Can You Buy a Phone From Another Country?

After browsing various models, most people purchase their new smartphone from a local store. However, there are some circumstances in which you might think about purchasing a new or used phone from abroad. Here are the main factors to consider and the pitfalls to avoid if you feel like making the leap.

Save money but be sure to account for all costs.

Saving money is one of the best justifications for purchasing a phone from abroad. New electronics, including smartphones, are frequently much less expensive in the country of manufacture. The US, Japan, and Southeast Asia are typical examples of this. As a result, you can purchase a fantastic smartphone for much less than you would have paid at home. However, you should think about all the additional costs you might incur before jumping at the opportunity. Your new phone may be subject to tax and customs fees when purchased abroad; these fees are not included in the price but will almost certainly result in a high additional cost.

Additionally, keep in mind that you will need to factor the cost of currency exchange into the price if you are paying in foreign currency, which you will undoubtedly do. One helpful suggestion is to monitor forex trading signals in order to foresee changes in the value of local currencies. Trading signals are suggestions an analyst or a forex robot provides that let you know when it would be a good idea to buy or sell a particular currency pair. You can sign up to receive free tips via email, RSS feed, website, or even social media sites like Twitter.

In this manner, you can accumulate savings and exchange funds when it is advantageous to do so, saving money in the process. Last but not least, pay attention to shipping costs when ordering a phone from abroad. You want to avoid paying more for postage than the phone is worth.

Get your hands on the latest and greatest smartphones but read the fine print.

Aside from getting a better deal, purchasing a phone that is not yet available in your country is another reason to consider purchasing one from abroad. But you want to avoid unpacking your excellent new smartphone only to discover that you can’t use it properly. First and foremost, ensure that your phone’s specifications are compatible with smartphone standards in the country where you intend to use it. One prominent example is that some European and American carriers use different wireless technology. The GSM (Global System for Mobiles) standard is used in Europe, but some major US carriers, such as Verizon, use CDMA instead (Code Division Multiple Access). Therefore, you need help to utilize your phone’s data fully.

Additionally, some phones could be pre-locked or set to a language you don’t understand. Region-specific software and features are not limited to smartphones; until recently, PlayStation game titles were also region locked. The warranty of your device is something else to consider, especially if you’re purchasing a phone that isn’t available in your country or a used phone. Because of the varying levels of consumer protection that are typically provided in Asia, North America, and Europe, warranty programs may differ significantly from one region to the next. If you want to avoid the surprise of learning that your smartphone is only covered in the region where it was purchased, check the warranty offered for the device you wish to purchase in advance.

Guidelines for international cell phone shipping

Most of the time, you can send a cell phone abroad via mail or courier. Due to battery issues, only one smartphone model—the Samsung Galaxy Note 7—cannot be shipped by air.

As of right now, all forms of transportation will accept smartphones with attached, non-removable lithium-ion batteries as long as they meet the requirements outlined in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria:

  • Batteries with a maximum of 2 cells and 20Wh
  • Batteries with multiple cells: maximum four cells, 100Wh

Lithium batteries that exceed the above limits cannot be transported by air but can be shipped by land or sea.

It is advised to only charge your iPhones or other smartphones up to 30% when shipping them. The manufacturer’s product information sheet contains the pertinent transport advice for your mobile phone.

Final Thoughts 

In some situations, purchasing a smartphone abroad may be the best or only choice. But make sure you have everything covered, and you must conduct in-depth research beforehand. It is essential to consider the shipping expenses, the phone’s warranty, and phone functionality in your location to ensure that the phone you buy from abroad works fully in your region.


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