Mobile Phones, like SIM cards, can literally be picked up 'off the street' - but as is the case with buying all electronics in China you will want to do your research beforehand, buying only from a reputable or recommended source and thoroughly checking all aspects of the software and hardware to make sure that it is fit for purposes.
The Android operating system has been a boon for Chinese phone manufacturers as they now have reliable operating systems around which to design and build mobile phones. Chinese brands such as HTC, Xiaomi and ZTE may sound foreign but are just as reliable (if not more powerful in some regards) than brands already established in Western countries.
A good place to start shopping is Cybermart, an electronics market on Huaihai Zhong Lu; but for an even more authentic Chinese experience head towards the railway station and dive straight into the 5-story mobile phone mall at 547 Tianmu Xi Lu. For more information on places to pick up a phone and other electronics, check out the article on electronics markets.
Carry a compass and rape whistle always2011-12-07 08:45:42 by UhNah
If you want an unlocked smart phone look for anything quadband it's going to be your best option for traveling light get one of their local services and you should be set try China Mobile or China Unicorn which are both GSM. The reason china doesn't have a large gps infrastructure is because they recently began putting up gps satellites in 2010 I believe so give them time and they'll catch up.
China Mobile set to trial M2M Sim card service — Telecompaper
China Mobile set to trial M2M Sim card service. Friday 30 August 2013 | 03:15 CET | News.
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