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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Galaxy S5: Unlocked or not?

    I'm switching from iPhone to Android, and based on everything I've read, I'm most likely going to get the Galaxy S5. Unless the camera ends up being a colossal disappointment... so here's to hoping it will be fantastic!

    Anyways, I have a question about the unlocked version of this phone vs the carrier-specific version. I'm on AT&T, and the only phones I've ever owned have been subsidized and under 2-year contract. When I travel to Europe, it can get a bit pricey because I have to go through AT&T for my service, instead of buying a SIM while I'm over there. So the idea of factory unlocked hardware is compelling to me. But are there downsides to using a factory unlocked phone on AT&T? For example, I've read that some factory unlocked phones don't support AT&T LTE frequencies.

    I'm done a ton of research, but I feel like I might be missing something important here. So I'm asking (those who preferably have actual experience) these questions:

    * What are the downsides of buying a factory unlocked version of the phone and then using it on AT&T?
    * If I were to pay outright for an AT&T phone, will they unlock it so I can use a European carrier's SIM?

    Thanks!

    - Ben
    Last edited by NotJustAPhone; 04-06-2014 at 11:22 AM.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Unlocked or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Alman View Post
    I'm switching from iPhone to Android, and based on everything I've read, I'm most likely going to get the Galaxy S5. Unless the camera ends up being a colossal disappointment... so here's to hoping it will be fantastic!

    Anyways, I have a question about the unlocked version of this phone vs the carrier-specific version. I'm on AT&T, and the only phones I've ever owned have been subsidized and under 2-year contract. When I travel to Europe, it can get a bit pricey because I have to go through AT&T for my service, instead of buying a SIM while I'm over there. So the idea of factory unlocked hardware is compelling to me. But are there downsides to using a factory unlocked phone on AT&T? For example, I've read that some factory unlocked phones don't support AT&T LTE frequencies.

    I'm done a ton of research, but I feel like I might be missing something important here. So I'm asking (those who preferably have actual experience) these questions:

    * What are the downsides of buying a factory unlocked version of the phone and then using it on AT&T?
    * If I were to pay outright for an AT&T phone, will they unlock it so I can use a European carrier's SIM?

    Thanks!

    - Ben
    Your second question, I can share my experience but it is based on T-Mobile. Might be the same with AT&T. I have always bought every phone I have owned outright and I have been doing that for years. In store I would buy the phone and then I would have to call in to T-Mobile customer care to request an unlock code. I was usually supplied with the code within a couple of days of requesting it. It's been a couple of years since I did that, back when T-Mobile was still doing the contract thing. But from what I remember, as long as you paid for your phone outright and did not own a balance, you were given the code. I would assume it is the same now.

    If AT&T does not want to do it for you, there are plenty of sites online that can do it for you for about 20-30 bucks and on eBay even lower sometimes (I got my S4 Active unlocked for 3.99).
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Unlocked or not?

    I have had several unlocked phones on AT&T. The only problems I had were with getting the APN settings correct. After that no problems. I have not done any overseas travel but I have used one in Canada on a prepaid Rogers sim.

    Hope this helps.

    Posted via Android Central App
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Galaxy S5: Unlocked or not?

    I just spoke with Erica at AT&T customer service. She said that as long as I can show proof that I paid full retail price for the new phone, they'll unlock it for me. Which means I can preorder it at Radio Shack and save the $50 through their current promotion.

    I just have to follow the instructions here to actually unlock it: https://www.att.com/deviceunlock

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