How To Buy Cellphones – Part 2

Author xlxmarketing 23.10.2009. | 20:46

Nokia N95 vs Odyssey

By Michael Wong

  • If you haven’t already, please read part 1 of this series, you’ll find it here:

choosing a cell phone

How To Buy Cellphones, An Online Guide

So after two months of indecision, I finally bought my new phone yesterday – Chinavasion’s
CVDQ-M56, AKA the WiFi Odyssey.

I know what some of you are thinking. “Sure Michael, you’re just trying to promote your company’s products!!!!”

That’s not strictly true.

Up to a week ago, it was down to the Odyssey and the Nokia N95.


In my first blog post I wrote about how I love sliders. I still do.

But here’s the problem. Despite the N95 being so old (it’s almost 4 years old), it’s still selling for roughly $350 US here.

The Odyssey sells for $120 US.

However, like I said in my first blog the price isn’t everything.

So, to sum up the phone I am looking for has:

  • Quad Band
  • Wi-Fi
  • Dual SIM
  • Touchscreen
  • A Media Player
  • A Candybar form factor (or design)

And let’s not forget it also looks cool or 1337

The N95 doesn’t have dual SIM. I’ve slowly grown tired of switching SIM cards all the time as I travel back and forth between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.


The Odyssey M56 has a larger touch screen than the N95 (3 inches vs 2.78 inches”) and I love my Odyssey because it’s sexy.

There I said it, I’m a man with a sexy phone.

Now, for the record, the iPhone is not sexy.

It’s too wide. It feels like I’m holding a piece of toast or a Poptart in my hand.


mmmmm iToast, goes great with bacon

Yummy to eat, but sucky to hold. It’s far too wide.

But the Odyssey – it’s what I’d call the Goldilocks shape.

It’s not too wide, it’s not to thin, It’s just right.

It has a black and chrome color scheme. It has smooth lines. It is glossy and has rounded corners.

It’s seductive.

Another thing that I look for in a phone is the feel.

The Odyssey has the right weight. It feels solid in your hands, but it’s not too heavy.

In contrast, when you put the N95 in your pocket it feels like it’s going to pull your pants down!

The M56 has three nicely sized buttons on the front.

All three are large enough to be pressed comfortably, they feel solid, and that’s important.

It’s like the difference between a crappy keyboard and the kind that makes you want to write Hamlet or Othello.

And then there’s the details.

I love my Odyssey because of the little things.

One of the little things is that I can use a 2.5 mm headphone jack or the micro USB jack when I’m listening to MP3s.

This is important because as a rule earphones with micro USB connectors suck!

I love the fact that the M56 Odyssey has it’s own answering machine.

Yeah, a built-in answering machine! Now I don’t have to pay eight dollars a month for a virtual service.

The call comes through and if I don’t answer it, my prerecorded MP3 file begins to play.

“Hi, it’s Michael, SPEAK!”

I can specify the length of the message my caller can leave and my voicemail inbox only gets full when my 4GB microSD card is full. (The Odyssey comes with a free 2GB micro SD card, but I’m a strong believer in more is more.)

I love the accelerator function on my Odyssey. I love the ability to add java apps (yes I know you can do this on the N95, but still, the M56 is so much cheaper).


I’ve been able to update my phone with Gizmo5 which is a damn good VOIP platform in its own right. And through its OPENSKY alliance I also get access to Skype.


I’ve been able to install all sorts of java games and here’s a great one – I recently downloaded Twim for Java which is a Twitter client. Twim isn’t as powerful as Tweetdeck for example, but then again it gets my tweets out there.

free ebooks

Learn where else to get free ebooks at How To Get Completely Free Ebooks We Review 7 Free Ebook Sites

I love the fact that I can download ebooks from places like or and read them on the Odyssey.

It lets me control the font size, line or page scrolling, and even has a feature when the text scrolls on its own at a speed I choose.

I’m pretty happy with my Odyssey phone but I’m usually a happy person.

Because I believe in two vital ingredients for happiness:

  1. Concentrate on what you have and not on what you don’t.
  2. Manage your expectations

The Odyssey is a great quad band world phone with dual SIM and dual standby, WIFI, TV and radio, a digital still and video camera, an MP3/MP4 player and PDA functionality.


I get two lithium-ion batteries and a free 2GB microSD card thrown in. All at almost a third of what an equivalent Nokia would cost.

Sure the user manual is written in bad English, but that forced me to get to know my phone intimately.

So that’s what I think of the Odyssey, now it’s your time to chime in. If you own this awesome phone leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

And if you don’t check out the Odyssey now. It doesn’t matter if you buy it to resell, buy it for a friend or buy it for yourself.

You won’t regret it.

Author xlxmarketing 23.10.2009. | 20:46
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  1. Paris January 22, 02:06


    I try to choose between Odyssey and Thunder …

    Please let me know pros and cons of each…..

    Also in the Thunder’s camera specifications the max resolution is 640×480 but many reviewers say the resolution is 1280×960..

