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How do I unlock this old Cingular phone to use abroad?
July 29, 2011 3:43 PM   Subscribe

I have an old Cingular Motorala Razr V3 GSM phone that I'd like to unlock. What do I need to do to unlock it for use abroad?

I'm going to be out of the U.S. for several months and I need to have a GSM phone to use. I'm currently with Sprint. I have this old Razr that I found in my "electronics stuff" box.

I've tried to a bit of research on this, but it's a mixed bag. There are some poorly recorded YouTube videos that say I need some software to unlock it and there are websites telling me I need to have an unlock code purchased (or issued, but that's probably not possible, as I didn't have service on it). What do I need to do to have the phone unlocked and usable on other networks abroad?

What will I need to do for the SIM card? I don't have one ATM. Should I purchase a SIM card when I arrive, or should I purchase one beforehand on Amazon or something?
posted by apip to Technology (10 answers total)
 
About four years ago I bought an unlock for my old Cingular Razr from these guys. The unlock worked fine. It looks like there are two kinds of unlocks that they sell: one that uses a code and one that uses a USB connection and software. I used the USB option.
posted by zsazsa at 4:13 PM on July 29, 2011


I would just pick up a cheap GSM phone at your destination. No matter where you're going, there's bound to be a cheap or nearly-free pre-paid phone available.

I'm Canadian, and I've done this in the US, Mexico, and in Portugal. I just get the cheapest pre-paid phone possible. Usually $10 or so.

Unless there's a reason you want to use the RAZR, there's no reason to take it with you. It might not even have the appropriate local frequencies anyway, depending on where you're going.
posted by MiG at 6:19 PM on July 29, 2011


It does have the local frequencies and the destination is tourist-y, so I expect extortionist prices for the cheap pre-paid.
posted by apip at 7:45 PM on July 29, 2011


The touristy reasoning probably isn't going to actually be true, but regardless, you're going to have to purchase a local "plan," whether its just roaming or you buy a prepaid sim. Perhaps say where you are going so people can offer advice on that.
posted by Patbon at 7:56 PM on July 29, 2011


Perhaps if you mentioned where you will be going someone who has been there might have a clue of the prepaid phone options.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:28 PM on July 29, 2011


I've unlocked a couple of older Moto GSM phones (a V195 was one as I recall) and it was very easy. Here's how you do it and no you don't need software of any kind.


You need to borrow a SIM card from somebody for a few seconds to enter your unlock code. Thereafter give them back their SIM and get your own from any GSM provider.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:56 PM on July 29, 2011


Thanks for your content-filled post, Horselover Phattie.

The location of my destination is irrelevant. The question is about unlocking a phone.
posted by apip at 1:05 AM on July 30, 2011


The location of my destination is irrelevant. The question is about unlocking a phone.

Maybe you didn't read your question?
posted by anadem at 1:19 PM on July 30, 2011


> Thanks for your content-filled post, Horselover Phattie.

Don't be a jerk. Different places have different options for pre-paid phones. Maybe someone reading this just got back from where you are planning to go and has an idea of the cost.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:31 PM on July 30, 2011


The location of my destination is irrelevant. The question is about unlocking a phone.

Not so fast. It is important to note that certain GSM phones can be only dual-band or tri-band. They will only work on certain frequencies. The wireless carrier in your destination city might use different frequencies. To be safe, you should look up the carrier's network and make sure your phone supports it. There are various models of the Motorala Razr V3 so you need to find out which one you have.
posted by marc10 at 9:13 PM on July 31, 2011


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