The best smartphone you cannot buy in a US store

I am curious …

These are phones you would have to buy on eBay or some other seller workaround because of trade issues with the USA.

Last I checked, Librem devices had to be imported. FreedomBox only recently procured a US distributor. These aren’t Android (the topic under which the thread is posted), but in case you’d be interested…

Isn’t the co behind Librem US based? If they’re imported I think it’s because they’re manufactured overseas, not for any legal reasons.

I don’t know of any manufacturers other than Huawei that are sanctioned, although I haven’t paid too much attention.

Their handsets have impressive camera setups, specifically the front-facing cams. Otherwise they’re just the standard slate form factor. IMHO they’re all way too large. Can check out the full range on GSM Arena - All Huawei phones (

ZTE was also sanctioned I believe–although I haven’t kept up with which sanctions were enforced and which have lapsed.

Since each country/region has slightly different rules about which frequencies can be used for what (and by whom) I would be concerned that a phone not meant to be used in a region is either going to cause interference or have sub-optimal operation. If the base wants it to hand-off to a new frequency and the phone isn’t able to use it because its hardware isn’t capable, then that is going to be a dropped call at minimum.