Buying an unlocked cell phone in the US

One thing no-one talks about is how the unlocked cell phone market works in the US.

I bought a pink RAZR for Lisa earlier this year, and I just got a black RAZR for myself. Since these are unlocked, they are not US models of the phone, which makes for some interesting issues.

Lisa’s phone is for an African market (we think South Africa), so the power brick doesn’t fit into a US socket. No matter, we are world travellors and have a handly travel adaptor.

My shiny new phone seems to be from Hong Kong. This comes with a UK style plug. This time, the company selling the phone threw an adaptor in the box. Very helpful.

These phones have a ‘send a quick message’ function – 15 messages you don’t have to type. the first 9 of mine are in Chinese! Sweet.

Both of our phones think they are roaming. We have no idea how to get the phone to indicate it’s not roaming. Cingular tried to add Lisa’s phone to their system a feweeks ago, causing all sorts of fun at the call center (or centre!)

The good news is that phones work really well.