US & Abroad, Unlocked AT&T vs. Factory vs. International
I’m relatively new to the Smartphone arena, I’ve been sufficing with an older slide/keyboard phone and no data plan. I’ve settled on getting a Good/Mint condition second-hand Unlocked S4 (based on the cost/features tradeoff of the S5), and sticking to SIM services like StraightTalk for now. But now I’m stuck as to which model to get!
There’s a strong possibility of going abroad in the next year, and since I don’t anticipate trading in my phone (since this is my first Smartphone, I don’t think I’ll be jumping on the “phone upgrade” wagon that quickly unless some amazing and affordable alternative comes along) I would really like for it to work both in the US and overseas. I’ve read up on CDMA vs. GSM carriers and understand it well enough, but I’m not really getting a solid answer as to whether any Unlocked phone will work on GSM (or how well). If the International model works on CDMA too, I’m thinking that might be the safer bet. If not, would AT&T or Factory Unlocked be about equal in terms of compatibility? I was leaning towards Factory because it would mean less excess carrier stuff installed on the phone, therefore more space. But how much harder would it be (for a novice) to get set up interface-wise on a Factory phone?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I’m looking for advice on CDMA & GSM compatibility between International, AT&T, and Factory Unlocked S4, and maybe what to expect interface/setup-wise on a Factory vs. Carrier phone.
(I’m focusing on AT&T instead of Verizon because I plan on using StraightTalk while in the US and hear it’s a better fit? I might be mistaken on this. But I also hear Verizon is much less GSM compatible).