nice video. But I think a bigger screen would have done better. The fact that it uses Android is amazing!

  9. I agree its a shame it doesn’t support market yet. Google map however I got from a apk file and it seems to work fine.
    This phone doesn’t have a gps though, witch is another feature that would be nice nice to have besides 3g.
    The big plus for me is the dual sim. I was so tired of having to carry with me 2 phones all the time.
    Dual sim feature works fine, but a have some minor bugs like hiding calling id. If you hide 1 of the sim cards it also hide the other sim card. I miss the feature from windows mobile witch allow you to hide caller id when you call a number not in your contact list.

  10. I’m a bit mixed. I wanted mine because I use GMail and Calendar, and carry 2 phones. To find that it doesn’t support GMail and Calendar at the moment makes it close to worthless to me, however good it is in other respects (and it is good, despite the WiFi bug). I am waiting for a reply from General Mobile to my enquiry about the missing apps, whether they will be supported with 1.6, and when 1.6 might be available, but if they don’t reply soon I shall have to send it back, $500 is too much for a device with major flaws, however good it may be in other respects. Rather hacked off really.

  11. Glad to hear that 1.6 will have major revamp and fixes :) upgrade scheduled within coming months? :)

  12. I have been looking to purchase a DSTL1 in the United States for a while now but was unable to find a store that sold them. I reently did a google shopping search for “DSTL1” and found an on-line retailer. I bought it and it’s awesome.

  13. I have a DSTL1 and i like it a lot. Most of the apps i installed on it worked, and i love the dual sim that means i don’t have to carry 2 phones in my pocket. And the design is very cool :D

    But i find the lack of Android Market anoying. I really don’t understand why Google doesn’t just let users download the .apk and install it. This forces me to download the apps from diffrent sources, and while searching for the free apps you come to notice that you can download some of the non-free ones too. That can’t be a good thing for either Google or the developers. So far the only explanation i heard was “the Android Market is Google’s app and they can do what they want with it”, but that doesn’t explain why they would want their install base diminished.

    Anyway, those of you that are intrested in the DSTL1 or already got one, please email GM to let them now that we would really like access to the market, and that Android 1.6 probably solves a lot of the resolution problems they encountered with some apps. (the upgrade now on their site is for 1.5)

  14. Will this phone work on the UK network?

  15. Will this phone work in Uganda and the East African region?

    Best Regards,

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