Cell Phones That Will Work In The Philippines

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Cell phones that will work in the Philippines. The Philippines uses 900 and 1800 mhz, so any phone that includes both of those frequencies will work the best and phones that have at least 900mhz will also work but not as good. There are many types of phones on the market and since I am in the USA and live part of the year in Cebu and other parts of the Philippines, I use phones I get in the USA and unlock them. Usually if a person has a contract with a provider, they will usually provide the unlock code for your phone once you are into the contract for a few months. I have done this with one provider in the USA and they have given me an unlock code every three months for different phones that I have bought from them or online. Here is a break down of what will work. All phones must be open line (unlocked to allow any provider). Dual band phones in US come both 900 and 1900 mhz or 850 and 1900. The 900 and 1900 will work because they include 900 which was the first frequency they used in the Philippines and they have since upgraded to also use 1800.Tri band 900/1800/1900 or quad band 850/900/1800/1900 phones work the best because they will work in most countries and also work great in the Philippines because they includes both 900 and 1800. It should be noted that in the USA they also make triband phones that use 850/1800 and 1900 and those will not work very well, if at all in the Philippines because 850 is not used there.A word of caution when buying a used phone, some phones like Tracphones and possibly other prepaid services may not work even if they use sim cards and are on the correct frequencies and I do not know why. I put a trac sim in an open line quad band phone I have, and it would not work, so the sim must have something else programmed into it so that it will work with their provider and their phone only. BTW, phones can be fairly inexpensive online in the USA and other places and I have seen some pretty reasonable new phones in the Philippines as well. Hope this helps someone.

Edited by Mr. Lee
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Is it expensive to pick up prepaid cell phone once you land there?Thanks, Brett69 Days till my 1st Cebu experience begins

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Is it expensive to pick up prepaid cell phone once you land there?Thanks, Brett69 Days till my 1st Cebu experience begins
Yes! You will have to shop around, and in Cebu I have seen supposedly new Nokia phones for p1200 to p1400 but they also have so many different deals there that you never know if they are really new or discontinued models or repacks or illegally imported models, so you will have to shop around and try to find a reputable dealer to buy from and ask what the warranty is at each different store or booth and look at the charger plug because the ones that come in from other countries have different plugs and less or no warranty. In reality, you get what you pay for.My advice is that if you can buy one in your own country at a reasonable price, that you know is new and working or used and working good, then that is what I would do and that way you have a phone from day one without having to shop around for days to try to get a good deal on the phone you would like to own.Shop the models on the Internet and on ebay to get an idea of prices and frequencies and features that you like in a phone and just make sure they have 900mhz and 1800 mhz in them.
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Is it expensive to pick up prepaid cell phone once you land there?Thanks, Brett69 Days till my 1st Cebu experience begins
Hi BrettIf I was you I would buy one before you leave, best to get a Tri band so it will work in almost any country.Adaptor for the charger is available at hardware stores here or bring your own.Make sure it is not locked to a network and when you arrive just buy a Sim card starter pack from Smart,available anywhere.When I visit Cebu I bring my own Tri band phone and get the Sim pack, cheap and easy.Second hand phones are also easy to find here, dont know if they have a warranty or not. :thumbsup:
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I bought a dual sim card phone in cebu running on Smart, it has exceptional signal and the added bonus of being able to slip my UK sim in and just carry one phone around, it works suprising well and when I return to the UK it stays with the house keeper who tops it up and it doubles as a house phone, this has meant the followingNo house phone required, a bargain when away No changing numbers, so friends know when I am back to ring my mobile.No carrying two phones. All my numbers swap over so no hassle loading a new phone.Top up on line or via cards, so even the maid can manage this task.The saving in line rental has paid for the phone in aa few monthsJames

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i went shopping for a cellphone in ayala, high level, send my gf inside the shop, to speak filipino languagein meantime i went other side coffeeshop, and drink a nice cupshe came with new but good cellphone, 1500 P, loaded with 300 Pi use it there so much, still good working,

