Pros and cons of buying a smartphone from China

Decades ago, many of us were unable to afford the technological wonders that now fill many of our homes. They are more affordable now because the manufacturing process is cheaper and a lot of goods are being made in Asia and shipped all over the world. Smartphones are hot property these days and people are turning to importing Chinese phones, but what are the pros and cons?

Pros and cons of buying a smartphone from China


The first pro is fairly obvious, but buying smartphones from China can really save you some of your hard-earned cash. The entry price for Chinese smartphones typically comes way under the average for more established brands from the United States.

The phones, in general, will do everything you would expect a smartphone to do, but at a fraction of the cost of similar models from Apple, Samsung, or Google. Costs for new tech is always high, but you can get the latest models from China that have new features without having to remortgage your home.

Knowing what you’re dealing with

Although the phones can be cheaper, a con that comes when buying them from China is that you will need to do your research on them. The internet is a big place, and the information is out there but finding it can be a tough task. Some of the lesser-known companies, such as Doogee, Cubot, and Elephone, often come cheap but without much information. It’s also pretty common in China for handsets to be much larger than in the States, so that is something to consider because it might not fit in your pocket.


You’ll most likely be buying your Chinese smartphone online, which means you’re not going to get the same support if something goes wrong. If you buy a phone that hasn’t been imported, then you can just head down to the store with your smartphone and get someone to look at it.

With an imported smartphone that is not so easy to do because people are less familiar with the handsets and how they work. If you get a problem with your imported smartphone, it could cost you a bundle trying to get it up and running again.

Customs charge

Although you will save a lot of money on the handset itself, you are going to have to pay extra to get your smartphone to your door. It will be subjected to a customs charge, which could see you pay up to as much as 20% of the smartphone’s value.

This is an extra expense that some people might not see coming, so you have to ensure you budget for it when buying a new handset. The customs charge could be the difference between your Chinese smartphone being cheaper or more expensive than one from home.

Pros and cons of buying a smartphone from China

Try before you buy

The beauty of buying a smartphone from China is that because they cost so less it gives you a taste of what current or future technology is like. It means you don’t have to splash out right away for a current-generation top-end smartphone, and instead, you can have some time with a cheaper model.

This allows you to make up your mind on whether you think it’s a smart investment to go for a top-of-the-line model or not. With the relatively low cost of a Chinese option, you can get a feel for the current generation up close rather than just relying on reviews.

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to buying a smartphone from China. It will definitely save you some money, but if things go wrong, you’re going to be on your own trying to get it fixed.