How do I Know if My Phone is Unlocked?

Often experts recommend using an unlocked phone to save extra phone bills. It iS recommended that unlocked phones also offer you better service within a reasonable budget.

If you are looking forward to switching to a new mobile carrier service, an unlocked phone is also necessary.

But, most people often do not have any idea about the locked phone or unlocked phone models.

Here you will find all the information related to an unlocked phone or how to use an unlocked cellphone.

Understanding The Unlocked Phone

Here the word “Unlocked” has a different meaning. It is not about the phone. And instead, this term focuses on the career compatibility of a smartphone.

An unlocked phone is a phone which supports all the mobile carrier services.

In most cases, when a phone user purchases a cellphone through the carriers or mobile service providers, they get a locked phone. Only the acceptable carrier works in locked phones, and other cell phone service providers are not compatible. The carriers sell both locked android smartphones and iPhones.

On the contrary, you will be able to switch between mobile carrier services at any time with your unlocked phone as the phone is not locked by the carrier and supports each available carrier.

Most of the smartphones bought through carriers like T mobile, AT &T, Sprint, etc., are locked. The locked versions have a lower price.

How to know if an iPhone is not Locked?

Well, you can easily find this out. If you got your iPhone from Apple directly, then you have got yourself an unlocked phone. But, if you got it from a carrier, you have bought a locked iPhone in most cases.

In most cases, the carriers usually keep the phone locked till they get their payments. Some carriers also have a contract period, say one year, as a locking period.

1. Check if the iPhone is not locked using a SIM card

You can easily check if the phone is not locked with a SIM card from a different service provider.

  • First, power off the phone.
  • Next, locate your SIM slot at the side of the Here you have to insert the SIM tool in the hole to open the slot.
  • After opening, you need to take out your old SIM and insert another SIM from another
  • Now, press the power button to switch on the phone. If the phone displays a message “Enter the SIM unlock code,” the phone/device is locked.
  • You can also double-check this by trying to make a call. But, locked phones will not allow you to make a call using a different SIM card.

2. Check Your Settings

You can also check the locked status of the phone through the “Settings” of your phone.

  • First, open the “Settings” and then navigate to the “cellular” tab.
  • From here, select “Cellular Data Network.” If the phone displays the network you are in at present, it is an unlocked phone. On the other hand, locked devices usually do not display the data carrier name.
  • Please note that it is not an accurate method as many unlocked phones also do not display the carrier name every time.

3. Contact The Wireless Carrier

The best way to check the unlocked status is to get it confirmed by the carrier. You can call the carrier helpline and enquire if you have an unlocked phone. Here are the contact details that you can use “:

  • AT&T:1 (800) 288-2020
  • Straight Talk Wireless: 1 (877) 430-2355
  • Sprint:1 (800) 382-3312
  • T-Mobile:1 (800) 937-8997
  • Verizon:1 (800) 922-0204
  • Cricket Wireless: 1 (800) 274-2538
  • Metro by T-Mobile: 1 (888) 863-8768
  • Mint Mobile: 1 (800) -683-7392

How to know if an Android Device is Unlocked?

If you have bought an android phone, the same rule applies here also. A phone directly bought from the manufacturer is often an unlocked device, and you can buy it online or offline from the company’s store. But, if you have bought it from the carrier store, it is most probably a locked version.

1. Check Your Settings

You can check the status of the phone from the settings.

  • From “Settings,” navigate to the “Connection” section.
  • Next, open the “Mobile Networks” tab and find “Network Operators.
  • Click on “Search Now.
  • In case your device displays multiple available operator names, it is an unlocked phone.

2. Contact The Wireless Carrier

The best way to confirm the unlocked status is to get it confirmed from the carrier service itself. You can call in the following numbers and get confirmation on the status:

  • AT&T:1 (800) 288-2020
  • Mint Mobile: 1 (800) -683-7392
  • T-Mobile:1 (800) 937-8997
  • Sprint:1 (800) 382-3312
  • Straight Talk Wireless: 1 (877) 430-2355
  • Verizon:1 (800) 922-0204
  • Cricket Wireless: 1 (800) 274-2538
  • Metro by T-Mobile: 1 (888) 863-8768

Network’s compatibility – CDMA vs GSM

In most cases, an unlocked phone may not support another carrier because of compatibility issues. Cellular networks come in two variations, CDMA and GSM.

The older phones are usually not suitable with both networks, But modern smartphones support CDMA and GSM networks.

1. If you own an iPhone X/ or latest

If you own a new model of Apple phone, say iPhone X or the latest version, it is suitable for both GSM & CDMA mobile operators.

But, if the phone is locked, it will not support any other carrier. Safely the phone gets unlocked, you can easily switch between CDMA or GSM networks as per your preference.

2. If you own an Android phone

Most of the recent android mobiles support both GSM and CDMA, while the older models may be restricted to only one.

How to Test the Network’s Compatibility on my Unlocked Phone

If you want to check the compatibility status of the unlocked phone, it can be done easily.

In general, the mobile identification number offers a hint.

The model with an IMEI number only supports GSM carriers.

The mobile phones which come with MEID or ESN numbers are compatible with CDMA networks. On the other hand, the modes which have both support both CDMA or GSM.

1. On the iPhone

You can find the IMEI/MEID /ESN number in the about section of your phone. First, open the settings and then navigate to the “General” tab. From here, you can open the “About” section.

2. On the Android

You can find the IMEI/MEID /ESN number from the “Settings” section. From here, you can open the “About Phone” tab to know the number.


Even though locked phones come at a discounted price, unlocked phones are always the best choice. Unlocked mobiles do not have any nouns and support all the carrier networks, allowing you better flexibility.

If you get a locked phone, you can easily unlock it by paying the full amount to the carrier. Usually, the unlocking procedure takes only 72 hours, and the carrier sends a confirmation message after unlocking a locked device.

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