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Thread: Question about iPhone use in Canada, Europe and Asia

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    Question about iPhone use in Canada, Europe and Asia

    Can an unlocked iPhone XR that was originally a Tracfone-branded phone be used in Canada, Europe and Asia?

    I guess the phone will need a sim card local to the country of course. My question is mainly about whether the TF-unlocked iPhone XR model has the bands or whatever to work outside of the US.

    Same question about a TF-unlocked iPhone SE(2nd gen, 2020). Can it be used in Canada, Europe and Asia?

    Thank you very much!

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    Yes.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Yes.......
    I don't mean to question your response, but then why does Apple have different models of iPhone XR and iPhone SE2020 for different countries? That's what confuses me. It seems to indicate (to me) that an iPhone model sold in the US can't be used in Canada, Europe, Asia.

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    iPhone XR Comparison Chart
    https://everymac.com/systems/apple/i...08-models.html

    All iPhone 6s/SE (2016) and newer are world phones/world band. There's usually only three or four different variants/regions:

    * USA/Canada
    * Global (sometimes same as USA/Canada)
    * Japan
    * China

    Japan and China regions have some specific frequencies that they only use, but it's optional for extra coverage/speeds. The older iPhone models might be missing a few of the newer extended/speed bands, but the USA versions should work globally and VoLTE certified. For the newer 5G iPhone models, the Global/International versions might exclude some 5G mmWave bands for super fast 5G or that satellite messaging feature.

    For the iPhone XR, the USA/Canada A1984 is missing band 28, which is used in Asia and Europe (possibly Canada) as a speed band. Canada uses mostly the same bands as the USA 2, 4, 5, 12, 13 (plus band 7, 28?, 29 and others). Global A2105 is missing band 71, which is used on T-Mobile for low frequency/rural coverage and extra speed. Europe/Asia uses main LTE bands 1, 3, (5), 7 and 8 (extended 19, 20, 28, 38 40).

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    why does Apple have different models of iPhone XR and iPhone SE2020 for different countries? It seems to indicate (to me) that an iPhone model sold in the US can't be used in Canada, Europe, Asia.
    I don't know about the XR and SE2020. The TF-sold iPhone11 that I have is model A2111. According to Info on Gsmarena , that model is for US, Canada, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands. If you click on Expand at the far right on the NETWORK line, it'll show the bands that each model has. Looks like the iPhone11 for the US (A2111) and China (A2223) have the same bands, but the US model has a physical SIM and an eSIM, while the China model has dual nano-SIM.

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    There are several sites where you can check compatibility with your phone and the carriers in the countries you want to use them in. For example:

    https://willmyphonework.net

    I've used unlocked US phones abroad in the past with no issues, but that was several years ago. My impression was that if your phone has the right hardware bands supported, foreign carriers don't have anything like AT&T's whitelist, or Verizon's IMEI checks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    I don't mean to question your response, but then why does Apple have different models of iPhone XR and iPhone SE2020 for different countries? That's what confuses me. It seems to indicate (to me) that an iPhone model sold in the US can't be used in Canada, Europe, Asia.
    I don't blame you questioning responses to your questions. You can do a diligent research on the web but unless you find someone who has actually used the phone in the specific regions, you can't be 100% sure. One thing I would recommend is making sure you phone (local number) has WiFi calling. Good hunting.
    Last edited by Rick880; 03-17-2023 at 10:48 AM.

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    Non-USA variants can "work OK" with some USA providers on USA towers.

    Does not mean you get all the radio bands or optimal reception coverage / speed performance.

    Same with taking hardware designed for USA or Korean providers to Thailand or Zimbabwe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    I don't mean to question your response, but then why does Apple have different models of iPhone XR and iPhone SE2020 for different countries? That's what confuses me. It seems to indicate (to me) that an iPhone model sold in the US can't be used in Canada, Europe, Asia.
    It's not that the U.S. variant "can't" be used in those countries. What it does mean is that the phone that is sold in those countries is pretty much compatible with every band that every carrier in those locations offer. But for many countries, it's likely the U.S variant will have some bands that are compatible with other countries network so that a traveler could roam. Apple knows that many people travel and do want to roam and Apple gives them that opportunity.

    But it's best to research carriers in specific countries you're going to be traveling to and find out what bands they typically use, and then it is easy to look up to see if your device has them.

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    OP here. BTW, I'm not the lucky one who will be doing the traveling It's my aunt (mom's sister) who is training to be a nurse and part of her 1-year training will be in Canada and/or Europe and/or Asia.

    Thanks for the responses. Looks like the best way will be like Rick880 suggested - find someone who has actually used the phone in those regions.

    So I guess my modified question should be -- has anyone here successfully used an unlocked-by-Tracfone iPhone XR or iPhone SE(2nd gen, 2020) in Canada, Europe or Asia? Or do you know of people who have used such phones?

    Thank you very much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    It's not that the U.S. variant "can't" be used in those countries. What it does mean is that the phone that is sold in those countries is pretty much compatible with every band that every carrier in those locations offer. But for many countries, it's likely the U.S variant will have some bands that are compatible with other countries network so that a traveler could roam. Apple knows that many people travel and do want to roam and Apple gives them that opportunity.
    Yes, iPhones are very world compatible. The only thing I noticed was the older XR does not list B71 for T-Mobile in the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    So I guess my modified question should be -- has anyone here successfully used an unlocked-by-Tracfone iPhone XR or iPhone SE(2nd gen, 2020) in Canada, Europe or Asia? Or do you know of people who have used such phones?
    For iPhone's it doesn't matter if the phone was unlocked by Tracfone or another carrier, the compatibility is the same.

    For both the XR and the SE2, the same device was sold in the US as was sold in Canada so there is zero compatibility issues there.

    Here are the official Apple sites for both devices. It tells you what frequencies are in the various versions. For the XR there were four (US/Canada, Global, Japan, China). SE2 had three (US/Canada, Global, China)

    https://www.apple.com/tj/iphone/LTE/#iphone-xr

    https://www.apple.com/tj/iphone/LTE/#iphone-se

    If you study these, you will see that US devices have the vast majority of LTE frequency bands that the other devices have. This will ensure compatibility pretty much wherever your aunt may be traveling.

    Really the research to be done prior to the trip is deciding if she will be using an American service to roam there or buying a local SIM to use in the iPhone there. People do it either way. If you know specifically where she's traveling, you can find suggestions for the best service from frequent travelers to those countries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    For iPhone's it doesn't matter if the phone was unlocked by Tracfone or another carrier, the compatibility is the same.

    For both the XR and the SE2, the same device was sold in the US as was sold in Canada so there is zero compatibility issues there.

    Here are the official Apple sites for both devices. It tells you what frequencies are in the various versions. For the XR there were four (US/Canada, Global, Japan, China). SE2 had three (US/Canada, Global, China)

    https://www.apple.com/tj/iphone/LTE/#iphone-xr

    https://www.apple.com/tj/iphone/LTE/#iphone-se

    If you study these, you will see that US devices have the vast majority of LTE frequency bands that the other devices have. This will ensure compatibility pretty much wherever your aunt may be traveling.

    Really the research to be done prior to the trip is deciding if she will be using an American service to roam there or buying a local SIM to use in the iPhone there. People do it either way. If you know specifically where she's traveling, you can find suggestions for the best service from frequent travelers to those countries.
    I've done the buy a local SIM card before, and it worked well and was easy. This was on a Lumia phone with Windows Phone, so not any time recently. I've also found that by downloading offline maps we could get by on free WiFi pretty well, so that's an option if you don't need to be reachable all the time.

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