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Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help #5425385 05/10/20 09:29 AM
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Sierra048 Offline OP
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It's past time for me and Mrs. Sierra048 to get some new cell phones. I've already narrowed down the phone we are getting with the help of my son. My question concerns "unlocked" phones. Up until the other day I had never heard of an "unlocked" phone. I've been a Verizon customer for the past 21 years and don't have any reason to change as I'm happy with their service and coverage. I also get discounted rates due to being a retiree of Verizon. We can definitely find much cheaper phones than what they offer so that is what we plan to do. The phone maker offers two types of phones; One is specifically for Verizon, one is an unlocked version for less money. Would an "unlocked" phone work just as well as the Verizon specific phone on the Verizon network? We mostly place/receive calls, text and use some useful apps. No movies, games, etc... Your opinions would be very helpful and appreciated..


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Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425390 05/10/20 09:35 AM
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Yes unlocked means you could use it with any LTE carrier to an extent, and it should have bloatware installed with the phone that usually come with a new phone.


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Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425391 05/10/20 09:37 AM
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I’d personally go for an unlocked phone as long as it has the right network connectivity. An unlocked phone gives you the flexibility to switch carriers with ease.


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Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425393 05/10/20 09:38 AM
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Hope you get a good deal at Verizon - they can be very expensive.

I would think under $70/month for two phones unlimited would be an O.K. cost

You usually unlock a current phone so you can use it on another plan like pay as you go.
Or use a phone that is not offered on a PaYG plan

I would calculate the 3-year total cost. with the features you want and use that a a decision driver.

Know that you will use you phone for GPS guidance in the car, Telephony and maybe Music and for Videography

This is all linked to the cars Information and Entertainment system by Bluetooth or a Tether

I use AT&T Cricket. $30 a month unlimited. The smartfone was free - and good.

Remember 5G is coming; don't buy technology that will be NG in 2 years.

Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 05/10/20 09:42 AM.

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Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425394 05/10/20 09:38 AM
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I have bought unlocked iPhones a few times … walked into the att store and watched them do a 20 minute setup.
Out the door … works the same to me …

I also carry a spare unlocked iPhone to go overseas …
much cheaper to buy an in country phone card, and works all over.

Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425396 05/10/20 09:42 AM
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If you like verizon and want to save money without the latest/greatest phone options, then you should look into Total wireless. Total rides on Verizon. We had been with verizon for many years simply because it was the only carrier you could get service with at our vacation place. We switched to total and coverage is still just as good as it rides the verizon network.

Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425426 05/10/20 10:17 AM
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I usually buy unlocked refurbished phones off Amazon for super cheap. Usually no bloatware. Usually no signs of wear. Currently we are running 2 Moto G6s and 2 Iphone 8s that we got this way


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Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425436 05/10/20 10:24 AM
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I moved around so much between wireless carries.. If you find one that works "great" stick with it. I have AT&T prepaid and find it works the best for the wife and myself.

Wife has the high end phone galaxy s9 I have a LG Phoenix 4 it's a $40 android phone and works flawlessly.

If you purchase an unlocked variant of a carrier specific device just make sure it supports the network you're on. Verizon is cdma/LTE

most lower end unlocked androids are for gsm networks like T-Mobile, AT&T, cricket and the other what they call mvno carriers. Also these cheap unlocked devices may not support all the latest network bands so cellular coverage and data speeds may not be the best compared to a carrier locked or specific device.

Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425453 05/10/20 10:41 AM
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What is Verizon's price on the Verizon version? Verizon does not lock the postpaid phones they sell from use on a different carrier.

The unlocked version may not fall back to Verizon's CDMA. There are a few places where the only usable Verizon signal is CDMA. Generally you will have the best use experience on a carrier with the carrier's version of the phone compared to a generic version or one from another carrier.

Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425475 05/10/20 11:04 AM
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Pretty much everything is VoLTE these days, Verizon is shutting down CDMA. On newer iPhones, unlocked ones are supposed to work on any LTE band depending on what SIM is installed, I've moved my Tracfone SIMs to other allegedly not unlocked ATT supplied iPhones & they've actually worked. If you're a Spectrum customer, Spectrum Mobile seems to have one of the best deals on unlimted talk, text, and data for $45/month, and they run on Verizon too.


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Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425484 05/10/20 11:12 AM
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locked just mean you can only use it on a particular carrier. usually its locked because they are financing it . once its paid off one can call them and ask them to remove the lock. when looking for a phone its best to find one that will work on all the major carriers . iphones, pixels , one plus and moto are ones that offer phones that work on all US carriers

example is you go to the verizon store and buy a phone there. you finance it . one year into the contract you decide you don't like verizon and want to go to ATT. So you get an ATT sim card and stick it into the verizon phone you financed. the phone , if locked , will not allow the use of the ATT sim. you have to pay it off and call them have have them release the lock , which is usually just a code one punches into the phone. once done you can then use it on any carrier the phone support.

you can lookup up online the bands a phone supports. then find the bands your carrier uses . if they match it should work


Last edited by WhyMe; 05/10/20 11:22 AM.
Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: thastinger] #5425500 05/10/20 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by thastinger
If you like verizon and want to save money without the latest/greatest phone options, then you should look into Total wireless. Total rides on Verizon. We had been with verizon for many years simply because it was the only carrier you could get service with at our vacation place. We switched to total and coverage is still just as good as it rides the verizon network.


Have you looked at Comcast's Xfinity Mobile? They allow you to bring your own phone now and they just charge $12 a month and that's unlimited calls and text and 1gb of data. Good if you don't use data much or can do wifi a lot of time. And they use the Verizon network.

As for locked vs unlocked, Verizon phones are automatically unlocked after 60 days so if it's cheaper to buy an unlocked phone, get the unlocked phone. All their phones used to be automatically unlocked.

https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Guides/verizon-unlocking-guide

Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: bullwinkle] #5425535 05/10/20 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bullwinkle
Pretty much everything is VoLTE these days, Verizon is shutting down CDMA. On newer iPhones, unlocked ones are supposed to work on any LTE band depending on what SIM is installed, I've moved my Tracfone SIMs to other allegedly not unlocked ATT supplied iPhones & they've actually worked. If you're a Spectrum customer, Spectrum Mobile seems to have one of the best deals on unlimted talk, text, and data for $45/month, and they run on Verizon too.


Heed bullwinke's advice. Verizon is one of the first carriers to shut down 3G CDMA. January 2020 was extended to December 2020, but they are already phasing out some 3G CDMA services:
https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/3g-hspa/verizon-delays-3g-network-shutdown/d/d-id/753147
https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-218813/

This advice would apply especially if you are buying a bargain unlocked phone on Ebay, etc.. They might imply that it will work on any Verizon network, but you need to verify this 4G LTE change carefully.

Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: Sierra048] #5425545 05/10/20 12:54 PM
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Verizon is required to unlock all their phones after sixty days.[url=]https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/26/18759602/verizon-60-day-phone-lock-fcc-approves[/url]
However that lock is in software/firmware. Some of Verizon's branded phones also have "cut down" hardware meaning they can't access all the bandwidth the other carriers use, but they can "somewhat" work if transferred. Which is why unlocked phones have a higher resale value.

Other carriers besides Verizon have no legal requirement to unlock their phones, it can be hit or miss whether a phone or device can be unlocked.

Last edited by Jethro_Bob; 05/10/20 12:56 PM.
Re: Going to Get New Cell Phones And Need Help [Re: ARCOgraphite] #5425563 05/10/20 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Remember 5G is coming; don't buy technology that will be NG in 2 years.


2 years? We don't even have good 4G coverage in many places yet. With all that's going on I wouldn't hold by breath for significant expansion. 3G is still fully functional with many carriers so why will 4G be no good in 2 years? Fear mongering based on false information?

https://www.androidcentral.com/heres-every-us-city-5g-coverage-right-now

Last edited by Trav; 05/10/20 01:28 PM.

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