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Wahed

tablet phone China?

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, 889 said:

For something new and cheap in China it'll be Android. That's not just a bit different in terms of OS and apps, but something bought in China won't have access to Google Play even with a VPN, though there may be a workaround.

 

I have a huawei P10 and Google play works just fine (with VPN) but you need  the actual  apk. I just transferred the downloaded apk (with VPN) from my PC . With Google nolonger supporting huawei phones than could be a real issue in the future.

 

I also have a cheap Xiaomi 红 米6 A and that wouldnt run Google play. There was s workaround on the internet but it was a tad fiddly. Works just fine now. Same issue with my xiaomi tablet

 

Both phones both in China (jingdong).

 

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DavyJonesLocker

I don't understand, any Android phone I bought in China has worked just fine straight out of the box with Google play once installed (except the xiaomi one mentioned above ) without any need for workarounds. 

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Wahed
14 hours ago, 889 said:

But they have to support the right frequencies.

Hmm, I'm not sure how I would ascertain this. Perhaps, the Apple Store would know.

 

14 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone whip out an iPad to pay for something using wechat pay / Alipay.

As far as I know, cash is still fine to use in China. I know many, probably most, use their phone though.

 

3 hours ago, Flickserve said:

What is the reason for preferring to use iPad? Seems rather bulky to me.

Besides the reasons 889 mentioned, I just don't want to purchase another electronic that I will hardly use. I received a Huawei phone for a summer program I participated in in China previously but I barely used except for Wechat and website logins (QQ). Since both of these things can be done with a tablet, why not get a new tablet instead of a phone? 

 

I always pay in cash and I take public transportation everywhere so I've never used Didi or any other similar app. 

 

Is it really that much cheaper than a regular taxi though? I've never seen any of my friends use Didi to catch a taxi, they just flag them down on the street. Regardless though, this can also be done through a tablet that has a SIM card, yes?

 

889 brings up another important point and that is regarding VPNs. I had absolutely no way of installing ExpressVPN on the Huawei phone I was given. Actually, most students didn't even bother using the free Huawei phone and just used their iPhone from the states.

3 hours ago, 889 said:

I don't know: do Ipads support Bluetooth tethering?

How would this be used?

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889

At least with Android phones it is impossible to know what frequencies are open without the original box or such, or by trying it out. There is no app which will do it! Manufacturers sell different versions of the same model in different markets, which creates a lot of confusion. Maybe Apple is clearer, I don't know.

 

If you can tether a Chinese phone to your Apple using Bluetooth or Wifi, then your Apple can use your Chinese phone's data connection, so you can keep using email and other apps on your current machine. Of course, third-party Wifi when available will also let you continue to use your current machine.

 

Note that China Unicom usually works on foreign phones, China Mobile often but not always works, and China Telecom rarely works.

 

Fiddling with small change gets tiresome quickly. You will want to get QR code payments working.

 

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DavyJonesLocker

@Wahed

 

I might have missed it but what phone do you have at the moment? Can't you first try that and see?

 

you can survive here without a phone , but it's just a heck of a lot easier, it depends on what you are doing i guess. For example, look how many times a day one takes the phone out of the pocket to use wechat, whatsapp,  take a selfie, photo etc. A tablet would be highly cumbersome. Here you might check a dictionary  like PLECO several times a day. 

 

You can always see how you get on after you come and assess. I think a lot of foreigners resist adopting the chinese way of doing things initially (I did!) but when you embrace it, you wonder why you were so resistant at the start. Also, for me anyway it's a welcoming part of living in china, trying out local way of doing things 

 

You can get a huawei or xiaomi for about 450kuai. Start using the shopping apps or didi and you will make that back pretty quick! The differences between online and supermarket can be substantial (several times the price).  

 

1 hour ago, Wahed said:

Is it really that much cheaper than a regular taxi though?

 

Yes! I paid less that 100kuai last week to go from my house to Beijing airport. That is about 37km. A street taxi would be more than twice that easily. Not to mention i hate sitting in taxis with no seatbelts as with the street taxi's

 

 

 

 

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ChTTay
7 hours ago, Wahed said:

I've never seen any of my friends use Didi to catch a taxi, they just flag them down on the street

Are you friends Chinese? I find this hard to believe unless by “friends” you mean two people who for some reason don’t use didi. 

 

6 hours ago, 889 said:

Fiddling with small change gets tiresome quickly. You will want to get QR code payments working.

