Best Unlocked Phones (August 2021)

Best unlocked phones Android Central 2021It's vital to emphasize the unlocked phone market in a world where the majority of Americans buy their smartphones from carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. Unlocked phones are more flexible than buying them on installment plans or contracts. They can be used on any carrier that supports them. We recommend the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE as the best unlocked Android smartphone you can purchase in 2021. Here are some of our top picks!Source: Hayato Huseman / Android CentralYou've likely heard a lot of praise for the Samsung Galaxy S20FE. In fact, we've even voted it the best Android phone last year. Why all the praise? Simply put, there's no phone on the market right now that offers the perfect balance of high-end specs with affordable pricing. The S20 FE was released six months after the 2020 flagship S20 line. It offered nearly every premium feature of those flagship phones, and at a fraction of the cost. The FE features a flat 120Hz display with a 6.5-inch screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset and 6GB RAM, 128GB memory, and expandable storage. The S20 FE is a great choice for anyone looking for a long battery life, amazing cameras, high speed wireless charging, and IP68 water resistance. What's not loveable? The only thing that was initially disappointing about the S20FE was its plastic err glasstic panel at the back. After using the device for several weeks, we are confident to say that the material feels and looks better than the glass in the regular S20 range. This material was even included in the entry-level Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Note 20. We love the variety of colors, especially the Cloud Mint and Cloud Orange. Please, more of this! The best part is that this device can be purchased unlocked at least 100 dollars below the retail price. This means you can access 5G/LTE networks on AT&T Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. It's pretty amazing! Pros: Gorgeous flat 120Hz displayAmazing battery life all daySoftware updates for three yearsGreat durabilityMany exciting color optionsThis price may be too high for some.Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G - Best Unlocked Phone Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G – Unlocked Android Cell Phone The Galaxy S20 FE is the ultimate smartphone, and offers almost everything you need at a reasonable price. Amazon: $550$700 on Best Buy$570 at B&HBest premium unlocked phone: Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central/samsung-galaxy-s21-ultra-review In 2020, we gave this prize to the entry-level Galaxy S20 because we felt the premium S20 Ultra had too many flaws to justify its hefty price tag. We've now reviewed the Galaxy S21 Ultra and have unveiled its successor. This premium Android device is our absolute favorite. It's unlocked and compatible with all major networks. Although the S21 Ultra is a subtle improvement to the S20 Ultra's design they are so important. The matte textures of the finishes (hello Phantom Black!) The frame's integrated camera housing are great touches. The real improvements lie under the hood. The S21 Ultra by Samsung has improved the size of the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, which was a problem with previous generations. We also got processor upgrades and ultra-wideband 5G connectivity. However, the screen can now be set at Quad HD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. Samsung claims to have fixed the autofocusing issues with the S20 Ultra, and the S21 Ultra has improved its zoom capabilities by adding both 10X zoom and 3X optical zoom cameras. The S21 Ultra is also the first phone to have S Pen support. Although the S Pen is not integrated into the phone's case, some of the most premium Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra cases will accommodate it. Although the S21 Ultra is more expensive than the S20 Ultra, it costs several hundred dollars less. These savings can be used to purchase accessories such as a fast-charging brick and a new phone case. Pros The best-in-class Quad HD+ LCD display that supports 120HzImproved cameras and fingerprint sensorsS Pen supportSupport for UWB 5G and sub-6 GHz fast chipNo expandable storageThis phone is hugeSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Premium Unlocked Phone - Best Android Phones. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra may not be for everyone, it is a great Android phone if you have the means to pay. Amazon: $1,000Best Buy - $1,200Moto G Power (2020), the best unlocked smartphone batterySource: Joe Maring/Android CentralThe Galaxy S20 FE is a great smartphone, but there's no one size fits all. If you don't like the S20 FE but still want to buy it, the Moto G Power is the best option. The G Power is cheaper, right away. Although the Galaxy S20 FE may not be the most expensive, the G Power can help you save a few dollars. The G Power's camera quality is the biggest difference between the phones. The 16MP primary camera doesn't produce as great images as the Galaxy S20 FE. The Moto G Power has ultra-wide and macro cameras that will expand your photography possibilities. The Moto G Power's battery is a 5,000 mAh. It should last between 2 and 3 days before you need to recharge it. The Moto G Power also features a 1080p display, which has slim bezels and good performance. It also includes a 3.5mm headset jack. Although you won't be able to use NFC for contactless Google Pay payments with the G Power, it maintains excellent carrier compatibility with AT&T and Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. It's mixed bag of both good and bad software. Motorola has created a wonderful Android 10 user interface, offering a Pixel-like experience with some smart additions. The phone will receive only one update to Android 11. Other than that, the phone is limited to security updates and nothing else. Although the Moto G Power 2021 