Prior to Itel drifting towards mid range with the introduction of the Itel S41, they were notorious for churning out entry level smartphones. While you might want to see entry level smartphones phased out – after all, who in God’s name still uses a 512MB RAM phone in 2019? – you need to realize that not everybody can afford an iPhone or Samsung. Even fewer people can now afford a Tecno or Infinix phone in the face of economic realities, this is the demographic where Itel has been meeting a need.
Some people I’ve discussed with had vowed never again to use an Itel phone. Some won’t even touch an Itel phone with a ten-foot long pole. As someone who’s used 3 Itel phones including an Itel it1513, I feel their pain but Itel phones aren’t that bad. You see, over 6 years ago, people thought it was insane to create tutorials for Tecno phones and the very first stock rom collection (MTK Backups they were called then). Tecno phones were heavily stigmatized back then but we anticipated the improvements that many are only now seeing, same with Infinix.
If you want to enjoy an entry level smartphone then you either be an entry level user or a lover of device problems and challenges. I happen to be the latter which is why I crave for both high end and entry level Android phones. I’ve indeed been frustrated by my Itel phones….as in the phones have shown me shege but I’ve learnt a lot which turned frustration to victory and I’ll be sharing some of these tricks with you.
I’m dedicating this to those who want to enjoy and explore the Android experience but are not buoyant enough to exit entry level smartphones. Itel now has models running on Mediatek, Spreadtrum & Qualcomm so you can tag along if you have any such entry level smartphone you wish to optimize for a better experience.
1. Storage space running out
Messaging might not send or receive messages until more space is available on your device. Some system functions may not work.
This is one of the first hurdles you’ll encounter once you’ve started installing apps.
What is this error and why am I getting it?
Your phone has an internal storage where apps and their data are installed to / saved. The problem here is that its a partition which is allocated a limited space so you could have a lot of space on your external SD card but still encounter this error. The root of this error is that you’ve used up the allotted space for apps and their data either due to that space being too small or you having installed too many apps.
- Adoptable Storage: This enables you use your external SD card as an extension of your internal storage. Here’s a guide on using an external SD card as Adoptable Storage
- Clearing app data: The phone needs to first be rooted then the internal storage analyzed for apps (and their data) consuming a lot of space using Link2SD. I once recovered 3.72 GB from clearing just one app’s data. You should find this piece on how to free up space on Android by clearing app data helpful
- Delete media and uninstall unneeded apps: Delete heavy media files saved to phone / internal storage or move them to external SD card. Also uninstall all unneeded apps under Settings > Apps
- Factory Reset: First, backup your important stuff. Go to Settings > Accounts and delete your Google account to avoid Factory Reset Protection (FRP) . Go to Settings > Backup & reset to wipe the phone or boot into recovery mode and do a factory reset
2. Lagging / Hanging
Slight lagging is something to expect with use but its particularly terrible on low RAM phones. This could result in frequent restarts or unfortunately **** has stopped errors.
Why is my Itel phone lagging / hanging seriously?
Well, first off, Itel wasn’t exactly notorious for being generous with RAM on their entry level models (newer models are better). Apart from the Itel S11 Plus , Itel Wish A41 Plus , Itel S41, and maybe a model or two I forgot to mention (which I kind of doubt), Itel phones traditionally featured either 512 MB or 1GB of RAM. Now, the problem isn’t only the low RAM but also the system apps (Bloatware) which the phone is bombarded with from factory.
- Debloat: First, you need to root your Itel phone then uninstall unneeded system apps using an app like Link2SD. I strongly recommend that you either have a compatible packet (pac) file / stock rom / firmware for your Itel phone or do a backup in custom recovery first so you can easily rollback in case the debloating exercise goes South
- Create a ROM Zero: To create a stock flashable zip (ROM Zero), all you need is a custom recovery, stock boot.img and system.img . If you have the Mediatek firmware then you’ll find boot and system in the zip or rar file. For Spreadtrum pac files, you can extract the content of the pac file using Research or Upgrade Download tool.
- Close apps not in use: Other than apps that have push notifications (e.g Email, Whatsapp, Hovatek app etc), ensure to exit apps currently not in use
3. Overheating / Quick battery drain
Unless you’re using an Itel phone with 5,000 mAh, you’re likely to encounter a relatively short battery time. This is often facilitated by or coupled with overheating. Someone exaggerated that he could cook beans with his Itel phone 🙂 .
Why is my Itel phone overheating and battery draining so quickly
Low end / entry level phones don’t handle duress too well and overheating is one way they voice out. Its quite normal to notice your Itel phone warming up slightly while charging or using but if it gets really hot then there’s likely a hardware issue lurking in the dark. Low end phones with crappy hardware will overheat regardless of what you do but Itel isn’t exactly crappy.
- Turn off radios not in use: If you’re not actively using your Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Hotspot or 4G then turn them off
- Watch the apps you run: Entry level phones aren’t for gaming so don’t push them. You should also reduce the number of apps you run at a time and check to be sure your phone isn’t infected with malware
- Reduce screen brightness: Unless you’re a Mole, your screen doesn’t have to be so bright all the time
- Pay attention to your Charger: If a particular charger makes your phone heat up significantly when charging then you should stay away from it
4. USB Connection issues
When it comes to USB connection, Spreadtrum (and by extension Itel phones) are another kettle of fish. Some of these issues also surface on Mediatek smartphones though.
What are the USB connection issues I might encounter on my Itel Android phone and how do I resolve them?
- ADB detection issues: Getting ADB to detect your Spreadtrum phone requires an additional step which is to include your Spreadtrum Vendor ID in the adb_usb.ini file
- MTP issues: An MTP issue could result in your PC being unable to detect your Phone storage and external SD card. Fixing this requires that you update your phone’s MTP drivers
- Flashing tool detection issues: Before you attempt flashing a Mediatek or Spreadtrum device, you need to install the Mediatek VCOM or Spreadtrum Sciu2S drivers respectively. Unfortunately, that’s sometime not enough as you might still get errors which point at a detection (driver) error. In such a case, you’ll need to update the Mediatek or Spreadtrum phone’s drivers under Device Manager
Itel has made notable improvement and I believe they hold promise. I’m watching this brand keenly and only time will prove me right or right 🙂 .