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