These instructions were tested on a Flytouch 10 (more specs here), also known as Flytouch X, Superpad 10, Superpad X. The model naming of this Shenzai stuff is a mess, so be sure to check the linked specs and photos to make sure it's your device.

Configuration

For a compatible 3G stick to work, you do not need to root your device, and you do not need to install additional software.

  1. Choose and buy a compatible 3G stick. There is no user manual to speak of for the Flytouch 10, just a leaflet coming with the product. Means there is no official documentation what 3G sticks will work with it. Probably all that work with a stock Android 4.1 will do, but it seems safe to use the narrower list users developed for earlier generations of the Flytouch: many or most of Huawei 3G sticks will do, but these are confirmed to work:
  2. Disable PIN entry on the SIM card you want to use. This can be done with any mobile phone. It is needed because (to my knowledge) the Flyouch 10 has no feature to ask for the PIN before connecting. This feature is however available in the PPP Widget app, which is a more flexible solution anyway but needs a rooted device. Compare the PPP Widget author's webpage.
  3. Make sure you can connect with the intended 3G stick / SIM card combination using a computer. If you get an Internet connection this way, it indicates that your 3G stick / SIM card combination does not have an issue with a SIM lock. It also excludes many other failure modes, meaning the remaining ones are on the tablet then.
  4. If necessary, remove the SIM lock from the 3G stick. If the last step failed, you might be able to make it work by removing this SIM lock. Legal disclaimer: You are advised to only do so if your provider and jurisdiction allow this.
  5. Configure the APN properly. These settings are in "Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> More -> Mobile Networks -> APN Settings". You should configure them exactly as on your computer or another device where you can successfully create a 3G Internet connection using the same SIM card. Because if you do something wrong here (like: missing username and password – often they're optional but not always), you will get no error message or other feedback. The 3G stick will simply not establish a data connection. Note that sometimes, your device will fetch APN settings from your network, creating a APN config entry for you – but, this does not guarantee that this entry is correct and working. In my case, it created an APN for German E-Plus network, which did not work for simyo (also using the E-Plus network but with different APN settings).
  6. Maybe: Disable the USB flip-flop mode and card reader on the 3G stick. This step was needed back in 2011-01 for the Flytouch 2, but I am not sure it is still needed. Since the Flytouch 10 did create APN settings before I executed this step, meaning it could access the 3G modem hardware somehow, I think it's rather not needed. If it is needed, you can use my instructions for disabling mode switching on Huawai 3G sticks.

Note: It is normal, at least for some devices like the Huawei K3715 in my case, that the mobile network search fails (in "Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> More -> Mobile Networks -> Mobile Network Provider"). The reason for this is unknown, but such a stick can still create data connections for the tablet. However, this network scanning was also not completely broken, since when going into AP

Usage

Normal usage of a 3G stick on the Flytouch 10:

  1. Insert the SIM card into your 3G stick. It's important, it won't work without! 😀
  2. It is not necessary to disable wi-fi on the Flytouch. Contrary to instructions for earlier generations of the Flytouch, you do not have to disable it in system settings, also not using the hardware switch. Just, make sure you are disconnected from any wi-fi network, because a wi-fi connection has a higher priority for the tablet: it will try to use it even when no Internet connection is available via this, then ignoring a possibly existing 3G Internet connection.
  3. Insert the UMTS stick into the lower USB port. It should work with both USB ports though, but at least for the device I tested it does not: the 3G stick will not start to flash its LED at all. This might be due to different power capabilities of the ports, or maybe one of them is broken already.
  4. Wait approx. 20s for a connection to appear. In the case of the Huawei K3715 stick, the progress is like this: at first it flashes double-flashes regularly, then single flashes regularly, then it lights continuously; which probably corresponds to "no connection; registered in mobile network; established data connection". Shortly afterwards, the 3G icon will appear in the notification area of the screen, in the lower right corner. At the beginning, it should have flashing arrows both up and down – if only up, it usually indicates that the data network connection is established, but not working.
  5. Use. Open a browser and call up a www page – it should work now.
  6. After standby, wait again 20s for the connection. Right when switching off the screen, the Flytouch 10 enters standby mode, also cutting off power from the 3G stick. So when resuming from standby, you have to wait just as for the initial connection to appear. So it can make sense to increase the duration until standby, in "Settings -> Display -> Standby".

Troubleshooting:

  • Pull the 3G stick out and re-insert it. This often fixes a messed up registration in the data network, which can happen esp. when reception is poor.
  • Try a different USB port. As mentioned above, at the device I tested only one of the two ports worked for the Huawei K3715 stick.
  • Try a Y cable. At least the Huawei K3715 stick came with a Y cable originally, meaning that it could overchallenge the power supply of some USB ports.
  • Pull the stick out, disable wi-fi and re-insert it. Should not be necessary (except if you're actually connected to a wi-fi network), but worth a try. If you want to try this, disable wi-fi both in the system settings and via the hardware switch, to be sure.

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