All The Benefits of Unlocked Second-Hand Phones

Unlocked phones provide more freedom and flexibility, giving more power to you, the owner. When a second-hand phone is unlocked, it means the device isn’t locked to a specific carrier, so you can put any SIM card you want in without being locked into a plan. For example, you can swap carriers at will, and your device won’t come with all their bloatware installed. This means you can shop for the best deal when it comes to finding the cheapest plans and using promotions from any carrier.

In our guide, we’ll discuss the different benefits of an unlocked second-hand phone and how to check if your phone is unlocked.

What Does It Mean When You Buy A Phone Unlocked?

When a second-hand phone is unlocked, it means that you’re purchasing a device that isn’t locked into a contract with any company or carrier.

Typically, unlocked phones are bought outright, but there are also options to buy second-hand or refurbished phones that are unlocked and free from the restrictions of a particular carrier. 

When you’re purchasing an unlocked phone, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to organise a SIM card and plan separately. An unlocked phone also gives you the option of keeping your current SIM.  Because your phone will be unlocked, you will have complete freedom when choosing a mobile service provider. This means you don’t need to compromise, and you can scout around for the best possible deal on a phone plan or prepaid SIM.

The Benefits of an Unlocked Phone

Unlocked phones have been increasing in popularity, with a report in 2020 stating that 50.1 million unlocked phones were in the USA. The adoption of unlocked smartphones keeps growing due to the rising benefits and freedom they allow.

One of the biggest pros of using an unlocked phone is carrier freedom. With an unlocked phone, you have no restrictions, contracts, or ties to a specific company. If you want to look for the best mobile plan, you can shop with different providers.

If you ever want to change plans in the future, you are free to just take out the SIM and slip a new one into your phone. Dual-SIM unlocked phones also exist if you want to be able to use two networks at once. For example, if you travel often—it’s possible to have a SIM card for your home country and the one you’re travelling to.

Another huge benefit of a second-hand unlocked phone is that you’ll typically be buying it upfront. There is no interest on monthly payments. Device payments make it harder to swap networks if you ever need to, but that isn’t a problem with an unlocked phone.

An unlocked phone is also better if you ever want to make some cash back when you upgrade your phone. It’s much easier to resell an unlocked phone second-hand, as it isn’t locked to a specific network or company. Someone can just purchase your phone and pop their SIM card in.

How To Check If A Phone Is Unlocked

There are a few different ways to check if your phone is locked to a network. If you bought the phone as part of a plan through a provider, it is more than likely going to be locked.

A quick way to check if your phone is unlocked is to remove your current SIM card and insert another one. If the phone can connect to the internet, make calls, and send messages, it is unlocked. 

Just make sure that the two SIM cards used for testing aren’t from the same network. If you haven’t got two SIM cards, another way to check if your phone is unlocked is by looking through the Settings app.


The exact steps will depend on your phone’s manufacturer and Android version, but the general how-to is:

  1. Open your phone and tap on Settings.
  2. In your settings, look for an option labelled ‘Connections’, ‘Network and Internet’, or something similar.
  3. From there, there’ll be another option titled ‘Mobile network’.
  4. Click ‘Choose network’ or ‘Automatically select network.’ From here, your phone will list all the available networks for you to use. If your phone shows several networks, it’s unlocked; however, if you can only select one, it’s locked to that network.


Here are the steps to checking if your iPhone is unlocked.

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Tap on General, then go to About.
  3. There should be a button labelled ‘Carrier lock’.
  4. Tap ‘Carrier lock’. If it says ‘No SIM restrictions,' then your iPhone is unlocked. If it names a network, then your device is locked to that one.

These steps might vary depending on which iPhone device you have and your iOS version.

Can you unlock a mobile phone?

If you already own a mobile phone that is restricted, you can unlock it. The easiest and safest way to do this is to message your mobile service provider and ask them to do it for you. 

Typically, they’ll ask you for your IMEI number, which is an identifier that is unique to your phone. This will allow the network to identify the exact make and model of your device as well as the serial number. 

Once you’ve provided them with the IMEI number and any other information they’ve requested, they should begin the unlocking process. 

Keep in mind that every service provider will have different rules regarding unlocking phones, and if you’re on a device payment plan, you may not be able to unlock it until the contract is over.

Buy Unlocked Refurbished Phones at OzMobiles

Getting an unlocked phone has so many benefits over a locked-in contract for a device with a carrier. If you’re in the market for an unlocked refurbished iPhone or Android device, like the Samsung Galaxy range, the team here at OzMobiles has you covered. 

If you have any questions about unlocked phones or our refurbished devices, contact us. Our customer service team prides itself on our fast response times and assisting you with any queries you may have.