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Buying Note II in Singapore for use in China

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  1. Gazman

    Gazman Member


    I am living in China and looking to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note II.

    For whatever reason most Chinese android phones, (not HTC though), have disabled the ability to add a Google account. From playing with numerous Note IIs in the shops here, it is no exception.

    My mistaken purchase of a Samsung Sch-i809 has taught me that I can't do without Google -no Play, proper Gmail app, Calendars, properly synced maps, and all my paid for apps no longer work as it can't connect to Google's license server.

    As I'm going to Singapore next month, I thought I could buy one there (SIM free) and it should all be fully Google enabled when I bring it back.

    Can anyone confirm if this plan will work?

    Any other plans which may also work (e.g. buy in China and root?)

    Any help would be great!

  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Ni hao Gazman welcome to Android Forums.

    I live in China as well. Google for various reasons doesn't do much business here, unlike Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo.


    Maps are available, just not the Google ones. AutoNavi and Amap are OK.

    It will work with various exceptions. primarily NO paid apps on Play, free only. If you've already bought any paid apps, you wont be able to download them in China. You'll have to do that in Singapore. No YouTube. It will sync with Google for contacts, calendar and email.

    You could buy phone in China, provided it can be rooted and the ROM changed/Google added. The exception would probably be phones specifically intended for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network, some Samsungs are like this.
    Gazman likes this.
  3. Gazman

    Gazman Member

    Regarding Google Maps, it does work but force closes whenever I attempt to open the settings (I'm sure because it can't find the account). Hence, I can't sync my places or use latitude.
    Paid apps through Play are possible with an appropriate SIM card (UK in my case) and connecting over WiFi. I have bought apps in China from the UK market in this way on my old phone. I don't think I used VPN at the time (which now seems no longer to work over WiFi so Youtube is definitely out!).
    I'm not too fussed about buying more but really want my old ones to work (especially Hanping Chinese!)
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I've used Google Maps in China, and it works OK. however I've never used Latitude. Main reason why I don't use it though, is because the actual mapping data for Inner Mongolia is rather out of date, incomplete and has quite a few errors.

    It seems YouTube has disabled viewing via VPNs and proxys. I always get a " Viewing denied" message. Probably because of United States only geo-restricted content.

    Interesting that Play seems to work for paid apps with a foreign SIM. I'll have to try that. I've got a pre-paid 3 UK SIM somewhere, although it's probably been ceased now for non-use and no payments.

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