Buying an Android phone is not an easy task. There are several variants of the operating systems, and different manufacturers. The configuration differences apart, one important aspect of choosing an Android device is to check if the phone you are buying an unlocked device or a locked device. The unlocked mobile phones can be checked by means of using a few methods as have been described here. Check the tips featured here to know how to check if Android phone is unlocked.
How to check if Android phone is unlocked?
Before embarking on our journey to check whether your Android device is locked or unlocked, let us check out what exactly is the difference between unlocked and locked Android phone. This would also give you a fair idea of the advantages that unlocked cell phones have the locked devices.
Difference Between Unlocked and Locked Android devices
A Locked Android phone is the one that is sold through the carriers. These devices come with customized software updates meant specifically for the carrier through which they are sold. The device is locked to the carrier and cannot be used on any other network. The phones will be locked for a specific period which may range up to 24 months. You can get the phone unlocked after the stipulated period either through the carrier or at unlocking services.
An unlocked smartphone is free to be used with any carrier. These devices are sold directly by the manufacturers. The advantage of buying an unlocked device lies in the fact that it can be used with any carrier of your choice.
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Now that you are aware of the difference between an unlocked Android phone and a locked device, let us move ahead to check out the ways you can use to check if your Android smartphone is locked or unlocked.
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Use A Different SIM to Check Your Phone
That would be the easiest and simplest method to check if the Android device you are using is locked or unlocked. Just remove your existing SIM from the phone and insert the SIM you would want to use. Make a call with the new SIM card. If the call goes through, it would be an indication that the Android device in question is already unlocked. If your call does not go through, you can safely conclude that the phone is locked to the carrier tied to the SIM card that was originally on the phone.
Use IMEI Number
IMEI number is yet another best method that can be used to check if your phone is locked or not. You can follow the steps here below to check the lock status of your Android device –
- Get your IMEI number. You may find it in the sales package or on the invoice. You may also check the IMEI number by dialing *#06# from your phone.
- Visit info either on your phone or computer.
- Type in the 15 digit IMEI number in the space provided.
- Click on Check
- You will be shown the information on this screen about the smartphone for which you have just entered the IMEI.
- Click on the option that says SIMLOCK or Warranty or
- The next screen should provide you the information on the carrier to which the phone has been locked into – just in case, the phone is locked.
That would be the easiest way to get an idea of whether you have an unlocked or locked Android smartphone. One of the advantages of using this method is you can unlock your phone with the same service. IMEI.info offers you free unlocking service for your device if it is locked to a carrier.
Call Your Carrier
Well, if all else fails, you can just give a call to your carrier and confirm from them whether the concerned phone is locked to their service or unlocked. You may need to provide a few basic information about the phone that you have been enquiring about.
Conclusion for to Check if Android Phone is Unlocked
That should bring us to the end of our discussion on how to check if your Android smartphone is locked or unlocked. Please note that most of the low budget Android devices come in an unlocked status. You should be able to use them with any carrier of your choice. Also, the concept of carrier-bound smartphones does work only in cases where you buy the phone from the service providers rather than the manufacturers.
Some telephone service providers offer you the low price offers and EMI options for the high-end smartphones, but in most cases the phone you so buy will be locked to the said telecom service provider and you may not be able to use it with any other carrier – well, at least for the lock-in period that the phone remains in the locked status.
In any case, we hope that the tips provided here should be helpful enough to meet your requirements in checking out the locked or unlocked state of your Android device. Do share your doubts – if any – through the comments section here below.