I'm considering ordering a Lumia 735 to replace my son's 525 (535?) that is unlikely to last a year. He used it a lot and the 5 series is the cheapest out there so I'm not really concerned about it. Unlike myself, he is not with Rodgers but we made a fuss with the service provider (I won't mention names but it has a lot of "o"s in it) so the provider reduced the remaining bill. My question is about buying from the States and buying unlocked phones. He selected the 735 over bargain prices for the 920 because it is newer and not likely to have the short battery life. I know the battery on his 525 was extremely good. So having decided on the 735 which is unlocked, can anyone tell me if we will have issues with it working in Canada? I'm fairly certain the frequency reception is the same here as it is down south. What about updates? Who provides the updates such as the occasional updates like cyan or denim and who provides the major updates like Windows 10? Is it the same as with a locked phone? What is different? Any thoughts on Cortana and if it will work in Canada by changing the location to Canada? I would like to think that the only difference between a locked and unlocked phone is the financing of it all at once vs every month but is there more to it than that?
To make a slightly complicated story short, as long as the phone is using the AT&T frequencies (850, 1900, 2100, 2600), there won't be problems connecting on the Rogers network.
For the updates, you will remain tied to the provider associated to the device firmware. For example, the Lumia 1020 sold by the Microsoft store were unlocked AT&T devices and were tied to the AT&T release schedule. It is possible to change the device firmware but you have to know what you're doing not to brick the device. Don't go there if you don't need.
Now, for Cortana, the Windows Phone operating system is not tied to the phone manufacturer. What you set in the phone settings will apply. You will have access to Cortana as soon as it is officialy deployed here in our country (assuming you're not using a Developer Preview of the OS).
I just ordered a new unlocked 635 from Microsoft Store Online for $99 on Saturday. Free shipping. It may go that low again during boxing week. I'm waiting for a flagship before I use my upgrade. Windows phones pop with oled so the 735 is a wise choice. It is really hard to get a phone with both oled and sd in Canada for some reason. I too am currious how firmware updates work for unlocked phones and will find out soon first hand. I hope it is not tided to a carrier in any way since I ordered from Microsoft directly. I have access to developer preview updates through MSDN so could always play that card. I'm hoping that Microsoft will finally get their act together next year and release a phone with oled, sd and 801+ soc. I also hope that Rogers will be all over it like they were with the 830. As already mentioned, some major carriers in the US are still cdma, so those won't work in the great white.
We received the 735 and it appears to be a great phone so far. I've played around with it in setting it up and the process has been very smooth. It's a Christmas gift so we didn't connect to a cell service yet but apparently I can do that on Christmas Eve on the internet by intering the SIM number on an existing plan. I'm with Rogers but he is with a different provider. All the apps have updated by Wifi already so the provider doesn't seem to make any difference in that respect. The bonus is that it came with Denim preinstalled so it has Cortina and many other updated features that my 920 doesn't even have yet. I guess the next test is on Chirstmas Eve but so far I'm liking this idea of an unlocked phone and the options it provides.