When a handset is locked it means it can only work with the network provider that you purchased it from, which can be quite an inconvenience if you want to switch carriers for better rates or even give your old phone to a friend or family member.
In the case of U.S. cell phones, legislation and the Federal Communications Commission have recently made the process of unlocking your device much easier. Now it is not only legal to unlock your device, but you can also avoid third party contractors and in most cases, go directly to your provider and request to unlock your phone.
We’ll go through the basics of the process necessary to unlock your device, allowing you to take your equipment to the carrier of your choice.
Before you unlock your device, be aware that the process may require a certain amount of time and phone calls to your carrier, so it’s definitely best to unlock it before you leave your current carrier. While different carriers come with different restrictions and requirements, they all require you to know your IMEI number to unlock your device.
The IMEI number, or International Mobile Equipment Identity number, is used to globally identify your phone. It is a 15-digit number used to check various bits of information, such as the country of origin, manufacturer, and model number of your phone. Any network provider you call to have your device unlocked will ask for this number.
For most phones, the easiest way to find the IMEI number is to dial *#06# on your keyboard. If you own an iPhone, you can go to the Settings App > Generals > About to find it, and in the case of an Android phone, it can be found through Settings > About device > Status.
As of now, if you decide to unlock your phone through your network provider, you will need to learn their specific guidelines either from their website or by making a phone call to their customer service center.
In the case of Verizon’s 4G LTE devices, the carrier admits that most of them are already unlocked, however, specially branded World Devices and prepaid handsets do demand that you make a request to unlock them. Most of the time this will be necessary to do with the assistance of a store tech.
In the case of AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, they all come with their own set of requirements that can be checked on their websites. Most of them require you to be a subscriber to their service, and that your current contract or installment plan is fully paid off. A call to customer service or a visit to their official websites will provide you with the full guidelines on unlocking your device.
According to the standardized unlocking policies provided by the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CITA) for cell phones and tablets, all carriers in the U.S.A. are required to unlock a phone that’s paid in full if the customer requests it. Also, carriers are required to unlock the phones of U.S. military personnel upon request.
Third-party unlocking services are another way to unlock your device. While you will find that many of their online prices range from a few dollars to $60 on average, most of them work by paying upfront in exchange for an unlock code that arrives via email.
While they differ mostly by name, it’s important that you check comments on the website and reviews before committing to any, as you could be running into a scam. Reputable unlocking services will offer a customer service line to assist with code issues, a few of the most popular are: DoctorSIM, Release My Code, MobileUnlocked, UnlockBase and Cellphone Unlock.
Most companies available in the U.S. offer unlocked phones on their websites. Huawei, Sony, Google, Apple, HTC are a few of the most popular companies who do this, and while they’re usually more expensive than a regular phone, some companies may offer payment plans to alleviate the burden.
You can also find unlocked phones at Amazon and Walmart. Although prices may be high, buying an unlocked device can be worth it, as it gives you the opportunity to pick the plan with the best terms, allowing you to save money in the long run. If you plan to travel overseas often, having an unlocked phone will make it easier for you to get a new SIM card and start using it immediately regardless of where you are.
Nowadays, cellphones can be vulnerable to hackers due to how they serve as mini personal computers, storing an abundance of personal and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, confidential emails, and more. It is more important now than ever that you know exactly how to secure your smartphone.
By neglecting to keep your apps and OS up-to-date, you could be easy prey for hackers and intruders as they get to know the system’s vulnerabilities over time. As developers and companies gain knowledge of vulnerabilities, app improvements are made in order to keep them more secure. The longer you wait to update your device, the more unprotected you will be.
Although keeping your phone unlocked can make it easier and more comfortable to access quickly, one of the most effective things you can do to secure your smartphone is to keep it well locked using 6 digit, alphanumeric passwords or taking advantage of facial recognition and fingerprint scanning features.
Be sure to password protect all apps containing confidential data, such as your email reader, banking apps, etc. Avoid using the same password for all accounts and remember to update them on a regular basis.
Joining any free wi-fi around you can actually leave your device vulnerable to hackers, so make sure to keep an eye on the networks you log into. Try to use your phone’s private connection as much as possible and switch off your wi-fi port, as well as your Bluetooth, when not in use.
Ensure that your home wireless router is password protected and avoid signing into open unencrypted networks. If that’s not possible, then consider using a trustworthy VPN that tunnels your network traffic through an encrypted connection to a server base in another location.