has been updated recently, our initial impressions were not very positive. The 2020 version is still our favorite. Pros Large 1080p displayBattery life up to three daysMotorola's outstanding software3.5mm headphone jackCompatible with all U.S. carriers Cons No NFC for GooglePayOne software update was promisedCameras aren’t the bestMoto G Power, best unlocked phone battery (2020) This is another great option in unlocked space. Whether you are interested in its unmatched battery, great display or headphone jack the Moto G power is a great selection. Amazon: $250Walmart: $150Best unlocked phone value: TCL 20SSource: Derrek Le / Android CentralTCL is now offering Android phones under the BlackBerry and Alcatel sub-brands. The TCL 20S, a refined version of 2020's 10L handset, is now one of the most valuable phones you will find in 2021. The TCL 20S has features and specs you would not expect from a phone this cheap, despite its low price. The display is a 6.67-inch LCD panel with Full HD+ resolution. TCL's NXTVISION screen technology allows for brighter images and more accurate colors. The back has four cameras, including a 64MP primary camera (upped from 48 on the 10L), an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro camera. There is also a 2MP depth camera. Although the image quality is not the best, four cameras for this price are outstanding. The TCL 20S features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage. This can be expanded with a microSD Card. NFC for Google Pay is also available. This allows you to create your own "Smart Key", which can do anything you wish, and has a 3.5mm headset jack. It works with all three major carriers. Pros Slim bezels and Full HD+ displayThere are plenty of expandable and onboard storageGoogle Pay has NFCExcellent fingerprint sensor.Lackluster camerasTCL 20S is the best unlocked phone value - Unlocked Android Phone Many phone options, but not much money. Want to buy a large bundle of features and specs for a great deal? The TCL 20S is worth considering. Amazon: $250Best unlocked phone underdog: Samsung Galaxy A52 5GSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj/ Android CentralThe Galaxy S21 series is the most talked about 2021 Samsung phone, but there is another model that isn’t getting as much attention. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is a great phone. You might even be tempted to buy it right away. The design of the Galaxy A52 5G immediately grabs your attention. Although it is made of plastic, the matte finish feels almost like glass. The U.S. only offers a matte black model, while other countries have the option of Awesome Blue, Awesome Violet, or Awesome White. The phone's front has a Super AMOLED display measuring 6.5 inches with a sharp resolution of 2400x108080 and a 120Hz refresh speed. You have the option of four cameras: a 64MP primary lens; a 12MP ultra-wide lens; a 5MP macro lens; and a 5MP portrait lens. There's plenty to be excited about when you look inside the Galaxy A52 5G. The Galaxy A52 5G features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7500G processor, 6/8GB RAM, 128/256GB expandable storage and a huge 4,500 mAh battery. Samsung has retained the 3.5mm headset jack. The Galaxy A52 5G can be purchased unlocked in the United States and other countries. Pros 6.5-inch AMOLED displayFour cameras at the backGorgeous designExpandable storage and a headphone jackPros: Not enough brightness outside for our liking5G is not mmWaveSamsung Galaxy A52 5G is the best unlocked phone. $500 at SamsungBest Buy: $500Nokia 7.2 is the best unlocked phone softwareSource: Joe Maring/Android CentralThe 2018 Nokia 7.1 was a great mid-ranger, and the aptly named Nokia 7.2 follows it. The Nokia 7.2 is a stunning phone that features a striking glass back and aluminum frame. It also has a large 6.3-inch LCD with HDR support and can convert non-HDR content to create vibrant and vivid images no matter what your activity. The Nokia 7.2 is another phone that places a lot of emphasis on its cameras. It boasts a 48-megapixel primary camera and an ultra-wide 8-megapixel camera. This gives you incredible freedom in the type of photos you can take. Although it is a different approach to the Pixel 4a's single-camera setup, many will prefer it. The Nokia 7.2 ticks almost every box. The Nokia 7.2 has a dedicated Google Assistant button to prompt the AI quickly, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. It is expected to last for two days on one charge. It ships as part Google's Android One program. This means that it comes with a clean user interface and will get years of updates. The phone will receive major OS updates until September 2021, and monthly security updates through September 2022. There are some things to remember. The Snapdragon 660 processor with 4GB RAM isn't the fastest, but it should still be sufficient for most people to use for everyday tasks. The phone is only compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile USA.Incredible designExpandable storageSoftware that is cleanYears of guarantee updates Cons: OK processor/RAM comboSprint and Verizon are not compatibleBest unlocked Nokia 7.2 phone software - Unlocked Android Phone Android as it should. Want to get a lot for your buck. The Nokia 7.2 is a great phone with two rear cameras and a stunning HDR display. Amazon: $227Best Buy: $350Best compact unlocked phone: Google Pixel 4aSource: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralThese days, small phones are not uncommon. They can be very good. Apple fans have the advantage of smaller phones like the iPhone SE (2020), and the iPhone 12 Mini, while Android users are limited to the Samsung Galaxy S10e. This phone is almost three years old. This was before the Google Pixel 4a arrived in mid-2020. Although it may seem strange to consider a 5.81 inch display small for old-school smartphone users, that's exactly where we are today. The fact is that phones with edge-to–edge displays can have a much smaller physical footprint than phones with smaller