Buy Carrier Version or Unlocked Version

dmtunc99

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Nov 9, 2014
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Hi, I've done extensive searching on this across the web but can't find solid answers. Maybe we don't have all the answers yet for the S10 variants. I'm looking for guidance on which variant to purchase.

I am evaluating the pre-order offer from Samsung's website that offers either the unlocked version or carrier versions of the S10 for the same price. I am currently on AT&T, but not on a contract.

I plan to stay on AT&T for the near future but would like to have the ability to transfer another carrier, most likely Total Wireless, T-Mobile, or Google FI. But, I may not end up switching at all, I have some varying factors playing into this with family plan members.

I would like to have the features I'd get from the AT&T variant - VoLTE, Wi-Fi Calling, and I think a couple others.

If I buy the AT&T variant, my understanding is that I could get AT&T to unlock the phone for me at a later time. But I am curious as to what limitations there may be using an unlocked AT&T variant on the other networks. Will it have the same bands? The same radios? The same level of coverage? I don't know much about this terminology and technology.

I may not want to jeopardize service on future providers for the sake of some AT&T features. In other words, it may be more worth it to purchase the Unlocked version. I haven't been able to find a spec comparison of the S10 variants and what bands/radios/signals may be different between the different versions.

Too Long, Didn't Read: If I buy an AT&T S10 and unlock it, will it fully work with all other carriers?

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!
 

Desean1

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Dec 19, 2010
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I have an unlocked Galaxy S9 plus I'm using it on the T-Mobile network. If you're going to stay with your carrier get the AT&t version. The one feature I do miss with the unlocked phone is that you cannot video call using the standard phone app. You will need a third-party app like WhatsApp or Google duo to do so. In addition the unlocked phone does not have all the bloatware which the carrier-branded phone have.
 

frankd1

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Dec 24, 2010
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Unless they've changed their policy since last fall, you will lose the ability to WiFi call if you use an unlocked phone on AT&T.