You picked the phone you want to buy, but the decision-making process is far from over. A great choice is whether to buy. For many people, there is a great deal of confusion about how unlocked phones work and what benefits they offer. To guide you through the world of unlocked phones, we answer some of the most common questions and dispel some myths.
What is an unlocked phone?
An unlocked phone is not tied to a specific telephone service provider and can be used on any mobile service provider. That means:
• You have more models of mobile phones to choose from than what the mobile operators offer
• You can easily use international SIM cards while traveling
• You can change carriers without penalty  • Since it's unlocked, it usually has a higher resale value
The caveat is that you may not get all the networking features like Wi-Fi calls or HD voice and the network operator does not guarantee the voice or data network is perfect work on your phone. In other words, you are on your own.
In what ways can I buy a new phone?
There are three options:
Phone manufacturers and retailers sell both unlocked phones and locked carrier phones. For example, Apple sells an unlocked version of its ($ 700 at Amazon.com) and locked versions for various carriers.but it also sells models tied to AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. Best Buy sells an unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S9
How are phones tied to a carrier?
The short answer is software. Phones that are tied to a specific mobile service provider are blocked by carrier software. An unlocked phone does not have this software.
But do not worry, theallows you to unlock your phone once you have fully paid and completed contracts or agreements
What is the difference between an unlocked one Phone and a universal model?
An unlocked phone is a phone that is not tied to a specific carrier, while a universal phone is not tied to a particular network. 19659007] In many cases, phones are both unlocked and universally applicable.
Smartphones are designed to work on either GSM or CDMA telephone networks – think of AM or FM radio. For example, here in the US, AT & T and T-Mobile are GSM networks, while Sprint and Verizon use CDMA. A universal telephone can be used in any of these networks.
For years, unlocked phones were almost exclusively GSM. But lately more smartphones are universal, like the iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 and Moto G6. If in doubt, always check with the manufacturer of the mobile phone or your mobile service provider
Is it cheaper to buy a phone from my mobile service provider or phone manufacturer?
It costs the same. For example, a brand new 64GB iPhone X is $ 999 from Apple and the makers. Of course, this does not include sales or promotions.
Are all phone models sold through phone manufacturers and mobile service providers?
No. Some brands, such as Moto and Huawei, sell cell phones only from their websites or through retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. It's the same deal with Google's Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. If you want to buy it directly from a carrier, you have a choice: Verizon. But Google's online store also sells an unlocked version that works on AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The big advantage here is that buying an unlocked model from a cellphone manufacturer will typically provide access to a wider variety of cell phone models compared to the smaller selection of handsets that carriers typically offer.
If I buy a phone unlocked, can I really use it on every vehicle?
Yes and no. For example, if you buy a Google Pixel 2 directly from Google, it's unlocked and can be used on any major mobile service provider by simply inserting a SIM card in it. However, if you purchased adirectly from OnePlus, it is also unlocked, but it can only be used in GSM networks such as AT & T and T-Mobile in the US – it does not support Sprint or Verizon network bands.
The four major mobile carriers each have Bring Your Own Phone pages (BYOP), where you can check the device you want to use on a mobile service provider. Back to this OnePlus 6, when I checked its credentials on Verizon's BYOP page, it let me know that the OnePlus 6 was not compatible with its network.
If I buy a phone online and bring it to my vehicle, does it really cost the same as it buys directly from a vehicle?
That really does.
What if I can not afford the full cost of the phone?
Many people prefer to finance a new phone instead of paying the full price for it. Phone manufacturers and telephone service providers offer promotional credit plans to cover the price of your phone. Remember that this financing is in addition to what you pay monthly to a telephone company for a data plan.
Does financing cost more in the long run?
That depends on your credit. Telephone manufacturers and large network operators offer loan financing with an interest rate of 0 percent (usually over 24 months). Obviously, if your credit is not good, your interest rate will be higher and you in turn will pay more for your phone. It's worth noting that some loan offerings require a cash deposit in addition to financing the cost of your phone – all this depends on your credit history.
What if I commit to a plan like Apple's iPhone Upgrade Plan? 19659006] The iPhone Upgrade Plan is a great option for anyone who wants both an iPhone and AppleCare +. A 64GB iPhone X ($ 999) and AppleCare + ($ 199) cost $ 1,198. The upgrade plan offers 24-month financing for $ 41.91 / month ($ 1,198 for two years).
Apple lets you upgrade to a new iPhone in as little as six months – you only pay half the cost of the phone Replace it in Apple.
Remember, the phone is unlocked but must be activated in an Apple Store on one for the four main carriers. Also, the financial payment you make to Apple will be in addition to the cost of a monthly data plan. AppleCare + has additional fees if you actually use it: a $ 29 charge for screen damage and a $ 99 charge for other damages.
As soon as I buy a phone directly, how do I activate it on the carrier?
Go to the BYOP page of the mobile service provider to check the compatibility of your new phone with the mobile operator's network, ideally before you buy the phone. If things are compatible, you will be asked to choose a data plan.
Here are links to the BYOP pages of the four major airlines in the US:
What is this activation fee that the carriers charge me? ] All mobile service providers (except T-Mobile) charge you a one-time fee to activate a new phone or other device on their network. AT & T charges $ 25, Verizon and Sprint $ 30. T-Mobile has no activation fee, even though the carrier charges $ 25 for a SIM card kit.
How should I remember all this?
The good news is that you do not have to. You should know that there are no financial benefits to buying a phone from a manufacturer or from a wireless service provider – locked or unlocked. The real benefit of buying a phone from a carrier is the convenience of doing it all at once. While the benefits of an unlocked phone are that you can tell more which carriers you want to use, as well as a wider choice of phone models.