International Use of Razr Maxx without prior US Account?

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR MAXX' started by djwendawg, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. djwendawg

    djwendawg New Member

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    Hi Everybody!

    I'm new here, and new to smartphones in general. I have a very specific question that I've just been driving myself crazy looking up online for the past few days. This forum has been really informative but I'm still in doubt so I figured I'd ask directly.

    I'm on vacation in the US for the next month of so and then going to Paris for 2 years to study (perhaps taking summers in the US, who knows). I want a smartphone to use over there. I'm not a very big phone user but I really like the idea of being connected via wifi and being able to phone/text people in the US via skype on the same device I use to phone/text people locally. And I should probably join you all in the 21st century before I'm too estranged (I moved to south america in 2009 and am in arrested technological development).
    If I buy a Razr Maxx here, from ebay or craigslist that's a verizon phone and NOT unlocked (but with ICS), can I (listed in order of importance to me)...
    1. Install a local prepaid sim card in France once I get there and use my phone for local calls (I don't think I'd be on a data plan...here's to hoping wifi's plentiful)?
    2. Use WiFi in the US even though I won't have ever activated the phone?
    3. Find some way to use the razr maxx for the next month? Verizon prepay, etc?

    I sort of understand what unlock means but I have no idea what rooting or flashing are and have been scared by the idea of 'frying'.

    I appreciate your assistance!

    PS: If you think I'm just better off trying to find a phone in France, please do not hesitate to mention it. I've thought of it, but then I still have to buy a POS phone here and I fear it might be more expensive over in France
    PPS: I've seen new phones that are not unlocked and have good ESNs (also a new term) for under $400, which would be the max of what I'm willing to spend in the US for a contractless phone.
     
  2. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    First off, welcome to the forums! And enjoy your stay in the US and then France!

    Onto question #1: There is a person who did exactly this on the Razr (well, not exactly but he used his Razr overseas with a foreign sim). I will post the link to that thread when I find it.
    #2. Yes, you will be able to use wifi in the US or anywhere without the phone being activated.
    #3. I'm not 100% sure but it appears you should be able to.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Droid Forums
     
  3. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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  4. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    TisMyDroid has just about everything covered for you.

    1. With the ICS update, the SIM slot on the MAXX is not locked for GSM use, so yes, so with the Verizon version of the MAXX, it's unlocked no matter what. It will work in France with a SIM card and plan from a network there.

    2. Yep. You can use it wherever there's WiFi.

    3. No, you won't be getting the MAXX on a Verizon prepaid account. Verizon will require a post paid account that includes data access, which involves a 2-year contract if you don't already have one, in order to activate the MAXX
     
  5. djwendawg

    djwendawg New Member

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    Thanks!

    Thanks you guys are great! Here's to hoping a post in all CAPS on craigslist isn't inviting too much trouble. But really, why do people do that??
    Cheers,
    Wendy
     
  6. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    Best of luck to you, Wendy. One thing you will want to do when buying your phone off craigslist or ebay is make sure it has a clear esn. Get the esn # from the seller and call verizon to ask if it is clear. If it does not have a clear esn, you could still use it for wifi but not sure if you would have trouble activating a foreign sim.

    A reputable seller with ebay with a high satisfaction rating, you should be able to trust. Craigslist, you never know. Bad esn usually means the phone was stolen or is still bound to a contract.

    Someone else on here may have better advice on how to check esn or when buying from craigslist or ebay.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Droid Forums
     
  7. bjorn65

    bjorn65 Member

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    The Droid Razr Maxx and family will be updated to world phone with an update soon. However the HTC Rezound. Is capable now as working in france and the US. If you can wait for the New Rezound coming soon it would be better, for not only is it suppose to be a world GSM phone but also and LTE world phone.
     
  8. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    :confused:

    The RAZR and the RAZR MAXX already have official global GSM support with the ICS update that was released at the end of June. Users have reported successfully using it with both their Verizon account and SIM cards from various GSM networks abroad. You can read about it here - International travel with Razr Maxx. While you can definitely get it working, global use isn't officially support on the Rezound at this time. That will come with the ICS update, whenever it actually arrives.

    And what new Rezound? New HTC devices on Verizon are few and far between these days. The Incredible 4G was just released, but there's no officially enabled GSM capabilities, and it's certainly not a new version of the Rezound. The only other phone from HTC on Verizon that's making it's way through the rumor mills is a device with a 1080p that may or may not be a follow up to the Rezound. And there's no confirmation on global capabilities out of the box for it either. As for global LTE support, true global LTE on a Verizon phone is unlikely due to the LTE bands that Verizon uses versus other carriers around the world.
     
