06-07-2013 05:40 PM
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  1. rclifton's Avatar
    I bought a Nexus 4 from T-Mobile in store on launch day. Only select stores received around 6 total in stock. Since I was already on contract, the $199 price was a steal. The phone is amazing, and works great on T-Mobile's network. However, something to note: Even though all Nexus 4's are exactly the same, the ones bought on contract are indeed "locked". The wake screen shows T-Mobile's name at the very bottom. If I had bought the phone with no contract, it would have been "unlocked", and no branding. Side note: You can't buy the phone on contract for a lower price, then just use a non-T-Mobile SIM - it won't work. Now for those interested to know - I do have the option to cancel the contract and have the phone unlocked. Usually T-Mobile will charge a fee and they suggest printing out the instructions from Google and they will handle it. But, I've been with them for a while, and so they'll waive the fee to unlock the phone should I decide to leave. One last good point to make - Paying $200 (for the phone on contract) + $200 (to cancel my contract and unlock the phone), is only around $13 more than buying from Google directly (phone + shipping + tax). And is much less of a headache than the dreadful checkout hell everyone went through on Google's Play store, and there's no wait, no hassle, and I walked away with a brand new Nexus 4 day one! Good luck to everyone still trying to pick one up - it's a very nice phone
    As has already been stated numerous times here and several other places, your phone is already unlocked. There is no difference between an in contract Tmobile Nexus 4 vs. an off contract Tmobile Nexus 4 vs. the Nexus 4 you get from Google. They are all EXACTLY the same.
    11-18-2012 02:57 PM
  2. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    You are correct - all the phone are the same. That's exactly what I meant when I said "all Nexus 4's are exactly the same". I think you may have misunderstood my note about the phone being locked. As stated by T-Mobile, and confirmed by my own test... You can not buy a Nexus 4 on contract and use a non-T-Mobile SIM. In that sense, it is locked to the carrier. If you want to use the phone on another network, there are instructions from Google and changes T-Mobile has to make to "unlock" the phone. This is fact. Otherwise, only T-Mobile SIMs can be used with the Nexus 4 bought on contract. I hope this clarifies things.
    11-18-2012 03:09 PM
  3. harrycarry250's Avatar
    That's sure. The 6 T-Mobile reps I spoke too, including those on the phone, where 100% certain the device was locked into T-Mobile. Not saying its their fault but if I were a rep at any tech store I would read up on the hot new items so I could give accurate info and my opinion. Like if LTE is not a biggy you may take a Nexus 4 over a One X.
    11-18-2012 03:11 PM
  4. rclifton's Avatar
    You are correct - all the phone are the same. That's exactly what I meant when I said "all Nexus 4's are exactly the same". I think you may have misunderstood my note about the phone being locked. As stated by T-Mobile, and confirmed by my own test... You can not buy a Nexus 4 on contract and use a non-T-Mobile SIM. In that sense, it is locked to the carrier. If you want to use the phone on another network, there are instructions from Google and changes T-Mobile has to make to "unlock" the phone. This is fact. Otherwise, only T-Mobile SIMs can be used with the Nexus 4 bought on contract. I hope this clarifies things.
    I understood what you meant, I was just trying to say you were incorrect. The only way for your in contract phone to be locked to Tmobile would be if it had a different firmware then the off contract phone, it does not. They would need 2 sku's to differeniate between an in contract vs. off contract Nexus 4 if what you are saying were correct, again they do not. There is one Nexus 4 offered by Tmobile for both on and off contract purchases, it is EXACTLY the same.
    11-18-2012 03:23 PM
  5. Slender Troll's Avatar
    Only a select few Tmobile stores are stocking it, you probably called one of the ones that aren't, hence the reason they had no idea what you were talking about lol.
    Doesn't mean they shouldn't know about the phone itself.

    Motorola Photon 4G
    11-18-2012 03:48 PM
  6. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    Right. Perhaps I'm wording this wrong. I was told, I also tested, and noticed confirmation from other users on other forums - bought through T-Mobile, the Nexus 4 gave some users connectivity problems while trying to use AT&T SIMs. Personally, I couldn't get the phone to work with an AT&T SIM at all. The store manager also explained that "if I left T-Mobile, after having bought the phone on contract, [they] will need to unlock it for me in order for non-T-Mobile SIMs to work." That's what I was told, and that's the experience I had, and that's what others have claimed as well. I certainly don't know enough about locking/unlocking or firmware all too well. However, I was simply responding to someone who had asked about an on contract experience. I'm not making any of this up. This is my experience. Not trying to confuse anyone.
    11-18-2012 03:52 PM
  7. ChromeJob's Avatar
    You are correct - all the phone are the same. That's exactly what I meant when I said "all Nexus 4's are exactly the same". I think you may have misunderstood my note about the phone being locked. As stated by T-Mobile, and confirmed by my own test... You can not buy a Nexus 4 on contract and use a non-T-Mobile SIM. In that sense, it is locked to the carrier. If you want to use the phone on another network, there are instructions from Google and changes T-Mobile has to make to "unlock" the phone. This is fact. Otherwise, only T-Mobile SIMs can be used with the Nexus 4 bought on contract. I hope this clarifies things.
    Do you have any online corroboration of this? Like, a link to a T-Mobile support doc?

