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Galaxy S7 confusion...can anyone help?


Senior member
May 11, 2006
Hello everyone,

I love my plan with T-Mobile and have been with them for several years. It offers unlimited calling, texting, and data, plus limited (but generous) mobile hotspot on 3 lines for $100 per month (grandfathered). I would keep this plan indefinately if possible. That being said, I will be moving into a new region in the near future, and have noticed when visiting that region that T-Mobile performs very poorly there. I may need to change to a new carrier once I move, and am not sure whether the carrier will be using GSM or CDMA network technology. I am trying to purchase phones that will work on both networks so my options are open once I move. I avoid purchasing brand new phones as they are too expensive and strongly prefer Samsung due to my experience.

Keeping this in mind, I recently purchased a new Galaxy S9, model G960U (the unlocked version). It works terrifically on the T-Mobile network. I used the 'bring your own device' IMEI application on several carrier websites (including Verizon, AT & T, U.S. Cellular, and many others). I was happy to find that my new S9 will function on any of them regardless of network technology.

I wanted to purchase two less expensive phones for my other two lines, so I elected to purchase two Galaxy S7's. This is where my dilemma and confusion began. I cannot believe how difficult it is to find an S7 model G930U; it is almost as though they never even existed. I finally found what I thought might be the right phones, but so far not so much. Here are my experiences with the two phones:

First phone was purchased advertised as a G930U in new condition. Though advertised as new, it arrived in aftermarket packaging with no accessories included other than a charger (but in beautiful condition). I turned on the phone and as it booted up I noticed the AT & T symbol in the boot sequence, so I knew right away that I did not get what I had ordered. I checked the model number in the phone settings to find that it was indeed a G930A. From my understanding, this model can be factory unlocked for any GSM carrier, but does not have CDMA technology at all. The phone did work initially with my T-Mobile SIM card, and I was able to update contacts, apps, and make calls and texts. I wanted to see if I could get rid of the annoying AT & T firmware and did a factory reset. Since then, the phone does not recognize my T-Mobile SIM card. Further, I went online to T-Mobile's 'bring your own device' IMEI application and it said that the phone is incompatible. It worked before the factory reset (which did not get rid of the firmware), but now it isn't even compatible?

Second phone was advertised as 'unlocked for both GSM and CDMA networks' and in refurbished condition. I turned on the phone and did not notice any carrier firmware initially, but in the settings menu the phone name has 'SprintPCS' in the title. The model number actually reads G930U in the settings menu. Then I went to 'IMEI.info' and the results for the model number reads 'G930F Galaxy S7 (S-G930P)'. 3 different model numbers, so how would I ever know what model it actually is? There was a Sprint SIM card already in the phone, which I swapped out with my T-Mobile SIM card. The phone does not recognize my SIM card, and on T-Mobile's 'bring your own device' application it says that the phone is not compatible.

I have spent hours of time researching this matter on the internet which only has resulted in more confusion. I contacted T-Mobile technical service and they seemed less knowledgeable than myself. I was previously using a Galaxy S7 just a couple of months ago, and the screen was accidentally broken...no problems, so why all these problems with apparently unlocked phones?

If there are any phone gurus out there who can help me understand, I would be very greatly appreciative! Thanks!
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