What is a sim free phone?
Sim free phones are those that are completely unlocked from (or have never been locked to) a network, and can therefore be used with any carrier or network. They still use sim cards – need them to function in fact – just like any other current mobile phone, but they don’t come with restrictions as to which card will work within the system.
Sim card restrictions are nothing to do with the hardware of the phone, but are rather put in place by manufacturers to try to ensure that the phones are used with certain networks. For example, if a phone is purchased as part of a contract phone deal, it will be locked to that network until it is fully paid for by the user. Until that time, it cannot be moved to another network without being unlocked.
Why should I go SIM free?
The biggest benefit is flexibility. You can choose whatever sim card contract or pay-as-you-go deal that you want, with any network or provider. You can upgrade your phone whenever you like without affecting your sim card contract. You’ll pay less for your phone by buying it up front when compared to including it in a contract phone deal. Because of this saving, your monthly fees will also be lower. If you travel internationally, you can pop out the sim card and replace it with one from a local provider, allowing you the convenience of a smart phone when you travel – without the expensive roaming fees.
Disadvantages of a sim free phone
There aren’t many. True, the initial outlay of money for your phone will be higher, even though it will work out better over time. You may also miss out on network-exclusive deals and offers that aim to lock customers into contracts that include phones. Still, the savings you see from lowering the cost of the phone and service will probably make up for anything you miss – and then some.
Are there network restrictions on sim free phones?
Sim free phones are, in most cases, designed to be used on any network without restrictions. There are some sim free phones that are locked to certain networks, but this is usually not the case – be sure to check the fine print when buying a sim free phone.
Network branding on sim free phones
Most sim free phones do not include any network branding. If your sim free phone was previously tied to a network and has been unlocked since then, branding features may still be in place and may be difficult (or not practically possible) to remove.