I'm in the process of getting a new smart phone. So far I keep hitting dead ends. I thought that I had finally out-smarted AT&T, but no, I didn't. I have Consumer Cellular for my cell phone service. I am very happy with them. It is waaaaay cheaper than any of the big boys, and uses AT&T towers so I have the same coverage as if I was with them. My cheap(er) smart phone I bought from chinavasion.com out of China when I lived in Honduras has worked just fine as a phone, but a lot of the data stuff was iffy. The location stuff for the GPS didn't work and I only got 2G speeds, but I'm not a huge data hog anyway so I didn't care. However, I dropped that phone while I was on vacation and not only cracked the screen, but it started turning off randomly, as in the middle of calls. It is also my alarm clock, so I wasn't feeling all warm and fuzzy about it anymore.
When I went to chinavasion.com to find a new phone I was doing a lot of research. What I found is that the frequencies that AT&T uses for 3G and 4G are different than the international phones use. Nothing on that site would give me the higher speeds. Since 2G is going to be phased out, I decided I need to find a phone that will give me the 3G and 4G. Which means I'm looking for an AT&T phone. I thought I was smart and bought a cheap ($8) flip phone that is an AT&T Go Phone, and it worked just fine. Woo Hoo! So, I went back and got a nice HTC 610 Desire smart Go Phone, and started using it. I had to go back again and get a nano SIM as my normal one wouldn't fit in the new smart phone. No problem, Consumer Cellular gives me a discount on my bill for the $10 the new SIM costs. Got it all changed over and life is good. Except that I can't get the data to work. It says on the Go Phones that they are locked for 6 months (basically $300 to AT&T before they unlock it), but I had hoped that since I'm using their towers it wouldn't matter. Well, the phone part works, but the data is locked. So, the phone will go back to WalMart tomorrow. Back to square one.
I'll look online for an unlocked AT&T smart phone. I've been told I should stay away from the Moto G that is Consumer Cellular's offering, and I can get an IPhone from them but I really want to stay away from the IWorld as much as possible. This shouldn't be this difficult. In the rest of the world it isn't. Consumer Cellular has been great about all this, and I've called them several times in this process. Their customer service is all US based, and very helpful and friendly. Highly recommend them.