Five Reasons to Consider an Unlocked Android Phone

For those of us who have been with any of the various US phone carriers on their contract plans, we are well aware of the restrictions and limitations that may apply. One can purchase a rather hot new phone design, at a reasonable price, providing one is willing to sign their phone rights over for a period of two years to the company store. These types of contracts also carry with it a phone that is locked into a specific carrier. Buying an Android phone for service with company A prohibits that same phone from working with company B.

What is an Unlocked Android Phone?

If you would like to take advantage of a pre-paid phone plan with no contract, buying a phone that is unlocked may be your best option. An unlocked phone is not tied to any specific carrier and, on a GSM phone, you only need to slip in a SIM card to begin making phone calls on the carrier of your choosing.

As an example, a friend of mine had purchased an unlocked GSM smartphone and, using a SIM for the Straight Talk phone carrier, was able to use a pre-paid limited plan for only $30 a month. She has the option to use the $45 a month plan with unlimited service if she so chooses. So even with the purchase price of $350 for the unlocked phone, over the course of a two-year contract plan, the savings will be in excess of $800 per her estimate.

What Are the Other Benefits of an Unlocked Android Phone?

  • You can get a phone that is not loaded with a lot of the gunk and funk that carriers place on their branded phones.
  • You may get updates faster from the phone company than from your carrier.
  • You get to take control of the plan and features you want, not what is being prearranged by the phone carrier as a must-have plan.
  • Cost savings can be significant when compared to a two-year contract plan.

What You Should Know Before Buying an Unlocked Phone?

  • The out-of-pocket expense can be significantly higher than what you will pay when signing up a for a two-year contract.
  • The selection of phones may not be the current state of the art phones that have recently been released. (There are certain exceptions.)
  • Only cellphones that use SIM cards, both AT&T and T-Mobile support GSM phones, will function with unlocked phones.
  • There is no support and I have seen some unlocked Android phones being sold with no warranty as well.

How Much Does an Unlocked Android Phone Cost?

Five Reasons to Consider an Unlocked Android PhoneThis all depends on the type of smartphone you wish to buy. On Google Play you can purchase the Google Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ for $349.00. According to the Google Play website, this phone is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile carriers.

One of the companies that has a very large selection of unlocked phones is Amazon. The selection it offers includes unlocked phones from a low of approximately $30 up to and including the newest Samsung Galaxy III priced at $599 as of the date this article is being written.

So what do you think? Can you survive with an unlocked Android phone on a pre-paid plan?

Comments welcome.

Source: Amazon Unlocked Phone Shop

Source: Google Play Galaxy Nexus HSPA+

Windows Phone 7 Unlocked

One thing that the Windows Phone 7 folks seem to be getting early on is allowing people to mod aka hack their phones to a certain extent, is good for everyone. It’s great from a PR perspective as it provides Microsoft with plenty of free positive press. There is also value in allowing users to decide how they installed their mobile software.

With Windows Phone 7 unlocked, users will find that it is possible to do something called sideloading. The idea with sideloading software is that people can install mobile apps without needing to rely on a centralized software store. USB, tethered mobile devices, etc are all examples of sideloaded installation options for sideloading software.

What is awesome about this is that you can actually unlock your Windows Phone 7 device simply by using a simple executable. Nothing fancy, but it works easily. Why does this matter? Because it means that potentially ordinary users may be able to share apps easily.

Now clearly there are some downsides to this platform over Android or the iOS. But more and more, I am seeing advantages that are difficult to ignore.

Apple iPhone In France Will Be Unlocked

As Apple expands the sales of its popular iPhone, they must sell a unlocked version in France. Seems that French law prohibits the locking of any new cell phone to a particular carrier for at least six months. So why did France need to pass a law prohibiting the locking of cell phones? Seems that several French carriers were caught price fixing behind the scenes.

Last night on the Tonight Show Jay Leno mentioned that the Noble Economic prize had been awarded to three top CEO’s of the major oil companies. They were able to increase the price of gas without there actually being a shortage. Though this may sound humorous the fact remains that we are at the whim of these conglomerates who are suspected of price fixing.

So if one looks at what is happening here in the US, AT&T is once again taking control of all of our phone services. With Apple cutting a deal with this mega giant, one could be lead to believe that it may be time for the US to consider such a policy that France has. There is no reason that I can think of why any phone should be locked to one carrier. It should be the right of the consumer to select who they wish to use.

I know it won’t happen since the teleco’s are major funders for the political parties, but it would seem that this is a consumer issue and should be addressed by the FCC.

What do you think? Should we consumers be allowed to use our phones that we purchase with any carrier we wish?

Comments welcome.

[tags]apple, iphone, france, unlocked, carrier, teleco’s, [/tags]