How to import a Chinese smartphone? [Exclusive Guide]
Import a Chinese smartphone can be very advantageous for several reasons but the main will doubtless remain their value for money which is no longer to show, especially if you decide to opt for a smartphone Xiaomi. Choose the right smartphone and buy it from abroad, however, requires a short briefing. Here are the steps needed and everything you need to know before you buy.
4G: your smartphone is compatible with your carrier?
The big problem of Chinese smartphones remains their compatibility with European 4G networks. Most of them are not compatible with spectrum 700 and 800 MHz used at home. This is particularly the case of most smartphones Xiaomi but this isn’t necessarily a problem. It actually depends on your operator.
In France, we use four frequency bands: the 800, 1800, 2600 MHz and 700 MHz. But all operators do not use all four. Free, for example, does not use the famous B20 (800 MHz) band, in summary, if you are home Free, you can buy a smartphone Chinese eyes closed. Bouygues, for my part, use it but less than Orange or SFR. If you’re at the last two, it is better to opt for a smartphone supporting B20 band.
without Google Android smartphones
another feature of smartphones distributed in China, the version of Android that they ship is deeply personal and Google services are replaced by builders equivalents. Therefore, if your smartphone is running an original ROM, it will take install the Google Play Store and other Google services manually. Don’t worry, there’s nothing complicated.
In addition, most smartphones available at specialist retailers to import turn under a European ROM. Google services are therefore preinstalled and the french is available. However, beware, sometimes the Chinese smartphones offered at non-official retailers contain malware . It will therefore be particularly vigilant.
the other point on which we must ask before buying a smartphone, is guaranteed. Theoretically, the guarantee is available only in the country in which it was issued, a problem that you had already addressed in our guide how to import a Google Pixel . This is particularly annoying since you have no recourse in case of failure. Some dealers like Xiaomi France nevertheless offer a service but beware, this is a paid service.
Port charges and taxes
value of Chinese smartphones remains quite attractive, should nevertheless take into account additional costs related to the transport and importation. If your package was controlled through customs, so officers would be entitled to claim the amount of VAT that represents 20% of the purchase price. Note that if you opt for a delivery by private carrier, your package will be automatically declared and you will have to pay VAT, but at least, you’ll be sure to be delivered quickly.
And if you do not pay, not only you will not be able to retrieve your package but in addition, the store will not refund you your purchase. Most of the time, it is also specified in the imprint of the unofficial dealers item charges are to be added to the purchase price, the store accepts no liability and no refund will be accepted.
However, the good news is that customs fees do not apply on smartphones, tablets and portable PC. It’s always a bonus!
Where to buy?
Many dealers now offer Chinese smartphones. The best-known shops, include Aliexpress, GearBest and of course the unofficial dealer Xiaomi France. Watch still does not make you have on prices. The fact that it is only in very limited stocks, currently proposed Xiaomi Mi Mix is sold at the price of 699 euros while in China, it is sold 475 euros in its version of base and 540 euros in its premium version.
By opting for unofficial resellers, it is obvious that you will pay your smartphone more expensive than if you had bought directly in China but do similarly so that the price difference remains within acceptable limits. Xiaomi Mi5s , for example, is sold from 299 euros, this is quite correct.
security and payment
many of the unofficial dealers accept payments via Paypal. It is a safe payment method which allows to guarantee the safety of your parcel. Finally, remember that by buying this way, you are never safe from a counterfeit. Beware of the too tempting offers!
Note also that to combat these practices, Xiaomi for developed an application of Xiaomi Fake name which is used to determine if a device is authentic or not. Unfortunately, it allows to know that once you have it in your hands and it’s there all the problem.