So me and the wife are going to India and are thinking maybe we should pick up two mobile phones before going over. I was contemplating buying them once I got there but I want to be able to:

  • Enter in contacts
  • Setup email accounts

Before I left. I basically want to buy two relatively cheap phones here in Canada and then get to India where I can get two SIMs. I saw the question posted here on SIMs in India and I will have the requisite documentation to purchase one. I speak Hindi fluently so I think that should help as well.

Could you folks kindly recommend which phone to buy that would work in India with 2G/3G (was looking at Asha 210 - love physical keyboards) and where could I get one in Canada (shipped I assume).

  • Why you are buying from canada? You can have lots of option in india. Even this will cost you less
    – Jagz W
    Oct 7 '13 at 9:51

It will probably be cheaper (and more fun) to buy an unlocked phone in India, and you'll have many options for phones which will synchronize with your computer or online accounts to load up your contacts. I bought an unlocked iphone 3gs for $400 there in 2011 (which was cheaper than in the US for the same phone at that time). There are also many Android, Windows OS, or Symbian OS phone options. I've also travelled to india bringing my own unlocked GSM phone, and getting a SIM card is easily done (although if you go to an official BNSL shop you may need your passport and papers from your hotel/residence to prove your address); SIM cards from street vendors is easiest.


Before you buy the phone, you should make sure:

  1. That it works with the appropriate frequency band, see e.g. this list. It seems that the default GSM frequencies in India are different than in Canada, so make sure your handset works with the Indian ones as well
  2. Make sure it comes without a SIM-lock

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