    Which is true?????????

    Does this happen also in Odyssey’s case???

    Can i write sms in Greek and also read greek web pages???

    Thank you

  2. Mark Day January 26, 06:37

    hey all, really helpful comments section. Agree with earlier suggestion of having a feedback/Odyssey knowledge base forum. Just tried to change my wallpaper to a jpg file I successfully saved to the phone, but receive message ‘unsupported format’ any reason why?

  3. laura January 28, 04:07

    hi i received the thunder phone , was wondering how do you take the predictive texting off?

  4. josé February 1, 22:31

    Hi, I have a Odyssey – WiFi Quadband Dual-SIM Cellphone,
    Can you explain me, how to switch to vibrate mode ?
    Thank a lot

  5. James February 3, 18:07

    Just checked out the specks of the Robot Phone with Android OS, shame it will not work in America! When everything else is Quad why choose this possibly great phone to be on dual band? Are you getting future Android Os phone with better features?

  6. Andreas February 7, 13:40

    Hi,Can u tell me how to make wifi connect ?????????

    Why is so impossible to connect to wifi spots???

  7. andreas February 11, 13:23

    Thank u Gareth for the reply.The problem with my router the mac filtering was setup so it wouldn`t allow the phone to log in.

    Do i have to re-enter the password every time i connect to same wifi spot?Odyssey doesn`t remember it form previous time?

  8. Aaron February 18, 08:25

    Hi with the thunder,

    I was wondering what the “repeater” and “slide” applications do? I have tried to use them but to no avail. Also I notice other phones have a NES game emulator I was wondering if this phone does? It seems to have folders on the microsd card which are related to games I was just wondering how to use them.

    Thank you


  9. andreas February 18, 13:20

    Please how can i unistall java applications in Odyssey?
    Is it possible?

  10. Sylvester February 28, 22:00

    Hi, may i know if you ship to Ghana? If a single phone is $100.00 how much extra will it cost to send by courrier to Ghana? How many days will it take to reach Ghana

  11. Bjorg March 9, 02:59

    Hi, I’ve a question. I’ve an Odyssey phone but I can’t connect to internet.
    When I activate my WiFi and open Opera, then they give a fault.
    Strange is, I just have connection with facebook en ebuddy!

    And antoher question: I ‘am from the Netherlands.
    With KPN I have also mobile internet (no WiFi)
    How can I connect to internet without WiFi, just by my ‘mobile internet’ of my KPN network?

    And, when my sim is in SIM 1, I can’t make a call (can’t connect)
    In SIM 2 I can call.

    Many question, I hope someone can help me.
    The whole day I’ve been searching and trying on te phone.


  12. Tom March 10, 22:11


    I have a Voyager, but my power adapter is broken. Anyone who can help me get a new one?

  13. rose March 17, 18:20

    i bought my odyssey dec 2009 my ebuddy version1.2 and google maps v2.3.2 its already installed on my mobile since i bought my odyssey but since january it’s not working i dont know if i press something and suddenly didnt i need to go opera mini before i can used my ebuddy but now im using lite ebuddy i want to download again the old one version 1.2 and the google maps how i can download again it again…

  14. jony March 29, 20:02

    Hello community:)..i my Odyssey..cant see java virtual keypad at java any way to fix that?.maybe any solution at web?or any setting at my fhone?..thx !

  15. barry anderson April 20, 13:12


    I have had a lot of fun playing with this phone.
    I think its amazing how much can be sqeezed into such a small package.
    However I did a factory reset and now Opera and Google Maps dont work properly (probably all Java apps). The touchscreen input doesnt match the screen display and weird things happen. For example, exit happens by a press on the Left Hand Bottom screen, not on the button. I have reinstalled Opera (all versions) but cant get them to work.
    Everything else works, but the camera hangs on high resolution.
    All help on the Opera problem will be appreciated.

  16. Vidar April 30, 20:08


    I just got my Thunder Mobile phone yesterday. I like the potential it has but there are a few points which kills it for me:

    1) FM radio won`t work regardless if headphones are plugged in or not. Don`t even give any static.
    2) The phone freezes totally when I click on the TV function. I have to take out the battery to restart it.
    3) Google maps is a cool app, but a bit of a waste since the phone is lacking memory to support it fully. After I`ve zoned 2 times I get an “out of memory” msg.
    4) Only one of the headphones worked out of the box.
    5) People are complaining that they can barely hear me when I talk on the phone. I`ve tried to find some fancy button to fix it, but can`t seem to find something to adjust the mic with (if that`s what`s causing it). I`m not that into shouting when I`m talking 😉
    6) Haven`t found a way to store passwords when I`m logging on to a wifi network. It`s a bitch to type in a 12 letter password each time I`m logging on. Would be nice if it could connect automatically.
    7) Handwriting txt msgs. Really cool feature. I won`t say that I`ve got the best handwriting, but I think 1 out of 5 characters I write is actually the one I`m after.
    8) Writing sms is cumbersome with that tiny keyboard, but a good way to train if you want to perform brain surgery. Could be a killer if you want to send an sms while driving a car. On the other side, it`s a good way to keep people from doing that.
    9) While internet browsing I was hoping to be able to tilt the phone on the side to get a broader browser (like with a picture), but it doesn`t do that. Also hoped you could zoom in and out like you do with an Iphone, but that`s not possible.
    10) The screen only works with slow movements, which is ok as I get used to it.
    11) The stylus broke 1 hour after I started using it. Not the best glue. I`m also going to lose it, since it isn`t a place to attach it to the phone.

