When it comes to purchasing a mobile device, buying an unlocked phone might be one of the smartest routes to take. There are plenty of reasons to consider an unlocked phone, including freedom to select and change carriers.
While it’s tempting to lump your phone’s cost into a monthly cell phone bill, doing this for multiple people can get expensive. A family of four could be looking at hundreds of dollars each month in phone costs alone.
Given that technology outpaces consumer demands, most of us don’t really need a brand new flagship phone. In fact, even the devices that are 1-2 years old are more than sufficient for the typical user. That’s largely where we are here in this list of best unlocked budget phones.
If you’re shopping around for a new phone, and want to work with a modest budget, we’ve got good news. There is a lot to choose from as it pertains to unlocked handsets that don’t cost all that much.
We’ve gathered up a handful of attractive options that fall in the price range of $250 to $400. Here, we showcase a variety of phone makers and models with some of the standout features.
How we Decided
We set a few basic guidelines in place to help consolidate the list of candidates. The models that follow all had to adhere to a couple of pre-requisites. Each phone has to run Android 10 or newer and have at least 4GB RAM. Additionally, we trimmed our list to devices with batteries of 4,000mAh or higher capacity.
This means current versions of software, a decent amount of memory for everyday tasks, and battery that lasts through a day or more.
LG Stylo 6
Big, practical, and the only one with a stylus, the LG Stylo 6 provides users with a large screen and an extra bit of functionality. The 6.8-inch display offers up plenty of high-definition space for scribbling notes, marking up documents, and more.
Running Android 10, the phone is powered by an octa-core processor with 3GB RAM. Storage comes in at 64GB but a microSD expansion card slot opens the door for up to 2TB external media.
Wrapping things up, the LG handset has a triple camera configuration on the rear, front-facing 13-megapixel selfie camera, and a 4,000mAh battery.
Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021)
Priced about one-third of Samsung’s counterpart, this phone is no less capable for many users. It’s powered by Android 10, comes with a 6.4-inch screen, and features its own digital stylus.
Motorola leaves Android largely untouched, a feature we’ve come to really appreciate. Pair that with a solid mid-range bundle of hardware, and it’s a great value proposition. The 48-megapixel triple-camera captures ultra-wide and macro images.
Purchase the Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021)
OnePlus Nord N10 5G
An all-around excellent phone with a mid-range price point, you’ll have to work hard to beat the value proposition here.
A stock version of Android runs the show, powered a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 processor with 6GB RAM. Storage is a more than respectable 128GB with a microSD expansion card slot for another 512GB.
Toss in a triple camera setup and fingerprint reader on the rear and support it with a fast charging 4,300mAh battery and you’ve a recipe for one of our favorite phones.
Purchase the OnePlus Nord N10 5G
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
The Galaxy A series in itself is very interesting to watch, however this is one of the models we like most. Present are a generous 6.5-inch display and a 48-megapixel multi-camera system, and a battery that beats most phones in this price. You know, the stuff we adore.
Under the hood are an octa-core processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a microSD expansion card slot for up to 1TB space. Rounding things out are a fingerprint reader, USB Type C charging, wireless charging, and 5G support.
Purchase the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G