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Old 01-13-2020, 05:54 PM   #1
jluv
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Default Should I Buy an Unlocked Phone?

Been using a company-provided phone and plan (Verizon) for several years, so I am pretty clueless on how it all works. The company I work for no longer provides us equipment, but they will continue to take care of the monthly service if I have a phone (for now). At some point, it's very possible that they may stop providing the service, too. If/when that happens, and I have to get my own service, I want to be able to explore my options (will most likely be either AT&T or Verizon, since those are the two that work well where I live).

My current phone (iPhone 6s) has been dropped, drowned, left in the snow, and is finally taking a dump. I want to replace it with iPhone 11 Pro Max. (I know lots of people prefer Android or whatever, but please save that for a different thread.)

Got a few questions:

If I buy an "unlocked" phone, will I be able to use it on Verizon for now, and then potentially switch it to AT&T later on without any hassle? Is it more complicated than that? Is there any reason not to get an unlocked phone? Do the cell phone companies still make you sign a long contract even if you are providing your own phone?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:58 PM   #2
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You can take your unlocked phone to any carrier whose bands it supports, so pretty much any US carrier. Not sure about ATT/VZW, I don't think there will be a contract in effect, but don't quote me for them as I'm not 100% sure.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluv View Post
Been using a company-provided phone and plan (Verizon) for several years, so I am pretty clueless on how it all works. The company I work for no longer provides us equipment, but they will continue to take care of the monthly service if I have a phone (for now). At some point, it's very possible that they may stop providing the service, too. If/when that happens, and I have to get my own service, I want to be able to explore my options (will most likely be either AT&T or Verizon, since those are the two that work well where I live).

My current phone (iPhone 6s) has been dropped, drowned, left in the snow, and is finally taking a dump. I want to replace it with iPhone 11 Pro Max. (I know lots of people prefer Android or whatever, but please save that for a different thread.)

Got a few questions:

If I buy an "unlocked" phone, will I be able to use it on Verizon for now, and then potentially switch it to AT&T later on without any hassle? Is it more complicated than that? Is there any reason not to get an unlocked phone? Do the cell phone companies still make you sign a long contract even if you are providing your own phone?

Thanks in advance!
Iím fairly certain Verizon phones can be used on any network
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:20 PM   #4
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The past two phones I bought for my wife and myself have been unlocked(either from best buy or from Samsung). I mostly did this because she was with Sprint and once her contract was up, I wanted to move her onto my ATT plan.

Switching to the unlocked phone on sprint was a little goofy(had to go to a store to bring it online). Once she was on my ATT, we just installed the ATT SIM card and it hopped on their network. When upgraded(again to unlocked phones) we just moved the SIM.

One of the nice things about the unlocked phones is they don't have some of the carrier "forced" apps installed(the ones you can't uninstall or disable).
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71chevellejohn View Post
The past two phones I bought for my wife and myself have been unlocked(either from best buy or from Samsung). I mostly did this because she was with Sprint and once her contract was up, I wanted to move her onto my ATT plan.

Switching to the unlocked phone on sprint was a little goofy(had to go to a store to bring it online). Once she was on my ATT, we just installed the ATT SIM card and it hopped on their network. When upgraded(again to unlocked phones) we just moved the SIM.

One of the nice things about the unlocked phones is they don't have some of the carrier "forced" apps installed(the ones you can't uninstall or disable).
Did you have to sign contracts when you had your own device going in?
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:24 PM   #6
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I went through this a few years ago with one of the lines on our Verizon Family Plan. We bought an unlocked iPhone SE from Walmart. I did a ton of research and from what I gathered then, what ever carrier's sim you first insert, it then becomes locked to that carrier.

But not all carriers are the same. If you decide to go with Verizon it'll stay unlocked

Not sure why you would go to all that trouble. Phones are expensive and unlocked phones even more so considering you have to buy it outright in one transaction. I would just wait until a carrier offers a deal on the phone you want and sign a 2yr contract

Whatever you decide make sure you get this phone case:
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hxbernal View Post
I went through this a few years ago with one of the lines on our Verizon Family Plan. We bought an unlocked iPhone SE from Walmart. I did a ton of research and from what I gathered then, what ever carrier's sim you first insert, it then becomes locked to that carrier.

But not all carriers are the same. If you decide to go with Verizon it'll stay unlocked

Not sure why you would go to all that trouble. Phones are expensive and unlocked phones even more so considering you have to buy it outright in one transaction. I would just wait until a carrier offers a deal on the phone you want and sign a 2yr contract
From what I’m seeing so far, the price of the phone isn’t any different if I buy it up front vs doing installments with a carrier. Used to be that way, but it has apparently changed. I’m hoping that by buying it up front, I can avoid a contract altogether. As mentioned, I need to go with Verizon to start, because the service is being provided for me by the company I work for. But, that may not last much longer, and I want the ability to take the phone and sign up with a different carrier, and then if they end up being shitty, I want the ability to change without hassle.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:19 AM   #8
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I bought an unlocked Galaxy S10 for my side business. It’s my understanding it will work for any carrier, but I have not chosen a provider yet. Looking at AT&T, Verizon, and T Mobile.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:14 PM   #9
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Bought one of my kiddos an unlocked samsung off amazon and a microSIM from straight talk wireless.. (No contract 35.00/mo 3 GB data, unlimited everything- working great. Could have went with ATT with the same type bring your own device SIM, but too $$$. An unlocked phone can be moved to another carrier that supports the band as others have stated..
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:02 AM   #10
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i believe all Verizon phones are gsm unlocked to begin with! slap a card in it and go
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:12 PM   #11
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Being fed up with samsung I need to find a phone that will let me install lineage OS
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:44 AM   #12
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Picked up one last night from Best Buy. Was pretty simple to switch things over, and Iím using it on Verizon through my work account for now. They confirmed that I can indeed use it on any carrier anywhere, and that I should be able to switch around/cancel as needed without any contracts or cancellation fees. Sweet!
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