How to check if your phone is unlocked

How to check if your phone is unlocked

12 May 2015

Today’s mobile phones have shifted the whole paradigm of smart devices and have brought it to a whole new level. The rise of the carriers has brought forth an outright war for dominance of the mobile network business and has made big companies come up with smart solutions to keep their customers and also get new ones. Two of these solutions are branding and locking phones.

A branded phone is a phone that has the brand of the mobile network carrier printed on it, on its case or on any other part of it, and usually comes with preinstalled software that contains carrier specific apps.

A locked phone is a phone that can only be used with a single mobile network carrier. Companies do this so that they can sell phones, usually very expensive ones, at low prices to their customers, making them only use the phone with their network. This allows people to buy new phones for themselves while being loyal to the same company.

Now that you know what a locked phone is, you might think that yours is also locked and you may be thinking of moving to another carrier, but don’t want to discard your phone. Here’s how to check if it’s locked or not. Simply take a SIM card that’s not the same as your current carrier and see if you get any signal on the phone. If you do, then it’s not locked, but if it says “No Service” then it is.

Other ways to check if your phone is locked on a network is to simply look for network specific applications on the phone. They usually contain the carrier’s name followed by the use of the application, such as T-Mobile’s “T-Mobile My Account”. Also, be on the lookout for the network carrier’s logo when you boot up (or restart) the phone. Although that doesn’t mean it’s locked 100% of the time, it usually is a good sign and rids you of the hassle of removing and replacing SIM cards.

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