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Thread: Unlocked CDMA phones for Straight Talk

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    Unlocked CDMA phones for Straight Talk

    Hope I'm okay to post a new thread here. I'm new to all this GSM/CDMA and Android/Straight Talk stuff; I already have an information overload migraine *laugh*. I'm using an older than dirt Samsung Rogue (don't laugh) and am looking into the Samsung Galaxy s3 or Note 2. Since I can't afford to pay a small fortune to Verizon for the privilege of using a smartphone, I'm looking at Straight Talk (we currently have 2 dumb/1 smartphone and a second smart would push us almost to $200/month and are you kidding me?).

    Really had my heart set on the Galaxy s3 (my fantasy phone), but can only find a Galaxy s2 that will work with Straight Talk's Verizon towers. Does the s3 just not come in an unlocked CDMA version for the Verizon towers on Straight Talk? I've only been able to find unlocked GSM phones for the AT&T towers.

    My problem is that AT&T coverage is really spotty around here (we're in a rural area and Verizon is king A follow up question would be (if there is no unlocked CDMA for ST) is will this change after the Samsung Galaxy s4 is revealed next week? I'm hoping for a price drop in the s3 after the 14th. Sorry this is a bit long; couldn't figure out how to condense and still explain it all. Thanks!

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    Re: Unlocked CDMA phones for Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    Hope I'm okay to post a new thread here. I'm new to all this GSM/CDMA and Android/Straight Talk stuff; I already have an information overload migraine *laugh*. I'm using an older than dirt Samsung Rogue (don't laugh) and am looking into the Samsung Galaxy s3 or Note 2. Since I can't afford to pay a small fortune to Verizon for the privilege of using a smartphone, I'm looking at Straight Talk (we currently have 2 dumb/1 smartphone and a second smart would push us almost to $200/month and are you kidding me?).

    Really had my heart set on the Galaxy s3 (my fantasy phone), but can only find a Galaxy s2 that will work with Straight Talk's Verizon towers. Does the s3 just not come in an unlocked CDMA version for the Verizon towers on Straight Talk? I've only been able to find unlocked GSM phones for the AT&T towers.

    My problem is that AT&T coverage is really spotty around here (we're in a rural area and Verizon is king A follow up question would be (if there is no unlocked CDMA for ST) is will this change after the Samsung Galaxy s4 is revealed next week? I'm hoping for a price drop in the s3 after the 14th. Sorry this is a bit long; couldn't figure out how to condense and still explain it all. Thanks!

    To use Straight Talk on CDMA providers Verizon or Sprint, you have to buy the Straight Talk-branded phones that have been approved by those carriers. There are no "unlocked" CDMA phones on Straight Talk for the CDMA signal carriers. The phones to connect to the two CDMA networks with which Straight Talk are locked to a specific carrier (Sprint or Verizon), and you can only use the phones Straight Talk sells.

    For Straight Talk "Verizon" specifically you have look carefully at the phone's product code to determine if it is going to run on Sprint or Verizon. Many Straight Talk people have been disappointed as the the better of the obsolete Androids run on ST "Sprint", not ST "Verizon".

    The Straight Talk "Verizon" iPhone 5 is CDMA + GSM. On that phone, the GSM port its unlocked (so people buy it and stick in a ST "AT&T" SIM card) even though the CDMA part its locked on Verizon.

    With the exception of that dual purpose iPhone 5, all other Straight Talk-branded phones are from previous generations, 2 -5 years old. Typical MNVO lineup.

    This is why the Straight Talk & Net10 BYOP SIM card plan was so revolutionary. Bring the HSPA phone you want, the specs you want, and run it on AT&T or T-Mobile (depending on the sim you choose). The parent carrier doesn't have to approve it first.

    Lots of people are running Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Notes, Galaxy Nexus (me), LG Nexus 4 on Straight Talk/Net10 using the BYOP sims.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    Really had my heart set on the Galaxy s3 (my fantasy phone), but can only find a Galaxy s2 that will work with Straight Talk's Verizon towers. Does the s3 just not come in an unlocked CDMA version for the Verizon towers on Straight Talk? I've only been able to find unlocked GSM phones for the AT&T towers.
    I think you are mistaken. The ST Galaxy SII is for AT&T. Straight Talk does not sell a Galaxy SII for Verizon.

