Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 23, 07, 5:38 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: PDX
Programs: United 1K, Starwood Platinum
Posts: 175
Where can I rent a cell phone in China?

I am having trouble finding out where to rent a cell phone here in Shenzhen.

My phone isn't "unlocked" so buying a sim card isn't an option.

I would really appreciate some help with this.

Thanks!
KarensuePDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 07, 5:59 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NYC
Programs: ConU 1.5 Million Mile flyer, Hilton Diamond, *wood Gold, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5* and PC since 1985
Posts: 5,596
Rumor has it some Verizon phones work.
Try the airport, google it.
You can also call the hotel you are staying at and ask.
Good luck
__________________
R.I.P. United Airlines. April 5, 1926 - March 2, 2012.
One Million BIS miles should mean something, right?
BDLORD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 07, 6:03 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 81
www.pandaphone.com
KweezyFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 07, 6:30 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,279
You could buy one for (much) less then the rental fee.
erik123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 07, 4:57 am   #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Programs: Hilton Gold, Priority Club Blue, SPG Gold, Sofitel Gold, FB Ivory, BA Blue
Posts: 6,443
Yes, according to a friend who is teaching English near Shanghai, just find a phone shop where someone speaks sufficient English to sell you something.

SMS might be complicated without help though (something to do with having to register the phone/number and address - my friend still cannot send or receive SMS messages though I can call him - I've not had time to deliver some tech support in that respect).

Regards
I
Internaut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 07, 9:54 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: US/Asia/Russia
Posts: 95
If hopping over to Hong Kong is an option, they have excellent prices on unlocked GSM phones and sell Chinese SIM cards as well. Plenty of English spoken at the airport and elsewhere. Good luck.
driftings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 07, 3:28 am   #7
FlyerTalk Evangelist; Ambassador: China
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 20,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
You could buy one for (much) less then the rental fee.
low end phones start at around y300. ....and, if you really want to cut costs, you could always pick up a used phone at an electronics market like the one on women's street in beijing.

but, a good phone might not be a bad investment if you are a frequent traveler. many of the current top end nokia and sony-ericsson phones work pretty much everywhere, including japan/korea.

it's true that hk is a better place to buy phones than the prc because they get the new models sooner and prices are a bit cheaper. that said, china isn't that bad.

phones purchased in the us/uk/etc are much cheaper, of course, because their prices are subsidized by subscription agreements. furthermore, unlocking a phone (whether done by cingular et al or a private party) is pretty easy these days. the only downsides i can think of going this route are: 1) us cell providers rarely offer the latest models; and 2) you're unlikely to get asian language support. software upgrades can often address #2
moondog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 07, 9:40 am   #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tri-State Area
Posts: 3,944
Used mobile phones

Moondog is right re new phones: USA/UK, etc. have better buys but you must also sign up for 1 or 2 yr contract.

Both HK and China have outlets for used (and key here: unlocked) phones that are reliable and just what the doctor ordered. Tri/quad band more costly than dual-band. If you plan to use only in non-american areas, dual-band is more than adequate.

In the end, used phone with prepaid sim is better way to go. Most prepaid can be topped off so that at least one year term.
dtsm is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 07, 11:22 am   #9
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA
Programs: No longer an FF, no status, no joy in Mudville.
Posts: 35,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDLORD View Post
Rumor has it some Verizon phones work.
Try the airport, google it.
You can also call the hotel you are staying at and ask.
Good luck
Verizon phones do work in many cities in China. The roaming charges are on the high side (as I recall, a couple of bucks a minute), but the service is pretty reliable. I keep a quad-band GSM phone I bought on eBay for $60 bucks just for travel -- SIM cards are cheap in China and readily availble; there are shops and even SIM street vendors everywhere.
PTravel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 10, 07, 7:09 am   #10
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, UA Something or other under the new system MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 35,153
Going to Beiing in a couple weeks. Am I reading the United Mobile info on www.prepaidgsm.net correctly that incoming calls are free on the cell phone in China?? Im just a bit confused about the origination and destination zones but think that those apply only to outgoing calls. Also, has anyone used a United Mobile card in Beijing and can comment on the service? Thanks.
__________________
Carly Simon was talking about ME!!
My packing Blog - Today - New List April 19, 2013!.
GadgetFreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 10, 07, 7:36 am   #11
FlyerTalk Evangelist; Ambassador: China
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 20,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
Going to Beiing in a couple weeks. Am I reading the United Mobile info on www.prepaidgsm.net correctly that incoming calls are free on the cell phone in China?? Im just a bit confused about the origination and destination zones but think that those apply only to outgoing calls. Also, has anyone used a United Mobile card in Beijing and can comment on the service? Thanks.
I just sent you a PM, but for the benefit of the rest, the "perks" gap between China Mobile and Unicom has closed quite a bit over the past 2 months; now, they are pretty much on even footing. The flipside (and the motivation for CM's competitive responses) is that Unicom has made significant improvments in the reliability arena recently so the playing field is more or less level.

But, some of the old tenants still hold true (e.g. never buy a SIM at the airport and definitely pay the Y10 for free incoming if you think you'll need it).

As an aside, CM international rates have dropped substantially in recent months. While I'm not positive the new rates apply to prepaid (I think they do), it only costs y1.2 per minute to call the US, Canada, Japan, and Korea now, and y2 to call ~25 other frequently called countries.
moondog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 07, 8:54 am   #12
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 10 min from the best cheesesteak in Philly... but dreaming of BKK
Programs: AA gold
Posts: 15,537
There are SIM cards for sale all over PEK itself. They sell'em in the arrivals/customs hall, right outside and in little stands all over the place.

Not sure what those prices are, but in all honesty, gotta be blind to really miss them.
__________________
keepin it real
civicmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 07, 9:02 am   #13
FlyerTalk Evangelist; Ambassador: China
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 20,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by civicmon View Post
There are SIM cards for sale all over PEK itself. They sell'em in the arrivals/customs hall, right outside and in little stands all over the place.

Not sure what those prices are, but in all honesty, gotta be blind to really miss them.
You'll pay a solid y100 premium if you buy there (not such a big deal, but kind of silly IMO).
moondog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 07, 9:04 am   #14
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 10 min from the best cheesesteak in Philly... but dreaming of BKK
Programs: AA gold
Posts: 15,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
You'll pay a solid y100 premium if you buy there (not such a big deal, but kind of silly IMO).
oye, that's good to know....

like most things, usually a catch. That's it.
__________________
keepin it real
civicmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 07, 9:46 am   #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tri-State Area
Posts: 3,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
As an aside, CM international rates have dropped substantially in recent months. While I'm not positive the new rates apply to prepaid (I think they do), it only costs y1.2 per minute to call the US, Canada, Japan, and Korea now, and y2 to call ~25 other frequently called countries.
Does that mean we don't need to dial the 17951 access code to get the cheaper IDD rates now?
dtsm is online now   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 7:29 pm.