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.

Pixel 3 – How to Unlock for Any Carrier

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.

2 thoughts on “Pixel 3 – How to Unlock for Any Carrier”

Saad ah-hanig says:
I bought pixel 3a xl it had bad imei , buyer told me its not in usa ,but it will work out siad usa , like yemen .
I try but only work gsm ,but I want cdme . please help me.no problem I will pay if version want.

Noet ….the original carrier is sprent.

Hendrik Bosman says:
I inherited my Son`s Google 3XL phone after his demise. As I did not have his pin number etc I did a factory reset. Does not help me one iota as the phone still asks for the previous pin or last email with pin. How do I get past that?
Jason Clark says:
I think if you attempt to enter the pin after a number of times, 30 I think. It will do a hard reset. You just have to be patient. It might or might not work, I did this on an older version of Android.

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