unlocked

Should I buy a phone locked or unlocked?

Motorola Moto G6

Episode 1512

Cheryl from Redondo Beach, CA

Cheryl wants to get a Motorola Moto G6 mobile phone and wants to know if she should get one locked or unlocked. Leo says that phones that are locked to the carrier means she can only use it with that carrier. But with Verizon, that phone should already be unlocked. The FCC has said, however, to all the carriers that if a phone is bought outright, then it would have to be unlocked. If she's buying one month to month, then they can lock it until she's paid it off. Ideally, she should get the unlocked one.

How can I unlock my cellphone?

Motorola Moto G

Episode 1212

Peter from Detroit, MI

Peter wants to know how he can unlock his phone and use it with another carrier. Leo says that according to the Library of Congress, you could legally unlock your phone and swap carriers. Carriers are starting to unlock phones if you've been a member in good standing and your contract is up. But they also will unlock it if you're traveling out of the country. This is largely due to the subsidizing of your phone by your carrier, which is why you pay so little for it.

Why can't I use my old iPhone 4S on Verizon?

Apple iPhone 4S

Episode 1146

Sharon from San Diego, CA

Sharon has a Verizon cellphone but wants to get her old AT&T iPhone 4S added to the plan. Verizon said they can't add that phone to their network, though. Leo says back then, AT&T and Verizon phones only worked with either GSM or CDMA technology. If the phone was newer, like an iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, she could do it because they are called "world phones." She may need to unlock it. But the 4S predates the era of iPhone world phones, and it won't work.

How can I get an unlocked Nokia 1020 to bring overseas?

Nokia 1020

Episode 1004

Michael from Norfolk, VA

Michael is a mariner for the Navy and he likes to load his mobile phone with TWiT podcasts before he goes out to sea. As much time as he spends out at sea, he just uses a 'pay as you go' phone. He really likes the Nokia 1020 though. He's wondering if he could pay full price and not pay for a data plan with it. Leo says sure, and he'll be able to do everything except make phone calls with it over Wi-Fi.

Verizon iPhone 5 Comes Unlocked, Works on AT&T

Episode 911

Surprisingly, the Verizon's version of the iPhone 5 come unlocked. So, technically, you could buy a Verizon phone and use it on AT&T. You wouldn't get 4G LTE on it, but it would still work because it's a world phone. Leo wonders if this was an oversight or an example of viral marketing.

Verizon iPhone 5 Ships Unlocked, Works on AT&T Network…
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410067,00.asp