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A locked phone is one with a software code from the carrier that sells the device. The carrier is the company that provides your cell phone service, like AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. The code in the phone, or lock, makes it unusable with any other wireless carrier. This keeps you locked in to the carrier and sometimes to your contract and commitment. Some people are okay with being locked in, others are not.

The alternative is an unlocked phone. These phones have no software code to restrict it: it is “unlocked,” and the phone can be used on another network, with a new SIM card. You choose your carrier, and you choose your mobile plan. Most carriers will accommodate an unlocked phone and work with you to set it up.

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It’s probably not surprising that factory unlocked phones are getting more and more popular. Most people don’t like being tied to a single carrier, and they do like the idea of not having a commitment and no contracts. Plus, if you travel overseas a lot, an unlocked phone will offer a lot more mobility – you’re able to switch out SIM cards so you can pick one up wherever you’re going, and make local calls cheaper, rather than paying for a world roaming plan.

Here’s a Tech Tip:

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Beware: altering the software code from a locked phone to try and unlock it is called “jail breaking,” and can void the warranty. It’s much simpler and safer to get a factory unlocked phone. You can even get a phone that accepts dual SIM card phones, allowing you to have one number for business and another for personal. Frequent travelers might like the idea of having one SIM card for domestic calls, and the other for calls for the country you’re visiting. We carry a wide selection of factory unlocked phones with Dual SIM cards – starting around $40 – you can try one on to see how it suits you.

Two of the hottest phones on the market now are the Motorola Moto G and this Samsung Galaxy S7. They are powerful and fast, with a 5″ dual edge touch screen or larger. They are unlocked and water-resistant. So what about your phone that you have now? You may not even know if yours is locked or unlocked but here’s the deal chances are, if you don’t know it’s unlocked, it probably isn’t. An unlocked phone will almost always say that it, right up front. Is your current phone waterproof? Probably not, unless it was purchased recently and that was specified when you purchased it, as this is relatively new technology.

There are lots of options for phones – including factory unlocked, different brands, different sizes, different operating systems and waterproof options in a variety of price ranges. At BrandsMart USA, we feel that options are a good thing. When it’s time for a new unlocked cell phone, visit us at BrandsMart USA, and our highly trained personnel will help find the perfect device for you and what you do. Discover the BrandsMart way!

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