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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Hi,

    I will be in the USA for about 3 weeks in April, and considering getting the S5 to replace my S2.

    I will need a sim free so that I can use it in Europe and with various sims worldwide including the USA.

    Do I just go to say best buy, and Walmart or radio shack ?

    Do they have sim free versions available (obviously once released after April 11th)

    Any advice on not paying over the odds.

    Am a bit confused as all I read about are carrier versions who also seem to sell a 'retail' price as well.

    I am unlikely to actually use a US sim in it, as my European one works in the USA.

    Thanks
    Last edited by isdoo; 03-27-2014 at 03:11 PM.
  2. #2  
    Darth Spock's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best way to get sim free version in the USA?

    If I am understanding correctly, you want to buy the device in the US and have it work in Europe? If that's the case, buying whatever version T-Mobile is selling will be the best bet.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    This site is selling the unlocked version, but the price is crazy

    Samsung Galaxy S5 | MobiCity USA and Global
    - Using the Sony Xperia Z3! -
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Best way to get sim free version in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    If I am understanding correctly, you want to buy the device in the US and have it work in Europe? If that's the case, buying whatever version T-Mobile is selling will be the best bet.
    So can you purchase any full priced version? Will they all be unlocked?

    I see the prices vary somewhat.

    Essentially during my 3 weeks in the US, I would like to walk into a store and either buy it there and then or get it delivered to store.

    It seems very easy in the UK, but not sure about the US
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Best way to get sim free version in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by isdoo View Post
    So can you purchase any full priced version? Will they all be unlocked?

    I see the prices vary somewhat.

    Essentially during my 3 weeks in the US, I would like to walk into a store and either buy it there and then or get it delivered to store.

    It seems very easy in the UK, but not sure about the US
    The only SIM-unlocked phones sold by a carrier in the US will be from Verizon Wireless. If you are only going to be in the US for three weeks, you won't meet the requirements for AT&T or T-Mobile to unlock your phone, so you shouldn't buy from these carriers. Sprint shouldn't even be a consideration.

    If you buy from Best Buy, Walmart, Radio Shack or just about any other bricks and mortar large chain retailer, those devices are locked to a carrier (with the exception of VZW's LTE devices), as well.

    Bottom line if you want an unlocked phone, it would be better to buy it from a place that you are already familiar with in Europe.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Why not just order an unlocked version off of amazon?

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  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hardrocker89 View Post
    Why not just order an unlocked version off of amazon?
    Thanks. Never thought of that LOL

    So you can't buy sim free in the US unless you purchase from Verizon.

    I didn't realise things were so different in the US.

    Crazy! But thanks.
  8. #8  
    Darth Spock's Avatar

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    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    I'm not sure T-Mobile sells "locked" phones anymore, will check into this.

    XTNiT-1060 through spacetime.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    I'm not sure T-Mobile sells "locked" phones anymore, will check into this.

    XTNiT-1060 through spacetime.
    T-Mobile phones are most definitely locked to T-Mobile. There is also a long list of requirements for unlocking the devices, one of which is that the device must be used on T-Mobile for 40 days. The OP wouldn't easily meet the requirement since the trip is only for three weeks.

    The Nexus 4 and 5 are sold by T-Mobile and are unlocked, but they really aren't T-Mobile phones.
  10. #10  
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    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by 21stNow View Post
    T-Mobile phones are most definitely locked to T-Mobile. There is also a long list of requirements for unlocking the devices, one of which is that the device must be used on T-Mobile for 40 days. The OP wouldn't easily meet the requirement since the trip is only for three weeks.

    The Nexus 4 and 5 are sold by T-Mobile and are unlocked, but they really aren't T-Mobile phones.
    Interesting, yeah I guess I was thinking of the Nexus and Moto X (not actually bought via T-Mo), etc.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by isdoo View Post
    Thanks. Never thought of that LOL

    So you can't buy sim free in the US unless you purchase from Verizon.

    I didn't realise things were so different in the US.

    Crazy! But thanks.
    Carriers are starting to make some changes in how they operate in the US, but they are still far from being the customers' friends. Unlocking a phone in the US is actually illegal now without the carriers' permission, so even some of the third party sources that unlock phones won't unlock US phones bought after January 26, 2013. A change may come, but carriers right now are trying to give lip service to unlocking devices for customers that really make unlocking harder, not easier.

    The only reason that Verizon Wireless' LTE phones come unlocked is due to a requirement for some spectrum that VZW purchased. If it weren't for that requirement, VZW's phones would be locked, too.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Best way to get SIM free version in the USA?

    Thanks all.

    I guess I was expecting that there would be countless online / offline stores selling sim-free versions like there are in the UK.

    I might not worry too much and purchase in Europe.

    Was hoping to save a few pennies LOL

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