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Topic # 199100 4-Aug-2016 14:03
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So the guy in the Spark shop told me this morning that I would end up with a phone with a slower chipset and incompatible with 4G if I were to buy a new Samsung S7 from a parallel importer.  Scare tactics or correct?  What do people know about this?   I also had a look at some of these online shops that do the S7 for around $850 and there's the comments from a few people that they ended up with a dud phone and had enormous hazzles with the warranty.  Other peoples experience?


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  Reply # 1604317 4-Aug-2016 14:07
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This would depend entirely where the Parallel Importer sources their handset from, Different markets have different components to suit the intended market.




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  Reply # 1604326 4-Aug-2016 14:18
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But how do you know?  So far I've had really poor or no responses when I tried to ask questions like what ROM the phone comes installed with.  So don't think they'll be forthcoming in providing that information.


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  Reply # 1604329 4-Aug-2016 14:30
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Back before I meet her, my girlfriend got a parallel imported Samsung S5. The phone does work here but it's biggest problem is cell coverage. The reason is that it is an Europe version of the phone and doesn't support all of the frequencies that we use.


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  Reply # 1604334 4-Aug-2016 14:44
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beatnink:

 

But how do you know?  So far I've had really poor or no responses when I tried to ask questions like what ROM the phone comes installed with.  So don't think they'll be forthcoming in providing that information.

 

 

You need to get the exact model number of the parallel imported phone and then start digging through Google. Something like this: http://willmyphonework.net/ can help with the frequency band info. Digging through mobile sites like http://www.gsmarena.com/ may give you some more info on the internals for your model.





Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


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  Reply # 1604345 4-Aug-2016 15:08
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Sounds like sales scare tactics and FUD.

 

The example of a Samsung Galaxy S5 is a good one because there are several models. Here's what GSMArena says:

 

 

Network

 

Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE

 

2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - all versions

 

3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 - G900F, G900I   HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 - G900A   HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - G900M   HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - G900T

 

4G bands LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800) - G900F   LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 17(700) - G900A   LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 17(700) - G900M   LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 17(700) - G900T
LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 28(700), 40(2300) - G900I

 

Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps

 

 

From memory, so these bands are examples and shouldn't be relied on, these are the bands used in New Zealand. Note that all bands aren't equally important, e.g. some have better coverage.

 

Vodafone

 

2G 900 / 1800

 

3G 900 / 2100

 

4G 700 / 1800 / 2600

 

Spark:

 

2G 850? / 1800

 

3G 850 / 2100

 

4G 700 / 1800

 

The Samsung Galaxy S7 model range is simpler with, as far as NZ is concerned, one global model. This reflects the move to global models:

 

 

Network

 

Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE

 

2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)

 

3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 - G930F   TD-SCDMA

 

4G bands LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) - G930F

 

 

 

 

[Edited because the formatting got scragged]




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Reply # 1604357 4-Aug-2016 15:34
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Many thanks for the great detailed response!! 


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  Reply # 1604363 4-Aug-2016 15:50
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Go to this site, fill in the relevant information. You need to know the exact model number. It will tell you what you will get.

 

 

 

http://willmyphonework.net/

 

 


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  Reply # 1604370 4-Aug-2016 15:59
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As well as the differences in hardware you will also get firmware that's specific to the market that the phone was intended for. This will mean settings such as fast dormancy may be configured incorrectly, and in some markets you will get 3rd party or operator specific aps in the ROM that you may not be able to disable or uninstall. Any warranty if also going to be between you and the retailer or reseller you purchased the phone from - you will not be covered by the manufacturer warranty.

 

A few years ago the issue of band support in phones got really good. Over the past couple of years this has now changed again and you'll find the vast majority of handsets have more than 1 variant available with support for different bands.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1604378 4-Aug-2016 16:23
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Easy question with a complicated answer.

 

 

 

Are parallel imported mobile phones any different? Yes.

 

How much so depends on the manufacturer, the model number, the software, and whether it matters for your use-case.

 

Without going into the fine detail of exactly what it is that the telcos' Terminals teams do in the process of selecting, testing, and working with the vendors to launch a given phone in this market, the long and the short of it is that they're done the hard work for you, and you know it'll work here without having to put any further thought into it.

 

 

 

If you're buying parallel imported:

 

 

 

First thing to look for is model number. For maximum NZ compatibility, get the same model that's being sold here. For example, we get the 'i' variants of the Galaxy S range, e.g. SM-G935i = Galaxy S7 edge. This will mean it's compatible with all NZ networks and you can put local market software on it should you so wish. This is often worth doing, because the local market software builds are configured especially for NZ networks and network features. You may, for example, get better battery life as a result.

 

If you are looking at a different model number because it's cheaper (or otherwise), you need to drill a little deeper by looking at which network bands it supports for 3G and 4G, and contrasting that against the network bands deployed by the operator you intend to use.

