Buy a cheap phone in China and save more

by John

I moved to China and needed my own cell phone. Since I have very little knowledge about technology, I was unsure of how to change my American cell phone to a Chinese phone. Cell phones in China work much differently than in America – almost every phone is a pay-as-you-go phone.

I went to a store and bought the cheapest phone I could find. It was very cheap – less than twenty dollars. When I bought it, I was unsure of how long I would be in China so a cheap one was good for me and my needs. It turned out, I had the phone for over three years! Once a semester, I put two hundred yuan on the phone and it lasted the whole term. For my whole time in China, I spent less than one hundred dollars on my phone, and it was definitely worth it. However, if a person still wants to use the phone they already had, there is a way to do that too.

A friend of mine travels a lot from country to country spending a year or so in each place. He kept the same phone for convenience and to save money. I went with him to shop for a new SIM card for his phone. The first store we came to had a card that would easily work for him. Since he now was connected to the China Mobile phone company, his phone worked just like mine regardless of where he bought it.

He managed to have his phone for many years for less than I paid. Here are some thing to keep in mind though: First, I nor my friend required a smart phone. Our phones were the very basic “call and text” kind of phones. A person can save a lot of money if they are willing to have the basics and no more. Also, be careful when buying the SIM card. Look it over carefully, and be firm in getting a straight answer about if it had been used before. You are paying for a new SIM card – you should get a new SIM card.

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