What Do We Mean By Unlocked Phone?
You may or may not know this already but to avoid any confusion we decide to explain what we mean by unlocked phones.
Locking and unlocking your phone daily (using a pattern, pin code, fingerprint, etc.) is not what we are referring to.
Unlocked phones are those that can work with any type of SIM card. It means that you can simply remove the carrier’s SIM card and replace it or with another carrier’s SIM card use both at the same time (in case of dual SIM card phones) and it will work properly.
On the other hand, there are locked phones, which are limited to working only with a carrier’s SIM card, which sold you that cell phone.
If you want to use your existing phone with Straight Talk SIM card or bring Straight Talk phone to another carrier (use another carrier’s SIM card with a Straight Talk device), you will need an unlocked device.
In the past, the unlocked phones were even a greater issue, since there were two main types of cell phone, GSM device on one hand and CDMA devices on the other hand. The GSM devices always used SIM cards, which made them suitable for use on various networks and with various carriers. In the US AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM-based carriers. CDMA based phones didn’t use SIM cards and this made them limited to CDMA carriers alone. In the US the main CDMA based carriers are Verizon and Sprint.
However, with the 4G (LTE) technology and now 5G, even the CDMA based carriers started to use SIM cards, which makes the interchangeability of phones much simpler.
NOTE: Older phones (2G or 3G) provided by CDMA carriers are still limited to CDMA carriers.
As we move along, we will discuss all the details related to Straight Talk phones and their policy on how to get their phone unlocked.
Are Straight Talk Phones Unlocked?
Straight Talk phones come locked. This means that you cannot use other carrier’s SIM card with Straight Talk phones. At least not straight away. Straight Talk has its Unlocking Policy set in place, which lets you unlock your device and make it suitable for other networks, however, to do so you must meet a certain condition.
Further details of the Straight Talk Unlocking policy will be presented in the ‘Can I unlock Straight Talk phone to switch to other carriers?’ section below.
How To Unlock Straight Talk Phones?
Once you have met the unlocking policy conditions, which means that your phone is eligible to be unlocked, you simply call Straight Talk’s support at 1-855-222-2355. Their Call Center operates 7 days per week from 8 AM – 11:45 PM (EST). You can also call them directly at 1-888-442-5102, where you will reach their Unlocking Department.
To make the process and their assistance faster, you will be asked to provide them with your Straight Talk MEID DEC / Serial Number and your Straight Talk Cell Phone Number. Make sure to have those ready.
If you are eligible for getting your phone unlocked, you will be provided with an unlocking code, which you will enter in your device. Here are detailed instructions:
- Make sure you have the unlock code at hand.
- Shut down the phone.
- Remove the Straight Talk SIM card, and replace it with your carrier of choice’s SIM card.
- Power on your phone.
- Enter the unlock code when prompted.
And that’s it, now your Straight Talk phone is unlocked and you may use it with the carrier of your choice.
NOTE: Use this link to check if your phone is eligible for the unlocking process: https://www.tfwunlockpolicy.com/wps/portal/home/. Once on the page, scroll down and enter your existing Straight Talk phone number or phone’s serial number, check the reCAPTCHA ‘I’m not a robot’ box and click the “VERIFY ELIGIBILITY” button.
How Do You Unlock A Straight Talk Sim Card?
Unlocking SIM cards is something completely different than unlocking your phone. SIM cards come with PIN numbers, which can be changed within the phone’s menu as often as you please. You may also set your phone to ask for the SIM card PIN code or not, which only applies when the phone is turned on or after a reboot.
If you enter a wrong PIN number three times in a row, your SIM card will lock. To unlock it after that, you will need to enter a PUK code, which is also provided with a SIM card.
How Can I Unlock My Straight Talk Phone If Straight Talk Refuses To Unlock It?
Though the Straight Talk’s Unlocking policy is set in place and they normally unlock phones of all users that meet the conditions presented in the policy, there might be specific situations where they refuse to unlock your phone. In which situation you may want to explore other unlocking alternatives.
