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KoopaTroopa

Chinese Language Supported Cell Phone

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KoopaTroopa

Hi,

My parents want a Chinese language supported cell phone that one can buy online for free when you buy a service plan.

I checked Verizon, AT&T, 1800mobiles, etc, & can't find anything.

They're too lazy to drive to Chinatown in Boston to find a Chinese capable cell phone & get a plan. They think you can find a Chinese capable cell phone online for free.

Are there any sites which I'm looking for??

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LaoZhang

I think this will be pretty hard to come across. If they really need the Chinese language setting, your best bet might be to buy one (ebay, friend/fellow Chinese-Forums member shipping to you from China/etc) and then get service at an independent store. I did this and ended up getting some free stuff (KRAZR, BT headsets) when I signed up for service. T-Mobile wanted a 2 year contract for taking their free phone, but since I had my own phone, I only had to do 1 year. Just be aware that there are 4 frequency bands in the world and China and the US share 2 of these bands.

A lot of independent cell phone shops carry phones that were purchased from overseas. You'd have to call them to see what they have in stock, tho.

Some side-notes,

1. none of the major carriers seem to support Chinese text messaging (intra-US nor US-China).

2. I have a Sony Ericsson K790C purchased in China. It's a tri-band (900, 1800, 1900). I don't have the 850 band, but don't seem to have any problem with out it.

Good luck and let us know what you're able to find.

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KoopaTroopa

They say you can get a Chinese capable phone online for free in the US, so they're stubborn about it. I said no, my cousin says nope, and other Chinese people on other forums I'm a member on have said no.

It's just because my dad's boss has a Chinese supported phone & he broke his so he could get one. My mom wants one too since he said there's one.

He said his boss showed him a website saying there were free Chinese phones online, but I haven't seen it.

They don't need it, they're not texting or whatever, just phone calls.

You know how traditional Chinese people are....superficial about things & stubborn. That might cause friction here, but it's true.

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imron

What you can get online is firmware from different language regions that you can 'flash' onto an existing phone. See for example this thread. There is however no guarantee that there will be a language pack for phone you have. The more popular the model, the more likely you will be to find it.

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LaoZhang

Right on , imron.

That reminds me,

I forgot that my friend did this (reflash the firmware) on his Sony K750 with DaVinci's tools.

You just use the phone's USB cable and the software that they provide. He turned his "Arabic" phone into a "Chinese" phone without any problems.

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cdn_in_bj

Well, I don't know about other brands, but I know that for Nokia phones it is possible provided you get a phone that is also sold in China/HK/Taiwan and to be on the safe side, also one that is quad-band (even if they don't plan to use it overseas).

If you have a quad-band Nokia phone, one method involves using the latest version of the officially-supported Nokia Software Update as well as a hacker tool called Nemesis Software Suite (or NSS). The first step involves using NSS to change the product code of the phone to one corresponding to China/Taiwan/HK (depending on whether they need simplified, traditional, or both). There are different product codes for each model of phone - search on the 'net for the proper product code as well as instructions for using NSS (or PM me). Then, run Nokia Software Update to install (or reinstall) the latest firmware - it'll install the appropriate language pack for the product code.

I just had to do this because after running Nokia Software Update to upgrade the firmware on one of my grey-import phones (which I purchased in BJ), I ended up losing Chinese support and gaining Malay, Pilipino, and Indonesian (guess where my 水货 phone originally came from)! After changing the product code to the one for HK, I re-ran the update and now everything is back to Chinese, but on the latest firmware so I'm happy. I did lose the C-E/E-C dictionary but no big loss as I've been thinking of getting Pleco anyways. Plus I'm sure there's a way to install it if I really wanted to.

Note, I would not use the procedure above for dual or tri-band phones. Since it involves changing the firmware, I'm guessing there would be problems if you try to flash a US-frequency phone with firmware meant for Europe/Asia (since the hardware is different). In this case, you need to change the language pack without getting the entire firmware for asia. I know there are ways to do this (as this is how the importers do it), but it seems to be a bit more involved.

I think you should try to find a quad-band phone first - these used to be rare, but I think this is changing. For Nokia, many of the N- and E-series phones are quad-band, as well as some of the newer "regular" models. Barring this, your other option is to just buy a phone from an importer (although you may lose 3G unless you find a dual-band 3G phone that also supports the 3G frequency used by your carrier).

Anyways, I think this will be sufficient for your parents - it sounds like they just want the UI to be in Chinese, right? As pointed out by LaoZhong, sending/receiving Chinese SMS doesn't seem to be supported by North American carriers.

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