If you’re looking to get into a prepaid plan there’s a good chance that you’re going to want that prepaid phone unlocked. After all, when you’re on a prepaid plan you want to take advantage of the freedom that it brings. The worst thing that you can actually do is go out and buy a phone from the service provider. At least not off a credit line. What ties you down to a service provider these days isn’t even the sketchy contract that they make you sign. It’s the fact that you still owe your phone to them. What’s the best way then to get a prepaid phone unlocked? We’ve been looking into this quite a bit on this site as of late. At this point, we have our clear favorite options. Still, we’ll make sure to put forth an unbiased opinion.
For people who are accustomed to getting their phones directly from the service provider, having to branch out and buy a burner phone or a prepaid phone unlocked for that matter can be a different experience. There are a ton of options that you can look into. Your final decision may come down to what you want to use the phone for. You’re going to be able to buy the latest phones on the market and get them on a prepaid plan for sure. Spoiler alert, you won’t have to pay the full price of the phone upfront to be able to do this. You just have to know where to look. That’s exactly what we want to help you do. Here are the topics that we’re going to be covering in this article,
- Prepaid Phone Unlocked – Don’t Buy From Your Service Provider
- Not Buying From The Service Provider Doesn’t Equal Disregarding The Service Provider
- Who Has The Best Deals For A Prepaid Phone Unlocked?
- You Don’t Have To Pay The Full Price Of The Phone
- Get Your Current Phone Unlocked
- Prepaid Phone Unlocked The Best Plan
Prepaid Phone Unlocked – Don’t Buy From Your Service Provider
On this site these types of warnings are very rare. This is mainly because we try to explore every single issue on a per-case basis. When it comes to getting an unlocked phone though it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to buy from your service provider. The only real situation where this might be a good idea is if you see that for some reason a particular phone is on sale big time with a service provider. Even in those cases though when T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T say that a phone is on sale the sale is conditional to you getting into a long term contract with them. If you’re looking for a prepaid phone, unlocked more often than not you’d have to pay the full price for the device. If you want to buy from the service provider.
The business of wireless service providers isn’t selling prepaid phones that are unlocked. Their business model depends on you buying a phone off credit from them and getting you into a long term contract with them. Therefore, finding deals on the device itself without a conditional contract with them is extremely rare. Another reason why we just won’t recommend doing this, particularly if you’re going to buy the phone at a physical store is that while you’re there they’re going to push you to get a plan with them. There are no valid reasons to put yourself under that kind of pressure. We are not saying that you should never buy a device from a service provider. If you want an unlocked device though, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy from them.
Not Buying From The Service Provider Doesn’t Equal Disregarding The Service Provider
We want to make sure we’re clear here. Again, the reason why you typically don’t want to buy from a service provider directly with unlocked phones is that they typically won’t have great deals on unlocked phones. You, though, need to make sure that the device that you want to buy is compatible with the network that you want to get coverage from. We’ve seen T-Mobile, and other service providers offer very cheap devices that they claim are compatible with their network. So what the buyer sees is that they can get an old flip phone for pennies on the dollar and connect it to the T-Mobile network. If you’re on a major budget, this could be an option. Know though, that you won’t have access to the 5G network or 4G even in some cases with the old flip phone that you got for pennies on the dollar.
What we advise that you do is check the website for the service provider that you want to activate your prepaid phone, unlocked with. To see which devices are compatible with their network. Particularly look for the devices that are compatible with their 5G or 4G networks. Whatever the latest or most advanced network that the service provider is offering. The reason why we recommend this is that if you have a device that isn’t compatible with the most advanced speeds you’ll still be paying the same price for coverage. Even if you’re not getting 5G coverage. Make sure to check with the service provider for device compatibility before you buy a phone. Regardless of where you’re going to get the phone itself from.
Who Has The Best Deals For A Prepaid Phone Unlocked?
Searching for deals on prepaid phones can be a tall task. How you want to pay for the phone may just be the most important decision that you’re going to have to make when you look into buying one of these phones. Here’s why. What you can do if you want to get into the leasing program that is essentially buying phones on a credit line that you can switch out every couple years is to buy directly from the manufacturer. Both of the main phone makers, Samsung, and Apple have credit programs that allow you to buy a phone from them on a monthly fee, and switch your phone for a new version every couple of years. Just like wireless service providers allow people on a post paid plan to do.
