View Full Version : Has anybody here ever bought an "unlocked" cell phone off ebay?

August 21st, 2007, 10:47 PM
I'm wanting to buy a cell phone and I keep seeing that a lot of them say they are unlocked. Does that mean I can call T-mobile, say, "I got this new phone that used to be an AT&T/Sprint/Verizon (whatever) phone, and I want to use it instead of this other phone that I just broke." Will they care? Do they throw up red flags if it's an "unlocked" phone?

August 21st, 2007, 10:50 PM
Basically you can switch carriers and keep your phone. Assuming the carrier you switching to uses the same network. You could go from AT&T to T-Mobile since they both use a GSM network, but you couldn't go from AT&T to Sprint with the same phone since Sprint uses a CDMA network and won't work with a GSM phone.

As for red flags, no. I'm using an unlocked phone right now with AT&T. Not to mention those unlocked phones are also unbranded meaning they won't have all that crap that the carriers stick in the firmware. Like their logo in the menus and stuff, disabling certain features etc.. And they usually work better because carriers end up crippling their phones with their custom firmware.

August 22nd, 2007, 12:00 AM
Ya, Tmobile doesn't care what phone you use. Just make sure you buy an unlocked GSM type phone. Take out the SIM card from your previous phone and put it in the "new" phone and you are in business.

I use a prepaid Tmobile SIM card ($7 on eBay with 150 min.) in my GSM phone which used to be Southern Bell or some such. It works great. For $100 refill ($89 on eBay) you get 1000 minutes that last 1 year. If you buy another $100 refill just before the end of the year, they rollover any leftover minutes which works great for someone like me that doesn't use a cellphone much.

August 22nd, 2007, 01:09 AM
I never buy a unlocked cellular phone, i usually unlock them instead :)

August 22nd, 2007, 01:41 AM
I unlocked my old Nokia 3650. Apparently it makes it a lot more desirable now, its considerable old now and I lost the ac adapter and I still managed to easily sell it for $45.

My current Nokia is not easily unlocked now but if I ever move from my city I might unlock it since I love my 6131.

September 1st, 2007, 06:25 AM
Well, I got one for my girlfriend. It's a LG F9200. And I'm a bit disapointed with the purchase. Lousy backgrounds that come with it, cheesy ringtones, and MMS messaging doesn't work...just SMS. We both use T-mobile.

Now, in the text messaging part of the phone's menu, there is a sub menu deep in there that allows you to select different carrier profiles...something like a couple different flavors of GPRS and a couple other things. Picking different ones and trying to send a picture to someone doesn't seem to ever work right....


September 1st, 2007, 06:36 AM
I'm guessing that since it's unlocked and unbranded it doesn't have the settings for MMS, and WAP. You probably have to set those manually.
Look what I found for you;)

July 26th, 2010, 06:42 AM
I never buy a unlocked cellular phone, i usually unlock them instead :)

I never buy a locked cell phone

Locked cell phones usually come with customized firmware which can affect the performance and battery life, and then there is the obvious issue of it being LOCKED

years ago I got an unlocked n95 off ebay. good phone. genuine owner, not stolen, not fake. I think I was lucky. :)

July 26th, 2010, 06:43 AM
Not a big phone user here, but I also dislike any kind of logo on my desktop or display, <off topic>not to mention those little 'best used with windows' stickers</off topic>. I'm planning to buy a droid when my contract is up, one of the last few that's still actually open. It's my choice which version of android OS I run, not Motorola's, not Verizon's.

July 26th, 2010, 07:55 AM
There are also a few online stores that are in the business of selling unlocked cell phones. They're basically European versions of the phones you get here, and you can just stick your SIM card from your old phone into one and that's it. Just make sure the GSM frequency band is supported by whatever phone you buy - not all phones support all GSM frequencies (unless I've just been out of the loop too long, and my information is outdated :) ).