Purchasing a Jiayu G4 from China, a personal journey and the lessons learned

[templatic_contentbox type=”info” title=”Guest Post”] This is a guest post written by Gizchina reader Brian Jackson. If you would like to post your experiences with Chinese technology please get in touch. [/templatic_contentbox]

Andi and the GizChina team regularly give us excellent technical reviews and all the latest rumours but I thought you might like something a bit different! So here it is my very personal journey to owning a Jiayu G4.

It started last December last year when I decided to update my phone. I have a Samsung Wave S8250 which has been reliable but does let me down in a few key areas. It runs Bada which is a sort of early cut down Android. Very limited Apps and pretty useless Web facilities. One of my phones main uses is as an MP3 Player. It has a 32GB TF card so it is full of music (300 Albums) but it is very slow in handling the display of so much album and track information. Also the 3.3 “ screen is tiny compared to modern phones and my fingers are just too big for it. 

samsung wave

I decided on a Chinese phone…. I had bought one two years previously on Ebay. It was a very early (too early) Windows phone and it was about 3/4” thick! When it came I hated it and I was very glad when after a month it ‘slated’ and I had an excuse to return it and get my refund. In the mean time I have had three Chinese tablets 7”, then 8” (both Android 2.2…rubbish) and now have a 10” MID 970 running Android 4.0 ..much better but slow on Internet access.

I found some Chinese phones on UK Ebay and came up a few I liked. I wanted a phone with dual sims. I decided on a dual processor MTK 6577 but the phone I wanted was only available on import from China or Australia. I picked a vendor and sent my questions….the black one I wanted wasn’t in stock but would be available in a few days. I hung on and hung on and three weeks later gave up.

Lesson: don’t ever believe vendors promises, all they want is your business and they often don’t know when stock is coming in.

After the New Year, I decided I may as well take the risk and buy direct from China. I researched into other MTK6577 phones and stumbled across GizChina. I had found a reliable source of information and unbiased reviews. The only problem was there was so much information on promised phones which were always so much better than current ones. I liked the upcoming Jiayu G4 because it was perfect sized screen for me, I liked the shape, it didn’t have a silly name, it would take a 64Gbyte TF card (twice as much music!) and it was fast! Perfect.

production jiayu g4 photos

I did my homework which reinforced my decision. I found Jiayu to be well thought of and when there were problems they correct them. It was promised for Mid March, I was happy to wait a couple more weeks and I expected that Jiayu would have learnt their lesson from the ‘fiasco’ if the G3 launch.

Lesson: Don’t assume Chinese manufacturers change, they aim only for the home market and have to promise to better their domestic competitors.

I searched for a vendor and quickly found there were a number of sites offering presale deals. I picked Jiayumobile.com as I assumed from the site that they were the international reseller part of Jiayu. Wrong. I didn’t even post my intention to order from them on GizChina. I sent them an email asking them to confirm they were part of Jiayu and asked when the G4 would be in stock. They wrote back confirming they would be having G4 in stock Mid March.

Lesson: Don’t believe a vendor site until you have verified it or at least asked others opinions.

I placed my pre-order via Paypal for delivery two weeks later and booked DHL and gave my shipping address. I was locked in. Next day I posted on GizChina that I had one on pre-order and I quickly found out that Jiayumobile wasn’t part of Jiayu and then later on that they weren’t even an approved reseller.

The next three months were a bumpy ride with different rumours of delivery dates and specifications. Jiayumobile even posted that they had 500 in stock and were just waiting for a licence. They answered my questions as best they could but if they didn’t know or didn’t think I would like their answer they just didn’t respond or responded in part, the easy part. In the meantime I wrote to them stating that I had changed my address and they confirmed that this was ok.

jiayu g4 gizchina unboxing video

Eventually Jiayu released some G4s and I got an email asking for the balance, I replied saying that I only wanted the phone if OTG was working. They didn’t respond. I also restated my change of address and they confirmed. So I paid the balance with Paypal and they despatched the phone via DHL to the wrong address!
I asked for a refund on the DHL they didn’t respond.

Lesson: Don’t pay for anything you don’t actually need (like DHL) when you pre-order.

Lesson: Vendors don’t remember anything from one email to the next, specify your exact requirements on every communication.

So I have my phone but it is 1500 miles away. I will get my hands on it in two weeks. Apparently it’s great!

Lesson: Don’t pre-order unless you are happy with the risks. Better to wait till the phone is officially released and in stock for the sake of a couple of weeks.

[templatic_contentbox type=”author” title=”About the Author”] Brian Jackson – Chinese Gizmo addict. Thirty years IT and Telecoms experience including IT Strategy Manager for one of the UK’s largest Insurance companies and Project Manager of the software development for the UK’s Local and Main digital telephone exchanges Signalling Interworking Subsystems. [/templatic_contentbox]
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