Friday , August 18 2017

Really Blue Google Pixel is limited to the US – but the good news is the LTE band support is fine if you want to import one

pixel-really-blue
After Google announced the Google Pixel phones this morning the obvious choice for a number of Android fans was the ‘Really Blue’ colour option, but there’s some bad news for anyone outside of the US with the phone limited to the US market – at least for now. The good news is it’s looking good if you want to import one – and it’s cheaper too.

Google has said that the Blue colour option is only temporarily an exclusive in the US, but the history of Google moving out colour options to other markets isn’t great. We never saw either the ‘Sand’ coloured Nexus 9, or the Gold coloured Nexus 6P. The Really Blue colour option appears to be super popular in the US though with the phone listed as ‘out of stock’ already.

For what it’s worth, Google Australia can’t or won’t yet say whether we’ll see the Really Blue colour Pixel/Pixel XL here, so you can take your chances waiting for a possible launch here – or maybe order one from the US.


Bands

The obvious question for everyone though is whether the phone will work on our networks here, and the answer is a resounding yes. Google has done a great job with the band support on the Pixel phones, the 3G bands are all present and the LTE bands, though not exactly the same cover most of the bases here in Australia.

First, let’s refresh the bands we use here in Australia:

Carrier FDD-LTE TDD-LTE
Telstra 1/3/7/28
Optus 1/3/7/28 40
Vodafone 1/3/5

Now, if we look at the listed band for both the Australian and US version of the phone we find:

Australia:

  • FDD LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/21/26/28/32
  • TDD LTE: B 38/39/40/41

US:

  • FDD LTE: B 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30
  • TDD LTE: B 41

As you can see, for Vodafone and Telstra, there’s literally no issues. For Optus customers only those needing to use the Optus 4G Plus network which uses the Band 40 TDD-LTE will be affected.


Shipping

Importing the Really Blue model means you’ll need to engage the services of a shipping forwarder as well as requiring a US Google account. Once you order, your phone will be shipped to the shipping forwarder who will charge you a fee to get it here. There’s a number available, we’ve used ComGateway extensively in the past, but Shipito also does a good job, and there’s a bunch more if you look.

About the only things you’ll need to worry about are the warranty – you may need to send it back to the US if issues arise – and you will of course need to get an adapter for your phone for the power plug.


Pricing

Ultimately the choice to import means you’ll likely wait a little longer than ordering a Quite Black or Very Silver handset from here in Australia, but it will mean a more exclusive colour – and a cheaper price. We’ve gone over the pricing difference for all the devices in this post, but the basics are that you’ll save money even with an additional shipping cost on top from a sipping forwarder.


I imported a Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P from the US last year and they’ve both been solid devices in terms of reliability and connecting to the network. If you are willing to make the jump and order, it’s possible and that blue really is appealing.

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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13 Comments on "Really Blue Google Pixel is limited to the US – but the good news is the LTE band support is fine if you want to import one"

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Jimmy
Valued Guest
Jimmy

I tried using a US google account and US search engine, but the google pixel site still shows as Australian (AU prices, no blue option) is there a more detailed explanation of how to access the US site?? Thanks a lot!

Member

The US model would be a better fit for anyone who travels to the UK or Europe, because band 20 (800MHz) is used extensively there for low band in building & rural coverage.

Member
Dean Rosolen

Yeah I’m gonna wait for a price drop – hopefylly by then the blue one will come out here.

Member

Awesome work. I was thinking of buying from the US to save the $200 but I think I’ll just buy the International version. It’ll make travelling through Asia a lot easier.

Jezz_X
Valued Guest
Jezz_X

I’m kind of confused does this mean the new phones don’t work on Optus 4G? or just a specific type of 4g and if its just 4g plus how do I tell if thats what I’m actually using and not the other

Member

It means the Australian/Asian model of the phone works fine on Optus, no issues.

The US version of the phone, if you choose to import one, lacks one of the Optus bands. This will have zero impact on your 4G reception or coverage, but may see some reduced speeds in crowded places like cities, stadiums and airports at peak usage times.

Most people (who import the US variant of the phone) will have no issues at all.

peter__
Valued Guest
peter__

What are the model numbers for the Us and Australian versions?

Andrew
Valued Guest

And the black 128 XLs are already sold out in the US. Directly converting the cost saves about $277 AUD less whatever the shipping works out to be. Still rather expensive.

Member

Do you still have the $1000 GST free allowance in Ozz?

Andrew
Valued Guest

Ah crap. I had forgotten about that. It’ll still come out over $1000 unless you get the 32 GB XL. Man, this sucks.

bids
Valued Guest
bids

Shipping forwarders usually change the value of a product for you
on request.

Andrew
Valued Guest

Ah, that’s good to know. Unfortunately our car was in a bit of an accident last night so new phones are completely off the table for a while 🙁

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