These are our choices for the best unlocked phones available in the US, followed by what to consider when you buy an unlocked device. Our picks range from inexpensive basic handsets to powerful flagships. Most are 5G phones, including those in Apple's iPhone 14 series, Google's Pixel 7 lineup, and Samsung's latest Galaxy S and Z families. These run on every form of US 5G, including high-speed millimeter wave and C-band spectrum.
Google's Pixel phones have the smoothest software and are among the most future-proof Android handsets. The Pixel 7 also has an all-day battery and excellent cameras. Available unlocked from Google's store, it works on all three US carriers.
iPhones are the most easily available, universally unlocked line of phones in America because of Apple's nationwide network of brick-and-mortar stores. Unlocked iPhones support every US carrier's frequency bands and you can easily switch them from carrier to carrier. Just remember, it's all eSIM in iPhone 14 models.
Google's phones have smooth, simple software and they always get updates first. The Pixel 6a also has the best camera on a midrange phone. It works on all three US carriers and you can buy it directly from Google.
The Galaxy S23+ is our top pick for Android flagship phones: It offers class-leading power, excellent cameras, extensive battery life, and a standout display. And with the unlocked model, you can take advantage of its superb 5G connectivity on all the major US carriers. Like the S23 Ultra, you can even get it in some exclusive colors if you buy directly from Samsung online.
With an unlocked device, you can trade up or sell your phone whenever you want without waiting for the end of a leasing or installment plan. You can also own multiple handsets and swap your SIM card between them. If you travel internationally, you can pop in a local, pay-as-you-go card overseas and never pay horrendous international roaming charges. You can also take advantage of super-cheap prepaid plans from virtual operators in the US that piggyback on compatible networks (for the best carrier where you live, see our story on the Best Mobile Networks).
The $500 Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) is one of the best stylus-equipped phones you can get right now, especially for the price. You get Android 12, 5G connectivity, a large 6.8-inch screen and a spacious 256GB of storage. Unfortunately, the phone is only promised one software update and three years of security updates, which is a much shorter timeline than the four years promised by Samsung for the Galaxy A53.
The Galaxy A lineup has been refreshed for 2022, but don't overlook last year's models if you want a cheap unlocked Samsung phone. The Galaxy A32 5G, a sub-$300 5G-capable smartphone. It sports many things people love about Galaxy phones, but with some corners cut to keep the price down. The biggest downside is the underwhelming display. The size combined with the low resolution doesn't look great in person.
An unlocked phone is simply one that isn't tied to any network yet. Generally, you can buy phones unlocked directly from the phone maker and from some retailers. In contrast, a phone bought from a wireless carrier is usually tied to that carrier's network.
If you buy one of the best unlocked Samsung phones, you'll have to buy the phone outright, as carriers are the only ones offering installment plans. (All the better to tie you to their wireless service for a couple years.) But if you can swing the upfront cost of an unlocked phone, you get the freedom to choose your own carrier and get a cheap cell phone plan.
Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.
To help you find the best dual SIM phone for all of your versatility needs, we spent several hours researching and analyzing the specs and customer reviews for over 20 different smartphones. As we started ranking and scoring each option, we looked specifically for powerful and reliable processors, high-resolution displays, and long-lasting batteries. We also recommend you purchase a dual SIM phone with added durability with water resistance for the internal components and shatter resistance for the display. Finally, you may want to consider phones with additional premium features, depending on your needs, like biometric security, gaming prowess, and quality camera setups.
At the end of our ranking based on these features and qualities, we selected the Google Pixel 5 as the best dual SIM phone available on the market today. Keep reading to learn more about this simple, yet powerful smartphone and the other best smartphones we selected for this guide.
As we researched the different dual SIM phones on the market today, we first focused our efforts on only including phones with active dual SIM capability. This is the best form of using two SIM cards because it allows you to receive phone calls and text messages from either SIM card at any given time. The overall process for adding a SIM card should also be easy, with simple access to the SIM card slots. We preferred options that allowed you to change SIM cards through side access slots but still included options with the slots behind removable back covers.
Finally, we looked at build and design quality, including screen quality, camera quality, and durability. Most modern smartphones include high-resolution displays that are bright and colorful. We ranked dual SIM phones higher if their displays offered more resolution than full HD. We also preferred phones with added durability features, like IP68 water resistance and shatter-resistant screens.
The best-rugged smartphones (opens in new tab) on the market offer extreme durability, massive batteries, and a wealth of features specific to outdoor use cases. We've tested all the top handsets designed for intensive use and picked the best options.
So whether it's your hobby or your profession that is leading you to wild or dangerous places and have you needing a device that'll last a long time with plenty of features or makes you prefer hardy phones over fashionable yet fragile standard smartphones, the best-rugged smartphone is what you need.
Finally, remember that while all ruggedized smartphones will be waterproof and dustproof (and therefore meet the IP68 specification), not all waterproof phones (opens in new tab) will be ruggedized. So think carefully while shopping for the best-rugged smartphone for your needs, and look into all the features these handsets boast.
Looking to buy a new smartphone At Target, find a wide range of unlocked cell phones to choose from. Unlocked phones can be moved from one network to another, typically by swapping the SIM card inside. Look through new, pre-owned and manufacture refurbished unlocked cell phones. Whether you are looking for an Apple iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy or a Moto, you are sure to find the perfect one for you. These unlocked cell phones come with features like auto focus, built-in-GPS, Dual sim, fingerprint reader, front camera, rear camera and more. Browse through a large collection of unlocked cell phones to find the right one for you.
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.
Finally, I found a great deal on a refurbished Google Pixel 6 at Walmart for $279.97. The best deal I found on a brand new device was at eBay for $379. Swappa offered the same phone for $200-$258, but keep in mind that phones sold on this site will be used.
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.
Amazingly, plenty of the other best Android phones are available at affordable prices, but when you're looking to save money, there will be compromises. When shopping for these phones, take a close look at the specs to ensure you're not missing a feature you'd like to have. Many inexpensive phones will reduce display size, resolution, extra cameras, or bonuses like stereo speakers. However, when you shop around, you'll be able to get an excellent phone for just a few hundred bucks.
Customers using the T-Mobile network have the best choices of phones under $300, and that's a great reason to switch to the carrier. The OnePlus Nord N20 5G is a phenomenal pick for just under $300 and comes with a powerful processor, an excellent camera, and a really nice build. It won't get as many updates as Samsung's A32 5G, but it's a better phone so long as you don't need the latest and greatest Android features beyond Android 12.
The best gaming phones include a heap of extra features that give you the flexibility of gaming anywhere. Brands such as ASUS are built with a big gaming focus. Like the iPhone 14 Pro, the Samsung Z Fold4, the Google Pixel 7 Pro, and the Motorola Edge, the ASUS ROG Phone 6 is perfect for gaming, with its: 59ce067264