 

 

 

For 3G, which may also be called UMTS or WCDMA:

 

Spark/Skinny uses 2100MHz and 850MHz, AKA Band 1 and Band 5

 

Vodafone and 2degrees use 2100MHz and 900MHz, AKA Band 1 and Band 8

 

For 4G, which may also be called LTE or TDD-LTE:

 

Spark/Skinny and Vodafone use 1800MHz, 2600MHz, and 700MHz, AKA Band 3, Band 7, and Band 28

 

2degrees uses 1800MHz and 2600MHz, and holds a license for 700MHz but has not yet deployed it AFAIK.

 

 

 

Pick your network, note the bands, and match them to the spec sheet for the model you're looking at. If it doesn't have those bands, don't buy it - unless the only one it's missing is Band 28, and you only live and work in an urban area. Check your operator's coverage maps as well.

 

Remember that 3G is used for calling, 4G is used for data - without Band 28, phones will just fall back to 3G in areas covered by that band.

 

 

 

You'd also want to look into network locking for the model you've got your eye on to make sure that whatever you're buying isn't locked to an overseas operator - and that it isn't packed full of bloaty software with no updates. Generally, this will only be an issue with private sales rather than through a store. So, as you can see, there's a lot to read up on and be aware of. Whether it's worth doing that to save a few bucks is up to you.

 

 

 

To bring things full circle: The Spark salesperson you spoke with was scaremongering. Yes, if you buy one of the US versions of the S7, you will indeed get a different processor and mostly-incompatible 4G bands. But if, for example, you bought an Australian one, it would be the same thing we get here, just with Australian software on it. And yes, it's recommended to buy from a local retailer for the benefits of the CGA should you have any issues with the product.

 

Most folks who sell phones will just regurgitate info they've read online. I don't really blame them, these things get complicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 





Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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  Reply # 1604391 4-Aug-2016 17:01
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Hammerer:

 

Spark:

 

2G 850? / 1800

 

3G 850 / 2100

 

4G 700 / 1800

 

Spark has no 2G, and I believe that 4G is 700/1800/2300/2600 now (specifically, bands 3, 7, 28 and 40), although I think 2300 is still in trial.




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  Reply # 1604443 4-Aug-2016 17:56
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Hi all.  Many thanks for all your detailed responses/help/effort!  Awesome.  Particularly as it will hopefully help others with the same concern.   I have decided not to go with the parallel imported.  I am confident that the phone will operate fine on our local 4G network, but more concerned that the components of the phone may be different and about service / warranty issues.   I may just wait though for the price to come down from the current $1200 premium cost.


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  Reply # 1604445 4-Aug-2016 18:00
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I have a feeling the Android update schedule/policy can be different for overseas phones.

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  Reply # 1605611 6-Aug-2016 18:41
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Slightly off topic but important to keep in mind when buying parallel imported phones - often much more difficult to get a warranty honoured by a small importer as opposed to a reputable local brand.

 

Speaking from experience. My father had an S7 edge stop working on him due to a hardware fault, and because of a small chip in the phone (which obviously had nothing to do with the fault) the importer refused to honour the warranty - something which shouldn't have happened if bought through a local retailer.

 

A local retailer can simply send the phone to Samsung NZ for a replacement and Samsung will bear the cost, whereas an importer either has to send the phone back to the country of origin or bear the cost of the repair through a local service centre, which means they're much more hard-assed than a local retailer would be.

 

So good decision for not going parallel imported! 


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  Reply # 1607437 10-Aug-2016 10:07
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adida101:

 

Slightly off topic but important to keep in mind when buying parallel imported phones - often much more difficult to get a warranty honoured by a small importer as opposed to a reputable local brand.

 

Speaking from experience. My father had an S7 edge stop working on him due to a hardware fault, and because of a small chip in the phone (which obviously had nothing to do with the fault) the importer refused to honour the warranty - something which shouldn't have happened if bought through a local retailer.

 

A local retailer can simply send the phone to Samsung NZ for a replacement and Samsung will bear the cost, whereas an importer either has to send the phone back to the country of origin or bear the cost of the repair through a local service centre, which means they're much more hard-assed than a local retailer would be.

 

So good decision for not going parallel imported! 

 

 

 

 

NZ based 'importers' have to follow the same laws (CGA) as major retailers . They cant refuse warranty . You have rights .

 

And there have been plenty of cases where the major retailers refused warranty claims (not just phones)
And even more cases where major retailers refuse/lie about CGA & actual warranty entitlement.

 

Reputable local retailers simply see the CGA as a law to try & avoid at every opportunity. No better than shonkey importers


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  Reply # 1697256 1-Jan-2017 17:00
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I bought 2 x Galaxy S7 from Mobile Station in Sept (one for me and one for my Wife) and now notice mine says its from UAE in the build info screen.

 

Hasnt had a single android system update since ive owned it and it has corrupted my SD card from Harvey Norman and lost lots of photos etc.

 

Recovered some and lost lots and got a new card from HN and after few weeks same issue.

 

I had no idea my phone would be from UAE!


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