Korean Version of Smartphones Hit Pakistani Markets

Korean Version of Smartphones Hit Pakistani Markets

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!


  • JustKhalid

    Whoz Say the korean phone is not good for buying….

    check this link then decide…

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130408111701AABFGBa

  • hamza kazmi

    sorry i meant to say that there is no sim releated issues or msgs problem

  • AbdulBaqi1

    tell me how much s4 and note 3 korean version costs?

  • Assad Raza

    There is a way I found to check the phone that its a Korean version or not.

    If Possible, please note down the IMEI number of that specific handset and search this IMEI number on http://www.imei.info/ and than you’ll get he actual model of phone.

    For example if you are purchasing Samsung Galaxy S2 so its International model number is GT-I9100 and Korean version model is like M220s, M110s (For Example).

    So that you can check via imei that the phone is original or not.

    Note: You should check the IMEI number from the settings>about phone>IMEI Number and don’t rely on the IMEI number that is printed on phone’s box or the sticker pasted beneath the battery.

    I hope you’ll find helful

  • ab

    I also had a pretty messed up experience at Mobile Market Saddar too related to this article, this happened recently too.
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT TRUST WHAT THE SHOPKEEPERS AT MOBILE MARKET SADDAR ARE SAYING ABOUT THE PHONES THEY ARE SELLING – ALL A BUNCH OF LIES JUST TO SCAM PEOPLE
    Most of the phones out in mobile market saddar are either Korean OR are refurbished at the prices of new ones.
    The bastards in that market have started to scam big time taking advantage of people who are not that well aware how to verify them.

    I have two requests here:

    1. DO NOT buy a phone which has any type of stickers under the cover or inside the phone. It does not matter if the phone is new or second hand – there should not be any stickers at all inside the device.

    2. The bloggers of Pro Pakistan really should advise on how the people of pakistan can file petitions or start campaigning against the criminals who are selling these types of phones. In my experience I had to involve the union leaders in Mobile Market Saddar to resolve my issue. I would advise all other folks who have been cheated or looted at mobile market saddar to go approach Mushtaaq bahi at mobile markter or just ask anyone where the union office is to resolve their issues regardless of who they baught the mobile from.

  • Mohid Bin Asad

    I am going to buy galaxy note 3 form a site:
    http://Www.shopnshop.com
    Please check the specs is the phone reliable
    It has a Vietnam version also please help me
    Help me

  • Amir

    the most easiest way to identify a Korean phone is by it’s camera. almost all korean phones have very pathetic camera results no matter how similar they are to the original version.

  • Zubair Mughal

    how can i use net on sim in korean cell. inform me must

  • Saad

    As per my experiences,reviews,observations,hearings; please consider these things before buying a smartphone wether new or used:
    1.Always go for the original international versions because these are standard phones and major developments like roms are done for them.
    2.Donot ever buy a clone or 1st copy in any case.
    3.Korean smartphones though cheap do have some issues in every phone I saw like no good roms,firmware updgrades,flashing tools(to get out of soft bricks),no edge/3g working
    4.There are no service centres for korean or clone phones at all.
    5.Always search the web before buying a phone to look for its pros and cons ‘coz your time and money are worthy.
    6.If you are willing to buy a new pinpacked phone head over to official shops or authorized distributors and you will also get lowered prices sometimes there too.
    7.Most of the pepole refer ”whatmobile.com.pk” as a standard but it is fake and not updated. eg.Samsung note 2 it says Rs 56k but it is 43k in market.
    8.Wander the market and donot stick to one shop

  • Fahad Azad

    thanks..

  • Zahid

    A nice article and yes thats true that Korean companies used to make two different versions of smartphones; one for local market and one for global markets. Locally in Korea text msgs are used for only urgent msgs unlike Pakistan sending long poetry etc thats why there is a limit (which being a Pakistani I personally don’t like coz I want to write long msgs sometimes too but then I don’t mind either).. About the Antenna, here in Korea you can watch TV on smart phones, thats why there is an antenna which I don’t think is an issue coz we can keep it inside if we don’t need it.. As far as the Quality is concerned, I think its similar, but if in case there is a difference, I think the local versions are much better coz Koreans are very Quality sensitive now and they keep changing phones.. One additional information is that Korean phones are normally designed for a life time of 2 years coz in Korea we use contract phones which goes for two years.. After two years, the phone starts causing troubles which is a business strategy.. Normally in Korea people change phones in max 2 years (some go longer but majority max 1-2 years.. Samsung, LG both are Korean companies and their phones are doing fine.. Plus now China has introduced the new copy of Iphone and I am sure it is going to conquer bigger Pakistani Smartphone market soon..
    Regards!!
    [email protected] Korea

  • Farhan Shah

    Yes, i used 3 types of korean phone. 1 is Skyvega. 2. Is samsung S1 Anycall M110S and 3 is samsung S2 HD LTE. I find that your comments for these phone abslutely correct. As far as battery consuption is concern these 4G LTE supported phones which has Snapdragon fast and heavy processors they consume extra battery. Overall these phones are relible and durable.

  • Zulqarnain Raja

    I Purchased Samsung Note 3 Korean version two years before. It is a very good set with all the features which we can find in international version. But i purchased it from Korea. It has an antenna which is of no use in Pakistan. But it is an excellent set, very good finishing, very good signal reception, sound quality, audio video, touch and all other things. I wish to buy such sets again and again. My 03 colleagues also purchased S3, S4, S6-Edge and all those people are very much satisfied and have not complaint so-far. But i think there is something wrong with Pakistani market, i have seen some sets purchased by some people as Korean sets which are of low quality in finishing, performance with fake IMEI. I think some people are just playing and selling poor stuff in the name of Korean version. The original Korean version mobiles are really very good with excellent performance except some pre-installed Korean software and Korean version of ROM.
    In totality i am very much satisfied with Korean version of Samsung Mobile and Wish to purchase Korean mobiles again and again but not from Pakistani market.

  • Gem Gul

    Actually the term “Korean” started somehow, these are cheap copies of Samsung phones. They look alike but are too different. So called Korean phones are not any better than cheap Chinese phones and I doubt these are chinese copies named as Korean just to confuse people. Never buy “korean” phones, buy from authentic dealers.