How To Find The Cheapest Phones In Hong Kong
There are so many options for getting a cheap phone in Hong Kong, and we wanted to explore every single one of them so that you, dear reader, are fully armed to go out there and fish out a bargain!
If you don't want to cart around looking at a million different shops to find the best price on the particular phone you are after, there's a great app that can do a lot of the work for you. It's simply called "price" which can be found in the AppStore. If you have trouble finding it, you can always type "pricehk". It looks like this.
Once you've downloaded it, you'll be able to search for the item you want, and it will give you the price range from cheapest to most expensive and a list of places you can acquire it. Easy as that.
What's excellent about starting with price.com (app and website) is that it gives you a base which you can work from to extend your search further. We haven't even left home so far, and we have so much information!
Carousell has grown tremendously in recent years to be the place to buy and sell things online. Think of it as the Hong Kong equivalent of Craigslist or Gumtree, and you're on the right track. We wrote a great beginner's guide to Carousell which you can start with right here. It's pretty intuitive to use and comes with a built-in messaging system, so it makes meeting up to trade super easy. The app is available for both android and IOS.
Facebook groups are also great places to go bargain hunting for a cheap handset. Here are some groups you can join in Hong Kong to get you on your way to finding a bargain.
Buy/Sell/SWAP Everything Hong Kong has close to 90,000 members making in the largest of the groups mentioned here. It's a great place to start your bargain hunting.
swap-it-hk has almost 60,000 members making it a great group to join in the hopes of finding a deal on your phone of choice.
Hong Kong Buy & Sell is the smallest of the groups, but don't let that put you off. It's updated fairly regularly with great bargains.
By far the most popular forum in Hong Kong for all things ex-pat related is GeoExpat. They have a large classifieds section where you are bound to find a great deal on your phone of choice. While GeoExpat doesn't have the safety net of a review system like Carousell does, it's still an excellent place to browse, and the people who frequent GeoExpat are generally nice folks.
Another forum to mention, although not as popular, is AsiaExpat. They too have an extensive classifieds section that should scratch that bargain hunting itch.
Let's Hit The Streets
There are quite a few places in Hong Kong to land a good deal when looking for phones. Most of them are on the Kowloon side, so be prepared to venture to the "dark side". Kowloon is harmless and gives you a real sense of Hong Kong, so don't be put off. Perhaps you may even be persuaded to live here once you visit?
Most people start in Mong Kong at a place called Sin Tat Plaza (先達廣場) which can be easily found using Google Maps or CitiMapper. We prefer to use the latter as it is plugged into Hong Kongs transport network which gives you minibus routes, too. Just copy and paste this address in, and you're golden: Sin Tat Plaza, 83 Argyle St, Mong Kok.
Sin Tat Plaza is well known for selling phones on the cheap, but you need to have some discernment about you. In 2008, the police raided Sin Tat Plaza and found shops selling used phones as new.
There's an informative thread over on Reddit where people have shared their experience with buying phones from Sin Tat Plaza. Sin Tat sells a lot of parallel traded goods, which means there could be phones from other countries that our out of warranty, hence the low price. Most shops in Sin Tat will offer you a one-year shop warranty, though.
Pro-tip: Take someone along with you who speaks Cantonese and is familiar with Sin Tat. You will get a fairer price that way.
Chung King Mansions
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Chung King Mansions is opposite the large mosque located to the MTR station exit A. Here's the address Chungking Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui.
Chung King Mansions is known for having cheap phones that are mainly bought in bulk and sent to back to Africa to be sold. In honesty, depending on how affordable you want to go, it might be worth skipping this one, as you will have to deal with "Shanzhai" phones which are sometimes more work than they are worth.
Wikipedia denotes Shanzhai as meaning "counterfeit consumer goods, including imitation and trademark infringing brands and/or particularly electronics, in China."
Other Places Worth Mentioning
You may want to have a walk on Ap Liu street in Sham Shui Po. There are tons of cheap gadgets (including phones) and electronics of all kinds for you to peruse. Sham Shui Po is also the home of the Golden Computer Centre which is also worth a little look as they do have a few shops that sell mobile phones, but they are mostly dedicated to selling computers and computer games.
The Reality Of New, Cheap Phones
While you're shopping around for a bargain, it's worth considering new phones that are competitively priced. Especially from the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei and other Chinese brands. For the price of a used iPhone, you can get a new handset from these handset makers.
When you have a selection of phones at various prices that are as competitive as these prices are, it does make you wonder if picking up a used phone is even worth it.
For example, if we take a look at Carousell, you can pick up an iPhone 10, which isn't that old really, for the price of HK$4,180. If you look at all the phones sold by Xiaomi, as of November 2019, they are all cheaper than a second-hand iPhone 10. It's certainly worth thinking about. All of these can be picked up at Broadway or Fortress, which are well-known and respected electronics stores in Hong Kong.
We hope this article has given you a good starting point to find the phone that suits your needs at a bargain price! Let us know what you end up picking up.
If you are thinking about mobile phone plans to go with your new purchase, we have a great comparison article here, as well as what we believe is the best smartphone plan around right here. See you in the next one, folks.