    Right. Perhaps I'm wording this wrong. I was told, I also tested, and noticed confirmation from other users on other forums - bought through T-Mobile, the Nexus 4 gave some users connectivity problems while trying to use AT&T SIMs. Personally, I couldn't get the phone to work with an AT&T SIM at all. The store manager also explained that "if I left T-Mobile, after having bought the phone on contract, [they] will need to unlock it for me in order for non-T-Mobile SIMs to work." That's what I was told, and that's the experience I had, and that's what others have claimed as well. I certainly don't know enough about locking/unlocking or firmware all too well. However, I was simply responding to someone who had asked about an on contract experience. I'm not making any of this up. This is my experience. Not trying to confuse anyone.
    Let's be clear. When you booted up the phone with an AT&T SIM, what did the phone do? Did it ask you for an unlock code to continue using the SIM, or did it boot up all the way and then have "connectivity problems."

    In my experience, the latter is not an indication of a SIM-locked phone, but of problems on the network, or a SIM card that is specific to a brand/model phone and not compatible with the Nexus 4.

    I'm not trying to put you on the spot -- just clarify what your problems were.
    11-18-2012 04:59 PM
  8. Andrew Martonik's Avatar
    I bought a Nexus 4 from T-Mobile in store on launch day. Only select stores received around 6 total in stock. Since I was already on contract, the $199 price was a steal. The phone is amazing, and works great on T-Mobile's network. However, something to note: Even though all Nexus 4's are exactly the same, the ones bought on contract are indeed "locked". The wake screen shows T-Mobile's name at the very bottom. If I had bought the phone with no contract, it would have been "unlocked", and no branding. Side note: You can't buy the phone on contract for a lower price, then just use a non-T-Mobile SIM - it won't work. Now for those interested to know - I do have the option to cancel the contract and have the phone unlocked. Usually T-Mobile will charge a fee and they suggest printing out the instructions from Google and they will handle it. But, I've been with them for a while, and so they'll waive the fee to unlock the phone should I decide to leave. One last good point to make - Paying $200 (for the phone on contract) + $200 (to cancel my contract and unlock the phone), is only around $13 more than buying from Google directly (phone + shipping + tax). And is much less of a headache than the dreadful checkout hell everyone went through on Google's Play store, and there's no wait, no hassle, and I walked away with a brand new Nexus 4 day one! Good luck to everyone still trying to pick one up - it's a very nice phone
    The phone is unlocked. Android 4.x shows the carrier you're connected to in the bottom of the notification bar and lockscreen by default. It changes depending on the SIM you put in, that's not something that's hard-coded into the T-Mobile device... Take that phone and pop an AT&T SIM in it, it'll say "AT&T" at the bottom of the notification bar.
    ChromeJob likes this.
    11-18-2012 05:03 PM
  9. rclifton's Avatar
    Right. Perhaps I'm wording this wrong. I was told, I also tested, and noticed confirmation from other users on other forums - bought through T-Mobile, the Nexus 4 gave some users connectivity problems while trying to use AT&T SIMs. Personally, I couldn't get the phone to work with an AT&T SIM at all. The store manager also explained that "if I left T-Mobile, after having bought the phone on contract, [they] will need to unlock it for me in order for non-T-Mobile SIMs to work." That's what I was told, and that's the experience I had, and that's what others have claimed as well. I certainly don't know enough about locking/unlocking or firmware all too well. However, I was simply responding to someone who had asked about an on contract experience. I'm not making any of this up. This is my experience. Not trying to confuse anyone.
    Your issue with connectivity problems when using an AT&T sim is almost certainly from not having the correct apn settings. If you would like to try again I'd be glad to walk you through entering the correct info for AT&T.
    11-18-2012 05:09 PM
  10. ChromeJob's Avatar
    Your issue with connectivity problems when using an AT&T sim is almost certainly from not having the correct apn settings. If you would like to try again I'd be glad to walk you through entering the correct info for AT&T.
    Andrew's got that covered. How to set up the right APN on your Nexus 4 | Android Central
    11-18-2012 05:13 PM
  11. Ziptied's Avatar
    Jenny seems a tad confused. Andrew looks like he sorted this out so I'll move along, but I lol'd for real.
    Andrew Martonik likes this.
    11-18-2012 05:28 PM
  12. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    Jenny seems a tad confused. Andrew looks like he sorted this out so I'll move along, but I lol'd for real.
    Not confused. Just going off of my personal experience. Unfortunately, not a universal experience. I apologize for any confusion.
    ChromeJob likes this.
    11-18-2012 09:38 PM
  13. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    Do you have any online corroboration of this? Like, a link to a T-Mobile support doc?
    I don't. I based my experience on my discussion and personal tests with T-Mobile staff.

