The Best Phones You Can’t Get In the US

Walk into any store that sells phones and you lot’re likely to see the same dozen handsets lining the walls, along with a few carrier exclusives and lots of accessories. That’s because Apple, Motorola, and Samsung make the bulk of phones sold in the US.

Walk into a mobile store in Red china or Deutschland, on the other hand, and you see a much wider assortment of brands. Companies like Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi offer exciting, innovative, and oftentimes cheaper alternatives to the phones we get here.

Nosotros review merely those phones you lot can purchase stateside, but we still get pitched on models available abroad and sometimes get to test them. While we would like to utilize a few of these phones as our daily drivers, doing so isn’t feasible. Even if you lot purchase a so-called global phone on Amazon, for instance, it probable won’t piece of work properly in the US. You lot might go spotty service, for starters, and you virtually certainly won’t become 5G coverage.

That said, it’s nevertheless worthwhile to explore the phones we can’t get or use here, because very frequently they have features that eventually make their way to phones we
buy. With that in mind, hither are the best international phones y’all can’t go far the Usa:

Xiaomi 12

Xiaomi 12

It’s difficult to observe slim, premium Android phones nowadays, but the Xiaomi 12 is an exception—at ii.75 inches wide, information technology might be the narrowest 1 available. The phone is slim enough to easily hold in one hand, just packs a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon viii Gen 1 processor. A Pro version of the phone with a bigger screen is bachelor, but information technology’s the petite, regular version that stands out.

The Xiaomi 12 has a 6.28-inch, two,400-past-1,080-pixel OLED display, a 50MP chief camera, and a 32MP selfie camera. Yous as well go a 5MP macro lens and a 13MP ultra-broad one. Just the most impressive spec for this small phone is the 4,500mAh bombardment that supports 67W charging; in other words, the phone can concluding all day and charge back upwardly very speedily.

The Xiaomi 12 simply launched globally on March xv at what Xiaomi says will be $749, but we don’t conceptualize that it shows upwards on US shelves someday soon. Xiaomi has said several times in the past that it would begin to sell phones in the US, only always eventually shied away.

Oppo Discover X5 Pro

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Oppo Detect X5 Pro

The mail entreatment of Oppo’s Observe X5 Pro is its design. Information technology sports a classy and polish ceramic dorsum with a contoured camera bump, and looks unlike anything on the U.s.a. market. At the equivalent of $ane,365 in the UK, the Find X5 Pro is a direct competitor to the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

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The x-bit, 120Hz WQHD+ color screen is a pleasure to view both indoors and outside. The Hasselblad-branded camera app is reliable, fast, and responsive. And the Qualcomm Snapdragon eight Gen 1 processor performs much similar the one in the Galaxy S22+, based on initial benchmarks.

Aside from its distinctive pattern, the Notice X5 Pro offers tricks that aren’t available on Samsung’southward and Apple tree’s flagships. For instance, the company claims that the 80W charging rate ways you can fill the phone’south behemothic 5,000mAh battery in under 50 minutes. The bombardment should last 1,600 accuse cycles even despite the super-fast charging, too.

The major downside here—and a large part of why it isn’t bachelor in the United states—is that Oppo’s ColorOS software is positively toxic to American tastes. It’s a heavy, bloated Android skin that reminds me of LG telephone software from 2016. Americans typically prefer more minimalistic and Google-axial approaches, like Oppo’s cousins, Iqoo, OnePlus, and Realme all offer with their phones.

Iqoo 9 Pro

Iqoo 9 Pro

Iqoo 9 Pro

The BMW Motorsport-branded Iqoo 9 Pro costs simply the equivalent of about $870 in India, but is an accented powerhouse.

The Iqoo 9 Pro is the but phone I’ve encountered with Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max technology, a gigantic under-display fingerprint sensor with a target expanse many times larger than those on other phones—it’s possible to unlock the phone past vaguely mashing the correct part of it.

On the back, the camera module looks like a Death Star. It houses a 50MP master photographic camera, plus 150-degree ultra-wide and two.5x-telephoto sensors. The main camera is “gimbal-stabilized,” which enables an ultra-smooth, power-steering mode, likewise as a sport mode. Both modes accept all the jitter out of any videos you film while walking.

The 120W fast charger too fills up the telephone in a mere 25 minutes, which is the fastest I’ve ever experienced. Other specs are in line with competing loftier-end handsets, including a 6.viii-inch, 3,200-by-1,440-pixel, 120Hz OLED screen; a Qualcomm Snapdragon eight Gen one processor; upward to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage; Wi-Fi 6; and Android 12.

Realme GT ii Pro

Realme GT 2 Pro

Realme GT 2 Pro

Realme’due south GT 2 Pro starts at around $830 in Europe. When you buy this environmentally themed phone, Realme says information technology plants a tree somewhere in the world (it doesn’t specify where).

