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 tight 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 $150 to $250. 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 3GB RAM. Additionally, we trimmed our list to devices with batteries of 3,800mAh or higher capacity.
This means current versions of software, a decent amount of memory for basic tasks, and battery that lasts through a day or more.
Motorola One Fusion+
Incredible battery life and a big screen are two key concerns for users and both are delivered here. When most phones offer all-day battery, this one boasts two days or more. Its 6.5-inch display is larger than most phones at this price and so is the storage capacity.
We love what Motorola does in terms of software as the and unadulterated version of Android is complimented with just the right amount of custom extras.
We’re also fans of the 64-megapixel quad-camera system on the back which also packs macro and ultra-wide cameras.
Samsung Galaxy A51
You don’t have to buy last year’s Galaxy to save a few bucks. The Galaxy A series packs all of the features that consumers find important without the frilly extras, saving you hundreds of dollars in the process.
Here, you get a large 6.9-inch display, rear quad-camera configuration, and massive battery. Further, it runs Android 10 and boasts an octa-core processor, 6GB memory, and a generous 128GB internal storage capacity.
For your money you’ll get a generous screen (6.53-inches), dual rear cameras, and 64GB worth of internal storage. Need more room? Toss in a microSD card and boost up another 128GB. Other standout features include 6GB RAM (yep, six) and a 4,000mAh battery. Oh, and there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.
OnePlus Nord N100
Stunning in design, this phone packs a punch, too. Among the most powerful models in this price range, you get a massive 6.52-inch display, 4GB RAM, and a triple-megapixel camera.
One of our favorite features is the 5,000mAh battery which pushes most users beyond two days of usage. And when it’s time to charge, you won’t spend much time plugged in. That 18W fast charging is pretty damn quick.
Nokia sure knows how to make phones look sexy without driving up the price. This mid-ranger features a quad-camera experience that’s led by a 48-megapixel main sensor.
A terrific every man phone, it has a generous 6.39-inch screen and enough battery to get work done and leave something for fun. With 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, it’s all you need for day-to-day usage.
When it comes to software, it’s nothing but peace of mind. Not only does it launch with Android 11, it comes with multiple years of updates and security patches.
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming design and somewhat utilitarian look; this is a great option for people shopping on a budget. It’s got a generous (6.5-inch) display and a triple-camera setup that works great for portraits and wide-angle shots.
Other details we’re fond of include the all-day battery, DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, and 13-megapixel front-facing camera.