    Straight Talk sells phones that work on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint. They also sell (or sold) sim cards for Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) for AT&T and T-mobile. The ST "AT&T" sim cards have disappeared from the Straight Talk website, but you can still find some at local Wal-marts and eBay (at much higher prices). You can also still buy "AT&T" and "T-mobile" sim cards from sister company Net10. There's been MUCH discussion about the sim card situation, and lots of secrecy from the companies involved.

    Also, there is a specific subforum dedicated to Straight Talk. You may find more answers there than in the "general" section.

    US Prepaid/MVNO Discussion > Straight Talk
    http://www.howardforums.com/forumdis...-Straight-Talk

    __________
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    Last edited by ChazzMatt; 03-07-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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    Thank you so much for answering. I saw the Straight Talk forum, but with the Galaxy and CDMA questions thrown in I thought I should try the general question thread first. I am so far out of the loop on this it's completely overwhelming (big time crossed eyeballs here - ack!).

    There's a guy my husband works with and another girl in a nearby town where he stops for coffee that both have the Galaxy S2 for Straight Talk's Verizon towers. DH is going to ask them where they got there phones, as they are showing up "no longer available" here for ST Verizon when I checked.

    [QUOTE=ChazzMatt;15076509]Lots of people are running Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Notes, Galaxy Nexus (me), LG Nexus 4 on Straight Talk/Net10 using the BYOP sims.

    Let me make sure I'm following you here: the Galaxy SIII et.al, will run on Straight Talk/Net10 with the BYOP sims, but then would that be on the GSMs? I'll google it next chance I get (at work and PC access is more off than on).

    AT&T service is pretty much craptastic here, and the other GSMs are even spottier. Not much point in a cool new toy if I can't play with it; home would be fine, but where I work is in the middle of nowhere and the only decent connection is with Verizon.

    Thanks for the lead!

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    Please let me know if you would like this thread moved to the Straight Talk section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    There's a guy my husband works with and another girl in a nearby town where he stops for coffee that both have the Galaxy S2 for Straight Talk's Verizon towers. DH is going to ask them where they got there phones, as they are showing up "no longer available" here for ST Verizon when I checked.
    I'm pretty sure when you double check, you will find the Galaxy S2s the friends of your husband have are actually GSM sim card phones for Straight Talk "AT&T" towers. Straight Talk has never sold CDMA Galaxy S2s for ST "Verizon", whereas they have sold the ST "AT&T" Galaxy SII since last fall. Recently Straight Talk and AT&T have had some kind of falling out; the ST "AT&T" BYOP sims are no longer for sale on the ST website and many ST "AT&T" phones are "no longer available" in many zip codes. Since you want Verizon, the AT&T stuff doesn't matter to you.

    Get the model number of this mystery phone if you can? I bet they bought the phone from Wal-Mart, it works, and they really don't know which network it runs on.

    Over in the Straight Talk forum there are people who live and breathe the ST-branded phones, especially for Verizon. They can confirm or deny my assertions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ChazzMatt View Post
    Lots of people are running Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Notes, Galaxy Nexus (me), LG Nexus 4 on Straight Talk/Net10 using the BYOP sims.
    Let me make sure I'm following you here: the Galaxy SIII et.al, will run on Straight Talk/Net10 with the BYOP sims, but then would that be on the GSMs? I'll google it next chance I get (at work and PC access is more off than on).

    AT&T service is pretty much craptastic here, and the other GSMs are even spottier. Not much point in a cool new toy if I can't play with it; home would be fine, but where I work is in the middle of nowhere and the only decent connection is with Verizon.

    Thanks for the lead!
    Yes, the BYOP plan sims are for GSM phones -- either ST "AT&T" or ST "T-mobile". I know you said AT&T is not great where you live, and I'm sorry about that. But for pre-paid MNVOs, right now the only way you can really choose which phone you want is through a sim card plan.

    Straight Talk does offer the iPhone 5 on CDMA Verizon. I am an Android fan myself and would never own an iPhone (I can give a dozen reasons why they are so inferior, but this is not the time to do that). Point is, unless you feel as strongly, you could hold your nose and get the Straight Talk-branded iPhone 5 to run on Verizon. You buy them at Wal-Mart and while you pay full price, Wal-mart is offering 0% financing on those phones.

    _______

    I was a CDMA customer for a dozen years with two different carriers and even had LTE Android. But last summer I switched to Straight Talk so I could get the phone I wanted NOW. That meant going the GSM route, and I bought two Galaxy Nexus phones from Google and stuck in ST "AT&T" sim cards.

