If you are shopping for a new smartphone, you will probably come across both locked and unlocked phones. Before you make your purchase, take the time to learn the basics about each option, and then compare the pros and cons to see which option is right for you.

What Is an Unlocked Phone?

If you purchase a “locked” phone, it will be from a specific carrier, and will only work in conjunction with that carrier’s service. Unlocked cell phones, on the other hand, are not carrier – specific. You can purchase an unlocked cell phone and take it to most carriers to have wireless service activated. Keep in mind that not all unlocked phones will work with all carriers, and once you choose a wireless carrier (even with an unlocked phone), you might not be able to switch without changing to a new phone.

Pros and Cons of Unlocked Phones

The main benefit of purchasing a locked phone is that you will probably be able to get it at a discounted price from your wireless carrier. Unlocked phones are generally much more expensive than locked phones — sometimes two or three times the cost — but you may save yourself some money by avoiding a service contract.

Another benefit of an unlocked phone is that you may have greater control in terms of customization. Each wireless carrier has its own set of apps that it installs on its phones. In most cases, you cannot uninstall those apps if you purchase a locked phone from a wireless carrier. Unlocked phones, however, are not carrier-specific, so you can install or uninstall whichever apps you choose.

When shopping for a new phone, it’s useful to know how to tell whether a phone is locked or not. One thing you can look for is branding — most locked phones carry the name of the wireless carrier (such as Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T) in addition to the name of the phone’s manufacturer. If there is no printed logo on the phone and if you don’t see a wireless company logo upon starting the phone, it is probably already unlocked.

If you still aren’t sure, you can look up the model number online to see if it is sold by a particular wireless carrier or not. Another option is to try installing a new SIM card from another carrier, to see if you still get wireless service or not.

If you decide that an unlocked phone is the best option for you, make sure you stop in at PhoneFixation in Twin Falls, ID. PhoneFixation not only unlocks phones, but also offers smartphone repair services for everything from cracked screens to slow performance, including iPhone repair in Twin Falls, ID. In short, if it has to do with smartphones, PhoneFixation can handle it.

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