Original topic:

Carrier vs Unlocked πŸ€”

(Topic created: 04-01-2022 11:48 AM)
userQenWJUcC9h
Asteroid
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Galaxy S22
I don't like being tethered to any specific carrier, so many yrs ago, I began getting my devices directly from Samsung.
I usually go with the unlocked versions, but recent have had some experience with what was initially a Verizon S20+ (I'm with T-Mobile), which revealed to me some cool features I'd not seen in my yrs using unlocked phones.
In the past, I've heard that with carrier phones, you can't travel them internationally, amongst other things I don't love, but that didn't stop me from opting for a T-Mobile S22 Plus, bought directly from Samsung.
Now my question is what really IS the difference between buying an unlocked phone directly from Samsung, vs buying the carrier version directly from Samsung? What're the benefits or limitations on either side? IS there any difference?
I did notice when I put my T-Mobile SIM into this Verizon S20+, it had some updating to do and now shows as an unlocked device in About Phone. So that leads me to believe that it truly doesn't matter what carrier/unlocked option you choose, as ultimately, they'll all function the same way: Am I on track with that thinking, or am I missing something ?
13 Replies
userQenWJUcC9h
Asteroid
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Galaxy S22
To be clear, the main question here is not JUST the differences between carrier and unlocked, but rather the differences between buying carrier phones from Samsung, vs Unlocked phones from Samsung.
Do carrier devices bought from Samsung have different restrictions/capabilities from unlocked devices bought from Samsung ?
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LongHiker
Epic Samsung Care Ambassador
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Galaxy S22

@userQenWJUcC9h Carrier devices bought from Samsung have the Carrier firmware installed. So you get all of the Carrier's special apps for marketing, as well as their splash screen, etc. 

Unless something has changed recently, the Carrier devices bought from Samsung were carrier locked. 

userQenWJUcC9h
Asteroid
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Galaxy S22
Yes, hate the splash screen.
I bought the T-Mobile version since that's my carrier but Do you know if I'll be able to use any other carriers SIMs in this device, at will? It won't be locked only to T-Mobile will it?
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Galaxy S22
Buying from Samsung and opting for the carrier-branded.... https://community.t-mobile.com/android-9/how-to-unlock-the-samsung-device-purchased-from-samsung-com...

This seems really dumb to me. But yeah, probably network locked. The easiest way to get around this is by buying an unlocked device. Carrier branding exists purely to make it easier to control how you use your phone. Upsides are... Hm
Btruitt95
Cosmic Ray
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Galaxy S22
U are corect, some may have a bit of goodies that other may not. It's all Proprietary and upto a carrier/provider what they put in. Only differences is if you purchase the device directly from like Samsung, HTC, etc. It's not locked to their services nor does it have their bloatware installed. Features you want u may add it if the device will let u manually. Mine I go every where and hardly ever have a problem. Not saying I can't just that I have not, YET. LOL
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mdavidf
Comet
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Galaxy S22
You lose the video call option in the dialer, at least with t-mobile
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userQenWJUcC9h
Asteroid
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Galaxy S22
With the unlocked version I don't have that video call option is that what you mean?
If that's the case I'm okay with that
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mdavidf
Comet
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Galaxy S22
Yes, that's what I was trying to say πŸ™‚
bill-e
Samsung Care Ambassador
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Galaxy S22
Carrier locked purchased from a local carrier store means local support. Carrier locked phones can all be unlocked, VZW automatically unlocks after 6 weeks or you can request it. I've been with VZW for 20 years, travel internationally, and have been locally supported without complaint during all that time.
** If my response helps, please click on Like (Heart). If I resolved your issue also please click on Accept as a Solution so that others can benefit.

Bill
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Galaxy S21 Ultra 512g(VZW), Galaxy Book (original, VZW), Tab S8 Ultra, Tab S4, Galaxy Watch3 (VZW)