Best Unlocked Phone

Jason Loomis
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If you’re traveling out of the country soon or even if you’re just a globetrotter, having a smartphone that can pick up a local SIM card, allow you access to different time zones and offer some peace of mind in the event of an emergency or accident can be great.

But these days, many times the phone you’re currently using just isn’t the best choice for the job.

NameCategoryProduct
Google – Pixel 3aBest OverallGoogle - Pixel 3a
BLU Tank II T193 Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Cell PhoneBudget PickBLU Tank II T193 Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Cell Phone
UMIDIGI Power Unlocked Cell Phones 64GB+4GB RAM 5150mAh Battery 18W Fast Charging 6.3" FHD+ Screen Global Version 16MP+5MP Dual Camera 4G Volte SmartphoneUpgrade PickUMIDIGI Power Unlocked Cell Phones 64GB+4GB RAM 5150mAh Battery 18W Fast Charging 6.3" FHD+ Screen Global Version 16MP+5MP Dual Camera 4G Volte Smartphone

1. Google – Pixel 3a

Our rating: 9 / 10

Google - Pixel 3a

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Pros:

  • Great battery life (2800 Mah)
  • Solid camera quality
  • Smaller price tag than other phones (but not as small as the 3a XL)
  • Colors are a nice contrast from the iPhone

2. Samsung Galaxy A10 A105M 32GB Duos GSM Unlocked Phone

Our rating: 8 / 10

Samsung Galaxy A10 A105M 32GB Duos GSM Unlocked Phone

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Pros:

  • Large display (5.7 inches)
  • Dual SIM capability

Cons:

  • Capturing photos is sometimes slow
  • The edges of the phone are a fingerprint magnet

Coming from a long line of successful budget unlocked phones, the Samsung Galaxy A10 A105M 32GB Duos GSM Unlocked Phone w/ 13MP Camera – Blue offers an expansive 5.7-inch display. It comes with a large and accessible 64GB of internal storage and a glass back that makes it easy to hold and use for long periods of time.

In terms of performance, it’s very snappy and responsive when switching between apps or games, and it runs relatively cool compared to other Snapdragon 400-equipped phones.

The phone’s large display is a nice perk, but it’s not the best part of the phone. That honor belongs to its dual-SIM card (or dual-standby) capabilities.

3. Moto G7

Our rating: 8 / 10

Moto G7

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This affordable phone offers a whole slew of features that you won’t find on your typical off-contract phone.

The advanced camera features dual autofocus, allowing you to capture crisp images even in low light situations. It also has the ability to automatically adjust your zoom based on the subject you’re taking a picture of.

4. ZTE BLADE Z MAX Z982

Our rating: 8 / 10

ZTE BLADE Z MAX Z982

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Pros:

  • Overall good value for the price
  • Has a microSD card slot to expand memory
  • For the price, the camera is quite good and the pictures are well-exposed

Cons:

  • Mediocre battery life
  • No LED notification light nor vibration when the phone is receiving a call
  • The volume rocker and power button is not responsive at times

The Zmax is an affordable, well-performing unlocked smartphone that packs a pretty big punch that’s capable of making phone calls, checking emails, and casual gaming. Although phones running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow are slowly becoming available, the Blade Zmax is one of the only phones that still run on Lollipop until now.

Its features include a 6-inch 1080p display, a speedy 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and 2GB of RAM.

While it’s not the best in class, it’s about twice as much as your run-of-the-mill budget smartphone with 1GB of RAM.

5. BLU Tank II T193 Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Cell Phone

Our rating: 6 / 10

BLU Tank II T193 Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Cell Phone

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Pros:

  • Amazing battery life – 4-6 days on a single charge!
  • Very affordable, especially when compared to other unlocked devices

Cons:

  • The buttons are a little clunky
  • There’s no slot for a memory card

(Tank II)

The unlocked BLU Tank 2 sports a 5-inch HD IPS display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6735 chipset, a 64-bit 1.0GHz quad-core processor coupled with a Mali-T720 GPU. The 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage is more than enough for all your daily needs!

