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  1. Why Buy an Unlocked Phone: A Primer
  2. Related Articles
  3. Quick facts about unlocked phones
  4. Advantages of Buying a Cell Phone on eBay
  5. Unlocked phones vs carrier phones: What are the differences and benefits?

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Why Buy an Unlocked Phone: A Primer

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Average rating: 3. Sponsored product. Product Title Google Pixel 3a. Average rating: 4. Best Seller. Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on 31 reviews 31 ratings. A lot of stuff out there only applies to the US and not Canada. And not to mention the amount of confusing acronyms and outdated information can make your head spin.

To clear all of that up, here is your definitive guide to unlocked phones:.

Quick facts about unlocked phones

An unlocked phone is one that can be used on any wireless network, where locked phones can just be used on one. For example, if I had an unlocked phone, I could choose a plan with Rogers, Koodo, Bell, or most other carriers out there. Wondering about the tech behind this? This lock is installed at the request of wireless carriers, who use this lock to restrict the use of the phone to their own networks. So, an unlocked phone is just one without a carrier-specific lock built in or one that has had this software lock uninstalled.

The reason that your service provider locks their mobile phones is to keep you from switching to another carrier. When made to defend this practice, the carriers basically argued that locks help protect their property. Instead, you actually pay off the remaining cost of the device over the course of your two-year contract.

How to Tell If Your Phone Is Unlocked

These locks are more and more important to carriers as new competition enters into the Canadian marketplace who might offer better deals to cell phone users. As a result, locked phones are becoming a point of tension between service providers and users. This has two big pay-offs. Second, unlocked phones do not come with long-term carrier contracts. That means you can switch carriers when you see an opportunity for better rates or service. Because of the freedom unlocking provides, buyers of used phones are willing to pay more for an unlocked device.

Of course, you can also buy an unlocked phone from sites like ours!

If you bought your phone from your carrier, it is probably locked. An unlocked phone will look identical to a locked phone, however.

Advantages of Buying a Cell Phone on eBay

You can buy an unlocked phone directly from Apple or buy one used from us. If you already own a phone, you can get your cell phone unlocked after 90 days of using it with your carrier, or immediately if you have already paid for the device in full. Canada's leading provider of quality used phones Check out Orchard's inventory of unlocked phones Shop unlocked. Note: things are changing! The CRTC just announced that as of December 1st, , unlocking your phone will be free and any new phones sold will have to be sold as unlocked.

You might get tempted by unlocking services done at a mall kiosk or cell phone repair shop. Our advice? The phone's ear pods included are designed to plug into the phone's Lightning port, which also handles charging and data syncs. You can use headphones with 3. As with the iPhone 7, if you want a truly unlocked iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you'll need to get a Verizon or Sprint-compatible phone.

These will also work on a GSM network. Featurewise, you can think of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as a cheaper, non-water-resistant version of the iPhone 7.

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The You also get two things some people lament losing with the iPhone 7 model: The 3. As with the iPhone 7 and 6S, you need to get the Verizon or Sprint models if you care about network versatility. Its price tag may sound a little high for something we're calling a cheap smartphone, but that's Apple for you. Note, too, that the 4-inch display can seem puny in a world dominated by smartphones with displays larger than 5 inches.

However, to some small-is-beautiful consumers, the SE will seem just right. Google Assistant—the phones' built-in, Siri-like voice-activated search tool—tailors its responses according to your location, the apps you have open, and even the messages you have sent and received. The smaller Pixel features a 5-inch display while the XL offers a 5. And there's one advantage to the Pixel phones over other Android models: These phones are first in line for security patches, home automation, and other futuristic updates.

That's a Moto G4 Plus pictured above, but Motorola actually gives you a few choices, all of them relatively inexpensive. These phones are also notable for their touch-free controls. For instance, chopping the phone downward twice turns on the LED flashlight. The Turbo 2 and Moto X Pure have 5. All of these Motos feature capacious batteries that can crank continuously for a full day of mixed use.

Unlocked phones vs carrier phones: What are the differences and benefits?

Although it's been on the market for two years, the Galaxy G6 is brimming with features that will satisfy most smartphone users for the foreseeable future. The highlights include a long-lasting battery that can be rapidly and wirelessly recharged, and a top-notch camera with an optical image stabilizer. For instance, you can pull up your most important contacts, apps, and news sources with a sweep of your finger from either side of the display. Not into curved screens?