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Pros & Cons of an Unlocked Phone

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by bartelsse, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. bartelsse

    bartelsse Junior Member
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    I am looking for the Pros & Cons of using an unlocked phone such as the Nokia E71 on the AT&T or the T-Mobile Network.
     
  2. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    You are not bound to any network. If you're visiting a foreign country you can get a cheap prepaid account and not use expensive roaming on your own network.

    If at some future point you wish to sell your phone because you got a replacement an unlocked phone will always bring more money than one locked to just one network.

    One thing to remember though is that unlocking a phone only allows you to use the voice network. Any data settings that are hard coded into the phone can only be changed by flashing the phone. Also remember that at least for 3G networks all phones are not compatible with all networks. AT&T and T-Mobile use different bands for 3G and also US 3G may not be compatible with 3G used in Europe or Asia.
     
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  3. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Hello bartelsse, I am presuming you mean an unlocked and unbranded phone right off the manufacturer's web site, right?

    I am a big believer in unlocked and unbranded devices, they don't have any of providers'd junk on them and the provider does not cripple any of the functions.

    If you are talking about the E71 in particular, then it is a 850/1900 3G, which would mean you can only avail AT&T 3G and not T-Mobile 3G(1700). If you have an AT&T 3G SIM all you need to do is insert it and the device automatically cofigures all the access points and you are ready to go.

    The only disadvantage can be is, if you have a problem within the warranty period a provider would send you a replacement phone and then you send yours back. Whereas with an unbranded phone, beyond the 15 or 30 day return period you may need to send it back for repair and be without a phone for 1-3 weeks.

    For me the pros outweigh the cons. I would say go for it. :)
     
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  4. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    If you don't need the carrier's proprietary features, like the AT&T Mall, then there are no cons
     
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  5. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    An advantage of GSM is that you can just take the SIM from your phone and put it in another phone and you have service. So, saving a phone for emergency use is always good.
     
  6. bartelsse

    bartelsse Junior Member
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    Thanks everybody for the responses they all have been helpful
     
  7. bartelsse

    bartelsse Junior Member
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    What are the reputable dealers of unlocked GSM devices/phones?
     
  8. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    I've bought my phones from Amazon, but they are not the only ones. Tiger Direct is pretty good as well. However you may've noticed that Charlyee mentioned buying directly from the manufacturer. Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, Palm all sell unlocked and unbranded versions of their phones. When you buy from some third party, like Amazon you may be getting an imported variant of a model that will not be covered by the warranty in the US and may even not be repared by their service at all. If the warranty is important to you, make sure you're buying a US model or buy from the manufacturer directly — that way you'll always know should something happen you won't need to go looking for some repair shop to take care of your broken phone.
     
  9. bartelsse

    bartelsse Junior Member
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    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. bartelsse

    bartelsse Junior Member
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  11. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    As dmapr pointed out, the US warranty issue is something to keep in mind, if you buy from someone other than the provider.

    As for eXpansysUSA, they appear to be okay. I have bought spare parts for my Nokia 6230 from them. I know viewfly got his Nokia 6131 from them and he did not have any complaints.
     
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  12. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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  13. hme83

    hme83 Bronze Senior Member
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    I don't know how they compare with the eXpansys USA offer, but I purchased my Nokia E70-2 about a year ago from ElecLifestyle. They are an eBay dealer and they also have an independent website - which is where I actually purchased from, although I found out about them on eBay.

    I was a little uncomfortable spending that much money with someone I knew nothing about, and I had some questions about the phone listing anyway, so I called them - just to chat and see what my gut told me. lol. Obviously I could still have been fooled, but their accessibility and the responses to my questions really helped ease my mind. Everything with the transaction went smoothly, and I couldn't have been more pleased by the purchase when my phone arrived. :)

    If you are specifically interested in having full 3G access in the US and go with the E71 - make sure you get an E71-2. It is the North American version with both 850/1900 mhz 3G frequencies, although as Charlyee pointed out - it will only have GSM access on T-Mobile's network (not 3G). And be careful when dealing with these third party resources to double check and ask questions re: the specific model you are purchasing. Unfortunately there are geographical variants that all have the same basic model number.
     
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  14. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    I agree that some unlocked phones also need to be unbranded for better results.

    I just unlocked my RAZR v3 from T-Mobile so my mom can use it with at&t. There is so much crapware preinstalled on it and T-Mobile completely blocks your ability to modify the web browser settings.

    I was able to push updates from the Moto site to fix the SMS settings. MMS is really hit or miss on the thing.

    But I'll have to mod the device to be able to manually enter the default web browser settings to use with AT&T. Kind of a pain if you ask me. :)

    It's probably best to buy the phone unbranded/unlocked from the start if you can help it.
     
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