Here are the reasons why you want to buy at official stores instead
While you can certainly get phones that haven’t been officially released here in the Philippines (like the ASUS ROG Phone II) via grey market sellers, there’s plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t. Here’s 5 of the reasons why you should avoid buying phones from the grey market:
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should avoid buying phones from the grey market:
1. LTE bands aren’t always compatible
The first issue that you may run to is the incompatibility of LTE bands. This is more prevalent on smartphones that have been bought in China or India because phones for those markets have different LTE bands compared to the Philippines.
While that doesn’t mean your phone won’t get a cellular signal (it will), it means that the phones bought from these countries will suffer from a weak signal, especially in places where Smart and Globe utilizes the 700MHz band.
2. China ROM is a problem that can’t just be solved by installing Google Play
You probably already heard of the term “China ROM” when browsing for smartphones in the Facebook Marketplace. That basically means that a phone doesn’t have Google Play installed, and instead has software that’s intended for China.
Take the Tencent version of ASUS’ ROG Phone II. Since the phone wasn’t intended for Western audiences, the phone does not have Google Play installed and doesn’t have the code that allows Google Play services to work.
Unless you’re completely able to root and flash a global ROM onto your device, your phone won’t work exactly like the same model with a global ROM even if you find a way to install Google Play on it. We found this out the hard way when we got Honor’s Magic 2 – while we did manage to install Google Play on it, there were still some nagging issues that plagued it like missed notifications and data sometimes not syncing up.
3. No brand after-sales support
This is another big one – while many grey market sellers will give you their personal guarantee or warranty for defective units, the truth is that you’re not getting any kind of warranty support from the brand locally if something goes wrong with your phone.
We’ve heard so many horror stories of people having issues with their phones and having difficulty getting them repaired locally since many brands outright refuse to service grey market phones.
While not everyone will have an issue with their phones when they buy it, you’re still gambling that nothing goes wrong with yours if you buy through grey market channels.
4. Better payment options including Home Credit
If you’re the type that can only afford installment options for a phone, you’d be better off just buying it in legit stores. Most stores nowadays have both cash and credit options, and a lot of them already offer Home Credit as an installment option if you really need it.
5. All items are legit, and you won’t get scammed
We’ve seen the same story over and over again – people getting scammed by supposedly legit online sellers, getting rocks in their packages after they part with their hard-earned money. That’s obviously not a problem with official channels, since you know you’re getting the real deal and won’t get scammed in the process.