When looking at how to secure your smartphone, remember to check out your app permissions as some of them may be using more privileges than needed and some of them can compromise your privacy and or security. For iPhones, go to Settings > Privacy, there you’ll find a list of all permissions and the apps you’ve granted them to. For Android, you can find the app permissions under the Application Manager > Device > Application.
While many apps will ask to access your camera, contacts, location or microphone, the truth is that not all of them actually need access to these things in order to work.
Be cautious when downloading apps on your phone by trying to only rely on those which are approved by the App or Play store. iPhone users can fully trust their AppStore, as it comes with high security standards. Although the Google Play Store has improved their vetting process to ensure no app is running malware, the Android platform still allows installation from many less-regulated environments, so it’s better to avoid independent apps that you don’t fully trust and rely on the Play Store instead.
Be careful when browsing the internet on your smartphone because it can be easy to accept any pop-ups that may come up. Also, while agreeing to save logins and passwords can be more convenient, this also makes it easier for someone who gets access to your phone to get ahold of your private information.
Always make sure the url you’re accessing comes with an ‘https’ tag because it means it’s a secure url. If security warnings pop up, pay attention to them and leave the website immediately. You also want to make sure that any banking or shopping sites you enter your data in have a padlock in the address bar that proves the site is encrypted.
When it comes to spam and phishing scams, avoid them completely by not clicking on the links in promotional emails, not opening suspicious attachments or running any updates prompted through email.
Anyone can remove the SIM card from your phone and use it in another device. To prevent this from happening there’s the option to set up a SIM card lock in the form of a PIN number that would be necessary to use when a phone is turned on in order to connect to a network.
Antiviruses are not just for your computer, they can also be a good way to secure your smartphone. Many of the desktop apps that you know and use have a smartphone version, such as Avast, McAfee and Panda. They add extra security to your phone by making sure no images, files or apps you download are infected with malware.
While you can go through all of these tips on how to secure your smartphone, it’s just as important to prevent any breaches from happening. Keep your data backed up and encrypted, because a smartphone can be easily accessed through the removal of a microSD card or plugging it into a computer.
iPhone data can be stored in iCloud and Android users can rely on Dropbox and OneDrive. However, it’s safest to take an extra step by encrypting your files and folders so that a code must be entered before anything can be viewed or copied. A quick online search will direct you to software capable of doing this with a free download, so shop around to find something trustworthy that adjusts to your needs.
In the worst case scenario, where your phone gets stolen, having a remote-wipe application can keep your data secured by promptly and remotely deleting it. Antivirus packages can offer local wipe facilities and many operating systems also have a range of third-party applications that you can choose from.
As a bottom line, there are many ways in which you can secure your smartphone and make sure no one else has access to all of the data contained in it. As you use your devices more and more, great amounts of sensitive data are stored in them which makes you an easy target for hackers. Avoid putting yourself in danger of identity theft, digital fraud and other liabilities by paying attention and following these easy steps.
As 5G is introduced into the marketplace, smartphone providers are striving to deliver their one of a kind devices capable of running this revolutionary network.
Currently, the first 5G networks have been launched in the US, UK, China and South Korea. While 5G smartphones need these networks to function to their full capacity, we can’t help but look through the best 5G smartphones released in 2019 to get a glimpse at their amazing features.
Samsung’s first 5G phone is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, a one of a kind device already available in the US and the UK, carrying a 6.7 inch QHD+ screen, 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, an impressive 4,500mAh battery, a dual-lens front facing camera and four rear cameras which include a 16MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP variable aperture lens, a 12MP telephoto lens and even a 3D depth-sensing camera.
In the UK it is carried by EE and by Verizon in the US, though it is expected to be available through AT&T and Sprint a little further down the year.
With five cameras, three front-facing and two back-facing, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 4000mAh battery and its own cooling system, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G is an amazing phone. It comes with a stereo Boombox speaker and DTS: X 3D Surround for an outstanding audio experience and an AI engine capable of suggesting contacts, changing brightness and color levels automatically to protect your eyes from fatigue, and some enhanced search capabilities.
Built to last, the LG V50 ThinQ comes with an IP68 certification for dust and water-resistance as well as sports military-grade drop protection and an optional second screen attachment in the form of a LG DualScreen.
Available in the US via Sprint, you can order it through your contract and start testing it right away.
As one of the first available and best 5G smartphones released in 2019, the Motorola Moto Z3 is actually a 4G handset paired with a 5G Moto Mod adding 5G connectivity to it. Available in limited quantities via Verizon in the US, the Moto Z3 with its 5G mod comes with a 2000 mAh battery to compliment the one already included in the original Z3 model.
