The 411: Locked-down phones

Welcome to the 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I’m stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.

I currently carry 2 phones, one Verizon (CDMA) and one AT&T (GSM). This has served me well at getting coverage most everywhere I go. But what I would really love to do is combine the 2 accounts onto 1 phone. Are there any devices available that I could combine the 2 accounts (Verizon & AT&T) onto a single phone? — TC, via e-mail

I would say probably not. There are dual-mode CDMA/GSM phones like the Verizon world phones, but the GSM chip in those handsets can only be used with overseas carriers. These phones can be SIM unlocked, but even then, many of them have additional locks that make them unusable with either AT&T or T-Mobile. If you do want to use two accounts in one phone, I can think of dual-SIM card handsets like the Blu Speed and the Duet D888, but these are GSM-only. If anyone has other ideas, please … [Read more]

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