What's your take on unlocked phones?

What's your take on unlocked phones?
While most of us won't consider picking up a phone off-contract, because of the hefty price tags that are usually attached to the high-end offerings that most of us enjoy, it's definitely not like no one's doing it. The market for unlocked phones is doing just fine, as there are people out there who happen to need a new device, but without having put their signature on yet another two-year service agreement. Sure, you end up paying a significant amount of money, and you still have to pay for some kind of service, but after all, you get the freedom of choosing whichever carrier suits you most.

So, we thought... let's find out exactly what part of our readers have purchased, or would consider purchasing a full-price, unlocked phone. Feel free to cast your votes in the polls below!

Have you ever purchased an unlocked phone?

Yes, I have.
66.81%
No, I haven't.
32.63%
Sorry, can't remember!
0.56%

Would you consider purchasing an unlocked phone?

Yes, I would.
84.82%
No, I wouldn't.
7.29%
Maybe, not sure.
7.9%

FEATURED VIDEO

25 Comments

1. AndresJ

Posts: 48; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Most carriers sale the phone you want anyway, so question rather what contract not which carrier. By the way you can unlock phone anyway even carriers unlock it

21. WWThinker

Posts: 55; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Even if the carrier agrees to unlock the phone, it still carries a lot of the crabs installed by the original carrier. Further, the OS upgrade is under the mercy of the original carrier.

23. paynekiller

Posts: 152; Member since: May 24, 2010

Well with Android and rooting you are no longer under their mercy. Unlocking is cheap and sometimes free and can be done yourself, and when you root you can remove all their bloat, only way to know is their branding on the phone's shell.

2. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

does any body have a tmobile sgs2 or htc amaze 4g they would trade for a mytouch 4g slide or lg g2x?

3. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

That doesn't seem like a fair trade...

6. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

or ill give both

18. LoneShaolin

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

still not a fair trade.

4. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

I have a few times almost bought an Unlocked Phone. Personally all phones should be unlocked both SIM and OS.

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Most my phones are unlocked. Is the price to pay for freedom

7. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

when you from outside america. Its unlocked phones. Or get locked into a contract for the worst phone imaginable.

8. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

I own an unlocked g2x, it cost me $300 upfront but I only pay $30/mo on magentas monthly4g. In the long run unlocked phones are much much cheaper than a contract, plus zero hidden fees, franchise fees, paper bill fees, early termination fees, and I am eligible for an upgrade from now until the end of time.

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

if you get on the right carrier and the right plan, unlocked phones can save you a ton over traditional contracts. we are talking multiple thousands of dollars in savings that you are just handing over to the carriers

10. ddxmms

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

the answer for me is ALWAYS because in our country we don't have Carriers and mobile makers Partnership like you do (and we would be happy for such relationship) so you can only buy a new phone (high end one or just a cheap one) or you can always buy a used phone..YES PEOPLE ITS AS BAD AS ITS SOUND :D .

11. chadrick0814 unregistered

As long as the carrier doesn't sell the phone you have unlocked, you will end up saving money.

12. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Phone prices in the U.S. could stand to drop a bit, which would make buying a phone at full price a better deal, especially with their depreciation. We get boned because the carriers want us in a contact and thus prices without contracts are inflated. Phones should not be more expensive than a decent new computer

13. jlscott777

Posts: 45; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Not being a big user of mobile calls and virtually never mobile data I have an unlocked Nokia N8 that I use on T-Mobile with a pay as you go plan, my monthly cell phone bill is about $3.50 a month, same for my wife. For people that do not use their phones all that much it is the only way to go.

14. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

My last 4 phones were bought off contract, but used on prepaid plans, because even though I bring my own phone to Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint they still want me to pay the same monthly payment as if I bought a subsidized phone....No thanks!

15. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

If the Razr never comes to AT&T on its own I would definitely consider saving the necessary money to buy an unlocked one.

16. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

We don't have a choice here in Iceland, no carrier has any contracts like these so we always have to pay full price. Electronics also cost a lot more here in Iceland than in most other countries, I paid 81.000Kr(around $700) for my Nexus S last September, and that wasn't even the full price, I got a 13.000Kr($113) discount from a friend of my father who works for one of the major carriers.

17. yingcong6

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

I would like a unlocked phone because I love freedom, and get my phone ready for other carriers just in case of the unexpected change in future.

19. chapizzo

Posts: 116; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

the article should have specifically asked for US readers, coz in most countries around the world, carriers don't offer those contracts. This site has members all around the world, right?

20. LoneShaolin

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

I usually buy unlocked phones because I don't like to wait two years for an upgrade when the phone I want will be obsolete in a few years. I usually change phones every 6-12 months

22. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

I grew-up using unlocked and prepaid phones so for now I don't see any reason to let myself get tied down into a contract. Plus in our country plans are s**tty and the price isn't justifiable by the network speed that carriers provide esp. the place where I am at. There is only 2G & 3G network available and the speed sucks, so for now on contract phones isn't ideal for me. . .

24. Laucius

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I was lucky enough to leave in a country that all phones were sim unclock and the bloatware is minimum and very rare. so all my phone were unlocked and that was very helpful for me. In my personal view it all gets down to one thing... the price, by my opinion i the subsidies of the price to go to the contract and not to the device.

25. MaxFubar

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

What's up with everybody saying unlocked phones will work with any network, when that is not true? It's false! I have Boost, and I have to buy Boost, no unlocked phones! Can anyone clarify this "Unlocked phones work with any network" ....famous saying?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.