Q&A: what is an “unlocked phone”?

Question by Cathy: what is an “unlocked phone”?
when a phone is “unlocked”, can it be used on ANY network, including no-contract plans like boost mobile and straight talk? Can any phone from any carrier be unlocked and how is it done? How much does it usually cost and how do would one go about doing it?
by the way if it helps, I have a samsung reclaim currently activated on sprint. my contract is gonna expire soon and I am interested in getting walmart’s straight talk plan but if its possible, I dont wanna give up this phone cuz I really like how it works for me. Please help!
also, if it helps, my phone doesnt have a sim card

Best answer:

Answer by Dylan
if it’s unlocked GSM, it can be used on any GSM network. if you don’t have a SIM, then you’re on CDMA, i think they’re unlocked to begin with

Add your own answer in the comments!

4 comments

  1. Unlocked phones are phones that have sim cards in them, amd when the phone is u locked you can use the phone with any wireless provider that supports sim cards.

  2. Sprint will only activate Sprint-branded phones.

    Unlocked phones are GSM phones which, in the US work on AT&T and T-Mobile. Unlocked, an AT&T phone can be used with T-Mobile and visa-versa. An unlocked phone can never be used on a non-GSM network like Sprint, Straight Talk or Boost.

  3. An unlocked phone means that you can use it on any GSM network (AT&T and T-Mobile and their subsidiaries in the US, etc.) and can use a foreign SIM while traveling abroad for cheaper rates. It also resells for more because it opens up more opportunities for people to buy your phone. Good luck!

  4. It looks like walmart straight talk uses version cdma like the previous answer. It would not be usable with att or t-moble. I don’t know if that phone would do what you want. A good source for cell info is “phonescoop.com”

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