Archive for October, 2015

The best cellphone accessories to bring with you on an overseas trip

It wasn’t so long ago that all you needed to bring with you on a holiday was a simple cell phone, after all, a smart phone is designed to take pictures, to play music and videos, send messages, and slip easily into your pocket. How could you possibly need anything else? Yes, but standing still is not something smart phones do. Suddenly a whole industry has grown up around smartphones that means without the accessories your cellphone is somehow naked and incomplete. Here is an overview of some of the new must haves that have evolved seemingly in the blink of an eye.

Sim Free Phone

This is a definite ‘don’t leave home without it’ item if you want to save serious money on overseas surfing and call charges. If you have a good quality smartphone tied to a network provider UnlockBase can quickly unlock it for you and free your phone up so that when you travel you can simply slip a local SIM card into your phone and pay local rates instead of what can easily be extortionate network provider rates. Don’t leave it till it’s too late. Get your phone unlocked now!

DiCAPac Action Floating Selfie Stick with Water Proof Bluetooth Remote

It’s no longer enough to have just an ordinary selfie stick. For your exotic beach side holidays you need a floating selfie stick that enables you to capture the action in the pool or indeed the sea. The DiCAPac Action Floating Selfie Stick boasts a water proof Bluetooth remote, in addition to the selfie stick being 100% waterproof, as the name suggests, it floats so you will not lose it as you enjoy yourself in the pool.

DiCAPac Action Floating Selfie Stick with Water Proof Bluetooth Remote

Olixar ToughBeats Outdoor Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

These small Bluetooth speakers pack a punch and at the same time enable you to stream your music via Bluetooth no matter where in the world you happen to be. Designed to withstand the elements, you can also answer calls hands-free. The speakers are small enough to carry with you in a bag or rucksack or fit into a bag and share your vast library of cool sounds with your friends.

Olixar Toughbeats Outdoor Wireless

Local SIM cards

A much smarter way to bypass all roaming charges and let your smart phone live like a local in your chosen destination is to simply dust off your spare phone, fit it with a WorldSim or simply buy a new local sim card as soon as you arrive. Of course to do this you first need to make sure your phone is unlocked. Luckily, this has become incredibly easy through reliable online cellphone unlock companies such as UnlockBase. Most phones can be unlocked in a matter of minutes, leaving you free to insert the sim card of your choice.

Proximo Key Fob Bluetooth Tracker

Available for both iPhone and Galaxy S, Proximo ensures you never lose your phone. The Proximo Fob works with the free app on your phone, alerting you as soon as your phone or keys get too far away from each other.

Olloclip Clip-on Lenses

Companies such as Olloclip have opened up huge photography possibilities for travelers using a smart phone. Their range of clip on accessories include wide angle lenses, telephoto lenses and macro lenses to enable you to take professional looking pictures on your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

Olloclip Clip-on Lenses

Noise cancelling headphones

Noise cancelling headphones can quickly carry you away to your own little cocoon of pleasurable sounds on your smartphone. The Bose QuietComfort headphones may not be the cheapest on the market, but the quality is undeniable.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones


Fiddling about with cables to charge your phone, and the very act of needing to constantly keep it charged while out and about can be a hassle. With Chargekey you have re-charging power on the go. Chargekey is the world’s most portable USB charging cable for iPhone & Android. It fits perfectly on your key chain and charges and syncs just like your regular cable charging device.


So the next time you are planning an overseas trip, get creative about what accessories you bring with you to enhance the fun of using your smartphone and how your handle your call charges. Or if it’s all too much hassle, just leave your phone at home and send a postcard!

3 ways to obtain an unlocked cellphone

An unlocked cell phone is a cell phone that can be used with any GSM compatible carrier worldwide, as long as you are in possession of a SIM card provided by a carrier or a SIM service provider.

But right now the chances are, your cell phone is locked to one particular service provider. And when you try to leave that company, you could find that your phone won’t work, especially if you are still working your way through your 24 month contract. That’s because the carrier that you purchased the phone from does not want you to leave them and go somewhere else, possibly with better rates, so the phone is locked. If you travel to another country and try to use a different company’s cell phone service on your old phone, that won’t work either, and you will find once more that it is still locked to your original carrier.

Does it have to be this way? Well it certainly used to be, but now it is actually legal to unlock your cellphone and escape from a contract that is tying you down. While it may be legal, don’t think that the carrier is going to make it easy.

However, depending on what kind of phone you have and what carrier you acquired your cell phone from, you might be able to unlock your phone through a reliable online unlock service such as UnlockBase, which has one of the world’s largest databases of both cellphones and carriers throughout the world. You can enjoy the freedom to use the phone you love with the carrier of your choice or even switch phone numbers and service accounts.

