Many smartphone users stay in a dilemma if their phone is unlocked or not while planning to switch carriers. You might be familiar or unfamiliar with MVNO carriers that have gained popularity because they are affordable alternatives for service. It is a great thing because if you use ‘big’ carriers, having the power to switch anytime you want is convenient.
Notably, it doesn’t matter which unlimited plan you use; all you need to do is make sure that the SIM is unlocked. In simpler words, you can use a SIM card from any company without restrictions, as long as the hardware is compatible with the network.
While most of the Android phones come unlocked, purchasing it directly from a carrier doesn’t guarantee the same. Therefore, you’ll have to check it yourself. Do you want to know more about how to check if your phone is unlocked? Here’s a guide mentioning the same. So, let’s get started!
Before getting to know how it’s done, it is essential to record where and how it was bought. If you’re living in the U.S., you might know that Verizon is the only carrier that provides its smartphones unlocked. Therefore, if you buy a phone from the Verizon store or website, you don’t have to worry about it being locked.
It is also essential to mention that you shouldn’t buy a Verizon phone to use a different network because of the compatibility. However, it is fine to use another SIM in a Verizon phone and let the hardware link to a different network.
In case you’re getting a phone from Best Buy or other resellers that offer financing plans, it is not a reliable option when you’re considering an unlocked phone. Furthermore, phones directly purchased from Google come unlocked, and sometimes Samsung and Motorola are SIM unlocked.
For all the other phones for which you want to check if they are SIM unlocked or not, here’s how to do the same.
You might have noticed that various websites let you check if your phone is unlocked or not. However, they charge for their services. It is advised not to use this method as it isn’t very reliable. Alternatively, you can contact your carrier or the MVNO you’re planning to switch to. It is because companies maintain a record about which phones are unlocked, compatible, or blacklisted. Most of the time, you’ll not be provided with any such information, but it’s worth a try.
The simplest method to figure out if your phone is SIM unlocked or not is to insert a SIM from some other carrier. Also, it is not necessary to use an active SIM, as the phone tries to connect to any SIM that is inserted. Below mentioned are the instructions to do the same:
- Use your currently inserted SIM card and make a call. It is just to check that your current SIM is working properly or not.
- Switch off your smartphone and take out the SIM card.
- Insert the new SIM from any other carrier.
- In case a dialog box appears on the screen prompting you to enter the SIM unlock code, it was SIM locked originally.
- If the same dialog box doesn’t appear, check for the signal. If everything goes well, it means that the phone is SIM unlocked.
If there is a signal and you cannot make a call, it is probably because of some error. Also, note down the error code and check online. You’ll get to know if the error is occurring because of incompatible hardware or some other reason.
Now that you’re familiar with the process of checking if a phone is SIM unlocked or not, as per assumptions, your next question could be what to do with the newly unlocked phone? There are a few things you must know, including if your phone is compatible with MVNO’s if you’re switching to the same. Therefore, select the right MVNO. It was easy, right? Checking if your phone is SIM unlocked needs no professional advice. The instructions mentioned above are likely to save you from visiting a carrier store. So, even if you were planning to go, try using the SIM inserting method.