An unlocked cell phone is like gold in this era, so consumers who are lucky enough to get one should make sure they can make the most of it. There are a few tricks of the trade when it comes to unlocked cell phones and they’re not always automatically a breeze to use. Don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed with the process. Here are 5 simple tips for folks with unlocked phones.
1. Be Wary of Warranties
There are many ways to unlock a cell phone and many of them aren’t–well, really legal. Unlocking a phone without a carrier’s permission can automatically void any warranties. This is well worth it for many people, but it’s something to bear in mind. If a warranty is very important to a user, it’s best to find a legal avenue for unlocking a phone or choose a locked option. Few people can have the best of both worlds.
2. It Doesn’t Work (Right Away)
The only thing that an unlocked phone can do right away is make calls–after a SIM card is inserted. However, web browsing, data, messages and apps might all seem to be broken. The phone needs to be programmed with multimedia settings and data as prescribed by the carrier. This can be tricky, so non-tech-savvy people should take it in for a flawless transaction.
3. Band Matters
There might be a great deal on the latest unlocked smartphone, but don’t buy it without checking the band first. In North America, phones need to be either 900 or 1800 bands in order to work. Check the technical specs of the phone for the band and don’t bother buying one that’s different than 900 or 1800. Other bands work in different countries, and sometimes people try to sell these high-tech (and non-US working phones) for a quick profit.
4. It’s a Risk
Sometimes unlocking a phone without permission does a lot more than negate warranties. It can render a smartphone completely inoperable, and there’s no telling which carriers or phones might be impacted. However, recently it was Apple who put the stop on unlocked phones simply by issuing a service update.
5. What About Looks?
If a user is familiar with how the locked phone’s screen and menu look, keep in mind that it may appear differently on an unlocked phone. However, this is merely a matter of looks and shouldn’t make a difference. On the other hand, sometimes key features like GPS may not work at all. There’s no way to know until it’s tried.
Unlocked phones can be great money savers–but they can also be expensive mistakes. Judge the risk vs. reward before trying it out. A better avenue might be choosing a quality, affordable phone from a site like Cheap-Phones instead.