Chinese Android Phone Buying Guide

There is lots of discussion regarding buying a Mobile Smart Phone from the Far East, and a lot of the rumour and speculation generally appears on forums – often typed by people who have never actually owned a Chinese Android Smart Phone themselves and are never likely to own a Chinese mobile phone because of all of the Chinese whispers (pun intended) that surrounds them.

So you have probably found this page because you have read endless comments and forum threads documenting the many pitfalls in relation to purchasing a mobile smartphone from the Far East, and wish to get a more balanced view, ideally from somebody who has actually bought a Chinese Android Mobile Phone and is speaking from personal experience, then I am about to do just that, so read on!.

Several months ago, I purchased a Cubot GT-99 Chinese Android Phone from China, so far it has easily been the best mobile phone that I have ever owned and I would never hesitate to personally recommend this phone to anybody who is looking to buy a cheap Chinese android smartphone, in fact it easily equals the majority of branded smartphones which I have previously owned and it cost around 50% of the price.

Despite crossing that tentative line by buying a Chinese android phone, and in doing so, ignoring the many rumours, speculation and stigma which seems to be attached to purchasing mobile phones from Chinese Vendors my phone has so far not done any of the dire things which others seem to warn against!. Several months after purchase by Cubot phone has not exploded, set fire to the house, self destructed or spied on my every text message!. Its behaved perfectly in every way, and worked just as reliably as any other, more expensive smartphone which I have owned previously. In fact i’m using it now to provide the tethered 3G connection to the laptop from which i’m typing this blog page….well fancy that!.

So lets get down to some facts. First of all, not all Chinese Vendors are out to rip you off, yes there are plenty who will but the Chinese are also just everyday people, running a business and intending to make a living just the same as factories in the West.

I am employed in a Purchasing role within a UK manufacturer, and I can say that in all honesty around 40% of our materials currently originate from Chinese Factories, in fact in my professional experience, it would be almost impossible to make anything in a factory in the UK, Europe or even the U.S at a competitive price without some kind of Chinese influence – FACT. So if you were to believe the internet rumours and scaremongering surrounding Chinese Manufacturers then you would probably never buy an Electrical Appliance, Smartphone, Car, Computer, Laptop or Gadget ever again, because they all have some kind of Chinese content, whether its a printed circuit board, a sub assembly or a component.

Most of the people who give a negative view of Chinese products and warn against buying them are the ones who fell into the trap of buying a top brand product at a cheap price. The majority of fake and counterfeit products which originate from China are basically cheap rip offs of top brands. So, if you really think that you can buy an Apple, Samsung or Reebok product at 75% below the price you can from an official distributor, then you should expect & deserve to be ripped off, because this type of purchase will always end in tears….and bitter disappointment.

However brands such as Cubot are popular “in house” Chinese brands, making smartphones which are sold to and bought by the Chinese consumers themselves. Ask yourself what the point would be of making a Chinese made fake of an existing Chinese made product anyway? there wouldn’t be any point (or profit) in faking your Countries’ own brands, especially a brand which wasn’t an internationally known household name, so the simple fact is, that Chinese made own brand products, made in Chinese factories simply never get counterfeited, so they are a pretty safe purchase!.

A lot of the speculation regarding Chinese made smartphones also center around quality issues. Whilst this issue, once again, generally only applies to cheaply made counterfeit or knock off branded products, and it doesn’t necessarily apply to own brand Chinese Products. After all, Chinese Teenagers want all of the latest cool gadgets, features and smartphones too just like Teenagers in the West, and they also want their smartphones to be of a good quality and be reliable. To put it simply, the Chinese consumers want the same value for their money and reliability from their own products too, so Chinese made phones, intended for the Chinese market are often well made, and are just as good as any product sold in the West, they have to be otherwise their own consumers wouldn’t buy them.

Quite a logical conclusion if you think about it like that.

So how do you avoid being ripped off when buying something from China or Hong Kong?

Well the most obvious advice is to avoid anything exported from China which professes to be a famous international brand and instead stick to Chinese Factory “own brand” smartphones which are already popular in Asia and made in their own factories. Brands such as Xiaomi, Cubot, THL and Jiayu, all of whom produce millions of top selling Smartphones for the Asian and Eastern European markets and offer very competitive deals on quad core android smart phones which will work fine on the UK, Australian and European networks.

I personally purchased a Cubot GT-99 Smartphone, on which I base my experience in writing this page, and this is the smartphone which I would highly recommend, but products made by all of the other manufacturers which I have listed above are also worth checking out, with the THL W100 also being a popular choice for those seeking a 1.2ghz Quad Core Chinese Smartphone, and millions of these phones have been made and sold worldwide.

Secondly, avoid places like internet auction sites, and instead purchase your Chinese smartphone from one of the well established Chinese based online shopping websites and wholesaler websites,  such as Focal Price

Believe it or not, as worldwide interest in their own products increases China has sharpened its game and introduced some quality standards in E-Commerce and these websites like Focal Price do go to some effort to make sure that the products sold on their networks are legitimate and of good quality and they also expect their vendors to trade fairly and in addition to this they also often have customer reviews, ratings and even Escrow services in order to build consumer confidence and grow trust.

Also pay for your purchase using both Escrow (if available) and always use a credit card and never pay using direct cash transfer facilities such as Western Union. Many credit card companies all over the world will offer some kind of purchase protection and insurance for online purchases made with credit cards, and this always allows an extra layer of protection should you be concerned that the goods will not turn up, or be of poor quality.

Make sure you research the smartphone that you are interested in, using Google, often you will find Android Forums were these Chinese phones are being discussed and reviews are given. Always read the feedback of the Vendor on the website where you are purchasing the phone from and avoid vendors with poor or no ratings.

And finally, if possible upgrade your purchase to DHL, FED-EX or EMS delivery, not only will you be able to track your order and get it much faster, but the tracking facility will allow you to make a claim for lost goods via your Credit Card insurance.

Basically, buying a Chinese Android Smartphone, doesn’t have to be a painful experience, and if you are careful, do the background checks and read reviews, it doesn’t have to carry any more risks than buying from a local online Vendor. Make the right decision and choose the right Chinese Vendor, and you can get a lot of phone for a small amount of money, simply by choosing a Chinese made smartphone, consisting on a brand which is not yet known in the West.

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