Most people seem happy with their experience, but not all. Having the right frequency capability for the network on your unlocked phone as listed in your phone specifications is far from being the whole story.

I have a Nokia 5130 purchased unlocked in Belgium (interestingly, it was illegal for service providers to sell locked phones in Belgium until about three years ago). It's a GSM quadband so should work perfectly in Canada. The reality is different: the reception quality is excellent in Belgium with a local provider SIM card (Proximus) and in New Zealand with a local provider SIM card (Vodaphone), and is poor in Canada with local provider SIM cards (both Fido and Speakout) - that's through a 4-year period with extensive times in each of these countries.

I just put my local provider Fido SIM card in a $50 Nokia C1 Fido-locked phone and bingo, the reception is very good. So, the Fido network service is fine with its own cheap phone, it's the unlocked Nokia 5130 that does not make a good connection with that network, although it has the band capability to do so.

I found one article that also mentions poor reception with unlocked phones, but without explaining it.
How to Make Your Signal Better on an Unlocked Phone |

I'd be interested to know the technical reasons for this problem so that I can know how well an unlocked phone will perform before I buy it or unlock it.

See More: Poor reception on unlocked phones not uncommon