Unlocked phones can be smartphones that don’t require a contract to work. They don’t come pre-installed with carrier software so that you can use all GSM networks without any problems. Unlocked handsets are able to be used with international SIM cards, unlike locked devices. An unlocked phone may not have HD voice, which is the only problem.
It is not unusual for customers to ask their provider for unlocking their smartphone. Most carriers won’t oblige. Unlocked phones are not made in the United States by many manufacturers. Fortunately, there is a handful of MVNOs in the US that offer the same service at a fraction the cost.
For those with a love of traveling, an unlocked phone is a dream come true. This handset can be activated on any GSM network worldwide and allows you to make calls, listen to music, and even watch videos on the move. In fact, if you are a light user, you might not even need all that much space.
An unlocked phone can also save you a few bucks, since you can avoid roaming charges. And, if you are a light user, a 32GB storage capacity might be all you need. SIM cards can be purchased separately and should fit in your unlocked smartphone. If you are a heavy-user, you may need more storage.
Another advantage to an unlocked phone? You can get a great deal when you buy a new one. Many carriers, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, offer some type of discount when you buy a new device. Also, there are trade-in offers for old phones, so you can often find a great deal on a new smartphone.
Amazon has some of the best deals. Amazon’s “unlocked cell phone” section is a great place for starting. The site’s filtering tools allow you to narrow down your search by brand and features. You don’t have to spend a lot on a cell phone. Instead, search for “unlock Samsung Galaxy S” or “unlocked iPhones”.
There are other online retailers, but you’ll probably have the best luck by browsing the brick and mortar stores. B&H, Walmart and Best Buy all carry unlocked cell phones. You can also find a great deal on a new phone on eBay.
Of course, you may still be stuck with your current carrier. That’s why it’s always good to shop around for a new phone. A new phone might mean that you have to switch to a new plan or carrier. You can often find an unlocked phone for less than what your carrier charges if you have a tight budget. You will likely use your phone more often if it isn’t locked to one carrier.