3 ways to get hold of an unlocked cell phone:


1) The first and most obvious method is to buy one, brand new, straight out of the store or off the internet. If you find the price is too steep for the model you want there are stores that specialize in selling refurbished and unlocked pre-owned cellphones, which are significantly cheaper than the brand new models. But if you insist on the latest model, you will have to pay the necessary money upfront.

2) The second method is certainly always worth a try and should really be your first resort. This method is to try and unlock the cellphone you have been given by your carrier. This is achieved by trusted companies, such as UnlockBase, who use unlock codes which they can send to you online once they know your IMEI number. Just about all phones acquired from carriers in North American and European countries are locked to their service provider by using certain software codes or by being hard coded with specific propriety settings. It’s possible to unlock these codes, but you need to know what you are doing. If you try it by yourself with only a little knowledge, you could find your phone is not only still locked, but you have also managed to lock yourself out, and then the phone is no longer of any use to you whatsoever. Attempting to unlock a cellphone using the wrong code can permanently damage the device.

3) The third method involves a little travel, but can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. In several Far Eastern countries, the exact cellphone model you want is sitting there unlocked in a store, surrounded by several other models of which you have never even heard of. It’s no exaggeration to say that many Asian countries are completely obsessed with mobile phones, and yet not remotely interested in being tied to any particular carrier. The end result is plenty of choices of unlocked phones with some highly competitive prices for the most popular models. This is because bargaining and low pricing are all part of the South Eastern Asian shopping experience. However, one word of caution with this approach; and that is, beware of cheap Chinese imitations of some of the most popular cellphones such as Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft, Sony and especially the Apple iPhone. They may look very similar, but if the price is too low, be suspicious and walk away, these phones do not pass the exacting standards of the original manufacturers.

It really doesn’t matter which brand you are looking for, be it an unlocked Blackberry, LG, HTC, Sony Xperia or iPhone, that works under any carrier. Nowadays it’s easy and economical to find cell phones from any manufacturer to suit your needs without having to commit to a specific service provider.

Unlocking Samsung "Unlock Network Request Unsuccessful"

When you insert a SIM card from a different cellphone operator than the original, your Samsung phone asks for an unlock code and prompts you to enter the “Network blocking control key” or “SIM Network Unlock PIN“. So at this point you decide to go online and receive a cellphone unlock code.

If upon entering your unlock code you receive a message such as:

– “Failed to unlock network”,
– or “Failed to request“,
– or “Your attempt failed“,
– or “Unlock Code Request Unsuccessful

There are three possible scenarios:

Scenario #1 (in 90% of cases):

You (or the previous owner) entered too many wrong codes, it’s what we call in our industry “Phone Freeze”. (if so, see the solutions below).

Scenario #2 (In 9% of cases):

Non-original ROM. You (or the previous owner) may have installed or flashed your Samsung with a Custom ROM that is not genuine (like Avatar, or Cyanogen MOD to name two), therefore the code provided will not work (if so, see the solutions below).

Scenario #3 (In 1% of cases):

The code is actually wrong. Yes, we do not claim to be perfect, sometimes the computerized processing of orders produces the wrong code or, very rarely, even Samsung or the cellphone operator has supplied a false code base.

Scenario #4 (New since Summer 2015):

Well the last scenario is even worse than the previous one. Since summer 2015 two networks (MetroPCS and T-Mobile in USA) started to release Samsung cell phone coming with an app install by default called “Device Unlock App”. Those are simply not asking for code, and even if you use some secret code to make those ask for a code, they will simply not work. Do not order code if your phone is one of those since the code you will receive will be simply useless.

How to use the code if your Samsung Cell Phone is “FREEZE”


The message “Network unlock failure” or “Phone Freeze” means that someone has already tried to unlock the phone with a bad code, and the number of attempts has exceeded the allocated number of times permitted, (it’s usually a maximum of 3 trials tries for a wrong code). In this case it is very likely that if you bought a used phone, the previous owner attempted to unlock it out with a bad code by visiting an untrustworthy free unlock website.

At UnlockBase, our codes are 100% correct since they come directly from the Samsung factory.

If you choose a manufacturer code, you receive two codes:

Code 1 => NETWORK unlock code or code (called NCK Code).
Code 2 => UNFREEZE (or Defreeze) Key to unlock the test counter (called MCK Key).

The purpose is to “unfreeze” the phone with the code and thereby unlock the phone from the NETWORK.