Don’t be confused by its retro look, the Motorola Moto Z3 has a 6-inch edge-to-edge Full HD OLED display, dual 12MP depth-sensing rear cameras, water repellent coating, facial recognition software, 64GB of storage expandable to 2TB microSD and 4 GB of memory. Even better, its low price at $480 USD for the Moto Z3 and $350 USD for the 5G moto mod make this an exceptional option.
Although production is currently on pause due to the Huawei Google Ban, the Mate X is interesting not just because it’s a 5G phone but also because it’s foldable, coming with what is essentially three screens and one big 8-inch OLED display that can be bent in half.
Its triple-lens camera and 4,500mAh fast charging battery, along with a high-end Kirin 980 chipset, 8GB of RAM and 512GB storage makes it the most exciting out of all the best 5G smartphones released in 2019, but also the most expensive, with a price tag set to be around $2,600 once it is launched.
The 5G version of the One Plus 7 and One Plus 7 Pro is exactly the same as its predecessors, meaning it comes with a curved all-screen 6.67-inch QHD + Fluid AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855 chipset, in-display fingerprint reader and face unlocker. Its internal memory goes from 6GB to 12GB of RAM and 128/256 GB of storage, along with a 4000mAh battery with Warp Charge 30 Fast Charging.
According to the manufacturers, it looks exactly like the 7 Pro, but this 5G version needed some internal work to get the cooling and antenna array right. Although it is only available in the UK for now, it is expected to arrive in other countries soon.
As the best 5g smartphones released in 2019 are introduced into the market, we get ready for a new era of networks. Which one are you most excited about?
Technology advances so much that it’s easy to find a great phone today, and flagship devices are so great that you really don’t need to replace them year after year. So if you’re looking to purchase a great smartphone that will not only serve for communication, but also for entertainment, photography and smart home control, we’ve deeply searched the web looking for the top rated phones in order to bring you the 10 best smartphones in the world right now.
Samsung’s flagship device for 2019 quickly stands out because of its battery life – thanks to an impressive 4100mAh battery -, 8GB RAM (with 12GB option), 128GB to 1TB storage options, allowing for a microSD if you ever needed more capacity, five cameras, a powerful processor, the ability to charge other devices and gear via wireless technology, and even water resistance.
All of this makes the S10 and S10+ possibly the best Android phone in the market right now and one of the 10 best smartphones in the world.
Although hard to find in the USA, the Huawei P30 Pro makes it worth the search thanks to a battery life that outshines every other phone on the list, amazing processor and computing capabilities, reverse charging and its most outstanding feature: An innovative camera technology providing 5 different cameras – 4 in the back, one in the front – making it the best device for photography on the list.
Why do you need 5 cameras? Well if you’ve got a 40MP wide-angle lens, 20MP ultra-wide angle lens, 8MP telephoto lens, a Time-of-flight camera, 32MP front camera and amazing low-light capacity, truth is you’ll be able to take your mobile photography to the top of its capacities, ditching that SLR for something much more compact.
If you’re looking for an Android phone that is always up to date with firmware and security, the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are your top choice. The differences between them aren’t much more than battery life and size – The XL has a large 6.3-inch 18:9 display and 3,430 mAh battery, while the Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5 inch display as well as a smaller battery of 2,915 mAh.
Whichever you choose, you’ll be getting the same 4GB of RAM, 64GB and 128GB integrated storage, dust and water resistance, wireless charging, Pixel Buds and the capacity for amazing photography with a 12.2MP camera and dual front-facing cameras with night shoot technology like no other phone in the market right now.
Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro comes with a full package, featuring a ton of smart features and a massive battery of 4,200 mAh.
Being the first Android phone in the market to offer 7nm hardware, meaning it crams in much more processing power than the current 10nm standard , the Mate 20 Pro is one of the 10 best smartphones in the world right now thanks to its processing capabilities and triple-rear camera, offering 40MP, 20MP and 8MP resolutions, as well as a front-facing camera with a 24MP resolution and the addition of artificial intelligence, telephoto and wide-angle lenses to create outstanding pictures.
Presenting itself as Apple’s jump into the big phone market, the iPhone XS Max brings you a big screen experience like no other Apple phone has ever done before and not many other smartphones in the market are capable of.
Its A12 Bionic chipset is a complex CPU comprising of a six-core CPU and a quad-core GPU, alongside eight-core processor meant to monitor machine learning processes, making this phone 50% faster than its predecessors and boosting a greater camera performance, enabling features such as Smart HDR and a better detection of faces and bodies. This, along with its great battery life and full screen gaming capabilities, might make it worth the high price tag for many.
