Using your iPhone in Hong Kong – Android Smart phones in Hong Kong

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

iPhone 5s gold

Be sure to secure your iPhone or Android Smartphone whenever you travel. Precautions will help prevent disaster.

The iPhone or any Android Smartphone is an essential tool when traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for tourists of any country. Google maps, travel guides, language translation, and many other apps are extremely useful. We used them all the time. Using our American AT&T iPhone in Kuala Lumpur was tricky. Most Verizon iPhones from the USA do not work internationally, since they use CDMA technology. Verizon does carry several “World Phones” which work with SIM Cards. We have done the research on our last trip and are sharing the findings with you.

We also have articles on using prepaid SIM cards in other countries:

Foodnut.com’s Hong Kong Restaurant Reviews:

Here are some tips on using your iPhone in Hong Kong

You can only use foreign SIM cards in an unlocked iPhone or Android Smartphone. A locked smartphone only works on the original cell phone carrier. Most cell phone carriers in the US, including AT&T, allow you to unlock Smartphones after your 2 year contract has been fulfilled. T-Mobile requires 18 months of payments before they will unlock a cell phone under contract. You can alternately purchase an unlocked Smartphone from Amazon, eBay, etc.

If you prefer to unlock your iPhone, you can try jailbreaking it. Jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones are not easy tasks. One slip and you may have bricked your expensive smartphone. You can buy a pre-jailbroken/unlocked used iPhone from eBay or Craigslist. iPhone 4’s typically cost around $150.

This article also applies to using prepaid SIM Cards in the iPhone 6. 6+, 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, 4, and iPad with 4G or LTE. Android Smartphones utilizing GSM technology are also supported.

Different Smartphones use different sized SIM cards. Most foreign cell phone carriers sell smaller micro-SIM (iPhone 4, 4S, older iPad) and nano-SIM (iPhone 6+, 6, 5, 5s, 5c, iPad mini and Air) for use in a variety of Smartphones. You should remove the SIM card from your phone before you attempt to purchase a prepaid SIM card in another country.

Main cellphone carriers in Hong Kong

The main cellphone carriers in Hong Kong are 3.com.hk, Peoples, 1010 (Formerly CSL), PCW. These carriers support GSM900/1800/2100 frequencies.

1010 Hong Kong

In 2013 we learned from a local that 1010 has the best network. So we decided to investigate. As of 2013, 1010 in Hong Kong did not have any prepaid LTE plans.

A 1010 store is located right in the public area of the Hong Kong International Airport, Terminal 1, Unit No.7T040, Aisle F, Level 7, Departure Hall, right before you go through security. TEL: 0700-2300, 2261-0812. A couple meters away from the 3 store. I recommend going there as Circle K, VanGo, and 7-Eleven stores will not have technical staff to help.

You pay HK$88 for a micro SIM (iPhone 4), HK$100 for nano SIM (iPhone 5) for the One2Free Power Prepaid SIM. 3G HSPDA support for speeds up to 7.2Mbps

  • 7 days of unlimited data and voice
  •  or:
    • Data costs HK$8/ hour, maximum of HK$28 / day or HK$78/ week.
    • Local Voice calls cost HK$0.10 / min.

3 Hong Kong

We choose to go with the 3.com.hk network due to lower cost. As of 2013, 3 in Hong Kong did not have any prepaid LTE plans. They are on 5/F of the Hong Kong International Airport Arrival Hall.

iPhone Sim card 3 Hong Kong
3.com.hk SIM card package

We suggest you purchase your 3G International Roaming Prepaid SIM card or 3G Super Value Monthly Fee Rechargeable SIM Card from one of their stores to ensure you do not get ripped off or force to buy extra credit. A 3shop is located right in the public area of the Hong Kong International Airport, Terminal 1, Unit No.7T038, Level 7, Departure Hall, right before you go through security.

You pay HK$98 for a SIM with HK$52 Call Credit.

  • Data costs HK$2 / MB with maximum of HK$28 / day or HK$428/ month.
  • Local Voice calls cost HK$0.30 / min.
  • Text messages cost from HK$0.20 to HK$1.80.
  • The card lasts 6 months and can be added onto (topped up) and extended in lengths in HK$100 increments.

3’s SIMs automatically sets iPhone Data settings to:

apn: mobile.three.com.hk
guest
guest

visual voice mail: mobile.three.com.hk
mms: apn
mmsc: http://mms.vm.three.com.hk
mmsproxy: mms.three.com.hk:8799

Call ##107# to check your card’s balance.

PCCW Hong Kong and Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card

The Hong Kong Tourist Association is promoting this SIM Card. PCCW has a special HK$69 (5-day pass) or HK$118 (8-day pass with Macau data roaming) Tourist SIM Card with:

  • Unlimited local voice calls
  • Unlimited PCCW Wi-Fi usage
  • Upto1.5GB (5 day pass) 5GB (8-day pass) local mobile data via their 42Mbps HSPDA+ network
  • HK$0.45/min to 36 countries
  • Local SMS HK$0.10 to HK$0.70

This is a good bet if you are near their Wifi hot spots, which seem to be located throughout Hong Kong.

You can buy this at any 1O1O shop, including the new outlet at 5/F of the Hong Kong International Airport Arrival Hall. Also available at 7-Eleven, Circle K or VanGO, csl. or PCCW-HKT shops, and the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Kowloon Visitor Centre at the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

These instructions should work for other smartphones including Android smartphones that support American GSM networks from AT&T and T-Mobile.

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2 Comments

  • Using your iPhone in China - China Mobile, China Unicom | Foodnut.com
    August 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

    […] Reviewer: Foodnut.com The iPhone is an essential tool when traveling. Google maps, travel guides, language translation, and many other apps are extremely useful. Here are some tips on using your iPhone in China. We also have an article on using iPhones in Hong Kong. […]

  • SIM Traveller
    August 3, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Insider’s tip: If you’re staying in Hong Kong a month or longer, buy your voice/data SIM from one of the stalls outside Sham Shui Po MTR station (e.g. opp McDonalds and diagonally across). They have bulk deals from 3, 1010, One2Free etc for 30 or 90 days and have loads of free minutes (to the order of magnitude of 2-3000, I forget) bundled in along with unlimited data. I think I got the 90 days one for HKD 500 or so. Can’t remember exact details, but those were great deals (try comparing with N. America!!). You’ll get a new phone number with each package, and recharging is not at all economical after the number of days expires compared with a new package. These deals, in the first half of 2013,did not come with international roaming, but check now if any do. SSP is 15 min, excluding in-station walking, on the main MTR line from Admiralty to Kowloon. Go well before 9pm. A bit of haggling is in order. There are at least 3 or 4 stalls selling these. Most phone sellers do not.

    These packages are not sold by the same carriers’ retailers; they are (or act) unaware of them, and are not featured on their websites.

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