Definitely agree with this. Although OP mentions using cash mostly... you’re doing so in a largely cashless society. As we’ve discussed on here, most people use their phone for almost all payments. Even your street food jian bing or lady selling socks has a QR code. I went into a bank to pay a bill before remembering I didn’t have any cash or cards on me. It didn’t even occur to me until I got to the bank i’d need them.  

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Wahed
10 hours ago, 889 said:

At least with Android phones it is impossible to know what frequencies are open without the original box or such, or by trying it out. There is no app which will do it! Manufacturers sell different versions of the same model in different markets, which creates a lot of confusion. Maybe Apple is clearer, I don't know.

I'm going to have to look into this but I really feel like this only applies to phones and not tablets. Someone here has to know or at least I would hope so. I'll ask some IT guys I see often.

 

10 hours ago, 889 said:

If you can tether a Chinese phone to your Apple using Bluetooth or Wifi, then your Apple can use your Chinese phone's data connection, so you can keep using email and other apps on your current machine. Of course, third-party Wifi when available will also let you continue to use your current machine.

Learn something new everyday. So, that is probably why everyone was given phones. 

 

10 hours ago, 889 said:

Fiddling with small change gets tiresome quickly. You will want to get QR code payments working.

 

4 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Although OP mentions using cash mostly... you’re doing so in a largely cashless society.

I've lived in China on multiple occasions in two month installments and I've only used cash. I have never ran into any issues with cash. I'm not sure why I wouldn't be able to live there for a year doing the same, unless I'm missing something.

 

9 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I might have missed it but what phone do you have at the moment? Can't you first try that and see?

I don't have a phone. 

 

9 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

you can survive here without a phone , but it's just a heck of a lot easier, it depends on what you are doing i guess. For example, look how many times a day one takes the phone out of the pocket to use wechat, whatsapp,  take a selfie, photo etc. A tablet would be highly cumbersome. Here you might check a dictionary  like PLECO several times a day. 

The last time I was in China, I had my tablet and the free Chinese phone I was given. Besides logging on QQ and the occasional call from admin., I never used the phone. I took pics with my tablet and most definitely used Pleco on my tablet. Pleco is much more convenient on a tablet by far, imho.

 

10 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

You can get a huawei or xiaomi for about 450kuai.

Hmm, wow! I didn't know they would be that cheap.

 

10 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Yes! I paid less that 100kuai last week to go from my house to Beijing airport.

Good to know, thank you! But again, this can be done on an LTE iPad, as far as I know.

 

4 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Are you friends Chinese? I find this hard to believe unless by “friends” you mean two people who for some reason don’t use didi. 

Remember I said I've never seen them use Didi. Maybe they do when I'm not around but I know for a fact, I've personally never seen any of my Chinese friends, associates, or classmates use Didi or any other similar app when catching a taxi.

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ChTTay
36 minutes ago, Wahed said:

I've lived in China on multiple occasions in two month installments and I've only used cash

Of course you can do it. We’re just saying you’re missing out on various convenient  China life things by doing so. If you don’t care about that then it’s up to you. 

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anonymoose
On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 2:04 PM, Shelley said:

For example I can't use the wallet even though I have a Huawei and wechat because it knows its a UK one.

 

Are you sure that's the reason though? It's probably just that you don't have a Chinese phone number, so haven't been able to register. I couldn't use it either until last time I went to China, got a SIM card, and registered while I was there. Works fine now. (I have an iPhone.)

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889

"I'm going to have to look into this but I really feel like this only applies to phones and not tablets."

 

Can't for the life of me see why that would make a difference (assuming we're talking about a tablet with a sim card slot), but if you come across an app that'll detect the bands that work on a particular Android phone or tablet, I'd certainly be grateful to hear of it.

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Wahed
2 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Of course you can do it. We’re just saying you’re missing out on various convenient  China life things by doing so. If you don’t care about that then it’s up to you.

I just want to establish that this is possible and I'm not missing anything. I may just get a phone in the end since 450 kuai is difficult to pass up. 

 

@889

I have no idea so far, that is only my guess regarding iPhones not Androids.

 

What I've been reading so far seems to suggest that an LTE iPad actually can not be used as a cell phone since it doesn't ship with any phone app. VoIP apps like WhatsApp could an option but then they are blocked in China. I would assume a VPN could help but then again I'm not sure since the VPN I've used in China in the past did not work everywhere, especially on-campus.

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889

Yes, there are different kinds of tablets out there. Some take sims but only work for data, others are data and voice. And some don't take sim cards and network through wifi usually.

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Wahed

I just finished discussing this with an IT gal I know, and I'm just going to go ahead and get a phone there in China. I feel I may be making this much more difficult than it needs to be.