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    Re: Unlocked CDMA phones for Straight Talk

    There is another Verizon MNVO called Page Plus. They allow BYOP to their service. Some sites are selling good condition, used CDMA Galaxy S2s flashed to Page Plus "Verizon". They guarantee they will work, they will even set up a Page Plus account for you. Price I saw was a little high, $300 for a used Galaxy S2, but that price includes the flashing to Page Plus "Verizon".

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    I started this mess thinking I wanted an iPhone5, but after doing some research I changed my mind (Android has come a LONG way in the past few of years). Sounds like I need to back up and regroup. *sigh* According to my husband, the phone itself says Verizon on it, but he is using Straight Talk. This is not a tech-savvy guy, so I doubt there any mad skills came into play there. I'll ask him about the model number (I think he said it was $349 or something like that, but it's a II).

    I have very limited access to a computer at work, but a fair amount of downtime - I'm an interpreter in a school (but I have a non profit, web pages, two online shops and a blog as well I could be working on). I have lots of things could be doing during that time, and if I had a phone with internet access I could get a boatload accomplished.

    Bell rang...off and running again. Thank you SO much for all your help!

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    Unlocked CDMA phones for Straight Talk

    Epic the confusion may be that ST use to have the Samsung galaxy s on the Verizon network.
    The only S2 ST has is on AT&T.
    The Samsung Galaxy S Showcase was the best And only GalaxyS phone that was available on ST from Verizon, they were very populate when they were available. Some Walmart stores show availability even today but they NEVER have any in stock. Some WM stores don't carry them at all.
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    This is the Samsung Galaxy S2
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    Ask your husband to look at the phones the other people own and then look at these pictures, if they have a Galaxy S on Verizon and it is a StraightTalk phone they probably have the Showcase.
    All of this aside, the S2 that runs on ATT is a very very nice phone. I paid 322.00 and that is with tax and I think the first months service card. I totally love this phone, but I totally love my S2 from Boost as well, just call me fickle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    *sigh* According to my husband, the phone itself says Verizon on it, but he is using Straight Talk. This is not a tech-savvy guy, so I doubt there any mad skills came into play there.
    Too funny.


    Quote Originally Posted by AndroidFoneFan View Post
    Epic the confusion may be that ST use to have the Samsung galaxy s on the Verizon network.
    The only S2 ST has is on AT&T.
    The Samsung Galaxy S Showcase was the best And only GalaxyS phone that was available on ST from Verizon, they were very popular when they were available. Some Walmart stores show availability even today but they NEVER have any in stock. Some WM stores don't carry them at all.

    Here's the Wal-mart link to the Straight Talk Galaxy S, which runs on Verizon. It's the predecessor to the SII, of course. The Galaxy S was released in 2010. Ouch. Cell phone years are like dog years... No HD rez screen, no HD camera. Of course, came to Straight Talk last fall (2012).

    Straight Talk Samsung S950C Galaxy S "Showcase" Prepaid Cell Phone
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-T...Phone/21881889

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    However, in none of the pics I've found do I see a Verizon logo on the phone itself -- just the Verizon map on the package. So, we're missing something here. I just don't know what.

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    YouTube review that shows the phone in detail:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZdfOPDHazM

    Some are still selling them on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MINT-In-Box-...item19d95c247f
    Last edited by ChazzMatt; 03-08-2013 at 08:28 AM.

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    Unlocked CDMA phones for Straight Talk

    I wanted that phone, looked for it for a month before I bought the S2. Every time I tried to find it at the ST web sight it was never there, all the stores here locally that say they carry it never have it in stock.
    It would have cost less than the S2, but hay I'm happy with what I have.

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    It IS the Showcase that DH's friend has; took awhile but DH and his pal finally got it straight (part of the confusion being due to the fact that DH is a low-tech redneck and his pal isn't much savvier He bought the phone at a Walmart here last month, but as best I can tell they must have had a limited number of them available (and why am I always late to the party? *sigh*). The Galaxy s2 also comes up on ST's site, but is not available for this area.

    Wally World stores here are out of stock for all the *cough* good (big sliding scale there) phones, and so is the warehouse. This, of course, generally means they may have one available somewhere around the end of time; seems tax refunds have caused the increase in sales and basically cleaned them all out. Compounding the problem is, of course, that most Walmart employees haven't a clue. I talked to a woman yesterday that said ALL of their Androids ran on Verizon towers, but I don't believe that's accurate (on Straight Talk's site only two of the phones show that red map and have the "most reliable network" statement under them).

