IMEI stands for International Mobile Station Equipment Identity. As the name suggests, this is a unique set of numbers attributed to each device that enters the market. Feel free to think of it as your smartphone’s social security number, if you want. It’s that unique code used to identify it.
Wondering why on earth would someone need to identify a smartphone by its IMEI? The reasons are more numerous than you would expect, and they are usually not very happy circumstances:
GSM networks do a background check by IMEI for the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ Plus devices in question, to verify whether those are valid units that haven’t been… stolen or blacklisted!
Judging by the entire above, the IMEI is more than an identification code. It is also an activation key. Whether you’ve registered your phone with Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon, if you have completed an IMEI number check, you can be sure that your device is still usable.
Operators can blacklist an IMEI anytime – though they do it only for very good reasons. When that happens, the phone with the associated IMEI will no longer be able to connect to the network. Since it’s almost impossible to change this code, the blacklisting remains one of the most efficient methods for blocking a thief to use that stolen smartphone.
While this might ease your mind, don’t relax, yet. Do you know your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ Plus’s IMEI number? If you don’t, chances are you won’t be able to blacklist the device in the event you will lose it. That’s because, like mentioned, network operators don’t just blacklist IMEIs without solid proof that you are the owner. And if you don’t know your IMEI number, it will be pretty hard to report it as stolen.
The entire above is also valid when you’re looking to purchase a used Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ Plus. One of the first things you need to do is to check its IMEI and make sure it hasn’t been blacklisted. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing your money out on the window, because you won’t be able to use it after you buy it.
The process of checking an IMEI number, however, is pretty simple. All you have to do is to go to a dedicated website and insert the IMEI number of the phone you’re about to purchase. Aside from the status of the code, you will also get details on the model and the brand, the design and the technical configuration, as well as the purchase date and plenty of extra information. Obviously, the most important fact you need to check is the IMEI status.
Would you care to share some of your personal IMEI experiences with us? Did you ever check this code? Did you ever regret not being aware of it?