Are Carphone Warehouse Phones Unlocked to Any Network

Unlocked carphones allow you to place calls with multiple carriers. This is ideal if you travel frequently and don’t want to incur roaming charges because all you have to do is swap out phone sim cards.

But not all phones are unlocked when you receive them. This is especially true if you buy your phone as part of a long-term plan with a specific carrier.

So, are Carphone Warehouse phones unlocked?

Part 1. Are Carphone Warehouse Phones Unlocked?

Read on to find your answer.

1.1 Are Carphone Warehouse Contract & Pay As You Go Phone Unlocked?

Yes. Most Carphone Warehouse phones [1] are sold without sim cards, meaning that it isn’t locked to a specific network. This enables you to find a network and network plan that is right for you.

However,  if you’re asking are all Carphone Warehouse phones unlocked, the answer is no. Like anything, there are exceptions. Sometimes a Carphone Warehouse phone is locked into a network. To ensure this doesn’t happen, the best thing you can do is ask in-store whether the phone model you want is unlocked or not.

Also, consider that just because your phone is unlocked doesn’t mean it will necessarily accept a foreign sim card. If you need to use your phone abroad, start by consulting their website [2]. 

1.2 How to Check If Your Carphone Warehouse Phone is Locked?

The best way to find out if your Carphone Warehouse phone is network locked is to borrow a friend’s sim card, insert it into your phone and try placing a call.

If the call doesn’t go through, your phone is locked. You’ll have to unlock the network locked phone before using swtiching to another SIM card.

Part 2. What If Your Carphone Warehouse Phone Locked?

If your phone is locked, there are several things you can do to fix it.

Now that you’re sure your phone is locked, the best thing you can do is contact your network provider. They can unlock your phone, but they might charge you a fee for doing so.

If you don’t want to incur that fee, there are other avenues you can explore to unlock your phone.

2.1 Unlocking with DirectUnlocks 

Since most Carphone Warehouse phones are unlocked, you can usually insert any UK sim card and call or text without issue.

But if you want to go abroad, you encounter problems because while unlocked, not all Carphone Warehouse phones are internationally unlocked.

directunlocks phone unlock

DirectUnlocks unlocks Carphone Warehouse phones so that you can use them anywhere, anytime, with any sim card. It won’t be free, but since you won’t incur any roaming fees either, you probably save money in the long run.

The other advantage of DirectUnlocks is that they can use your IMEI number to identify your phone’s make and model, which means they can unlock your phone faster (usually within 24 hours) than their competitors while still doing their job legally.

The IMEI number is the string of numbers that acts as your phone’s fingerprint. If your phone is lost or stolen, companies use this number to stop other people from using it. You can also use it when dealing with insurance claims.

And, crucially, the IMEI is what enables companies like DirectUnlocks to unlock your Carphone Warehouse phone.

2.2 Unlock Using ExpressUnlocks

expressunlocks service

Another way to answer the question of “are carphone warehouse phones unlocked” is to go to ExpressUnlocks.

This is ideal if you don’t want to wait around for Directlock to return your unlocked Carphone Warehouse phone to you. It’s affordable, and your phone never needs to leave your side.

All you need to do is visit the site and input your:

  1. Country
  2. Network provider
  3. Phone number

You have to pay for the unlocking service, and afterward, you can access your phone’s unlocking through a login portal, ensuring you know where you are in the process at all times.

When your Carphone Warehouse phone is unlocked (usually takes 72 hours), you will receive an email letting you know. After that, you can use any sim card you want with your phone.

2.3 Use UB Sim

Since not all Carphone Warehouse phones are unlocked, another solution is to use UB Sim. The UB Sim is a sim card that allows locked iPhones to read your unsupported sim card.

It’s a bit more complicated than getting an external source to unlock your Carphone Warehouse phone because once you’ve paid for and received the sim card, there are a few more steps you need to take. However, it can unlock your iPhone in a few minutes!

With the UB Sim in place, you need to call a specific number. This brings up an on-screen menu. The part that you need to pay attention to when addressing the question of “are Carphone Warehouse phones locked” is the ICCID.

You only have to do this once since you won’t be removing the UB sim card. But, the codes you need for unlocking all Carphone Warehouse phones change all the time. That being the case, you’ll need to make sure you find an up-to-date code to successfully unlock your phone.

2.4 Use Jailbreak Software

If the UB sim card sounds too complicated, and you’re still wondering if all Carphone Warehouse phones are unlocked, using software might be the answer.

While you’ll need to purchase the software to unlock your Carphone Warehouse phone, all you’ll need to do to make sure the phone is unlocked is press a button.

Software like Jailbreak bypasses the inbuilt restrictions of certain carriers and ensures all Carphone Warehouse phones are unlocked.

To start, you need to download the relevant software. That done, hook your phone up to the computer.

The software runs an internal check, and if your phone is compatible and eligible for unlocking, the information pops up on your screen. After that, all you have to do is to hit Unlock, and you’re sorted.


Are all Carphone Warehouse phones unlocked? Regrettably not. That said, the majority will let you switch between network carriers in the UK.

However, if you want to use worldwide networks, you have to unlock your phone. There are several ways to do this, and they vary depending on how much you want to spend and how confident you feel attempting to unlock the phone yourself.

So, while the answer is more complicated than you perhaps expected, finding a way to unlock your phone that works is simple.

And once you’ve done it, you can call from anywhere without worrying about extra charges.

About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.

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