Posts Tagged ‘ Unlocked Cell Phones

Simplify With Unlocked Cell Phones

You may have heard of the iPPeel, a new device the puts a cell phone on the back of your iPhone. It’s designed to hold 2 extra SIM cards for people who travel a lot and want to avoid roaming charges by easily switching from one carrier to the next.

The thing is, there’s an easier (cheaper!) way. Unlocked cell phones work in a very similar way, you just have to change the SIM card yourself.

Unlocked cell phones are phones whose software has been unlocked so that you can use the SIM card of any network with the phone (Sprint is the only major American cell phone company that does not rely on SIM cards, although an unlocked cell phone originally sold by Sprint works on everything).

So, the upside to unlocked cell phones is that you don’t have to pay $70, and you can make calls with your own phone and phonebook without having a silly looking extra phone strapped to the back that elicits silly jokes.

The downside is that you have to keep track of SIM cards and physically switch them in and out of your unlocked cell phone, rather than having them ready to go, as the iPPeel lets you have two extra at all times. Of course, if you’re travelling so much you actually need such a device, there may be a better chance that two isn’t enough.

In any case, unlocked cell phones may be a better option for many people.

Looking For A Worldly Unlocked Cell Phone?

In the US, Apple reigns supreme, but for worldwide smartphones… look to Samsung.

Samsung is the leading retailer for smartphones worldwide (Nokia leads phones in general). If you’re looking to be cool when you travel with an unlocked cell phone, look into Samsung.

Unlocked cell phones allow you to switch SIM cards so you can get the rates of the local cell phone service provider.

When travelling, you can go on roaming…which gets even worse internationally! Prepaying for minutes and texts on a reginonal sim card (or getting a tempoary plan if you need to use data) is a much smarter option, but only if you have an unlocked cell phone!

Make sure that you pick an unlocked cell phone that is manufactured to work globally. Depending on your needs, you might pick a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy S or go with something simpler like a Nokia.

Even if you’re not travelling this winter, think ahead to summer with your next cell phone purchase. Dream of Asia, of Europe, and of all the exciting restaurants your phone can guide you to (as well as the help it can call in an emergency).

Of course, some people may prefer to travel tech free. Even then, it might be wise to bring at least one unlocked cell phone per group.

AT&T, T-Mobile Customers Should Stick With Unlocked Cell Phones

Beginning with the proposal from AT&T to buy T-Mobile, both companies have eperienced many ups and downs, and not without affect on the customers. To avoid the confusion, and the uncertain future, rather than renew contracts, get the freedom of unlocked cell phones.

When the merger was first proposed, T-Mobile halted many of its practices, some of which benefitted T-Mobile customers, like getting rid of their collections department. Of course, they’ve also stopped practices that would better service (for example, unless you have an unlocked cell phone, iPhone 4S isn’t on T-Mobile).

For AT&Ts part, the governments no vote on the merger has made them act a little crazy. The largest network, trying to shrink to a permissable size meant selling off spectrum, i.e., your phones service & roaming quality.

Furthermore, if the deal doesn’t go through, AT&T, per the deal, has to give even more spectrum to T-Mobile, as well as billions of dollars in penalties.

If you’re a customer of either company, it would be well worth while to switch to an unlocked cell phone that you can take with you if service tanks, the company sells into unfavorable terms, or something new and (probably) worse happens.

Unlocked cell phones also give you the ability to exist without a contract, meaning you can walk away easily. With the current ups and down the leading and third leading mobile companies are going through, the freedom of unlocked cell phones is doubtless worthwhile!

Say Goodbye To Unexpected Fees With Unlocked Cell Phones

Your data plan lets you use cell phones like mini computers, but did you know that when you travel (especially abroad) your data plan can rack up thousands of dollars in fees as your phone roams?

Unlocked cell phones are one good way to avoid this. Simply buy a prepaid plan in the country or region you’re visiting, temporarily trade SIM cards, and let everyone know what phone number you’re using.

If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone, trading SIM cards may not work since the phone is “locked” against other service providers.

Alternatively, you can buy a phone card for the region’s phone company and use it with your unlocked cell phone.

If you’re going to be on vacation, you can always just turn your phone off. Data roaming charges can rack up fees, even if you never actually use the phone.

If you don’t want to change plans with unlocked cell phones, contact your service provider and see if they have any special offers for roaming, or arrange to have them turn off service if you hit your data or minutes cap while roaming (bit of advice: get it in writing!).

What are other ways to avoid fees while travelling?

Shop Around With Unlocked Cell Phones

It’s the time of year when new models of popular cell phones get released, but don’t let the excitement get to you! There’s no reason to sign a 2-3 year contract with the first carrier to get the phone you want, it saves you money in the long run to buy an unlocked cell phone, then shop around for the right carrier for you. Then, inquire about no-contract plans, and you’ll save money each month. (Or pick by checking the Better Business Bureau‘s list of complaints).

Unlocked cell phones are phones that work on any GSM provider, all you have to do is pick the phone you want (make sure it’s an unlocked cell phone!) and take it with you when you get your plan. They’ll help you set up your SIM card, transfer contacts, etc.

But make sure you don’t sign that contract! The joy of owning unlocked cell phones is the ability to switch providers. If you had an unlocked cell phone when Verizon cancelled their unlimited plan, it was pretty easy to switch to Sprint (the last company with an unlimited plan).

Tons of factors affect what cell phone companies could do to your plan, plus some companies are notorious for hidden fees. So know the secret: ask about contract free plans, they could save you up to half off your cell phone bill, since the carrier will want to give you an incentive not to switch carriers!

But with unlocked cell phones, it’s easy to switch, if you need to.

