Buying a phone through your carrier has many benefits, mostly related to savings. However, sooner or later most people will want to use the phone with another SIM card.
For most carriers, you need to complete a set of requirements before you can unlock your phone, and Sprint is no exception. In this article, we are going to show you three ways to check if your Sprint phone has been unlocked.
Method #1: Inspect in Settings
The quickest way is to just go to your phone settings and check if you can use other network carriers or cellular data options.
For the iPhone, here's what you need to do:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Cellular.
- Select Cellular Data.
- If you can see cellular data options, it probably means your phone is unlocked.
If you have an Android phone, here's how to check:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Mobile networks.
- Select Network Operators.
- If you can see network carriers other than Sprint, your phone is unlocked.
This method can usually show you whether your Sprint phone is unlocked or not, but it's not 100% accurate. If in doubt, move on to the other methods.
Method #2: Insert another SIM card and try
If you have another carrier's SIM card, now is the perfect time to use it. All you have to do is remove the Sprint SIM card from your phone and insert the other one. If that doesn't work, it will tell you "Sim card not recognized" or something like that (you might want to make sure the new sim card is working). Go ahead and try calling or texting someone. If possible, you can be sure that your Sprint phone is unlocked.
On the other hand, if you can't perform any of the above operations, it's probably still locked. This assumes that the SIM card is working. Make sure to use another working SIM card for this method.
Method #3: Call customer service
You can always contact Sprint customer service and ask them to check it for you. You will get the most accurate information as well as any suggestions on what you can do. You can't do it over email or chat, so it has to be a call. You can find Sprint customer support numbers here.
One last thing: you may need to call them using the Sprint SIM card to prove you are a customer.
Requirements to Unlock a Sprint Phone
Each carrier has different requirements for unlocking the phone. Unfortunately, Sprint may have some of the strictest rules. Here are the requirements:
- You must have used the Sprint network for at least 50 days.
- Your contract has been fulfilled.
- Your phone is able to unlock the SIM card. In other words, the SIM slot must be enabled.
Now here's the good news. According to Sprint's website, your phone will be automatically unlocked once you meet all the requirements! If not, and you think you qualify, it's always a good idea to contact customer service.
If you're eligible, they can unlock your phone for you, which is always a much safer option than trying to unlock it yourself or through a third party. However, they may need up to 72 hours to complete your request.
Unlocked phone or carrier?
There's an endless debate about whether it's better to buy an unrestricted phone or a carrier-specific locked phone from your carrier. It really depends on the deal you get. If you don't want to pay for the latest iPhone upfront and at full price, you already know what you need to do. In any case, explore all available options before making a decision.
Have you ever bought an unlocked or unrestricted phone? Did you know this is the norm (unrestricted mobile phones) in most other countries around the world?