Metro Manila · Gadgets & Computers
Manila is a gadget-hungry Megacity. Megacitizens are always hunting for the latest smartphones and the hottest trends in gadgetry. Unfortunately, it is a myth that premium gadgets are much cheaper in Manila than in the United States or Europe. Truth is: they are slightly cheaper but you won't get the latest models as soon as they are available in the US.
What is Sold
You can buy literally anything in Manila - no matter if smartphones, tablets, laptops, mobile DVD players et cetera. The quality of the equipment ranges from cheap Chinese replicas to expensive state-of-the-art gadgets just shipped in from the United States such as DELL or Apple products. There are also a handful of local mobile phone manufacturers in the Philippines, notably MyPhone and Cherry Mobile. They offer mostly budget phones and smartphones. However, they try to keep pace with technological developments and trends and their best models cost up to 15,000 PHP.
You can buy first-hand as well as second-hand hardware.
Where to Buy
If you are looking for cheap Chinese brands, try stores and malls around the Chinatown area; for second-hand gadgets you might want to take a stroll through Greenhills; and for a wide variety of first-hand branded products, the recommendation is: SM Megamall. If you don't want to leave Makati and are looking for high-end products, walk around Greenbelt. If you are not certain what you are really looking for, you can basically check out the tech section at any mall - they sure all have one.
What to Pay Attention To
The cheaper branded second-hand hardware is sold, the more you should get suspicious - it might have had a prior owner who did not give it up voluntarily. DO NOT BUY STOLEN PRODUCTS. If a price seems to good to be true - it most of the time is.
Check for the warranty conditions. If you are planning to leave the Megacity soon for another one, see what products have global services. A two-year domestic warranty does not get you very far if you are already on the other end of the world when something bugs down.
You can always try to haggle, even in malls. Especially when there are a lot of similar shops nearby (e.g. mobile handsets) try to negotiate and you might be rewarded with an additional storage card, earphones etc.