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Friday, 17 May 2019

How to buy a smartphone from China for low price

  Propertrick       Friday, 17 May 2019

Chinese phones, with the exception of the OnePlus 7 Pro, aren't having a great time in the US right now. Thanks to the escalating US-China trade war and the current administration's suspicion of espionage, there are countless great smartphones from Chinese manufacturers that haven’t officially made their way to the US. To get your hands on one of these phones and benefit from low prices, you’ll either have to buy a plane ticket or find a trustworthy online retailer to ship it to you. Since the process can be fraught with hassles and bad surprises, here are the things you need to know before buying a smartphone phone from China.

Pick the right phone
If you’re interested in getting a Chinese phone, you can get ones like the Honor 7X, OnePlus 7 Pro and Honor View 10 right here in the US since they’re officially available. But, if you’re a fan of the innovative Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 or you just can’t wait for the latest flagship from Huawei, the mighty P30 Pro, you’ll have to import. There’s a ton of interesting Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Meizu, Oppo, Huawei and Lenovo, so we recommend you checking out our thorough reviews of each to find the right one for your needs. Once you’ve picked your dream phone, move on to the next steps.
Check for network compatibility
Before you get your heart set on a new smartphone, be sure it’s compatible with your network, especially for LTE. Carriers like Sprint and Verizon use CDMA technology, and thus aren't usually compatible. AT&T and T-Mobile, on the other hand, use GSM technology. The latter two are more likely to support imported devices.
To be completely comprehensive of all locations, carriers and phone models isn't possible within the scope of this article. You'll need to check the bands of the device you have your eye on and then cross reference it with the LTE band availability of your preferred carrier in your location. Be sure the phone you’re buying is unlocked, and call your carrier to confirm compatibility, in addition to  checking the bands yourself

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To check if you can get 4G on your imported device, here are the LTE frequency bands per major US carrier:
  • AT&T: 700 MHz (Band 12, 13, 29), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700/2100 MHz (Band 4), 1900 MHz (Band 2), 2600 MHz (Band 30)
  • Sprint: 850 MHz (Band 26), 1900 MHz (Band 25), 2500 MHz (Band 41)
  • T-Mobile: 700 MHz (Band 12), 1700/2100 MHz (Band 4), 1900 MHz (Band 2)
  • US Cellular: 700 MHz (Band 12), 850 MHz (Band 5)
  • Verizon: 700 MHz (Band 13), 1700/2100 MHz (Band 4), 1900 MHz (Band 2)
  • Budget for import fees and shipping costs

    You might see the low prices of Chinese smartphones and think you’re getting a great deal, but just wait until you see the shipping costs, fees, and taxes you may have to pay for that great new phone. To avoid shock and disappointment, be sure to factor these into your budget. Just because something isn't available in the US, that doesn't mean you have to resort to importing it from China. Often devices will be available in Europe or the UK, and it may be easier, cheaper and faster to import from there.
    Shipping costs from China can be high, anywhere from $20 to $60 or more, and it can take weeks for the device to arrive by post from China even if it’s in stock at the time you place the order. If the retailer offers an option to ship via DHL, FedEx or another top courier, that’s a better option than regular mail, because even if it costs a bit more, it’s faster not only in actual shipping time, but also in the amount of time it takes to clear customs in most cases.
    After you buy
    Once you’ve got your new phone, you may need to install the Play Store to enjoy the range of apps and games you’re used to having on an Android device. And, it may take English speakers a few minutes to figure out how to change the language settings on the phone too, but here’s a pro tip: the Google Translate app has a camera function which can read everything you can’t. Once you’ve got it all set up, you’ll have gotten a high-end phone at an unbelievable price.

Thanks for reading How to buy a smartphone from China for low price

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