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Lloyd Phillips
Lloyd Phillips

How To Buy A Phone Without A Contract


Going forward, phone buyers will be expected to purchase their devices outright, either by paying in a lump sum or through monthly installments. Here, we break down exactly how these new plans differ from the old way of buying phones.




how to buy a phone without a contract


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After a credit check, AT&T customers can choose between three different versions of the plan: an 18-month payment plan with an upgrade after 12 months, a 24-month plan with an upgrade after 18 months, or a 30-month plan with an upgrade after 24 months. Customers have to turn in their old phone in order to get a new phone at the time of an upgrade, or keep paying installments on the old phone to buy it outright.


T-Mobile eliminated two-year contracts long before the other carriers. It now has the most options for monthly installment plans. The access fee for smartphones is $50 for the first line, $30 for the second line and $10 for additional lines, with each line coming with 2GB of data. Additional data can be bought for individual lines in sets of 4GB for $15 each. This is different from the other carriers, which sell data in buckets that can be used by lots of different people on the same plan.


For phones not on a two-year contract, the access fee per phone line is $20 per month. Users can then buy buckets of data that can be shared among 10 devices for prices ranging from $20 per month for 1GB to $225 for 60GB.


The vast majority of phone owners still buy phones from a carrier, but there's a lot more freedom and interest in no-contract and unlocked phones. This is good news for all of us because we now have more options than what you can get only in your carrier store. Some of which are quite affordable.


An unlocked phone is one that isn't tied, or "locked" to a single carrier. That means you can pop in a SIM card for AT&T, for instance, swap it out for a T-Mobile SIM, and it'll still work. There's no artificial barrier that keeps you from using the phone on any other network simply because the carrier wants to forcibly keep you (and your phone) as a customer.


But. That doesn't mean that every unlocked phone you can buy is free and clear to use on any carrier, especially if you're buying a global handset that wasn't intended to work in the US (like if it's sold in Europe and Asia, and you buy it on Craigslist or eBay). You'll still need to check to make sure that your preferred network is compatible with your phone (look into the phone's connectivity and band support).


For an overly simplistic example, if the carrier only uses band X and the phone only uses band Y, the phone isn't going to work with that carrier (you'd still be able to use it over Wi-Fi, of course). Depending on the technology, some unlocked phones you can buy will only work with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. Others will work with all of the Big Four and their prepaid branches -- for example Boost and Virgin Mobile for Sprint, Cricket Wireless for AT&T, and MetroPCS for T-Mobile.


They can be, but there's a distinction. A no-contract phone is one that doesn't require you to sign a carrier agreement in order to buy and use it, so when the phone's paid off, it's yours. Most carriers now sell a no-contract option, either with our without a payment plan. When it's paid off, you can also ask the carrier to unlock it for you, so you can (potentially) use it with another phone network.


While most unlocked phones are also no-contract, it's common enough that one carrier will sell the phone exclusively (not other carrier store stocks it), but you're often able to buy the phone from the manufacturer as well.


For example, if you buy the Motorola Moto Z2 Play from Verizon, you won't be able to use it on any carrier you want. But if you buy the unlocked version of that same phone from Motorola, it will work with all US carriers.


If you want to buy a Pixel through a network, Verizon has the carrier exclusive ($650). But if you're the more adventurous type, you can also go to Google's website or Best Buy to get either Android phone on its own or with Google's Project Fi SIM. (Project Fi uses available spectrum from T-Mobile, Sprint and local Wi-Fi.) You aren't tied to Fi either.


You can buy the iPhone with practically any carrier. But did you also know you can get it unlocked? Head over to Apple's store (online or retail) and when you get to the carrier option, choose "buy without a carrier". Apple will ship it to you unlocked and SIM-free, so you can add your own SIM card for any carrier.


Although it's behind with Android 6.0, it's easy to use one-handed and is overall a comfortable phone. The next-gen version, the Honor 9, has just been announced for China, but we aren't sure when and if we'll see it come to the US.


From basic mobiles to high-end smartphones, cell phones keep the world connected. A lot has changed in the world of mobile devices in the last decade, so it's important to keep track of the latest technologies before making a purchase. With the extensive selection of cell phones available at Walmart, you can find the right phone for you no matter your needs and preferences.


When you're considering a new mobile device, there are lots of things to take into account in order to make an informed purchase. From choosing the right provider and payment plan to making sure you take advantage of the latest improvements in handset technology, you'll want to consider your needs and budget before making a decision. From large carriers like Verizon and AT&T to no-contract and prepaid carriers like Straight Talk and Boost Mobile, you'll be able to find all the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices at everyday low prices.


Selecting a wireless carrier is one of the first decisions that you have to make when you want a new phone. In some cases, this can also determine the selection of phones you can choose from. You can opt for a contract or no-contract carrier, or go for a cell phone with a pre-paid plan. A contract carrier offers various monthly plans that can include minutes, texts, and data. You generally have to enter into a 12- or 24-month contract. No-carrier contracts allow you to get service from a smaller carrier such as a mobile virtual network operator without the yoke of a two-year contract. If you're looking for a specific phone but don't want to be tied to one carrier, you can purchase an unlocked version that can work on various carriers. Finally, pay-as-you-go or pre-paid plans are the most flexible option, as you can avoid surprises on your bill by topping up on an as-needed basis. Various bundles and data packs are available via pay-as-you-go options with most carriers.


Confirm the coverage: Large carriers such as Verizon or AT&T offer good coverage for high-speed Internet service across the country. You can confirm the coverage by using a zip code map provided by the carrier. Alternatively, ask your family or friends how well their phones work in a particular area.


Decide how much data you need: As not all providers offer the same deals for minutes, texts, and data, think about your regular usage before deciding on a carrier. If you spend more time texting and calling, then you only need a light data use plan. On the other hand, if you like to watch videos and download content on your phone, you may need a plan with 4GB or more. Some carriers also offer unlimited plans, so you'll never have to worry about your phone usage.


Most cell phones can handle at least a day's worth of phone calls, texts, and web browsing on a single charge. However, if you like to use your phone for music or gaming on a daily basis, you may need to consider getting a model with a longer battery life, which generally needs to be a 3,000 mAh battery or above. Heavy users may consider purchasing an external battery for their phone to avoid running out of juice at the end of the day.


With our wide range of cell phones, it's easy to find the exact features you want in your new handset. Once you have figured out what your new phone is going to be, have a look at some of our cell phone accessories such as cases, car mounts, and Bluetooth to get the most from your device, all at everyday low prices. 041b061a72


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