    The LG Optimus can be ordered through Walmart and Straight Talk says it will work here, so we might look into that model phone a little further. All DH wants to do really is listen to Nascar and talk radio without losing the station when he's driving every day (big truck). He also wants to have the ability to get online if he feels like it (once he figures out how, that is To me, this does not necessitate a complicated phone, however, I believe there might also be a teensy bit of "mine is as cool as or cooler than yours" going on here too. *laugh*

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like if you're going for the higher end phone (my goal) in this Verizon only zone, it's almost a wash by the time you factor in the upgrade discount (at least for the first year, anyway). Since we're stuck with using their towers, we seem to have rather limited options. I did check with a coworker yesterday just to be sure, and she said her AT&T service was pretty much non-existent at work and very spotty in a lot of other places. She moved here from a larger city in North AL and was grandfathered in on the unlimited data plan AT&T offered back when, so that's why she stayed with AT&T.

    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate how helpful you all have been! I'll let you know how it all turns out (either we get a new phone or DH and his pal wind up buried in a small, unmarked hole in the middle of our pasture - kidding

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate how helpful you all have been! I'll let you know how it all turns out (either we get a new phone or DH and his pal wind up buried in a small, unmarked hole in the middle of our pasture - kidding
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    I'm over in GA, you're in AL? Give me a call if you need a hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    It IS the Showcase that DH's friend has; took awhile but DH and his pal finally got it straight (part of the confusion being due to the fact that DH is a low-tech redneck and his pal isn't much savvier

    He bought the phone at a Walmart here last month, but as best I can tell they must have had a limited number of them available (and why am I always late to the party? *sigh*). The Galaxy s2 also comes up on ST's site, but is not available for this area.
    Most but not all of Straight Talk's phones show up on the Straight Talk site. Some are stocked at Wal-Mart stores only and do not show up on StraightTalk.com.

    As you can tell, it's a very professional and well-run company.

    Point is, if you can go to a couple of Wal-marts and physically check stock, you might find some of these "out of stock" phones. I'm not doubting Wal-mart's inventory skills, but just sayin...

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    Bwahahahahaha - appreciate the "moving" offer and how funny is it that with forum postings "heard 'round the world", I get an answer from someone almost in my own backyard? Funny.

    We did physically go into the Walmart stores here to scope out the phones they had in stock; totally hear ya there, as you never know WHAT you're going to get with a phone call....

    I'm trying to nudge DH into keeping an eye out for his Straight Talk phone over the next 6-8 months and letting me just stay with Verizon (I'm "expired", but his contract doesn't expire until December). He voluntarily suggested (I was shocked, but yay) a trip to Verizon last night, where we looked at the SIII and Note II. Supposedly, it will cost the same thing to upgrade to the SIV when it comes out as it would be for the SIII now (so see me wait, right?) He is actually sounding amenable to letting me upgrade to the SIV so it might really happen; though I have to make myself remember that talking and doing are two completely different things around here. *laugh*

    Looks like it may be a few more months before I get a smarter phone (but I'm thinking it'll be well worth the wait). As best I can tell, the SIV becomes available on the market about a month after the unveiling (which I believe is next Thursday), but then I figured I should wait a little bit longer to be sure that they've worked out all the kinks before I get it. I've had the Rogue for 3 or 4 years, so I guess another 3 or 4 months won't kill me. Hopefully

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic Farms View Post
    Bwahahahahaha - appreciate the "moving" offer and how funny is it that with forum postings "heard 'round the world", I get an answer from someone almost in my own backyard? Funny.

    Looks like it may be a few more months before I get a smarter phone (but I'm thinking it'll be well worth the wait). As best I can tell, the SIV becomes available on the market about a month after the unveiling (which I believe is next Thursday), but then I figured I should wait a little bit longer to be sure that they've worked out all the kinks before I get it. I've had the Rogue for 3 or 4 years, so I guess another 3 or 4 months won't kill me. Hopefully
    Yeah, I graduated from high school over in NW Alabama, plus one of my colleges years was at Auburn (if you are a Bama fan don't hold it against me), but have lived everywhere including -- the West Indies and Pennsylvania as a child (Preacher's Kid, Missionary's Kid -- much like being a military brat; we moved every 2 - 4 years). As an adult, AL, GA, TN, VA, and back to GA. Some of that was college years, some was changing jobs for my career. My brother still lives in Birmingham area with his family.

