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Registered: ‎05-15-2019
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"Activate today" vs "Activate now" with unlocked phones

I currently have a galaxy s7 edge which I purchased from abroad, and all I had to do to use it in the US was buy a SIM card (which I did from At&t). I'm looking to buy the galaxy s10 and use it in the US and when I travel internationally, therefore, I'm looking for an unlocked phone.

Best buy has the unlocked s10 available for purchase for either $699.99 with the "activate now" option or $899.99 for the "activate later" option

My questions are:

  1. In general, what's the difference between the 2 options
  2. Why do I need to activate an unlocked phone? Can't I just insert a new sim card without "activating" it?
  3. Would both options still be usable outside the US (I travel out of the country every 6 months, and so it's very important that the phone works with other sim cards and bandwidths internationally)
  4. What is required if I activate today; do I have to get a new phone number or go to the store etc..
  5. Will I be stuck with the specific carrier that I activate the phone with if I activate today? Or would I be able to switch immediately if I wanted to?

I have 0 experience with buying phones in the US, so any insight is much appreciated. 

 

Thank you!

 

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Registered: ‎10-03-2017

Re: "Activate today" vs "Activate now" with unlocked phones

[ Edited ]

Hello, anisaben,

 

While I will be answering each of your questions individually, I must point out that all the devices we sell, unless otherwise noted, are intended for use in the U.S. This is due to the network bands that are used here and how they may differ abroad. In some countries the phones work flawlessly, in others the device is missing the required network band compatibility to pick up signal as expected. That being said:

 

1. The big difference is that the activate now option requires that you activate the device with one of our supported carriers, usually Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint. Activate later still gives you the opportunity to activate the device on the previously mentioned carriers, as well as any other that is compatible with the device, but doesn't include the added discount at checkout.

 

2. Yes, you are certainly correct. An unlocked device does not require activation at checkout and should work simply by inserting a SIM card from a compatible carrier but the added discount is an incentive provided, usually by the carrier, so that customers can activate the device on their network at checkout.

 

3. This is where the issue may lie. As I previously mentioned, band compatibility can come up in your country of use. I will include below the bands that this device is compatible with and you are very welcome to reach out to your preferred carrier abroad to ensure they operate off those bands and that none others are missing. All it takes is one band to lose something like LTE connectivity or backwards compatibility with older 3G/HSPA networks. 

 

4. Generally, if you don't have a currently active account with Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T, then you'll need to set up service with them with a new number on a new account.

 

5. The terms of the activation can vary based on the carrier of choice and if you choose the full price at checkout or the installment plan

 

And as promised here are the bands this phone is compatible with:

 

  • Network Type

    CDMA, GSM

  • 4G LTE Band

    1, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 2, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 3, 34, 38, 39, 4, 40, 41, 46, 5, 66, 7, 8

  • GSM 2G Frequency

    1800, 1900, 850, 900

  • CDMA 2G Frequency

    1900, 800, 850

  • GSM 3G Frequency

    1700, 1900, 2100, 850, 900

  • CDMA 3G Frequency

    1900, 800

  • 4G LTE Frequency

    1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2300, 2500, 2600, 700, 800, 850, 900

Let me know what other questions you may have!

 

Best,

Dave|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-15-2019

Re: "Activate today" vs "Activate now" with unlocked phones

I spent weeks looking for answers and this is by far the best and most concise answer yet.
Thank you so much.
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Posts: 1,362
Topics: 17
Kudos: 127
Solutions: 84
Registered: ‎10-03-2017

Re: "Activate today" vs "Activate now" with unlocked phones

Hello, anisaben,

 

You're very welcome. Always happy to help and now you know you can give us a shout if you have any other questions about one of our products. We can save you a lot of time doing research!

 

Thanks,

Dave|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
Give Kudos if you like this post or Accept as Solution if it answers your query!