Legitimately unlocking a mobile phone?
January 22, 2010 3:54 AM   Subscribe

How I unlock a mobile phone that I bought? This sounds dodgy but I'm within my rights.

Last year I paid full-price for a phone from Three here in the UK, and got a pay monthly SIM to go with it (rolling monthly contract). It's a Nokia E71. Three have ripped me off over a series of months and are refusing to refund. I'm taking my business elsewhere. I know they can give me an unlock code, but they'll charge me for this, and I don't want to give them any more money. I'd also like to wipe their logos from the phone too, so something like a complete wipe of the phone would be useful. What can I do?
posted by deeper red to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
You take it to an independent phone repair/unlocking shop and they do it for you. Typically they'll charge you £10 for this and will have it done in five minutes. Avoid doing it online as many of these services are overpriced or don't work reliably.

To change the logo or do anything else that alters system files on the phone you'll probably need a third-party application of some kind and a data cable. Google should help you there - there are forums for most phones where people discuss that sort of thing. Do your research thoroughly to make sure you know what you're doing. It's quite easy to 'brick' a phone in this way.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:15 AM on January 22, 2010

If you want to rub the physical logos off of the phone, rub them with a sugar cube. I've never personally tried it but I've heard of people doing it all over the internet.
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:38 AM on January 22, 2010

To get the logos off welcome screens, etc, and put stock firmware on it, you need to 'debrand' the phone. I don't have much experience with it, but I helped a friend do it with a dodgy online service last year for her Sony Ericsson phone.

Those unlocking shops may well provide that service. Otherwise, this google search pulls up tons of information.
posted by R a c h e l at 5:04 AM on January 22, 2010

Are the logos physically on the phone, or as splash screens when it boots?
If its the latter you'll need to flash the phone with stock e71 firmware from Nokia, think this link should get you on your way, otherwise google 'nokia e71 firmware'.

There should be a section in the manual on updating the firmware, so have a look at that first.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 5:05 AM on January 22, 2010

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