Video: Nokia – What is an "unlocked" device?

| July 20, 2009 | 4 Replies

This video may strike you as mundanely obvious. Well, for practically all of you that may read this, it is.

With Nokia not being able to get a strong foothold in the US, much to do with poor carrier support, Nokia takes a spin on things on why you should get an unlocked device.


Carriers often trap you to their network by locking your phone to accept only their SIM cards. This means that even after your contract is finished, your phone is stick stuck with that network, gasping for maybe a better tariff on a different carrier. Unlocked gives you the freedom to switch from one network to another, just by swapping a sim. (Shame Nokia isn’t implimenting the dual SIM that their chinese knock-off manufacturers have set as standard :p). On the flip side,  if your carrier is the best out there for you but they aren’t getting the phone you want, buying unlocked is the option.

Whenever I go to visit family in the Philippines, I have to have an unlocked phone so I can use the local networks so I can connect with everyone cheaply without being grossly overcharged roaming with O2. Though at most, that is only a bi-annual thing, the month or three being able to use Globe (or Smart or whatever) on my current phone that I’ve been using in the UK is just really convenient (though probably attracts thieves if it is an expensive phone). Having an unlocked phone also makes it easier to sell it.

Get a contract – but try and get the phone unlocked too

I think it’s good that Nokia’s working with what they have, but they do so desperately need carrier support (particularly for handsets >£300). Yeah you may get stuck to a lengthy contract, but finding a good plan often means getting a much cheaper total ownership cost of that phone. Perfect for a student like me or anyone else who doesn’t like sneezing away money – whilst paying for calls/minutes/web that you would pay for anyway, you’re also paying for the phone. e.g. The Nokia 5800 was released in the UK for free on £15/month – 100 minutes/unlimited text – a lot of users in the UK may have been on a £15 tariff anyway, but this meant they also got a really good phone in the bag, and for “free”!

However, being on a contract doesn’t always mean you’ll be stuck to that network. Some companies sell unlocked phones with your contract (and PayG) – e.g. Carphone Warehouse – that’s the only reason I’ve got most of my phones through them. Alternatively, you may be able to unlock and locked phone, but then again you may not. It’s worth while checking before signing up to a new phone.


The only real arse in all of this is branding. You can get a handset unlocked, but it still maybe branded by the carrier. The network make have defaced your phone with their logo but what’s worse is what they’ve done to the phone’s software, removing features that would normally be standard and adding their bloatware. It’s particularly annoying when it comes to updating your phone’s software (more frequently an Nseries issue) – you may be waiting months if not forever to be able to upgrade the firmware of your device to fix bugs/add some new features

via zomgitscj


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Category: Nokia, Rant, Video

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]