Methods for removing Samsung Freeze with MCK code

Depending on your model, several methods exist to unfreeze with the MCK code your Samsung:

Unfreeze Solution #1:

Turn off your phone, take out the SIM card and then replace it with a non-compatible SIM card
(if the phone application demands it, type the PIN number of the SIM card).

When the message “Phone Freeze” appears, call for the unfreeze code and confirm with the button “call” or “#” or “OK” (Note: be careful when entering this code, nothing will appear on your mobile screen, this is normal, you must enter this code blind.)

Unfreeze Solution #2:

Again, insert a non-compatible SIM card into your phone (if the phone application demands it type the PIN number of the SIM card). When the message “Phone Freeze” appears, enter the code: #7465625*638*UNFREEZECODE# (and replace UNFREEZECODE by the MCK Code we provide.)

Unfreeze Solution #3:

Insert a non-compatible SIM card into your phone,
(If the phone application demands it, type the PIN number of the SIM card)
Enter the unlock code 1 (NCK / Network): then press OK. Answer the phone “unlocking the failed network”,
Next enter the second code (MCK/Unfreeze), then press OK. Answer the phone “unlocking the failed network”,
Re-enter the unlock code and the phone will be unlocked,
Turn off and restart your Samsung mobile phone.

Unfreeze Solution #4:

Insert a non-compatible SIM card into your phone,
(If the phone application demands it, type the PIN number of the SIM card)
Emergency call only: Press CALL button and enter the unfreeze (MCK Code) directly,
The phone will ask you the code for the network, enter the NETWORK code that was supplied.

Unfreeze Solution #5:

Insert a non-compatible SIM card into your phone, and turn on the phone,
(If the phone application demands it, type the PIN number of the SIM card)
The phone is blocked, Click Call and enter the following code *7465625*638*CODE#
(where CODE is the unlock code of the operator)

The phone does not accept the code and returns the error:
Phone Freeze. SIM not available. Please contact your operator

Turn off your phone and remove the phone battery
Replace the battery and turn the phone back on
The phone is now unlocked and everything works

Note that there is no trial “tries” limit to enter the unfreeze code, so do not hesitate to keep trying to enter the correct code and then get the ‘unfreeze’ sign with the display inviting you to enter the NETWORK code.

To received the UNFREEZE CODE, make sure you order “FACTORY CODE” 

If you choose the operator solution, which is the cheapest solution, you will receive only the unlock code (NCK Code). For the network code + unfreeze code, choose the option ‘factory code’. It’s usually more expensive but it’s also much more reliable and faster.

The Ultimate Solution: Unlocking software + USB cable

As stated earlier, if you flashed your Samsung with a non-original ROM, it is almost certain that the code will not be accepted. In this case you will need to find the original firmware  and use Odin to re-flash the firmware with an original Android version, and if possible one that corresponds to the distribution of the original operator. If in spite of all this, your phone does not accept the unlock code, we can provide you with software to unlock your Samsung, provided that the model is compatible (90% of the models to date are supported).

All UnlockBase customers are offered this method after having tried everything else and still fail to enter the provided code. This requires a Windows PC, USB cable and some studying of our tutorial but at UnlockBase we never give up so easily!

Would you dare to jailbreak your Apple iOS 9 device?

Jailbreaking the Apple iOS 9 platform is deliberately not easy. In fact it’s the Twin Towers tightrope walk of jailbreaking in that you have to be either very brave or very determined to break it because it apparently runs a security system dubbed ‘rootless’ and it’s designed to seek out malware, therefore most all attempts to jailbreak it get recognized and promptly stopped.

But now a hacking team from China called Pangu have found a way to jailbreak the iOS 9 platform and prior to this platforms iOS 7.1 to 8.1. But it’s their latest coup that has created a storm of controversy amongst the jailbreaking community, not least because there may well be some industry jealousy that they got there first.

The Pangu jailbreak consists of a Windows software package that allows for what is known as an “untethered” jailbreak. This means your device does not need to be plugged into your computer to run. The jailbreak reportedly works on iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices running iOS 9 through 9.0.2.

Pangu claim they can jailbreak phones including the iPhone 4s, 5/5c/5s, 6/6 Plus, and 6s/6s Plus as well as the iPad 2, 3 and 4, iPad Air/Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2/3/4, and the 5th and 6th generations of the iPod touch – a long list of both current and older devices.

Once jailbroken, users can install a framework known as Cydia that enables the user to install unofficial packages that can enable your device to run apps or make changes to the iOS operating system which it would otherwise prevent.

