Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Are unlocked Android Phones overrated in the US?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    30
    Feedback Score
    0
    vBActivity - Stats
    vBActivity - Bars

    Are unlocked Android Phones overrated in the US?

    Lots of people advocate for unlocked phones. But this has not worked out that well for me.

    I have an unlocked LG G6, model us997. Previously used it on Verizon, recently switched to the MVNO Consumer Cellular using the AT&T network. On Verizon, I had trouble activating as the many technicians did not know how to get it working. At least one of them told me flat out the device was not compatible with the Verizon network. Now on the new carrier wifi calling does not work. This is because AT&T disables wifi calling on most unlocked Android devices. And unfortunately, the cell signal is weak at my home, so wifi calling would really help out here.

    As an aside, I am considering getting an AT&T LG V30 or V35 in order to get wifi calling. They are currently selling new on ebay for around $250. Worth it?

    I have been reading about how great unlocked Android phones are the way to go. It seems like there are plenty of downsides, at least based on my experience.

    Some people say it is great to have an unlocked device so it is easy to switch carriers. Verizon makes it hard due to being CDMA and they use whitelists. Plus some of the best devices over the years have not been compatible with them (examples, older OnePlus devices, Asus Rog phone). I do not have experience with Sprint, but hear it is also CDMA and not easy to switch to them with an unlocked device. AT&T, like I mentioned does not work in most cases with wifi calling. T-Mobile seems to be the only carrier that makes working with unlocked Androids easy.

    Also the carrier phones sometimes have very good pricing when on sale. Buy 1 get 1 free, generous trade-ins, and big discounts for porting in a new line.

    One more downside to unlocked Android devices. They get slower Android OS updates vs the carrier versions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    845
    Feedback Score
    0
    vBActivity - Stats
    vBActivity - Bars
    If it were me for wifi calling I would prefer to use google voice instead because it does not lock me into a carrier.

    The carriers don't like unlocked phones because it makes it easier to switch carriers but it seems like they are getting cheaper and more common and in the future might be the standard.

    I think most carriers will have a list of what unlocked phones that work. Boost for example, has a list of unlocked phones that work.

    Most unlocked phones can be used on MVNOs as long as it is compatible technology.

    The way I see it, the cost of service is usually so high that the price of the phone does not make much difference unless buying a high end phone like the iphone. So if the carrier has a locked phone at a cheap price I would use that since unlocked phones generally cost more.

    I bought the unlocked moto e4 only because it was required for a promo deal on boost but before that I always bought locked phones.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3,003
    Device(s)
    ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T,
    Feedback Score
    0
    vBActivity - Stats
    vBActivity - Bars
    No. Unlocked android phones are not overrated in the US. In your case it's because you are trying to use it on a CDMA network. The main advantage of unlocked devices is to be able to use them on multiple GSM networks. In the USA that's AT&T and T-Mobile and some mvno that use their networks.

    Sent from my ASUS_Z01FD using HoFo mobile app

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Brookline, MA
    Posts
    27
    Device(s)
    Samsung Galaxy S9
    Carrier(s)
    Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    vBActivity - Stats
    vBActivity - Bars
    Unlocked phones work fine on CDMA networks, provided that the phone has CDMA capability. I use mine on Sprint.

    When I got my new unlocked Galaxy S9, I was unaware of the downside of an unlocked Android phone -- specifically that some features don't work on some carriers. I had AT&T at the time, and was disappointed that my phone could do neither Wi-Fi calling nor VoLTE on AT&T. I switched to Sprint, where I get wi-fi calling with the unlocked S9, and there's a hack on the internet that lets you get VoLTE too. I couldn't install the Sprint Visual Voicemail app from the Play store, but I was able to download it from apkmirror.com and install it from there. I've also read that T-Mobile implements VoLTE in a standard way that works with many unlocked Android phones -- and their visual voicemail app is on the Play store.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5,001
    Feedback Score
    0
    vBActivity - Stats
    vBActivity - Bars
    If not on VZW recognized list I believe you're SOL. Unless you can get it added.
    As a USA citizen I have the right to criticize my government. My thanks for this is endless in magnitude.

    Fascism is here led by a racist, godless, immoral, hypersensitive, crass, narcissist liar, psychopath committing High Treason against the USA.

    Red Pocket (AT&T) $192yr UTnT 5GB exp 08.08.19
    Red Pocket (AT&T) $184.50yr UTnT 1GB exp 02.19.20
    T-Mo Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.16.20
    Tello x2 (Sprint) $5 1-use/3mo no exp by 06.03.19

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,750
    Feedback Score
    0
    vBActivity - Stats
    vBActivity - Bars
    Once I went to a unlocked phone for all carriers, I'm not going back to locked..ever, especially since I'm a GV user. My favorite is still my Nexus 6P that works on all US and most of international carriers. I've used it on Tracfone Verizon (cdma), Sprint, and At&t and T-Mo mvno's and it works great with fast auto population for mms (picture messaging). Bonus with the phone is its outstanding camera, dual front facing speakers for strong/rich sound, and a beautiful 441ppi screen. It's 2 years old and still going strong. They can still be found new on eBay for $149. or so. Gf spent $350 on a new, unlocked Samsung S6 and while it's nice, I prefer the speaker sound and voice quality on mine. Both phones have excellent cameras.

    There are mfg refurbs for $104.99..sweet price on eBay.

Similar Threads

  1. Unlocked LTE non-phone devices in the US?
    By Doug S in forum General Mobile Questions and Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-25-2018, 05:09 PM
  2. Unlocked UK phone work in the US?
    By mrfizzed in forum SonyEricsson
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-24-2007, 10:44 AM
  3. CDMA2000 EV-DO phone works in the US?
    By lnong in forum Samsung
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-13-2002, 12:24 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-11-2002, 12:11 AM
  5. Phone Upgrading in the US
    By TheHumanDecoder in forum SonyEricsson
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-20-2002, 04:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks