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Old 01-30-2019, 05:50 PM
 
Location: in my mind
4,831 posts, read 6,723,247 times
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I am planning to buy a used phone... but want to make sure it is compatible with my carrier. My current carrier is Cricket, which runs on AT&T/GSM.

Cricket has this page to check the IMEI number for compatibility, but they don't post those for used phones.

Based on this article, it appears I should be able to buy any GSM phone and be OK:
"It's much easier to swap phones on GSM networks, because GSM carriers put customer information on a removable SIM card. Take the card out, put it in a different phone, and the new phone now has your number. What's more, to be considered GSM, a carrier must accept any GSM-compliant phone. So the GSM carriers don't have total control of the phone you're using."


any help appreciated!
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:42 PM
 
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Any current unlocked GSM phone sold in the US should be safe.

Note the unlocked part. Or it could be locked to Cricket if that’s what you will be using.

Look at the model number of the phone you want and check GSM band support against AT&T. As long as there is a good overlap for 4G/LTE you should be fine.

Also make sure the SIM size is compatible. There are at least 3 I’m aware of. The iPhone today uses a nano SIM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:46 PM
 
Location: ohio
2,863 posts, read 1,409,573 times
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Some phones are only compatible with LTE or GSM. Some have almost identical models, one for LTE and one for GSM. Some have capability for all carriers.

You can search the phones manufacturer and model on gsmarena.com, or phonearea.com, or phonescoop.com, these sites are dedicated to cell phone information.

Example, I have a Nexus 6P that was given to me I had it on Verizon for a time. gsmarena tells me it is compatable with GSM and LTE.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,818 posts, read 13,959,030 times
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Buy a used phone from Swappa. It takes the guesswork out. GO to Swappa, click ATT phones, buy.
Also one of the safest ways to buy a phone.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:25 AM
 
26,939 posts, read 33,869,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenSparkles View Post
I am planning to buy a used phone... but want to make sure it is compatible with my carrier. My current carrier is Cricket, which runs on AT&T/GSM.

Cricket has this page to check the IMEI number for compatibility, but they don't post those for used phones.

Based on this article, it appears I should be able to buy any GSM phone and be OK:
"It's much easier to swap phones on GSM networks, because GSM carriers put customer information on a removable SIM card. Take the card out, put it in a different phone, and the new phone now has your number. What's more, to be considered GSM, a carrier must accept any GSM-compliant phone. So the GSM carriers don't have total control of the phone you're using."


any help appreciated!
I used that tool to check a used phone. Most any site will check the IMEI number - whether it is used or not is irrelevant. You CAN ask the seller to provide the IMEI number (with proof of course, such as a picture) before you buy. Any reputable seller will do this. I bought two used phones this way.

And yes, any GSM phone will work, as will any LTE capable phone, including Verizon.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:24 AM
 
7,141 posts, read 3,899,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I used that tool to check a used phone. Most any site will check the IMEI number - whether it is used or not is irrelevant. You CAN ask the seller to provide the IMEI number (with proof of course, such as a picture) before you buy. Any reputable seller will do this. I bought two used phones this way.

And yes, any GSM phone will work, as will any LTE capable phone, including Verizon.
Note that if it’s locked to a different carrier it won’t work without unlocking.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:07 PM
 
Location: in my mind
4,831 posts, read 6,723,247 times
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I'm browsing through the listings of phones listed under ATT and some of them say "unlocked on any GSM network" ..while others do not.

I'm trying to figure out how to know for sure that if I buy a phone listed as being on ATT, but then in the description it says its unlocked, that it will truly be unlocked. I don't want to deal with buying a phone and then having to go through the hassle (and loss of $$) of returning it.

If the seller gives me an IMEI number, will that be the definite confirmation?
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
3,447 posts, read 6,328,000 times
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Keep in mind that even if the IMEI shows clean now, if the seller had not paid their device installment payments on the device or reports it as lost or stolen your phone can be blocked
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,818 posts, read 13,959,030 times
Reputation: 8055
That's why you use Swappa Dontaskwhy. Trusted sellers and clean phones.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:47 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
3,970 posts, read 2,611,619 times
Reputation: 4739
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenSparkles View Post
I'm browsing through the listings of phones listed under ATT and some of them say "unlocked on any GSM network" ..while others do not.

I'm trying to figure out how to know for sure that if I buy a phone listed as being on ATT, but then in the description it says its unlocked, that it will truly be unlocked.
It can be branded and still be unlocked. In fact, that's what I have. I bought a new AT&T branded unlocked phone on ebay from a reputable seller. I use it with Straight Talk but you could use it with Cricket, T-Mobile etc. as long as it's a compatible GSM network. Some of the apps that come with it are from AT&T, some don't affect me, some I've disabled, some I've uninstalled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenSparkles View Post
I don't want to deal with buying a phone and then having to go through the hassle (and loss of $$) of returning it.
That's a chance everybody takes when ordering anything online, not just cell phones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenSparkles View Post
If the seller gives me an IMEI number, will that be the definite confirmation?
I personally would not buy a used or refurbished phone but again just make sure that the seller is reputable and stands behind the product.

Cricket IS AT&T, same company so rest assured it should work.

By the way if you want unlocked AND unbranded, I've seen them at Best Buy. They are not expensive either. Amazon has them as well.

You never mentioned what model of phone you were looking at.
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