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Old 12-14-2011, 01:12 PM
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Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

I feel absolutely bogged down by the phone selections and the $500+ price tags. I'm starting to get frustrated. Some unlocked phones don't get texts in certain countries, some only get EDGE and not the faster 3G/4G speeds, some only support dual band and not quad band, blah blah blah.

I've got a Sprint Samsung Epic 4G (Android Touchscreen) and at the end of the day, I want to be able to do everything I already do on my Epic 4G, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. At the very least be able to get very good data speeds so I can use VOIP/SIP services like Skype.

What are phones you guys recommend?
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:07 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I feel absolutely bogged down by the phone selections and the $500+ price tags. I'm starting to get frustrated. Some unlocked phones don't get texts in certain countries, some only get EDGE and not the faster 3G/4G speeds, some only support dual band and not quad band, blah blah blah.

I've got a Sprint Samsung Epic 4G (Android Touchscreen) and at the end of the day, I want to be able to do everything I already do on my Epic 4G, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. At the very least be able to get very good data speeds so I can use VOIP/SIP services like Skype.

What are phones you guys recommend?
Are you aiming for a Sprint phone or a 2nd phone to use elsewhere? cause if your aiming for a sprint phone then Motorola Photon is the only world phone...

If your aiming for a none sprint international phone, Galaxy S2 is quad-band 3g.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:47 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

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Originally Posted by gTen View Post
Are you aiming for a Sprint phone or a 2nd phone to use elsewhere? cause if your aiming for a sprint phone then Motorola Photon is the only world phone...

If your aiming for a none sprint international phone, Galaxy S2 is quad-band 3g.
I'm open to either.

It would be nice to have a Sprint phone that I can use everywhere. If I were to get an UNLOCKED phone, wouldn't I then be able to use that phone on Sprint?

The Galaxy S2 is quad-band 3G, meaning it uses GSM, right? So I can't use it on CDMA networks?

Best case scenario is to get an unlocked world phone that has both CDMA and GSM capability, and since it's unlocked I can use it on my Sprint network, right?
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:09 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

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Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
I'm open to either.

It would be nice to have a Sprint phone that I can use everywhere. If I were to get an UNLOCKED phone, wouldn't I then be able to use that phone on Sprint?
Well it has to be bought from sprint, and then unlocked. or pre-bought unlocked but it has to be a sprint phone to work on sprint..

I think at the moment the only 3 phones that sprint has that are android and world phones are Motorola Photon , Evo Design 4g and Motorola XPRT.

Photon has the following:

Worldphone - WiMAX 2500, CDMA 800/1900, WCDMA(UMTS) 850/1900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900

And you can roam 4g wimax as well where it is.

As for Design 4g..well for some reason HTC never includes much information on their website and not sure how accurate this 3rd party source is but:

Technology
WiMAX: 2500
CDMA: 800, 1900 MHz
GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS: 2100 MHz

Quote:
The Galaxy S2 is quad-band 3G, meaning it uses GSM, right? So I can't use it on CDMA networks?
yes, it wont work on cdma...

Galaxy s2:

HSPA+ 21Mbps/ HSUPA 5.76Mbps
EDGE/ GPRS Class 12
Quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Quad band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100

Quote:
Best case scenario is to get an unlocked world phone that has both CDMA and GSM capability, and since it's unlocked I can use it on my Sprint network, right?
yes...
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:45 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

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Originally Posted by gTen View Post
Well it has to be bought from sprint, and then unlocked. or pre-bought unlocked but it has to be a sprint phone to work on sprint..

I think at the moment the only 3 phones that sprint has that are android and world phones are Motorola Photon , Evo Design 4g and Motorola XPRT.

Photon has the following:

Worldphone - WiMAX 2500, CDMA 800/1900, WCDMA(UMTS) 850/1900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900

And you can roam 4g wimax as well where it is.

As for Design 4g..well for some reason HTC never includes much information on their website and not sure how accurate this 3rd party source is but:

Technology
WiMAX: 2500
CDMA: 800, 1900 MHz
GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS: 2100 MHz



yes, it wont work on cdma...