  9. luigialtamirano

    luigialtamirano New Member

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    Hello, I have a similar but slightly different question. I am traveling to the US for a few days and planning to buy a Verizon RAZR MAXX (new or nearly new) on eBay, never actually use it on Verizon, and then use it in my home country (Perú) on GSM 3g 850/1900 Mhz, which is supported by the phone, for an indefinite time. Never returning back to the US and connecting to Verizon again.

    My questions are:
    - If I buy it new, never activated on Verizon, without the ICS update, and take it to Perú. Will I be able to upgrade to ICS over wifi (this would unlock the phone for GSM) and then use it with my carrier GSM SIM in Peru, without ever activating it on Verizon?
    - If I buy a used, activated on Verizon, without the ICS update, and take it to Perú. Will I be able to upgrade to ICS over wifi (this would unlock the phone for GSM) and then use it with my carrier GSM SIM in Peru?
    - If i buy it used, activated on Verizon, with the ICS update previously installed, I know that it would work on GSM SIM (that question was already answered on this thread)

    And, my last question is, and applies for all cases: After the phone is unlocked for GSM SIM use with the ICS update, is there a maximum time allowed to use a GSM SIM before having to return to the US and connecting to Verizon with a valid account? So that the world roaming capability gets, lets say, "renewed"?

    Thank you all for your help

    Luigi
     
  10. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    Welcome to the forums Luigi! Boy you ask some good questions. I bet bsweetness knows most of the answers. I am purely speculating but I believe you should be able to upgrade to ICS over wifi. And I suppose that if it was not possible to do it over the air by having it pushed to the RAZR by motorola, that you could upgrade it using one of the ICS leaks.

    To use it in Peru with on your Peru carrier GSM, I am pretty sure you can do that without ever having a plan with Verizon. And if that is the case, I am pretty certain that once you have your phone activated in Peru with your carrier, you would never have to bring the phone back to the US to reactivate it with Verizon.

    Hopefully someone who knows more than I do will come by and answer your questions better than I can.
     
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  11. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    Beyond your last question, the truth is that no one here (or at least no one that's posting) can answer those questions with 100% certainty in regards to the MAXX. Unless someone has actually done something, it's tough to say what will and won't work for sure. But I can toss out an educated guess based off previous global phones I've used on Verizon.

    1. You should be able to bypass the initial Verizon activation screen and upgrade to ICS over WiFi since the update is pushed out by Motorola from their servers. After the ICS update, you should be able to use your GSM SIM (needs to be a micro SIM) in Peru. That said, there have been instances in the past where users have reported problems using unlocked global phones that had never been activated on Verizon. This may not apply to the MAXX since the SIM slot will already be unlocked (unlike previous Verizon devices that required a code or action from Verizon to unlock the device). So, I think you'd be fine, but there's a slim chance of problems.

    2. There shouldn't be any problems with this. As I already mentioned, the updates are pushed out from Motorola, so you shouldn't have any problems updating to ICS over WiFi and using the phone in Peru.

    3. I think this is your best bet of the three. There shouldn't be any room for any problems going this route. Everything should work just fine.

    And, again basing things off every other global Verizon device I've used or read about, once the phone is unlocked, it's unlocked forever. There's no limit on the number of SIM cards that can used, nor is there a need to connect to a valid Verizon account to maintain the global capabilities. The unlock is permanent.

    If you really want to go with a brand new device, I would suggest looking for the international RAZR MAXX that comes GSM unlocked. You can purchase one of those online for around the same price (or slightly more) as buying a brand new Droid RAZR MAXX. It also won't come with all of the potential hassles in dealing with a Verizon phone abroad when you don't have Verizon service as it's intended to be an unlocked GSM device. But, if you're looking to save a few bucks by picking up a used device, going with a Verizon MAXX that already has ICS installed will be your best bet. You should be fine in any of scenarios you mentioned, but I think going for one that already has ICS, and has already been activated on Verizon, will be the safest route.
     
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  12. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    Thanks bsweetness! I knew you would have the absolute best answer on this.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR Maxx using Droid Forums
     
  13. bsweetness

    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess my frequent international travel (both required and by choice) along a lot of buying/selling Verizon global devices from/to people abroad has given me a little bit of experience. :)
     
  14. luigialtamirano

    luigialtamirano New Member

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    Thanks bsweetness!! And also thanks TisMyDroid for your help with your answers. I know I asked pretty specific questions but just wanted to be sure and cover all the possibilities :)
     
  15. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    You are welcome! I knew bsweetness could have that one covered for you! Thanks bsweetness! Enjoy your travels!
     
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