1. cohoman's Avatar
    Is there any functional difference between ordering a Unlocked or Carrier Version of the S21? Will I miss out on anything if I use an unlocked S21 on the AT&T Network?

    Also, how does OS upgrades work for unlocked phones? Will they still be sent OTA by AT&T or can I update OTA from Samsung directly?

    Thanks.
    01-14-2021 12:05 PM
  2. mustang7757's Avatar
    Is there any functional difference between ordering a Unlocked or Carrier Version of the S21? Will I miss out on anything if I use an unlocked S21 on the AT&T Network?

    Also, how does OS upgrades work for unlocked phones? Will they still be sent OTA by AT&T or can I update OTA from Samsung directly?

    Thanks.
    On Att I would recommend the unlocked version, it will miss Wi-Fi calling and RCS in stock message app but some on the carrier Att firmware have hard time updating OS software and security patches at some point and then Att firmware not easy to get . There no 1k att bloat also . The unlocked firmware are on all same builds regardless carrier but they roll.out as carrier pass the certification and most likely get security updates faster then carrier but major OS the carrier version been quicker by a week or two . Hopefully this helps .
    01-14-2021 12:25 PM
  3. Rose4uKY's Avatar
    On Att I would recommend the unlocked version, it will miss Wi-Fi calling and RCS in stock message app but some on the carrier Att firmware have hard time updating OS software and security patches at some point and then Att firmware not easy to get . There no 1k att bloat also . The unlocked firmware are on all same builds regardless carrier but they roll.out as carrier pass the certification and most likely get security updates faster then carrier but major OS the carrier version been quicker by a week or two . Hopefully this helps .
    I was just trying to decide also but I think we're getting Verizon this time. We have unlocked now. But I'm upset cuz I want silver in the 21 Ultra and you can only get it in 128 not the 256 or the 16 GB 512 and there was no mention in the live stream today about an SD slot on the Ultra or else I missed it.
    mustang7757 likes this.
    01-14-2021 12:28 PM
  4. X1tymez's Avatar
    I was just trying to decide also but I think we're getting Verizon this time. We have unlocked now. But I'm upset cuz I want silver in the 21 Ultra and you can only get it in 128 not the 256 or the 16 GB 512 and there was no mention in the live stream today about an SD slot on the Ultra or else I missed it.
    No SD card supports on any model. I'm waiting for T-mobile to announce their deal.
    01-14-2021 12:30 PM
  5. azdmelani's Avatar
    I had unlocked ultra and no difference on verizon
    Is there any functional difference between ordering a Unlocked or Carrier Version of the S21? Will I miss out on anything if I use an unlocked S21 on the AT&T Network?

    Also, how does OS upgrades work for unlocked phones? Will they still be sent OTA by AT&T or can I update OTA from Samsung directly?

    Thanks.
    01-14-2021 12:30 PM
  6. mustang7757's Avatar
    I was just trying to decide also but I think we're getting Verizon this time. We have unlocked now. But I'm upset cuz I want silver in the 21 Ultra and you can only get it in 128 not the 256 or the 16 GB 512 and there was no mention in the live stream today about an SD slot on the Ultra or else I missed it.
    I haven't watched the stream yet, but Verizon the carrier version doesn't have lot of bloat so your gonna be ok either way .
    01-14-2021 12:38 PM
  7. cohoman's Avatar
    On Att I would recommend the unlocked version, it will miss Wi-Fi calling and RCS in stock message app but some on the carrier Att firmware have hard time updating OS software and security patches at some point and then Att firmware not easy to get . There no 1k att bloat also . The unlocked firmware are on all same builds regardless carrier but they roll.out as carrier pass the certification and most likely get security updates faster then carrier but major OS the carrier version been quicker by a week or two . Hopefully this helps .
    Thanks for your comments. For my S10, I never get firmware updates from AT&T. I have to download them and use Odin to install them myself. So, will firmware updates for an unlocked Samsung phone come directly from Samsung when I click the 'Check for Updates' button on the phone?

    Thanks.
    01-14-2021 12:59 PM
  8. Rose4uKY's Avatar
    I haven't watched the stream yet, but Verizon the carrier version doesn't have lot of bloat so your gonna be ok either way .
    Thanks! I'm just upset because I know I'll have a case on my phone but I really wanted silver and there is no SD card slot on the Ultra like it was rumored. And my husband wants us to get 256 cuz the 512 is $130 a phone more and he says he wants to use that money and do some kind of wireless cloud service and get a hard drive.

    I mean my phone is 128 now And it says I have about 41.7 gigs left and then out of my 256 card It says 169.7. So I sure hope 256 is enough. I just can't believe there's no SD card slot. But my husband doesn't use one anyway. He likes his videos to go straight to the phone.
    01-14-2021 01:11 PM
  9. mustang7757's Avatar
    Thanks for your comments. For my S10, I never get firmware updates from AT&T. I have to download them and use Odin to install them myself. So, will firmware updates for an unlocked Samsung phone come directly from Samsung when I click the 'Check for Updates' button on the phone?

    Thanks.
    They will come from Samsung but the carrier has to approve them which they all on same build and you won't run into the same issue with updates like att version.
    01-14-2021 01:47 PM
  10. mustang7757's Avatar
    Thanks! I'm just upset because I know I'll have a case on my phone but I really wanted silver and there is no SD card slot on the Ultra like it was rumored. And my husband wants us to get 256 cuz the 512 is $130 a phone more and he says he wants to use that money and do some kind of wireless cloud service and get a hard drive.

