During your visit to a local mobile market, have you ever come across a situation when two smartphones having same name, same brand, exactly same features and same specs but they are sold at two different prices?
One being sold at at-least half the price of the other.
Ever wondered why? especially when the cheaper phone isn’t Chinese version?
Well that’s because there are two versions of smartphones reaching Pakistani stores these days. One of them is usually the global version or the standard version that is sold at normal or higher prices. Then there’s a Korean Versions of smartphones, which are sold with lower price tags.
These Korean smartphones, as mentioned above, comes with same looks, equally good build quality and with same features as of the international version.
How to Recognize a Korean Smartphone?
Here are some ways of recognizing a Korean version of smartphone:
- Korean phones mostly have antennas, which look terrible and they have no use in Pakistan.
- Plus most of these phones will have some kind of logos on the back, showing that these phones are on a carrier and they have been unlocked.
- Boot screen on Korean phones is also different than the international version. We noticed most phones had anycall logo on the loading screen (see above image).
Please note that some Korean phones come without any differences and are exactly the duplicate of standard version and hence hard to recognize.
In such cases, you will have to judge the origin of smartphone with the shortcomings that are mentioned below:
Shortcomings of Korean Smartphones:
- These phones have 80 character limit for text messages, which means if you want to send a longer (than 80 character) SMS then you won’t be able send the complete message. There is a way to increase text limit to 160 by installing Go SMS pro or handcent, but that’s something not usual.
- These phones have different unnecessary apps installed on them – and can’t be uninstalled unless device is rooted — which consume storage and RAM.
- It’s difficult to root these phones as some of these phone have recovery mod in Korean language, custom ROMs are hard to find and install for such phones. Finding firmware can also be hard.
- Some users reported that Korean phones, at times, struggle with signals and hence faced call drop issues
- For some users, Korean version of smartphones had issues with recognizing SIM card.
- These Korean phones consume almost double the battery as compared to international versions.
- These phones come with pathetic resale value.
These were few compromises that you will have to make for paying less.
But Beware of the fact that some shopkeepers may also try to sell you the Korean phone at standard prices (in case of used handsets), so while buying a used handset make sure that you are buying only what you are paying for.
Also to note, before buying smartphones from online stores and classified websites (such as from OLX), the device must be checked properly before you make a purchase.
Do share your experience in comments if you have come across a Korean phone lately!