displays. This makes the Pixel 4a a great phone. The Pixel 4a is the best phone for one-handed usage. The 4a is half the cost of the Pixel 5 flagship and offers a similar experience. Although it has a slower processor, most people won't have any problems with day-to-day usage. Both the primary cameras and the software used to process the photos are identical. You still get all the Pixel first goodies you'd get with the Pixel 5, and three years of OS updates. You do have to sacrifice some premium features, like 5G support, wireless charging and waterproofing. Unlocked, the Pixel 4a can be purchased from many resellers. It is the ideal phone to test out a new carrier and MVNO. Many carriers offer sweetheart deals, which reduce the already low price even further!Pros: Excellent for one-handed usageGoogle promises at least three years worth of software updatesThe best camera in its classThe Cons are insanely affordable: There are no ultra-wide lenses or optical zoom lenses5G Support is not availableNo wireless chargingThere is no official IP water resistanceGoogle Pixel 4a Compact Unlocked Phone - The Pixel 4a Compact Phone is Cool. It offers near-flagship specs and a smaller footprint. Amazon: $349Best Buy: $350B&H: $349Best unlocked phone value flagship: Google Pixel 5Source: Hayato Huseman / Android CentralGoogle made major corrections to the Pixel 4 line's errors, including an improved battery life and an ultra-wide-angle camera. They also dropped the price. These are all big wins for us, and the reason why the Google Pixel 5 is our favorite Pixel. The pricing strategy was one of the most costly mistakes with the Pixel 4L and 4XL. Google attempted to compare these phones with the best of Samsung and Apple, as well as OnePlus. This failed spectacularly. The Pixel 5's initial price was over 100 dollars lower, which placed it in the value flagship category, where it has arguably always been. The Pixel 5 has been discounted by many retailers since its launch, so you can get even more value on this unlocked device. Battery life was another major issue with the 4/4XL, but this seems to have been addressed with the Pixel 5. The 5 has a larger battery (4,080mAh vs. 2800mAh) and more optimized software. However, the Snapdragon 765G chip in the 5 draws less power that the Snapdragon 855 on 4. The Pixel 5's outstanding cameras are finally here. The telephoto lens from the Pixel 4 has been replaced by a 16MP ultrawide camera, which fans have been asking Google for. The Pixel 5's video is sharper than ever. Google promises three years of software updates and feature drops every month. The Pixels' display has been criticized by some, who claim that it isn't as vibrant or detailed as the Samsung smartphones. The Pixel 5 doesn't have a poor display. The Pixel 5 features a 6-inch OLED HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. This panel is a real treat at this price point. The pros: A clean design and an aluminum chassisThe display at 90HzGoogle's Android experience and Pixel-first goodiesIndustry-leading camerasThree years of monthly updates Cons : No Wi Fi 6 supportOnly one size availableDisplay is not as bright as other in its classThe best unlocked flagship phone value Google Pixel 5 - Unlocked Android Cell Phone High end doesn't necessarily have to be costly. With its smooth software and 90Hz display, the Pixel 5 is among the most popular unlocked Android phones. Amazon: $700$700 on Best Buy$700 at B&HBest budget unlocked phone: Samsung Galaxy A32Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj/ Android CentralThe Galaxy A32 is next. If you are looking for an Android phone that is both fun and affordable, this is the one you should consider. The Galaxy A32 immediately grabs attention thanks to its 6.4 inch AMOLED display and 90Hz refresh rate. Samsung produces the best AMOLED screens available, so the A32's display is among the best in this price range. The 5,000 mAh battery is also noteworthy, and should be sufficient for most people. Although the 128GB internal storage will be sufficient for most people, you can expand it to 1TB with a microSD card. Four rear cameras are included, as well as a quick fingerprint sensor and a MediaTek Helio G80 CPU. This international version does not come with a U.S. warrant. It will work with the "major U.S. GSM networks, such as AT&T and T-Mobile," but not with CDMA carriers like Verizon. The A32 5G option is also available, which works with all U.S. carriers.Bezels for small quantitiesQuad rear cameras5,000 mAh batteryStorage expandable up to 1TBIt might be a little slow compared to other competitorsSamsung Galaxy A32, the best budget phone Samsung Galaxy A32. Save some money The Galaxy A32 is an attractive phone for those on a tight budget. The phone comes with an AMOLED screen and four rear cameras. Amazon: Starting at $302B&H: $260Best dirt cheap unlocked phone: Moto E (2020)Source: MotorolaAlthough there are many phones that are affordable, what if you really want to keep your costs down? The Moto E (2020) is the best option. This phone is our most affordable and it's amazing how much Motorola can offer for such a low price. The Moto E was not cheap. We will be honest. You won't be impressed by the performance of the Snapdragon 632 processor or 2GB RAM. However, 32GB is the maximum storage available, the HD+ display doesn't look the best, and Motorola hasn't promised any software updates. It's a lot of information, which makes the Moto E one of the most basic devices on the list. The Moto E was designed to be a basic smartphone that can run all the apps you require while being as affordable as possible. The phone can be used to make calls, text, check Twitter and watch YouTube. Although it may not be the fastest or most beautiful at these tasks, it does the job. The Moto E is the phone for you if this is the type of phone that you are looking for. Pros Extremely affordable priceTwo rear camerasRear fingerprint sensorLarge, modern displayAndroid 10 software is great.Performance is so-soWill not receive any OS updates