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Old 01-05-2020, 02:27 PM   #121
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Apparently, my phone should arrive tomorrow via DHL. Just paid taxes, duty etc online... it came to $36.36 Canadian.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:02 PM   #122
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Apparently, my phone should arrive tomorrow via DHL. Just paid taxes, duty etc online... it came to $36.36 Canadian.
CECT declared the value as $160 (I don't really understand this practice), while I paid $250 but our customs verify all parcels from China very carefully so I was asked for payment documents. But it arrived the same day so you should get yours as scheduled.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:33 AM   #123
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Thank you, I'll check it out.

I was also pretty surprised that if you transfer pictures taken with A5 to a different device, you actually get them in full color. I hadn't expected that
Kingrow k1 user here, sometime i troll people applying a b/w filter before sending pictures.
How does focus work on A5 ?
It's kinda hard on my device to say if a picture is proper focused with the standard android 8.1 camera app and the e-ink screen to check.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:14 PM   #124
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CECT declared the value as $160 (I don't really understand this practice), while I paid $250 but our customs verify all parcels from China very carefully so I was asked for payment documents. But it arrived the same day so you should get yours as scheduled.
My phone arrived today. Unfortunately, I'm a little too busy to play with it just at the moment. But I'm very relieved that it is finally here after that fiasco with the seller on Aliexpress.

Interestingly, on the invoice that came with the phone it said the value of the phone was $105 US, less than half the price which I paid. I suppose they do that to try and save you some money in taxes, but it could backfire if customs officials checked out the price online. I have been asked for proof of payment documents in the past. That then can cause delays in getting the product. Fortunately, that didn't happen here.

Am looking forward to playing with it on the weekend.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:23 PM   #125
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Great, Question Mark. Looking forward to your reactions!
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:01 AM   #126
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Hi all,

Newbie here (thanks in advance for your patience). I just bought the Hisense A5, and waiting for its delivery. I was wondering if anyone successfully installed Google Play on it (given I will try and use the device as my only phone, I need to sync my contacts, etc from my iPhone), and also wondering which e-book reader you use on that phone.

thanks!
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:16 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by patjee View Post
Hi all,

Newbie here (thanks in advance for your patience). I just bought the Hisense A5, and waiting for its delivery. I was wondering if anyone successfully installed Google Play on it (given I will try and use the device as my only phone, I need to sync my contacts, etc from my iPhone), and also wondering which e-book reader you use on that phone.

thanks!
So far as I know, nobody has been able to successfully install Google Play yet. Hopefully, somebody will eventually work out a way. Although I have been able to easily sideload most of the apps that I use, there are several that require Google Play services to run.

As far as ereadering apps, I have installed the free version of Moon + Reader, Librera Reader, Cool Reader, AIReader and FullReader. All seem to work fine, but Moon + Reader would be my primary one as it is the only one that can handle furigana in Japanese properly. Just wish that I could get the Pro version of Moon + Reader working on this phone, but it apparently needs Play Services to run.

Haven't had all that much time yet to play around with my A5. Am hoping to do more so over the weekend. However, I am greatly liking it from my limited experience with it so far. Much prefer it to the A2 Pro.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:18 AM   #128
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So far as I know, nobody has been able to successfully install Google Play yet. Hopefully, somebody will eventually work out a way. Although I have been able to easily sideload most of the apps that I use, there are several that require Google Play services to run.

As far as ereadering apps, I have installed the free version of Moon + Reader, Librera Reader, Cool Reader, AIReader and FullReader. All seem to work fine, but Moon + Reader would be my primary one as it is the only one that can handle furigana in Japanese properly. Just wish that I could get the Pro version of Moon + Reader working on this phone, but it apparently needs Play Services to run.

Haven't had all that much time yet to play around with my A5. Am hoping to do more so over the weekend. However, I am greatly liking it from my limited experience with it so far. Much prefer it to the A2 Pro.

Thanks a lot for this. Hopefully I'll be able to get my indispensable apps without Google Play by directly getting the apk files but we'll see. I'll also post here once I have tried the A5 and give some user feedback.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:40 AM   #129
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Using the A5 since about a week now and i am very happy about the absence of any Google framework preinstall. Saves me the hassle to find a way to get rid of it. Installed f-droid instead. Used dumbphoneassistant to transfer my contacts offline.

Installed koreader for book reading, K9 Mail for mail messaging, and Telegram for casual chat messaging needs. Downloaded the latest opera web browser to replace the preinstalled browsers. Also installed ownCloud for backup purposes, Ghost Commander as file manager, and Hacker's Keyboard for more versatile typing.

Unfortunately, ReLaunchX didn't provide a properly usable layout on this small screen.

