Unlocked mobile phones may be quite common in developing countries but many people in the UK and US are in the habit of buying network-locked Apple or Android phones from companies like Alcatel or Optus here in Australia. They have a wide variety of options from companies like Huawei, Oppo, Realme, Moto, Vivo, Apple, and Samsung. The truth is, they are missing out on a lot of benefits.
So what are unlocked mobile phones and what advantages does one get out of it? Here is all the info you need about it, including 5 major reasons why you need to opt for an unlocked smartphone in your next purchase.
To put it simply, they are one without a software which limits its usage to a single mobile network. It allows users to switch SIM cards on their device without the phone blocking access.
As for a locked phone, it will work only with the network from which you purchased the phone from the Australian market. For instance, a locked Verizon device will function only with Verizon network.
Due to the restrictions in locked phones, a lot of buyers prefer using them. Here are 5 (among many) benefits to using an unlocked mobile phone.
Purchasing them gives you a lot of choices as a consumer. First, you will no longer be limited to the smartphone sold or stocked by your network. You have the choice to purchase at a discounted rate from sellers, import a phone, or get one that your network doesn't provide. As long as your device supports the right frequency bands, you are good to go.
Second, you get to have a lot of choice with regards to who you buy your phone from. It gives you the freedom to buy at the lowest rate possible or purchase from a vendor you're more comfortable with. You also have a wide variety of options to choose from, you can go for phones like the Pixel 5 or a phone with a triple camera or even a quad camera setup. And on top of that, you have an option to go for the colour you prefer like Graphite, Cosmic Blue, Twilight Black, Midnight Black or just black.
Another benefit to getting them is that your phone preference will not determine your network choice. You get to pick the carrier of your choice. You will no longer be stuck to a carrier because they offered the phone you wanted. You will find a lot of manufacturers offering their unlocked mobile phones on Amazon or their online stores.
Additionally, buying them will not rid you of the benefit of customer support or manufacturer warranty. You will find many vendors that sell their products with warranty and customer support.
One of the most common reasons why people opt for them is because of the benefit of a dual SIM functionality. This enables you to use two different carriers in one device. This means you get to enjoy the benefit of two different data and voice plans at the best price, along with other benefits.
On the other hand, with a locked phone the only dual SIM functionality you will be able to benefit from is from the same service carrier. You will not be able to enjoy the outage avoidance and cost-saving benefits that come with unlocked dual SIM devices.
Most premium phones these days are priced over the $1,000 threshold during release. This has driven many people to buy used phones. However, for those with carrier-locked devices, it becomes more difficult to find a buyer. You can easily find unlocked devices like Google Pixel, Xiaomi or Samsung Galaxy A31 with 4g LTE capabilities with around 5000mAh batteries for cheap these days.
A potential buyer doesn't necessarily need to have the same carrier as the seller. Sure you can ask your carrier to unlock your device for you, but this will delay the process and is an inconvenience.
If you are using it, you will not be tied up to your mobile carrier and if you are not happy with the service or when your contract terminates. If you switch carriers, you won't have to purchase a new device or ask your previous carrier to it.
Instead, you can switch providers or change plans when your contract terminates while still keeping your old phone. When switching to a new mobile carrier, you don't have to worry about getting a new phone too.
It is also easier to switch to a SIM-only plan or prepaid plan when using them. You can shop for the best-prepaid rate or cheap plans without having to worry about carrier compatibility.
With a locked device, you will not be able to use local SIM cards when overseas as they are not compatible with other carriers. You will either have to enable roaming which can be costly or purchase another device, which is also costly and you'd have resort to using your device for GPS navigation, a music/video player or use the Bluetooth.
By now you must have realized that you can save time and money by going for them, they offer greater value for money along with the added benefits as discussed above. Retailers like Harvey Norman, Big W, Telstra and Coles also sell unlocked mobile devices, if you get an unlocked smartphone from them, you might not be able to get after-sales support or best deals as they are big multinationals and usually have big margins.
With unlocked mobile phones, you just have to change to a prepaid SIM card using a local carrier. It will save you a lot of trouble like porting apps and messages to your new device or depending on free wi-fi networks.