    Let's be clear. When you booted up the phone with an AT&T SIM, what did the phone do? Did it ask you for an unlock code to continue using the SIM, or did it boot up all the way and then have "connectivity problems."
    The latter. It boot up with no problems. But could not place phone calls, nor send/receive messages.
    11-18-2012 09:44 PM
  14. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    The phone is unlocked. Android 4.x shows the carrier you're connected to in the bottom of the notification bar and lockscreen by default. It changes depending on the SIM you put in, that's not something that's hard-coded into the T-Mobile device... Take that phone and pop an AT&T SIM in it, it'll say "AT&T" at the bottom of the notification bar.
    This is true from what I've seen. Although I did not have luck with another carrier SIM card. Possibly due to to APN issue as others have addressed.
    11-18-2012 09:47 PM
  15. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    Seriously, thank you everyone who responded and replied. I've learned a lot and my ultimate goal is to actually find out the real circumstance regarding this issue. I've heard a lot of debate on both sides, and in accordance with my own experience, I have only my own story to report. I hope it helps in some way or another, but never have I intended to mislead anyone looking for a direct answer. Perhaps T-Mobile can explain this further. I literally have nothing else to add. Thanks for the information
    11-18-2012 09:56 PM
  16. ChromeJob's Avatar
    ... The latter. It boot[ed] up with no problems. But could not place phone calls, nor send/receive messages.
    Cool! That confirms your phone is unlocked, otherwise you'd get a "enter unlock code to continue with this network's SIM" (words like that effect) like I did with my locked Amaze when I first booted with an AT&T SIM.

    So, hopefully Andrew's article clears up what you need to know next time (or this time if you're still in "can't get data" dilemma). Let us know if you're still stymied in a new thread, 'kay?
    Jenny Averly likes this.
    11-18-2012 10:21 PM
  17. Jenny Averly's Avatar
    Absolutely! Thanks for clearing this up. I'm OK on T-Mobile's network for now
    11-18-2012 10:36 PM
  18. bkorver's Avatar
    All I have to go on is personal experience as well. And my personal experience is that I went in to a T-Mo store, bought an N4 at full price, dropped an AT&T Straight Talk Sim in, changed the APN, and have been on cloud 9 ever since.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
    11-19-2012 09:43 PM
  19. shikem's Avatar
    I purchased my N4 at a Tmobile store as well. They insisted it was locked so we popped in my ATT Sim card to check it out.
    Low and behold it actually worked. I did have some issues with data cutting in and out the 1st day but all is well now.
    It is definitely unlocked even though the Tmo guys say otherwise.
    11-20-2012 06:02 AM
  20. shikem's Avatar
    Your issue with connectivity problems when using an AT&T sim is almost certainly from not having the correct apn settings. If you would like to try again I'd be glad to walk you through entering the correct info for AT&T.
    My data speeds went way up after changinging the APN settings.
    Its like vodoo magic or something.
    While I was able to surf the web etc at what seemed like a reasonable speed for a non LTE phone on ATT I was not able to use the speed test app.
    I thought that perhaps it just didn't like the nexus ad it is an unlocked phone.
    After changing the APN settings I can use speed test and am seeing about 12 k down with 1.1 up and about 60 for ping.
    Now I can definitely live with that.
    Slender Troll likes this.
    11-20-2012 07:05 AM
  21. N3RDKING's Avatar
    At this point, I think I'm just going to get my device from T-Mobile. Same difference, and I'm not even on backorder, so Im sure I'd have to wait until 2013 at this point from the playstore.
    11-20-2012 10:15 AM
  22. Phateless's Avatar
    I talked to T-Mobile online chat this morning, and here's all I could get out of them.
    We don't have any other explanation except that the phone is designed to work perfectly with T-Mobile network. This is not only happening with T-Mobile though. All other carrier's phone are quite higher than those purchased directly from the manufacturer.
    I believe the devices are exactly the same, although I would love to know the real reason T-Mobile is charging more, even if it's as simple as profit.
    04-14-2013 10:45 AM
  23. Jnorton2724's Avatar
    Its the exact same phone you'd get from the play store. If you can't wait for it to get shipped and want to do that down payment thing for it then T-Mobile can make profit off you. Most customers that go in won't know about the difference in the price from the play store so easy profit.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
    04-14-2013 11:01 AM
  24. NexusGirlX's Avatar
    Its the exact same phone you'd get from the play store. If you can't wait for it to get shipped and want to do that down payment thing for it then T-Mobile can make profit off you. Most customers that go in won't know about the difference in the price from the play store so easy profit.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
    Yes it is the same exact phone. It's 100% unlocked. I bought mine when it was free on the T-Mobile site, paid the first months bill and then cancelled the contract. At the time, I still had an iPhone activated on AT&T and I used the sim from the iPhone in the Nexus 4 and it worked without any problems. I am now using it on T-Mobile again because they have the best network out of the other providers in my area.
    ChromeJob and stockandroidguy like this.
    04-14-2013 04:10 PM
  25. Th3Myth's Avatar
    there is one difference I did find... the price tag!!!
    Slender Troll likes this.
    04-15-2013 07:07 AM
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