If you’ve never heard that your phone is probably locked to your carrier, you’re in the right place! Carrier locked phones actually have more limitations than unlocked ones. If you got your phone along with a plan, you most likely signed a contract for it. That effectively locks your phone in so you can only use their sim. And here I’ll be giving you the top 5 reasons why you should consider unlocking your mobile phone.
Switch to Any Carrier
Like I’ve mentioned, you’re phone will be locked to one carrier if you got it with a plan. That might be okay for some, but a lot of us change sim cards every now and then. Either for work or business, changing your sim is just impossible for carrier-locked phones. This also limits you from trying out plans, obviously ruling out competitors for your carrier. If you’re unsure and you want to know if your phone is locked, finding out is simple. Some stores offer free sim cards of a different carrier than yours. Get one of those or buy a cheap prepaid one and stick it in your phone. If it works, great! then your phone is unlocked.
If you’re the type not to change phones that often then this applies to you the most. Since you’ll be more likely to change your sim, unlocking your phone now will make that easier.
More Free Space/ Less Unused Apps
Unknown to most of us is the fact that locked phones often have apps and other data that we have no control of. These apps are there because of your carrier and only they can decide to remove or even add more apps as stock to new phones. As someone that often organizes apps and removes unused ones, this is a small detail that mobile unlocking resolves.
While unlocking your phone doesn’t free you from your monthly fees, it frees you to do what you will and remove any stock apps that your carrier put in and came along with the phone when you first got it.
Get Ahead on Updates
If you have a carrier-locked phone, you probably noticed that some phones get the update sooner than yours. Since your carrier controls a bunch of stuff that you might not notice, updating your phone is actually of those things.
If you know the importance of updates, bug fixes are a big part of it and depending on your carrier, they might have a custom firmware which requires them to test out the new updates before rolling them out. This could mean a lot of things depending on what you look out for but having your phone unlocked, your updates wouldn’t have to go through them any longer and you can decide updating or not on your own.
Higher Resell Value
If you’re looking out for the next model of iPhone or Samsung to replace the one you have now, you either keep your it or sell them to a friend, on Craigslist, or somewhere else. However, locked phones are harder to sell or even hand down to someone since it restricts other sims to work on them. Sure, the chances of you getting someone using the same carrier is somewhat decent, but this affects your phone value since it’s tied to only one provider. Easily enough, you can have your phone unlocked even if you don’t choose to sell them, freeing your phone, finally.
Great for Travelling
On this list by far, this one is our key takeaway. Flying to another country for work or leisure is always fun to do. Although once you’ve landed, you’ve probably considered either renting out Wi-Fi, switching to roaming, or buying a local sim. If you’ve traveled enough, you’ll find that the latter is the best option. Although renting out Wi-fi is a valid option, having another device to carry around, let alone have another thing to charge is more of a hassle than you might think. Even more so if you’re up and about walking to different spots.
Switching to roaming is much easier, but paying those extra fees for convenience is not worth your while and we’d rather suggest you keep that money for a souvenir or two to bring back home. So we’re back to unlocking your phone beforehand which we highly recommend you do.
Having your phone unlocked saves you from having an extra device around and leaves you with just buying a local sim which is a fraction of what roaming charges will cost you. The best part is you’ll enjoy your travel with one less thing to worry about.
As a bonus for getting this far, here’s a 6th reason why and probably just as great as the rest on this list! If you want to get a better deal on your plans, buying an unlocked phone or unlocking your phone out of the contract would be the way to go. Since a large part of your contract with carriers, let’s say, AT&T, is that you’re locked down for the whole duration of your contract since the premise is you got the phone at a cheaper price and keeping you for the service is how they make back the money. Click here for PCMag’s post about cheaper sim only plans that we mentioned.
Should you eventually choose to go with an unlocked phone, your carrier plan will be much less of a hassle long term and will save you from penalties from opting out of your contract. Try out a mobile phone unlocking service so check with your carrier for such plans and you’ll never look at it the same way again.