How to buy a smartphone from China

How to buy a smartphone from China

While great Chinese phones like the new OnePlus 5 or the Honor 8 are officially available in the US and easy to get a hold of, there are countless great smartphones from Chinese manufacturers that haven’t made their way to the US officially. To get your hands on one of these phones, and benefit from the incredibly 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 8, Honor 6X, OnePlus 3T and Huawei Mate 9 right here in the US since they’re officially available. But, if you’re a fan of the sleek new Xiaomi Mi 6 or you just can’t wait for the latest flagship from Honor, the Honor 9, you’ll have to import. There’s a ton of interesting Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Meizu, Oppo, Huawei and Lenovo, so we’ve put together a list of the best Chinese smartphones for you, broken down by availability in the US. Once you’ve picked your dream phone, move on to these next steps.

Check for network compatibility

Before you get your heart set on a new smartphone, be sure it’s compatible with your network. 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. Be sure the phone you’re buying is…

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