Wow These Are Some Really Cheap Unlocked Phones
Did you know that you can get an unlocked phone for this cheap? Maybe you thought you have to wait until Black Friday 2021, but thanks to these unlocked phone deals being used & refurbished, were able to offer them at a price thats lower than ever. At Back Market, our deals on unlocked phones are so fresh, they make breath mints look stale! Buying a refurbished unlocked phone is a much better value than buying a new unlocked phone, and thanks to our warranty, you can be sure youre not losing out on quality either. 🙂 Now thats what we call a win-win!
Android 10 With One Update
One of the most disappointing things about this years G-series is that they all ship with Android 10. It’s a bit of a departure for Motorola since it previously released its budget lineup with the latest version of Android.
For the most part, the G Power ships with stock Android. Motorola adds its My UX skin to the mix, but doesnt pile on productivity apps or make drastic changes to the Settings menu. My UX simply adds a few useful features and lets you customize your phone.
The Moto G Power’s updated fingerprint sensor is easier to reach and adds shortcuts with a double tap.
Youll find the usual usual array of Moto goodies, such as Moto Gestures and Moto Gametime. The former lets you quickly access common features using gestures the latter turns off notifications and makes performance tweaks while gaming.
There are also a few new features for 2021. Motorolas new split-screen feature is the best Ive ever used. Simply swipe your finger back and forth across the middle of the screen and available split screen apps will display. Double-tapping the power button opens a shortcuts menu.
Motorola confirmed the G Power will get the bump to Android 11 at some point in the future, but after that, no promises. Along upgrade, Motorola provides two years of security updates.
The Best International Versions Of Cheap Phones
This list of the best budget phones includes available devices in the US with a local warranty. However, suppose youre willing to take a chance on international versions of handsets that havent been officially released in the US but can still be purchased on Amazon. In that case, you can often get far more impressive phones at similar prices.
Of course, its important to remember that you wont get any warranty with these phones, and youll have to make sure that network compatibility wont be an issue.
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The Best Basic Android Phone For Verizon Customers
The Galaxy A13 5G is a no-frills, $249 phone that delivers the basics. Its screen is nothing special, but battery life and performance are very good considering the price, and the device is backed up by a solid support policy promising three years of security updates. Its not as polished as the N20 with its fancier OLED, but its also a bit cheaper and works on all major carriers .
The A13s 6.5-inch screen is certainly big, but its a fairly dim, low-contrast LCD with a resolution of just 720p. Related: battery life is very good since the screen drains less power than brighter displays. Overall performance from the MediaTek 700 5G chipset and 4GB of RAM is very good, too.
The screen on the Galaxy A13 5G is nothing special, but battery life and performance are very good considering the price
On the camera side, the A13 lacks a couple of features you can find on other budget phones namely, a night mode and an ultrawide camera. What you do get is a good 50-megapixel main rear camera that takes reliably good photos in daylight and dim indoor light. Just dont expect much in very low light.
Overall, Samsung made some smart sacrifices in making the A13. If you can live with a mediocre display and a basic camera, then the A13 will deliver on performance and battery life pretty important stuff. Just make sure you budget a little extra for a MicroSD card because the phones 64GB of built-in storage is a little skimpy.
Take Advantage Of Secure Cell Phone Use
Some unlocked cell phones feature fingerprint-detecting technology to provide proper security. It’s an essential function for office employees protecting company information from third parties. Phone users can add a layer of damage protection to components and software by choosing cell phone covers and cases. Secure BluetoothÂ® support enables connectivity with other Bluetooth-ready devices in the vicinity, allowing quick file transfers.
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How Do I Know Which Phone To Purchase
Your selection of Android phones is quite large, so choosing a device can be hard. Decide on how you wish to use your phone, and determine which features are most important to you. Then you can review and compare devices on websites such as CNET or PCMag . Once youve settled on an Android smartphone, dont forget to check out DealNews for all the best Android sales.
Why You Should Trust Us
Over the past 10 years, Ive written more than a million words about Android phones, tablets, and software on sites such as Wirecutter, Android Police, and ExtremeTech. Ive also lived with dozens of different Android phones as my daily drivers during that time. I use and review more phones every year than most people will own in their entire lives.
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The Cheapest Usable Phone: Samsung Galaxy A03s
The Samsung Galaxy A03s is the best phone available right now for those on a strict budget. For $160 , the A03s has good software, acceptable performance, and security update support through summer 2026. Even some flagship phones wont get updates for that long. While the A03s looks a lot like the A13 5G, it has a thinner plastic shell and a slower processor. However, it has a USB-C port instead of the older Micro-USB, a headphone jack, and a fingerprint sensor, which is often missing in ultra-budget phones.
