Amazon, eBay, AliExpress. Despite the fact that Russians are well aware of all three sites, they prefer to order goods for personal use at the latter. After all, the Chinese online marketplace, where both large retailers and independent single traders can place their products, has always been distinguished by a wide assortment and affordable prices. Therefore, at some point, AliExpress became one of the main channels for the supply of locally made smartphones to Russia. Affected not as an example are lower prices than in the official domestic retail. However, I never even tried to order equipment there for myself, because, in the end, it’s no better than buying a smartphone from hand.
I have never ordered smartphones on AliExpress and I do not want you to do this
Looking ahead, I will say: I have never feared for the quality of the goods that I will receive. After all, AliExpress actively monitors and blocks counterfeit electronics dealers, and reviews from real buyers with photographs speak volumes about the seller and the products he sells. The point is different.
Global ROM – what does it mean
Global ROM means that the seller himself rolled the firmware, and Global Version means that the smartphone was originally created for sale on the international market
The first thing that turns me off about smartphones from AliExpress is the differences in firmware. Few people know about this, but smartphones from Chinese manufacturers are usually divided into Chinese and global ones. From a technical point of view, they are absolutely identical, but from a software point of view, they differ very significantly. First of all, of course, the availability of Google services. Smartphones for sale in China run on Chinese ROM and do not have Google services. Therefore, sellers get root rights and roll the Global ROM over the Chinese one.
It would seem, what problems can be if everything has already been done for you? But the fact is that, firstly, such smartphones often remain without updates, since Chinese updates will again block Google services, and, secondly, Google itself can take and stop its services on a Chinese smartphone. If you think this is not possible, read my article on How the Search Giant Blocks Google Mobile Services on Smartphones Huawei. Even if at first everything is in order, over time, the built-in antivirus will ruin all the raspberries for you. But if you do decide to buy a Chinese smartphone on AliExpress, take the Global Version (not ROM) – this means that the smartphone was originally intended for sale on the international market.
Why Google Pay doesn't work
Google Pay very often breaks down on smartphones imported to Russia from China
Despite the fact that Google Pay is part of the smartphone's firmware, I want to talk about this service separately. I do not know why this is happening, but very often I see complaints from users who write that Google Pay has stopped working on their smartphone that they ordered from AliExpress, although all other Google services are functioning perfectly. Here, most likely, the work of the protective mechanisms that are built into Google Play affects – after all, this is a payment service that has access to the user's personal finances, and since root rights are received on the device, in fact, equated to hacking, it means that the work of contactless payments can be dangerous. Therefore, the algorithms independently block the service and prevent it from making transactions.
It is often difficult to remedy the situation. At the same time, different methods help everyone, but the most common and effective is reinstalling the firmware. But, of course, I don’t want to do anything like that – after all, I’m not 16 years old and it doesn’t give me any pleasure to do this nonsense. When I buy a smartphone, I just want to use it, and not shake in fear that next time at the checkout, my smartphone will simply block Google Pay, not allowing me to pay for the purchase and forcing me to blush before the line.
Smartphone warranty with Aliexpress
If your smartphone is defective, it will be difficult to return it to the seller on AliExpress
Yes, I already said that I have no doubts about the quality of smartphones that ship from AliExpress, but the guarantee is still very important for me. After all, you can never be sure that the purchased device will not be defective.
How to return a smartphone to a store
In the case of stores that are geographically located in Russia, this issue is solved very simply. If I bought the device personally in a store, then in case of breakdown I will take it back. If it was purchased via the Internet, for example, at 'Beru' or at 'Ozone', I can send it either through a pick-up point or by courier service, for which the money will be returned to me. This is not the case with AliExpress.
First, sorting out Chinese addresses is another quest. Therefore, if you manage to unravel the reverse requisites, I am personally ready to present you with a virtual consumer advocate medal. Secondly, the parcel to China will take 2 weeks at best, or even a month, and all this time you will have to be left without a smartphone, not to mention the fact that during the transfer it can be completely ditched. Thirdly, the store can give me a replacement for the time of repair or examination, but AliExpress will not give anything.
But you also need to remember about the terms of warranty service, which according to Russian law is 2 years, and according to Chinese … Damn it, I have no idea if there is even a law on consumer protection there, not to mention the terms, within which their sellers or manufacturers accept claims from consumers. But, be that as it may, if something happens, you can't even sue the seller who released your smartphone to court, since magistrates in Russia will still have no jurisdiction over this case.
P.S. Buy smartphones in Russia. It's better to turn to a gray retailer than to order something from China, and then suffer.