Thankfully, legislation and the Federal Communications Commission have made the process of unlocking your phone easier than ever since the phone unlocking is now perfectly legal. Recent legislation forced many carriers to make the unlocking a lot simpler than it was in the past. THIS MEANS THAT IF YOU MEET THE STRAIGHT TALK’S UNLOCKING POLICY they must unlock your phone. If for some reason, you still need another way to unlock your phone, see the options below.
NOTE: IMEI unlocking method performed by the Straight Talk is the best and the safest option, so always try that route first.
- Unlock your Straight Talk phone using a piece of software: you can connect your phone with a computer to find an unlocking software that will enable you to use your phone with other carriers. However, this method is essentially a jailbreaking and will often result in your phone being locked again as soon as its OS updates.
- Straight Talk phone hardware unlocking: this is the most invasive and risky method as it requires the actual adjustment of the phone’s hardware, which can often result in malfunction. This should strictly be performed by experienced phone/electronics technicians that know how to safely and properly perform phone hardware unlocking.
- Third-party unlocking services: there are many small businesses offering phone unlocking services. Most of these offer their unlocking services online, which means you can simply visit their web site, provide payment, and in exchange, you will get the unlocking code. The prices vary from a couple of dollars to $50, thus it makes sense to check the prices. Here are a couple of phone unlocking services providers: DoctorSIM, MobileUnlocked, UnlockBase, Cellphone Unlock, UnlockUnit, UnlockRiver, and Unlock Radar.
How To Check Straight Talk Phone Compatibility?
Above we were mostly focused on your decision to take Straight Talk phone and use it with another carrier’s SIM card. Here, we will devote our attention to Straight Talk’s Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) option, which means that you have a phone from other carriers that you want to use now with Straight Talk SIM card.
As most carriers that offer BYOP options these days, Straight Talk also enables you to check compatibility online. Visit https://get.straighttalk.com/keep-your-own-phone/ and click on the “CHECK NOW” button under “CHECK COMPATIBILITY” option all the way on the left. On the next step you will be given three options, including “I KNOW THE COMPATIBLE CARRIER”, “I HAVE AN UNLOCKED GSM DEVICE”, and “I DON’T KNOW”. Choose the one that applies for you by clicking on the “SELECT” button below each option.
- “I KNOW THE COMPATIBLE CARRIER” option: on the next step, you will be offered to choose among the most reputable carriers. Click on the “SELECT” button under the option that is true in your case. Then you will need to enter Straight Talk SIM card number (if you already have Straight Talk SIM) or purchase a SIM card. After completing either of the two options, you will finally get to check your phone’s compatibility. You will need your phones IMEI or SERIAL NUMBER. Follow the instruction provided on that page to complete the process.
- “I HAVE AN UNLOCKED GSM DEVICE” option: selecting this option will prompt you to enter Straight Talk SIM card number (if you already have Straight Talk SIM) or purchase a SIM card. After completing either of the two options, you will finally get to check your phone’s compatibility. You will need your phones IMEI or SERIAL NUMBER. Follow the instruction provided on that page to complete the process.
- “I DON’T KNOW” option: a list of carriers will be provided to you to choose the one your phone is from. If you don’t know your carrier, click the “I don’t know my carrier” for help. After selecting a carrier and phone (tablets are not supported on the BYOP option), you will finally get to check your phone’s compatibility. You will need your phones IMEI or SERIAL NUMBER. Follow the instruction provided on that page to complete the process.
Can I Cancel Straight Talk?
This is the claim provided by the Straight Talk: “You hate contracts, and so do we. That’s why all of our plans are 100% no contract.” This means that you are free to cancel Straight Talk at any time, however, there is a catch.
Straight Talk offers you to purchase phones through monthly payments. If you have chosen this option in the past and haven yet paid all the monthly installments (most come with 24 installments), you cannot cancel your services. Though, you may be offered an option to pay the remaining amount and then be able to cancel your services.
What Unlock Phones Does Straight Talk Provide?
Since many of us decide on a carrier based on the phones it offers, we decided to provide you with the list of phones that are currently available at Straight Talk. They offer around 100 various phones (number varies from ZIP code to ZIP code), thus we selected 15 phones from various price ranges, for which we believe may be of most interest to you.
