Buying Phones Online Vs Offline

August 23, 2022
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Purchasing a new phone is an exciting event for many of us, even if you we buying it out of necessity because our old one had an accident. The act of popping out a brand new phone from its box and peeling off the screen cover to reveal a shiny new screen is an experience in it self.

There is more to the complete experience of buying a new phone. It varies based on whether you buy it online or offline. Let’s explore the differences and find out why you may prefer one over the other.

Buying Offline (at a retail outlet)

Phones are available at retail outlets across India. Be it national chains such as Croma, Reliance Digital or local retailers, the choices are abundant if you are in the market for a new phone. No matter how good the pictures are online, holding the device itself in your hand gives you a feeling of surety that an online store can never give you.

Popular Phone Retailers

  • Croma
  • Reliance Digital
  • NEXT
  • eZONE
  • Viveks
  • Girias
  • Lotus


  • You can visit the store and check the device, its proportions, how heavy it is etc.
  • If you are happy with what’s available in stock, you can start using it right away.
  • You can browse through accessories available for your new device and get them instantly.
  • For warranty and repairs you can straight away approach the retailer you bought it from, even though you can call customer care of the respective brand.


  • Your options are limited to the stocks available at the store.
  • You might need to wait for newly launched product to become available at the nearby store.
  • You might end up buying a little more than buying online.
  • Shops aren’t open 24 hours and you’ll have to go physically during business hours.

Buying offline suits you if

  • You prefer checking something physically before you make a purchase.
  • You’d prefer getting all accessories for your phone in one place.
  • You prefer to have a local point of contact for warranty, returns and replacements.

Buying Online

We are quite accustomed to buying phones online, that many of us most likely got at least one of our phones during one of the big sales conducted by Amazon, Flipkart or Snapdeal. The options and offers available on phones are overwhelming to say the least. Due to the massive reach that these online shops have, brands also offer exclusive deals online that are often unavailable offline. Some phones are exclusively launched online only due to this.

Popular Online Shops for Phones

  • Amazon
  • Flipkart
  • Croma
  • Tata Cliq
  • One Plus
  • Lenovo
  • Samsung
  • Shopclues
  • Oppo


  • Prices are slightly lesser than at offline stores.
  • You have the time to go through specifications and make a choice without pressure from a salesman.
  • The process is painless and easily accessible through majority of the payment options available in India.
  • You can shop any time (24x7x365).


  • You can’t get a sense of how the product will feel in your hands. This is quite important for many since it’ll be the one item you use the most in a day.
  • You have to wait for shipping.
  • Product that you receive after a few days may be damaged. You’ll have to go through the return process to either get a replacement or refund, which is even more waiting time.
  • Support can be tedious compared to a local retailer.

Best online best suits you if

  • You don’t want to go through the hassle of going to a shop.
  • You don’t mind waiting for your phone.
  • You are after a good deal.
  • If the phone you are after is only available online.

Buying your phone offline of online is entirely dependent on what you value. If you are a hands on person, then you are better off going to a retailer in person. If you appreciate a good value, and you don’t mind waiting, online suits you best.

Whatever may be your preference, we recommend that you save for your next purchase with Hubble. When you save on Hubble app, you get 10% cash rewards each time you save. You can redeem your cash rewards during the time of your purchase, be it offline or online.

Komal Chawla

Writer-by-chance and overthinker-by-choice, raging a war against the Pineapple-on-pizza brigade

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