The HTC 10 is HTC’s one shot at redemption after the mess of the One M9 left customers questioning the company’s ability to create a phone with compelling features and creative design. The HTC 10 offers the right improvements to user interface, design and battery. You may be wondering why I am qualified to tell you this. Well, the HTC 10 is the best phone I have ever had.
Last year, HTC announced the 10, the true successor to the 2015 One M9 and I was quickly impressed by how HTC created a phone that’s big on screen, strong on camera and combines the design of the M Series and the A9 phone. Two months later, I grabbed the HTC 10 from a local AT&T’s store and quickly chose to go with a 24-month contract.
Basically, AT&T offers a wide range of services ranging from DirectTV to internet and I am happy with the services they provide. However, what I hate about AT&T is that they are charging ridiculous roaming fees to anyone who heads overseas. During my trip to Japan, I paid more than $200 for mobile data. That was close to the full retail price of the phone.
I’m still using AT&T Sim card in my phone, but my phone is now free of a carrier lock and I can use it with any network when my contract period ends.
In this post, I will share with you the story of how I unlocked my HTC 10 AT&T-locked smartphone. Before we proceed with how I unlocked my phone, there are a couple of things you should understand about unlocking a carrier-locked phone.
What’s a locked phone?
Customers now have the option to purchase a phone with no money down at major carriers in the US and UK. What you need to do is to walk into any carrier store, choose your monthly payment plan and walk out of the door with your new phone. Payment plans vary depending on your carrier and you can choose to pay for your phone over a 12-month, 18-month or 24-month. AT&T is currently charging around $33 per month for the HTC 10 over 24 months.
Keep in mind that a carrier-locked phone can only be used on the network that it is locked to. This prevents you from using your phone on a competitor’s network. When your contract ends, you can choose to unlock your phone.
Why do you need an unlock?
Having your phone locked to a carrier may save you some cash, but a carrier-locked phone tends to get more expensive over time. Unlock gives you the freedom to use your phone on any network you like and can spend less on mobile data while abroad.
Basically, once unlocked, you can connect your phone to any carrier’s frequency-compatible network. If you travel frequently, you are free to use your phone with any local carrier’s SIM card instead of paying some crazy international roaming fees.
Methods of unlocking
There are three methods available for unlocking my HTC 10 including root, carrier unlock and IMEI unlock. On the surface, carrier unlock may be the best way to unlock a phone, but when you look inside, things are not as easy as they seem.
Most carriers in the US are still making it difficult to unlock phones. To make your phone eligible for an unlock, you need to meet certain conditions imposed by your carrier. I contacted AT&T twice and asked them to unlock my phone. However, they emailed back to say that the price of the phone must be paid in full.
So, what about rooting?
Rooting allows you to overcome limitations that carriers put on your device. However, rooting gives you a lot of threats like phone gets bricked, warranty turns void, and more.
I lost my money to a suspicious looking guy to unlock my Samsung Galaxy S6 two years ago. What he did was to root my phone and use hacking software to get my phone unlocked. What I got back was my phone being permanently locked.
So, why is IMEI unlock?
IMEI unlock is the only safe and effective method for unlocking your phone. An IMEI number is the unique identifying code used to identify your phone. Each mobile phone has a different IMEI number and it’s stored in your carrier’s database. You can use the IMEI number to check if your phone is now locked to a particular network and access other identifying features including model number, warranty status, production date and more.
IMEI unlock is where you change the status of your phone from locked to unlocked on your carrier’s database (no software to download and no rooting required). All made possible by using an Unlock code.
How can you get an Unlock code?
IMEI unlock requires a helping hand from a third-party unlock provider. What you need to do is to provide your IMEI number (you can dial *#06# to get your IMEI number) in exchange for an Unlock code (Of course, you need to pay a fee to your unlock provider).
There are tons of unlocking service providers on the market. However, like any service, not all of them are trusted. Many of them are just plain scams and what they do is to use hacking software to get your phone unlocked. Finding a trusted online IMEI provider can be difficult, but there is always something you can do.
The IMEI unlock provider I did put my trust in is expressunlock.com. I am pretty happy with the services they provide. Their customer support is excellent and unlocking prices are unbeatable.
How I unlocked my HTC 10 AT&T-locked smartphone
The process was simple. First, I went to Unlock HTC Phone, inserted my IMEI number and provided my billing information to complete my payment. A few minutes later, I received an email from expressunlock.com with the unlock code for my phone.
However, I did not how to enter the code to my phone. I quickly contacted expressunlock and asked for their support. They responded very quickly with all the information I needed in a helpful manner. I realized that I had not followed their instructions for completing the unlock.
What I should have done was to turn off my phone, insert a SIM card from a different network, turn on my phone and enter the code. Once I’d done that, my phone worked perfectly fine with a Verizon SIM card.
That’s the story of how I unlocked my HTC 10 AT&T-locked smartphone. A carrier-locked phone may not be a bad choice, but if you don’t want your phone to be locked to a specific mobile carrier, it’s good idea to unlock it.