When looking for a used cell phone, it might be tempting to overlook cell phones that are not with your carrier, or unlocked cell phones. For those who are unfamiliar with an unlocked cell phone and what that means, you probably have a lot of questions regarding unlocked cell phones for sale. Below we’ve outlined some of the most commonly asked questions to help you understand unlocked phones and why you should consider buying one for your next cell phone purchase!
What is an unlocked cell phone?
A cell phone that is unlocked is a phone that is not restricted to a certain carrier’s network. This means that it will work with more than one service provider. Most cell phones are tied to certain carriers, meaning that in order for the phone to work, you must be signed up for services from that provider.
I’ve purchased an unlocked phone. Now what?
If you’ve purchased an unlocked cell phone, you’ll need a SIM (subscriber identity module) in order to get service. A SIM, sometimes referred to as a SIM card, is a small card that is inserted into the phone, which will provide the phone with its phone number, voice, and data service. With the SIM card from your carrier installed in your unlocked phone, you are good to use your phone as you would any other phone.
Will my unlocked phone work with my carrier?
Before you purchase an unlocked phone, it is important to know which frequency band your service provider uses. In the U.S., AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM network, along with various prepaid carriers, while Verizon, Sprint, and other prepaid carriers use the CDMA network. Make sure that the unlocked phone that you are considering purchasing works on the same network type and brands as your desired carrier. This is especially important if you plan to use your phone internationally, because different bands are used in different parts of the world.
What is an international version of a phone?
An international phone is a phone that was manufactured for use outside of the U.S. Generally, these same phones are available from your carrier, but may differ in settings, software, packaging, language on the packaging, and documentation. Some international models may be designed to work on a frequency band that is not used by U.S. phone carriers. If you are considering purchasing an international phone, be sure to check and make sure that it will work on the same bands as your desired phone carrier’s network.
What is the difference between carrier unlocked vs. factory unlocked?
Many unlocked cell phones are unlocked prior to leaving the factory. These phones are known as “factory unlocked” phones. These phones are ready to go, and will be compatible with the phone carrier of your choice. Other phones that are locked when they leave the factory and are later unlocked by the carrier, distributor or seller, are known as “carrier unlocked”. In order for a phone to be unlocked by a carrier, it requires a code to be entered, which is provided by the original carrier. For phones that are carrier unlocked, the packaging is generally opened in order for the code to be entered to unlock the phone. These phones will generally have the logo of the original carrier on the phone, even though it might not necessarily be with that carrier anymore.
We hope that this guide has been useful and that you will better understand how unlocked cell phones work. If you are looking to purchase a quality unlocked cell phone, Green Cells has a wide selection of new and used cell phones available. You’ll be able to find the right unlocked cell phone for you! Check out our selection today!