Shopping For a Chinese Android Smartphone

A Reader, Prince, Asks.

I am trying so hard to find a compatible phone from aliexpress that will work specifically with tmobile and I cant find one….Tmobile has both 1700/2100 mhz I need it work for both frequencies or ill basically have no mobile internet and crappy reception. I found The note 2 replicas but they are not guaranteed to work with tmobile…can anyone please help? I really cannot afford to buy a phone in the US/Canada which is why I trying to find a phone from china. If you could post here or even email me directly thank you

Hi Prince,
I understand the appeal of buying a Chinese made smartphone. The specs looks great and the prices are hard to beat. But as you commented, the issue is compatibility. Most of these phones only get 2G data in the US, not 3G, HSPA+, or 4G LTE. And that is the deal breaker, 2G is simply too slow.

What you didn’t mention is what your budget is for your phone and monthly service. I assume you are looking for a smartphone, as you mentioned the Note 2 clone, so it sounds like you are looking for a big smartphone.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a recommendation for a Chinese phone that supports 3G or better on US networks. I have never had a reader that had a phone that works 3G data or better. Most people come to smartphonematters looking for help with the APN settings and then comment that the phone doesn’t work or is only getting slow 3G data.

I recommend that you figure out your budget and then shop accordingly. If you shop around you can find smartphones starting at just over $50. Nokia has some great Windows 8 phones in the $50 to $100 range.

If you are only interested in Android, Motorola has the original Moto G, the Moto G LTE, the 2nd Gen Moto G, and the Moto E starting at just over $100. I saw the Verizon Moto G for under $100 several months back.

You could also look at BLU smartphones. I have many readers that use and love BLU phones. You can get one of these phones starting at $50.

If you don’t like any of the BLU options, you can shop eBay or CraigsList for a used Samsung, HTC, or LG smartphone. I have many readers that buy used phones to save money.

Finally, you can look to get creative. For example, you might decide to live with reduced cell service for 6 months or more to fund a smartphone. If a samrtphone plan with data is $50 a month, that’s $300 for six months. If you live with a talk and text for 6 months, you could save at least an extra $200 to apply to your phone.

Prince, if you let me know your budget for your phone and service, I might be able to suggest morecreative options.
Readers, can anyone suggest a great Chinese android phone or any ideas? Share in the comments below.

1 Comment

  1. Prince | |

    Hi thank you so much for your detailed response. I am attracted to the chinese models for the note 2..or samsung galaxy5 but I do not think they will work in the US/CA. I travel between US and CA for school. I know Tmobile phones work with wind service in canada and vice versa. Its just getting a hold of a decent priced Tmobile phone. My budge is like $140 -$150. I am going to bring down my phone plan so that I can use those dollars and get a decent phone maybe in the US or CA. Do you have any recommendations for tmobile phones or sites in the US where I can find great deals?

    Thank you very much!

    If you know of any decent chinese android phones that work in the US please readers let me know it would be greatly appreciated.

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