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    Default Buying non contract phones - what do I need to know?

    I've been with Verizon for probably close to 10 years and have typically replaced my phone when the two year contract was up, taking advantage of the subsidy.

    However, even though I only use about 2GB of data on each of the three lines that we have, it would cost me at least $60 more a month for service if I were to switch from our unlimited plans to a family share plan. So, I have pretty well resolved that I'm never buying a subsidized phone from Verizon again and facing a contract renewal and plan change.

    Which means I need to understand what the options and considerations are when it comes to buying phones in the future. I think it will be somewhat easier as all three of my family's current phones are already 4G LTE phones with their SIM cards (2 Galaxy Nexus + 1 Galaxy S3). I assume that switching to a different phone would just be a matter of popping the SIM card out of a current phone and installing it into a "new" one and making it mine?

    I expect the easiest way would be to just buy a new phone unsubsidized from Verizon. Would it still come with a SIM card and would I just stick it in a drawer and put my old card in to "activate" it?

    What I'm less sure about it buying used. Do I need to be concerned if I buy a used phone that it would somehow still be locked to the original owner and I wouldn't be able to use my SIM card to make it mine? Is there some hassle that I have to face with Verizon before I could use a phone that I bought from somewhere else?

    What else do I need to know?

    Thanks to all,
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Buying non contract phones - what do I need to know?

    Verizon has been CDMA but they claim they're switching over to LTE. If that's true, you should be able to use any LTE devices with the right frequencies.
  3. #3  
    mesocyclonic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Buying non contract phones - what do I need to know?

    The biggest thing to keep in mind is to make sure if you buy used that the phone has a clean ESN. Verizon only allows approved phones on their network, and if you end up purchasing a phone that was reported stolen and had its ESN blacklisted, you'll have a paperweight. Get the ESN of the phone from the seller and check with VZW if you go that route. Otherwise, if you buy a new phone (again, make sure it's the Verizon specific version), all you need is a SIM card from VZW to put in and you're set to go.

    If you're just trying to keep unlimited data, it is possible to transfer the upgrades to a new dummy line and get subsidized phones for your unlimited lines: [Instruction] How to Keep Unlimited Data on Verizon

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