Need help buying used Android phone for t-mobile


  1. Hello,

    I am trying to understand which phones will communicate at 4G speeds with t-mobile. I called T-Mobile. My rep says an AT&T EVO phone will only communicate at EDGE speeds because of the internal antenna??? I understand that only a 4G capable phone will communicate at 4G speeds, what I want to understand is which phones on Ebay or Craigslist will work on t-mobile at 4G speeds. Another friend says I can only buy a phone that has the t-moblie emblem to get 4G speeds??? Is there truly a different antenna inside the phone to communicate at different bandwidths?

    Also I would like to understand unlocking vs jailbreak vs rooting?

    Thanks you to anyone who is willing to help me as I move into the android market.

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  2. iTzKPanda

    iTzKPanda AF's resident panda

    Welcome to AndroidForums! It's nice to see a new face in the android world :)
    (my answers may not be 100% correct, so bare with me please)

    Jailbreaking is the term used to install the program Cydia onto your iPhone (and I believe it gives you more access to the phone. Correct me if I'm wrong)
    Rooting is used for androids. Here's an explanation of what rooting is: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooting_(Android_OS) . It's basically allowing you, the user, access to certain parts of the phone that is locked. It's kind of like clicking "run as administrator" on windows.

    And yes, there are different antennas in phones. There is CDMA which is what Sprint and Verizon use and HSPA which is what Tmobile and AT&T use. Despite how AT&T and tmobile use the same kind of antenna, the frequencies of the antenna determine what speeds you can get on the network. Most of the new phones on Tmo are able to use HSPA+ 42 which can theoretically get 42Mpbs. Other unlocked phones such as an unlocked galaxy nexus can get theoretical speeds of 21Mpbs (HSPA+ 21).

    If your looking for a phone that's capable of 4G speeds on Tmo, try the Samsung exhibit 2 4G or the Tmobile MyTouch Q.
    LuckyDogYachtS likes this.
  3. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    To use 3G/4G on T-Mobile a phone must have the UMTS bands 1700/2100. The easy way to be sure it does is to buy a T-Mobile branded phone, but there are a few other models that include the special T-Mobile frequencies.
    LuckyDogYachtS likes this.
  4. aeroseek

    aeroseek Active Member

    A good place to check what frequencies a phone is capable of is gsmarena. Another decent site for finding used androids is Swappa. Just click on the t-mobile section.
    LuckyDogYachtS likes this.
  5. gsmarena does not show anything about 4G. It show 2100 3G???
  6. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    3G and 4G use the same frequencies on T-Mobile. 1700/2100. A phone must have both to work on T-Mobile because one is used for upload the other for download.
    LuckyDogYachtS likes this.
  7. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

    I'll sell you my T-Mobile (USA) branded Sensation 4G for $200. It's "unlocked", and works on AT&T's Edge network, per my AT&T acct./SIM?
  8. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member

    Simple answer:

    LG G2x and HTC Sensation 4G.

    I have the G2x. Battery life was horrible until I bought an extended battery which doubled its thickness. Form factor issue out the of the way, it's a fantastic phone which I highly recommend only if you plan to flash a new ROM onto it. XDA forums has quite a few Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs you can flash onto it.
  9. Atma

    Atma Well-Known Member

    I've tried several ROM's but none of them really make sparks shoot out my butt. I happy rooted with stock ROM until the ICS upgrade or a CM9 ROM. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there are any ICS ROM's for the T-Mo SG2.
  10. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member


    TMO GS2 you mean? The Galaxy S2? I really wouldn't know. Check XDA forums.


    As for the G2x ROM, I guess it's whatever floats your boat. I'm using an Eaglesblood ROM (Gingerbread) that's paired with Morfic's Trinity kernel. Paired with setcpu and an extended battery, things are jolly good on my end.
  11. Atma

    Atma Well-Known Member

    Oh sorry. I misunderstood your post.

    Nevermind..:D
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