This is part 4 of FOODragon’s complete guide to smartphones in China
Now that you know how things generally work in China it’s time get down to the specifics and learn all the useful words you need to know when you buy a smartphone or choose a package in China.
Smartphone – zhì néng shǒu jī – 智能手机
Smartphones are very common in China, and they are the end point for much of the country’s web traffic. Chinese smartphone manufacturers are becoming more and more dominant players in the global market. They offer attractive devices at an affordable cost. Some of the big names are ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi Teck which also has its own Android based OS. The keywords for smartphone are battery (电池 – diàn chí), screen (屏幕 – píng mù) resolution (分辨率 – fēn biàn lǜ), processor (处理器 – chǔ lǐ qì), internal memory (内存 – nèi cún), camera (相机 – xiàng jī) and last but not least – warranty (保修期 – bǎo xiū qī). Getting the business card (名片 – míng piàn) of the salesperson who sold you the device is always a good idea.
SIM card – SIM kǎ – SIM 卡
You can buy a SIM cards at the airport, official stores and stands in shopping centers. You can also buy a card from re-sellers which sometime offer nice short-term deals but as far as the actual provider concerns, the card and number will no be registered under your name. Remember, when you purchase a SIM card in China you must bring your passport. It will be photocopied. You should that not all the numbers (号码 – hào ma) cost the same. Numbers with 4 are usually cheaper because in Chinese ‘four’ and ‘death’ sound very similar. Numbers with a lot of 8, 9 or 6 might be more expensive because they are associate with fortune, longevity and success respectively.
Credit Recharge Card – shǒu jī (chōng zhí) kǎ – 手机（充值）卡
When you run out of credit you need to recharge credit into your phone. The easiest way to it is to buy a card with a certain amount of credit and charge it into your phone. These cards are available in convenient store and news kiosks pretty much everywhere. 50 and 100 kuai cards are the most common one but some sometimes you can find the occasional 30 kuai card. When you buy a card you have state your provider (see part 1).
App – shǒu jī ruǎnjiàn – 手机软件
In Chinese ‘app’ is simply ‘cellphone software’. Leaving FOODragon aside, some of the most useful apps for China are:
- WeChat – The Chinese text and voice messaging and social networking app that is taking over the world. One of the most popular apps in China and the world and the best way to stay in touch with people in China.
- Pleco – One of the best Chinese-English dictionaries out there.
- China Air Pollution Index – Monitoring the air quality of major cities in China.
Strictly speaking Chinese keyboard is not an app but it is definitely “cellphone software” and if you learn Chinese you will need one. I use Sogou Input for Android which I find very good but for some reason it is not on itunes.
Package – tào cān – 套餐
The Chinese word for package in this context actually means ‘set meal’. When you trying to figure out what package is most suited for you you need to consider thinks like monthly fee (月费 – yuè fèi), out going voice calls (语音电话拨打 – yǔ yīn diàn huà bō dǎ), incoming calls (接听电话 – jiē tīng diàn huà) which are usually free (免费 – miǎn fèi), text messages (短信 – duǎn xìn), interent (上网流量 – liú liàng) and roaming (漫游 – màn yóu). Read more about packages in part 3 of this guide.