Originally Posted by fffft
You didn't do much "research" via Google or searching this forum or you'd already have the answers your are looking for. These questions have been asked and answered innumerable times.
Very few carriers other than ATT and Verizon lock bootloaders. TMB's bootloader is not locked. Generally speaking, TMB model has the most GSM bands and is arguably the most desirable model but you need to check whether those include the bands you need with the carrier you plan to use. Do that by checking and comparing the bands that both carriers use or simply find out what S5 model your carrier uses itself.
Most phones, incuding TMB, ATT, et al are SIM locked. But you can easily get a third party vendor to provide an unlock code for about $20 and thereafter use it on another carrier.
Sorry, this is just totally new to me. Ive never had an android device other than a Nexus 7 I was gifted that i hardly use. Ive never even had a smartphone, so Ive had to find and absorb all this info about rooting, bootloaders, unlocking. Its been kinda mind boggling. So in the meantime after I posted this I pieced together this info.. I hope I am corrrect:
-AT&T and Verizon have been locking their bootloaders for a while and everyone hates them for that
-Any GSM carrier phone can be unlocked to work with any other GSM carrier
-CDMA cannot be unlocked at all
Kinda iffy on this one, not 100% sure... -Rooting is the same as unlocking the bootloader. If the bootloader is not encrypted, the phone can be rooted and custom ROM's/recoveries can be installed.
-Supposedly Verizon and AT&T GS5's can now be rooted... (cant link to outisde links, but just search "How to Root ANY Samsung Galaxy S5 Variant (Even AT&T & Verizon) in 20 Seconds Flat" and its the first link.
Based off this new info I have gathered... I want a T-Mobile GS5 (or AT&T if they can in fact be rooted and have custom ROM's installed on them). I will have to carrier unlock it myself unless it is already unlocked (someone on Swappa.com says they are selling a "factory unlocked" T-Mobile GS5 for $480, so I guess T-Mobile also sells carrier unlocked versions). I will unlock it using a code from theunlockingcompany website for $40 (seems like a steep price, but supposedly its the best site to use). I will then unlock it with the code which should take a couple minutes after I get the code, code taking up to 5 hours to arrive in my email. I will then have to take it in store to Metro PCS (hopefully I can do it online too if I order the SIM card online to ship to me for $10) to have it activated with them and get service. Then it should be activated, have my phone number, have cell and data service, paid/pay $40 a month. All is well in the world.
Is that info I discovered above true, what about the steps I should go through in the last section, above?