Saigon on the phone

Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you’re bound to be surrounded by many.

It’s not so hard to own a smartphone in Vietnam. Around 60 percent of smartphones available in the country cost less than $150, according to International Data Corporation. That's 7 percent of the country's current average annual income. 

So it's no surprise that almost a third of the nation’s population currently has the device in their hands, as shown by Statista's 2017 report.

And like elsewhere in the world, smartphones are particularly ubiquitous in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, where you can easily spot people glued to their smartphone screens literally everywhere.

VnExpress has taken to the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's economic hub, to capture the daily moments of its residents and their phones.

A phone offers a break from painful reality after the house's doorstep was smashed for encroaching on the sidewalk.

Using phones on the street is not a good idea in Ho Chi Minh City, which is notorious for messy traffic and phone snatching.

Having coffee with friends is always fun. 57 percent of adults under-44-years of age in Vietnam use a smartphone (Appota’s Vietnam Mobile Report).

Staying connected.

Kids in the park. The father was not.

Hold on a second.


Reading - Take 2.

The reward for this kid for having dinner with her family is some time to play games on the phone.

"Oh, we do want to talk more to each other, but it’s harder than it sounds,” said Quang, a university student. “It’s like a habit to us, especially when you have so many fascinating stuff going on on the internet and social networks. In fact, many of us use a smartphone to work and to communicate.”

“Food photos have more 'LIKE',” one explains. In 2016, one in three Vietnamese is on social networks.

“I have to use my phone before going to bed to be able to sleep tight," said Thanh Sa, a twenty something guy, just after midnight.

Nhung Nguyen

Photos by Quynh Tran

By Nhung Nguyen, Quynh Tran