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01 January, 2011

Tips To Recognize Original, AP and Water Set

I believe most of us already have a handphone right?, but do you know what type of set it is? Here, i’ll share some tips to recognize the handphone set.
Original Set
• Nokia authorized distributors are Zitron, Avaxx and i-Mobile.
• Sony Ericsson authorized distributors are T-Choice, Grandtech and Midlands.
• First Mobile Group (FMG) is the main distributor of Samsung phones.
• FMG is giving 18 months warranty.
• Motorola authorized distributor are Satellite Technics, Zitron and MDM.
• Siemens authorized distributors are Zitron and FMG.
• You can service your phone at any service centres (Nokia Professional Centre, Sony Ericsson Certified Service Centres)
• 1 year warranty for the full set including charger, battery, handsfree.
• Geniune parts are used for repairing.

AP Set
• Approval Products
• Mainly imported from oversea and sell it to the consumers.
• AP set warranty by companies such as Final Choice, CSL, Nefion, Telstra, GTMax and etc.
• 1 year warranty for the phone and 1 month for the accesories like charger, battery, handsfree.
• You must bring your phone back to the place you bought the phone for servicing.
Water Set
Stolen / Brought in from oversea without paying tax a.k.a SIRIM Sticker. Considered Illegal. Mostly brought in by student studying oversea.
Tips 1
If you have an AP set with Vodafone or T-Mobile logo, it means that your phone might be locked. Those Vodafone or T-Mobile are the service operators in the UK and that’s where the phones come from. Not all AP sets have the logo. AP sets are Approved Products which means that these products are certified by SIRIM that your product is safe to use.
In other words, AP product not brought in by the authorised distributor like Midland, T-Choice for SE, Avaxx or Zitron for Nokia, FMG for Samsung and etc. The phones can even come from Singapore and may even have the M1, Singtel or Starhub logo. Remember to check the phone if it is locked especially those from Singapore and Vodafone.
Tips 2
AP sets has different level of QC. Big AP companies like Final Choice, GTMAX, Nefion, Telstra, O’Connors have extensive QC checks. Others like MSL, YS, PLANTRONICS or names not mentioned above, are slightly cheaper than the above. Whether they replaced their parts with other stuff, its another question.

Tips 3
AP set actually pay government tax but is just that they are not taxed by the Local Authorised Dealer. AP set is normally distributed by small handphones companies and they might stop business anytime.

Futhermore if there’s major damage on your AP set, the AP companies might not have enough equiptment to fix it. At the end, they still have to send it to the authorized dealer (eg. Zitron, Avaxx).
Tips 4
Like what everyone else have said, a phone without a SIRIM sticker is considered as illegal and thus cannot be sold here. But I’m gonna assume that if the phone is not available here, it should be better. And besides, if you bought the phone from overseas and bring it back here to use, don’t tell me it would be illegal to use it right?

Speaking of buying a waterset from a shop, they might say that you did not inspect it properly before buying and thus you are at fault. So yeah guys, if you wanna buy a phone, do yourselves a favor and do these few things:
• Check for SIRIM sticker (
this is a MUST. Everyone should know this).
• Cross check IMEI numbers on the phone and the box.
• Ask for warranty card.
• Ask if the warranty card needs to be sent to wherever necessary.
• Check all the features of the phone (iow, play with the phone, make sure everything is working).
• Check for dead pixels.
• Check the firmware if possible (*#0000# for most nokias). This way, you can check if it’s old stock or not.
• And of course, make sure you get the propper set. As in nothing missing like the handsfree and stuff.

Sorry, deviated a bit from what is a waterset, but really, people should know these stuff to avoid getting cheated.
By the way, watersets are usually sold without accesories, only phone and charger. So sometimes if you add up buying the accesories elsewhere, it might cost near the same as buying a proper set.
There are recon set might be known as water set, so beware while you buying. Recon set are second hand handphones from overseas, they just change the phone cover (might not be original cover) and do some servicing inside and sell it as an AP set with warranty 1 year summore. As I know FMG will not fix phones other than FMG warranty handset (even they are paid they will not fix).
How to Identify Original and AP Set
• Take out the phone case and battery.
• Original set comes with authorized company sticker (Zitron, Avaxx, T-Choice, Midland)
• AP set comes with AP company sticker (Final Choice…)
• Press *#06# to check the phone 15 digit serial number (IMEI).
• Compare it with the IMEI written on phone sticker (back of phone case) and package box sticker.
• For original set, these serial numbers are the same.

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