Unlocked Phones

Purchasing Unlocked Phones

Unlocked cell phones offer flexibility as well as long-term cost savings. In contrast to phones that are tethered to work on a specific network, these phones can work on any carrier's network. This opens up money saving opportunities as well as convenience.

Purchasing Considerations

Consumers should consider the following if they are in the market for an unlocked phone:

  • You are not bound to one network provider When you purchase a phone from Verizon, for example, you are bound to the plans and network that they offer. With a phone that is not purchased through a carrier, it is easy to switch between networks and pick the plan and cost that is right for you.
  • International Travel Wherever you are in the world, an unlocked cell phone will not only have service, but it will be the local service in the area you are. Instead of being charged a large amount of money for roaming by a carrier, you can simply purchase a SIM card locally and be able to talk and text freely.
  • No More Unwanted Software When you purchase a phone from a carrier, they always load their specific applications on that phone that take up precious resources like space and memory. An unlocked phone does not come with any installed applications except for the basic software included in the phones' operating system.

How an Unlocked Cell Phone Works

When you buy a cell phone that is not tied to a particular carrier, you will need to also buy a SIM card from the carrier of your choice. SIM cards are small chips that the carrier uses to provide service to your phone. The SIM Card can also store data from your phone. SIM cards are completely interchangeable. You can take the SIM card out of the old phone and install it in your new phone. SIM cards can vary in size from one device to another. If this is something that you run into, you will have to buy a new SIM card that fits the device.

Popular Unlocked Phones

Not all cell phones with work with all the carriers. You will need to research online and ask questions in the store about which phones work with which carriers.

A few of the most popular phones include:

  • Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL
  • LG G6
  • Moto Z
  • Moto G Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge
  • OnePlus 3T

Top 5 Routes for "Unlocked Phones"

  1. PCMag.com This website offers many different reviews and articles on cell phones. They also do a good job on comparing cell phones.
  2. DigitalTrends.com This website is also a great source if you want to find out about a specific cell phone or compare a group of cell phones. The reviews on the site are comprehensive yet easy to read for a non-technical person. The website also has a 'Deals' link that will find deals on all things tech.
  3. Cnet.com CNet has been around for a long time. They are innovators when it comes to reviews and comparisons of gadgets. The site contains many 'how-to's' that go into great detail as far as setting up devices and fixing issues that you may have with your devices. The website is also a repository for downloading software that is very helpful if you are looking for utilites for your phone, computer, or tablet.
  4. Android Central Although this website only talks about android devices, it has great content about cell phones. If you are an iPhone holdout, or if you just prefer android phones, this is the site for you. Like the other site mentioned above, the site contains articles and lists with a lot of good information that will help you decide which android phone is right for you.
  5. Tom's Guide While this site does not concentrate nearly as much on cell phones as some of the others do, it is included because of the depth of their reviews and comparisons. They are very thorough on all of the technology that they review and compare.

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