Gone are the days when you had to rely on the Telco to offer you handsets at a discounted prices when you sign on a contract with them. Now that Telcos are forced to slash prices due to competition, it is even more so, because their margin doesn’t allow them to dangle handsets to lure business anymore. In fact, i think the business has turned the other way round – they’re hoping to make money from selling the handsets along with the plan.
This bodes well for consumers, who are finally free to buy any phone they wish at any time without being psychologically influenced to think that a phone upgrade is a necessity upon every contract renewal. In any case, i have been free from that kind of mentality since more than 5 years ago.
My first smartphone was the very first Samsung Galaxy S. Unfortunately, my wife dropped and lost the phone less than one year after i got the phone, and i downgraded to a Nokia 500. Save for some dead pixels, the Nokia is going strong. In fact, for some reason, Whatsapp is available and is continually maintained and upgraded for the ancient Symbian platform. The camera on this Nokia phone produces admirable results too. I use this phone without a data plan. That’s right, no data. Other than Whatsapp, i can’t do anything useful with data on this phone anyway. I do use a tablet for web browsing and the like, in case you’re wondering. When i’m out and about and i need data, i rely on the 1GB free mobile data that is bundled with my home broadband plan.
I accidentally dropped my tablet a month ago and the the LCD panel is cracked. Amazingly, the LCD panel continued to function despite the crack, although there is a dark patch (dead pixels) along the crack. Well, the inevitable happened – the LCD panel finally went dead after i continued using it for well over a month. I think it is no coincidence that the Telco price war erupted just more than a week ago. It’s time for me to get a new smartphone! The price for a plan with data is now very compelling, being just a few dollars more (S$20) than what i’m already paying (S$17.87 per month).
Qoo10 is my default source for getting a mobile phone. This would be my third time buying a mobile phone through Qoo10. The first time was a Xiaomi Redmi Note for my mother. The second time, a Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 for my mother in law. They were both about the same price, around S$200. Guess which phone i got for myself? That’s right, a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Pro edition)! I don’t think there’s anything better value in the market at the moment. This phone packs a Snapdragon 650 CPU, which punches way above it’s competition. The phone also comes with a huge 4000 mAh battery, has an SD card slot and is clad in metal. Not bad for a S$249 phone (now S$239).
For something that costs
S$249 S$239, i don’t think it’s worth the risk buying from Taobao for a small amount of no savings (Taobao price is S$230 plus shipping which is S$5 – 10). I rather buy from a local seller who’s taking risk on my behalf and giving me a one month warranty period, which is more than enough for me to find out if i got a defect-free unit. If i got a defective unit from Taobao, it’s almost impossible to get an exchange.
As for the casing and screen protector, get them from Taobao. Too cheap. I bought 2 casings (both with free screen protector) for just over S$13 including the delivery cost to Singapore via ezbuy.
Update: received notification on the arrival of the parcel containing the casings today, and i submitted the request for shipment to ezbuy only yesterday! Well done, ezbuy!