Are you planning to shop for a new phone? Whenever you are looking for the cheapest smartphones, there are high chances you come across the term unlocked phone. What does it mean for a phone to be unlocked? How can you tell a phone is unlocked? Most importantly, what should you consider before buying an unlocked phone? Here is the answer to all these mind-blowing questions for seniors looking for new and good phones.
What is an Unlocked Phone?
An unlocked phone means a phone that is not tied to a carrier. It releases you to the bonds of a specific carrier network. For example, wireless carriers always sell the phone at discounts. They have to recover the losses, or else they cannot continue being in the business. They do this by locking the phone through a contract that can last up to a year. The phone stays locked to the carrier's network.
Therefore, buying a locked phone ties you to the carrier since you will not be able to jump networks without paying their bills. You will not also be able to sell the phone without first settling the payment. A locked phone will not accept sim cards from competing companies. You can only start using other sim cards after paying for the phone entirely and further making a formal request to allow you to use the other sim cards. You may also need to be sure about the conditions put for the phone to take other sim cards.
Additionally, you can get restrictions that apply to prepaid plans when you purchase a phone through wireless carriers. The new smartphones do not have a payment plan, and carriers will still need time to meet their financial investments before unlocking your phone. Some carriers provide dual sim that is locked too.
How to Know When a Phone is Unlocked
If you still pay monthly device payments to any carrier, then your phone is locked. You may have paid off the device and made a formal proposal to unlock your phone, but it may not have been successful. It is best to check if the phone is still locked. You can check your smartphones' status by removing your sim card and installing another sim card from a competing network to confirm the process was successful.
You can also check directly without using a different sim card. You will be required to know your IMEI number and follow this simple guideline:
- Use the code *#06# to get your IMEI number as a pop-up window and indicate it somewhere.
- Search for IMEI1 information online.
- Copy your IMEI number and enter it in the search box.
- Use the warranty & carrier button to check for information about your IMEI number.
There is another different way to check for users of iPhone and cellular iPad. Follow this simple guide:
- Go to your device settings.
- Go to cellular settings.
- Open the cellular data option.
- If it opens, then the phone is unlocked.
When you find that your phone is still locked and you had completed the payment, you will need to send a formal unlock request. Include the IMEI number, account number, social security number, phone number, and overseas deployment papers for complete submission to be processed. You will then receive a code to unlock your phone from your carrier. However, some carriers use mobile applications with a link to use and unlock your phone.
What to consider before buying an unlocked phone?
Always consider your budget before settling to buy an unlocked phone. Buying a locked phone is easier on your budget but restricts you from using some networks. You may also consider a dual sim that can take two sim cards simultaneously. You may consider a flip phone from a carrier that does not support two sim cards but are excellent and affordable.
Buying an unlocked phone directly may not also give you all the services from your carrier. Your flip phone may fail to do some activities easily as it would when you have connected and locked to the carrier's network. The cheapest way for seniors to get the best smartphones is to buy locked smartphones and unlock them.
Unlocked android cellphones are available. A carrier can unlock a phone on request and enable you to use it as much as possible. It would also be best to purchase an unlocked phone, giving you easy and reliable ways to use it without unlocking a phone. Choose a suitable cellphone from an assortment of smartphones.