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Sprint says 5G phone from OnePlus coming soon

Sprint today confirmed that it will soon sell its first phone from OnePlus. What’s more, it will support the carrier’s 5G network. Stopping short of any other details, Sprint only says that additional information will be announced “soon.”“We value OnePlus’ reputation for balancing high-end quality at a great value,” said Dow Draper, Sprint chief commercial officer. “This new smartphone gives Sprint customers another exciting option for accessing their True Mobile 5G experience.”For what it’s worth, OnePlus does have a 5G-ready version of its OnePlus 7 Pro which is already available in select markets. That phone also happens to support the sub-6 GHz 5G that Sprint uses for its ultra-fast data network. Currently, T-Mobile is the only carrier in the United States to offer OnePlus phones.Sprint currently offers its 5G network in areas of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. Looking ahead, it expects to launch service in areas of Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington, DC, in “the coming weeks”.

Pay what you want for a ticket to IT certification

Most organizations consider their staff, capabilities, processes, and technologies to be key, if not highly valuable, assets. It’s a combination of these things that help to deliver and support the vision and mission statement set forth by the company. That’s where ITIL comes into play.Effective, and efficient alignment of capabilities and resources lead to strategic advantages in the market. ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management across the globe. It helps both individuals and organizations use IT to realize and implement business changes, transformation, and growth.The AndroidGuys Deals Store currently has a five part bundle of training aimed to help you understand and prepare for certification in essential areas of the space. It’s practically a golden ticket to your next step in your career.Pay just $59 for lifetime 2TB ThunderDrive cloud storage!With nearly 40 hours of training in the whole kit, it’s worth upwards of $2,000 were you to buy it on your own. And, with one year to use the license, it’s the sort of thing you can do in your spare time. Who knows? Maybe your side hustle turns into a six-figure career in 2020.Pay What You Want!Head to the AndroidGuys Deals Store and pick up the IT Service Manager Certification Bundle for as much as you’d like to spend. It’s all yours just so long as you beat the average price, which happens to be less than $14 right now.Should you not wish to spend that much, you can still pick up one of the components, ITIL v3 Foundation Training & Certification, for whatever amount you’d like. Yes, even if it’s just $2!Best SellersSave even more!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

The best deals available at T-Mobile (August 2019)

Everybody loves a bargain. Whether it’s saving a few bucks on an accessory or getting back a couple hundred on a new phone, we appreciate the opportunity fatten our wallets.T-Mobile DealsHere, we highlight the savings and discounts that can be had at T-Mobile. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and things might have changed by the time you read this. Nevertheless, we’ve pulled out what we think are the best from the carrier. For what’s worth, there doesn’t appear to be much at all in the ways of accessories right now.The best deals available at AT&T (August 2019)The best deals available at Verizon (August 2019)Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile networkT-Mobile DealsJoin T-Mobile and get select phones for free: REVVLRY, Samsung Galaxy A10e, LG Q7+Get the Samsung Galaxy S10e for half price with trade in a Galaxy S7 series or S8 seriesBuy select LG phones, get one FREE: G8, V40, G7Get half off iPad 6th generation 32GBBuy one Samsung Galaxy Watch, get one FREEGet a FREE 4G LTE tablet with qualifying purchaseGet 50% off the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Samsung intros enhanced, customizable Galaxy Watch Active2

Samsung on Monday kicked off the week with the introduction of a refreshed take on its wearables with the Galaxy Watch Active2. Set to arrive in late September, it will be offered with both Bluetooth and LTE connectivity options.Designed to be more intuitive and customizable, the Galaxy Watch Active2 can be anything from a fashionable traditional time piece to that slick wearable that notifies you of every status update, message, and sports score.The Galaxy Watch Active2 comes in two sizes (40mm and 44mm) as well as two different stules. On one hand you have the lightweight aluminum with casual Fluoroelastomer (rubber) strap and on the other you’ll find a solid stainless steel with leather strap.As is the case with smartwatches, wearers can customize the face with a variety of options, colors, and layouts. Fashion forward thinkers can also tailor the face to match their outfit with a “My Style” color algorithm that offers up numerous patterns and styles.UI and FunctionsSimilar to other Samsung watches, the Galaxy Watch Active2 has a rotating bezel. This one, though, is digital, which makes it more convenient to use and also provides for a larger screen size. Paired with the One UI, it rotates clockwise and counter-clockwise to select apps and settings.In terms of features and functions, the watches can manually and/or automatically track more than three dozen workouts, including running, walking, cycling, and swimming.Digging deeper, the Galaxy Watch Active2 can also monitor running pace and provide help through goal-oriented running programs.New sensors can take readings faster, delivering more accurate and real-time information. Additionally, the watch can help with guided meditation, analyze sleep, and generally contribute to overall wellness.Bluetooth and LTEThe Galaxy Watch Active2 comes in two connectivity options: Bluetooth and LTE. The former relies on phones for synchronization and can also be used for taking photos, recording video, setting timers, and more.The LTE, of course, means the watch works independently of any phone and ensures you’re always connected to social media, streaming music, and other services.AvailabilityThe Galaxy Watch Active2 Bluetooth edition will cost $279.99 for the 40mm version and $299.99 for the 44mm version with sales beginning September 27, 2019 through Samsung.com and other major retailers.Pre-orders get started three weeks earlier starting September 6, 2019 and consumers who pre-order the watch through Samsung.com are eligible for a free Wireless Charger Portable Battery.The Galaxy Watch Active2 LTE edition comes to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon starting September 27, 2019.

AT&T gives Unlimited & More Premium subscribers free access to Spotify Premium

AT&T is giving its AT&T Unlimited & More Premium subscribers a little bit more bang for their buck. Starting on August 6, those who are signed up for the aforementioned rate plan can choose a new entertainment perk at no additional cost: Spotify Premium.With seven total services to choose from, there are music, movie, and general entertainment options available to customers. Similar to how T-Mobile offers its users free, bundled access to Netflix, AT&T subscribers can now receive Spotify Premium as part of their monthly phone bill.Existing Spotify Premium subscribers can keep their current account, including playlists upon joining AT&T. Likewise, those on AT&T can sign up for Spotify Premium through the AT&T website.Other services offered as part of the Unlimited & More Premium rate plan include HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Pandora, and VRV.“We’re excited to begin this new relationship with AT&T to provide millions of their customers with a seamless listening experience and easy access to more than 50 million tracks, billions of playlists and a variety of podcasts wherever they are,” said Marc Hazan, VP of Premium Partnerships, Spotify.AT&T advises that select customers will also have the opportunity to trial six months of Spotify Premium at no cost. It’s not clear how those people will be selected or what might be needed to qualify for the deal.Unlimited & More PremiumJust what is the Unlimited & More Premium rate plan? Priced at $80 per month for a single line, it’s unlimited talk, text, and access to at least 22GB of high speed 4G LTE data. Hit that threshold and the data connection may be throttled if the network gets congested.Also included in the plan is unlimited text to 120+ countries; unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada; 15GB personal hotspot, 1080p video streaming capability; and the entertainment perk.1 line – $802 lines – $75 ea ($150 total)3 lines – $57 ea ($170 total)4 lines – $48 ea ($190 total)

Fossil Gen 5 watches launch with 1GB RAM, smart battery modes

Whereas the first days of Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) were populated with devices from the likes of Motorola, LG, and Huawei, today’s climate is much different. Now the space is largely occupied by more traditional watch manufacturers.Fossil is one of those brands which has been around for much of Wear OS and who continues to push out products. Today finds the watch maker introducing its Gen 5 wearable. As often is the case with Fossil, the Gen 5 offer up a premium design that builds on its predecessors.The Carlyle HR and Juliana HR are both 44mm watches that are 12mm thick with 1.28-inch OLED displays. Additionally, both have a stainless steel body, rotating power button, and are compatible with 22mm bands. Multiple colorways are available for both versions.Things get pretty interesting for the Fossil Gen 5 in both hardware and software. Indeed, the watch now have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 chipset and are paired with 1GB RAM. Both should go a long way to improve performance and further battery life. Oh, and there’s 8GB of storage for apps and media, or about twice what you’ll find in previous watches.The Fossil Gen 5 are outfitted with a speaker which can be used for Google Assistant responses and taking calls from the wrist. And, with Spotify preloaded on the watch, it can also be used for listening to music — for better or worse.Other hardware worth pointing out are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, a heart rate sensor, and wireless charging. According to Fossil, the Gen 5 can get up to 80% charge in one hour. The watch is also water resistant up to 30 meters so it works just fine in pools and showers.Fossil relies on some of the Snapdragon Wear 3100’s features to deliver four new battery saving modes including Extended, Daily, Custom, and Time-Only.Daily Mode works like any other Wear OS watch and delivers about 24 hours of battery life per charge. On the other end, the Extended Battery Mode promises “multiple days” on a single charge and doesn’t kill notifications or heart rate monitoring in the process.Fossil offers the Gen 5 in six color options, three of which fall under the Julianna HR and the other under the Carlyle HR. Think flashier and more stylish for the former and more muted and unassuming for the latter.The Fossil Gen 5 watches are available for $295 from Fossil’s website and will be sold through various retailers in the coming weeks.

How to take bokeh photos: The beginner’s guide to better blur

To some photographers, bokeh is a sought-after aspect of a photograph; to others, it's a buzzword that just won't die. But there's no denying that, when used correctly, bokeh can help your photos and videos pop.

Living with the Google Pixel 3a – A review at 90 days

Here’s the thing about doing phone reviews that a lot of people don’t know: they’re often done within a short amount of time and don’t truly represent what it’s like to live with them.Many outlets get their review units with an embargo date and maybe 1-2 weeks of time to spend with the phone. In other words, there’s no way it can fully capture what it’s like to have this as a daily driver or spell out what gets annoying or troublesome with time.Surely your opinion of something has changed since the first few days or weeks with a product. It takes time to get a true understanding of what’s convenient or inconvenient, battery life, and other details.With that said, we wanted to wait until we had spent three full months (about 90 days) with our Pixel 3a before putting a review online. As we saw it, this is a key device that’s got a lot of attention around it. And, just because everyone was quick to heap praise on it, we didn’t know if that “feel good” stuff would last.All that out of the way… here we go.Spoiler Alert:  You can skip this entire review if you’d like, but I hope you read it. Nevertheless, this is the best $400 phone you can buy.Let’s GoI’ll be the first person to admit that I desire a top-tier smartphone. I fully understand the attraction to new things and adopting tech early. Truth be told, it is difficult for me to “settle” when there’s so much more available on the market.I’m fortunate in that I get to test devices as part of what I do for a living. I am routinely sent new phones to review, including everything from the latest and greatest down to stuff you’ve likely not heard of before.Once I found myself regularly using a high-end phone as a daily driver a few years back, it became hard for me to live with a so-called lesser model. Why take a step or two back when I don’t have to do so?I have noted in reviews time and again that mid-tier models are no slouch and are far and away more than enough for average users. So, why don’t I practice what I preach?In trying to understand the reasons I have come to the conclusion that there’s really one factor that sticks out above others. At least in my eyes. It’s not build quality, materials, processor, storage, or anything related to AI. To me, it all boils down to the camera experience.To be specific, I do not want to live without the quality of the Google Pixel line and I don’t want to think about storage. That I can take endless, high resolution photos and automatically back them up to Google Photos is the very reason I don’t step away from the Pixel.More often than not, when I qualify a phone, I find myself saying something to the effect of “It works absolutely fine on its own and should suffice for most people. Just so long as you don’t do a hard A-to-B comparison you’ll be happy with the results.” That’s true every day of the week and fits most phones.Given that most of how we look at photos tend to center around social media, and on mobile devices, pretty much all handsets take a decent enough picture. Sprinkle in a filter, effect, or add an emoji on top, and share. Rarely do we print out photos.So, as Google introduces great features with each iteration of the Pixel family, I move happily along. I love the Pixel line. At the same time, I miss where Google’s head was when it produced the Nexus series.There was a period around five years back where the Android space seemed to be in a proverbial race to the bottom. Key phones were dropping from $800 to $600 to $450 over the span of a year. Everyone was happy with their devices.Google’s Nexus 5 was the best value proposition around in back 2013 and one of those sweet spot devices.Then things had to go and get extra premium.Before we knew it, flagship prices started going back up and started hovering around $1,000 for the newest name brand devices. And Google got wrapped up in it.Who Am I?I don’t demand a lot of my phones. I don’t play 3D games, I don’t need any fancy desktop PC experience, and I don’t care if it’s glass.I put a protective case on my phone and it tends to stay on the desk much of the day. In the evenings, and on weekends, I spend a bunch of time messaging, browsing reddit, checking emails, and playing Pokemon Go.For all the really cool and interesting things that a phone can do, the reality is that I don’t use them. What’s more, nobody in my life has ever truly pushed their phone to its limit.There are plenty of people online who care about processors, RAM, and benchmarks. I used to think that this segment of the market was much larger, but that was just my perspective as a blogger face down in the smartphone space.Most of my friends buy phones that are a year old, and that’s not annually. A lot of people in my circle are content with holding onto a device for two or more years. Much of what I see in statistics and studies indicate this is how the mobile landscape looks in general.So, why do I preface a phone review with all of this? Because the Google Pixel 3a is the cure to what ails me. It does everything I need, with more than enough untapped potential. The camera experience is exactly what I want and it’s priced to move.DesignThe Google Pixel 3a looks every bit like its predecessors on the outside. Right up until the moment you touch it, it’s hard to differentiate it from its forebears. Even after feeling the plastic/polycarbonate body and powering the device on, it’s difficult to see how this one differs from much pricier siblings.If you know the Pixel line well, you understand that Google had to cut some corners to bring the price down. Things have to change if you want to get from $800 down to $400. Out is the glass body, wireless charging, and water resistance. Cool. That’s fine. None of those are needed.SEE ALSOThe best deals available at AT&T (August 2019)The best deals available at Verizon (August 2019)Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile networkSpeakers move from front-facing to bottom-firing and that’s about it. There’s nothing else noteworthy about the Pixel 3a as compared to the Pixel 3. Wait, that’s not true. The lower-priced phone adds a 3.5mm headphone jack that’s not present in the Pixel 2 or Pixel 3. That’s awesome stuff.To be fair, I do notice a certain amount of tiny particles and dust that have made their way into the edge of the display Even with a protective case on it, the phone managed to pick up the rare specks of dust and debris. Most of this is easily removed with the edge of a thin piece of paper.DisplayThe Pixel 3 XL, and a few other top phones of the day, have a noticeable “notch” cutout display. Love it, hate, enable it, disable it. Thankfully, that’s a trend that seems to be on its way out. For some users they might be able to skip an entire generation of devices with this “feature”.The Pixel 3a does not have the notch. And that means thicker black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. I know there are plenty who will complain about it but, to me, it’s barely noticeable and certainly not terrible.Color is warm and accurate, and is better than expected. The Pixel 2 XL had its share of problems with color, but so far the general consensus among reviews is that Google did well here.The Pixel 3a has Dragontrail glass instead of Corning Gorilla Glass. In the few weeks I’ve used the phone I cannot say with certainty that this is more susceptible to cracks, scratches, or breaks.Google makes no mention of Daydream View compatibility but that may be a non-starter. I really liked it in the first two generations of Pixel phone but didn’t even think about it when the third generation rolled around. Something about the apps and games and the seemingly slowed development curtailed my enthusiasm.SoftwarePowered by stock Android 9 Pie out of the box, the Pixel 3a is the great, cohesive experience that we’ve come to love. It perfectly blends Google hardware with its latest version of software. What’s more, it is promised a minimum of three years of updates.SEE ALSOWhich carrier has the best value at $50 a month?Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsIf you’ve ever had an Android phone in the past and left to try an iPhone, I suggest giving the Pixel experience a try. I’ve heard from multiple people over the past couple of years who said they couldn’t believe it was the same platform. Things have evolved nicely, and it’s smarter, more efficient, and better looking than ever.That I can load Android Q on this already, and test the beta stuff, is great. I am content, for now, to sit on the official build, but I’ve enjoyed a little bit of the early builds before going back to the out-of-box experience.AvailabilityAnother area where the Pixel 3a gets the edge over its predecessors is the availability. Indeed, you can pick this one up through most wireless service providers. Whereas Verizon had the exclusive rights to the Pixel 3, this one can be purchased at Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, and Google. It’s universally unlocked so you can also use it with AT&T.Hmm, another win for the Pixel 3a. When do we get to the drawbacks?PerformanceAhh, there it is. This is where the corners are cut and things get ugly, right? Not quite. Admittedly, the Pixel 3a is noticeably slower to open certain apps and games when compared to the Pixel 3. Loading web pages on Chrome is sometimes a little slower, too.Once you’ve got apps open, it’s nearly impossible to see the difference. The mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor is certainly less powerful than the Snapdragon 855 found in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a, but it’s more evident on paper than in practice. It boils down to the user, and results will vary, but users in the middle of the pack should have no qualms.Battery life is tremendous. The 3,000mAh power supply easily gets us a day’s worth of usage and the quick charging means minimal time plugged in for a top-off. I’m happy to trade off that roaring monster of a processor for something that’s more in line with my needs and less demanding.This is one of the first phones that I have used in a long time where I purposely do not charge it at bedtime. I simply place it on the night stand and go to sleep, charging it a bit here and there during the day.I’m happy to say that, while I might appreciate a little more juice at the start of a day, it charges quickly if I hop in the car and set out with a busier schedule.StorageStorage is limited to just 64GB on the Pixel 3a while the standard model allows up to 128GB. That doesn’t mean much to me, but it surely will for some. With no microSD expansion card slot, you’ll have to use the cloud for anything else.Keep in mind that Google Photos lets you automatically upload your pictures to the cloud. That’s often what consumes the storage. To be clear, Google does give unlimited hosting of pictures on the Pixel 3a, but it’s not the same as what you get in the Pixel 3.The former gets unlimited high quality pics while the standard bearer has unlimited original resolution. Does that matter? You have to answer that yourself. For me, I’m content with what Google’s giving me so far.CameraGetting a little deeper into the camera experience, it’s nearly imperceptible. At least, for all of the photos I take. Although the Pixel 3a doesn’t have the Pixel Visual Core present in the main models, I haven’t noticed anything in terms of quality.The Pixel 3a doesn’t have the Group Selfie Cam, or wide-angle camera, on the front side of the phone. This matters little to me as the rare occasion I snap a selfie it’s with two other people at the most. On the other hand, I know of plenty of people who love full group shots.Another thing worth pointing out is that when snapping a number of photos in a row, the Pixel 3a is slower to process them for viewing. It takes a little longer to render those great portrait images for sharing, but it doesn’t really impact the speed of taking them.ConclusionIf you’re working with a budget and want to get the most phone for your money, start here. If you need to move down to something less expensive, I can appreciate that. There’s still a lot of great stuff out there at $300 that should last you a long time.On the other hand, you could definitely spend more money, and get more hardware. A lot of companies are doing awesome things in the AI space, and the desktop PC experience in Samsung and Huawei phones does seem like it has some interesting use cases. Wireless charging is one of those features where once you use it regularly, you sort of depend on it.If there was one feature that I’d like to have here it’s water resistance. I’ve come to like having that extra peace of mind, but you may remember that most of the time my phones are sitting on a desk.Importance is subjective. Ask yourself whether it’s worth moving up to the Pixel 3 if you want to have the all-in-one killer experience. There are a few things that may justify the $300 difference, including wireless charging, water resistance, wide-angle front camera, extra storage, original resolution photos, and front-facing stereo speakers.The more I’ve used the Pixel 3a the more my perception has changed. Rather than viewing what corners have been cut to bring the price down, now I look at what spending the extra money adds to the experience.I am more than happy with what Google gives me in the Pixel 3a and suspect most people would be, too.Where to buyPick up the Google Pixel 3a from Google, Amazon, and a variety of carriers and other retail outlets.

The Treblab Z2 wireless noise-cancelling headphones have a huge discount

In the market for a pair of Bluetooth earphones? Consider the Treblab Z2 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones, which are currently only $78.99 (69% OFF) in the AndroidGuys Deals Store.These are the sort of headphones that not only sound great, but they’re designed for long lasting comfort. Not only that, but the 35 hour battery life means you’ll be rocking out to an entire discography before charging back up!The Z2’s earned their name because they feature twice the sound, twice the battery life, and twice the convenience of competing headphones.Treblab Z2Feature top-grade, high-performance neodymium-backed 40mm speakersLatest T-Quiet active noise canceling technology drowns out unwanted background noseDesigned to fit ergonomically & securely for comfortable all-day wearIncredible 35-hour battery life lets you listen for multiple daysWhere to BuyAvailable in the AndroidGuys Deals Store, you can save 69% off the normal cost if you act fast. Pick yours up for only $78.99 right now!Save even more!In addition to the savings above, when you buy through AndroidGuys Deals, for every $25 spent, you get $1 credit added to your account. What’s more, should you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.If this is your first time buying, then you are also eligible for a further 10% discount when you subscribe for email updates.How about a freebie?Not looking to spend any money today? That’s alright, we understand. Why not visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and take something anyhow? Go ahead, grab two!

