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Chinese ROM vs Global ROM: Pros and Cons

Have you noticed that phones available in China have a different software build than the one available in other regions? That’s because these phones have a modified version of their operating system to account for services banned by the Chinese government (like Google and Facebook). If you’re planning to buy a phone that is not yet available anywhere else except in China, chances are, you’re getting a software build that is tailored specifically for the Chinese market. Let’s look at the differences between these two builds.

For reference, we will be looking at Xiaomi’s MIUI as an example.

Global ROM

PROS:

  • No China-specific apps preinstalled. Due to Google Services being banned in China, some of the smartphone’s major services are supplied by other providers, usually built with the local context in mind.
  • Better language support. The English language is on by default (no need to try hard to navigate through the phone to change its language), and there are more languages supported.
  • Google Services are built in, including Play Store. You can have peace of mind that apps being installed from the play store are generally safer than getting through other app stores you’re not familiar with.
  • Google apps are used as default. Since Google services are built-in, Google apps are used by default for certain applications like messaging, calendars, and photo gallery. This is convenient if you prefer using these apps.

CONS:

  • Slower updates compared to China ROM. Android Open Source Project allows phone manufacturers to customize their version of Android to their liking. Google imposes several restrictions if these manufacturers want to get Google Services in their phones, and this slows down the update process.
  • Not all new features are available. Not all new features will always be available to Globe ROMs as some only cater to Chinese consumers or are not allowed in other regions or markets.

Chinese ROM

PROS:

  • Faster updates since Google restrictions do not apply. (Android Open Source Project without the need of approval from Google)
  • Access to some features which are not present in Global ROM

CONS:

  • Chinese language is on by default but can be changed to English later but some parts of the UI might still display in Chinese.
  • Limited support for other languages
  • No Google services pre-installed. If you know  your way around these ROMs, you can easily install the Google framework afterward
  • Lots of China-specific apps which may not be useful to a non-Chinese user

And there you have it. The point of listing these pros and cons is to help you know what is the difference between the two ROMs to find out which one will suit you best.

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar for turim turim says:

    No Google services pre-installed is a pro ot a con.
    Thats the only reason why I bought a Chinese phone. You cannot remove google on the Global version.

  2. Avatar for Karlmark Amora Karlmark Amora says:

    I need new phone I claim use my gmail

  3. Avatar for Ed Ed says:

    Ano epekto ng pag gamit ng limited na bandwidth na phone. Since china rom phones are focuses on bandwidth sa bansa anong manyayari sa phone if gagamitin ko sya dito aa pinas. Like mas mahina ba yung magiging cellular data ko?

  4. Avatar for janet janet says:

    china rom are way better ived been using it and fast updates you will never get old

  5. Avatar for Ed Ed says:

    Do china rom phones have problem in the cell bands were using here in PH? mas mabagal ba data? Tsaka may OTA pa din pag china rom? Baka kase walang OTA eh

  6. Avatar for Ed Ed says:

    Do china rom phones have problem in the cell bands were using here in PH? mas mabagal ba data? Tsaka may OTA pa din pag china rom?

  7. Avatar for whisky13ph whisky13ph says:

    Sa Redmi 6A na binili ko, Chinese ROM sya na flash ko to global ROM. 360 hours ang waiting time bago ka makapag flash. Ginamit ko muna. Sa Chinese ROM, meron syang assistant na tulad ni Siri at may face unlock. Pagka flash ko to global ROM, parehong nawala.

  8. Avatar for Josh Josh says:

    What are the features which are not included in Global rom

  9. Avatar for Harold Harold says:

    May mga bagaybagay po ba na hindi mgagawa sa china rom compared to global?…TIA po sa sasagot.

  10. Avatar for arman macusi arman macusi says:

    safe kaya ang chinese rom sa pinas?

  11. Avatar for Ranny Ranny says:

    Also you cannot install or replace global rom to a Chinese rom because of ARB.

  12. Avatar for jobert_sucaldito jobert_sucaldito says:

    Useful article. Hindi naisip ng ibang review sites lol.

  13. Avatar for Freeje Freeje says:

    Sometimes notifications for none Chinese apps won’t work.

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