 

She suggests I buy the phone in China but then again she's an IT pro. I don't like the headache of having to select a phone. As long as it works and can do all these things you all are mentioning then I'm fine.

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889

Not a headache but an opportunity: shopping for something like a phone is a great way to get your Chinese up and running. Jump in!

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Shelley

@anonymoose That could be the reason but as I am never going I will never find out.

 

I did have an android tablet I bought direct from China online and it wouldn't let me use any of the BBC catch-up services as it thought I was not in the BBC catchment area ie outside the UK. It didn't have a SIM card, it would let me on Google play but not all things were allowed for the same reason.

I was under the impression that there are some sort of geo restrictions with the geo information being built into the device and not changeable.

 

I think some research is required.

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Flickserve
4 hours ago, Wahed said:

 

I just finished discussing this with an IT gal I know, and I'm just going to go ahead and get a phone there in China. I feel I may be making this much more difficult than it needs to be.

 

 

 

I think it’s the sheer convenience and saving of time. If you are one of those people who are super organised and efficient, being able to do things on a bus, don’t use many local apps, then yes, you probably don’t need a new phone.

 

Because I don’t live in China, when I do visit, I notice that sometimes it’s really hard to get a taxi. Empty ones might not be passing by or they are going to pick up other people. When you see the tenth empty taxi going to pick someone up and the weather is bad, something starts ticking in your mind. If you don’t use taxis, then it’s not a problem but say, if there is an unpredictable situation, it’s nice to have a backup. Mind you, on the other hand, the taxi might not be able to find you quickly due to one way roads etc. So pros and cons. 

 

i need to use cash when I am in China. So far this year in three different cities, it’s not been a problem. It’s a novelty for some vendors to see cash though

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889

Since cash is becoming rarer, don't expect small vendors in particular to be able to make change from a red bill. Be prepared with exact change. Indeed, not having to stand there fiddling in your pockets for the right coins and bills is THE advantage of using cards or codes.

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DavyJonesLocker

 

9 hours ago, Wahed said:

I just want to establish that this is possible and I'm not missing anything. I may just get a phone in the end since 450 kuai is difficult to pass up. 

 

 

even cheaper huawei ones online, I found tne prices to be exactly the same in store and online with xiaomi and, huawei. You might a free case thrown in with the online store.

I wouldn't go for the dirt cheapest though.

 

13 hours ago, Wahed said:

I don't have a phone. 

 

 

You are either 14 or 80 :lol:, just kidding! Must be both refreshing and a frustration at times not having a phone. I miss the days when i would go to a coffee shop and read for 2 hours without a break. Now I can't seen to go ten minuets without picking up my phone, bad habit

 

There are still millions of older generation using cash every day.  I know a foreign person in china that is a complete techophobe, 11+years here and no bank account, no smart phone, but he has a lot of problems. No issues using cash anywhere but he makes life hard for himself unnecessarily. For example, carrying 3 x 2L bottles of water back home from the supermarket every few days is a pain, always physically going to get a takeaway. So much easier to sit on the sofa and order a 外卖. 

 

Another point I'd mention is that its good practice to embrace ,main stream technology,  people often resist it but society moves on and you will get left behind. China is way ahead of other countries in this regard (mobile tech anyway) so its a good opportunity to get a sneak preview as it were

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Wahed
16 hours ago, 889 said:

Not a headache but an opportunity: shopping for something like a phone is a great way to get your Chinese up and running. Jump in!

This is true but I feel like knowing exactly what you want beforehand is absolutely critical to avoid getting taken for a ride. That goes for anywhere though, not just China. 

 

With that said, any recommendations that for those of you who stay abreast of mobile phone technology and trends? 

 

I was reading this article and it mentioned the 華為暢享9S:

https://tech.sina.com.cn/mobile/n/g/2019-05-25/doc-ihvhiews4333401.shtml

 

Thoughts? Or another particular note-worthy model?

10 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Another point I'd mention is that its good practice to embrace ,main stream technology,  people often resist it but society moves on and you will get left behind. China is way ahead of other countries in this regard (mobile tech anyway) so its a good opportunity to get a sneak preview as it were

This is the point that convinced me when chatting with IT lady I know. I can give always give away the phone when I return home but not having one in China when going over there to learn as much as about China as possible is not a good idea. It's a part of their culture and one that should be embraced since I'll be there for a year. 

 

10 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Must be both refreshing and a frustration at times not having a phone.

Not frustrating in the least bit. I've been this way for many years and I wouldn't have it any other way. There are things I miss out on, I'm sure, but then, in the same vein, there many things that individuals always glued to their phone miss out on as well.

 

 

 

 

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