Coming in as the cheapest phone on the list, the Motorola Moto G7 Power is still one of the 10 best smartphones in the market right now due to its great performance and unbeatable battery life of 5000 mAh, allowing for up to 2 days of use in a row. All of this along with a 6.2 inch full HD+ display, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage places it as a great device for someone who wants to keep the investment in the low range and still enjoy a great phone.
The LG V40 THINQ stands apart with an impressive number of five cameras, three on the back and two on the front, providing a true wide-angle lens that allows for great landscape photography, advanced studio lighting effects and pretty much an entire suite’s worth of photography options right at your fingertips.
But it’s not just photography that makes this a great smartphone, it also comes with wireless charging, IP68 water and dust-proof rating, a MIL-STD 810G shock resistant rating, 6.4-inch FullVision™ Display with OLED technology, microSD expansion card for unlimited storage, great Boombox speaker system for top audio quality and a 3,300 mAh battery.
Being the most affordable of the Galaxy S10 line, the Galaxy S10E offers the same great technology that the S10 and S10+ but at a much cheaper price, with only a few differences that are hardly noticeable, for those wishing to spend less.
Its screen is smaller at 5.8 inches, but still holds the Super AMOLED technology. However, this one’s flat instead of curved on the edges and comes with an under display fingerprint scanner and a fully-featured software experience. Its two rear cameras maintain an ultrawide lens that’s great for landscape and indoor photography. It holds a battery of 3,100 mAh, 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, meaning you’ll still get amazing performance at a more budget conscious rate.
When it comes to affordable high-end smartphones, the One Plus 6T easily takes one of the top spots, coming with a great set of features for such a cheap price.
When you purchase the 6T, you’ll be saving cash and still taking advantage of a 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for its cheapest model, and 8GB RAM and 256GB storage for the one that follows, AMOLED 6.41 inch display, dual rear cameras, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, a big battery holding 3,700 mAh capacity along with quick charge capability, Gorilla Glass 6 and a highly responsive software experience.
Such high-end features and prices under the $700 range make this one of the top 10 best smartphones you can get right now.
As you may be aware by now, the whole Samsung Galaxy range is about the best in the smartphone market right now, and the Note 9 is no exception to the rule.
What makes it different from any other phone in the Galaxy line is its Bluetooth S Pen, which provides control you won’t be able to find in any other smartphone out there, since it can be used as a remote control for various functions, such as controlling the camera or progressing through presentations, making it the best smartphone for the business oriented user.
Improving upon the Note 8, there’s also more internal capacity and RAM, better dual rear cameras, and a huge 4,000 mAh battery.
The next generation of mobile connectivity networks is here and it’s called 5G. Although it will completely roll out throughout the world by 2020, major cities in the US, Europe, China and South Korea are already deploying and testing their 5G networks.
However, such a new technology still has us a bit confused. What exactly is 5G? What does it mean for our everyday lives? What will we do with it? We’ve gathered some of the main questions regarding the subject so that you can learn all you need to know about 5G.
5G is the name given to the next generation mobile broadband that will work to replace and augment 4G LTE connection, offering faster download and upload speeds, wider coverage, more stable connections and decreased latency – the time needed for devices to communicate with each other.
As the data we consume increases more and more every day, current spectrum bands are heavily congested, causing breakdowns in connectivity and undermining the user experience, while making it impossible for further advances in technology and communications to be rolled out. With 5G, the existing demand from smartphones, equipment sensors, video cameras, smart and mobile devices will be better handled.
As it combines the very latest research alongside cutting-edge network technology, 5G will be able to offer us much faster connections than the ones we currently have, providing average download speeds of around 1GBps. So, what you need to know about 5G is that it will allow multiple devices and sensors to be connected together on a same network at once, providing a huge change in the Internet of Things technology, since now we will have the right infrastructure to carry an enormous amount of data, allowing for a smarter and better connected world.
In factories, for instance, 5G will allow multiple elements to be monitored in order to bring large-scale efficiencies, while autonomous cars will communicate better between each other, being connected and controlled with almost zero lag.
For regular users, we will be able to do everything we already do with our mobile devices but much faster and better, experiencing less delay, which translates into clearer video calls, mobile videos charging almost instantaneously, gaming with zero lag and downloads so much faster than we’re used to.
The deployment of 5G will allow for even greater improvements in technology, providing better communication with devices and helping us enjoy much more of the advantages that the Internet of Things can provide to our daily lives, as our homes and cities will become smarter.
