With the way everyone loosely uses the terms “UK used phone” and “London used phone”, you would assume all the used phones imported into the country are from the United Kingdom. Just to set the record straight, these phones are not only from the UK, a lot of them come in from the US and other countries too. If you are buying a smartphone in Nigeria, you’re always faced with three choices– a new Chinese Android phone, a UK-used phone or a Nigerian-used phone.
Thanks to Olx, Jiji and other classified ads websites, connecting with sellers isn’t as hard as it used to be. Even dealers in Computer Village have learned to use these platforms as well as individuals who want to sell their personal items. Getting a used phone now is just a call away.
Now here is the question: should you get one of these cheap Android phones from Chinese manufacturers or a top-of-the-line UK-Used smartphone? If you’re looking for a short, direct answer, this is the wrong place to look. This blog post is just to let you see the pros and cons and help you in making the right decision.
Why you should (not) get a UK-used phone
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to own a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or an iPhone 7 Plus? Most Nigerians can’t afford these devices but still love to use them anyway. They are premium, classy, packed with features and possess everything you would ever need in a mobile phone. When you ask people in the know what their dream smartphone is, it’s likely to be the latest flagship from Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei or some other globally recognized brand.
Besides, when you talk about status symbol, these devices come to mind. Since most people can’t afford to buy them brand new, they look for used ones. If you’ve ever bought a used device, you should know that they work great (if you’re lucky).
A lot of those Symbian phone I used in the past were bought used. My first, second and third iPhones were bought used. My first Samsung phone was bought used.
You may even get to use them for years without issues. Buying a “London-used” phone is a great way to use a premium device without breaking the bank. This doesn’t mean they don’t come with issues though.
If you’re unlucky, you may be buying a problematic refurbished phone. With a used phone, you need to forget about warrantee and support, you are at the mercy of unauthorized engineers. As a mater of fact, you’re on your own. It’s always a risk. Whether your seller is trusted or not, the risk factor is always there and you have no one to hold responsible if the phone is faulty.
Have you tried changing the screen on one of these devices lately? I’m sure you know the prices are not always recession-friendly.
Why you should (not) buy a new Chinese Android phone
You see them everywhere, in every hand. Whether you like this cold, hard truth or not, the Chinese helped a lot putting smartphones into everyone’s hand. Although they started small, brands like Tecno and Infinix now rule the Nigerian mobile market with devices catering for every one in every price category. As these guys have already gone into the premium segment, the price of a used Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge might get you a brand new Tecno Phantom 6 Plus.
For some, this is is a tough decision. Some would rather go for a used, bruised and battered Samsung phone with a cracked screen than buy a brand new Tecno or Infinix product with the same amount of money. All because of the brand name.
I’ve reviewed a number of these Android smartphones on this blog and I can say that they are not as bad as people assume. Brand perception is changing for quite a lot of them as they recognize old mistakes and churn out better devices.
You get warranty, support and yes, you have people to yell at if your phone suddenly dies the next day. You also get the peace of mind that comes with buying a new gadget. Gone are the days when these Chinese OEMs don’t give a damn about software updates, they’ve started listening to complaints and changing their ways. Talk about hardware, they’ve upped their game and you know it. Devices like Infinix Zero 4 Plus and Tecno Phantom 6 Plus come with metallic unibody design, sufficient storage, powerful processor and enough RAM.
Over to you
If you’re going for a “UK-used” phone, I’m sure you know the cons already. They are great, you get to save money and still use a premium device, but the “wahala” factor mentioned earlier can’t be eliminated. You might be lucky, as a matter of fact, a greater percentage of buyers are always lucky. As for Chinese Android phones, they are also a good choice, unless you have a problem with their brand names.
If you’ve made your choice already or have a different view, I would like to hear it.