    I mean my phone is 128 now And it says I have about 41.7 gigs left and then out of my 256 card It says 169.7. So I sure hope 256 is enough. I just can't believe there's no SD card slot. But my husband doesn't use one anyway. He likes his videos to go straight to the phone.
    I think your going be fine with 256gb
    01-14-2021 01:53 PM
  11. buzzy3970's Avatar
    Verizon model may not have a lot of bloat but several native Samsung things are usually missing like spam caller id, call & text on other devices, more importantly samsung cloud.
    I haven't watched the stream yet, but Verizon the carrier version doesn't have lot of bloat so your gonna be ok either way .
    01-14-2021 02:57 PM
  12. mustang7757's Avatar
    Verizon model may not have a lot of bloat but several native Samsung things are usually missing like spam caller id, call & text on other devices, more importantly samsung cloud.
    I think Find my phone also , the Samsung cloud is going away do no biggie there .
    01-14-2021 03:44 PM
  13. TheDonJ77's Avatar
    What about any differences between the unlocked version and T-Mobile variant?
    01-14-2021 05:28 PM
  14. mustang7757's Avatar
    What about any differences between the unlocked version and T-Mobile variant?
    To me about the same except you have to do Tmobile mod for RCS, you get very few apps on carrier Tmobile but everything else pretty close , Tmobile is I think the only carrier that doesn't mess too much how Samsung delivers it , but u do get Tmobile splash screen on carrier version
    01-14-2021 05:34 PM
  15. TheDonJ77's Avatar
    To me about the same except you have to do Tmobile mod for RCS, you get very few apps on carrier Tmobile but everything else pretty close , Tmobile is I think the only carrier that doesn't mess too much how Samsung delivers it , but u do get Tmobile splash screen on carrier version
    Ah, gotcha, saw your sticky on the RCS mod, seems pretty cute and dry. I'll go unlocked.
    mustang7757 likes this.
    01-14-2021 06:10 PM
  16. TheDonJ77's Avatar
    To me about the same except you have to do Tmobile mod for RCS, you get very few apps on carrier Tmobile but everything else pretty close , Tmobile is I think the only carrier that doesn't mess too much how Samsung delivers it , but u do get Tmobile splash screen on carrier version
    What about spectrum, call quality and data services? Is there a difference between using an official T-Mobile version versus the unlocked version on T-Mobile network?
    mustang7757 likes this.
    01-14-2021 06:13 PM
  17. mustang7757's Avatar
    What about spectrum, call quality and data services? Is there a difference between using an official T-Mobile version versus the unlocked version on T-Mobile network?
    No issues with that
    TheDonJ77 likes this.
    01-14-2021 06:28 PM
  18. Rose4uKY's Avatar
    I think your going be fine with 256gb
    Well turns out my husband said I didn't tell him the 512 had 16 gigs of ram over the 12 on the 256 so now he does want the 512. I had to cancel my 256 re-order the 512 which I wanted in the 1st place. And I don't know what happened I was upset again this morning to find out I chose unlocked by mistake. So I have cancelled 2 orders already and now that the 3rd and final went through I just saw an email that it's placed on Hold due to too many trade ins. Only 2 per household So now I'm stuck on the phone with Samsung. OMG! He said it's cause I ordered my husband a watch last week and we're trading in his gear S3 which is here waiting to be packed up and sent back. That is crazy! So I don't know if my order will come off hold once they get the watch. I'm on hold!
    01-15-2021 02:55 PM
  19. mustang7757's Avatar
    Well turns out my husband said I didn't tell him the 512 had 16 gigs of ram over the 12 on the 256 so now he does want the 512. I had to cancel my 256 re-order the 512 which I wanted in the 1st place. And I don't know what happened I was upset again this morning to find out I chose unlocked by mistake. So I have cancelled 2 orders already and now that the 3rd and final went through I just saw an email that it's placed on Hold due to too many trade ins. Only 2 per household So now I'm stuck on the phone with Samsung. OMG! He said it's cause I ordered my husband a watch last week and we're trading in his gear S3 which is here waiting to be packed up and sent back. That is crazy! So I don't know if my order will come off hold once they get the watch. I'm on hold!
    Yikes , see if by phone they can straighten that out , unbelievable
    01-15-2021 04:46 PM
  20. worldspy99's Avatar
    I got the T-Mobile version on pre-order from T-Mobile as it was cheaper than what Samsung was offering for trade-in.
    Black S21.
    01-15-2021 05:21 PM
  21. andee1517's Avatar
    I'm going with Samsung this time around. Their trade-in value for S20+ is $50 more and there is an instant $100 discount on top for Verizon. No idea why it would be there and not on Verizon but I'll take it. I would have liked to use my Verizon Device Dollars for the purchase but even seeing where that brings me on the Verizon site, I still make out better with Samsung and then get the free goodies. I am annoyed about no sd card slot. Totally ridiculous and that screws me out of getting a nice color because now I have to go with 256 and that only comes in the boring black. Yes, I know it's covered by a case. Still annoying!!!
    01-15-2021 08:20 PM
  22. ironass's Avatar
    For those of you in the rest of the world, other than the U.S.A. and on the global Exynos model, I would definitely go for the Samsung stock, unbranded, models.

    As we have seen on previous Galaxy devices, the unbranded, non-carrier, versions can receive updates a lot quicker than the carrier branded models. Also, it was only the unbranded S20 models that were eligible for Samsung's Beta test releases.

    You do not necessarily have to buy from Samsung to get an unbranded phone. For instance, here in the U.K. you can get unbranded phones from CarphoneWarehouse and Argos and not forgetting Amazon.
    mustang7757 likes this.
    01-18-2021 10:25 PM
  23. SnoFire's Avatar
    Funny you mention Spectrum because I'm trying to activate my S21+ unlocked on them and it won't
    01-27-2021 05:46 PM

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