Most budget phones ship with slow, cluttered software and extra third-party apps, but Samsung didnt overload the A03s with apps and services. It includes Samsung features like pop-up view for notifications and one-handed mode. Purchasing the A03s from a carrier will save you a few bucks, but it will probably also mean more bundled software to remove.
The primary 13-megapixel camera is okay for casual snapshots, but you wont want to keep any of the photos forever.
Currently, the A03s runs Android 11, and it will get four years of update support like the A13 5G and a year longer than the Pixel 5a. It will get some OS updates like Android 12, but it is not guaranteed instant updates to new versions like the Pixel 5a is. Still, most phones this cheap get only a handful of security fixes before theyre forgotten.
Theres no NFC support in this A03s, which means no contactless payments. However, it does have a fingerprint sensor in the power button.
The Best Unlocked Android Phones Right Now
The Google Pixel 6 introduces the world to Tensor, the first system-on-chip designed by Google.You can expect performance comparable to the Snapdragon 888, but the real story here is Googleâs emphasis on machine learning. The Pixel 6 sports a number of software-powered features from new photo editing skills to a smarter, more capable Google Assistant. Having Android 12 installed on the phone also means a pure Android experience.
Though the has the more impressive features â itâs got a telephoto lens in addition to wide and ultrawide cameras, and its larger screen offers a 120Hz refresh rate to the 90Hz rate on the standard Pixel 6 â we think this 6.4-inch phone is the better option for fans of unlocked devices. You can pick up a Pixel 6 unlocked for $599, which is an extremely attractive price for such a feature-rich device.
Phones that work with 5G networks no longer need to flirt with $1,000 prices. Device makers have rolled out cheaper 5G phones, and OnePlus lowers the threshold even further with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G.
While this is certainly a budget phone â the disappointing camera performance confirms that â you do get some premium features in the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, including a professional look, in-display fingerprint sensor, and good performance. We also like the battery life, which outperformed the average smartphone even with the faster refresh rate enabled.
Read our full Motorola Edge Plus review.
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Upgrading Is Easy With At& t
If youre looking to get a great deal on an upgrade, AT& T makes it easy with the myAT& T app. Heres how it works.
- The first step is to onto your phone. You can download the app from the major app stores or text myATT to 556699 and receive a download link.³
- On the Account view, you can view upgrade-ready devices on your account. If you have upgrade-ready devices, select which device you would like to upgrade.
- Follow the prompts to choose a new device for your upgrade.
- Proceed to cart and complete the checkout process to submit your order.
Free On Verizon With Trade
- Android 12 software
- Extensive support
The offers plenty to love even if its not quite as stylish as the Pixel 6 Pro. Perhaps the biggest selling point is that, thanks to it being a Google device, it works fantastically well with the latest Android OS. In the same way that Apple knows how to get the best from its hardware, Google knows how to get the best from Android. A Google Pixel smartphone also has guaranteed support for a long time to come so youll be safe in the knowledge that this is a good option to last you a while to come.
The phone offers a 6.4-inch display that looks fantastic. It has a 20:9 aspect ratio with a 2,400 x 1,080 pixel resolution plus a 90Hz refresh rate. An always-on display, it looks vibrant and delightful at all times. Scrolling is smooth and pleasant with watching videos looking great at all times. Whether youre scrolling through your web browser or streaming your favorite content, it looks good here. Built into the display is a fingerprint sensor too which is a nice feature and highly accurate.
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The Best Cheap Phones You Can Buy Today
If youâre willing to overlook its disappointing battery life, the Google Pixel 6a is hard to beat as the best cheap phone overall. Credit the cameras, which always stand out on Googleâs budget devices. Like its predecessors, the Pixel 6a relies on computational photography to deliver some of the best images in this price range â its photos can even challenge those produced by much more expensive phone. And unlike the iPhone SE , the Pixel 6a supports a night mode.
Youâll also find a Tensor chipset powering the Pixel 6a. Thatâs the same silicon inside Googleâs Pixel 6 flagships, which start at $150 more than the Pixel 6a. As a result, the same AI-powered tricks Googleâs flagship phone can pull off are available to the Pixel 6a, too, including the photo-editing Magic Eraser tool and on-device translation.
For $449, you get a lot of value with the Pixel 6a. Itâs the phone to get if you place a premium on camera capabilities and special features.
The iPhone SE 2022 takes cheap phones to the next level of performance by including Apple’s powerful A15 Bionic chip. This is the same processor found in the iPhone 13, and it blows all Android phones away, whether you’re playing games or editing video on the go.
