What is a GSM Unlocked Phone? -Everything You Need to Know

The network technology has been changing over the past few decades. Since THE soviet times, people have been using the CDMA technology for telecommunication and pit proved to be very useful. Many countries embraced this new technology and it seemed to be very perfect. As time went by, a new technology came about and it proved to have better features compared to the CDMA network. This was the GSM network technology.

GSM brought about a wide range of perks like the 3G networks, reliable and stable network signals which in turn lead to less dropped calls, faster internet and other wide perks. This leads us to the question on what is a GSM unlocked phones. Well, the GSM phones are divided in to two categories, unlocked and locked phones. For the unlocked phones, they are not tied down to any service provider and you can switch from one provider to another without any restrictions.

The locked phones are only used under one service provider. This was quite common in the past with companies like Total Wireless, but since the inception of new FCC guidelines, you can now unlock your device if it is eligible. This article tends to give you more insights on the GSM unlocked phones and where you can get them., You will also learn more on the service providers whom allow GSM devices in their network. So, read ahead for exciting information.

How to get a GSM Unlocked Phone

What is a GSM unlocked phone

GSM phones are not manufactured by the telecommunications companies like AT&T or Verizon. The devices are made by individual electronic companies that operate Globally and some only in the US.

These companies have been in the market for ages and they provide GSM phones ranging from different varieties. Before you get a GSM phone, you will need to consider several factors to consider and some of them include;

1. Cost

The device should be affordable and inline with your budget. However, you can also get financing from a service provider who will allow you to pay for the device in installments.

2. Durability

If you don’t love upgrading phones every year, then it is best that you get a device which will last for as long as you want. Consider getting a GSM phone with the best hardware capabilities and also a high-quality design

3. Security patches

For a GSM phone, it is best that you always get a device with high-end security patches to prevent cyber-attacks.

4. Performance

The device should be of high performance in terms of loading of apps, switching them and in general, the overall performance should be very reliable.

To know if the device of your choice meets these conditions, you can check the specs of the GSM phone on your package. Once the device meets these conditions, then you can opt for it.

The GSM unlocked phones under $100 or unlocked phones under 200 can be bought from online stores like Amazon or an authorized retailer for the manufacturer that is near your location.

Which devices are GSM compatible?

To know if your device is GSM compatible, you will need to use a sim card from a service provider that uses that uses the GSM network. Also, another easier way is to check on the packaging of the device and you will get more information not only about the GSM but also the bandwidth and much more information.

If you plan to get a device, the best unlocked cell phone deals can be obtained from these brands. The brands mentioned are Globally mentioned but make sure to get a domestically made device if you live within the US;

  • Samsung Electronics
  • Apple
  • Nokia
  • Huawei
  • HTC
  • Motorola
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • ZTE
  • Kyocera and many more.

How to unlock a GSM phone

You may have a GSM phone but sadly it is locked to a certain network which you may not like. This limits you especially if you want to bring your own device to a new network. To unlock this phone, consider the steps below;

Get unlocking code

The unlocking code can be obtained from several online platforms but the best option is Cnet.

Finish up paying for your device

Let’s say you wanted a high-end device but you could not afford it. This will lead you to get financing services from the service provider and your phone will be locked until you finish up the payment. So, make sure to finish up all payments with your service providers and they may unlock your phone. If you are buying anew GSM phone, make sure that it is unlocked.

Which service providers will work with a GSM phone?

There are two major standard service providers that issue out the GSM phones. The companies are AT&T and T-Mobile. However, this does not mean that you are limited to only these two service providers.  There are also Mobile virtual network operators that lease network from these service providers and others are fully owned by them.

MVNOs like Cricket wireless, Straight talk wireless and Metro PCS are some of the best options to go for. The major difference between the MVNOs and these standard service providers is that the MVNOs do not own network towers.

Also, if you want to save some bucks off from these standard service providers, you can opt for the MVNOs. Options like Straight Talk plans and Cricket wireless phone plans can be a good monthly plan options and you never have to worry about any contracts.

Bottom Line

The GSM unlocked phones are the best options compared to other types of devices. Once you have such a device, you have a lot of flexibility when switching carriers and moreover if the device is unlocked, you can use it in any country.

The phones have also shown to have better performance on receipting network signals and also, they have a good hardware quality. With the advance of the GSM to LTE, you should also consider a device which is both LTE and GSM compatible, this will help in situations where there are poor network signals since LTE will not work in such areas.

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