When purchasing a cell phone from a service provider, it most typically comes locked, meaning it is only compatible with the network of the service provider it was purchased from. Buying this style of phone can mean committing yourself to a longer deal, and generally makes it more difficult to change service providers while keeping your handset. However, an alternative these days is an unlocked phone. These are typically compatible with many cell phone service providers, and a great number of people prefer them for this. There are benefits to purchasing this style of phone and a number of options available for unlocked cell phone deals.
Where to Find Unlocked Cell Phones
When considering purchasing this style of handset there are a number of places to find unlocked cell phone deals. The internet can be a good option these days with a number of online retailers having unlocked phones for sale. Cell Hut is an example of this with deals on unlocked handsets from manufacturers such as Blackberry, Samsung and Nokia.Pure Mobile is another option and they have unlocked models from a range of top phone manufacturers, including Apple, HTC and Sony Ericsson. Other online retailers to consider include US Tronics and Cell 2 Get. For those that already have a locked cell phone there are also websites that offer instructions on how to unlock these, and local phone stores may also offer services for unlocking a phone. It is generally possible to unlock both types of cell phone, GSM phones which use a SIM card, as well as CDMA phones. However, in some cases they may be hard locked, which can mean that unlocking an existing phone is not possible.
Typical Plans Available
The reasons that most people purchase unlocked cell phones is to have a phone that can be switched between carriers if required, as well as avoiding the need to commit to a lengthy contract. Unlocked cell phone deals are typically pre-paid or pay-as-you-go plans, and there are a number of companies that offer these. Before buying an unlocked cell, it can be best to research the companies in your area that provide the best services with these plans, as this ensures that you can buy the correct type of phone which is compatible with the network. If you plan to move around a lot with the phone it is also worth checking the areas you will frequent to find the best service providers. Some of the best companies to look to for deals include Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Page Plus Cellular. These typically have decent coverage in many areas, although there are a number of other companies that offer more localized services in particular areas. A little research should find a plan for use with an unlocked phone that best suits your needs.
Benefits of Unlocked Phones
Unlocked cell phones can provide a number of benefits to the user and some of these include the following.
Ease of switching networks – The most obvious benefit of using unlocked phones is that it makes it a lot easier to switch networks when required. People can do this for a number of reasons ranging from a general lack of satisfaction with their existing provider, to moving to a new area for work or personal commitments. Having an unlocked phone simply means cancelling the existing service, which can generally be done for free as no contract is involved, and applying for a new service, while keeping the existing handset.
Flexibility – Many people can travel throughout the US and overseas due to business or personal commitments. Having an unlocked phone makes it easy to use the best service provider in the area they are travelling to. This can help cut costs and provide a more reliable connection than having to rely on a single service provider. This is especially so with unlocked GSM phones which is the predominant network type used overseas.
Residual Value – Many people look to update and change handsets for time to time and will try to sell their old phone. An unlocked phone generally holds its value better because it can be used with many service providers, and is therefore more in demand from a greater number of potential buyers.
Unlocked phones can be an attractive option for many people, and for the benefits they provide they can be a good choice of phone. There are plenty of options for unlocked cell phone deals these days, and a with a little shopping around you should be able to find a phone and plan that suits your needs and the budget you have available.