Can I buy a phone that a cell carrier does not sell and it will still work.
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Thread: Can I buy a phone that a cell carrier does not sell and it will still work.

  1. #1
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    Can I buy a phone that a cell carrier does not sell and it will still work.

    I know absolutely nothing about smart phones and hoping someone can shed some light for me.

    Realizing that carriers sell only specific brands and models is causing me to have some difficulties in selecting the proper smartphone or small tablet.

    I live out in the "sticks" and my present carrier is just not cutting it. Where I spend most of my time during the day it has been found that AT&T carrier is the best and probably the only reliable carrier to have to support a signal long enough for a phone conversation.

    I realize that companies like "Sprint" and probably others use the ATT network (well from what I am told) but all of Sprints phones do not serve my purpose.

    Being 62 I find it difficult to read the screens of small smartphones. My biggest challenge is when texting. My big fingers hit more than one key and I end up spending more time correcting my typing than typing.

    I really need something in the area of a small tablet. Bigger than the standard smartphone but not a full size tablet so it is easy to carry around with me. Of course it has to be able to make calls.

    I see this term "unlocked" or something like that when I walk into an electronics store like "Best Buy" here on the east coast. But notice the prices are very high for them. Is this the type of device I have to buy in order to "cherry pick" my phone/device I want and then match it to the carrier? If so how is that done?

    Please some advice is appreciated. Please no long term contracts. I presently am using Boost Mobile and I like I can cancel anytime. But hate all their phones.

    A bit of "layman" term education and suggestions would be so appreciated!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    There 2 main radio systems that cell phones use. Verizon uses the CDMA system and AT&T and others use the GSM system. If AT&T is the carrier with the best coverage in your area, then an unlocked GSM phone that has the features you need would be the way to go. You can get very good unlocked GSM phones that do not cost what an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy costs. Let us know what price range you are looking at and we can offer some suggestions.

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  4. #4
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    jdc2000 thanks so very very much for your useful information!!

    I presently have LGLS675 - diagonal measure of screen is about 5.5". Too small.

    Want something with large expansion ability for SD but more important I think is the Internal Space also.

    At this point all apps will only load to internal. I have to use an app mover to move them to the SD card but only a few will move over to the SD.

    I presently have 16gig internal and it is causing my phone to lock up and restart etc as at this point I am so tight on space that I can't even update any apps. It is driving me nuts. I found out that the only way for my phone now to move apps over to the SD card is to upgrade from Lollipop to Marshmellow but my phone can't handle the update. I was told by an LG/Android tech. So now I am stuck.

    Simple things like trying to type out a message I end up typing out 5 sentences and then all of a sudden I get a message something like "messgaing service as stopped" and then I lose all of what I just typed. I tend to keep all my text messages so I can refer back to them later. I hardly ever delete them.

    Biggest as I said the screen is way too small for my big fingers when trying to type. Hitting two or three keys each stroke drives me nuts with spending time correcting.

    I looked at some "used phones" which I don't have a problem with. Like this one here. But in the "Item Specifics" it says - "***Disclaimer: Catalog shows AT&T but these are unlocked for GSM***" Is this saying it can be used for any carrier using GSM and not just ATT?

    If I order this tablet/phone how does it get activated? What store do I go to to have it activated? Do I get to keep my present phone number or have to change it.

    My main use for the phone is phone calls, text messaging and reliable service (of which I understand is based on the carrier). I don't play games on it and I don't watch movies on it. I am just tired of a small screen.

    It says storage capacity 32gigs. Is this referring to the internal memory or the max SD card that can be used? Now I see that RAM is 2gigs. Knowing computers that refers to internal memory with is far less than my 16 gigs that is locking up all the time.

    Of course WiFi and Bluetooth is important.

    I would like to stay with Android if possible.

    My price range is about $130-$170. But if I have to pay extra for activation, a SIM card (I would think I need one; don't know much about them, just that phones have one) and if I want to keep my present tele number I don't want to pay a lot of money for all the extras. I may need an alternative idea then.

    Camera resolution not so very important.

    As you can see I am pretty dumb when it comes to phones.

    If you have any more questions let me know please.

    Thanks for your time!!

