Gadget-hunting along the streets of Mongkok
We came back from China this morning and had all afternoon free to check out the city. I joined Tony Velazquez to check out the upcoming Olympus PEN EP3 in a shop in Mongkok and did a little scouting myself.
In the two short days that I stayed in HK (people can’t believe it’s my first time), I learned a few things about the gadgets being sold here.
First, that there are two prices for every particular device — the official SRP and the street price. For example, the HTC Evo 3D has a suggested SRP in the major stores at Php30,500 while some smaller shops will offer it for as low as Php26,000. Not a surprise since it’s the same in the Philippines, though the discrepancy is not that wide.
With the street shops, there are two types of really cheap smarpthones — the local locked version and the international, SIM-free version. I almost had the unlucky chance of getting a China-locked Samsung Galaxy S2 for only Php21,500. The SIM-free versions are a bit more expensive — mostly in the Php24k range.
I liked the Samsung Infuse 4G i997 which was selling for under Php18k. The Android 2.2, single-core 1.2GHz processor and AT&T logo is a bit of a let-down though.
Among the most expensive of all the smartphones we’ve seen around is the BlackBerry Bold 9900 (around Php29k). The 16GB iPhone4 is is relatively cheap at Php24k.
We were told by our local tour guide that Mongkok is one of the places where you get to see and check out all of the cool gadgets. It feels like it’s the Virramall equivalent of the Philippines, though much more crowded, larger and with a wider selection.
One thing I discovered though is that the street shops will certainly entertain you and give you a little bit of discount at a time until you give in. In one instance, I was given 4 discount offers (from HK$4,650 down to HK$3,800) after delaying my decision to pick up a phone.