Note: This post was originally published in 2013. I did manage to buy a Nokia Asha phone from a shop located inside Mo Chit because I wanted a phone with Thai alphabets to ease the sending of sms. The phone was okay and it was during those days when Smartphones were virtually unheard off, unlike today.
Still, do be careful if you see peddlers selling Smartphones that are too cheap.
My advise is unless you are in need of a phone urgently (example you have lost your original phone), do buy at your home country to ensure no issues with the warranty and service (for example, someone once told me that an iPhone she had from Singapore… when it ran into issues… the authorised iPhone service center in Thailand mentioned that the warranty is not applicable in Thailand).
Original post in 2013:
If the price of the Smartphone is too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. You may be holding a fake phone on your hands.
As I disbark from the bus from Northern Thailand at MoChit bus station in Bangkok and walked from the drop-off area and back into the waiting area, I passed by many phone booths located along the walkway.
During that time, I was looking for a phone with Thai characters on it as I was trying to learn my Thai words. Initially, I saw some iPhone and Samsung Smartphones selling for around 2000 to 4000 baht (RM200 to RM400 or about less than USD200)- I was amazed. I thought I had gotten myself a good deal and I nearly bought one phone.
When I asked one of the sellers, he said it is genuine- and silly me was nearly convinced…..
Till I asked to check the camera….and a normal Samsung high end phone would have a camera of at least 8MP. A friend had shown me her original S2 which had a crisp clear camera. I took the phone on the store and pointed at something- the camera looked somehow like 2MP (same as my old LG phone). Even my Blackberry then who had the camera of 5MP had clearer focus.
After some consideration, I put down my phone and headed off to the waiting area in MoChit. That time I never knew they could sell fake phones like that.
If you are a tourist ….it is even more without hesitation that a person would sell a fake iPhone or Samsung Galaxy SII, SIII or S4 to you. Because he/she knows it would be difficult for you to come back and claim back for the phone due to distance.
The moral of the story, if you want to buy a phone, especially a Smartphone, please buy from the authorised dealer. As a Samsung Smartphone user myself and so as many of my friends, the phone’s great, but even the original would give you problems as from my own experience. When it is under warranty, the Samsung Service Centre would accept and help you repair the phone or upgrade the software for free. If you buy a fake Samsung, there is no warranty.
If you want to buy iPad or iPhones, buy it from the Apple stores as you would not get a fake from there. My friend tells me it is very difficult to get a license to operate an Apple store as it is being strictly screened. Hence the shop would never risk their professional reputation by selling you anything fake.
Anyway, near the waiting area of the MoChit bus station, I did buy a Nokia Asha for about 2900 baht. I was figuring that even if the phone is a fake, it does not cost that much. And the salesgirl did tell me (she could speak English) that the phone is not a high end phone, hence, it is not worth to produce a fake phone. When I came back to Malaysia, I found that it costs slightly more in Malaysia, minus the Thai alphabets.
Anyway, I have been using the Nokia phone for more than 6 months now. The phone is almost working perfectly fine, except on very few occassions it shuts down by itself (but hey, my friend’s Galaxy Note 1 also did the same). But that happened less than 5 times. Else, I am happy with the phone as a full battery charge can last for at least 4 days and longer if I do not use it.
Whereas my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (it’s original, by the way 🙂 )- I have to charge almost everyday as the battery drained very fast.
Note: I’ve decided to write this article after coming across a forum discussion on how a guy got cheated buying fake Samsung SIII and Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Chinatown in Malaysia.