Unlocked Phones : Everything You Need to Know

March 4, 2019

Confused About Unlocked Phones? Read This!

More and more people around the world are having their phones unlocked. Studies have shown that revenue generated from unlocking phones hit millions of dollars every year. This is despite some countries such as the United States putting legal limitations on it.

Nonetheless, most people don’t understand the difference between locked and unlocked phones, but they will simply go for the latter because they have heard that it comes in handy with a host of cost-related benefits. If you are one of them, you need not to worry. Keep reading this post to the end, and you will learn all you need to know about unlocked phones.

Locked Phones vs. Unlocked phones

Essentially, locked phones are those sold by a wireless carrier, and they can only be used on their network. On the other hand, unlocked phones are not carrier-specific, which means you can use them on the network of your choice. However, you need to note that even though unlocked phones can virtually function on any network, there are limitations that restrict their use, which is different based on the country you are in. You should, therefore, endeavour to know them before using such phones.


Why should I unlock my phone?

Some blogs and sites will discourage you from unlocking your phone, mainly because it could be illegal in your country. Nonetheless, this is a noble undertaking that drags along a myriad of benefits which include;

Carrier choice- with an unlocked phone, you don’t have to stick to a specific wireless carrier. Even if you have one of the highest rated locked phones in the world, you have no option when it comes to selecting a carrier. You have to stick with one network provider, and this can prove to be an expensive and stressful venture. Luckily, you can save yourself from this ‘slavery’ by simply unlocking your phone and using a carrier who will offer you with utmost convenience and complement with your budget plan.

Less costly- well, we cannot shun away from the fact that unlocking a mobile phone is not cheap. You need to part with a few hundred bucks, but the cost-effectiveness that will come with it in the long-run will be worth every dime. Look – you will not be locked in one contract, which means that you can hop to the cheapest carrier you want at any time. If you can afford the initial price of buying an already unlocked gadget, or you can unlock yours, go for it. You will be delighted to realize how cheap it will be in the long run.

No contract– by choosing to unlock your phone, it means that you will present yourself with a perfect opportunity to run away from any contracts, which can be awful at times. You will use a carrier who comes with the best offer for you and drop him whenever you find a better offer.

Ideal for travelling abroad- if you travel abroad for business or leisure frequently, an unlocked phone is one thing that you cannot take for granted. This is because you can easily swap SIMs and use one that is most ideal for every destination you go to.

Resale value- at some point, you will need to sell your phone and buy one that will fit your future needs, and conform to the trends that will be set at that time. If you want a gadget that will attract potential buyers, and give you value for your investment, buy an unlocked phone today.  This is because buyers will be sure that they can use the phone with the network of their choice.

Additionally, locked phones have a wider market than their locked counterparts because they can be bought by people located in different timelines, considering that they don’t have limitations on carriers that can be used.


Are there any dangers of unlocking mobile phones?

Nothing good comes without a dark side, and unlocking mobile phones is not an exception. Below are some of the disadvantages of this vice.

Hefty price tag- to buy an unlocked phone, you will need to dig deeper into your pockets than when going for a locked phone. Nevertheless, you need to note that it will be less expensive in the long-run as aforementioned earlier in this article. Therefore, if you can buy an unlocked phone, do it now because you will see value for your money in no time.

Illegality- unlocking phones can be illegal in some countries, and people are only allowed to do so if they get permission from their carriers. Therefore, before you unlock your phone, make sure you have checked what the law says about it. However, you need to know that this law doesn’t prohibit you from unlocking or buying an unlocked phone!


How to know if your phone is unlocked

In case you are presented with two gadgets, and you are told that one is locked and the other is unlocked, what can you do to differentiate the two? Below are some things you need to do:


  • Check the model number


The model number is mostly found at the back of the gadget. Simply remove the back plate, locate the number, and do an online search.  This will reveal whether the phone was sold as locked or unlocked.


  • Look for branding


Locked phones are mostly sold by the wireless carrier, and contains the logo of the carrier, as well as that of the manufacturing company. Therefore, if you notice that one of the phones you are holding has these details, treat it as a locked phone from the outset because an unlocked one will not have these details.


  • Check if it’s dual sim


If a phone has two sim slots, it is specially designed to run both GSM and CDMA network, which shows that it can connect to different networks by multiple wireless carriers. This is proof that it was sold as an unlocked gadget.


  • Try a different sim


This is the best way to find out if a phone that was initially bought as locked is unlocked. Simply remove the carrier’s sim and replace it with a Sim from a different carrier. If it works, then know that it is an unlocked gadget, if it doesn’t connect, you will need to unlock the gadget or continue using the specific carrier.


Take Home Point

Today, it is possible to unlock mobile phones thanks to the advancement of software that is readily available and easy to use. However, you need to know that smartphone manufacturers are selling unlocked products. Apple, for example, has a number of unlocked iPhone, which cost much more than locked ones. However, despite the hefty upfront price of unlocked phones, they will always remain the best and most affordable gadgets in the long run that money can buy.

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