Chinese cell phones: The pros and cons of buying cheap

Just had another cell phone stolen? The affordable alternative to mainstream mobile brands is full of possibilities.

Yousuf Rafi November 08, 2010
Whether we like the idea or not almost all appliances we use are made in China. The country is currently the world’s manufacturing base, churning out cheap products ranging from common pins to automobiles. They may be cheap but sometimes these products can be of very good quality.

But not often.

Normally, Chinese goods are what we like to call, expendable.

The term "China" or "Chinese" has almost become interchangeable with third-rate - especially in the cellphone market.  So, are fake “Chinese” cellphones as good as the real thing? Trust me, I am uniquely qualified to answer this question.  I have lost two cell phones and preferred to buy Chinese cell phones again and again rather than any other brand.

Why go Chinese

Most of Chinese cell phones have the same features. The only difference between the two leading brands NKTEL and QMobile is that one has an Internet option and the other does not.

  • Motion application. This feature is not available in any other brand except these Chinese cell phones. When watching a video, listening to audio or viewing pictures if you turn your mobile 90 degrees the video, audio and picture will also turn accordingly.

  • Fake atmosphere. Another catchy feature which is not in any other brand is the built-in library of background sounds of places like shopping mall, walking on a road and in a restaurant. Now when you call someone you get an option to call normally or to add a background sound which gives the impression that you are in a particular place.

  • Dual Sim A popular feature by which you can use two numbers simultaneously on a single cell phone.

  • Bluetooth is also included.

  • Extendible memory of upto 2GB allows easy transferring files without memory issues.

Why stay mainstream

  • Quality versus features If you prefer quality over features than its advisable not to buy Chinese phones because they will not fulfill your needs. Quality wise I admit that when these phones were first launched in 2009 they were at their best but with the increase in demand quality got poor and now you are lucky when your phone works at all. Test your cell phone before purchasing it. Especially the speaker, vibrating feature and dual SIM (sometimes it won’t detect the second SIM).

  • Camera Compared to Nokia, Samsung or any other phone camera the Chinese cellphones fails to perform.

  • Connectivity My friend just purchased the NKTEL A200 and he can only make 15 minute long phone calls. The call is disconnected automatically and he needs to dial again. So before committing to a Chinese handset prepare yourself for a few technical glitches and remember to check the phone out before purchase.

Yousuf Rafi A Karachi based technology student who writes on gadgets and software development.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


north counntry cell phones | 12 years ago | Reply hello everyone i see good pros and cons about the china cell phones well first let me say my business is china electronics while it is true you get what you pay for. china cell phones are great for the price dont abuse them and it well keep working for a long time if you look around your house and pick up some items and look you well find china made on most everything so you decide good or bad.
Haris Hussain | 12 years ago | Reply dude.. they are no good for no more then couple of months.. rather purchase Nokia 1100 then that..!
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