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Thread: Unlocked Phones on T-Mobile

  1. #1
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    Unlocked Phones on T-Mobile

    Looking at a Motorola One 5G Ace and a Samsung A52G both unlocked from the manufacturer. Both phones support all the required bands and TmO's 5G NSA and SA networks.

    Are there any real disadvantages of buying a compatible unlocked phone?
    Does Tmo really add some voodoo SW that makes it work better in their locked versions?

    I have run an unlocked Moto Z4 on TMO for 18 months and it worked great, including all the sprint towers.
    I want to move to a 5G phone and just wondering what value TMO adds to their versions of the phone.

    Thanks,
    BB

  2. #2
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    Some unlocked phones may lack certain frequencies/bands used by the carriers in the US. That is important when considering buying an unlocked phone.
    Just another day in paradise.....

  3. #3
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    There really is no benefit of getting a carrier branded phone, if the phone you are looking at has the correct bands, you are good to go. In our house the last 7 phones have been manufacturer unlocked phones (6 Samsung's and 1 Motorola) Everything has worked as it should.

  4. #4
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    I am looking for a new phone as well and found a post on t-mobile support forums complaining that the t-mobile branded Moto one ace 5g doesn't support 5G SA because t-mobile hasn't released updated software to support it yet. That person stated that the unlocked version does support it but I haven't been able to confirm it yet with my searching. Just something to consider.

    https://community.t-mobile.com/andro...ce-sa-5g-36229

  5. #5
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    For the most part, unlocked devices should be fine. T-Mobile has the most lenient device compatibility policy out there, as long as the device works on their VoLTE system.

    As for 5G SA, the device would need to support it in software as well as having compatible bands. In most cases, the device would have a recent software update enable it. I would imagine those two have support for it by now, but you would want to check to be certain.

    The only caveat about non-carrier devices is that they may not get full domestic roaming. T-Mobile, to my understanding, still use a whitelist to roam on US Cellular and Nex-Tech (carrier in Nebraska/Kansas) for VoLTE, so unlocked devices besides iPhones may not be supported.


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  6. #6
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    Generally non t-mobile branded devices will not be able to roam on u s. Cellular.

  7. #7
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    Interesting. This is the first I've heard of this requirement for US Cellular roaming. I'm glad I got a T-Mobile branded Samsung A71 5G.

    As for SA 5G, that phone originally came with Andoid 10 and it received SA capability with the update to Android 11.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theghostlad82 View Post
    Generally non t-mobile branded devices will not be able to roam on u s. Cellular.
    If this is the case T Mobile is copying some of AT&T’s bad habits of blocking features to phones that were not directly bought from them.

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