Straight Talk Free Options (All Reconditioned):
This section is for all of you who are looking don’t want to or can’t afford to spend money on your phone. With Straight Talk, you can actually get a FREE device, either smartphones or a flip phone. Check out for free phone Best Free Government Cell Phone and Government free phone
NOTE: Phones it this section can be FREE only if you purchase a specific plan.
LG Rebel 3
LG Rebel 3 is an entry-level smartphone, equipped with more basic features. It does have a large 5” display, a 5MP camera, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, and it supports 4G LTE network. This phone is best for those who don’t plan on playing the latest android games and multitask.
TCL ZIP™ LTE
It is slightly more capable than the above model. It can run 16 hours of talk time on a single battery charge, has 16GB of internal storage, and comes with a rear 5MP and a front-facing 2MP camera. None of those is able to deliver amazing photos, yet more than enough to create memorable memories at solid light conditions.
LG Stylo™ 3
It has a very large 5.7” display and rather a solid 8MP camera. It’s the battery is able to ensure you up to 20 hours of talk time. It also comes with 16GB of internal storage and can operate on a 4G LTE network. The stylus can be super practical for drawing and other tasks that require precision.
LG Rebel 4
It is a lower-midrange smartphone that packs 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 8MP rear camera with autofocus, a front-facing 5MP fixed focus camera and a 5” HD display with 1280×720 resolution. This phone is suitable for a wide range of tasks. It will also enable you some basic multitasking, though it will definitely struggle with the latest games or other large content.
Alcatel myflip is a perfect choice for all of you looking for maximum simplicity that comes with flip phones. Simply answer your call by opening two halves of your device and end them by closing them together. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Straight Talk Midrange Smartphones:
Moto G7 Optimo Maxx
Lets you secure your device with face unlock. Switch between apps by using gestures instead of buttons. Slow-motion video, Timelapse video, Hyperlapse video, Snap-in video recording, Youtube Live Stream, and more. Moto G7 Optimo Maxx’s 6.2” huge display, 3GB Ram, 32GB storage, a 12MP rear camera, and 8MP front-facing camera won’t disappoint you.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 features a Quad HD Super AMOLED display, which offers an eye-popping picture you’d expect from Samsung. And, just as impressive, the big screen fits on an incredibly slim design. Fully immerse yourself in movies, games and more. It packs a 5.1” Quad HD screen, 12MP dual camera, 32GB of storage, and a powerful battery that can support up to 258 hours of talk time.
Samsung Galaxy A20
Samsung Galaxy A20 enables you undisturbed calling, emailing and texting with a long-lasting battery and lets you power back up quickly with Fast Charging. Keep more, thanks to 32GB of built-in memory. And capture the moment with the dual-lens camera, and then view it all on a vibrant, 6.4” edge-to-edge Infinity Display. Galaxy A20 perfectly combines capabilities and budget.
iPhone 7 Plus Black 32GB (RECONDITIONED)
It features a 12 MP camera with a ƒ/1.8 aperture for great low-light photos and 4K video. Optical image stabilization. A 5.5 -inch Retina HD display with wide color and 3D Touch. An A10 Fusion chip for up to 2x faster performance than iPhone 6. Touch ID. Faster LTE². The longest battery life in an iPhone. Immersive stereo sound, splash and water-resistant, and iOS 10.
iPhone 8 64GB Space Gray
It is designed with incredibly durable glass and a stronger aerospace-grade aluminum band. Charges wirelessly. Resists water and dust. Packs a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with True Tone, a 12MP camera with a new sensor and an advanced image signal processor. It is powered by A11 Bionic, a very powerful chip and supports augmented reality experiences in games and apps.
Straight Talk High-range Smartphones:
Samsung Galaxy S10 Prism Black
It is arguably one of the best models Samsung currently has to offer. It packs 6.1” full HD+ dynamic AMOLED infinity-o display, 128GB of internal storage and amazing 8GB of RAM. It is also equipped with an amazing dual 12MP rear camera and 10MP UHDSelfie camera, which both deliver amazing pro-like photos and can easily replace most cameras.
iPhone X 64GB Space Gray
iPhone x 64GB Space gray packs 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display with HDR and True Tone, All-glass and stainless steel design that’s water and dust resistant, 12MP dual cameras with Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, and 4K video up to 60 FPS, 7MP TrueDepth front camera with Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting. Its 64GB of storage should be more than enough for the majority of users.
