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Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge Plus' started by dgstorm, Apr 6, 2015.
Can I pre-order an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge from a carrier?
Yes, you would have to order an international variant from an international carrier/source.
Question is if ordering an unlocked variant is worth it?
Most unlock devices will not work on most US carrier's LTE. In fact there are very few unlocked devices that you can use on many US carrier LTE (ie nexus 6). So would you want to pay that kind of money for a device (700+) that you can not use on LTE?
Personally, no. I know going in that the bootloader will be locked, probably will not get root access, and will not be one of the first devices to get the latest Google software. To be honest if all that is important buy a nexus even if it means having a nexus 5 as a "play" device and the galaxy as the reliable untouched device (as far as modding).
As most of you know, there's a big difference between an unlocked bootloader & and unlocked "device", (or sim unlock) that you're able to use on any carrier. As long as your buying a GSM branded model, you'll be able to get an unlock code to use it on most any other GSM carrier's network. Obviously CDMA models (Verizon/Sprint) somewhat limit this ability, but many of the newer flagship models are providing more GSM bands that will allow the device to work on other carriers once unlocked. I read somewhere recently that the Verizon S6 will allow this, though I'm not sure this is confirmed. I'll have to double check.
All Verizon LTE devices must come SIM unlocked out of the box due to the agreement they made with the FCC a few years ago to get some of their LTE spectrum, so it's essentially confirmed. If it's SIM locked, Verizon will be in hot water with the FCC. The Verizon S6 and S6 Edge have the GSM bands to run on nearly any GSM network. It won't have LTE bands for every carrier, but GSM should work just fine once the APN settings are adjusted.
Good point. But some gsm devices you can unlock and use on another carrier but may not work on their LTE. The iPhone for example has all the radios but even though you go from att to T-Mobile (or vice verse) you may not be able to use it on the other carrier's LTE. Not because it is not capable (the exact same iPhone) but when the device authenticates on the network it may look for certain numbers to determine if it is that carriers device or not. This allow carriers (like att) to charge more than what Sprint or T-Mobile . If you could buy a T-Mobile note 4 and put it on att's network (LTE) then att would not have been able to pull that stunt they pulled last fall charging almost $100 more for the note 4 than other carrier.
This what to me made the nexus 6 unique in you can buy the phone and take it to any US carrier you wanted and it worked and authenticated on their LTE.
Hopefully the s6/s6 edge is able to do that. But I am betting no. Again, not because it is not capable but carriers will not authenticate it on their LTE as they want to be able to sell that phone with their name/emblem vs the competition.
Until LTE becomes far less power hungry you are better off just buying the international variant and using HSPDA+. It is fast enough to stream music, update maps (while driving), surf the web at the same time, etc.
I work in mostly 3G only countries and the battery life savings are insane. As soon as I get back to the U.S. it plummets again.
The international versions are also usually better supported by the dev community as well.
Many many people do this. They go to TMo, purchase the phone, and then head back over and put it on the AT&T network. TMo knows this so now you must have the device active in the TMo network for 40 days before they will unlock it. Before you would just buy it and have them unlock it immediately.
Coincidentally, the unlocked version of the iPhone 6/6 Plus that Apple was selling on launch day was the TMo version without the network lock.