Buying Unlocked GSM phone in Hong Kong

Nov 8th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #1  
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Buying Unlocked GSM phone in Hong Kong

I have an outdated cell phone that I've been using when traveling in Europe, and I was thinking that Hong Kong might be a good place to buy a new one to replace it.
Should I be able to find a reasonably priced one there?

And if so, any tips on where would be a good place to buy one?

How much should I expect to pay?
I don't need one with all the bells and whistles, just compact, and able to be used worldwide with local SIM cards (quad band? and unlocked).
marcy_ is offline  
Nov 8th, 2005, 07:25 AM
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They are not cheap, as the phones are not subsidized by any cellular carrier. Also, HK people are very "phone-conscious", so most models on sale are the newest, fanciest ones.

I think you'll do better just getting one on ebay here.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Thanks, that's good to know.
marcy_ is offline  
Nov 8th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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Do some shopping at home and on line before you come so you have an idea of what a bargain would be.

Also because Hong Kong people are so phone consciousand have to have the latest model, you can buy older models cheaply, so if you don't need the latest model with all the bells and whistles you should be able to bargain for a good price. Also, you can buy used phones very very cheaply here. I can't guarantee that it will work forever, but for literally US10 you can get a used Noika phone that is only a year or so old. I have just bought one that I use for US guests when they come visit. I don't know how long it will last, but hey for $10 bucks I am not going to worry so much about it.

You can find many small stallholders sellling phones and phone accesssories in street stalls in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. I can give you the names of two places if you are interested. You could also try Fotress, a well-known and reputable chain of electronics stores. I would probably avoid the Nathan road area in Kowloon, which is primairly for western tourists.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 9th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Thanks, Cicerone, that's helpful.
I've been checking Ebay, and there are some pretty good deals. I may break down and buy one on Ebay so I don't have to bother with it on vacation.
marcy_ is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Cicerone--I would be interested in knowing the names and locations of the two places to check for cell phones in Hong Kong. We will be in Hong Kong for a week at the end of February, and we will have time to look at phones.

Thanks
Susan33 is online now  
Nov 21st, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Just as an FYI - Quad band is not worldwide, as it still excludes Japan & Korea. If you want the phone to cover there, you will need a 3G phone & most of these are the newer models. HK is a great place for second hand phones though.
MichaelHD is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 05:48 PM
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Thanks Michael. I'll look at 3G phones as we need a phone that we can use or loan to our son for his travels.

Susan
Susan33 is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Marcy - Do you plan to sell your current phone? My daughter may be in Madrid next semester and I will need to buy a phone for her.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Hi kybourbon! How've you been?
I did buy a new phone on Ebay, but we're planning to keep the old one for times when we travel with friends.

You can get a decent one on Ebay for less than $50 including shipping.
Look on Ebay at item # 5832484872 . It's just like the one I bought.

While your daughter's in Spain, I guess you're going to be forced to go back and visit her, right?
marcy_ is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 09:38 PM
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Susan33, the guy I bought my used phone from in Causeway Bay has closed (the hazards of redevelopment). I will ask around for other sources for used phones. In the meantime, some reccos for places to go for new phones are below. I don't think there is any particular magic to the guys I have used, and you will probably see dozens of small stalls like them yourself in Wan Chai, the Causeway Bay area and along Nathan Road in Kowloon. If you want a particular make or model of an older phone or a used phone, you may need to give a shop owner a few days to find it; so you might want to start looking at the beginning of your week to give shop owners time to get the model you want.

1. Fortress
Shop 70-79
2nd Floor
Admiralty Centre
18 Harcourt Road
Hong Kong Island
Tel: 852-2866 2461
http://www.fortress.com.hk/en/home.html

This is a large well-regarded chain of electronics stores. There are several locations in Hong Kong, both on the island and in Kowloon, see the website above for other locations. I would first look here to get a look at "fixed" prices so you have a basis for comparison with smaller shops and older model phones. You can see prices on their website. They have mostly newer models, but may have some older models (which may not be listed on their website). Although they have prices marked, they do negotiate a little bit, esp if you pay cash and if you are buying a lot of items. If you are only buying one item and pay cash, you should not expect more than a 5 or 10% discount and may not get any at all if the price is already pretty low.

2. New Winsource Ltd
Shop 54, 2nd Floor
Admiralty Centre
18 Harcourt Road
Hong Kong Island
tel: 2528-0952

This is a guy I have used for mobile phone parts and accessories and some phone repairs, he sells new phones, and may sell used phones. He has a tiny stall in a mall in the Admiralty district, which is just next to the Central district on Hong Kong island. You can take the MTR to the Admiralty Station, the tram to the Pacific Place stop, or walk from the Central/Star Ferry area. There is a Fortress Electronics on the same floor opposite this shop (see address above), so you could do some comparison shopping. There may be other small electronics/phone shops in this mall as well, hunt around on the first and second floors. You would bargain with him, so it helps to have an idea of what Fortress is charging and what you would pay in the US for a similar phone. His English is very good. Cash is best.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 01:48 AM
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If one doesn't want to deal with ebay merchants, try geeks.com. They are selling a brand new unlocked Sony Erisson tri-band (900/1800/1900) GSM for about $80.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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Cicerone--thank you for the detailed information. I will take the information with me to use when in Hong Kong.

I like the idea of a quad-band since we seem to be going into areas that use different bands, so I want to be prepared for different areas.

Your help is really appreciated.

Susan
Susan33 is online now  
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