Galaxy s2:

HSPA+ 21Mbps/ HSUPA 5.76Mbps
EDGE/ GPRS Class 12
Quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Quad band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100



yes...
Doh. So I can't buy just any unlocked phone and expect it to work on Sprint? Is that because Sprint doesn't use SIM cards? So if I had a GSM-based provider like AT&T, I can buy any kind of GSM phone and just get an AT&T SIM card and be ok?

Dammit dammit dammit. The only two providers I'm willing to consider in the US based on coverage and service quality is Verizon and Sprint, both CDMA, and Verizon is too expensive. So I'm stuck with the 2 world phones from Sprint, neither of which I'm not too keen on using full time in the USA because they don't have slider keyboards, and I type a LOT.

But that leaves just getting a second phone for those times when I'm overseas, so that second phone should be a GSM phone, right? Would it absolutely need to be an unlocked GSM phone to use it in other countries?
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:08 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
Doh. So I can't buy just any unlocked phone and expect it to work on Sprint? Is that because Sprint doesn't use SIM cards? So if I had a GSM-based provider like AT&T, I can buy any kind of GSM phone and just get an AT&T SIM card and be ok?
CDMA does not use sim cards at all, we use ESN numbers that are reprogrammed into the phone. There are CDMA networks aroudn the worldwith something I think called RUIM cards similar to SIM but we don't use that in the US.

As for AT&T question..if you plan to get an international phone you gotta make sure its Quad-Band 3G..otherwise your gonna get stuck on EDGE.

Quote:
Dammit dammit dammit. The only two providers I'm willing to consider in the US based on coverage and service quality is Verizon and Sprint, both CDMA, and Verizon is too expensive. So I'm stuck with the 2 world phones from Sprint, neither of which I'm not too keen on using full time in the USA because they don't have slider keyboards, and I type a LOT.
I know what you mean, I like keyboard phones too...verizon has some world phones with keyboards...but can't help much on price factor.

The Sprint Motorola XPRT world phone is blackberry style keyboard but I am sure thats not what you want..it has no 4G either...

Quote:
But that leaves just getting a second phone for those times when I'm overseas, so that second phone should be a GSM phone, right? Would it absolutely need to be an unlocked GSM phone to use it in other countries?
yes it will have to be a GSM phone..as for unlocking, it depends on the phone...
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:27 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gTen View Post
CDMA does not use sim cards at all, we use ESN numbers that are reprogrammed into the phone. There are CDMA networks aroudn the worldwith something I think called RUIM cards similar to SIM but we don't use that in the US.

As for AT&T question..if you plan to get an international phone you gotta make sure its Quad-Band 3G..otherwise your gonna get stuck on EDGE.



I know what you mean, I like keyboard phones too...verizon has some world phones with keyboards...but can't help much on price factor.

The Sprint Motorola XPRT world phone is blackberry style keyboard but I am sure thats not what you want..it has no 4G either...



yes it will have to be a GSM phone..as for unlocking, it depends on the phone...
Sorry for all these stupid questions. As you can tell, I'm sorely confused on this phone issue.

So to sum up (let me know if I'm correct)

1. If you have a CDMA phone, each phone has an ESN number. If a CDMA carrier does not have that ESN number in their system, there is no way in hell that you can use that CDMA phone on their system. In effect, there is no such thing as an unlocked CDMA phone. All CDMA phones are tied to the carrier, and vice versa. No way to ask the carrier to add your ESN to their system so you can keep your phone and use their service?

2. Quad Band 3G - how do I tell?

Wireless Radio:
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
UMTS 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

The GSM has 4 frequencies, so I assume it's quad band and can use 3G. What's the UMTS then?

3. Even if I were to get a Verizon world phone with a keyboard, I'd be absolutely stuck using it on Verizon, huh? I'd have to ditch my cheaper Sprint service and go with Verizon. No way to use it on Sprint due to not having the ESN in their system?

4. Yeah, not a fan of Blackberry style keyboards

5. What's the purpose on an unlocked GSM phone? Aren't all GSM phones unlocked? Just swap in a different SIM card from XYZ carrier and you can use that phone on that carrier?

