What is the best way to buy a smartphone for Russians?

Official retail

The easiest and most convenient way to buy a new smartphone is to visit the official brand store, retailer or order on the website of the manufacturer’s dealers. Also, when buying at an official Russian representative office or in stores such as M.Video-Eldorado, DNS or Svyaznoy, the customer is given a warranty card. In case of any malfunction or manufacturing defect, you can count on free repairs by authorized craftsmen at the official service centre.

However, the easiest way promises overpayment, especially if you compare the official prices of smartphones of some brands in Russia and China. For example, the Xiaomi 12 Pro flagship smartphone, presented in the company’s official store and local retail in early May with 12 GB of RAM and a 256 GB flash drive, will cost 135 thousand rubles, comparable in price. iPhone 13 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. In China, the same version of the Xiaomi flagship in the official stores of the company is offered at a price of 5.4 thousand yuan (about 50 thousand rubles).

Mobile Research Group principal analyst Eldar Murtazin said in an interview with socialbites.ca that smartphone prices today vary greatly depending on the retail network.

“The algorithm is quite simple – you need to look at large retail chains such as M.Video, Svyaznoy, DNS and check the prices for the required model. At the same time, operator retailing should not be forgotten, because operators historically often hold discounts on weekends and do not change this rule even now.”

But according to Murtazin, official branded retail is currently under a lot of pressure and has almost no merchandise, so the analyst recommends looking at other sites.


The decision to buy a smartphone from China on AliExpress can be both positive and negative. For example, the global version of Xiaomi 12 Pro with 12/256 GB of RAM and ROM, respectively, is presented on the site for an average of 60 thousand rubles, which is more than half the Russian retail price. Such a smartphone will differ from the Russian one only in that it will have a regional European firmware instead of a Russian one. At the same time, there are no noticeable differences between the two models, with the exception of pre-installed applications out of the box – eBay is installed in the European version, while MirPay and Yandex services, which can also be installed independently, will be installed in Russian. version.

However, the major disadvantages of choosing AliExpress as your place of purchase are the lack of warranty and waiting for delivery, which can take between 10 and 90 days. It is worth noting that on average, such packages arrive safely and soundly within two to three weeks.

The author of the YouTube channel Polza NET, Alexander Myasnikov, in an interview with socialbites.ca, said that if we compare the prices on the site with the official prices in Russia, AliExpress will save from 30% to 100% on the cost of a smartphone. .

“The easiest way is to find a group on AliExpress that collects discounts on smartphones. For example, I bought a Poco F4 GT for 36.6 thousand rubles, yesterday it cost 33 thousand rubles, and today it costs 37 thousand rubles. Why? Because the seller increased the price in dollar terms. That is, it “dive” in rubles and the price in dollars rose. The Chinese are now raising prices by $20-30 and apparently are setting the course that way, as I understand it,” he said.

“Grey” shops

There are also gray stores in Russia – these are large sellers who import smartphones from Europe and China.

“The gray market is almost dead today – prices on it are very close to those in stores. Therefore, if it is not some kind of exotic or something not supplied to Russia, there is no point in buying it there, ”says Eldar Murtazin.

The author of the YouTube channel “Using NET” is confident that the cost of smartphones in “gray” stores is noticeably lower than in official Russian ones.

The price in “gray” stores is + 20-25% of the price on AliExpress. When buying from trusted stores, the user immediately receives a device and a one-year warranty from the store, or a refund in case of any problems. ”

For example, the cost of Xiaomi 12 Pro with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of permanent memory in two popular stores amounted to 99 thousand rubles. – this is noticeably lower than indicated in Russian retail, but still higher than prices on AliExpress.

At the same time, such stores provide a guarantee and free service. In addition, such stores are subject to the laws of the Russian Federation “On Protection of Consumer Rights”, which allows you to return money for goods of insufficient quality. This is also possible with AliExpress, but it takes time and additional funds – often it’s at the customer’s expense to send the package back to China.


On the popular Avito advertising site you can often find so-called higher or smaller “gray” stores that also sell new smartphones. For example, the new Xiaomi 12 Pro in the modification 12/256 GB is available on the site for an average of 83 thousand rubles.

“You can safely buy anything new and packaged on Avito, but not Chinese. You can get stuff from the US – iPad, iPhone or Google Pixel. For example, I bought a Realme GT Neo3 on AliExpress for 23.5 thousand rubles, while on Avito it can be found for an average of 35 thousand rubles. That is, an overpayment of almost 30% to a person who bought this smartphone on AliExpress in the same way and waited three weeks.

Also on Avito you can find something that cannot be bought on AliExpress or is not profitable. But you should definitely pay attention to the seller’s reviews and how long he has been in this business. In addition, Avito representatives recommend Buying gadgets from sellers with a verification mark in the Government Services – this way users will definitely not fall for a scammer.

Given that Russia has approved the list of goods allowed for parallel import, it is possible that the so-called Russian versions of smartphones will soon disappear from the shelves of official retailers. Models from Europe, China and the UAE can replace them – for example, CDEK already sells such models on the Market site. In this case, it should be kept in mind that smartphones will definitely not get cheaper. It is also unknown how their services will be organized.

If you need to buy a smartphone and save money at the same time, one of the best ways right now is to buy it on AliExpress. The buyer will only have to determine how important the warranty is and choose the European version of the smartphone and the seller with good reviews.

Due to uncertainty in the technology market, limited supply and unstable exchange rates, Russians are increasingly faced with questions about whether to buy a new smartphone and, if so, how to make it as profitable as possible. How to save money when buying a new device in the socialbites.ca material, which platform to choose and what risks you may encounter when using each of them.

Source: Gazeta


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