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  1. #1
    tafkam
    tafkam is offline
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    HTC Inspire 4G
    Carrier
    T-Mobile
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    I have a few questions and I hope someone here can give me some advice as I am very confused about the whole locked/unlocked phone issue. I want to purchase an Android smartphone and use it as a prepaid phone kind of like I did with my old TracFone, I really liked NOT getting any kind of bill once a month.

    • Does any manufacturer (besides Apple) sell a smart phone that is unlocked?
    • For what I want to do (see below) should I get a carrier specific phone with no contract and then have them unlock it?
    • Why can’t I easily find a new unlocked phone with a warranty? I am not trying to do anything illegal or to try to trick the carrier or the manufacturer.
    • I keep reading that Google sells phones directly that are unlocked but maybe they stopped doing this?



    • My goal is to find a high end phone (right now it is the Galaxy S II) either from a retailer like Wal Mart where I would get a manufacturer’s warranty or someplace like eBay which would not come with a warranty but most have option for Square Trade 2 years for $80, plus no tax and that saves me a bit of money as well.


    I am planning on making a full price purchase of a smartphone and I am leaning towards the Samsung Galaxy S II for a couple of reasons, one of which is its large screen as I hope to get a phone with a minimum of 4.5 inch display.

    I am very confused with the whole idea of unlocked phones. I read somewhere that Google actually sells unlocked phones and that seemed like a safe bet but from what I can see they do not sell them directly.

    I see some on Amazon, and lots of other places but I don’t think they have a warranty. I see some on Ebay and I could get a two year Square Trade warranty for $80 and that is fine, although the strange part is if I buy a new one at Walmart then they charge over $100 for some reason.

    I also am a bit weary of how the phone was unlocked if it is new, was it done in an authorized way and if now, how would this affect me?

    Then there is the issue of International phone vs US phone, warranty issues, will this work with this carrier and little differences in model numbers.

    Is a phone unlocked by the manufacturer itself before any branding goes on it better than one from say, T-Mobile that they have unlocked? I have heard that the carrier unlocked ones are still locked a bit as far as the proprietary software frequencies it may have?

    My goal is to start out having a high end smart phone and only using it with pre-paid cards as I do not want to start any plan, even a no contract plan, with any type of monthly commitment. I am leaning towards T-Mobile and I talked to one of the customer service reps, and was told that if I purchased one of their phones without contract ( $570 at Wal Mart for the Galaxy S II) then they would unlock it after 40 days of activation.

    I was also told that I could just use the prepaid cards, say the $100 one that would give me 1000 minutes and or texts at one text charged as a minute. No data, but for a start this is fine with me.

    If I change my mind I can always go with one of their no contract monthly deals for data but for me, I usually have consistent access to wifi so I want to see how it goes with no data plan.

    I would love to just purchase a pre paid “data pack” ie a card for x amount of megabytes of data for x amount of money and it would not expire, just decrease as I use it until it is used up kind of like the minutes do, but I have not found a carrier where I could do this.

    Any help would be much appreciated. I am planning on spending around $600 (hopefully less if possible) and I don’t want to make a mistake and get the wrong phone.

    Thanks
    Mike


    See More: Unlocked: International vs US? Carrier Unlocked Vs Some guy on Ebay Unlocked? OEM Unlocked? HELP




  2. #2
    yippz
    yippz is offline
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    Posts
    2

    Re: Unlocked: International vs US? Carrier Unlocked Vs Some guy on Ebay Unlocked? OEM Unlocked? HELP

    Lots of good questions and hopefully I can provide some answers for you...

    • Does any manufacturer (besides Apple) sell a smart phone that is unlocked?

    - Yes. There are several companies that sell phones that arrive to you unlocked, and in this case meaning that they were never locked to a carrier. This way the phone arrives at your door
    brand new and factory fresh, and no one has had to 'unlock' or circumvent the phone before you got it. We call these 'commitment free' phones. There is no reason these days to purchase a phone
    that is locked to a carrier, unless that's your preference. Having the ability to add 2, 3 or 4 SIM cards to your phone and change them as you please is your right as well as use the phone worldwide with
    local SIM cards.

    • For what I want to do (see below) should I get a carrier specific phone with no contract and then have them unlock it?
    - There is no reason for you to do this unless you have chosen a specific phone from a specific carrier and are willing to pay for an unlocked version or wait until you 2 year contract is up.

    • Why can’t I easily find a new unlocked phone with a warranty? I am not trying to do anything illegal or to try to trick the carrier or the manufacturer.
    - Phones that are purchased unlocked and commitment free from a US company (I can't name names) will come with a full 1 year US warranty. Just be sure to check that the phone is purchased
    from a licensed dealer and that the warranty is valid. You can find smartphones and Android phones that are manufactured unlocked for $50-$200 depending on features, OS and screen size.

    • I keep reading that Google sells phones directly that are unlocked but maybe they stopped doing this?
    - Not sure on this, but a Google search may turn something up. When they did this in the past, the phones were in the $500+ range.

    As far as services, search this forum for companies like Puretalk (ATT) and Simple Mobile (T-Mobile) for great airtime/data deals and no contracts, deposits or credit issues.

    Hope this helps get you on your way to discovering the world of no commitment phones...
    Yippz.com - Unlocked GSM Multi-SIM Smartphones and Android Mobile Phones



  3. #3
    tafkam
    tafkam is offline
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    Cell Phone
    HTC Inspire 4G
    Carrier
    T-Mobile
    Posts
    3

    Re: Unlocked: International vs US? Carrier Unlocked Vs Some guy on Ebay Unlocked? OEM Unlocked? HELP

    Thank you very much for the into! My ultimate goal was to get a phone that were produced unlocked in the first place. You mention that there are places to get these? I have not found any so far.

    The phone I am more than likely going with is the Samsung Galaxy S 2 for T-Mobile, first because I do plan to start out with T-Mobile as the carrier (or one of the ones that use their network such as Walmart).
    Also, the T-Mobile version has a slightly larger screen than the ATT version. The T-Mobile version is a T-989.

    I have now ruled out eBay as they would come with no warranty even if new since they were not purchased from an authorized dealer, and if I got a square trade warranty that would not take effect until 45 days so if if failed then I am out of luck.

    So, I will now more than likely get one from Wal Mart or somewhere else that is authorized, and of course since I am paying full price and no contract T-Mobile will unlock it after a short time.

    OR I really would like to find one of these T-989s unlocked at the get go as you mention. I have searched the net and I have found nothing so far, any ideas?

    And, if I have to go with the T-Mobile locked one and then they unlock it, what it the difference, if any, to one that was never locked in the first place?

    Thanks again for any assistance I know more than I did before but am still pretty confused.



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