Wednesday 18 December 2013

Easy ways to unlock your phone

Coming to the end of 2013 with all kinds of great phones gracing underneath palms of techno lovers and Everyman you'd wonder if there was any need for the "age-old" practice of phone unlocking anymore. And more importantly with quad core Nvidia capable high rom/ram handsets readily available is this dark art now not only redundant but far beyond ordinary people's reach?

We're not going to delve into every handset available but are going to hone this article on phone unlocking down to just Android devices. We hope that the most popular phone OS on the planet is in many of our reader's hands and that you'll find this guide helpful.

Reasons for cell phone unlocking  of your Android Phone

If you've searched out this article you'll probably already have a fairly good idea about why you want to unlock your phone. In case you don't, then here are some of the main reasons why people choose to unlock.

  1. You might be able to use your phone globally with unlocking. A handset is often locked to the country of purchases's GSM band. Unlocking can give you (dependant upon the handsets antenna capability) access to 4G,LTE, quad band etc.
  2. Dual sim adaptors are able to be used. If you're a frequent traveller with a sim locked phone the se adaptors might not be able to be used. So international roaming charges and overseas data charges could be astronomical. Using a dual sim adaptor in an unlocked phone allows you to use the country of destinations cellular network saving you big bucks.
  3. In the long run the value of your phone is increased by unlocking. Eventually you'll probably want to sell your cellphone, ebayers and other secondhand mobile outlets often favour unlocked Android phones and this can add on to the value of the device.
  4. Probably the main reason for unlocking your phone is the fact that you can now choose whichever network you want. You might not be locked into a long term phone contract so can pick and choose your network based on cost and service coverage. (Plus all the extra bells and whistles that a money hungry contract provider might throw at you).
Dangers of unlocking an Android Cell
You know those movie caveats that state boldly: "Don't try this at home!"? Well with modern handsets you're risking bricking a £500/800 Dollar handset. So before you set off just be aware of the risks. And apart from making your tech fetish a particularly pricy paper weight or a rather weak part of your new dry brick wall there are some other hidden dangers if you choose to unlock.
For example Google does actually update their OS on a very frequent, if irregular, basis. At the time of writing Android KitKat has yet to make its way to my Xperia Z. Now if the phones unlocked the carrier delivered update might never make its way to the handset and I might be left with the onerous task of side loading or going down the Cyanogen route for Samsung unlocking.
You've also got to watch out for warranties. Sometimes these can be voided by unlocking which is definitely not a desirable thing. Luckily progressive legislation in the states is working toward a more user friendly solution. Just a few days ago Reuters reported:"
 Major U.S. wireless carriers on Thursday pledged to make it easier for consumers to "unlock" their mobile phones for use on competitors' networks, responding to pressure from consumer groups and the top U.S. communications regulator."
Finally...Easy ways to unlock your Android Phone
.Okay if you've just come here then apologies for all the preamble, and if you've boned up on our unlocking facts then welcome to the nub of this article.
Unlocking USA Carrier Mobiles: This info is constantly changing and updating so if you're a USA reader and you know different then please say so in the comments below. If you need to unlock your phone, call AT&T or T-Mobile and ask them. Expect a positive response if your account is in good standing, but for brand new phones you might get a negative response. This should be free if you give them a good reason such as an extended trip abroad or poor coverage in the areas that you're likely to use the device. 
T-Mobile has a simple, easy to read unlocking policy which you can find on their website.
Other ways to unlock
Like May of the more occult Android practices you'll want to strongly consider rooting your phone, in which case most recommendations will point toward CyanogenMod which will give not only a lot more user control over your phone but also more tools for Sim unlocking. This is quite an easy way to access the Sim programming that needs to be adapted for the final unlocking. Of course referencing back to the benefits of which antenna your phone uses and finding out if it is physically capable of your smartphone of using alternate networks. If nothing else the Cyangen forums will give you a slew of other useful smartphone info not just on cell phone unlocking.
Now before you continue just take a quick look at your Android phone settings. An unlock might be only a quick tick box away. If not then arm yourself with these: your make, model and IMEI number. And prepare for some forum searching to see if you can find the unlock code.
Unlocking via App
Yes, there are even apps for unlocking your Android Smartphone! Check out GalaxSim Unlock if you're an S3 user, and prepare to do a bit of research if you're using another handset. But be assured the apps are out there!
Finally if this is all too tedious for you  the pay for unlock root can be considered. 
We hope this helps you get more joy from your mobile, remember no matter what they say it's not illegal and it's your SEO make the most of it. 

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