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S21 Unlocked vs T-Mobile version

  • 3 January 2021
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Currenlty running an unlocked ATT S10 on T-Mobile but will likely upgrade to the S21 when it comes out. I pre-registered at the Samsung.com website and it asked if I want T-Mobile version or unlocked. What are the pros + cons of each?

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Best answer by syaoran 3 January 2021, 14:30

All of the pros for the T-Mobile version are also included in the U1 pros.  The U1 does have more pros though.  WiFi Calling and VoLTE will work on both.  So will 5G NSA and SA.  The U1 has less carrier related bloat and usually is updated before the T-Mobile version.  The U1 comes SIM unlocked where the T-Mobile version will require you to request the unlock through T-Mobile, which gets more complicated when you don’t buy the device directly from them.  If you are going to pay that much for a phone, then get the U1.  The only caveat is if you domestically roam regularly.  T-Mobile sold devices are approved for domestic roaming where no T-Mobile devices are not.  Buying a T-Mobile device from Samsung though means you will have to get that IMEI put into T-Mobile’s system for that roaming to work, which is also required to get the T-Mobile version SIM unlocked.  

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All of the pros for the T-Mobile version are also included in the U1 pros.  The U1 does have more pros though.  WiFi Calling and VoLTE will work on both.  So will 5G NSA and SA.  The U1 has less carrier related bloat and usually is updated before the T-Mobile version.  The U1 comes SIM unlocked where the T-Mobile version will require you to request the unlock through T-Mobile, which gets more complicated when you don’t buy the device directly from them.  If you are going to pay that much for a phone, then get the U1.  The only caveat is if you domestically roam regularly.  T-Mobile sold devices are approved for domestic roaming where no T-Mobile devices are not.  Buying a T-Mobile device from Samsung though means you will have to get that IMEI put into T-Mobile’s system for that roaming to work, which is also required to get the T-Mobile version SIM unlocked.  

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All of the pros for the T-Mobile version are also included in the U1 pros.  The U1 does have more pros though.  WiFi Calling and VoLTE will work on both.  So will 5G NSA and SA.  The U1 has less carrier related bloat and usually is updated before the T-Mobile version.  The U1 comes SIM unlocked where the T-Mobile version will require you to request the unlock through T-Mobile, which gets more complicated when you don’t buy the device directly from them.  If you are going to pay that much for a phone, then get the U1.  The only caveat is if you domestically roam regularly.  T-Mobile sold devices are approved for domestic roaming where no T-Mobile devices are not.  Buying a T-Mobile device from Samsung though means you will have to get that IMEI put into T-Mobile’s system for that roaming to work, which is also required to get the T-Mobile version SIM unlocked.  

 

What about carrier aggregation? 

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Carrier aggregation will be better on the T-Mobile firmware obviously, but I doubt you would notice a difference.