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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 6, 08, 8:32 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SFO
Posts: 231
Buying mobile phone in Singapore or Bangkok?

Hello,

Three questions for the experts:
1) Is it better (i.e. cheaper) to buy a mobile phone in Singapore or Bangkok?
2) Where is a good location to do so? (Note: I'm not a good haggler)
3) What is a recommended model for someone looking for only basic functionality (although small form factor will be appreciated)?

Thanks.
Sarah DDS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 08, 8:46 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: DME
Programs: LH SEN, AA Plat, SPG Plat, HH Diamond
Posts: 294
1) As opposed to bying it where? Some models are cheaper in Asia, but not all.

2) Bangkok - Pantip plaza or MBK complex.

3) It depends on what you are going to use this phone for and in what country. And obviously, how much you are willing to spend - can be from $20 to $1000 in MBK.
pvs001d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 08, 8:52 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SFO
Posts: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvs001d View Post
1) As opposed to bying it where? Some models are cheaper in Asia, but not all.
Sorry for the ambiguous phrasing. I meant the two choices were: a) Singapore or b) Bangkok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvs001d View Post
3) It depends on what you are going to use this phone for and in what country. And obviously, how much you are willing to spend - can be from $20 to $1000 in MBK.
Use only in SIN and BKK. Need only the most basic of functionality.
Sarah DDS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 08, 9:18 am   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DelRay,Alexandria,Virginia
Programs: KE Morning Calm
Posts: 1,636
If you are looking for a basic cell phone, I think Bangkok will probably run a bit cheaper. You will find the best prices on used phones - there's a lot of swapping of barely-used phones for newer models with more complex features. I'm not sure that you really need to seek out Panthip or MBK - any shopping mall in the city has a cellphone center with several vendors and all sorts of prices. Nokia seems to be the most popular brand, but all the major manufacturers are well-represented. As for SIM cards, the best deal I found was for 40-baht at a temple fair.
Rampo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 08, 9:26 am   #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tri-State Area
Posts: 3,978
If you want only a dual band, no frills phone, Bkk shopping malls is your best bet. Used or barely used phones can be had for well under $100.

I recommend 1-2 Call prepaid sim card .

At the "Mall" in Bangkapi area (which is out of town - but you can find comparable in town), downstairs in department store, you can get 1-2 Call, pick your own number and I think about B120 with B100 minutes. In same Mall, I think level 4, there are tons of mobile phone kiosks.
dtsm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 08, 10:38 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: EWR
Posts: 678
is language support is a concern? i'd imagine that thai phone will support thai and probably english (guessing here). singapore phones should support english, chinese, malay at least and maybe tamil too.
saimike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 08, 4:38 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tri-State Area
Posts: 3,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by saimike View Post
is language support is a concern? i'd imagine that thai phone will support thai and probably english (guessing here). singapore phones should support english, chinese, malay at least and maybe tamil too.
Good point. Most if not all phones will have both English and other languages.
dtsm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 08, 5:47 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Based in London but away ~4 months a year, often in Bali
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah DDS View Post
Hello,
1) Is it better (i.e. cheaper) to buy a mobile phone in Singapore or Bangkok?
If not wanting to haggle also means you want to buy from a more reputable vendor, then you are probably better of in Singapore. For a cheap phone though I don't think it will make much difference between the two and would personally buy from the more convenient city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah DDS View Post
Hello,
2) Where is a good location to do so? (Note: I'm not a good haggler)
You have answers for Bangkok. I'd buy from Sim Lim Square in Singapore - but not from the ground floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah DDS View Post
Hello,
3) What is a recommended model for someone looking for only basic functionality (although small form factor will be appreciated)?
Last time a friend wanted a cheap and cheerful phone in Singapore we just asked about the cheapest nokia in 2-3 shops in Sim Lim to make sure we had a rough sense of price. Worked out at about $60USD I think, and there was very little (though some) haggling.
manar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 9, 08, 6:06 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 52
On a recent trip to Singapore, I was surprised to find that the prices in Singapore aren't as cheap as I'd expect. Mind you, I was comparing it to prices in Hong Kong. Here are some prices on Palm devices (Sing dollars). I didn't keep any of the papers so I can't provide any prices on cell phones.

Treo 750 $998
Treo 500v $698
Treo 680 $699-$728
TX $499
T E2 $348

Taken from a promotional flyer. I found prices to be much better in HK. Since I didn't go to Bangkok, I can't say about prices there.
maceyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 08, 7:24 am   #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: houston
Programs: UA Lifetime Platinum, 2MM since 1981, MAR Lifetime Plat, IHG Plat Amb. Global Entry
Posts: 560
Make sure it is set to English

Just a quick tip to those buying in HKG, or BKK.

Have the store guy set the phone to English for you. It is not easy when the instructions come up in Chinese or Thai and you are trying to figure it out.

Usually not a problem in Singapore, but I have a friend who still can't use the phone she bought in HKG because of the language settings.

It is a two second job for someone that reads the other language, impossible for the rest of us.
Platcomike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 08, 7:34 am   #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Programs: Many
Posts: 2,484
I have purchased several in Singapore, although it is quite possible that depending on model some can be had cheaper in BKK. Places that I shop for phones are:

Sim Lim Square, as mentioned by a prior poster.
Funan IT Mall
Lucky Plaza
Mustafa (little/no haggling here, IME)
unagi1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 08, 11:11 am   #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: houston
Programs: UA Lifetime Platinum, 2MM since 1981, MAR Lifetime Plat, IHG Plat Amb. Global Entry
Posts: 560
You also might want to check Ebay, especially if you are not looking for anything more than basic functionality.

I just looked and there are 12,000 phones available without contracts and unlocked starting at $1 plus shipping.

Just make sure the phone you buy is unlocked.
Platcomike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 08, 12:52 am   #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: DXB
Programs: TG Gold, NW Gold and various other bits of plastic...
Posts: 568
I researched this exact subject a few months ago and Bangkok was cheaper than Singapore in 'ordinary' stores. I didn't check market prices with haggling.

Regarding the language, in my (limited) experience, Nokias are set with the language as "Automatic" out of the box so it picks it up from the SIM card. If you're using an overseas SIM, it would switch to English but a Thai SIM may switch to Thai. When you buy a phone in Bangkok, they usually ask you to put your SIM card in to check it works before leaving the store so if it shows up in Thai then, the guy in the store could change it for you.
grahamb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 08, 1:03 am   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: DXB
Programs: TG Gold, NW Gold and various other bits of plastic...
Posts: 568
I researched this exact subject a few months ago and Bangkok was cheaper than Singapore in 'ordinary' stores. I didn't check market prices with haggling.

Regarding the language, in my (limited) experience, Nokias are set with the language as "Automatic" out of the box so it picks it up from the SIM card. If you're using an overseas SIM, it would switch to English but a Thai SIM may switch to Thai. When you buy a phone in Bangkok, they usually ask you to put your SIM card in to check it works before leaving the store so if it shows up in Thai then, the guy in the store could change it for you.
grahamb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 11, 10:37 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: YQR
Programs: no status
Posts: 784
I will be travelling to Bangkok and Hongkong and thought that rather than starting a new thread I'll bring this one back for updates. So, how would Hongkong compare to Singapore and Bangkok, and where would one go to get an unlocked phone that will work well in North America (Canada)?
Merlin666 is offline   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 5:02 am.