What you need to know about unlocking phones

Here at AndroidGuys we talk quite a bit about unlocked phones, mobile virtual network operators, and other related topics. And, while we try to keep things pretty simple and straightforward, we understand there may be questions.Many MVNOs have “bring your own phone” policies. Do you know what that means? Does your current handset work with the carrier you’re considering?We don’t want to make assumptions in our writing or gloss over things too quickly. So, as it pertains to unlocking phones, we thought we owed it to some of you to clear up any random questions.Here’s a primer on what you need to know when it comes to unlocking phones.What does unlocking a phone mean?Nearly all phones purchased through a carrier are restricted to their respective network. In other words, your T-Mobile phone likely won’t work with AT&T.Unlocking your phone means that it’s no longer restricted to a specific wireless service provider. By unlocking it you can potentially take it to another carrier. So, if someone has a deal that seems too hard to pass, consider taking your phone with you.Can I buy phones already unlocked?Absolutely! More and more we find smartphone makers offering unlocked versions of their phones. Chances are very good that the many of the top devices you see on TV and in media can be purchased unlocked.Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsVisit the website of any major phone maker and you’ll find a number of models sold in unlocked capacity. Some are GSM-only while others may be universally unlocked.Why would I want to unlock my phone?Phones are expensive. Whether it’s a $200 “low end” model, or a flagship that commands $1,000 or more, they’re not cheap investments. So, if you can, keep that beloved device and take it with you.We often find carriers competing with incentives and deals for signing up or porting a phone number. Chances are good that you might save more than a bucks by switching.Not only could you end up getting some form of rebate or bill credit, but you may find a cheaper rate plan. Extra money up front is nice, but a little bit of cash left over each month is even better.Another reason to unlock your phone is so that you can switch to a prepaid provider or MVNO. These operate on the same networks as the larger companies but often come with lower monthly bills.Are prepaid phones locked?In a word, yes. Even prepaid smartphones come with restrictions that keep them from working on other networks out of the box. This is to combat fraud, theft, and other malicious activity.Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Each carrier, even prepaid ones, have their own policies. Check with them to see what you have to do before a phone can be unlocked.What if I am in the military?Most service providers have exceptions to their policies which make it easier to unlock your phone.Should you get relocation orders or find yourself deployed to another country for a bit, you want to make sure your phone works. Your carrier can often help get you unshackled if you move outside of their respective coverage area.What else should I know about unlocking a phone?You removed the carrier restriction from your phone so that means it works with everyone else, right? Wrong. Here in the US we have two competing technologies: GSM and CDMA. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM while Verizon and Sprint employ CDMA for coverage.If you unlock a GSM phone, you can almost surely use it with any other carrier in the US. Moreover, they’ll likely work fine in other countries, too.CDMA phones are different, but more often we’re seeing “global ready” models which mean they’ll work with other carriers. These types are unique in that they work across nearly all providers.How can I tell if my phone is locked?If you bought your phone brand new from the carrier or handset maker, you can check with them. If you purchased it second-hand, you might not have the full history of the handset.An easy way to check whether your phone is currently locked is to insert a SIM card from another provider. In some cases it will ask for an unlock code, PUK, or something similar. If you find that you cannot make calls or use data, chances are very high that it’s still locked.Another way to check is to go to your phone’s settings under mobile network operators. Do a quick scan to see if other carriers are showing up. If additional service providers are visible, it’s possible that your device is unlocked.Can I unlock my phone?The short and sweet answer to this question is almost universally yes. When it comes to unlocking phones, each carrier has their own policies; however, everyone has to play by some of the same rules. Here are a few things to keep in mind.You account must be in good standing with your carrier, with no past due balanceYour phone must not be reported as lost or stolenYou’ll have to keep your device active with the current provider for a set number of days. This varies by carrier.Where do I unlock my phone?Despite a number of online outlets promising to help you unlock your handset, the best route to take is going through your carrier. If for no other reason, it helps you to steer clear of running afoul of the law. Not all of these sites offering instant unlocking are operating legally in the US.Worth noting, Verizon will now automatically unlock your phone after 60 days provided you are in good standing.Here are the places to start for each of the major carriers in the United States. You can also call their support lines and ask for help should you have additional questions.Unlocking policies and helpVerizonAT&TT-MobileSprintUS Cellular

