Updated: June 14, 2015

Unlocked Cell Phone Reviews and Buying Guide:

Ever felt trapped in one of those service agreements with your wireless carriers and want to leave without paying a penalty fee. If you start your service with an unlocked cell phone you can come and go from carriers on your own terms. The Catch? You need to pay for the actual phone up front and that means a premium for your iPhone, Blackberry, Samsung Galaxy, or Android cell phone. When you sign those contracts for 1 or 2 years, the carrier is pretty much subsidizing the real cost of the cell phone since you will be paying them a monthly fee for their service. Still not getting the benefits of an unlocked cell phone. There are quite a few, but the biggest is that you could switch back and forth from carriers and not pay the contract ending penalties. You can also take an unlocked GSM phone to Europe and use it there on their networks. Is it legal to unlock a cell phone? Yes, no matter what you hear or don't hear about this, you can buy unlocked cell phones or have yours unlocked even after you buy it.


Choosing an Unlocked Cell Phone - The biggest shock to those shopping for unlocked mobile phones is the price tag. We are so used to hearing that you get a smartphone for free if you just sign up for a service contract with a wireless network. When you hear that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is over $600 (unlocked version), many consumers say that is crazy. What about an HTC Inspire Android phone for $300? Factory unlocked Apple iPhone 4S - it goes for about $800. This tells you what the carriers are getting from you in the long run. You might get the iPhone 4 for $200 and take on the contract, but the carrier makes up for that cost over the long haul of you paying them a monthly fee. Manufacturers still get their money no matter what, but owning an unlocked iPhone gives you more freedom as to which carrier you choose and for how long. Is that extra freedom worth the up front bill? As of right now there are few people that pay to have unlocked cell phones. I asked about 20 of my "techie" friends and not one owned a cell phone that was unlocked. If you are searching for a top rated unlocked cell phone, we suggest going to Amazon.com where you will find top brands like HTC, Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Nokia. You can view the best selling unlocked cell phones online here. The reviews for each phone are worth the read as they give you an idea of what to expect. Some people found that eventhough they had an unlocked cell phone and switched carriers, not all the features worked from carrier to carrier. It's important to find out if there are any limitations with a specific phone as you make that switch or you might be disappointed.

Best Unlocked Cell Phones:

RECOMMENDED - You may think that the iPhone would dominate this market as well, but the truth is that it's the not most popular choice of those seeking unlocked cell phones. The unlocked Samsung cell phones are typically the hottest ticket and the Galaxy Nexus leads this crowd. The latest models come with the Google Android OS and a 16GB storage space. Data transfer speeds are fast with the dual core processor chip inside the display at 4.6 inches is perfect. Look for the unlocked GSM version since that will allow you to use the phone anywhere in the world. The real value in these phones is once you get outside the US, you just pop in a SIM card and you are ready to make calls. We suggest browsing the phones available online, check out what users have to say (both international and domestic), and then decide on what type of budget you have. The top of the line phones will go for over $800 and the more reasonable ones are close to $300 to $400. Check out the most popular unlocked mobile phones here.


Unlocked GSM Cell Phones:

RECOMMENDED - The draw to GSM phones is that they tend to work all over the world. Those that travel abroad understand that Europe and most of other parts of the world function on GSM wireless networks. Therefore, owning an unlocked GSM cell phone will surely come in handy for anyone that travels around the world. Just pop in a new SIM card once you arrive and your phone will be working on the local network. No international calling plan needed (for the most part). No having to take 2 cell phones when you travel. There are dozens of unlocked GSM phones to choose from and you will instantly save money by not having to pay those ridiculous international calling rates. I know from personal experience what the data roaming charges are in places like England (when you are using a US based cell phone). Browse the top rated GSM unlocked cell phones here. Whether you want to use an unlocked iPhone, HTC Inspire, Samsung or LG device, it's best to shop on Amazon sine their return policys are the best and easiest to deal with.