Right off the bat, the Realme GT 2 Pro distinguishes itself from other phones in the BBK portfolio (the Chinese conglomerate that also owns Iqoo, OnePlus, and Oppo) with an attractive back that Naoto Fukasawa, a Japanese industrial designer most famous for his piece of work with MUJI, devised. The back feels kind of like paper-thin, and Realme says information technology uses a more environmentally friendly material than, say, the ceramic one that the Oppo device to a higher place does.

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Virtually of the other specs are on par with those from competing flagships, including a 6.7-inch, 120Hz WQHD+ brandish, and 65W fast charging. Realme’s most unusual design choice is foregoing a telephoto lens in favor of one that enables a microscope style that takes close-up pictures at 20x or 40x.

Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei’s foldable P50 Pocket is certainly a response to Samsung’southward Galaxy Z Flip3, but genuinely looks different—the exterior face of the phone has a jewelry-like texture, while the external display and camera are circular, not rectangular.

Its massive six.9-inch, 21:ix 120Hz screen and Huawei’southward Android-spinoff EMUI software run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. The telephone has a 40MP main camera and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle i, along with a 10.7MP sensor on the front. The iv,000mAh battery that powers the telephone supports 40W fast charging.

Yous can configure the circular front brandish to bear witness all of the usual info such as call controls, fitness stats, letters, the gallery, conditions forecasts, and your agenda. I of the phone’southward wildest features, however, is a sunscreen detection mode, which can (in theory) tell you if you missed a spot.

But really, the phone’s master entreatment is its design, one that recalls some of the gorgeous “jewelry” phones from the mid-2000s. It’s a pity nosotros won’t always run into this phone in the US considering of the ongoing war between the US government and Huawei.

Honor Magic 4 Pro

Honor Magic 4 Pro

Honor Magic 4 Pro

Accolade spun out of Huawei so that information technology could still use the Google Play Store. Equally a upshot, Honor’southward phones are more amenable to global audiences that adopt Google services, despite featuring some older Huawei design and technology elements.

The Honor Magic iv Pro has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and a curved 6.81-inch, 120Hz screen. Similar many other phones in this story, this one supports super-fast charging—in this example, a blazing 100W charging rate for the 4,500mAh battery.

A large circle on the back houses the phone’s many sensors. The main and 122-degree ultra-broad cameras are both 50MP, just y’all also get a 64MP, iii.5x optical zoom lens. Furthermore, the whole organization works in tandem to take shots with 100x digital zoom. An infrared depth sensor, like the one that enables Apple’s Face ID feature, sits on the front.

Ayya t1

Front and back of phone with screen illuminated

Ayya t1

If the globe continues to isolate Russian federation, its populace may accept to autumn dorsum on phones that run neither iOS nor Android, such as the Ayya t1 (approximately $265), which runs on
Aurora Os (an Android 11 version is likewise available). Aurora Bone is a forked version of Jolla created by Rotstelecom, Russia’s majority state-owned telecom.

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The Ayya t1 has a utilitarian artful that resembles affordable models from Nokia’southward recent lineup. On the forepart of the phone, a half dozen.v-inch LCD sports a small cutout for the 13MP selfie camera. The back includes a camera stack with 12MP and 5MP shooters, too equally a fingerprint sensor. What distinguishes the Ayya t1 from the competition are its concrete buttons that turn off its cameras and microphones.

A MediaTek Helio P70 SoC powers the phone, forth with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Information technology has LTE connectivity and a respectable 4,000mAh battery.

Pyongyang 2428

We guarantee you won’t find this telephone on Amazon. We believe the Pyongyang 2428 (approximately $350) is North korea’due south latest flagship, and while it may look like an iPhone, the similarities end there.

Introduced in 2020, the Pyongyang 2428 sports 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Either a MediaTek P60 or P65 chipset likely powers information technology, because those seem to exist the predominant SoCs in Northward Korean phones. Information technology has a six.three-inch, two,340-by-1,080 LCD; the selfie camera clocks in at 16MP; and the back includes both a 48MP primary lens and a 5MP secondary lens.

The Pyongyang 2428 works on North korea’s 3G networks, and while it supports Wi-Fi, that feature has been turned off in previous models. The telephone runs a highly customized version of Android nine that allows access to the country’s Intranet system, takes random screenshots to monitor your activities, and uses AI capabilities to notice any profane voice communication on the device. Information technology’s also limited to media and text files signed past the Due north Korean government. You likewise can’t download apps directly from the phone, but if yous purchase apps from a local jail cell phone store, they tin can install them straight.

The Best Phones You Tin can Go

iPhone 13

iPhone 13

While all of the phones here are certainly intriguing, none of them are practical if you live in the The states. To help you cull a phone you lot
buy and use to its fullest extent stateside, check out our roundup of the all-time phones nosotros’ve tested. If yous’re looking to salvage some coin, we also accept a listing of the best cheap phones. And if y’all’re a mobile shutterbug who envies some of the camera specs above, take a look at our picks for the best photographic camera phones.