  5. #5
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    The upcoming LG V30 or V30+ would be nice, but probably out of your price range.

    http://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/v30

    https://www.cnet.com/products/lg-v30/review/

    Another more affordable possibility:

    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/honor-7x,review-4958.html

    The carrier you are going to use it on should be able to transfer your phone number and set up the phone, and probably transfer your contacts and data also. Find a local store with personnel you trust and ask them about this, or call the carrier's tech support line.

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  7. #7
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    Yikes, craps, s**t !!

    I guess I was barking up the wrong alley!!

    Had no clue buying an unlocked phone for the carrier I want to match with it and having a large screen so I can see what I type and my fingers don't hit 3 keys at once would cost so darn much!!

    Guessing this is one way that the carriers or phone manufacturers maintain a "monopoly" to some degree.

    The largest phone I saw was only about 7" diagonal. For the price they wanted compared to my present 5.5" ain't worth the big bucks they want for 1.5"

    Can't someone please make a phone/tablet that is big enough for "old people" because of their bad eye sight and big clumsy fingers that will fit in their budget besides the god awful "Jitterbug"!! which is a joke beyond all jokes!!

    Now I will go in my room and cry because my phone is locking up on me and I can't buy one that will work the way I want it to.


  8. #8
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    Unfortunately, decent phones, even ones with small screens, are pricey.

    One more possibility:

    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/lenovo-...view-4061.html

    https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ZA1H00.../dp/B01M4LBRTG

    More options:

    https://www.newegg.com/Cell-Phone-De...eStore/ID-1280

  9. #9
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    BLU VIVO X – 6.0” HD+18:9 Display Smartphone with Dual Front and Rear Cameras – Black


    5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews | 18 answered questions

    6.0 HD+ 18:9 Widescreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Curved Display

    Mediatek Helio P25 2.6GHz Octa core processor

    64GB Internal memory 4GB RAM Micro SD up to 64GB

    Advance Quad cameras: Dual rear cameras - 13MP + 5MP with flash, Dual front selfie Camera - 20MP Sony IMX376+ 8MP 120 degree wide angle with flash

    4,010mAh Battery with 5V/2A Quick Charger and Fingerprint Sensor

    4G LTE, (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/28), 3G HSPA+ (850/900/1700/1900/2100): US compatibility Nationwide on all GSM Networks including AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Straight Talk, and others.

    List Price: $299.99 - Price: $249.99 & FREE Shipping - You Save: $50.00 (17%)

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Latest info release:

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/google-...p-smartphones/

    It doesn't look like these have large enough screens to meet your needs.

  13. #13
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    SpywareDR I really like this phone you suggested.
    BLU VIVO X – 6.0” HD+18:9 Display Smartphone with Dual Front and Rear Cameras –Black
    But a bit out of my budget for about two months. I don't think it will run out of space that quickly. Screen size not really big enough for me but may trade that for large capacity GIGs overall.

    jdc2000: checked out some that you suggested and may consider. Thanks for the links. Learning a lot.

  14. #14
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    The largest one I've seen was a couple of years ago. It was a Samsung Galaxy W with a 7-inch screen. Looks a bit ridiculous up against this guys ear:


  15. #15
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    The large phone may look way out of proportion to your face when using it but when you have bad eye sight like mine and big fingers having a much larger screen so the print is larger and you get more print on the screen and the keyboard keys are larger and easier to type one character at a time it is more of functionality for your personal needs compared to what looks right in my case - of course with meeting my financial budget.

    But I am going to have to make a decision very very shortly as my phone keeps restarting out of the blue, locking up so I have to restart it or failing in the middle of typing out a text message.

    On a side note: on my android phone using lollipop does keeping a lot of messages (using the text messaging service that comes with the phone not a third party) take up a lot of space on the internal storage? I like keeping text messages from people I mainly communicate with on a regular basis so I can always refer back to an old text message. Some of the contacts on my phone for text messaging I have texts kept from today to as far back as over a year ago. AGain, I do this for easy reference.

    What else can take up a lot of internal space on your android phone. I am looking at maybe just trying to clear a bit more internal space to give myself a little longer before my phone locks up all together forcing me into buying some too fast so I don't get what I want in a phone.

    thanks

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