There are a lot of advantages to buying a phone through your carrier, mostly having to do with savings. However, sooner or later, most people will want to use the phone with another SIM card.
For most carriers, there’s a set of requirements that you have to fulfill before you can unlock your phone, and Sprint is not an exception. In this article, we’ll show you three ways to check whether your Sprint phone has been unlocked.
Method #1: Inspect in Settings
The fastest way is to simply go to your phone’s Settings and check whether you can use other network operators or cellular data options.
For the iPhone, here’s what you have to do:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on Cellular.
- Select Cellular Data.
- If you can see Cellular Data Options, it probably means that your phone is unlocked.
If you have an Android phone, here’s how to check:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on Mobile Networks.
- Select Network Operators.
- If you can see network operators other than Sprint, your phone is unlocked.
This method can usually show you whether your Sprint phone is unlocked or not, but it’s not 100% accurate. If in doubt, proceed to the other methods.
Method #2: Insert Another SIM Card and Try
If you have another carrier’s SIM card, this is a perfect time to use it. All you have to do is remove the Sprint SIM card from your phone and insert the other one. If it’s not working, it’ll tell you “SIM card not recognized” or something like that (you might want to make sure that the new SIM card works). Go ahead and try to call or text someone. If it’s possible, you can be sure your Sprint phone is unlocked.
On the other hand, if you can’t do any of the above, it’s probably still locked. That’s assuming that the SIM card works. Make sure to use a working alternate SIM card for this method.
Method #3: Call Customer Support
You can always reach out to Sprint customer support and ask them to check it for you. You’ll get the most accurate information as well as any suggestion about what you can do. You can’t do this via e-mail or chat, so it’s got to be a call. You can find Sprint customer support numbers here.
One more thing: You may need to call them using the Sprint SIM card to prove that you’re a customer.
Requirements for Unlocking a Sprint Phone
Every carrier has different requirements for unlocking the phone. Unfortunately, Sprint may have among the strictest rules. Here are the requirements:
- You have to have used the Sprint network for at least 50 days.
- Your contract has been fulfilled.
- Your phone is capable of unlocking the SIM card. In other words, the SIM slot should be enabled.
Now, here’s the good news. According to the Sprint website, your phone will automatically be unlocked soon as you meet all the requirements! If it isn’t and you think you’re eligible, it’s always a good idea to contact customer support.
If you’re eligible, they can unlock your phone for you, which is always a much safer option than trying to unlock it yourself or through a third party. However, they may need up to 72 hours to complete your request.
Unlocked or Carrier Phone?
There’s the never-ending debate about whether it’s better to purchase an unrestricted phone or a locked carrier-specific phone from your carrier. It really depends on the deal that you’re getting. If you don’t want to pay for the latest iPhone upfront and at full price, you already know what you should do. In any event, explore all the available options before making a decision.
Have you ever bought an unlocked or unrestricted phone? Did you know that this is the norm (unrestricted cellphones) in most other countries in the world?