Author Topic: Smartphone Badassity  (Read 415 times)

HipGnosis

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Smartphone Badassity
« on: December 04, 2017, 08:51:17 PM »
My smartphone broke.  I ported my # back to my old phone (not a SIM phone) and started shopping / researching.
The one that broke is a Moto G4 (4th gen).   It is a 5.5" screen, which I liked, but it wouldn't fit in all my pockets which was a bit of hassle at times.  So I decided to go back to a 5" phone. 
I narrowed it down to a Moto E4 or a Samsung Galaxy S5 by logging ratings of previous generation 5" phones.
While I was price shopping (they are pretty close in price) I found (google found) a cell phone forum post about buying a Verizon Moto E4 at Walmart for $40 and unlocking it with a code from Ebay for $2-3.  A factory unlocked Moto E4 is $130!  A refurbished one is $100.
WalMart.com said they are out of stock at stores near me.  Another google search found another cell phone forum post w/in info about brickseek.com; it shows the inventory of items at stores near you, including WalMart. 
So I went and bought one* (see -*- below).
The Moto E4 uses a nano SIM.  The SIM I had (PagePlus) is a micro SIM.  I've read about people cutting down a SIM, but I didn't want to chance that.
Since I was going to buy a new SIM, I took the opportunity to change carriers.  I had actually done the research on this not long ago as my use doesn't match any of PagePlus' plans.
I had chosen Red Pocket (mobile) for their many pricing options, and they resell all major carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Tmobile and Sprint).   I contacted them via their website chat and asked which carrier had the broadest coverage across the country - they said AT&T(GSM).  I ordered a GSMA SIM (free w/ a months service) and an unlock code.
Note: the Ebay unlock code item description says: the code will be mailed to comply with Ebay policies.
You need the IMEI # of the phone to order an unlock code.
There are unlock codes for lots of different phones.
I charged the phone while I was waiting.  I downloaded the RedPocket config. app over WiFi.
I got the unlock code in a bit over a day - in the order confirmation Email.
Put the SIM in and turned on the phone.  It detected a 'non-Verizon SIM' and prompted me for the unlock code, I put it in and after a couple(?) seconds it said "code accepted".
I activated the RedPocket SIM / account and it started doing restores from the Play Store and Google (contacts, photos, etc.).

Everything was good for a couple of days, but then I found out I couldn't do MMS' (images in text messages). I checked the configuration and then re-did the configuration manually per a redpocket page - added an APN and input the needed settings. 
Another google search found that the Verizon default messaging app (messenger+) doesn't work on non Verizion (non CDMA?) networks.   Verizon seems to have hidden the menu item for changing the messaging app, but I eventually found & changed it by going to Settings and using the search icon there.

- * - I actually ended up exchanging the first phone I bought.  It did not have any signal over RedPocket; voice, texts or data.  I re-did the APN config.  I did multiple reboots.  I have no way of knowing if the unlock code was bad or the phone itself is bad.  I did a factory reset and exchanged it.  WalMart confirmed the phone IMEI # matched the box.