If you want to pay for the phone in full or you want to look for refurbished phones that you can get a good deal on both Amazon and the Walmart marketplace can be great options. What we always say in these cases is that one you need to make sure that you’re buying an unlocked phone. Number two be certain of the type of device that you’re buying. It’s ok to buy a refurbished phone. What’s not ok is to buy a refurbished phone thinking that it’s brand new. Read through the product description and the return policy before you hit the buy button in both of those marketplaces.
You Don’t Have To Pay The Full Price Of The Phone
This is something that we’ve alluded to already. However, we want to take time here to elaborate on it. As we’ve mentioned virtually all of the phone manufacturers have the option to buy the phone from them on a credit line and become part of their program. What’s the catch here? The problem a couple of years back that people were reporting was that getting approved for a credit line with certain phone manufacturers when you had bad credit was harder than getting approved by T-Mobile or AT&T. That sadly, may still be the case for some people. What we suggest if you’re keen on getting a prepaid phone unlocked on credit is that you look for options from different phone makers. If you don’t get approved by Apple you can try Samsung or even look into options from third party sellers.
Granted, looking to buy phones on a credit line from third party sellers can seem like a bit of a sketchy way to go about things. That being said, we’re essentially throwing that option out there so that people don’t get discouraged. If you currently have bad credit there should be no shame in using a lower tier device on a prepaid plan until you can get your score back up. As we’ve mentioned though there are different options that you can look into. So that you don’t have to pay for the phone in full even if you’re going to get into a prepaid plan.
Get Your Current Phone Unlocked
You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy a phone if you have one. We’ve mentioned this multiple times on the site before. Wireless service providers will literally help you unlock your phone if you want to get service from them. If you have a phone that you think that you can use, even if it’s locked to a service provider don’t worry about it. Look into what the different service providers are offering. Make sure that you get a plan that fits your particular needs. Once you got that done check the compatibility of your device with their network. If your phone is compatible with the network you can head over to your nearest store, and tell them you want to get a prepaid plan, and they’ll unlock it for you.
Before you try and unlock the phone yourself or head over to a store to get the phone unlocked be sure to save your data correctly. The main issue that you could be looking at when it comes to unlocking your phone is data loss. That’s essentially the only negative thing that can take place if you want to go ahead and get your phone unlocked. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get your data up in the cloud or an external storage device. There’s a chance that the data will still be there after the phone is unlocked. However, there are cases where data is lost in the process. If you know that you want to get the phone unlocked, why take the chance?
Prepaid Phone Unlocked The Best Plan
We are going to go over the whole process here of what it takes to unlock a phone and then get it activated on a prepaid plan with a service provider. The first step may ironically be the one that we just got done talking about. You have to decide whether you need a prepaid phone unlocked or you have one already. Ideally, make sure that the phone that you’re going to use is a recent model phone. We advise this because older phones can have a tougher time being compatible with the network. The problem with that is that you’ll be paying potentially for 5G coverage, but your coverage speed is going to top out at 4G because your phone isn’t compatible with the network. That’s the first big decision that you need to make.
The second decision that you’ll need to make is what network you want to go with. Yes, most people are going to try and get a deal here and there’s nothing wrong with that. Go with the option that gives you the most incentives for the least amount of cash. If you’re in a big city that’s pretty much everything that you have to account for. However, for people living in a rural area or wherever coverage with a certain service provider isn’t great may want to pay a little extra for more reliable coverage. Don’t just bargain shop here. Look into the incentives that each company is offering.
Lastly, we’d like to point out that having a prepaid phone unlocked isn’t just going to help you locally. Unlocked phones can be a great advantage for international travelers. Since you’re going to be able to easily get cheap coverage abroad by getting a local SIM card from the place that you travel to. If you travel with a locked phone you won’t be able to get your phone to read a SIM card that isn’t expedited by another phone company. That’s about all that we have to say on this subject!