Could Unlocked Cell Phones Give You More Control Over Your Kids?

Palm Pre, an unlocked cell phone with a great OS for kids.

Many parents are giving their children cell phones at ever younger ages, and it’s not uncommon to see a young child learning to use the device (as well as colors, numbers, and words) while playing with the many child-geared apps available.

But kids need to meet certain expectations for responsibility, as well as have a viable punishment when entrusted with cell phones. Unlocked cell phones can give parents that boost.

Unlocked cell phones work on any GSM provider, and more importantly, are super easy to use with prepaid plans from any company.

Pre-paid plans can be usd as allowance, as punishment if you want to take away kids data plans (or as a way to limit the functionality of the phones, permitting more uses as they age).

Because unlocked cell phones can be bought cheaper than carrier provided phones and without the contracts and fees, they also allow parents the ease of switching plans if necessary. As more kids use cell phones, carriers can be expected to add bonus features to plans (some already exist): being able to use the phone to keep track of your kid at all times, monitoring use, and with unlocked cell phones it’s easy to install thrid party apps for emergency situations (911 to mom with the bush of a button, for instance).

When every family member has an unlocked cell phone, it can help you to save money by finding the cheapest rates, and switching as need be (be sure to ask about the price of non-contract plans-they’re often cheaper).

 

More Reason For The Flexibility Of Unlocked Cell Phones

Now Google's Turning Your Phone Into A Credit Card

Most people already appreciate that unlocked cell phones help you switch carriers more easily. You can buy unlocked cell phones cheaply online (no fees or contracts), and then you can switch carriers, if, say, they change policies and limit data to 2GB/month!

But a new assortment of data shows that there may be other concerns when choosing a carrier, or deciding when to leave one using your unlocked cell phone.

It turns out, carriers store different amounts of information about you for different periods of time. Verizon seems to be the worst offender, actually storing the content of text messages, and keep IP data the longest.

T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint all keep data for differing lengths of time. If you’re concerned, make sure you have unlocked cell phones so that you can change to the best carrier for your needs/preferences, and since unlocked cell phones = jail broken cell phones usually, if there’s ever an app (like Tor for phones or something) that can help ensure privacy, it probably won’t be available in official app stores so best have unlocked cell phones!

What tips do you have for ensuring privacy when using cell phones? How do you adapt unlocked cell phones to enhance your privacy? Share your cell phone tips in the comments!

More Schools Move To Include Cell Phones In Classrooms

Computers are now used in most jobs, most homes, and, frankly most pockets. Cell phones can do what computers 30 years ago couldn’t, and many school districts are learning to use this tool to their advantage.

Teaching basic computer skills is already essential, and the most successful school districts are moving to teach more advanced lessons (besides the fact the computers are now a more efficient way for students to take tests and have them graded!). Affording computers, on the other hand, is far more of a challenge. But students have used cell phones for years by the time they reach high school, and teachers are taking advantage.

Want to help education, or support the education of your child? Donate used cell phones to a school district. Or, make having your kid own a cell phone affordable by buying used cell phones, and purchasing them pre-paid minutes (make it an allowance, reward, or responsibility lesson to add to learning).

Used cell phones are also often unlocked cell phones, so you they can be used on any network, which is useful both when donating and when helping your child choose a phone.

It could also be the start of a great recycling program: teaching students responsibility for e-waste, and understanding the consequences of the numerous gadgets in our lives. Encourage your local district to start an e-waste recycling program, using used cell phones as a jumping off point. They can even sell them, and use the profits for computer education!

T-Mobile/AT&T Head To Court Over Cell Phone Merger

Stick together...if the DOJ lets you!

Now that the DOJ has sued AT&T over its planned merger with T-Mobile, they’ll head to court later this month to try and prove why the merger would be good for cell phone users.

Will it?

If you use unlocked cell phones, the merger matters a bit. One of the joys of unlocked cell phones is switching between GSM networks (networks with a sim card) to find the right data, text, and minutes plan.

With fewer US carriers on GSM networks, then the merger would be a bad thing. While competition between the two companies may be colored by other things (apps like skype, google or facebook chat, and free wifi in many places) the bottom line is that unless you want to go pre-pay, or wifi only your unlocked cell phones need to be on some sort of a plan.

There are other concerns besides the merger. Many manufacturers and carriers are choosing to sell “unlocked cell phones” directly to consumers, in an attempt to keep them in-network. Of course, unlocked cell phones mean many things, and being able to add third party software is one of them. Not all cell phones sold by companies as unlocked cell phones meet this definition, and may still need to be jail broken.

In any case, keep an eye on the T-Mobile merger, because it could affect not just your unlocked cell phone usage, but your wallet!

Unlocked Cell Phones Work Better

As Android cell phones start to take over the market, it may interest users to know that unlocked cell phones work better than their tied down counterparts!

How? When unlocked cell phones are free of restrictions, apps, and other software nonsense carriers like to pack onto the phones they sell in-store. Without carrier software running in the background, restricting use, unlocked cell phones run faster!

Unlocked cell phones also tend to have more memory because they aren’t carrying around carrier software. So if you are an app fiend (and Android has some great apps!) you might save money (by not having to delete old games) with the memory an unlocked cell phone provides!

How do you get unlocked cell phones? Well, you can risk doing it yourself, if you know how. Be warned: there’s the risk of turning your phone into a “brick”, rendering it useless and voiding the warranty. Instead, the safer bet is to buy unlocked cell phones direct, so you know they’ll work when you get them. Then you can hook it up to whatever GSM carrier floats your boat!

How much faster, in your experience, do unlocked cell phones work? Would you describe the difference as little or BIG?

 
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