Nexus 5 Forum

General Is Nexus 5 GSM only?

I've been a long time user of a Blackberry phone under contract with Sprint, and I decided it's time to upgrade (although the BB is still working ok). So I decided to buy a Nexus 5 D820 on ebay, factory unlocked. For the carrier I am leaning toward Cricket, so I need a GSM phone. The Nexus 5 is both CDMA and GSM so that should work on Cricket. However, I would like it to work on CDMA as well, in case I want to switch to a CDMA carrier. So I've seen several of these phones on ebay but before buying I checked with the sellers whether the phone works on both CDMA and GSM or on one of them only. Invariably the answer was GSM only (in broken English). I'm only looking at brand new, unused, unopened Nexus 5 D820 phones.

So my question is, if the phone is FACTORY unlocked, should it work on both CDMA and GSM or not? Am I missing something or the sellers don't know better? Please help, I'm itching to get a new phone with Android on it.



#1 amadeus84, Sep 10, 2015
The D820 will support Sprint bands, but doesn't support Verizon bands. I'm not sure how much success you'll have activating on Sprint MVNOs (might vary from carrier to carrier), but you will be able to activate on Sprint if necessary.
#2 jhawkkw, Sep 10, 2015
Both Sprint and Verizon are CDMA and I see they support different bands:

but both have LTE and so the D820 should work with both, no? Now whether or not Verizon would be willing to activate it, that's another story. I guess I'm a little confused when you say it doesn't support Verizon bands.

At any rate, this is mostly for my clarification, I'll probably take it to Cricket, which should have no problems with the D820.

Thanks for the answer!
#3 amadeus84, Sep 11, 2015
If I remember correctly, the issue with nexus 5 and Verizon is that they wouldn't activate the unlocked nexus 5; not that it isn't compatible with their network. If I'm not mistaken, it's compatible with all the US carriers.

This is a good resource to find out whether or not a device will be compatible with a network:
#4 Brian706, Sep 12, 2015
Thank you! Very useful site.
#5 amadeus84, Sep 13, 2015