Read our full iPhone SE 2022 review .
Obviously, there are better phones under the $500 mark, but if $300 is your cap, then the Nord N20 should be your top consideration.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy A32 5G review .
Read our full TCL 10 5G UW review.
The Best Iphone Under $500
The 128GB iPhone SE is the best value on the smartphone market, period. Its a great deal at $479 when you consider that it will continue receiving iOS updates for upwards of five, even six or seven years.
But before you pick up an SE expecting to coast through most of the next decade without buying a new phone: make sure you can live with its very small, very dated 4.7-inch screen. Its the same size as the one on the iPhone 6, and its starting to feel cramped in an age when apps and web pages are designed for bigger screens. The SEs big bezels make the device look dated, too, but the usability of a small screen will be a bigger factor over the years to come.
Theres no night mode for brighter photos in very low light, which is a curious omission
Thats the biggest knock against the SE. Otherwise, its a fantastic midrange device. Its A15 processor is the same as Apples top-tier iPhone 13 Pro Max, so performance is excellent. Theres IP67 waterproofing and wireless charging both uncommon in this price range and even though it uses the same 12-megapixel camera that iPhones have used since the dawn of time, it takes very nice photos and high-quality video clips. The camera has no night mode, which is a curious omission many other midrange phones offer some sort of low-light photo mode, and the phones processor is certainly up to the task. Apple gonna Apple.
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Why Buy An Unlocked Cell Phone
Benefits such as switching providers, the potential for no contracts, and cheaper phone plans are good reasons to avoid carrier-locked phones, whether you’re home or traveling. With mobile devices that are unlocked, you also have less bloatware, and enjoy faster software updates and security patches. Carriers also have limited selections of smartphones for sale, and your’s may not have the model you desire. Unlocked devices also have higher resale values, a huge benefit if you like reselling your phone and upgrading to a newer model.
How We Picked And Tested
After testing dozens of budget smartphones over the past few years, weve found that most of them arent worth recommending because of problems that outweigh their low prices, such as abysmal performance, bloated software, useless cameras, infrequent or nonexistent updates, or some combination. Here are the things we look for in a phone before recommending it:
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The Best Android Phone Under $500
The Samsung A53 5G offers an outstanding value for its $449 MSRP. It has one of the best screens in its class no surprise from display maker Samsung with a 6.5-inch 1080p OLED that provides richer contrast than the LCDs that are common in this category. It also uses a top refresh rate of 120Hz, which makes for smooth scrolling and a little bit more of a premium experience.
The A53 5Gs battery lasts a full day of use, and the Exynos processor gets through daily tasks fairly smoothly. The phones main 64-megapixel camera is a cut above the usually unremarkable cameras in this class, with optical image stabilization to help get more sharp shots in poor lighting conditions.
The A53 5Gs best feature might just be its excellent software support policy
It stands out from other budget Android phones in a lot of ways, but the A53 5Gs best feature may be its excellent software support policy. Samsung has promised four years of Android OS version updates and five years of security updates. That gives the A53 5G an exceptionally long shelf life, especially among Android phones where two or three years of security updates is more common. Considering that the phone is also IP67-rated for dust and water resistance, it should last a long time.
The OnePlus N20 5G includes a 1080p OLED screen, with richer contrast than the LCDs common in this class.
Cheap Phone Deals Under $500
$399.99 $249 at Amazon Here’s an all-time Amazon price low on a 256GB Moto G Stylus 5G. This unlocked phone is an excellent pick for cell phone photogs as this boasts a 48MP Quad Camera System that’ll allow you to capture great shots even in low light. And you can edit photos seamlessly via the 6.8-inch Max Vision Full HD+ display and built-in stylus. We’d be remiss to overlook the zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor, as well. For under $250, it’s a great buy.
$199.99 $159.99 at Amazon Save $40 – It’s a little older now but the Moto G Fast is a great low-cost buy if you’re looking for a reliable device. It’s got a bright 6.4-inch display, enough power to chug through the basics, and a 16MP camera system. As always with Motorola devices, you’re getting a really beefy battery in this thing too with enough power to last two days on a single charge.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11: You may not know Xiaomi, but it’s a Chinese brand that makes some absolutely fantastic budget Android devices. This Note 11 is a particularly good choice with its 50MP quad-camera system, 128GB of storage, and a gorgeous AMOLED screen. For the price, these specs are unbeatable but this device comes with two drawbacks. First, it’s not 5G compatible. Secondly, this particular variant will only work with GSM carriers . It won’t work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon or Sprint.
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