If you’ve been looking to buy a Galaxy device, you may have come across unlocked Samsung phones. It’s easy to get confused, particularly if you don’t know the difference between locked and unlocked devices. So let’s dive into what Samsung galaxy unlocked phones are and why you should consider buying them.
You’re most likely used to buying phones from carriers like Verizon and AT&T. They’ll sell you the exact same device, the only difference is that it will be locked to their network. This makes it difficult for you to switch carriers or upgrade phones. A locked phone is also a hassle when traveling overseas. Buying an unlocked device solves these problems.
What’s the difference between locked and unlocked Samsung phones?
The main difference between locked and unlocked devices is that the former can only be used on the carrier you bought it from. For example, if you buy a Galaxy S22 Ultra from Verizon, you can’t take it over to AT&T just by popping out the SIM card. You’ll first need to get your Samsung phone unlocked from Verizon, which usually costs money.
There’s no other difference. Locked and unlocked phones look the same, have the same specifications, and provide you with the same features. You don’t need to think that you’ll miss out on some features if you buy an unlocked phone. An unlocked device will do everything a locked phone can and vice versa.
Unlocked phones are not tied to any carrier. You can easily switch between different carriers whenever you want by simply changing the SIM card. It’s the SIM card that lets you connect to networks. So if you wanted to switch carriers, you’d swap your AT&T SIM out for T-Mobile, for example.
You also have a lot more flexibility when traveling overseas. Forget about having to find a vendor who can unlock Samsung phones in some sketchy market in a new country, if you didn’t get it unlocked from the carrier when you left. Once you land, just put the local SIM card in the phone and you’ll be good to go.
How to get your Samsung phone unlocked
Carriers lock devices to their networks because they sell phones on installment plans. When you buy a carrier-locked phone, you don’t need to pay the entire cost upfront. For example, instead of paying $1,799 for a Galaxy Z Fold 3, you could put no money down and get the device on a two-year payment plan. The obvious downside is that you’re limited to that carrier.
If you bought a locked Samsung phone from a carrier, it would be possible to get it unlocked. Every carrier has its own set of conditions that you need to meet before they unlock the device. Usually, it would require the device to be paid off fully. You’d then need to put in a request and the carrier would then unlock the phone, allowing you to switch carriers to use it overseas.
Things work a bit differently if you purchased your locked phone from Verizon. It has an agreement with the FCC that makes it mandatory for Verizon to unlock its phones after 60 days.
Why you should buy unlocked Samsung phones
Samsung makes it very easy for customers in the United States to purchase factory unlocked phones directly from the company. You get the option to buy the phone unlocked on its website. That’s also where you can choose which carrier and data plan you’d like to use with your new phone. The SIM will ship with your device so you wouldn’t need to go to a carrier’s shop to get service on your new phone once you take it out of the box. You’ll be able to start using it right away.
All Samsung Galaxy unlocked phones have a guaranteed buy-back offer. Samsung will give you some of the best trade-in values for these devices. Even if a new model comes out six months later, you can easily send your existing phone back to Samsung and get a good discount on the new device. The company tends to run promotions often that give the best trade-in values even for devices with cracked screens.
The unlocked Samsung phones for sale on Samsung’s online store all come with a standard US limited warranty. You’ll be fine in case there’s damage to your device that the warranty covers. Samsung will offer repairs or replacements depending on the damage. You can take advantage of Samsung’s vast repair network to get your device fixed, should the need arise. The company even supports DIY repairs now.
Carriers also tend to put a lot of bloatware on locked devices. You’d most likely have little or no use at all for all of those pre-installed apps. When you buy unlocked cellphones, you don’t have to deal with any carrier-installed bloatware.
Where to buy a Samsung phone unlocked
The best place to buy unlocked Samsung phones is Samsung.com. When buying directly from the company, you can take advantage of the many great discounts and deals that it offers. Some of the best deals can often only be found through its own website. Whether you want to buy a cheap Android phone from Samsung or any of its exceptional 5G phones, make to check the website first.
Do Samsung unlocked phones work on all carriers?
Most devices, including Samsung 5G unlocked phones, have support for all carrier bands in the United States. Thus Samsung unlocked phones can work on all carriers.
Is buying an unlocked phone worth it?
It’s definitely worth buying an unlocked phone. You are free to switch carriers and upgrade the device whenever you want. Traveling internationally is also much easier with an unlocked phone.
Are all phones bought from Samsung unlocked?
All phones bought from Samsung are not unlocked. The company lets you choose when ordering if you’d like a locked or an unlocked phone.