Smartphones usage takes off in Myanmar

In the recent years, the use of mobile phones and smartphones has increased exponentially in Myanmar. Even though the country is still behind in terms of mobile penetration, phone providers like Telenor and Ooredoo invested in this growing market and contributed to the Burmese mobile revolution. 

While many Burmese still use regular mobile phones to make calls, the possibility to browse the web, send emails, take pictures and play games on a smartphones is seducing more and more locals and famous Smartphone flagships like the iPhone from Apple are making their way into the Burmese market. Looking around the streets of Yangon, it is not rare to see Huawei smartphones and Samsung Galaxy Smartphones. With the development of 3G coverage in the country, the use of smartphones over mobile phones presents a lot of advantages for professional and private use. 

Most popular smartphones in Myanmar and their prices

The most commonly used smartphones in Burma come primarily from nearby countries. The iPhone is a notable exception as it remains the favorite phone of the Burmese population. Samsung is a close second, followed by Sony and Huawei. The Oppo and the Chinese Xiaomi and Vivo are also popular brands as they offer cheaper phones with comparable qualities. 

Here are some of the best smartphones available in Myanmar in 2015:

iPhone 6 Plus : the most famous smartphone in the world is available for about 1,065,000 Ks for a 64GB model. Bigger and thinner than the iPhone 5, it features a Retina HD display and benefits from an increased battery life. Two of its distinctive features is Touch ID and Apple Pay which allow to make transactions directly from the phone. Like every device from the brand, it runs on iOS 9.

Xiaomi Redmi Note : this Android phone offers a Dual SIM functionality and is one of the most popular phones at the moment because of its price. Count around 170,000 Ks for a new model. This phone is actually a phablet with a decent processing power and a capable camera of 13 MP. 

Samsung Galaxy S6 : the latest of the Galaxy series, it features a metal case just like the iPhone and it is equipped with a 5.1 "Quad HD. For a 32GB model, the price is around 720,000 Ks Equipped with a 16 MP camera which allows the user to take real good quality pictures and 4K video recording. Finger print scanner, wireless charging and heart rate sensors are some of the key features of this latest creation from Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 : Another popular smart phone from Samsung with a large display of super Amoled 5.7” display. Favored by young people due to high processing speed and large screen ideal for entertainment purposes whereas some business persons find it useful due to the functionality of S – pen, the dedicated stylus pen of Samsung which gives incredible touch screen capabilities experience. A 32 GB model is available around for 400,000s.

Sony Xperia C5 Ultra: this mid-range smartphones offer the quality of the Sony brand at an affordable price. Most notable feature of this phone is including flashlight for selfie - camera. Available with Dual SIM and 4G, it costs about 425,000 Ks for a new model.

Buying a SIM card in Myanmar

Once you have your phone, you need a SIM card to operate it. Telenor and Ooredoo are the biggest players on the market and the prices have decreased tremendously in a few time. You will need your NRC card to purchase a prepaid SIM card. On a monthly basis, 4,000 Ks will get you 1GB of internet on top of text messages and calls. Billing cards are available starting from 1,000 Ks.

Buying a second hand phone in Myanmar: the cheapest option

Whether you are looking for a top smartphone or a cheap mobile phone, buying a used device is a great solution to save some money. Selling your old phone on a classifieds website is an excellent idea to make some money and use it to buy a newer model.  For people looking for cheap mobile phones to make calls, buying second hand is again the best solution to get a competitive price. Here are the things you need to know before buying a used phone:

  • Battery life: is the phone battery still usable or will you need to buy a new one?
  • Is the charger included by the seller or will you need to buy one? (if you don’t already own the appropriate cable)
  • Storage capacity: depending on your needs, you may want more or less. If you tend to take many pictures or if you’re addicted to apps, definitely opt for a high capacity. Gaming apps in particular use a lot of memory. Keep in mind that while some smartphones include the possibility to add an extra SD-card, it is not the case for all models. 
  • State of the device: buying second hand means there will probably be marks on it. It might not be a problem for you, but don’t hesitate to ask the seller about anything visible.

If you are a seller, all the points above should be mentioned in your product’s description. It is a good idea to protect your phone with a case and screen protector so that it stays in good condition. This will increase its value# for the time when you decide to re-sell it on