An unlocked phone is a cell phone that is not tied to a particular carrier. That way, you can shop for carriers and phone plans more freely. You get to choose your cell phone independently from choosing your carrier.
Many people prefer unlocked devices so they have more freedom. If you frequently travel internationally or want to have two data plans for business, having an unlocked phone makes it much easier to switch between an international plan and a U.S. plan or between multiple U.S. plans. You can simply switch out the SIM card and use whatever your preferred plan is at the time.
You get more control over your complete phone plan when you purchase a used unlocked cell phone. You can contact any carrier you are interested in and see what kind of plans they offer for unlocked, preowned phones.
Used phones give you the freedom to test out a brand or model's features without committing. You also keep a secondhand phone out of a landfill when you buy used. Together, we help reduce the amount of e-waste globally, and you get a quality unlocked cell phone for cheap!
Our online shopping process is simple so anyone can buy an unlocked phone online. First, you browse our inventory and sort through the types of phones we have. Our filters simplify this step, allowing you to search by brand, year, model and even color.
It's time to save big when shopping for unlocked used devices. Shop online with Gazelle and get a quality unlocked cell phone for a fraction of the factory price. Browse our inventory to get started today!
The best unlocked phones let you get whatever device you want while remaining free from carrier payment plans. Although you have to buy them upfront, you can then bring that unlocked handset to the best phone carrier for your needs.
Best unlocked phone overall: iPhone 14 (opens in new tab)Apple's flagship phone is the best device to buy unlocked (though you will pay an extra $30 at Apple to get an unlocked iPhone 14 instead of one tied to a specific carrier.) It's got great cameras, the best performing processor we've tested and a stylish design. Plus, the software experience is second-to-none, with plenty of apps to make your phone even more useful.
Best overall value: Pixel 7 (opens in new tab)The Google Pixel 7 offers the best value of any unlocked phone, with flagship features in a device that costs $200 less than comparable premium handsets. With the Pixel 7, you get powerful cameras that are backed up by Google's excellent computational photography for photos that stand up well against the images produced by any other phone. A Tensor G2 processor also delivers unique features like real-time dictation and call screening.
Though it's been out for a while, the Nord N20 is a newcomer to our best unlocked phone list, as the phone had been tied to T-Mobile. That's no longer the case, as you can buy the N20 5G unlocked, though you will need to take it to a wireless carrier that uses T-Mobile's coverage if you want to enjoy 5G speeds. Still, the low price of the Nord N20 5G makes this phone awfully hard to pass up, especially at a time of rising costs.
An unlocked Moto G Power was available at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy and eBay for less than $200. However, the best deal I saw was at Swappa for under $100. These are especially great deals because Clark recommends the Motorola product line for people who are price sensitive.
When I compared prices on unlocked phones in February 2023, Newegg offered the lowest prices on a Samsung Galaxy A53 behind only eBay and Swappa. For this reason, I recommend checking out Newegg before deciding where to buy an unlocked smartphone.
Affordable phones are better than ever. Sure, you can still find plenty of flimsy handsets with dated software, but if you do some digging, there are lots of excellent flip phones and smartphones that work far better than their low prices suggest. If you're buying on a budget, we're here to help.
We've gathered the top phones you can generally buy for $300 or less at carrier stores, and detail all the most important features to look for when you shop. We put these phones through the same intense testing process as far more expensive flagships, so you can rest easy knowing that any of the devices below are worth owning. Read on for our top picks, followed by what to look for when buying a cheap phone.
OnePlus has had its share of problems recently, but the company still makes some fantastic phones with some of the speediest charging speeds on the market. We like the Nord N20 because it comes with 33W charging, which is faster than most other budget smartphones.
If you prefer real-world experiences over fancy smartphones but still want to stay connected on the go, the Nokia 6300 is the phone for you. It offers access to some smartphone apps, but most importantly, it lets you use two SIM cards at once. That means you can hit the road and get cellular service (albeit 4G) wherever you go.
Although budget-friendly phones don't have all the perks that come along with midrange or flagship models, that doesn't mean you can't find a perfectly capable device that suits your needs. Let's start with the features we believe are absolutely essential. Keep in mind that most of these recommendations are for smartphones; if you're in the market for a flip phone, many of these tips don't apply.
Finally, see our stories on the best cheap phone plans and how to get the best price on a new phone. We also have a few other affordable options in our story about the best phones for seniors. And we add new phones to this roundup as we review them, so make sure to check back soon.
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Yes, unlocked phones are ideal for international travel because you only need to swap out your SIM card for another card from a local carrier to get service. This could be on a limited basis to cover the duration of your trip, or for a longer period if you will be staying to study or work in a foreign country.
You can find any phone from any manufacturer unlocked today. While smartphones are still widely available on contract terms from wireless carriers, you can also purchase them outright at full cost without signing any sort of contract. In either case, the phone will be unlocked, as per the CRTC rules.
These include the most popular brands, like Apple, Samsung, Google, Asus and more. And they can be the most popular flagship models with the latest and greatest features, or mid-range and affordable handsets that offer great value. No matter the type of phone you choose to go with, the brand or model will be available unlocked.
Apple was arguably a bit late to the 5G game, at least compared to some of its Android counterparts. While it's been a couple of years since the company introduced the latest networking protocol to its flagship line, it's only now brought the technology to its more budget-friendly iPhone SE line with the device's third edition. The smartphone's $420 starting price makes it easily the cheapest 5G option for iPhone fans. However, as we've covered previously, the third-gen iPhone SE does not support mmWave 5G services, nor does it support the 3.45GHz band that AT&T plans to use for its future 5G proliferation.
For one, the device retains the essence of Google's new \"camera bar\" design, as seen on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series. That means that even if you're paying significantly less for the 6a ($449), you aren't necessarily settling for an inferior design. That sentiment holds true with the heart and soul of the Pixel, its Android 13 software. With Pixel smartphones, especially the more modern ones, you can expect consistent security and feature updates for years down the road. That reason alone may sway you to the Pixel 6a over our other top picks on the list. 59ce067264