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Locked V/s. Unlocked Phones: Which One Should You Buy?

Even though both have advantages and downsides, one item stands out above the rest. It’s critical to consider this before making a large purchase of any kind. Additionally, while acquiring a smartphone, it is essential to consider whether or not to get a phone that has been locked or unlocked from the manufacturer. 

This essay will go through the distinctions between the two and the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you make an informed decision. Shop Now on Red BY SFR

What Is the Difference Between Locked and Unlocked Phones?

Because of a software code, you can’t use other wireless providers’ SIM cards in a locked smartphone. For example, a T-Mobile-locked Galaxy S21 Ultra can only be used on their connection. It’s impossible to use your Galaxy S21 Ultra on Verizon or any other wireless network. Amazon and eBay are good places to look for unlocked phones, but you can also find them via carriers like AT&T and Verizon.

On the other hand, Unlocked phones are devices that are not restricted by a network. Depending on the manufacturer’s policy, they can be sold with no network limitations or first locked and subsequently unlocked. With so many options for service providers, it’s easy to switch when the mood strikes you. You are in total command. You’re ready to go with just a SIM card switch from one carrier to the next.


  • The Benefits of Purchasing a Locked Phone

It is less expensive to purchase a locked device instead of an unlocked device. The retail price of wireless services may be subsidized by tying you to a particular network, which lowers the cost of the service. 

Transportation businesses regularly provide discounts and freebies as part of their overall package to recruit customers. Alternately, they offer payment plans that allow you to spread the cost of the item over a longer period of time rather than having to pay for it in full at the time of purchasing. Moreover, it streamlines your financial situation by integrating your device payment with your carrier plan into a single charge.

Another advantage is the availability of support. When you purchase a device from a carrier, you will access their customer service centers. If a problem arises with your device, you can fix it through your service provider. Aside from that, insurance policies offered by carriers are more enticing and cost-effective than insurance policies provided by device manufacturers themselves.

  • The Drawbacks of Purchasing a Locked Phone

Buying a locked smartphone prevents switching carriers. In actuality, carrier phones are designed to keep you as a customer for life. Is unlocking a phone after purchase isn’t always as simple as it seems. Your unlock request may take some time to process.

This might be a significant nuisance if your profession demands a lot of travel. While roaming is expensive, you can still use your carrier while traveling. If you’re traveling abroad, it’s cheaper to use a local cellular operator. A locked phone can limit your options if your carrier’s coverage is limited or non-existent.

If your phone is tied to your current carrier, you may not get the best deals. Pages don’t stock many smartphone models, so your selections are limited. Unlocked smartphones of the same model and storage size generally retail for cheaper. 

Mobile phones that are not carrier-locked can be expensive. Despite the flexibility of the contracts, it is cheaper to buy a telephone elsewhere and pay in full. An online shop will beat a local carrier store on price in many circumstances.


  • The Advantages of Purchasing an Unlocked Phone

One of the biggest reasons to obtain an unlocked phone is that it gives you more freedom. Because of this, unlocked phones have become increasingly popular. You can change carriers at any moment with an unlocked phone. You don’t even need to buy a new phone to achieve this, anyway. It’s as simple as swapping out the SIM card from one carrier for another.

CDMA and GSM are still an issue, but most devices can connect to nearly any wireless provider in the US and worldwide since they support both networks.

You may also use unlocked phones to test out a variety of service providers before deciding which one is ideal for you. Instead of paying exorbitant roaming fees, frequent travelers can save money using a local carrier. 

Selling an unlocked gadget is much simpler than doing it with a locked one. In addition to a wider selection of models, going unlocked frees you from the restrictions imposed by the handsets sold by your wireless provider. Resell value for unlocked phones is higher than for locked ones because of this freedom.

  • The Disadvantages of Purchasing an Unlocked Phone 

If you buy an unlocked phone, check if it’s compatible with your local carrier’s radio frequencies. Shipping a device from outside the US is significantly more difficult. Network bands should be considered aside from the usual suspects (CDMA and GSM). 

Good news: today’s smartphones are more compatible than ever. But first, do your homework. Because cellphones are so expensive nowadays, many consumers will be unable to buy an unlocked handset. In addition, payment plans for unlocked phones aren’t always available.

Should You Purchase An Unlocked Or Locked Phone?

It’s best to acquire an unlocked cell phone if you’re a tech-savvy individual who can afford to buy the phone of your choice upfront and frequently travels internationally. In general, the advantages of unlocked phones far exceed the disadvantages, and this holds true even for the advantages of locked phones. However, if you must choose between the two, a few things come into play.


If you don’t want to spend a lot of money or don’t have the cash on hand, buying a locked device is a good option. This is also possible because of the excellent customer service and all-inclusive coverage offered by wireless providers. 

Additionally, purchasing a locked handset may be an enticing option if you don’t frequently travel outside of the country and are okay with your wireless carrier’s restricted selection of smartphone models. When deciding between a locked and unlocked phone, there is no clear winner, but you will find the choice that best fits your needs.

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