Unlocked phone question

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  #1  
Old 03-01-17, 03:20 PM
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Unlocked phone question

To be perfectly honest - we almost never use our Samsung S4 as a phone. Mostly we use it for navigation.

But - recently I wanted to make a call to another cell phone - but I kept getting a message about my account had insufficient funds - which is prety hard because we have unlimited calling...

Now the phone comes up with a Verizon logo on startup and has an AT&T sim it it. I know it CAN make and receive calls - at least sometimes. If I dial *611 to try to contact AT&T support it connect with Verizon.

Do I need to do something more that simply put the AT&T sim in the phone ? Do I need to root it ? or something ?
 
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Old 03-01-17, 04:21 PM
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An AT&T sim won't work properly in a Verizon phone, and vice versa. Usually the phone store will give you the sim card, however. I have done it on few occasions. BUT, it sounds more like you have a pay-as-you-go phone and the message is telling you the account has run out of minutes. It will make calls such as 611 and 911, but that's about it.
 
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Old 03-01-17, 07:53 PM
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I have a Verizon phone and use foreign SIM's all the time when traveling outside the country. When I turn the phone on it boots up with the Verizon logo, then tells me it's got a funky SIM but it works if my card has data or minutes. I always use pre-paid cards and they work when there is money or minutes remaining. Often I have unlimited calling minutes but there is a limit on data (which is used when navigating) and there is often a time limit and/or a monthly charge. So, even if you never make a phone call you can still deplete a pre-paid card.
 
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Old 03-02-17, 01:30 PM
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Thank you both.

I googled a little and I think that "+*611" (versus *611) may work for me - I've yet to try it.

I am awaiting delivery (fri/mon) of a new Samsung flip-phone via DHL. It is supposed to be factory and carrier unlocked - yet it has an AT&T logo.

I guess the first thing I'll do is try to determine if this new phone behaves any differently than the old one. Then I will setup TelCel prepaid service and if possible switch the sims between the two phones and see how they work.

Yes we have prepaid - but we have no card of any sorts. We have free data - not sure how much - and were told that if we ever reached our maximum - we would be prompted to purchase more.

The Nav program I'm using is 'Here' and I have downloaded the maps etc for the entire country of Mexico to the phone - so I don't think that would be eating into my data usage. I don't know if the phone needs to deal with the carrier for GPS - I would hope not.
 
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Old 03-02-17, 02:09 PM
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Many nav programs like Google Maps will use data if it is available to provide traffic data and conditions. This allows it to reroute you as needed. Without data, it doesn't know road/traffic conditions. You are correct that the GPS info does not count against your mobile data limit. You might try to validate the data usage issue by turning off data on your phone when you are navigating and see if you get something other than what you are accustomed. You might be surprised.

- Peter
 
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Old 03-02-17, 03:17 PM
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Yesterday - we returned home from a 7 hour trip and used the phone app 'Here' - the same app which got us to our destination's doorstep. We have one of those super-duper batteries in the phone and after some 20+ hours of usage it still has 40% capacity left.

Regarding traffic info etc. I doubt that would be valuable outside the US and certainly not in some of the remote areas we go - and often we have no choice on our route.

Is there a better alternative to Google maps or Here ? At times Here seems to get a little confused - when we know where we are and where we want to go it gives us questionable advice.
 
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Old 03-02-17, 07:08 PM
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You have not told us where you are located so it's hard to recommend something. If you're in China Google is intentionally inaccurate and Baidu is probably better. If in other parts of the world you can also try Bing or search the web for map navigation apps.
 
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Old 03-03-17, 12:34 PM
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Our new Samsung Rugby 4 flip-phone (unlocked but with an AT&T logo) arrived today and is charging. I'm going to pull the sim out of the Verizon branded phone and see how the new phone behaves.

We live about an hour outside Mexico City.
 
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