Switching to a Korean Phone

by Mr Mike

Switching to a Korean phone network was was easy, or so I thought.  I checked with Verizon when buying the phone and before I left for Korea, my globally activated Samsung Galaxy Nexus would work here.  I was told all I needed was a new SIM card and I could join another network.  Just to be sure they didn’t try and sell me anything extra I asked my Korean co-teacher, Mary, to come along.  She speaks excellent English and obviously is fluent in Korean.

We walked down the street to the local SK store.  There are literally phone stores on every block if not every corner so it was just a matter of finding a convenient one.  Walking in it was evident that English wouldn’t get me very far here.  Mary did all the talking; I told her about my old phone and she understood that I hoped to use it but if they couldn’t get it to work I would buy a new one.  A quick Korean exchange and she told me to hand over the phone, within seconds he confirmed that it should work.

Some Korean was left untranslated as they talked back and forth; Mary knew what I wanted so I sat patiently waiting.  A few moments later he asked what phone number I would like.  I could pick the last 4 digits and opted to keep the same final 4 as I had in the states.  He pulled up about a dozen options for the first 4 numbers and I picked out an easy to remember 7150.  With that he pulled out a new SIM card and was powering up my phone.

I was given a tablet and must have signed a half dozen times as we sat waiting or him to finish. He was taking forever. After another Korean exchange Mary asked if I could wait until tomorrow. I said that I was fine leaving my phone with them and we parted ways. We could be able to pick up my activated phone after work the next day.

Work came and went; it happened to be a crazy day at school with our “favorite” student providing hours of “entertainment.” But, as it always does, the day came to an end and Mary and I went back to the SK store once more. We arrived and found the same sales rep. He sat us down and with a quick X gesture and a few words he explained that it didn’t work.

Unfortunately I’m not sure if it didn’t work because they were unable to figure out my English phone, I was lied to by Verizon or they just wanted to make an easy sale. Either way I found myself in need of a new phone so he brought out my options. I don’t mind spending a little money on a phone; I find its worth the price since I’ll be using it literally everyday and sometimes for hours at a time.

In Korea you pay for your phone in monthly installments with your regular plan. I like that better than in America where they make you shell out hundreds of dollars right when you buy it. The first phone he showed me was a white LG. It looked nicer than my old phone and was the right price, about 2000 won per month for 24 months, so 48,000 won or roughly $48. Just for fun I asked to see how much the Samsung Galaxy would be. He brought out the 2 next generations of my old phone, a S4 and an S3.5 (he said it wasn’t really a S3 but similar and more affordable). The 3 was about $10 a month and he said the same specs as the LG while the S4 was $45/month.

It was an easy choice, I went for the original LG that he showed me.  My new phone came with an extra battery with an external battery charger, a wall charger and headphones.  I’ve had it for less than 24 hours but have customized so that the home screen is nearly identical to my old phone. So far so good. I immediately signed up for KakaoTalk (a messaging app that is widely used here). Feel free to download the app and utilize some free texting at MikeS86.

Mr Mike

You may also like

15 comments

http://www.mangoradio.net/ September 26, 2013 - 4:04 am

It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
Thanks

Reply
Mr Mike September 26, 2013 - 7:38 am

Thanks. I just went through the process. Let me know if you have any questions, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert but the most important thing is bring a Korean friend!

Reply
dianyamould.com October 1, 2013 - 6:25 am

Verry descrfiptive article, I enjoyed that bit.
Will there be a part 2?

Reply
Mr Mike October 1, 2013 - 8:27 pm

If I get another phone I’ll certainly do a follow up. Let me know if you have any questions though. I plan on writing plenty more about life in Korea so stay tuned!

Reply
Buying a Laptop in Seoul | Live, Learn, Travel, Teach October 13, 2013 - 11:04 am

[…] Switching to a Korean Phone […]

Reply
unixchamp.com February 6, 2014 - 12:13 am

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the site is really good.

Reply
Mr Mike February 7, 2014 - 12:28 am

Glad it helped you out! I’ve been really happy with my phone so far.

Reply
mobile games April 15, 2014 - 10:51 pm

This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader
entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how
you presented it. Too cool!

Reply
telecharger subway surfers April 21, 2014 - 7:24 pm

You need to take part in a contest for one of the best websites online.
I most certainly will recommend this site!

Reply
Www.gratsiomilibile.com April 24, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Thankfulness to my father who informed me
concerning this blog, this webpage is in fact remarkable.

Reply
download for no good reason free May 1, 2014 - 1:44 am

Thanks for finally writing about >Switching to a Korean Phone | Live,
Learn, Travel, Teach <Liked it!

Reply
icon pop quiz cheats May 6, 2014 - 3:51 am

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every bit of it.

I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…

Reply
draw something 2 cheat May 30, 2014 - 4:55 pm

Hello there, I found your site by means of Google even as searching for a related topic,
your web site got here up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google
bookmarks.
Hi there, simply changed into alert to your weblog thru Google, and found
that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
I’ll be grateful when you continue this in future. A lot of folks will be benefited from your writing.
Cheers!

Reply
Eulalia July 6, 2014 - 2:10 pm

When some one searches for his necessary thing, therefore he/she
wishes to be available that in detail, so that
thing is maintained over here.

Reply
domain September 5, 2014 - 6:31 am

fantastic points altogether, you simply gained a logo new reader.
What may you suggest about your put up that you simply made some days ago?
Any certain?

Reply

Leave a Reply