Removed or disabled as much of the preinstalled applications as possible and disabled all audible and visible notification noise. Smartphones nowadays seem to be more like a Tamagotchi than anything else. I much prefer my devices to shut the f*ck up and only provide the most basic services. I am not interested in any full fledged smartphone "experience" which differs only by an e-ink display.

My idea is to use this mainly as an ereader that allows phone and text based communication, and eventual web research. I'd wish the pinephone were also offered with an e-ink display option.

Last edited by orebmur; 01-10-2020 at 06:35 AM. Reason: typo correction
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:19 PM   #130
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I also use Opera as my web browser and highly recommend it. It is the only mobile browser with full text reflow. It is perfect for reading on the web. Simply zoom to your preferred font size and everything reflows - no sideways scrolling required!
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Old 01-09-2020, 06:42 PM   #131
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Just wish that I could get the Pro version of Moon + Reader working on this phone, but it apparently needs Play Services to run.
You can't do in app purchases without Google Play. There are other options.

If you just want to remove ads then simply run Blokada from f-droid. I have it running all the time and it will block ads within apps. It uses the Android VPN process to achieve this. Within the app they also offer a VPN service called Tunnel which is a paid service. But you don't need to pay to use the ad blocking.

If you want the other features of the pro version you could purchase the stand alone full version (not the in app from the free version) from the Play store using a Google account on another device (or via the web). You can then log in using that account on the Aurora store (from f-droid) and download your purchase. Note (a) I have not done this with Moon reader myself but am pretty sure I read somewhere of someone else having success. It will definitely get it on the A5 - just a question of if it will run without GPS. (b) you may not want to use your main google account to do this as there is a small risk of google locking your account. Set up a dummy account with a gift card is an option if your google account is critical to you.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:38 PM   #132
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Just a tip for any app you're wanting to not be cleaned up by the system is to whitellist it via Settings, App and Permission Management, Memory Cleanup.

You should do this for any audio app (eg. Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, RadioDroid) and any other app you don't want the system to kill, such a Blokada, K-9 Mail (so you can get notifications), etc.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:01 PM   #133
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If you just want to remove ads then simply run Blokada from f-droid.
Not really too worried about ads as I don't anticipate connecting my A5 to the internet very often. Probably won't even put a SIM card in it. I got it primarily to be a very portable ereader. But thanks for the heads up in case I later change my mind.

Quote:
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If you want the other features of the pro version you could purchase the stand alone full version (not the in app from the free version) from the Play store using a Google account on another device (or via the web). You can then log in using that account on the Aurora store (from f-droid) and download your purchase. Note (a) I have not done this with Moon reader myself but am pretty sure I read somewhere of someone else having success. It will definitely get it on the A5 - just a question of if it will run without GPS. (b) you may not want to use your main google account to do this as there is a small risk of google locking your account. Set up a dummy account with a gift card is an option if your google account is critical to you.
That's very interesting. May have to try that as it is for some of their other features that I would like to install Moon + Reader Pro and several other paid for apps.

So it looks like I may have to buy those apps again with a dummy account and gift card to see if that method works as I don't want to risk Google locking me out. Thanks very much for that warning.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:31 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patjee View Post
Hi all,

Newbie here (thanks in advance for your patience). I just bought the Hisense A5, and waiting for its delivery. I was wondering if anyone successfully installed Google Play on it (given I will try and use the device as my only phone, I need to sync my contacts, etc from my iPhone), and also wondering which e-book reader you use on that phone.

thanks!
The Google Playstore cannot be installed on the Hisense A5, but it is definitely not a problem. Just install the Aurora Store, it is great. With the Aurora Store, you can download and update all apps available on the Google Playstore.

Here are the best open source alternatives to Google apps:
1- Google Playstore -> Aurora Store
2- Gmail App -> K-9 Mail
3- Google Maps & GPS -> OsmAnd or Mapfactor GPS
4-Youtube App -> Newpipe
5- Chrome browser - > Brave browser (faster, lighter on the cpu, block ads & trackers)
6- Google Messages (SMS, MMS) app -> QKSMS
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:22 PM   #135
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Many thanks to cartz and Dav_25.

Just installed Aurora Store from F-Droid and was able to get my Japanese dictionary app up and running. A free app, not a paid version, but one which claimed to need Google Play services to run and which is now working on my A5. Yay!!

Haven't set up a dummy Google account yet, nor have I bought a Google gift card. When I eventually do, I will test out getting the few paid apps I would like to have.

I am even happier with the A5 now... and I had been plenty happy with it already. Am looking forward to the colour version which will apparently be coming out sometime later this year.
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