Originally Posted by Evo 4G63
Should this make or break my decision whether to purchase one or not? I'm new to this scene and I'm not too sure what the differences are besides the carrier-installed apps.
Hey. Unbranded vs Branded matters only if you don't want to wait for updates to be released since carriers have custom firmware whereas unbranded handsets will be able to apply new firmware as soon as the manufacturer releases it.
However, since your a member on XDA, this shows you may be interested in custom roms and modifying your phone. The above therefore does not matter because as soon as a new update/firmware is released, XDA have it and we can all (unbranded/branded) install it...
If you know that you won't be modifying your phone and sticking with stock then go for the carrier option as this is usually subsidised and cheaper than the unbranded 'sim-free' option... however updates will take longer than those with unbranded phones...(however as I said above... you don;t have to wait for updates if your part of XDA)
Either way, you could buy the branded version and debrand it by installing an unbranded stock rom and then installing a custom rom/kernel if you like.
If the phone is physically branded (e.g. The phone has a T-Mobile logo printed on it) I would always go for the sim-free / unbranded one in that case because for me it ruins the look of the phone.
Also your point about carrier bundled apps... carriers usually bundle bloatware/crapware with there branded phones... however you can easily uninstall these applications so its no big deal if it saves you money buying a carrier branded handset.
.•˜•.Samsung Galaxy Note.•˜•.