Will this specific phone work well where I want it to?
August 2, 2016 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Planning to buy an unlocked Android phone US / Amazon for regular visits to the US, but also need it to work in several other countries if I just buy a sim on arrival. I do not need roaming or to receive calls to a US number in other countries. There are a gazillion different answers on different websites. Anyone have a pretty good idea if I'm OK with this one?

The phone is LG Nexus 5X Unlocked Smartphone - Black 32GB (US Warranty) via Wirecutter recommendation. I do not want another iPhone.

This seems a decent phone at a good price. I may activate it back in Japan and get off my locked iPhone if I like Android enough. Needs to work in Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Korea, and it would be great if it pretty much worked everywhere. Seems like it will. Or, am I missing something? Amazon offers similar "International" versions, but without warranty, so I'd rather not go that way if not necessary. Thanks!
posted by Gotanda to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The way you check this is looking up the bands, then comparing it against the bands/providers in the country you'd like.

The US Version of this phone supports the following bands:

2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - all models
3G: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - American model
4G: LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 29(700) - American model

Then you look up the bands in the countries of your choice, say for example Korea:

4G capabilities: LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100

In that context, 4G would be supported by this phone, assuming you get the provider that holes the LTE850, 1800, or 2100 band.

Here's another useful site that will check your phone directly
posted by Karaage at 7:08 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A useful site:


posted by bluecore at 7:09 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Note that the special Google Fi discount for the Nexus 5X is said to expire August 11 (see How can I receive a special Project Fi discount). The expiry date has been extended, it was previously due to expire July 30, I think, so could be extended again.
posted by anadem at 9:05 PM on August 2, 2016

I just purchased that very phone on eBay for $239 last week. It will go on sale again on several sites to around that number. Google is likely to announce the new version in September so clearing out of older models will speed up. (I love the phone and recommend it. I use is as a second smaller phone as a companion to my OnePlus One)

If you want the US version, it is the H790. The H791 is the Euro version. They are both compatible in US and Europe. I do not know about Asia. It may turn out that the 791 works best in Korea, Japan, etc and also works in US, but 790 works in US but does not have the proper bands for Korea, etc.
posted by AugustWest at 9:25 PM on August 2, 2016

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