What is the difference between locked and unlocked phones?

What's the difference between locked and unlocked phones?

You may have heard the term locked and unlocked in relation to smartphones before but maybe you weren’t sure what that exactly meant, In this article, I’ll go over the differences between the two and some of the benefits and drawbacks of locked and unlocked phones.

Features and benefits of locked phones

If you’ve been in a phone store before you’ve probably come across many locked phones, one of the major drawbacks of a locked phone is that you cannot change providers if you decide you are not happy with the service or coverage the carrier is providing, you may be able to change plans but you cannot change service providers with a locked device.

Having a locked device allows the carrier in some cases to preload special software, apps, and ringtones to enhance your experience of the device, these extras can also slow down your device and because they cannot be removed this can be a major drawback of a locked device especially if you have limited storage space.

When carriers are trying to sell a locked device they also mostly sell the device with massive discounts, they use this practice as bait to get you to sign up but if you do the math you’ll notice that the cost of the phone is actually offset in the plan and in some cases you end up paying more in the long run.

Features and benefits of an unlocked phone

Phones that are unlocked are ones that are usually fully paid for outright which can be a big upfront cost depending on what sort of phone you look at. Unlike locked phones, unlocked phones allow you to freely change carriers at any time you like, if you’re not happy with the service of your current provider you can easily register for another carrier, change the SIM card in your device, and you’re all good to go.

If you travel a lot you can also benefit from an unlocked phone and avoid excessive roaming charges by purchasing a pay-as-you-go SIM card in your destination country, this also provides you with almost complete coverage anywhere in the world by purchasing a SIM from your destination country.

Unlocked phones also give you complete control to make any changes you like to your device and have a higher resale value as well. You can also choose from a greater range of devices rather than only what the carrier puts on its shelves, and you can purchase your device from any store you like.

If you lose your phone you also don’t have to worry about hefty early termination fees, you can purchase a new unlocked phone and you’re connected again. You may have to pay a small fee for a SIM replacement, you can check with your carrier for more information about this.

I hope this article has be helpful in understanding the difference between locked and unlocked phones and understanding the benefits and drawbacks.


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