iPhone Xs Max Gold 64GB
It comes with Super Retina and the largest display ever on an iPhone. It has an even faster Face ID, the smartest, most powerful chip in a smartphone, and a breakthrough dual-camera system with Depth Control. A six-channel light sensor subtly adjusts the white balance onscreen to match the color temperature of the light around you. So images on the display look as natural as on a printed page and are easier on your eyes. It packs 6.5” display, dual 12MP camera, 64GB of internal storage and a powerful battery.
iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB – SPACE GRAY
It is equipped with a transformative triple-camera system that adds tons of capability without complexity. It also offers an unprecedented leap in battery life and a mind-blowing chip that doubles down on machine learning and pushes the boundaries of what a smartphone can do. It is the first iPhone powerful enough to be called Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Note10+
It is much more than a smartphone; it is essentially a gaming console, a film studio, and a computer with an intelligent pen control all in one device. It has a huge 6.8” Display Dynamic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, a dual 12MP main camera and a 10MP selfie camera, and never-seen-before 12GB of RAM, which makes sure everything runs super smoothly.
What Carriers Support Straight Talk Unlocked Phones?
Once your Straight Talk phone has been unlocked, it should be compatible with most carriers that offer bring your own phone option. Each of those also has its own compatibility-check webpage, where you will be able to ensure whether or not your Straight Talk phone is compatible with their network.
Can I Unlock The Straight Talk Phone To Switch To Other Carriers?
YES, but specific conditions apply. We have addressed this throughout the article before but now we have finally come to the section, in which we will take a closer look at the Straight Talk’s Unlocking Policy.
NOTE: TracFone is a company that owns many other wireless companies, including the Straight Talk, thus the same rules apply to TracFone as they do to Straight Talk users.
- Customers must request handset unlocking.
- Customers must have had their locked device activated on TracFone/Straight Talk Service for no fewer than 12 months, redeemed air time cards in no fewer than 12 months, and not have had their telephone number recycled or ported.
- Customers must request this interim unlocking solution while their service is active or within 60 days after their active service days expire. This 60-day grace period applies even if the customer’s telephone number was recycled or ported.
- Customers must currently own a TracFone branded handset model launched on TracFone’s service after February 11, 2014, or activated with TracFone’s service after February 11, 2015.
- Customers must possess a handset that is in working condition.
- Customers must possess a handset that is not reported stolen, lost, or associated with fraudulent activity.
- If a customer requesting handset unlocking is deployed military personnel, upon provision of deployment papers, TracFone will honor that customer’s unlocking request by sending a refund for the Trade-in Value of the used, locked phone returned by the customer without regard for the 12 months of service activation and air card redemption eligibility requirements. However, all other eligibility criteria apply to TracFone’s customers who are deployed military personnel.
- Customers are eligible for this program only once every twelve months.
NOTE: Straight Talk may refuse any unlocking request that would result in an abuse of its Unlocking Policy or is part of an effort to defraud TracFone/Straight Talk or its customers.
To learn how to check if you are eligible for unlocking, view the ‘Are Straight Talk phones unlocked?’ section.
How Do I Transfer My Straight Talk Phone Number To An Unlocked Cell Phone?
This option depends on the new carrier, however, most wireless providers that offer bring your own phone option also let you transfer your existing phone number. Normally this is done by calling the new carrier’s support and they make the necessary arrangements.
How Do I Know If My Unlocked Phone Will Work With A Carrier?
Each carrier that offers bring your own phone option has a webpage, where you will enter your phone’s IMEI/serial number to check compatibility. If you struggle with that process, call the new carrier’s support.
Pros And Cons Of The Unlocked Phone?
Pros are pretty obvious and the main one is the freedom and ability to use your device with basically any provider you want, simply by replacing the SIM cards. This means that your phone is not tight to a single carrier nor ZIP code. This lets you juggle multiple SIM cards at the time and ensures you to always use the carrier that offers the best coverage.
On the other hand, looking at the cons, there is a chance that your phone’s compatibility won’t be 100% complete. This especially applies to older phone models, which can lead to certain technical difficulties. But this doesn’t occur often, thus you should always prefer to have unlocked phones.