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Home > Buying Guide > What is an unlocked phone and why should you get one?
What is an unlocked phone and why should you get one?

What is an unlocked phone and why should you get one?

By  GB Blog Official 2017-09-07 1196 1

When shopping for a smartphone online, you will often see that some phones are marked as "unlocked" - which is described as one of the big benefits of the device. But what is an unlocked phone and what actual benefits come with having one? Discover this and more in this post.

What is an unlocked phone?

An unlocked phone means that you can use it with a SIM card from any wireless carrier. In contrast, a locked phone is tied to a specific carrier and you won't be able to use with others (unless you unlock it first).

Most locked phones come with a contract for the duration of 12 to 24 months - during this time you will be unable to switch carriers. With an unlocked phone, you will be free to choose and switch carriers right away.

What are the benefits of having an unlocked phone? The first and most obvious benefit is, of course, carrier flexibility. A number of countries - and specifically the US - give network providers the ability to "lock" their customers with a single provider for the contract period. Thus, you will be stuck with the same provider until the contract expires, whether you are happy with the provided service or not. An unlocked phone lets you choose and switch carriers to your heart's content until you find the service you are happy with.

An unlocked phone is also a better fit for those who frequently travel abroad as you will be able to easily get a local SIM card and save lots of money on phone charges. Sure, most carriers do offer roaming options - but the cost of using your phone in a foreign country will be very high.

In fact, money saving is one of the key advantages of having an unlocked phone as you will be able to make full use of all special offers, discounts and promotions from different carriers instead of being stuck with one. And, if you current carrier decides to increase service fees or add hidden charges, you can simply switch.

Another benefit is that with an unlocked phone, you can upgrade or change the software on your phone anytime you like - while with a locked phone certain restrictions will apply.

Finally, if you decide to sell your phone, it will be much easier to do so with an unlocked phone - and you will be able to re-sell it at a higher price than a locked phone. Typically, you will not be able to sell a locked phone until your contract with the carrier expires.

Where Buy Unlocked Phones

Most smartphones available on GearBest are unlocked for international use. This means that you should be able to use the phone in any country and with any network - provided your local area network is compatible with the phone's frequency.

Note: it is strongly recommended to check with your preferred network provider in advance regarding the network compatibility of your preferred unlocked smartphone model.

There is a wide choice of worldwide unlocked phones on GearBest. You will have a pick of some of the bestselling models as well budget and rugged mobile phones.

Check out a variety of unlocked Xiaomi smartphones: Xiaomi Mi5, Xiaomi Mi Max, Xiaomi Redmi 4 and others. Our top pick would be the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X 4G Phablet with its 5.5 inch FHD 2.5D Arc screen, Snapdragon 625 Octa Core CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a fingerprint sensor and more.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X 4G Phablet

Another popular choice would be the unlocked OnePlus 5 4G Phablet, "the camera phone" featuring a dual rear camera (20MP + 16MP) and a 16MP selfie shooter, a 5.5 inch, 1080P Full HD AMOLED display and powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa Core CPU.

OnePlus 5 4G Phablet

The Elephone S8 4G Phablet is another good option with Android 7.1 OS, a 6.0 inch 2K screen, Helio X25 Deca Core 2.5GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and more. You should also take a look at the LETV LeEco 2 X520 4G Phablet - a flagship by LeEco sporting a smooth bezel-less design, a 5.5 inch FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Octa Core CPU, etc.

Elephone S8 + LETV LeEco 2 X520 4G Phablet

If you are looking for an unlocked rugged smartphone to accompany you on your adventures, the Blackview BV6000 4G Phablet is a good option to consider with its 4.7 inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen, a compass, atmospheric pressure sensor and IP68 dustproof and waterproof rating.

Blackview BV6000 4G Phablet

If you still haven't found what you are looking for, take a look at more unlocked phones on GearBest. We kindly remind you to make sure that your preferred model comes with a frequency that is compatible with your local area network providers.

 You may also want to read:
 How to use an unlocked phone


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2017-09-07 By GB Blog Official