So you want to buy a new cell phone right, but you’re struggling to know what to buy? That can be a problem that a lot of people run into. Some of the terminology that’s throw around can be pretty hard to understand as well. Let’s take an unlocked cell phone for example, what the heck is that? For those that are unfamiliar with cell phones, knowing the difference between locked and unlocked phones just isn’t common knowledge, so it can have you a bit confused when you’re shopping and you’re looking to buy something. That’s why you want to know what you’re actually buying beforehand, so that you can make more of an informed decision about your purchase.
But why is it so vital that you know what unlocked cell phones are versus their tied down counterparts? Well for one thing the price that you can end up paying is pretty different. But also the confusion that you can have when buying unlocked if you’re really not prepared can be pretty severe, so it’s important that you do your research. Here’s what you need to know, and some of the most important facts about your future purchase that you have to bear in mind, before you actually come to a final decision:
1) Just what is the difference between locked and unlocked anyway?
You’ll find that there can be a few differences really, but some of the factors that you will find are different include the actual way that the phone works. Your traditional locked cell phone is different in a few ways, but what these actually are, are phones that are tied down to a particular wireless network. You see all cellular phones require the use of a SIM card, and this is what frees them up for the network, and stores things like access codes as well as your telephone number at the same time.
However, a problem that many people have with this, is that it means some phones can only be used with that wireless company, and that’s a problem if you have a locked Verizon phone and you want to switch to Sprint. However that’s what unlocked models are for. With an unlocked phone you’ll find that you’re capable of signing up anywhere, as they can assign and program the SIM card for you. This means unlocked cell phones can be bought from anywhere, and then used on any network you choose so long as they are compatible.
2) Which is easier to use?
You’ll find that the edge goes to locked here, as they are available for use right out of the box. As soon as you get them, they’re ready to start making calls once you have an account with the wireless provider of your choice. However with unlocked cell phones you have to think about what type of frequency they operate on so that you can choose the right compatible provider. But then you also have to actually get the phone registered and signed up with them, etc, before you can even send a text message.
3) However, unlocked phones are infinitely more customizable.
But the major advantage of a phone that’s been unlocked is that you can do just about anything with them. Beyond just choosing your network, you can actually program them in different ways as well. Let’s say that you want to have two phone numbers hooked up to one phone, you can do this with unlocked models by assigning dual SIM cards. That and more can be yours when you buy unlocked Verizon cell phones, and you can even put the same phone on two different networks for service as well.
4) But price can be another point that’s pretty varied.
When it comes time to buy unlocked cell phones, you’re going to find that what you have to pay is another area of difference. With locked phones usually you get a discounted rate when buying them with contract, or you can even get them for free when you buy them as a part of a longer contract. But with unlocked phones you typically end up paying more than what they would cost at normal market value, which is a bit of a pain.