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  iSmart DS Premium Review
Posted by Kiekoes on Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 16:27 - 28 Comments
 
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Kiekoes Netherlands

 

Official Review



The iSmartDS Premium in general

The iSmart DS Premium is a slot 1 flashcard that is compatible with the DS/DSl/DSi/DSiXL. The great thing about the iSmart is that it said to have a ‘Anti-Piracy Auto Detection’ system which can play clean roms with Anti-Piracy without the Anti-Piracy protection. It also has ‘real time’ features like Real Time Save and Real Time Guide. DS and DSlite users can use their EZ Flash 3 in 1 expansion pack without using any additional software.

  

Features of the iSmartDS Premium

Features that are listed on the back of the box:

• 100% compatibility, supports clean ROMS, works on NDS, NDSL, NDSi and NDS XL.
• Supports NDS download play.
• Enhanced Real Time Save and Real Time Game Guide. Making it easier for you to play the games.
• Super fast memory card reading speed. Supports any MicroSD/MicroSDHC including the slowest ones.
• Automatic save type detection, no need for a save type database.
• Anti-Piracy Auto Detection. No patches needed for games with built-in anti-piracy.
• Skinnable interface for both theme and buttons.
• Multi-lingual user interface. Customizable languages.
• Supports Action Replay cheat.
• Supports Wi-Fi, EZ Flash 3 in 1 expansion pack. No additional software needed for the expansion pack.

A lot of nice features in my opinion.

Software



The software consists of a menu looking like the DSi menu, giving you several options: Nintendo DS Games, GBA games for 3 in 1 pack, Moonshell Multi Media, Boot from Slot 2 device, and System Setting.



In the iSmarts Nintendo DS games menu, the file names are listed on the top screen and the detail and options are listed on the touch screen. The touch screen features several options: Start (to start the game), Preferences (to switch the Real Time features and the Special Mode on and off), Settings (the system settings), and Backlight. The options in the Preference menu are:
• Soft Reset
• Real Time Save
• Game Guide
• Cheat
• Download Play
• Special Mode

The options in the Settings menu are:
• Language Setting
• Rumble Strength
• 3 in 1 Mode
• Skin Style

The iSmart DS Premium is compatible with the DSi Firmware v1.4.1 and shows up as ‘Tak: The great JuJu Challenge’.



NDS Game Back Up Compatibility

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (U): Black screen, didn’t even work in special mode.
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (U): Worked fine.
Pocket Monsters: Black (J): Turns into a white screen after ±10 events.
Pocket Monsters: White (J): Turns into a white screen after ±10 events.
Professor Layton en de Verloren Toekomst (H): Worked fine.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (E): Black screen, didn’t work in special mode.
Mario Kart DS (U): Will freeze right after the race begins in Grand Prix mode.
New Super Mario Bos. (U): Worked fine.
Toy Story 3 (E): White screen, didn’t work in secial mode.
Michael Jackson: The Experience (E): Worked fine.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (U): White screen.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (E)(CRACKED): White screen.

Some games didn’t work in special mode, I think that is because my MicroSD is too slow. I used a 4GB MicroSDHC from SanDisk to test these ROMs.

After more and longer testing, I found out that Pokémon Black and Pokémon White will freeze after ±10 events and that Mario Kart DS will freeze after the race begins in Grand Prix mode.

FishShell Firmware

The FishShell Firmware for the iSmart Premium is a Chinese remake from the Moonshell Multi Media software which has more compatibility than the iSmart Kernel Firmware. I used FishShell 2.0 Beta 10 for this review. The interface of FishShell is looking similar to the Moonshell interface.

    


The new beta of FishShell will run encrypted dumps, which are:

Encrypted dumps


Now because the encrypted dumps are supported, FishShell firmware has a much better compatibility.

NDS Game Back Up Compatibility while using theFishShell Firmware

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (U): Black screen.
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (U): Worked fine.
Pocket Monsters: Black (J): Worked fine, tried over 100 events.
Pocket Monsters: White (J): Worked fine, tried over 100 events.
Professor Layton en de Verloren Toekomst (H): Worked fine.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (E): Black screen, didn’t work in special mode.
Mario Kart DS (U): Worked fine, even in Grand Prix mode.
New Super Mario Bos. (U): Worked fine.
Toy Story 3 (E): Worked fine.
Michael Jackson: The Experience (E): Worked fine.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (U): White screen.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (E)(CRACKED): White screen.

Conclusion

The iSmartDS premium is a good card with good compatibility. The special mode works only with a fast MicroSD card. The hardware is looking a bit like the second generation R4 cards:


Pro's:
• Good NDS Compatibility when using FishShell firmware.
• Simple menu.
• DSi Firmware 1.4.1 Compatible without needing to update the card.
• Real Time options.

Cons:
• Anti-Piracy Auto Detection didn’t work as I suspected.
• Special Mode only works when using a fast MicroSD.
• Non-spring-loaded MicroSD slot.



Final Score: 87%


DS-Scene would like to thank RealHotStuff for sending us the review sample.


This post has been edited by Kiekoes, Mon, January 10th, 2011 at 17:51


 
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#1
 
Clookster Mongolia

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 16:32
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I've been searching for a picture of the backside / contacts of Premium for ages - thanks for sharing.