    __________

    The S4 will be amazing. Since you need Verizon, then that's your best bet -- to wait for that phone. Don't get the SIII and be locked in for two years when the S4 is just around the corner.

    Last summer my sister got a Verizon iPhone 4S -- against my advice to go Android. She just went and got it after pretending to ask for advice.

    But even more than that, 6 weeks later the iPhone 5 was released. (as anyone who knew about cell phones could have told you; it wasn't a secret.) Still inferior to Android of course, but much better than the iPhone 4S. Actually has a 4" screen instead of 3.5" -- even though it's not an HD resolution screen like the premium Androids. (HD screens are 720p and up, just like HDTVs. NO iPhone has an HD screen yet, none of them. Maybe one day iPhone will catch up to Android. Maybe. )

    Anyway, I told her, "If you were going to get a crappy iPhone, you should have waited and gotten the best of the crappy iPhones. Now you are locked into a 2-year contract and can't upgrade to a better phone. You locked in on LAST year's model and still paid the "full" subsidized $200 price. If you wanted an iPhone 4S over the iPhone 5 -- for some strange reason -- if you had waited 6 weeks you could have bought it for $150 instead of $200." (Verizon still sells the previous year's model for $50 less, as the budge alternative.)

    All she could say was, "I LIKE the smaller screen." -- which of course didn't answer any of my points. You like the smaller screen, slower CPU enough to pay $50 more than if you had waited 6 weeks? or do you like the smaller screen, slower iPhone 4S because you never even held the larger screen, faster iPhone 5 in your hand?

    Point is, yes wait a few weeks for the S4.
    _________

    I went the GSM Nexus route, because while the full price is $350 it's not that much more than the $200/$250 the big boys are charging for subsidized premium phones. Then, only having to pay $45 per month to Straight Talk saves immediate money over the $90 - $100 AT&T charges for phone plan + data plan. While I took a hit with the initial buy price ($150 more than "$200 subsidized"), within 4 months I'm in the black due to the much lower monthly fees.

    I bought two of them for me and my wife @ $350 each, plus tax, shipping, and extended batteries. So, total was about $400 each, but still well worth it.

    Google chooses a manufacturer each year to produce a "Nexus" phone that has the latest specs and Android system. Google's Android engineering team designs it, and major manufacturer like Samsung, HTC, LG produce it under contract for Google. It has pure Android, no bloatware apps you can't delete and no overlaid interface like Samsung's "TouchWiz" or HTC "Sense". The GSM phones in particular get immediate Android updates, while the CDMA versions that were sold by Verizon and Sprint have to have carrier approval first. The carriers have to make sure their bloatware is also installed and they are loathe to let your phone be upgraded to a new Android version for free -- they want you to buy another phone instead. As a result, Google didn't even produce a Nexus 4 for Verizon as Verizon tried to cripple the Nexus 3 by not approving any Android updates.


    At the time (last summer, 2012) the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (a.k.a. Nexus 3) was equal to or better than the iPhone 4S on the market. Samsung's Galaxy SIII (released months later than the Galaxy Nexus) had better specs, but back in July 2012 an unlocked, no contract SIII was $600-$700. In November 2012, Google released the LG Nexus 4 for this year's showcase Android phone, and those specs do match the SIII -- while also being priced at reasonable $300 (8GB) or $350 (16GB) for unlocked, no contract GSM latest spec Android phone.

    LG Nexus 4
    4.7" 720p screen, quad core CPU, 2GB RAM, pentaband GSM (pentaband means it will run on any GSM network in the world: take your phone to other countries on vacation, and put in a cheap pre-paid sim -- plus of course full compatibility with AT&T or T-mobile HSPA+ frequencies)

    However, my Galaxy Nexus (last year's Nexus 3 showcase Android) has 4.65" 720P screen, dual core CPU, 1GB RAM, and pentaband GSM. Plus, since it's a Nexus, I also have Android 4.2.2 (due to unhindered updates I will ALWAYS have the latest Android software immediately on my Nexus). Overall still good enough and I wasn't about to spend another $800 just a few months later to buy two more phones.

    Now looking the rumored S4 specs (5" 1080p screen, possibly octo core CPU?), I wonder what Google will have up their sleeve for this fall's Nexus 5 phone. THAT is when I will update my phone.
    Last edited by ChazzMatt; 03-09-2013 at 12:52 PM.

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