I am interested in buying SE Xperia Ray running on Gingerbread. An export set is selling $100 less but was told that it does not support messaging in Chinese. My question is whether messaging input language is supported by Android or by the handset maker, Sony Erisson? If by Android, do I need to root handset and update firmware directly from Android? If by maker, then I need to go to the maker for the language pack. Is it worth the trouble to save on $100?
Do you ask wheather your keyboard will have Chinese input? Best part about Android is, that you can easily change the stock keyboard with whatever you like. You just install it like a normal app, and select is as input method. Bulgarian is supported, not only keyboard layout, but even text prediction. I am pretty damn sure there are some good keyboards that will provide Chinese for you. Smart Keyboard Pro (I think) has one, you might check its features in Android Market. You can probably find text prediction in Chinese, do a search in Android market, too :)
If you want the whole ROM(menus,etc) to be in Chinese, though, this is ROM dependent, so it is not easy to change this, you will have to root. In short: A good keyboard will cost you 5-6$, so you are saving 95 :) I hope I understood you question correctly.
in android market there are lots of messaging apps that support languages not supported by the device , specially chinease , so you will not have problem with that,
many applications are built to support specific languages that are not supported by android so there also if in that app chinease is supported you will not have problem , but the issue for you will be in gmail app , facebook app, twitter app , these depend on fonts and language supported by the OS only