Avoid These 5 Things When Buying a Smartphone on AliExpress

What to look for to get pleasure from buying a phone, not just an experience.

Buying phones on AliExpress has long ceased to be exotic. And for those who want to save money on purchasing a gadget, this online platform is perhaps the best option. But sometimes it happens that the joy of a new cheap phone ends soon after its launch: it works poorly, some advertisement constantly pops up that cannot be turned off, Russification also leaves much to be desired. It also happens that the buyer does not get what he paid for at all.

We will tell you what pitfalls you can face when buying a gadget on AliExpress, and give some tips on how to avoid these troubles.

1. Lack of global firmware

The AliExpress platform is Chinese, and many of the products offered to customers on it were originally intended exclusively for the domestic Chinese market, including phones. This means that the Android of such a smartphone only supports Chinese and English. There is no usual Google Play, and some Chinese applications are installed with which it is not clear what to do. To translate such a phone into Russian, you will have to sweat a lot, and not the fact that the work will be crowned with success.

Usually, gadgets without global firmware are cheaper than smartphones, but, as practice shows, the user will not get much joy from the low cost.

What to do

In the phone description before buying, you need to look for information about the availability of global firmware. If such information is not found, it is better to take a closer look at another model.

Global firmware is always available on those smartphone models that are officially sold in Russian stores. So it makes sense to check (at least on Yandex.Market) whether this phone is available in Russian retail. By the way, if you have one, then go to the store and touch the smartphone with your own hands – so you will definitely determine whether you need this particular gadget or not.

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2. Unknown Chinese brands

When purchasing a phone from Xiaomi, Meizu, Samsung, Huawei, and other well-known brands (of course, if there is a global firmware), the buyer can be more or less sure that the gadget will work well, the characteristics correspond to the declared ones, and there will be no unpleasant surprises.

But sometimes, you come across models with top-end characteristics for 6,000-8,000 rubles. However, the manufacturers are clearly not on everyone’s lips. Such a gadget is like a pig in a poke. You may come across something bearable. But there is a high probability of getting a device with a poor translation into Russian, Google Play really not working, and the lack of a global firmware. But with a huge amount of advertising that cannot be turned off.

And further. The FSB may not certify models of unknown brands, and in such cases, when the device is checked at customs, it may be sent back, and the buyer will be fined.

What to do

Better to have nothing to do with unknown Chinese brands. Yes, once no one knew what Xiaomi was, but now, this brand is in the top five in terms of the number of devices sold. Xiaomi overtook Apple in sales of smartphones in running Russia. But it’s better not to check on your wallet, whether you are dealing with novice Chinese Steve Jobs or experienced Chinese scammers.

Buy phones that are officially sold in Russia, and you can easily avoid the described problems.

3. Refurbished premium gadgets

Often on AliExpress, sellers offer, say, the iPhone 8 for some 8-10 thousand rubles. At the same time, they write that the gadget is original, the firmware is global, and the seller’s rating is quite high.

But refurbished phones of well-known brands are usually so cheap. The device could be returned to the seller under warranty. He replaced some board and is now selling it on AliExpress. Often, such phones do not work for a long time, something breaks with them again, and they will not be able to get their money back. So buying refurbished phones is always a serious risk.

What to do

It should be remembered that real premium gadgets are as expensive in China as in Russia. The new iPhone 10 cannot cost five times cheaper on AliExpress than in our stores. And to purchase a reconditioned used device is a risky business. Maybe you’re lucky, and everything will work well. Or maybe not lucky. So it is best to take phones from Chinese brands with global firmware sold in Russia, only they cost a little more here.

Many sellers indicate that they sell a second-hand phone. You must pay attention to this information.

Avoid These 5 Things When Buying a Smartphone on AliExpress
Image source: Reproduction/Internet

4. Unfair sellers

The Internet is full of stories about how people ordered their phones, but they received something completely different or nothing at all. Sometimes the seller sends a tracking number, but the parcel turns out to be sent to a different address, and no one responds to claims.

If buying a trinket for 200 rubles, such a situation does not seem greatly upset the buyer, then the absence of the long-awaited phone for a decent amount will disappoint much more. Alas, there are enough scammers everywhere, although the AliExpress administration is actively fighting them.

What to do

Before buying, be sure to check whether the seller is reliable or not. Look at his rating, read reviews, find out how long he has been selling gadgets.

5. Problems with warranty service

A phone of even the highest quality model of a well-known manufacturer can fail: the charging slot stops working, the screen goes out, the speaker breaks. If you buy a phone in a Russian store, you can easily demand warranty repairs (unless, of course, the deadline has expired). But with smartphones from AliExpress, the situation is more complicated.

Some manufacturers offer warranty service for a fee. For example, Xiaomi devices can be referred to Russian service centers when purchasing a warranty service. But not all manufacturers offer this service. And in the event of a breakdown without warranty service, the cost of repairing the phone will fall entirely on the buyer’s shoulders.

What to do

If the seller offers to purchase a warranty service, it is better to spend the extra 400-500 rubles and not worry about additional costs in a gadget breakdown.

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If there is no guarantee for the phone, then you need to rely on the fact that all faults will have to be eliminated at your own expense. Fortunately, with judicious use of the gadget, breakdowns are rare.

Buyer’s checklist

  • Check if the model you like is on sale in Russian stores. If not, it is better to look for something else.
  • Avoid buying premium phones that are too cheap. They can be repaired, which is always a risk.
  • Check the seller’s reliability before buying.
  • Purchase warranty service, if possible.

Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff

Sources: Life hacker