Overclock.net › Forums › Mobile Computing Forum › Phones › Most reliable and trustworthy place to buy unlocked GSM smartphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Most reliable and trustworthy place to buy unlocked GSM smartphones

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Im going to be splitting my time about evenly between the US and Australia for work, so I am looking into buying an unlocked GSM smartphone. Looking at a Galaxy SII most likely.

Just wondering what the best place to pick up a unlocked one would be? Im not sure about ebay, and even the listed Factory Unlocked phones on Amazon have negative reviews stating that they aren't always actually unlocked.

Wondering where others have purchased unlocked phones?
post #2 of 12
I bought mine from one of the big catalog companies, like Littlewoods smile.gif
I Like Smileys :)
(16 items)
 
Sony Vaio 1512
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2600K 4.6GHz Asus P8P67 Pro Bios 3207 GTX480 SLI 760/1520/1900 Ripjaws-X 16GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
80GB Intel & 128GB 830  2 x WD640 Caviar Black LG DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 HP 64bit Acer 5906x1080 3D Logitech G15 Corsair TX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Logitec G700 Razer Goliathus Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Laptop  HD 4000 Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 250GB DVD Multi Windows 8 15.5 inch display (1366 x 768) 
Keyboard
LED Back lit 
  hide details  
Reply
I Like Smileys :)
(16 items)
 
Sony Vaio 1512
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2600K 4.6GHz Asus P8P67 Pro Bios 3207 GTX480 SLI 760/1520/1900 Ripjaws-X 16GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
80GB Intel & 128GB 830  2 x WD640 Caviar Black LG DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 HP 64bit Acer 5906x1080 3D Logitech G15 Corsair TX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Logitec G700 Razer Goliathus Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Laptop  HD 4000 Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 250GB DVD Multi Windows 8 15.5 inch display (1366 x 768) 
Keyboard
LED Back lit 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by morgofborg View Post

Im going to be splitting my time about evenly between the US and Australia for work, so I am looking into buying an unlocked GSM smartphone. Looking at a Galaxy SII most likely.
Just wondering what the best place to pick up a unlocked one would be? Im not sure about ebay, and even the listed Factory Unlocked phones on Amazon have negative reviews stating that they aren't always actually unlocked.
Wondering where others have purchased unlocked phones?

Are you currently with a provider? If so, then they may help unlock it for free. This depends on how long you have been with your provider and how lucky you are with getting someone who is helpful.
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACHILEE5 View Post

I bought mine from one of the big catalog companies, like Littlewoods smile.gif

hmm... I wonder if there is anything like that in the US. I know its much easier to get unlocked phones in most other countries. I would just wait til I am in Australia to get a phone, but prices are much higher there than here in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfe_vern View Post

Are you currently with a provider? If so, then they may help unlock it for free. This depends on how long you have been with your provider and how lucky you are with getting someone who is helpful.

No, not currently with any provider. I have an iPhone with verizon right now, but they do not use GSM, so that is no help, plus my iPhone is still under contract as well; thankfully my mum has said she will take it and continue on that plan.
post #5 of 12
You may also want to check if there are any local vendors that provide unlocking services. I'm starting to see them out here in Seattle. Some of them also advertise on Craigs but they are at a physical location in the mall.
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfe_vern View Post

You may also want to check if there are any local vendors that provide unlocking services. I'm starting to see them out here in Seattle. Some of them also advertise on Craigs but they are at a physical location in the mall.

Yea, I will definitely do that. Im just unsure about the craigslist listings sometimes, I need to be sure its legit, and they fully unlock the phones. The main carrier over in Australia is Telstra, which is non existent over here, so the phone has to be fully unlocked to work.

Also, to do that I assume I would need to get either an ATT or T-Mobile phone, one that uses SIM cards, right?
post #7 of 12
The cheapest option most often. Is to buy a phone on pay as you go, and then get it unlocked! But the downside is, the phone will have network branding!
But I'd find out locally what phones are easy unlockable, and then buy the phone smile.gif

Or, you could buy direct from Sony, Samsung or what ever smile.gif
I Like Smileys :)
(16 items)
 
Sony Vaio 1512
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2600K 4.6GHz Asus P8P67 Pro Bios 3207 GTX480 SLI 760/1520/1900 Ripjaws-X 16GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
80GB Intel & 128GB 830  2 x WD640 Caviar Black LG DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 HP 64bit Acer 5906x1080 3D Logitech G15 Corsair TX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Logitec G700 Razer Goliathus Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Laptop  HD 4000 Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 250GB DVD Multi Windows 8 15.5 inch display (1366 x 768) 
Keyboard
LED Back lit 
  hide details  
Reply
I Like Smileys :)
(16 items)
 
Sony Vaio 1512
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2600K 4.6GHz Asus P8P67 Pro Bios 3207 GTX480 SLI 760/1520/1900 Ripjaws-X 16GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
80GB Intel & 128GB 830  2 x WD640 Caviar Black LG DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 HP 64bit Acer 5906x1080 3D Logitech G15 Corsair TX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Logitec G700 Razer Goliathus Sharkoon X-Tatic 5.1 Headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i5-3210M Laptop  HD 4000 Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 250GB DVD Multi Windows 8 15.5 inch display (1366 x 768) 
Keyboard
LED Back lit 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by morgofborg View Post

Yea, I will definitely do that. Im just unsure about the craigslist listings sometimes, I need to be sure its legit, and they fully unlock the phones. The main carrier over in Australia is Telstra, which is non existent over here, so the phone has to be fully unlocked to work.
Also, to do that I assume I would need to get either an ATT or T-Mobile phone, one that uses SIM cards, right?

You will need to identify the carrier you will be using in Australia. Find out what radio bands they are on then compare it to something similar out here stateside. If you purchase it here and unlock it here then it should work anywhere else as long as the radio band is correct. Typically it will be a GSM provider you will be using in Australia so you will need to find a GSM phone here. Not all GSM is the same so check the radio bands to be sure.
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACHILEE5 View Post

The cheapest option most often. Is to buy a phone on pay as you go, and then get it unlocked! But the downside is, the phone will have network branding!
But I'd find out locally what phones are easy unlockable, and then buy the phone smile.gif
Or, you could buy direct from Sony, Samsung or what ever smile.gif

True, you can just buy a Galaxy Nexus from Google, too.
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
Xeon Black
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
X5460 @3.8GHz GA-965P-DS3 Sapphire HD4870 1GB CM2X2048-8500C5 (2X2GB) 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardPower
WD Raptor Win 7 64 / XP (SP3) Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid - Blue MX Switches Corsair 750TX 
CaseMouse
Antec 900 (Original Flavor) Razer Diamondback/Kensington Expert Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 12
Expansys, Negri Electronics, Google Play Store, Newegg are all worthy sources.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Phones
Overclock.net › Forums › Mobile Computing Forum › Phones › Most reliable and trustworthy place to buy unlocked GSM smartphones