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Looking for: Latest & Greatest Unlocked Android Model

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by tannersky, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi guys

    I had a Nexus One until I lost it last Friday, absolutely loved the phone!

    I truly only have three requirements:

    1) Android!
    2) Quad band - reception in the US as well as Europe
    3) Unlocked (so I can switch SIM cards when changing continents)

    Could anyone give me an update on what's out there?

    I looked at the Nexus S obviously but am thinking there must be something newer - or even anticipated.

    Thanks a lot!


  2. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    I would definitely look into the Galaxy S II if you haven't already, but unlike the Nexus S it has Touchwiz, so that may be a turn off. It's by far the best unlocked device you will find out currently.

    Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Unlocked Import at MobileCityOnline.com

    Also, if you willing to wait, it shouldn't be more than a few months before the Nexus Prime is released.
  3. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks B2L, I had not heard of it (haven't been following) and it does look great.

    However, is it available unlocked only from mobilecity? i.e. if they do their own unlocking that would appear to be troublesome in terms of warranty (I may be wrong).

    I understand after some searching it is not yet released - any chance of more "reliable" unlocked purchasing options?

    (probably doesn't get as good as the N1, unlocked straight from Google/HTC)

  4. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    It's been released for a few months now, as for being factory unlocked I'm not quite sure if they sell it that way.

    The link I posted was meant to be an example, several sites sell it unlocked and even provide warranties. I would just do some research first.
    tannersky likes this.
  5. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert

    The Samsung Galaxy S2 is definitely sold unlocked in many areas, but no contract also means its quite expensive.

    As a matter of fact, every Android model you see not associated with any carrier are also sold with unlocked versions.
    tannersky likes this.
  6. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert

    The Nexus S is the easiest to get unlocked in the US. But most US market Androids can be unlocked using a key.

    Every Android model you see internationally that are not sold by carriers, comes with unlocked versions too. You just pay full retail. In some areas, even contracted phones are unlocked by law, e.g. Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy.



    Sensation, EVO 3D (GSM version), Desire HD, Desire S, Incredible S, Wildfire S. These are generic models sold in the open market and are unlocked.

    US models like, T-Mobile Sensation, MyTouch Slide 4G, Inspire 4G, Droid Incredible 2, Thunderbolt --- these are attached to carriers and are locked.

    HTC phones are dual band. The ones you see internationally are 900 and 2100. These work 3D in Europe and Asia without a hitch. The ones you see in Canada and Latin America are 850 and 1900 though. Multi-band 3D HTCs are quite rare since HTC doesn't make them unless requested, such as the Nexus One.


    Literally any model that is not attached to a US carrier, which is a good bet that it is anything that says "Galaxy" right there with its name.

    Only the Galaxy S2 and related series, such as the Tab 10.1, are quad band. However, most other high to middle end Samsung Galaxies are 3G triple band, such as the old i9000, but those sold in Europe and Asia don't have the 850. They are generally 900, 1900 and 2100. But those sold in some places like Canada and Latin America might be 850, 1900 and 2100.

    LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola also have unlocked international models. For Motorola, the most common international model right now is the Atrix. You really won't see much of the Droid models except occasionally by their international forms, like in Canada, the Droid 3 is the XT860 4G in GSM bands. For LG and SE, literally anything they got listed internationally got unlocked versions too. SE also has dual band and triple band models, and both models have the 2100 band used in Europe and Asia.
    tannersky likes this.
  7. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thank you guys, that was very helpful.

    Final question - any advice on buying the unlocked Galaxy S2 with the most reliable form of warranty?

    Best solution I have found so far is Newegg.com with a 30-day warranty - and $60 for "1-year Service Net Warranty" which I have no experience with.
  8. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for that - but is it officially released in the US? I am only asking because the S2 website say "coming soon" under "where to buy", and I've read some comments about an "official release" in the US - as opposed to the imports.
  9. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    Nope not yet, but it's coming to T-mobile, Sprint, and AT&T. Here are some links to it. I believe they are all being released in the us sometime this month, if I remember correctly.

    AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint Galaxy S II Models Revealed

    But you will have to unlock it, if you buy one of these. To answer your previous question, I'm not quite sure what the best place is to buy an unlocked GS2. Newegg would definitely be a good place to buy from though.
  10. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks B2L.

    Sorry I keep pressing this, but do you have any reason or rumor to believe once the S2 is released in the US there will be a "better" US unlocked version available?

    Any advantages that might have over the current imported unlocks?

    Personally I could find no hints about it (or specific release dates).
    As you might tell, I am contemplating putting Newegg's S2 in my cart and shipping right now; or waiting 1-2 more weeks if it might be worth it.
  11. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    If you buy one from a carrier you will have to get the unlock code, so I can't say there will be a better way when those are released.

    Plus the specs are slightly different on those versions of the Galaxy S II. I believe the us versions have slightly larger screens, and i know the Tmobile version has the same processor as the Hp Touchpad. While the others use the Exynos processor.

    If that was up to me i would go for the international GS2.
  12. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert

    There is no assurance that the US Galaxy S2 variants will have the quad band 3G, although the GSM models in AT&T and T-Mobile are likely to have 2100. The other notable difference is that the US models use the traditional Android four buttons rather than Samsung's special three button layout with the big home button.
  13. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Got you. All in all a lot of uncertainty even so close to the US release date.
    Although it is quad band, the Newegg unlocked S2 works on AT&T 3G only - unsure if this applies to all imports.
  14. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    After doing a bit of searching it looks like I'm not finding any that will work on T-mobile 3G. So if your on T-Mobile you may just have to wait, but if it takes to long the Nexus Prime might be released. (rumored to be released in October or November.) So it's going to be a tough decision to make.
  15. tannersky

    tannersky Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Good shout on the Prime, tempting piece of equipment.. doesn't seem there's a whole lot of info other than the basics.

    Do you know of any word on the Prime possibly being factory unlocked? If not, I will probably be too impatient and pick up the S2 instead...

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