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  1. #1
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    Why your next cell phone should be unlocked




    TOP STORY


    Why your next cell phone should be unlocked


    By Lincoln Spector

    Purchasing a smartphone from your cellular-service provider typically comes with all sorts of compromises, restrictions, and limitations.

    But an unlocked Nexus phone can eliminate many, if not all, of these problems.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/why-your-next-cell-phone-should-be-unlocked/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Hi Lincoln,

    Very interesting reading this story - however if you log into your google play account from a PC, you can access the MY APPS section and then install the apps to your individual phone(s) or tablet(s) providing you have already set your account up on that device. It is much easier doing it from a PC with a full sized keyboard and screen

    Happy Holidays,
    Phil.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

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    I purchased the same phone from Google but I had a very different experience with Verizon. I have the Verizon Pre-Paid plan and two trips to my corporate store in Florida were a total waste of time. Even after discussing this with Verizon customer and tech support via phone the store was not able to activate a sim. I ended going to a local independent phone repair store where for no charge they cut my sim down to the smaller size. That worked fine. Verizon really needs to get their act together about supporting unlocked phones they do not sell.

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    'Why your next cell phone should be unlocked'
    More like an advertisement for Nexus.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to jonny5tails For This Useful Post:

    BruceR (2015-11-27)

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    I also purchased the Nexus 6P and had the same positive experience with my local Verizon store providing and activating a new nano-SIM card at no cost.

    With respect to the USB C port, it supports OTG, although it is USB 2.0 only. You should have also received a short USB C male to USB 2.0 A female cable with the phone. You can plug a thumb drive into that and use it as extra memory, with some restrictions. Apps like Nexus Media Importer will allow you to access music, pictures, etc from the USB memory without rooting the phone. If you root your phone (I did, but not everyone should - you need to know what you are doing), the StickMount app will allow you to use memory on external devices as if it were an SD card. Kingston makes a tiny USB 3.0 flash drive with both USB C and USB A connectors - the 64GB version sells for about $25 on Amazon. It plugs directly into the Nexus 6P port and I can attest that it works just fine with both the apps I mentioned.
    Last edited by xtabber; 2015-11-26 at 09:59.

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    I offer a comment on the "wet finger" failure to unlock. A similar problem occurred with my small biometric safe, I'd just washed my hands and my print was not recognized. The solution: When setting up the prints to recognized, include a print of a "just washed" finger along with the more normal prints.

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    Seems that you need to "go Nexus" purely because of the need to know that Android will be updated.

    But if instead of merely being unlocked from your telecommunications company you could also be unlocked from your operating system perhaps there would be more ports of non-Apple, non-Android, non-Windows operating systems. (Thinking Ubuntu Touch, FirefoxOS etc.)

    Then we could control what gets put on the computer in our pocket. If we can do so for our laptops and desktops why not for our phones?

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    I know many will sigh, but, unlocked Nokia windows phones are way cheaper, have SD Card slots, and are super reliable. It's what I tried two years ago, and I've not looked back. If I would ever desire an Android phone, I would shop around for the above features. Blu phones seem to fit that profile.

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    Best of greetings, Lincoln !

    THANKS so very much for this insightful and informative article. I have been seriously considering a Nexus 5x (I prefer the smaller model footprint). I will likely make the move but I have been reluctant and "dragging my feet" because of the USB-C. I do understand that because of the benefits, over time USB-C will (slowly) become the standard. Like so many others, I currently have several devices that use and charge via a micro USB. I have several chargers at home, at work, in my vehicles and also portable chargers that all have cables with Micro USB. I have been reluctant to make the move to a Nexus 5x at the thought of having to replace all those, etc. Most (but not all) of those have USB 2.0 to Micro USB removable cables.

    My specific question that I could use some help with is if you know of a source(s) for either inexpensive Micro USB to USB-C adapters --and/or-- USB 2.0 to USB-C cables?? I’d prefer small inexpensive Micro USB to USB-C adapters, then I could just put one on the end of my existing USB 2.0 to Micro USB cables and that solves the problem, while also retaining the same USB 2.0 to Micro USB cable for use with my other devices that will still require Micro USB.

    Any advice and/or assistance with this question/need would be greatly appreciated!!!

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    You can get micro-usb to usb-C adapters at Amazon to convert the chargers and cables you already have to work with the Nexus 6P/5X...they just charge/transfer at the old, slower, rates.

    I picked up a half dozen for my wife and I to use in the car or at my desk, etc. Anywhere that you don't necessarily need speed. I use the supplied quick charger in the kitchen where I primarily charge my phone and the super short transfer cable at my desk.

    I've used the D & K ones from here with no issues so far:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...ilpage_o07_s00
    Last edited by hdmunger; 2015-11-26 at 12:08.

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    Yep

    Why your next cell phone should be unlocked



    I had the same experience with the Nexus 5. If it can be avoided always buy an unlocked phone so you do not have al of the bloatware
    installed by the carrier. I went from the Nexus 5 which unfortunately had poor battery life to the Galaxy S6. I bought the Verizon
    version which was unlocked, but it would not work with the AT&T network so Best Buy sold me the one which was a locked phone.
    Compared to the clean google phone there were 70 or so extra apps that could not be removed without jailbreaking it. From what I
    understand one can not buy a pure android unlocked Samsung Galaxy S6. So I bought an unlocked iPhone 6S. What a relief!
    I am in the car a lot and use the GPS so even the Galaxy S6 had not very good battery life. The iPhone is much better.

    When going from the Nexus 5 to the S6 I had to get a cutter to trim the SIM as well. The company I work for is rigid about what phone they
    give us so getting a new SIM for the S6 was not going to happen. What they do not seem to realize is how poor the phone that they provided is,
    so many of us went rogue and figured a way around their trivialities.

    I would still be using the Nexus 5 if not for the battery life and Google gave me 2 replacements and still the same problem. But as you stated
    Google has a pretty good way of transferring apps to a new phone. However Apple's iTunes beats them all. Back up your old iPhone to your computer then restore it on your new iPhone and voila! I like the fact that Apple has a controlled environment and most of the shady players if not all of them are rooted out of the app store, whereas in the Google android space you never really know.

    Bottom line if I have to get an android phone despite the Nexus 5 problem, I will go Google phone pure android.

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    Very good article. I have a Nexus 6P too with T-Mobile. Works fine so far. 32GB is enough for me. The size is almost identical to the Iphone 6plus and fits in my jeans front pocket. But yes, it's a big phone (phablet).

    I would add that the fingerprint reader works well with Lastpass on the Nexus 6P. A nice way to get at your passwords with your fingerprint. So memorizing a bunch of password stuff is not required. Lastpass will ask you for your fingerprint to log in and you can set it up to force another fingerprint to look at any particular site's password.

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    Nice article, Lincoln.

    My Verizon iPhone 6 was sold to me unlocked by Verizon. When travelling in other parts of the world, we simply remove our Verizon Sim cards, tape them to the back of the phone, and install locally purchased ones. It works terrific and is very inexpensive to gain local phone and data access. In the USA, Verizon works well for us.

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    I'm confused... :-(
    I thought that SIM cards were installed in cell phones that use the GSM network (i.e. AT&T and T-Mobile) but not in CDMA phones (i.e. Verizon and Sprint).

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    Deciding against trimming the card with scissors... where's your American gumption? Faced with the same problem I hacked my old amaysim (Optus Singtel) SIM card down to size with scissors and it just worked! Lots of tutorials online, e.g. http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-tr...nano-sim-size/

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