buying gsm phone (needs to work with any gsm cellular provider)... what to look for

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by oregon2, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. oregon2 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    I lost my old phone (fell out of my pocket at Quantum of Solace, not there when I came to search :mad:), and I've been using a crappy replacement since then, but I will soon have some money (summer job) and so I'm looking to spend $100 to $150 on a new cell phone. I am 18 and have been on a family plan for awhile, but this may soon change, so I do not want to sign into a contract. So basically I am looking for a phone on ebay/craigslist that will work with AT&T or T-Mobile.

    Some phones I am looking at are:

    RAZR 2
    RAZR V3xx
    HTC Touch
    iPhone? (1st gen are kinda cheap...)

    I'm not sure what to look for with these (do all gsm work with all providers?) so any suggestions? I know the iPhone needed to be unlocked but I also was under the impression that it is very easy. However, my brother has a sony ericson from Rogers (canada) that he has so far been unable to unlock. He may have just not tried hard, but is it easy to unlock a standard phone (like razr)?
  2. ikermalli macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2008
    You can basically look for any GSM phone and get it unlocked depending on the phone. I hear that Motorola phones are very easy to unlock if you want one of those, and yes, 1st generation iPhone are cheap and easy to unlock although the iPhone isn't that great of a phone
  3. oregon2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Yeah, I agree. I like iPhone, but I have had an iPod touch for a while and would like a bit of a change. iPhone is very similar to iTouch (hehehehehe).

    If I'm going to just get a cheap phone, I think my best bet may be a razr v3. The original one. They are great for calling and texting, and can be had for well under $50.

    The RAZR2 is cool, but it really doesn't offer any additional features over the original. I think iPhone is my best bet if I want features.
  4. Jeromee macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2009


    GSM phones are meant to work with any service provider. Ordinarily a GSM mobile phone is unlocked and it should be easy for the user to use any network service with it. Some phones can be unlocked by feeding into them a secret code. This code is usually unique to the phone and based upon its IMEI number and the service provider that locked it. You can buy these secret codes for a small price and just key it into your cell phone.By unlocking YOUR phone or SIM, you are simply allowing your cell phone purchase to be more useful to you, as it helps you to use your phone with any SIM everywhere in the world, regardless of which company you initially bought the phone from.
  5. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Also winmo phones aren't terribly bad (better than a RAZR). Look for a T-Mo Dash (htc caliber)
  6. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    G1s are nice. I would just unlock a 1st gen or 3G iPhone though. :)

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