Will Your Phone Work Outside of the US?
Not all phones are capable of international usage due to only having radios for the US frequency bands. Others have radios capable of many or all international bands, but are "Locked". This article covers the differences with phones and carriers for international usage.
International Ready Phones
Most premium phones come with the physical hardware and associated software to work internationally. This used to be called "quad band", now it's "world phone".
- Motorola- The Droid series and their international equivalents have been world ready for years, and typically work without any issues or changes required. I've personally used 3 different generations of Droids overseas with no issues in over a dozen countries.
- Samsung- The higher end Samsung phones are all world ready phones.
- Apple- The last several Iphones have all been world ready
Once you have a world ready phone, you have to confirm your carrier has not locked or restricted it's usage overseas or with other carrier SIM cards (See SIM Card Article).
- Verizon- by policy all world ready phones except pre-paid are unlocked for usage out of the US and have no restrictions on foreign sims. In fact, the only restriction at all is with the usage of competing US carriers (ATT, Sprint, etc)
- ATT- Often locked for foreign SIM's and used to require a call to unlock even when using an ATT plan overseas. Now you normally only have to call if you plan to use a foreign SIM card.
- Sprint- No recent data on Sprint, but they historically have been good about offering world phones and unlocking them for overseas SIM cards.
- T-Mobile- Most plans allow international usage on their current sim/plan, so no need to unlock