Saturday, October 11, 2014

ZTE Concord II, a very cheap and solid hotspot

For only $19.00, you can get a ZTE Concord II 4G phone. This is by far the best phone for being used as a hotspot. Other T-Mobile phones such as the Galaxy Light and LG L70, all have hotspot function crippled - they clear routing table every hour or so.


Why use a phone other than a MiFi or 3G router? Because an Android phone is far more flexible. For example, you can let the hotspot go through a VPN and/or proxy connection. And for $19, it is also far cheaper than any MiFi or 3G router.

There are two versions of this Concord II: T-Mobile and MetroPCS, their firmware are slightly different but compatible. I.e., you may flash a T-Mobile FW to a MetroPCS, vice versa. The one I got is a T-Mobile; so if any of the followings do not apply to the MetroPCS version, at least you can flash it to T-Mobile to get all the same functions.

First thing first with any phone is to root it. Fortunately it is very easy, just run a batch script:

http://androidforums.com/concord-2-all-things-root/872326-root-cwm-recovery-zte-concord-2-a.html

Optionally, you may remove blotware, also explained in above link. There is a link to a MetroPCS FW too. A list of what I removed can be found at the bottom of this article. You may not have to remove anything, but some of them such as Lookout and SetupWizard might do very bad things under the backgroud to damage a smooth hotspot experience.

After root, we can run WiFi Tether Router to make it a hotpsot and it works perfectly with the default configuration without any tweak, see above photo. Experienced random disconnects (then reconnected by itself), changed from WPA2 to WPA then problem solved.

Chinese is one of the built-in languages; the other two are Spanish and English.

The only downside: no LTE. This is actually a good thing to me, because LTE is weak and slow in my area, saving me the hassle to disable LTE. So far this is the best hotspot I have had - the most dependable and the fastest.

[update] Xposed can be installed through the installation mode of recovery (flash zip automatically). Then Moto Tether module can be added for bypassing hotspot provisioning.

Bought an unlock code for $12 from phones.outlet on ebay because of 100% positive feedback. The code arrived after about 7 hours and worked (a metroPCS version). 

Removed apps:

Books.apk
ChromeBookmarksSyncAdapter.apk
ChromeWithBrowser.apk
com.mobitv.client.tmobiletvhd.apk
Drive.apk
Hangouts.apk
Lookout.apk
OneTimeInitializer.apk
OneTimeInitializer.odex
SetupWizard.apk
T-MobileMyAccount.apk
AntHalService.apk
AntHalService.odex
CABLService.apk
FccTest.apk
Filer.apk
IQ_OOB.apk
IQ-tmobile.apk
IQToggle.apk
Magazines.apk
MediaUploader.apk
PhotoEditor.apk
PhotoTable.apk
PhotoTable.odex
PlusOne.apk
Protips.apk
Protips.odex
Sdlog.apk
Sdlog.odex
SVIService.apk
talkback.apk
TaskManager.apk
TestAssistant.apk
TestAssistant.odex
Velvet.apk
Videos.apk

11 comments:

  1. Hi Sean! Thanks for the alert. $19 is a great deal.
    So ... You say the T-Mobile FW can be flashed onto the MetroPCS.
    Isn't MetroPCS on Verizon's network and not T-Mobiles?

    Does the MetroPCS Concord have HSDPA 1700 / 2100 as well as 850 & 1900?

    In flashing T-mobile FW onto Metro PCS will it acquire t-mobiles proprietary wi-fi calling as well?
    thanks. Joe

    ReplyDelete
  2. MetroPCS is on T-Mobile network. I believe the MetroPCS version has the same 850, AWS and 1900. I think most recent MetroPCS phones all have WiFi calling.

    MetroPCS is pretty much equal to t-mobile; the latter bought the former. A strange thing is: you do need to unlock a MetroPCS phone to use it with a T-Mobile SIM.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can you post a working link to that ADA-ASEC-ROOT-CWM-V2.zip file needed to root?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sean!
    Do you know where I can get Z730V1.0.0B19
    The MetroPCS I zapped is only at .0B18 and says "no room left"
    The B19 FW has a critical tweak for using Wifi calling in airplane mode.
    thanks
    Joe f

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't know, mine is B18 too.

      Delete
    2. Now I have a B19 stock ROM (rooted) for CWM flashing.

      Delete
    3. Download links, expiring in 7 days:

      http://www.megafileupload.com/4O69/clockworkmod_b19.7z.001
      http://www.megafileupload.com/90eS/clockworkmod_b19.7z.002

      Delete
  5. hello, i have a question. i just rooted a metropcs zte concord ii and i have the cwm on it too, im completely new to rooting as this is my first root and would like to ask how to proceed from here. i dont know how to flash roms or anything . im in the blind now and i dont know what to do... thank you.... -chii

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you want to do with this phone? Not much junk on this phone, so you should not remove system files and pre-installed apps.

      Delete
  6. Ever try to maximize your free satoshi collections by utilizing a BTC FAUCET ROTATOR?

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you're looking for the most recommended bitcoin exchanger, then you should pick YoBit.

    ReplyDelete