Tech

Do’s and don’ts when buying a smartphone abroad

Most of people tend to buy their new smartphones from a local store after browsing the different models. But there are some instances when you might consider purchasing a new phone from abroad. If you want to take the leap, here are the most important things to consider – and the pitfalls to avoid.

Save money – just keep every account in mind

One of the best reasons to buy a phone abroad is to save a lot of money. New electronics, including smartphones, are often much cheaper in the country of origin. This usually includes the United States, Japan, or Southeast Asia. This means that you may end up purchasing an amazing smartphone at a much lower price than what you would get at home. However, before you jump on this opportunity, you should consider all the additional expenses that you might incur. When purchasing abroad, your new phone may be subject to taxes and customs duties not included in the price, however it will definitely require you to pay a substantial additional amount.

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You also have to bear in mind the fact that if you are paying in foreign currency – as you will certainly do – you will have to add the money exchange expenses to the price. A good tip is to anticipate fluctuations in local currency rates by Monitor forex trading signals. Trading signals are tips, generated by a Forex robot or analyst, that tell you when the time is right to buy or sell a particular currency pair. You can sign up for free advice either by email, RSS feed, or on a website – or even on social media like Twitter. This way, you can save and change your money when it is convenient to do so, and save in the process. Finally, note the shipping fees when ordering a phone from abroad – you don’t want to end up paying for its weight in gold in the mail.

Get shiny new smartphones – but beware of fine print

Besides getting a better price, buying a phone that is not yet available in your country is a good reason to consider buying a phone abroad. But you don’t want to end up in an unpleasant situation to empty your amazing new smartphone only to find out that you can’t use it properly. First of all, check to see if your phone’s specifications comply with the smartphone standards of the country in which you intend to use it. One notable example of this is the fact that some carriers in the European Union and the United States use different technologies for wireless communication. Europe uses the GSM (Global System for Mobile Phones) standard, but some major US carriers like Verizon are using CDMA instead (Code Division Multiple Access). Results? You cannot use your data to the fullest potential of your phone.

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Some phones may be locked or pre-set in a language that you cannot understand. Region-specific software and features aren’t something we only see in smartphones – until recently, titles for games on PlayStation were closed off in the region. Another thing to consider, especially if you are buying a phone that is not available in your country, is the warranty of your device. Asia, North America, and Europe tend to offer different levels of consumer protection, which means that warranty systems can vary widely. Check the warranty provided for the device you wish to purchase in advance, unless you wish to risk being surprised knowing that you are only covered in the region where the smartphone was purchased.

Buying a smartphone abroad may be the smartest – or the only – option in some circumstances. But it does require extensive pre-research to make sure everything is covered!

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