A blocked mobile is one that can only be used on certain telephone networks. In this way, if you change your phone company or travel abroad, your mobile will refuse to work unless you unlock it first. The worst thing is that generally you will not know that the mobile is locked until it is not too late (for example, when you go abroad and you cannot use a local SIM).
If you suspect that your mobile may be locked, there are several ways to make sure to check if an Android mobile is free or not. This is especially useful if you are buying a second-hand mobile or if you have bought it online in a place that you do not trust too much. We will look at three general methods to achieve this.
1. Trying to insert another SIM
By definition, a blocked mobile only connects to the network of certain operators. Therefore, the empirical method to check if the mobile is locked is as easy as try inserting another SIM card and see if the phone manages to get coverage. Enter the SIM, turn on the mobile and wait for the phone to finish charging to see if it is locked or not.
This method has the advantage of being very easy and reliable, although in return you need to have on hand a SIM card from a company other than the one you normally use. This can be a problem, although you can always borrow the SIM from a friend – you’ll only need it for a few minutes.
2. Checking the IMEI
Another way to know if a mobile is blocked is by making checks via IMEI. The IMEI is a unique identifier that you can get in different ways, the most common being to call the number * # 06 #.
To obtain this information you need to rely on pages such as IMEI.info, where you must enter the IMEI code (without hyphens or spaces). Choose then Check SN / WARRANTY / CARRIER and, if you are lucky, on the information screen you will have complete information about the phone’s status. In section Carrier (operator), if you put OPEN it is a free mobile. If you put the name of the operator, you are limited to that operator.
3. From the mobile
Another possible way to check the information is from your mobile, although generally you will need to use secret codes. Understand by secret codes special phone numbers that you must enter in the phone app to open special menus. The problem is that each manufacturer uses its own codes, or does not include them, and even the same manufacturer can change the codes from one mobile to another.
These menus also change from one mobile to another, as each manufacturer creates its own “service menu”, although the most common is that it is found in the network information section, with a name like SIM Lock information.
The problem is finding the code to enter this menu, and that is if the menu in question exists. We would never end up collecting possible codes for all Android phones, although we leave you some in case you want to try your luck:
Huawei phones: * # * # 2846579 # * # *
Samsung phones: * # 7465625 #
Sony phones: * # * # 7378423 # * # *
4. Asking your operator
If none of the above has solved your doubt, you will always have ask your operator. If you bought your mobile with a rate with the operator and you are not sure if it is free or not, then it is possible that the customer service can give you the answer.
This will not work for phones that you have bought second hand or that you do not know where they came from, but at least it will serve as confirmation for the mobiles that you have obtained directly from your operator and of whose state you are not totally sure. Have your phone’s IMEI handy, as you will more than likely need to provide it.