Feb 22 2013

Notes on the concept of the Android baseband

Category: firmwarewpgeorge @ 11:39 am

This article describes the concept of the Android baseband version.

Whenever there is an Over the Air upgrade, there is a chance that the baseband gets upgraded, such as was the case in my recent FOTA upgrade to 2.3.7-4 on the Vodafone Smart II

The original baseband version was: BCM2155x_TCLSSP1_1342.3_assert2rstrst_sv2O

The upgraded baseband version was: BCM2155x_TCLSSP1_1342.3.2.2

Here’s the best definition of baseband I could find from the macrumors.com forum

Baseband = the firmware that the radio part of your phone uses.

Sure enough, when I digged enough into the patch script for the Vodafone Smart II, I can distinctly see three different .img files being patched:

Excerpts from file updater-script, part of update.zip:

ui_print("Patching boot image...");
ui_print("Patching modem partition...");
ui_print("Patching bootloader partition...");

So this brings me to the conclusion that when the patch is applied there are three software upgrades to three core partitions of the Vodafone Smart II:

  • boot.img partition
  • fota-bootloader.img partition
  • and the baseband partition, known as fota-comms.img

Related websites

Osmocom BB, a project that aims to provide open source baseband software for selected phones

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Feb 21 2013

Samsung Galaxy Y (GT-S5369) is as fresh as ever

Category: Android 2.3 devices,Device descriptionwpgeorge @ 9:22 pm

The first thing I noticed after purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Y (young) model GT-S5369 was that it had no exact match at Pdadb.net, the only possible match was the GT-S5360.

Further investigation shows that both GT-S5360 and GT-S5369  are very similar and that the change in model numbering is only a region-specific customization.

The initial Operating system version used is 2.3.6 (Gingerbread). The kernel version is compiled 30 Aug 2012.

The ST-S5369 uses a standalone GPS hardware chip, the Broadcom BCM4751, its no wonder that it is extremely responsive.  This is the same chip as the one contained in more mature hardware such as Google’s (ASUS) Nexus 7

I think that if its price were only USD25 lower than their many lower cost counterparts described in this blog they would leave the rest of the competition without customers.

The 800MHz CPU is ideal and the display is both bright and responsive. Animations are much less intrusive as those I have seen in Sony devices for example and they are unique enough to know that there are lots of Samsung-related improvements. For example, I like the multi-colored settings icons.

I don’t think I will venture yet into the Samsung Apps repository until I have explored all synchronization options.

After more than 2 1/2 years of hitting the market, the Galaxy Y remains as fresh and actively sold as ever.




Feb 17 2013

Full details of OTA upgrade 2.3.7-4 for Vodafone Smart 2

Category: Android 2.3 devices,firmwarewpgeorge @ 5:10 pm

Here are the details of a recent OTA upgrade for the Vodafone Smart 2

The description of the update says that the package will upgrade the device to Android Gingerbread 2.3.7-4 and that it contains bug fixes for performance and stability

Original version information:

Firmware version: 2.3.7

Baseband version: BCM2155x_TCLSSP1_1342.3_assert2rstrst_sv2O

Kernel version: TCL@50712-1 #1

Build Number: 01020


View from Smartphone II before the FOTA upgrade to 2.3.7-4

The upgrade is described as having a 6.5Mb size.

When downloading the upgrade, logcat describes a download from server otuo2.tctmobile.com

02-16 22:30:25.304: I/suapp_jni(11970): 2013/02/16 22:30:25 [DEBUG]   AMConnection::Execute: Connection #1c3f08: Successfully connected to otu02.tctmobile.com!

and a file update.zip is downloaded.

Mounting the sdcard we find that the file is available at:


Here’s the full listing of that archive.

After the upgrade, the following information is displayed in the ‘About phone’ section:

Firmware version: 2.3.7

Baseband version: BCM2155x_TCLSSP1_1342.3.2.2

Kernel version: TCL@50712-1 #1

Build Number: 01021


version information in the Vodafone Smart II (Alcatel TCL V860) after OTA upgrade

version information in the Vodafone Smart II (Alcatel TCL V860) after OTA upgrade

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