    On the good side I like how it handles two SIM cards. Really nice feature!


  17. Rick May 15, 17:25

    First of all I believe it is a great Phone!!!

    If I was to give it a number I guess I am to give it an 8 (where I also believe a 10 is not possible for phones. there are too many options to choose from and there is always some difficulty….matter of choise)

    I have been lucky enough to compare the phone to a real iPhone and guess what…. yes almost the same. So money for value with this phone.

    Chinavasion: Great!
    Good service too. My SD card did not work and after some emails they where not reluctant at all to sent me a new one. Tnx guys and

    There are some problems or things I am not able to set in the phone though. Please remind that these are not complains but just things that “bug” me for being unable to solve.

    1. When playing music via the earphones (both options) the sound is way too low. I can barely hear my songs although the sound is put up to the highest.

    2. It took some time before realizing the files for music should all be in the same directory. It does not seem to recognize sub directories or other locations on the sd card.

    3a. Remembering password option for WiFi network or recognizing basic wifi (at home) with stored password. WEP2… yes typing and typing after trying to reconnect to other wifi.

    3b. Unable to connect to free wifi networks. Tried it all but till today without success.

    4. playing YouTube files (streaming) creates the error message “not able to connect” while I am logged on to youtube

    5. unable to install java applications. I have downloaded many “.jar” files but either they are not supported or my phone misses the buttons to use it. I did notice my phone sometimes to be recoginized as a Samsung phone or SE phone. A suggested direction from Chinavasion on comparable phones for installing java applications would be nice.

    6. Very annoying is the “reply” to text messages. While sending a new message you get the option to send or send and save. Given a reply does not give this option and therefore all replies are not saved. I miss that.

    Again: overall a great phone.
    I dropped mine (just about 20 cm) and the green “answer” button seems to be lifted from its standard but it still works. This is of course my own fault…:-)

    I recommended the phone to a lot of colleagues and some of them have ordered the phone or similar.
    Chinavasion is great and I have been browsing the site to buy other stuff too (Media players and such)

    Kind regards


  18. Rick May 17, 03:56

    I should add to my comments:

    1. not an option to change the ringtone for incoming messages.
    2. wifi connection succeeded once at open network. However, wifi seems to be very low compared to others.

    Although I believe it is a great phone… if you are looking for a smart phone which you can adjust to your convenience…… there are other options.

  19. Stefan June 10, 06:28

    Hey, I am satisfied with my Odyssey except of one thing. I would like to write text messages with “smart abc” / T9 because the letters are too small for my fingers and I don’t always wanna use the stylus. But it doesn’t know the German words, even though i have set the language to German. Is there a way how I can get the German dictionary on there?

  20. dennis July 6, 21:12

    I have a question maybe one of you know how to find a digitizer touchpad for m56 cvdq odyssey phone because mine is broken by a fault…
    Thank you very much…

  21. stephen July 20, 02:31

    all good and i like the phone but my screen has froze on mine anyone got any ideas how to cure this

  22. Adrian August 4, 15:53

    Hi Stefan,

    Please contact with your question and they will help you within around 24hrs.

    Thanks for the contact.

  23. Richard Deutschmann September 25, 00:44

    Just ordered the Thunder Quadband and now not sure if that was a good idea. Will I be able to use it in Yellowknife Canada (you know it, Ice Road Truckers). Will it be compadible? Will I even be able to charge it? Can it connect to my mac computer with the supplied usb cable? Does it come with SIM cards or do I get them from my service provider and would they fit the same? Thanks,

  24. Adrian September 25, 10:08

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for your order.
    Don’t worry!
    The Thunder is a GSM phone, so it will work anywhere in Canada where there is GSM reception (should be everywhere that people live).
    The phone does NOT come with a SIM card. You need to choose a GSM service provider, for example ‘Rogers,’ and buy a pay-as-you-go SIM or SIM only contract from them. Just put in the SIM and you’re good to go!
    You can charge the phone from the mains with the included charger or connect to your mac (it will connect via the USB port).

  25. elena August 14, 15:41

    Please help me… I have this phone and I choose the In call backround ound and now I don;t want it! How I remove this? Always before I call someone the phone ask me about the sound.
    Thank you

  26. xlxmarketing Author August 16, 17:20

    Hi Elena,

    I am sorry to hear that. Did you buy the phone from chinavasion? if so please contact we will help you out.

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