6. UMIDIGI Power Unlocked Cell Phones 64GB+4GB RAM 5150mAh Battery 18W Fast Charging 6.3" FHD+ Screen Global Version 16MP+5MP Dual Camera 4G Volte Smartphone

Our rating: 5 / 10

UMIDIGI Power Unlocked Cell Phones 64GB+4GB RAM 5150mAh Battery 18W Fast Charging 6.3" FHD+ Screen Global Version 16MP+5MP Dual Camera 4G Volte Smartphone

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Dual SIM card slots (Installed two SIM cards at the same time) Perfect for travel.
  • Upgraded IP68 waterproof function up to 3m underwater, supporting 1080P JPG picture and 720P video recording under water
  • Upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 AIE Octa-core CPU, coupled with 4GB+64GB memory + SD card slot, which provide a fast response, powerful multi-tasking performance
  • 6.3 inch Corning 2.5D Arc (Asahi) curved glass screen provides a full-screen visual effect and fantastic touch response;
  • With the advanced soft light function, it has anti-sunlight, anti-blue and eye protection function, to protect your eyes and improve visual experience;
  • The global most powerful 18W quick charge technology of UMIDIGI PWR has more than 2100mAh large battery capacity that can meet 5 hours’ on-line surfing at a fast charging speed.
  • 16MP camera + 5MP front camera, equipped with Sony IMX351 30000 pixel F2.0 large lens, support PDAF focus technology and outstanding imaging quality
  • Equipped with professional front camera 5MP, the most professional night face level, auto black lens and five levels of brightness. Also equipped with a hole beauty function, you can automatically beautify your face;

7. OUKITEL OK6000 Plus Unlocked Cell Phones

Our rating: 2 / 10

OUKITEL OK6000 Plus Unlocked Cell Phones

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Pros:

  • Includes two SIM slots
  • Very speedy phone
  • Cheap pricing
  • Large battery
  • Easy to use
  • Features include:
  • Bluetooth 4.0,
  • A-GPS,
  • Android 6.0 OS,
  • 4G-LTE,

Cons:

  • The size of screen
  • Unable to update to Android 7.0

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best unlocked cell phone to buy?

You should probably buy the unlocked cell phone that works on your carrier’s network. Generally, an unlocked phone will work anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t mean you should buy an international phone if you’re staying stateside.

The phone business is tricky with the rules constantly changing. Therefore, it’s impossible and impractical for us to list all of the phones that will work on all of the networks so you’re best off looking for your carrier directly.

To help, here are a few of the most popular unlocked phones on the market:

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
  • LG V40
  • Moto Z3 Play

Is it better to get an unlocked phone?

There are plenty of benefits to getting an unlocked phone. For peace of mind, you don’t have to worry about being tied to one carrier. You can switch in the event of poor service or if you are unhappy with your current provider. Inversely, if you are satisfied with your carrier, you can switch SIM cards in a wireless phone to use it only for overseas calls, use it with a friend’s network, or for a local SIM card while traveling abroad. You may also want to make sure that your phone is unlocked before purchasing, especially if you plan to bring it with you to another country.

Can you still use an unlocked phone?

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using an unlocked phone everywhere, it is certainly a lifesaver to be able to use your unlocked phone in other countries. When you are travelling to another country, you can go into a local cell phone store and buy a local SIM card. You can then use the phone as if you had a carrier plan in that country. If your phone is unlocked, you can do this anywhere. If not, you’re stuck with whatever you carried from home.

Conclusion

We hope that after reviewing this page, you have a better idea of which unlocked phone to get for your budget. There is a good deal of difference between each option so choose wisely! This article should help you do exactly that.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Google – Pixel 3aBest OverallGoogle - Pixel 3a
BLU Tank II T193 Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Cell PhoneBudget PickBLU Tank II T193 Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Cell Phone
UMIDIGI Power Unlocked Cell Phones 64GB+4GB RAM 5150mAh Battery 18W Fast Charging 6.3" FHD+ Screen Global Version 16MP+5MP Dual Camera 4G Volte SmartphoneUpgrade PickUMIDIGI Power Unlocked Cell Phones 64GB+4GB RAM 5150mAh Battery 18W Fast Charging 6.3" FHD+ Screen Global Version 16MP+5MP Dual Camera 4G Volte Smartphone