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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.