Will an international unlocked smartphone work with Fido? Which one to buy?
February 8, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

A two-parter on smartphones: 1. Can I buy an unlocked smartphone on Amazon and use it with Fido? 2. Help an iphone user pick a non-iphone smartphone.

I am Canadian but currently in the US. I'm thinking of buying a smartphone while I'm here and having it delivered to my hotel. These unlocked phones are normally "international versions" not for sale in the US. I don't want to use it in the US, I want to use it in Canada. Will that work and will Fido set up my data connection on such a phone? It looks from the reviews like some people in the US have been refused data service by AT&T. I want to know that I will be able to get service and be able to download apps.

Part 2. I'm an iphone user. I loved my iphone with all my heart, but now it is gone and I can't afford to replace it at the non-contract price. Still, the want of a smartphone is frequently proving inconvenient. Please suggest an under $300 smartphone (as in purchasable on amazon, unlocked, without contract at this price) smartphone that would meet my needs.

- For no particular reason, I think I prefer Android to windows. This is mainly anti-windows reactionism, so I'm willing to be told I'm wrong.
- Nice app selection.
- Lots of room for music 16-32G. I suppose I could tolerate having this on an SD card and not the phone.
- Must sync with gmail, google calendar, and preferable google contacts.
- Nice touch-screen interface.
- Camera.
- I think I prefer the iphone style touchscreen keyboard to the blackberry style keyboards.

What phone should I be looking at?
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The "international versions" will probably have data on UMTS 900/1900/2100. For Fido, you want UMTS 850/1900. THAT SAID, I bought a Nokia 6700 slide that turned out to be an Indian model, 900/1900/2100, and it doesn't just WORK with my Rogers SIM, it SCREAMS on it. I get 3.5g constantly on it, just a superb, superb data connection. The CSR at Rogers told me that should be impossible, but I've also read that there are parts of Canada where 1900 is sufficient. I wouldn't risk it if I'd know beforehand that this phone lacked the 850 band, but like I say, it works very well. Fido is also UMTS 850/1900 so you should, my story notwithstanding, be very, very cautious about "international" models. If it's one that's UMTS 900/2100 then you are, guaranteed, shit out of luck and you'll only get GPRS/EDGE data.

I can't suggest anything for your phone. If you're committed to Android, there aren't many sub-$300 options.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:00 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Even if you get an full priced phone from amazon, it won't necessarily be unlocked. Or unlockable.
posted by The Lamplighter at 8:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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