My Chinese Cell Phone

my chinese cell phone

…looks a lot like this one. The China/America comparisons are all in one direction:

1. The Chinese plan is prepaid; the American plan is not. The slight inconvenience of having to recharge one’s phone every now and then is far outweighed by a much lower price. The plans can’t be directly compared but I pay about $50/month in America and about $10/month in China. I pay $15/month to keep my American number while I’m in China!
2. No voice mailbox in China. I don’t miss it. You send a text message instead. I got about one text message/month in America (at 15 cents each); I get about 6/day in China (at 1.5 cents each).

3. My Chinese phone cost about $40. My American phone came as a Free New Phone Every 2 Years thing but retailed for about $200.

4. My American phone had so many features I never used, including a camera, I had great trouble finding a feature I now use all the time on my Chinese phone: a day planner.

5. Verizon, my American service provider, had/has excellent customer service but the girl who sold me my China Mobile phone plan gives me free weekly Chinese lessons. During working hours.

7 Replies to “My Chinese Cell Phone”

  1. I agree that one of the most useful application in a cellphone is the calendar. The phone is one thing you will carry most of the time.

    Surprisingly many good phones do have adequate ones. Low cost Motorola phones have good calendars (e.g. repeat events, icons). Other brands may not have the same features. I find the keys in the C series of Motorola uncomfortable.

    I like cameras in cell phones. You can capture information easily, like taking a pic of a book you found at a bookstore when you don´t have paper and a pen or because it is faster. I read an article were someone used the camera to remember where he parked his car 🙂

    Regarding price, it seems the deal is cheap phones/expensive rates or vice versa.

  2. There are now a bunch of well-priced and convenient prepaid cell phone plans available. The large companies like Verizon and T-Mobile are competing because they see that the market is changing. No longer will they be able to wield the two year contract over their customers–if they go for the prepaid or pay as you go plans.

    That seem ridiculous you have to pay $15 a month to “keep” your American phone number.

  3. It is good that you are meeting many people in Beijing. How are you able to do that when you don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese? I’ve noticed throughout your blog entries that you trust people very easily. I hope you will be careful in China. What you think of in your mind when interacting with someone there might be different than what he or she thinks, since the Chinese have a different culture.

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