6. Carriers:

Compatible Carrier & Service: AT&T, AT&T 3G, T-Mobile, T-Mobile 3G, Rogers, Fido

I've never heard of Rogers and Fido - how prevalent are they?
If I had to choose between AT&T 3G and T-Mobile 3G compatibility, which one is more prevalent internationally? I'm going to take a wild guess and say AT&T.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:55 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
Sorry for all these stupid questions. As you can tell, I'm sorely confused on this phone issue.

So to sum up (let me know if I'm correct)

1. If you have a CDMA phone, each phone has an ESN number. If a CDMA carrier does not have that ESN number in their system, there is no way in hell that you can use that CDMA phone on their system. In effect, there is no such thing as an unlocked CDMA phone. All CDMA phones are tied to the carrier, and vice versa. No way to ask the carrier to add your ESN to their system so you can keep your phone and use their service?
At least not on the top 2 cdma carriers, the smaller ones do allow adding ESN to their tables. And yes for sprint and verizon there is no "legal" way to use a phone that is not theirs.

Quote:
2. Quad Band 3G - how do I tell?

Wireless Radio:
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
UMTS 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz <-this
Quote:
The GSM has 4 frequencies, so I assume it's quad band and can use 3G. What's the UMTS then?
GSM is 2g, UMTS is the family that HSPA belongs to.

Quote:
3. Even if I were to get a Verizon world phone with a keyboard, I'd be absolutely stuck using it on Verizon, huh? I'd have to ditch my cheaper Sprint service and go with Verizon. No way to use it on Sprint due to not having the ESN in their system?
nope, no legal way..you can go to a cheaper provider that resells verizon liek pageplus but their support is horrible (by my personal experience)...

Quote:
5. What's the purpose on an unlocked GSM phone? Aren't all GSM phones unlocked? Just swap in a different SIM card from XYZ carrier and you can use that phone on that carrier?
Generally yes, but usually they do this so you wont take an exclusive phone and swap to a competitor...most of the time its just enter a code and your done..

Quote:
6. Carriers:

Compatible Carrier & Service: AT&T, AT&T 3G, T-Mobile, T-Mobile 3G, Rogers, Fido

I've never heard of Rogers and Fido - how prevalent are they?
If I had to choose between AT&T 3G and T-Mobile 3G compatibility, which one is more prevalent internationally? I'm going to take a wild guess and say AT&T.
Well...T-Mobile uses AWS band for a lot of the 3g..so yeah...AT&T phones are more prevalent assuming its quad-band 3g...

Fido and Rogers I don't think work here in the US, they are Canadian telecos
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:12 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

Gotcha. Thanks for all that info! I think what I'm going to do is get something like a Samsung Captivate or Vibrant for $150. That way I can justify spending $150 for maybe just a month's worth of usage per year when I'm overseas. And it's easily unlockable, support a wide range of bands, and are decent phones anyway. Is there anything else like these phones but with a slide out keyboard?

For domestic I'd like to stick with Sprint, and their world phone offerings are lackluster to me (I wouldn't want to use them everyday in the USA) plus the only way to get the world phones at a good price is to sign up for another 2 year contract. I'd much rather save that discount for a phone I'd actually want, like a slider version of the Galaxy S2, if it ever comes. Sometimes I think manufacturers have abandoned us slider users, unfortunately
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:45 PM
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Re: Need an unlocked / world phone recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
Gotcha. Thanks for all that info! I think what I'm going to do is get something like a Samsung Captivate or Vibrant for $150. That way I can justify spending $150 for maybe just a month's worth of usage per year when I'm overseas. And it's easily unlockable, support a wide range of bands, and are decent phones anyway. Is there anything else like these phones but with a slide out keyboard?
Samsung Captivate Glide? (4 row kb unfortunately but better then no keyboard I guess) and t-mobile sidekick 4g?

(double check the supported bands though)

Quote:
For domestic I'd like to stick with Sprint, and their world phone offerings are lackluster to me (I wouldn't want to use them everyday in the USA) plus the only way to get the world phones at a good price is to sign up for another 2 year contract. I'd much rather save that discount for a phone I'd actually want, like a slider version of the Galaxy S2, if it ever comes. Sometimes I think manufacturers have abandoned us slider users, unfortunately
We all wish..we all wish...
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