Advantages and Disadvantages of Unlocked Mobile Phones

Advantages and Disadvantages of Unlocked Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have revolutionized the way we communicate now. It has slowly become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Access to unlimited information because of the internet, constant touch with family and friends, and conducting work or business are only some of the important uses of a mobile phone. As it has essentially made our lives easier, we are constantly on the lookout for the best possible mobile phones. Phone manufacturers have also tried to capitalize off of the society’s needs by making phones with different features. Now we can choose from different types of handsets (mobile phones). One of the classifications of these phones are locked and unlocked mobile phones. Unlocked mobile phones have gained a lot of popularity lately for their unique features. But is it as good as it seems?

WHAT IS AN UNLOCKED MOBILE PHONE?

An unlocked mobile phone is a smartphone that can work with any mobile phone carrier. They have the flexibility to use a network provider of their choosing. It is unlike a carrier phone (sold through a mobile service provider) which is ‘locked’ to only one network or service provider company. Unlocked phones have no network restrictions like a carrier phone does. One can use any SIM card of any network into their handsets based on their preference.

Additionally, a user can unlock their locked phone if they wish to. In order to do that one has to follow the procedure laid down by the carrier that the mobile phone was last used with.

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ADVANTAGES OF UNLOCKED MOBILE PHONES

Freedom

One of the biggest advantages of an unlocked mobile phone is it affords considerable freedom to the user of the phone. These phones are compatible with SIM cards. So, one is not obligated to one carrier or company forever. In other words, the consumer has the freedom to choose whichever network works best for them based on the carrier’s plans, prices, and quality. Oftentimes, certain carriers have poor network connectivity in specific areas. A locked phone user in these areas would have difficulty with using these mobile phones. But an unlocked phone user can easily navigate this issue by going for another carrier or phone company. So, unlocked mobile phones give way to more carrier selections for easier use. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Unlocked Mobile Phones

More Options

An unlocked phone user has way more options compared to a locked or a carrier phone user. Carrier phones have an exclusive and limited selection of phones. That is to say that they offer a restricted number of phones and models of these locked phones to users. So, the choices are finite. On the other hand, there are a higher number of models of phones to choose from when it comes to unlocked mobile phones. You end up buying these phones from a retailer or the phone manufacturer and not directly from the carrier company. So, there is increased access to different and up to date mobile phones.

 Easy Travel

Another important advantage of an unlocked mobile phone is the ease of traveling anywhere in the world with it. Especially when you travel a lot or move abroad, there is always the hassle of changing your network to a local one. With a locked mobile phone or handset, one would have to buy a completely new phone. This difficulty is solved with an unlocked phone. When you move, all you have to do is replace the SIM card with a local network instead of buying a completely different mobile phone. So one can easily integrate an international SIM card when they travel without any problem.

Additionally, most of these phones also have the dual-SIM card feature which allows the user to simultaneously use two SIM cards at the same time. Therefore, the user has the option of having one international SIM card for travel and one with the local SIM card.

Higher Resale Value

Though the initial cost of buying an unlocked phone is higher than other phones, it has a higher resale value. The user can sell their phones at a better price and to a broader range of people. It is also easier to sell them because anyone can use it with their own carrier network. Also, unlocked phone users have the option of selling it to anyone living in different parts of the world too. In other words, unlocked mobile phones have better returns and are cost-effective in the longer run. 

DISADVANTAGES OF UNLOCKED MOBILE PHONES

Expensive

A big drawback of unlocked mobile phones is it is more expensive than locked phones. The user ends up paying a lot more upfront for these mobile phones. Most carriers or locked phones usually try to give their users discounts or good deals on the initial purchase price because these handsets are specially made for the particular service provider. Network providers also offer monthly payments on the phone bills which is very convenient to keep the monthly budget in check. These are privileges that an unlocked mobile phone user misses out on. 

Needs Thorough Research

Unlike the carrier phones, with an unlocked mobile phone you are responsible for any damage or issue that occurs. Therefore, the unlocked mobile phone user has to make sure that before making a purchase, they do their proper research. There are a lot of good deals for mobile phones in the market but to find the best fit, one has to extensively sift through reviews and testimonials of other users. A user with no knowledge about technology or mobile phones could have a tough time navigating the purchase of these phones. 

Network Troubles

Unlocked mobile phones may not have the same network features or attributes as those provided for in carrier mobile phones. The user has to work out the network issues or any other technical difficulties by themselves. Also, there is a possibility that the data network or audio/visual network will not be as smooth in these unlocked mobile phones. Hence, the users have to weigh their priorities before buying an unlocked mobile phone.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Unlocked Mobile Phones

No Insurance

Network providers usually offer insurance to their locked phone users. This insurance could include theft, loss, damage, or even software issues. Unlocked phone users have to get insurance from a third party which can be very cumbersome. The entire process of claiming the insurance can be time-consuming. 

Unlocked mobile phones definitely have their pros and cons. Therefore, depending on the need, the phone user should look carefully into the specifications of the mobile phones before making a purchase. 

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Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

Freedom

Expensive

More Options

Needs Thorough Research 

Easy Travel

Network Troubles

Higher Resale Value

No Insurance

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Anchita Nair