> i wouldnt buy any of these phones...not even for 50€
From what I've seen, an Android phone intended for the Chinese domestic market...
* Would be "rooted out of the box". They wouldn't even bother to try protecting it.
* Would be electronically compatible with two dozen other Chinese domestic Android phones. They might have different button layouts, screen sizes, batteries, and build quality, but the biggest single thing driving their firmware would be the manufacturer's ability to slap one of Google's reference builds into it more or less verbatim.
* Would put most American and European phones to shame insofar as aesthetics go. Cheap Chinese stuff might have nonexistent build quality, but even the lowest-quality crap to come out of an anonymous factory somewhere in Harbin or Chonggqing is going to look attractive, if not downright cool.
* Almost without a doubt, would be the most feature-packed ghetto-fabulous phone you could pull out of your pocket anywhere in America. Nothing on the phone might work reliably (or for more than 3 months before breaking), but if there's a feature you can pack into a phone... it'll be there.
* If you were fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese, and stumbled across one in China, it would probably be so cheap, you could buy two spares for less than it would cost to insure a PDA phone for a year and pay one replacement deductible for any carrier in the US.
Speaking of which... check out dealextreme.com if you want to see some crazy stuff you can buy directly from China. I've bought about a hundred bucks worth of stuff from them over the past year, and I've grown to be rather fond of them. They have a ton of phones I've never really looked at too closely since none of the phones they sell will ever work on Sprint, but they might have something Android-ready if you're in Europe or can live with EDGE-only in the US (I seriously doubt any phone sold in China today can do 1700/2200 or 850/850 UMTS). I'm still laughing about their "iFhone" models, or the phone running some unknown OS (probably some flavor of LiMo) that looks like A brown European Hero... or the "NOKLA N95"