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Most of you haven't imported a phone before

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro in hand profile

There are loads of great smartphones out there, but there’s no guarantee that the best devices will be available in your neck of the woods. This is especially true for North America (missing Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Vivo) and Africa (missing OnePlus, Google, Realme).

One solution is to import a phone, as there are loads of online retailers offering phones that might not be available from your local website or carrier. But how many people actually do this? That’s what we asked Android Authority readers last week. Here’s how you voted.

Have you ever imported a phone?


We posted the poll on March 25, and it received a total of 992 votes as of writing. The results show that there isn’t a significant swing in either direction, but a slim majority (53%) say they haven’t imported a device before.

This result is understandable, as there are a number of obstacles to importing. Customs duties are one of these issues, as some countries offer ridiculously high duties on imported phones. Another hurdle is that after-sales service can be a problem, as the manufacturer in question might not have a presence in the country. This means you might be forced to send your device overseas if it’s broken, which can be a long-winded endeavor.

Almost 47% of respondents said they have imported a phone before though. This makes sense given the enthusiast nature of our audience, wanting devices that aren’t available in their region.


  • ulver982: I’ve bought/imported about 11 Xiaomi phones since I first got the Mi 3 about 7 years ago.
  • entigy: Back in 2018 when I was searching for a new phone I decided the Nokia 6.1 Plus was the perfect fit for me. The only problem was that it was unavailable in the UK. I found it on a reseller site in Hong Kong and decided to take the plunge and ordered one. It all went very smoothly and the phone was unlocked so no problems there. The phone never was released in the UK so I’m glad I took the chance.
  • Kevin Uba: I live in Nigeria and have bought/imported ALL phones I’ve used from the US since 2010. My brand of choice has been LG phones starting with the LG G2 to the LG V30 which I’m currently using
  • Saurabh Arora: I got a Nexus One many years back when Android had just been born in smartphone world.
  • Jason Klein: Imported Huawei P10 & Umidigi S3 Pro. Both were great phones.
  • Leo: I’ve imported a Nexus 5 some years ago. After that I also imported a Razer Phone 2.
  • Ridwaan Chothia: I’ve imported a fair deal of electronics which included my OnePlus 7T. OnePlus does not have a strong presence in South Africa so the device was purchased on Amazon for what was way cheaper then what was available for the same spec’d equivalent. No regrets. Very happy with my purchase. My previous phone was a HTC One M8 was also not supported locally but I was able to service it by sourcing parts from abroad during its 4 year lifespan.
  • 🇦🇺Marshall: Yes. I can’t say I’d make a massive investment though, given the consumer protections and ease of repair I’d sacrifice in the process.
  • MarcK73: Back in 2004 I imported a Motorola MS280 “Spinner” from South Korea and used it on Verizon. To this day one of the coolest phones I’ve ever owned.

That’s it for our latest poll results article, thanks for voting and for leaving comments. Are there any phones you’d import right now if you had the money? Let us know below.

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