Purchase Unlocked Smartphone?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by blairh, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. blairh macrumors 68040

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #1
    I have a friend visiting me for a few days from Argentina. He wants to purchase an S3 or S4 potentially for use in his country. He wants to go to Best Buy tomorrow and maybe a carrier store if necessary. I just called Best Buy locally and they said they don't sell unlocked smartphones in store. A quick online search shows carriers are the same.

    Is this true? What's his best bet? Amazon overnight to my house?
     
  2. viskon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    #2
    You might be able to buy at full price in-store and request an unlock code.
    Otherwise, Amazon or any of the other online retailers might be your best bet.
     
  3. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Undecided
    #3
    If you're going to buy an off-contract phone, always but it online (unlocked) from sites like Amazon. Best Buy's unlocked phones are overpriced and buying it off-contract directly from the carrier isn't too smart either.

    I'd recommend you buy from Negri Electronics as well. Their unlocked AT&T Galaxy S4s are on sale for around $609 right now. They even have i9505s available for $635.
     
  4. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #4
    Any idea what's best for Argentina? Thanks.
     
  5. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Undecided
    #5
    All Galaxy S4 models are compatible with Argentina's 3G bands (850/1900) so it's really up to your friend.

    He can purchase an unlocked AT&T version (SGH-i337) and have access to AT&T LTE in the states.

    If he doesn't need AT&T LTE, the choice should be between the i9500 and i9505. Just about the only difference is the SoC. The 505 runs on the Exynos 5450 (big.LITTLE, 2x 4-core CPUs) while the 500 runs on the S600. The Exynos 505 also has a Wolfson DAC :) - not that important, really...

    If your friend is into flashing ROMs, I wouldn't recommend the 505.
     
  6. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #6
    Difference between i9500 and i9505 isn't just the SoC. i9500 doesn't have any LTE bands, i9505 does, so the i9500 is effectively a 3G-only phone.
     
  7. Explicitic macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2012
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    #7
    LTE isn't even deployed in most of Argentina. Actually, is it even deployed at all? It was only near the end of last year that the government there decided to auction off some spectrum for it...
     
  8. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #8
    As others have said, for an unlocked phone it's best to buy online. i9500 has better specs so if there's no LTE in his country that's what he should get.
     
  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #9
    Best buy will price match amazon. Find it on amazon and show the link to best buy. It has to be a fulfilled by Amazon link.
     
  10. otismotive77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    #10
    amazaon, ebay, negri electronics, etc. there are a lot of guys offering those phones, i think you should go for the negri elec.
     

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