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The coolest phones from MWC you can’t get in Australia

Xiaomi Poco_Supplied_1800x1000

MWC 2022 has seen no shortage of exciting and enticing reveals. Unfortunately, they won't all be coming Down Under.

Due to Australia's geographic isolation and market size, we're used to seeing awesome products never make their way down here. Our latest FOMO procession is the ongoing MWC 2022.

Here are the most interesting handsets of MWC we're unlikely to have easy access to in Australia. To help ease the pain, you can check out great prices on similar models and find out the perks and dangers of importing mobile phones further below.

Honor Magic4

Honor Magic4

The new flagship phone from Honor looks to be an extremely promising offering. With the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 chip technology, Qualcommm Gen 7 AI technology and a triple camera including a 64MP periscope, its specs will be hard to beat. The Magic4 is set to see improvements of 30% GPU performance and an incredible 300% on AI performance. The Magic4 is set to start at EUR€899 (approximately AUD$1,390).

Getting your hands on this phone from an Australian seller will probably be nigh on impossible, as Honor has a limited presence in the Australian market. But if you're really desperate to get your hands on an Honor phone, check out some international imports below.

$639.94 for Honor 50 on Amazon
$639.94 for Honor 50 on Amazon

Grab the UK edition of the Honor 50, with a 108MP camera, up to 120Hz refresh rate and an OLED screen.

Buy now for $639.94
$405.46 for Honor 50 Lite on Amazon
$405.46 for Honor 50 Lite on Amazon

Want some of the functionality of the Honor 50 with a reduced price tag? Get the Lite edition, featuring a 1080x2376p display and 64MP camera with Magic UI 4.2.

Buy now for $405.46

Xiaomi Poco

Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro

New devices are coming to Xiaomi's budget Poco sub-brand, as revealed at MWC. The X4 Pro 5G is set to retail for EUR€299 (around AUD$460) and will carry impressive specs for a small price – a 120Hz AMOLED display, a 108MP camera and 67W charging. It will also offer dynamic RAM expansion technology, an innovation that creates additional memory from the phone's internal storage.

The M4 Pro LTE edition will retail for EUR€219 (approximately AUD$340) and has a 90Hz refresh rate, a still-impressive 64MP camera and shares a 5,000mAh battery with the X4 Pro, but with slower 33W charging. Both of these phones will offer great value for money, but like Honor, Xiaomi's Australian presence doesn't suggest we'll be getting these exciting products anytime soon.

Budget phone lovers will likely be out of luck when purchasing these new models in Australia, but if you want to grab a previous generation, check out some prices below.

$435 for Xiaomi Poco X3 on Catch
$435 for Xiaomi Poco X3 on Catch

With 6GB of RAM, a powerful 5,160mAh battery and a quad-camera set-up, see why the Poco line leads the way for budget Androids.

$359 for Poco M4 Pro 5G on Kogan
$359 for Poco M4 Pro 5G on Kogan

This non-LTE edition of the M4 Pro was unveiled late last year and can purchased from an overseas distributor on Kogan. Buy now for a free 20GB Kogan mobile plan.

Buy now for $359

TCL 30 series and foldables

TCL 30 Surround Display

Budget phone manufacturer TCL made a number of announcements at MWC, including some new additions to the TCL 30 series. These are some extremely affordable offerings, with the base TLC 30 set to cost EUR€179 (around AUD$280).

The different models are set fluctuate in price in accordance with processing power and camera technology, but they could certainly make a big impact on the budget phone market. At present, it's unclear which models will be available in Australia and when that might be. It's likely we'll miss out on at least some of the line.

Even more exciting are some of the new foldable concepts TCL showed off at MWC. These phones are not available in Australia, plus they're not available anywhere because they are essentially tech demos at this stage. An official release is still a ways away. One of the demos was the TCL 360 Ultra Flex, with a screen that can fold completely backwards, as well as the TCL Surround Display, with a screen that wraps around the phone's entire body.

We can only pray that when these phones do come to market, they're readily available in Australia. In the meantime, check out some deals on related products.

$303 off Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 on Amazon
$303 off Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 on Amazon

If you want to see the best the foldable market has to offer, look no further than the Fold 3. With 5G capability, enjoy a portable tablet experience with stunning connectivity.

Buy now for $2,196 (was $2,499)
$297 for TCL 20L Plus on eBay
$297 for TCL 20L Plus on eBay

No one does budget smartphones like TCL. Phones with 5,000mAh batteries, a gorgeous dual-speaker design and extensive night photography features shouldn't come this cheap.

Buy now for $297

realme GT 2 Pro

realme GT 2 Pro

The ability for Australians to locally acquire this newly announced model is a bit questionable, but realme's presence in Australia has cooled off recently and is confined to budget and mid-range models. It's best not to get your hopes up for this premium model.

As stated at MWC, the realme GT 2 Pro is designed to rival Apple and Samsung, with a 150-degree wide 50MP camera, a 2K display and a refresh rate up to 120Hz. Like any self-respecting flagship, it will run on the Snapdragon 8 processor. realme is also aiming to establish itself as a sustainable brand, with a Master edition made of a "bio-based copolymer material" set to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

If you just need to get your hands on a realme phone, you have international and local options.

$90 off realme X3 Superzoom
$90 off realme X3 Superzoom

Grab a beautiful Arctic White realme X3 Superzoom, featuring the titular 60x zoom lens. Enjoy a big discount on this international model courtesy of Amazon.

Buy now for $559 (was $649)
$429 for realme 7
$429 for realme 7

Don't worry about the hassle of international importing with this Australian model. With 5G, 30W dart charge and incredible photography features, don't wallow in what realme hasn't given us and enjoy what it has.

Buy now for $429

How to buy and use an imported phone

As we sadly watch the rest of the world frolic around with new technology, it's only natural that we should consider our options for getting our hands on these products. Importing phones from overseas sellers is the obvious solution.

"Grey importing" as it's known is generally completely legal and can carry the bonus of being significantly cheaper than Australian sellers. You can check out Finder's full guide to grey importation of phones here.

Before grey importing a phone, make sure to avoid being scammed by shady individuals and stick to well-known, reputable brands. Amazon, eBay, Kogan and Catch are generally your best bets.

Ensure your imported phone is not locked to an overseas carrier. A T-Mobile-locked phone isn't going to be much good in Australia.

If you're buying a phone designed for another market, you can run into a whole host of issues once it arrives. You'll need to ensure your phone is compatible with frequencies used by Australian mobile carriers such as Telstra and Optus.

Different countries also use different power connectors. Your import retailer may give you a free, compatible power connector or it may not. Thankfully, microUSB cables on most phones are the same around the world, as are Apple's iPhone chargers. So you shouldn't have any trouble plugging your cable into an old power connector.

The final issue to consider is warranty. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) considers your contract to be with the original merchant. In this case, the online retailer such as Amazon. As long as you've purchased your product from a reputable source, you shouldn't have too much trouble following up on warranty issues.

If you've purchased your phone from an online supplier directly, things can be a bit dicier. Getting into consumer law disputes with entities thousands of kilometres away is a great way to ruin weeks of your life. For this reason, it's a good idea to stick with Australia-based importers.

Need a hand picking out your next mobile phone? Head over to Mobile Phone Finder.

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