The Smartphone market is getting saturated everyday with new companies setting in from around the world and most especially “China”. Today on TechPhreak we would like to discuss 7 Things You Need To Know When Buying A Chinese Smartphone.
Chinese Smartphone, in Nigeria most people actually refer to Chinese Smartphones as fakes, clones neglecting the facts that there precious and special iPhone, Samsung, hTc and other top brands are “Made In China” so the term Chinese Smartphone refers to devices that are made in China and targeted at the Asia market most especially China and India.
Devices like Gionee, Xiaomi, Oppo, Karboom, Doogee, Elephone etc are slowly making there ways to the Nigerian Market and i think the need to know basic things before buying them is important.
1. Research your handset
This might sound very funny to you but it’s obviously the first step i would take if i were you. Product reviews for infamous devices like Doogee and Cubot can be very hard to find on the internet but you can find answers to your questions on forums that discuss mobile phones and solve smartphone issues. You can also ask a question and start a discussion, hopefully you might find an honest user who will keep it real with you.
2. 4G or no 4G?
Welcome to 2016, a year of countless Chinese Smartphones with 4G Support. In Nigeria 4G is not widely supported by Service providers but in some states like Lagos, Rivers, Ibadan, Abuja we have private companies who are breaking the curse and offering affordable 4G LTE Networks to users who have compatible smartphones. If you need to browse and download at an unimaginable speed then you need a smartphone that supports 4G. Don’t forget to check it out before you place an order.
3. Update or Not?
As a TechPhreak i love to own a device that receives constant and important updates because i tend to hold on to devices for a very long time, if you’re the 3 months old phone changer then you need not to worry about updates but if you’re the till the wheels fall off user, you need to make sure your new Chinese handset will receive updates. Gionee a Chinese/India smartphone company that sells premium devices but hasn’t really considered updating most its devices might not be very good for people who can easily get tired of the Amigo OS but Xiaomi who makes updates a usual thing can be a very good choice for those who like to hold to there devices for so long. Also, most of this Chinese devices come with themed, tweaked Android OS so the need for an update might be compulsory.
4. How much do they care?
There’s another major thing to bear in mind before buying a Chinese smartphone, after-sales support. What if something goes wrong? What if you fall down from the bike you hurt your eggs, your phone and its screen? What if your little boy baptize your phone in an Egusi soup? What wil you do? Who will you run to? Situation like this calls for the companies help but most of them don’t have service shop here and scarce repair parts, lack of accessories etc.
This may change in the years to come as manufacturers continue to expand their global presence, but for the moment it can be a difficult choice to make.
5. Pick a vendor
This is likely the most important step, the choice you make today might bring you joy or not so be careful and watchful when you’re buying your Chinese smartphone.
You can purchase phones from various websites around the world but be sure you’re using a widely accepted site, safe and guaranteed that also ships and delivers to Africa (Nigeria). Some of this websites include Aliexpress and Gearbest.
Research each vendor before making a purchase, and pay close attention to user reviews. If several people have had a bad experience that should be a red flag, run for your life.
Beware of customs. Shipping a device from your country will save you from this but shipping it all the way from China to Nigeria will attract some custom charges potentially up to 20% and will also take about 2 weeks before it gets to you so be sure to hold on and be ready to pay.
7. Setting up your new device
Congratulations on your new phone bro, it’s beautiful. Now you’re at the stage where you set up your preferred language, if you’re a Nigerian you should choose English (United Kingdom) none Nigerians can just choose there choice of language. Next step might be to connect your Google Account you may choose continue or not now and get back to it later, for devices like Xiaomi which is anti-google you might need to install some Google Playstore alternatives like 1Mobile Market, Mobogenie etc sometimes it might also require rooting or flashing of Google Applications (Gapps) on the device to be able to use Google services.
I strongly support the idea of buying phones from China as you might buy a perfect device with a powerful premium device at a good price.
But if anything goes wrong however, it can mean that your lovely slice of Asian device ends up a very decorative piece and a waste of your hard earned cash.
My little piece of advice for you is take time to make research and be a forum lurker who is not shy to ask questions and not proud to read comments as there is no better source of information or review than someone who has already made a purchase.