Did you try Fishshell? I've seen some nice Fishshell for Premium videos on Youtube.

But I'm not really sure if they're still working on this...
 
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#2
 
wiimancj Romania

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 19:28
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Sounds like a good card and I think that those compatibility issues will be fixed with future firmware updates.
The price is also pretty good but I'd still go with an AK2i instead of this flashcard.
 
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#3
 
Kiekoes Netherlands

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 19:44
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Coming soon


  • iSmart FishShell Firmware (Seems to have a better ROM Compatibility).
 
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#4
 
Sylar100 United States

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:14
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Quote 
100% compatibility, supports clean ROMS, works on NDS, NDSL, NDSi and NDS XL.


{i}Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (U): Black screen, didn’t even work in special mode.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (E): Black screen, didn’t work in special mode.
Toy Story 3 (E): White screen, didn’t work in secial mode.[/i]

Wow 100% compatibility  sure means something different now.

Quote 
The iSmartDS premium is a good card with good compatibility.


Shouldn't it have perfect compatibility LOL.


Quote 
The special mode works only with a fast MicroSD card.


What are you actually basing that on? Why not use the MicroSD card you use with your Supercard DSTWO? I am assuming it would work fine if it were the MicroSD card that's the problem.

 
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#5
 
dfkt Austria

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:21
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A non-spring-loaded slot is something I see as a positive thing. My non-spring-loaded Edge and R4 are great and easy to handle, my spring-loaded Acekard sucks ass (good thing one can use it without the springy-thingy as well).

Your Sandisk card should be fast enough, I would guess. I've never had any speed issues with genuine Sandisk cards, no matter what generation - they constantly perform faster than the competitors, as far as I tested them. (I got ~5 Sandisk cards, 1 Kingston, 1 Transcend, 1 No-name - the Sandisks are the fastest of their respective generations).
 
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#6
 
Kiekoes Netherlands

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:26
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Quote 
Sylar100 on Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:14 [»]

Quote 
100% compatibility, supports clean ROMS, works on NDS, NDSL, NDSi and NDS XL.


Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (U): Black screen, didn’t even work in special mode.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (E): Black screen, didn’t work in special mode.
Toy Story 3 (E): White screen, didn’t work in secial mode.


Wow 100% compatibility  sure means something different now.

That was stated on the box.

Quote 
Sylar100 on Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:14 [»]

Quote 
The iSmartDS premium is a good card with good compatibility.


Shouldn't it have perfect compatibility LOL.

It should, but it doesn't.

Quote 
Sylar100 on Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:14 [»]

Quote 
The special mode works only with a fast MicroSD card.


What are you actually basing that on? Why not use the MicroSD card you use with your Supercard DSTWO? I am assuming it would work fine if it were the MicroSD card that's the problem.

I bought a separate MicroSD.


Quote 
dfkt on Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:21 [»]

A non-spring-loaded slot is something I see as a positive thing. My non-spring-loaded Edge and R4 are great and easy to handle, my spring-loaded Acekard sucks ass (good thing one can use it without the springy-thingy as well).

Your Sandisk card should be fast enough, I would guess. I've never had any speed issues with genuine Sandisk cards, no matter what generation - they constantly perform faster than the competitors, as far as I tested them. (I got ~5 Sandisk cards, 1 Kingston, 1 Transcend, 1 No-name - the Sandisks are the fastest of their respective generations).

I like the spring loaded cards more because you can just click the MicroSD out with your fingernail (if they aren't too shot).
 
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#7
 
Crass United States

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:56
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What exactly is "Special Mode"?
 
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#8
 
ccosmos2 French Southern and Antarctic Lands

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 21:02
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Quote 
Crass on Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 20:56 [»]

What exactly is "Special Mode"?

It's the equivalent of the clean mode on dstwo and the AAP mode on akaio.
It require a fast microSD (access time to data) which Kiekoes seems to doesn't own.

Ps : Toy Story 3 (E) is an encrypted dump. The iSP doesn't handle those type of rom, for now.
Need to decrypt the secure area with xenofile or woodsec or eNDryptS Advanced.

Known encrypted dumps :

Quote 
4798 - Alice in Wonderland (E)
4799 - Sonic Classic Collection (E)
4835 - SpongeBob SquarePants - Boating Bash (E)
5015 - Shrek Forever After (E)
5016 - Toy Story 3 (E)
5214 - Grease - The Official Video Game (E)
5225 - Imagine - Dream Resort (E)
5228 - Last Airbender The (E)
5291 - Sims 3 The (E)
5312 - Zhu Zhu Pets 2 - Featuring The Wild Bunch (E)
5316 - New Carnival - Funfair Games (E)
5337 - New Carnival Games (U)
5338 - Penguins of Madagascar The (E)
5339 - iCarly 2 - iJoin the Click (E)
5364 - Tron Evolution (E)
5394 - Camp Rock - The Final Jam (E)
5395 - Imagine - Fashion Paradise (E)
5396 - Phineas and Ferb - Ride Again (E)


Note that all those dump are from RFTD group ...

This post has been edited by ccosmos2, Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 21:11
 
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#9
 
pichon64 Uruguay

  Wed, January 5th, 2011 at 23:57
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Nice review, Kiekoes. Thanks.
 
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