About Pangu

Pangu is a team of dedicated cellphone jailbreakers based in China. Working with sponsorship, their first untethered jailbreak tool was Pangu 7, introduced in June 2014. Some of their success has been achieved by Apple users passing on to the expired enterprise certificates to assist them in developing the software. Pangu 7 and 8 has been downloaded by many millions of users around the world, and they have big expectations for Pangu 9. The software developers are currently releasing the Pangu download for free and even sharing details of the tools they are using. This certainly flies in the face of the Apple philosophy to premium price everything they offer.

Should you risk jailbreaking your phone with Pangu?

Well, industry insiders have been quick to be pretty scathing of Pangu’s achievements, claiming that first of all, the jailbreak will void your End User License agreement so that you will receive no further assistance from Apple when things go wrong.

Furthermore, it is claimed that many of the apps which can be installed once your phone is jailbroken still require several tweaks and elimination of bugs before they are ready. But no doubt some brave souls will want to beta test the new jailbreak that Pangu has created.

Meanwhile Apple have been quick to point out that malware such as Keyraider, which affected some 225,000 phones, was aimed specifically at those that had jailbroken their phones. The Keyraider malware attempts to steal account names, passwords, device IDs and more.

There is also a possibility that your phone could experience what is known as the Boot Loop of Death. This is not a new phenomenon, it frequently happens to Playstations when user try to play pirated video games.

In the case of Apple iPhones, the Boot Loop of Death (BLoD) occurs when the phone repeatedly blue screens far more than the three or four times that is normal while installing the Pangu software.

That said it is fixable by restoring your iOS device and does not in any way damage your iOS device beyond a restore. Also, Pangu team does advise you to back-up your phone prior to install in case of problems, even though they state that their jailbreak software is stable, simple and fast.

Want to give it a go? Here’s the Pangu website.
Or start by taking a look at this tutorial from our friend from TheUnlockr.

Pay as you go or no? Pros and cons of pre-paid phones

Prepaid phone plans, often referred to as a pay-as-you-go plans, can be one of the best ways to save money while enjoying the many advantages of owning a cellphone. In just a handful of years, the advance of the cellphone has taken the world by storm, and people from all across the globe and from all walks of life and all income levels spend hours with their faces gazing down upon the lighted screen of a smart phone. With a pay as you go plan you only pay for the minutes you use, and you’re not tied in to a lengthy service contract. This can work out very well for the consumer, but make no mistake, your cellular carrier will certainly try to tempt you with a contract that not only gives you a ‘free’ phone, but also hundreds of voice minutes, gigabytes of free data and thousands of free text messages, all to ensure that every month you are paying them a sum of money for the privilege.

On the other hand, for those who prefer to pay only for what they use, a pre-paid service is simply a matter of choosing a phone and then paying a certain amount through regular top-ups based purely on consumption.

The question is, what makes more sense for you; a regular contract with a monthly allowance of calls, data and messaging, or just a pay as you go plan?

Pay as you go or no? Pre-paid pros

  • No waste

One of the greatest benefits in using a pay-as-you-go cellphone is the amount of money you can save on contract fees and purchased minutes. All you need is to top-up the phone as and when you run low on credit. If you tend to use free communication apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp or Skype, this kind of plan can make a lot of sense, as you are not even using any call credit, and yet you are still communicating. Pre-paid users only buy minutes they think they will use with the option to buy more as they need it. Top-ups can be as little as $5.00 (US).

On the other hand, with a set monthly contract you might, for example, have 500 voice minutes assigned to you each month. If you only consume 200 minutes, you are paying for 300 minutes per month that you do not use. Paying for minutes as you need them makes it easy to control your phone usage and assures that there are no eye-watering surcharges, should you exceed your allotted call minutes.

  • No contract

Pay as you go also means you are not tied to any contract. You are free to try various service providers to arrive at the best solution for your needs. You have no monthly bills, no contracts to sign, and no early termination fees. Also, and just as importantly, there are no credit checks for pay as you go, so there is no fear of rejection by any cellphone carrier should you be a low income earner.

  • Parental control

Pre-paid plans can also work extremely well for children and teens, as it means you are in control of how much they consume. This way you won’t have to worry that they are logging on to costly online video games, which produce nasty surprise bills that can often run to hundreds of dollars.

Pay as you go or no? Pre-paid cons

  • Lack of cellphone choices

If you visit the large, high-end cellphone carriers you will quickly discover that most of the cellphones available for pre-paid plans tend to be entry level models, and the store assistant has been trained to be dismissive of such plans, trying instead to tempt you into a big fat 24 month contract. The pre-paid phones they offer lack features, processing power, and the quality that you might want. If you want a cellular device designed with a high pixel rate camera, a great music player, high processing power and access to a wide variety of apps, a traditional pre-paid cellphone may not satisfy your needs.