One of the things about 5G you need to know is that initially, we probably won’t be able to tell that much of a difference in speed from 4G to 5G since network operators will most likely use this new technology at first as a way to boost capacity on existing 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks in order to provide a more consistent service. However, as current 4G runs on 45MBps (MegaBites per second) on average, 5G promises to bring browsing and download speeds that are 10 to 20 times faster in real world conditions.
This means you’ll be able to download an HD movie in a minute, for example, even though we probably won’t see this happening in a few years from now.
Unfortunately yes, you will. Phone makers have decided not to make the same mistake they did with 4G as they started to roll out compatible phones onto the market before the infrastructure was fully functioning, so 5G devices are slowly coming into the market as the networks are rolled out, offering a more stable service that is guaranteed to function.
Testbeds for 5G are already live around the world, and while networks are fully expected to launch across 2020, many major cities in the US, the UK, Europe, South Korea, China and Qatar are already seeing it happen.
In the US, Verizon has already launched its mobile coverage in select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis, while its 5G home service, which works as broadband internet, is available in select parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento thanks to 5G routers.
AT&T on the other hand, has launched its 5G network in several more cities, although currently it is only available via a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, needing visitors and residents of cities where it is available to connect their Wi-Fi devices to it, with the list of cities comprising of Atlanta, Austin and Waco Texas, Charlotte and Raleigh NC, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Orlando Fl., Los Angeles, Louisville KY, Nashville Tenn., New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California.
Working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology, most of the world will be able to experience 5G connections next year.
It’s the age old question when it comes to high range smartphones: “iPhone or Samsung?”. Truth is there’s no right answer to that question and it all depends on what your budget and needs are when it comes to a smartphone. In this post we put the two rivals side by side so that you get to decide which one wins for you.
The first thing that comes to mind in the iPhone or Samsung debate is the operative system they each rely on. Apple’s iOS is widely known for its simplicity, if you want a phone that is easy to understand from the very first moment, then Iphone is probably the one for you. Since only Apple can check changes and apps in the App Store, they guarantee a certain degree of quality which means you will almost always have a smooth user experience with iOS.
However, the reason why many users decide to go for Android phones is because of their highly customizable features, hence why it takes a little longer to master navigating around it than it does with the iPhone, meaning you can pretty much adjust your phone to your tastes and needs adding all sorts of widgets and external apps.
In the iPhone or Samsung comparison, durability is an important question to ask. More expensive models tend to be just as durable as an iPhone, whose higher prices come from being made with high-quality materials and finishes, whereas cheaper ones lack these qualities.
While all iPhones are made with the same glass and aluminum as their main materials, only Samsung’s pricier models come with this advantage. Until the Galaxy S6, all of Samsung’s phones were mostly made of polycarbonate, which is a type of very hard plastic. Samsung has now since recognizably improved their finishes, offering better materials and a more luxurious feel that compares to the iPhone’s distinctive one.
Depending on your needs, you may want a lot of storage capacity, or at least would like the option to have a little more just in case.
Whichever works for you, Samsung is the only one in this debate that provides an expandable memory feature, one shared through most of their phone models, allowing you to increase storage capacity beyond what is built into the phone.
Apple phones on the other hand, only come with their built in storage, without the option of adding a Micro SD and maxing out at 512GB of internal storage, while Samsung lets you have as much as 1TB in the case of the Note 9 and an added 512GB memory card.
H3: Range And Prices
When choosing an iPhone, there’s only a few models you can go for and they all come with a heftier price tag than most other phones in the market, with newer models surpassing the $1,000 mark. While there aren’t that many substantial differences between differently priced iPhones other than storage capacity, screen resolution and security upgrades here and there, if you choose one of these, you know you’re set for a few years, but that may not be the same case for Samsung.
With Samsung phones, you have plenty of models to choose from, but some cheaper models are made with lower quality materials and can quickly become outdated. However, there’s still a lot to choose from ranging from the simplest phones to the most specialized ones. When choosing a Samsung, it’s important to first do some research to choose something that suits your actual needs.
In the end, both manufacturers come with their advantages and disadvantages, each with different features that will satisfy some and prove insufficient to others, so there’s not really a winner in the battle of iPhone or Samsung given that whichever works best for you will depend entirely on your budget and expectations of what your phone should be able to do.
While the battle between these two remains, users prove to be the most benefited thanks to the constant upgrades and new models coming from both manufacturers in order to prove themselves king of the smartphone market.