The best deals available at AT&T (August 2019)

Everybody loves a bargain. Whether it’s a few dollars on an accessory or a couple hundred on a new phone, we appreciate the chance to keep money in our pocket.AT&T DealsHere, we highlight the savings and discounts that can be had at AT&T. This isn’t an exhaustive list, particularly when it comes to accessories. But, we’ve pulled out what we think are the best from the carrier.SEE ALSOCheap cell phone plans that use the AT&T networkAT&T Prepaid deals, rate plans, phones, and moreNote that some of these will let you mix and match or double up. As always, be sure to read the finer print, too.PhonesBuy a Samsung Galaxy phone, get Galaxy S10e free or $750 off other Galaxy modelsONLINE ONLY: Get an LG G8 ThinQ for free when you buy it on a qualifying installment agreementGet select phones for free with qualified plansSave up to $50 on select AT&T PREPAID Android phonesSave up to 50% on select AT&T Certified Restored phonesGet a $300 AT&T Visa Reward Card with Select SmartphonesGet $150 off select tablets when you buy a qualifying smartphonePut $150 back in your pocket when you buy an eligible Galaxy Smartphone and Galaxy WatchGet an iPhone 8 64GB for freeBuy an eligible iPhone, get one free or discountedAll phone deals

Verizon overhauls unlimited data plans yet again

Just when you thought you had Verizon’s unlimited data plans all figured out, the carrier has to go and shake things up all over. The largest wireless provider in the US now has no less than four new “Unlimited” options. And that’s on top of the “Just Kids” plan.Announced on Friday, the new plans take effect on August 5; customers can keep their current rate plan if they’d like or switch to the new stuff via the My Verizon app.The revised plan names are Start Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, and Get More Unlimited. Sounds confusing enough, right? Yeah, we get that.There’s a few features that come with each of the plans, including unlimited talk and text, Mexico and Canada talk, text, and data, and Verizon Up Rewards. The four have “unlimited 4G LTE data” and video streaming of at least 480p resolution.Single line plans cost as followsStart Unlimited – $70/moDo More Unlimited – $80/moPlay More Unlimited – $80/moGet More Unlimited – $90/moWhile all four have access to 5G coverage with a qualified phone, it is not included for free in the Start Unlimited plan. It’s $10 per month via “5G bolt-on”. The other three options still have the $10 fee waived – at least for now.SEE ALSOThe best deals available at Verizon (August 2019)Verizon 5G comes to four more citiesReviewing Visible, the digital carrier that uses Verizon’s networkVerizon dials up ‘Just Kids’ smartphone planDepending on which plan you have you might find your data slowed in times of congestion. Verizon doesn’t say what those speeds might be, but it wouldn’t happen until you’ve gone through your allotted “Premium Data”.Here’s a few key details between the three higher plansPlay More Unlimited: 25GB Premium Data, 720 HD streaming, 15GB mobile hotspotDo More Unlimited: 50GB Premium Data, 480p streaming, 15GB mobile hotspot, 500GB cloud storage, 50% off connected tablet or jetpackGet More Unlimited: 75GB Premium Data, 720p streaming, 30GB mobile hotspot, 500GB cloud storage, 50% off connected tablet or jetpackAlso adding to the general confusion is Apple Music. Indeed, it’s included for six months with two of the plans. The other two? Well, they get it for as long as you have the plan. And, no, it’s not like you’d imagine.Start Unlimited – Apple Music for 6 MonthsDo More Unlimited – Apple Music IncludedPlay More Unlimited – Apple Music for 6 MonthsGet More Unlimited – Apple Music Included

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