Pixel 3 – How to Unlock for Any Carrier
Google came out strong near the end of 2018 with the release of their latest smartphone, the Pixel 3 and its variant the Pixel 3 XL. Although the technology has changed a bit and some of the menus and options have been fine-tuned, the Pixel 3 still has the same ‘limitation’ its predecessors had. That is, of course, the partnership with an exclusive carrier, Verizon.
Verizon is so far the only official retailer for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, and it offers two versions with a 64GB and a 128GB configuration. Whichever of the two you opt for, you will have to switch from your current provider to Verizon in order to activate your Google smartphone. Although you may get a nice deal on the Pixel 3, Verizon’s data plans might not be to your liking.
Get a Clean Phone
One way to go around this is to purchase your Pixel 3 directly from the Google Store. Since other carriers aren’t allowed to sell the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL, it’s either walking into a Verizon retail store or ordering one from Google.
Your Pixel 3 phone will come clean and, since it has support for CDMA and GSM networks, you’ll be able to use it on any carrier you want.
What’s even more interesting is that Google may even offer you some extra money if you send in your old phone. But, in order to get the refund deal, you’ll have to pay upfront for the Pixel 3.
Unlock a Verizon Version
It’s a common misconception that the Pixel 3 phones are locked to Verizon’s network. That’s not entirely true. In fact, you don’t have to necessarily buy the phone directly from Google in order to use it with any carrier, but there is a financial issue to consider.
While it’s true that you can unlock your Verizon store-bought Pixel 3 for Sprint, AT&T, or any other carrier, you’ll still have to activate with Verizon first. This means that you’ll essentially be paying extra for what Verizon adds on top of standard price.
However, once you activate the Pixel 3 or 3 XL with Verizon, the carrier will automatically unlock your phone. Therefore, you’re free to drop Verizon and seek the services of another carrier if you want.
Now, there is a way to save some money. Just use a Verizon SIM card from a friend or family member to perform the activation. Make sure to wait for one or two days for the unlocking to go through as there may be some delays in the process.
Once that’s done, you may use another US SIM card without any issues.
A Final Thought
Just because Verizon has been the official partner and retailer ever since the Pixel smartphones first hit the market, doesn’t mean that Google forces customers into signing with the carrier. The fact that the company also sells clean versions of the phones online says a lot.
The fact that Verizon also allows you to activate the Pixel 3 using an old SIM card or one that’s not necessarily yours is also a good thing. This makes the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL accessible to a lot more people.