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Wally brought up a great point, it is always best to let our Filipina do the shopping for us, but let me add, only when we know and trust them. As for how to use the phones and keeping the number active, we live both in the US of A and Cebu during the year, so we bring extra load cards back with us when we leave and put our Smart sim phone on roam by texting ROAM ON and sending it to 333 just before we leave the Philippines and ROAM OFF and sending to 333 when we return to the Philippines......... We use a quad band unlocked phone that we bought here in the US and bring it with us and because it has all frequencies, it roams in the USA as well as working in the Philippines and works in most other countries too. Also, check the charger, most phones made nowadays have chargers that will work in all countries. Ours says 100-240 volts on them and US plugs are the same as the Philippines but some chargers from other countries may require adapters.The phone must be reloaded before 60 days expire to keep receiving text or within 120 days just to keep the number active........ To reload when out of the country while roaming, we text RELOAD(space)pin number and send it to 1510 and to keep roaming outside the Philippines it must have at least p100 balance at all times.......... We have also bought reloads on ebay or had relatives send us an auto load when we needed more than we had or if we made the mistake of letting the load expire. Once expired, you cannot load the phone while outside the country because it must have p100 in the phone to roam and thus to be able to load it.......... Crazy but that is how it works and if you find yourself with that problem, an auto load from the Philippines puts it back in roam and you can have a friend or relative do it or just buy one on ebay and I have found that they usually auto load your phone pretty quick and seem to make very little profit when ebay fees and exchange rate are taken into consideration. Note: I know ebay USA lists reloads and I have searched and seen that ebay in some other countries also list them but not in all countries so you might have to set up an ebay account in a country that does.Also let me add that while roaming it only cost people in the Philippines the same to text us as if we were in the Philippines but it cost us p20 to return a text and we often use Chikka.com to send text for free to them and they answer to our cell phone to keep their costs down.

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Note: I know ebay USA lists reloads and I have searched and seen that ebay in some other countries also list them but not in all countries so you might have to set up an ebay account in a country that does.
Mr Lee I picked a cheap phone on Ebay and know I'm looking at SIM cards. On Ebay they have SIM card with P500 for $19. Is that a good price? I'm thinking I could probably get that cheaper once I'm in country. However, if I want to be set up with a phone the moment I land, this doesn't seem like a bad deal. Thanks for answering all my questions. I'm sure as the days get closer I'll have more questions to pose to everyone, being this is my first trip to Cebu. I really appreciate all the good advice.Brett
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Mr Lee I picked a cheap phone on Ebay and know I'm looking at SIM cards. On Ebay they have SIM card with P500 for $19. Is that a good price? I'm thinking I could probably get that cheaper once I'm in country. However, if I want to be set up with a phone the moment I land, this doesn't seem like a bad deal. Thanks for answering all my questions. I'm sure as the days get closer I'll have more questions to pose to everyone, being this is my first trip to Cebu. I really appreciate all the good advice.Brett
Bret, it is always my pleasure to answer any questions that I can, so ask away and I will do my best to help with the knowledge that I have and if I cannot answer, I am sure someone else will.A Smart prepaid sim goes on ebay here in the US for anywhere from $6.90 and up. In Cebu they can be bought for around p55 and up depending on the booth, so that is a little over $1 and they come with a small text load, so depending on what the sim you would be buying on ebay where you are comes loaded with, added to the cost of the sim and you would then know what it would cost you in Cebu.In March of this year, my wife bought one up on the second floor of Cebu Ayala at the entrance to Metro Gaisano in the small cell phone booth almost inside on the left when facing in and it was p55 at that time. At the same booth we also buy p500 loads, and at that time they cost p480 or p290 for the p300 loads.......My friend Mike and his lady were in SM mall with us also this year around March or April and his lady went into a store upstairs and it was p65 for the same sim, just to give you a couple of ideas. Also p500 loads cost p485 at that store. So I find the booth at Ayala one of the best deals in Cebu that we have found and we usually buy our loads there in quantity so we have them in advance. Just be careful of the expiration dates on them. My advice is to buy p500 loads because they come with 85 free text plus the load and text is a big thing in the Philippines and the free text sure helps to keep costs down. As for the cheap phone you bought, just make sure it is unlocked and you can do that by putting in a different sim from the one the phone was set for, ATT or TMobile or whatever. Also that it has 900 and 1800 mhz in it and it will work. Edited by Mr. Lee
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The cell phone I bought is unlocked and is a tri-band. 900, 1800, and 1900 mhz I believe. It is also chargeable from 110-240 volts. So I should be good to go as far as the phone is concerned. SIM cards are definitely cheaper there based on the prices you gave me. Maybe I will just wait till I arrive in Cebu and make a trip first thing to Ayala mall to get the SIM card and load. Thanks for the infoBrett

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