However, as reliable online cellphone unlock services such as UnlockBase are proving every day, what once was a distinct disadvantage for pre-paid plans – a very limited choice in pre-paid handsets – is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

UnlockBase has a huge database of cellphones of all types and hundreds of cellphone carriers from all over the world. With a simple code they can help the customer to simply ‘jail-break’ the cellphone model of their choice.

  • Lack of cellphone credit

The other disadvantage with a pre-paid plan is that you need to keep a regular check of your available credit, because you will literally be cut off in mid-sentence once your credit runs out. Imagine if your car happens to breakdown in a cold and lonely spot miles from anywhere or anyone, this can quickly become a real and dangerous problem. It’s also highly inconvenient even if you are simply trying to have a conversation.

One way to overcome this problem is to always carry an extra top-up card with you in case of emergencies.

Pay as you go or no?  So should I opt for pre-paid?

Pre-paid plans are ideal for those who do not consume excessive amounts on phone calls and for controlling the spending habits of children and teenagers. These plans also work well for those with few cellular needs. New SIM deals such as Vectone, Lycamobile and Lebara also offer pay as you go with the benefit of significant savings on overseas texts and calls – and free calls if made from one Lycamobile number to another in certain countries.

Decide what you need most with your cellular plan and see if a pay-as-you-go deal works best for you!

Cellphone jailbreaking legislation: know your rights

There is a great deal of confusion over the act of ‘jailbreaking’ a cellphone, and it’s certainly not made any clearer by the cellphone carriers who want you to stick with them for the full term of a 24 month contract. According to U.S. wireless carriers, unlocking a phone bought after January 26 2012 without your carrier’s permission violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) whether the phone is under contract or not.

However what this really refers to is the fact that the DMCA prohibits “circumventing” digital locks that “control access” to copyrighted works including movies, music, books, games, and software. In fact this broad and vague ruling bans a lot of useful, and important activities, however, there are exemptions for mobile phones to run unapproved software, and for using clips from DVDs and internet video in non-commercial videos.

Really? Who cares? The vast majority of people who want to jail-break their phone wish to do so in order to avoid lengthy contracts that do not best suit their needs, and they feel locked into a bad relationship.

Unfortunately, wireless carriers such as AT&T, and many others, do not have much sympathy if you want to end your contract. You need to pay an Early Termination Fee, which of course has its own acronym, (ETF) that can add up to hundreds of dollars. In fact AT&T and most major carriers, such as Sprint and Verizon, will charge you an ETF of up to $350, unless you happen to cancel within the first two weeks. T-Mobile users pay up to $200 depending on how many days are left on their contract.

But the reality is, you can still break free or jail-break without handing over rip off penalty fees for the simple reason that carriers are unlikely to start suing customers en-masse.

Here are some crafty ways to get out of a contract that is holding you back.

Unlock Your Phone

This is probably the simplest and most permanent solution of them all. In minutes and for a low cost, online cellphone unlock services such as UnlockBase can send you a code that unlocks your phone so that you can use it SIM free and choose any SIM free plan that takes your fancy. It’s quick, easy, safe and comprehensive, as UnlockBase offers a huge database of phones and service providers from around the world that they can unlock.

Sell Your Plan

You read it correctly. If you want to get out of your contract plan there may be someone interested in buying yours. Sites such as Cellswapper or Trade My Cellular specialize in this. They have found a loophole in most carrier’s rulings that means your carrier will only charge you an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if you do not have somebody to pay the monthly fees for the remainder of the contract. So if you can find someone to take over your plan, this will not violate your terms of service as the other party is fulfilling the terms of your original contract. This means you can also test another carrier’s service. You can trade contracts with someone for 3-6 months and see if you want to jump to that carrier.

Track Changes to Your Contract

Keep abreast of changes to you contract. Cellular carriers regularly make “material changes” to a contract. A material change can be anything from additional service or maintenance fees, to adjustments in the rates you’re charged, or changes in discounts applied to your account. Should you spot a material change, you should be able to contact customer service and end your contract. Cellbreaker helps track these sorts of changes so you can break your contract.

Find a Carrier That’ll Pay Your Cancellation Fee

Yes, it’s true. Did you know that some smaller carriers such as Virgin Mobile, Credo Mobile, and Boost Mobile will let you prepay or pay by the month? Some of these carriers will even pay your cancellation fee for you, and you may even be able to keep your phone too! T-Mobile even promises to pay up to $650 to cover the costs of your Early Termination Fee (ETF) if you switch to one of its plans. A useful option if you just want to switch.

Don’t be held back by a cellphone contract you no longer want, get creative and unlock your phone!