The term “unlocked” gets thrown around a lot in the world of cell phones. If you have been shopping for a new device, chances are you have come across unlocked cell phones or factory-unlocked ones.

But what do these terms mean, and which one is better? Factory unlocked vs fully unlocked phone. If you read any article about unlocked cell phones, it’ll be filled with a lot of jargon. And as with most things in life, the answer isn’t always straightforward.

For example, some people will tell you that locked phones are bad and should always be avoided if you want to get the most out of your phone.

Then again, other people will tell you that locked cell phones are safer because they won’t let you mess with their software so easily. So which is it? Which one should you buy?

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Factory Unlocked vs Fully Unlocked Phone

What’s a factory-unlocked phone?

These phones can be used on any network and are not bound to any contract. They also tend to cost less than phones that are locked to one carrier because the company that manufactured them doesn’t have to pay fees or taxes associated with selling through an exclusive carrier.

They’re also great for people who want to switch carriers or get a new phone and don’t want to tie up their existing contract.

What’s a fully unlocked phone?

Unlocked phones allow you to use any compatible carrier’s service without going through the hassle of switching carriers.

This can be a great benefit if you switch phone networks frequently or want to take your phone while travelling. Unlocked phones also tend to cost less than devices locked to one carrier.

Pros and Cons of Factory Unlocked Phones

There are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider when it comes to buying a factory-unlocked phone.

One advantage is that you’ll be able to use your phone on any carrier you choose. You’re not locked into a specific carrier, so you can switch things up if you find a better deal elsewhere.

Another advantage is that you’ll usually get a better deal on a factory-unlocked phone. Carriers typically charge a premium for phones that are locked to their network.

A disadvantage of factory-unlocked phones is that they are not eligible for carrier subsidies. This means you’ll have to pay the full price for your phone upfront.

You might be unable to use particular functions if they are carrier-locked, which is another drawback. For instance, you won’t be able to use features like Visual Voicemail if your iPhone is factory unlocked.

Overall, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider when it comes to buying a factory-unlocked phone. Weigh the pros and cons to decide if a factory-unlocked phone is right for you.

Pros and Cons of Fully Unlocked Phones

Fully unlocked phones have both good and bad sides to them. On the good side, you can use any carrier you want, and you can switch carriers anytime. You also have complete control over your phone’s software and can customize it however you want.

On the downside, fully unlocked phones can be expensive. They also may not be compatible with all carriers and may not receive updates as quickly as phones that are locked to a specific carrier.

If you’re considering buying a fully unlocked phone, weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Differences Between Factory Unlocked and Fully Unlocked Phones

Factory-unlocked phones are not bound to any carrier, while fully unlocked phones are factory-unlocked and have no carrier bloatware or restrictions. So, what are the differences between the two?

For starters, factory-unlocked phones are usually cheaper than fully unlocked phones. This is because carrier bloatware and restrictions can add to the cost of a phone. Carrier bloatware is the extra software that carriers add to phones, and it can often be difficult to remove. Additionally, carrier restrictions can prevent certain features from being used on the phone or can limit the phone’s ability to be used on other carriers.

On the other hand, fully unlocked phones have no carrier bloatware or restrictions. This means that they can be used on any carrier, and all features will be available. Additionally, fully unlocked phones usually have a higher resale value than factory-unlocked phones.

So, which is better? It depends on your needs. If you want the lowest possible price, go for a factory-unlocked phone. If you want the best possible resale value, go for a fully unlocked phone. And if you want the freedom to use any carrier and all features, go for a fully unlocked phone.


By reading through this blog, it is clear that when it comes to buying a phone, there are various factors you should take into account.

If you don’t mind sticking with the same brand and model of your current smartphone, buy a phone from the unlocked section in any store selling smartphones.

On the other hand, if you want something new but don’t have any qualms about being limited by your network provider’s options, go for a fully unlocked phone. In either case – remember: less lock means more freedom!

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Khushali Limbani
Khushali Limbani doesn't just write about Android tech; she lives and breathes it. As a pivotal author at, she serves up fresh, expert-backed content that educates while it engages. Boasting a Computer Science degree, her credibility isn't confined to paper; she's got the street cred to prove it.Khushali's reputation as a seasoned expert precedes her, thanks to her published articles in reputed tech journals and a social media following that's as dynamic as the Android updates she covers. Her accolades and speaking engagements further cement her as an industry stalwart.When it comes to facts, she's your rock. A stickler for details, Khushali ensures that her articles are transparent, honest, and meticulously accurate. To top it all off, her writing style is straightforward and absolutely relatable, stripped of any jargon that could cloud your understanding.Need to get the lowdown on the latest Android trends without the techno-babble? Khushali Limbani's articles are your roadmap to becoming an Android whiz.