Buy S9 Note ATT locked and later have unlucked versus buy unlocked


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Oct 10, 2018
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Does anyone know the actual Pros and Cons of either:

Buying an ATT locked S9 Note from Samsung/Best Buy and later have unlocked if I decide to change carriers


Buying an unlocked S9 Note from S/BB and authorizing on my ATT account so it can be moved to new carrier easily

I've read that an unlocked S9 Note loses WIFI calling and Voicemail features

Can this be corrected by carrier? New firmware? or How? Does this have to be undone later to move carriers?

If the S9 Note is bought carrier locked, and then requested to be unlocked, do these features disappear?

Does a carrier locked ( ATT) S9 Note that's unlocked have any limitations when taken to a new carrier?

Is anyone aware of a complete summary of the Pros and Cons for specific carrier locked and later unlocked versus originally unlocked S9 Notes ( or cell phones more generally) or is this so variable by carrier and phone, its impossible to keep it straight?



Jul 14, 2011
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That is correct...ish. WiFi calling with unlocked models (be it factory unlocked or carrier unlocked) is usually not supported by most carriers, BUT some do (like TMobile). As for visual voicemail, that's also up to each carrier, although most do have a separate app you can download and still be able to use it.

No matter which way the phone is unlocked, yes, WiFi calling will still be dependent on the carrier you go to. If you buy a factory-unlocked version, your updates will come directly from Samsung (and no ATT apps/tweaks will be pre-installed). If you buy an ATT version that is later carrier-unlocked, you get basically the same thing but with ATT Apps/tweaks and the updates will come from ATT when they release them.

I'm not 100% sure but I think processors are different also in the unlocked model vs the carrier ones, at least the international unlocked ones.

So why buy from a carrier? Usually better deals, hassle-free(ish) network integration with their apps and services, and carrier support.

You can find TONS of threads here discussing the pros and cons of carrier-vs-unlocked in multiple carriers and models, but at least with the Note 9, the aforementioned is pretty much what you 'miss out' on.

UPDATE: Oh! I forgot! Factory-unlocked models also come with Samsung's caller ID enhancements (spam ID, directory lookup, etc.), while carrier models don't (they only do basic spam ID).

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