Mar 06 AT 1:48 PM Taylor Wimberly 55 Comments

Best unlocked Android phone for any budget: March 2013

unlocked-phone-630

Last year I made the jump to using unlocked Android phones on pre-paid wireless plans, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I saved a ton of money on my monthly bill, I can choose any Android phone I want, and I no longer have to rely on carriers to deliver my software updates.

If unlocked phones on pre-paid plans are so great, then why aren’t more people shredding their contracts and switching?

For consumers on a tight budget, switcing to the pre-paid world can be challenging at first. The cost of leaving your carrier during the middle of a contract and the cost of buying an unlocked phone could force you to spend 3-6x times your monthly carrier bill.

Once you get past the initial expenses, your savings could quickly add up. I switched from Verizon to Straight Talk (AT&T) and then Solavei (T-Mobile), which instantly saved me around $50 per month, or roughly $600 per year. That same $600 is about the cost of most high-end Android phones that are unlocked and sold without a service contract. This means your potential first-year savings could absorb the entire cost of any new Android phone you want.

After making the switch to using unlocked Android phones, I see no real reason to return to the land of locked phones and post-paid service plans. I have the freedom to choose the device I want, I can choose what network it operates on, I can decide what software it runs, and I can switch from device to device, and carrier to carrier, without signing another contract.

There are many places to purchase unlocked phones, and I have found that Amazon Wireless offers the largest selection, lowest prices, and fastest  shipping service. I’m a member of Amazon Prime so I get free 2-day shipping on most items, but it’s still a good deal even with shipping added in.

If you are considering making the switch to an unlocked phone, here is some advice from someone that already made the journey.

What is an unlocked phone?

Unlocked devices are phones that recognize SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) cards from any carrier. A locked phone will only recognize a SIM card from a particular carrier. The “lock” is a software setting that keeps the cell phone “loyal” to one carrier.

Why should I buy an unlocked phone?

We have already touched on some reasons to shred your wireless contract, but I’ll recap some of the highlights.

  • Unlocked phones cost less in the long run. Do the math.
  • Unlocked phones are not altered by a carrier. No need to worry about crap apps or gimped hardware.
  • Unlocked phones receive Android updates faster, directly from the manufacturer.
  • Unlocked phones give consumers more control of plans and pricing. No contracts, no commitments, no hidden fees.
  • Unlocked phones have a higher resale value.

Check out 7 Things you should know about pre-paid smartphone service before you switch for more info.

Why should I not buy an unlocked phone?

Unlocked phones are not for everyone. Some reasons you might want to pass on unlocked phones include:

  • No 4G LTE access yet. In the future we will see pre-paid service plans with 4G LTE, but right now you are limited to 4G HSPA+.
  • Large families might be better off with a post-paid plan that has shared data. Rates vary from carrier to carrier, but a family plan with shared minutes and data might be cheaper than a bunch of individual pre-paid plans.
  • No in-store support for most plans (T-Mobile Monthly 4G is the exception). If you enjoy walking into your local carrier store to get support with your phone, then you might pass on an unlocked device. Most carriers will not provide support for a device they did not sell, so you will have to turn to the manufacturer for help and warranty claims.

What US networks support unlocked phones?

AT&T and T-Mobile both use the GSM standard and support unlocked phones. Verizon and Sprint rely on the CDMA (Code division multiple access) standard and they will not work with unlocked GSM phones.

Most unlocked phones that were designed for the international market will have no problems running on AT&T’s network. T-Mobile USA uses different HSPA+ bands (1700/2100 MHz), which most international phones do not support,  but they are currently refarming their network to support more phones.

T-Mobile is rolling out HSPA+ service on the 1900 MHz band, so they are starting to support many unlocked devices at faster data speeds in select markets. Currently, T-Mobile covers over 50 markets and 142 million people with their new 1900 MHz network. For areas that have not been upgraded, unlocked phones will still operate on T-Mobile’s 2G Edge network.

  • AT&T HSPA+ bands: 850/1900 MHz
  • T-Mobile HSPA+ bands: 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz is 50+ markets (See airportal.de for 1900mhz coverage map)

Some devices like the Nexus 4 support up to five bands (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz) and will operate on both AT&T and T-Mobile with no problems. Check the bands on an unlocked phone before you make your purchase.

What are the best service plans for unlocked phones?

This topic deserves a separate post (coming soon), but here is a quick summary. Unlocked phones can be used on most of AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s post-paid service plans, but using those won’t net you any extra savings. The best option is to go pre-paid with services such as Straight Talk SIM, Simple Mobile, Solavei, or T-Mobile Monthly 4G. Check out our post Top Pre-paid Plans for Android Phones for more info.

I initially chose Straight Talk SIM because they let you choose between AT&T’s or T-Mobile’s network. Eventually, I ended up with Solavei (T-Mobile) since they offer the most data (4 GB) and a referral program.

Tips for Buying from Amazon

Check who is selling and fulfilling the product: Amazon uses a number of sellers throughout their site. Each product listing will have a featured merchant, but click through the list of sellers to review all your buying options. Some products are shipped by the seller and others are fulfilled through Amazon’s own warehouses. Amazon provides reviews for each seller, so read up on the recent comments if you have any concerns.

Prices will fluctuate daily: You might notice prices jumping up and down before you buy, so keep an eye on the sale prices. One seller might offer a device for $30 cheaper than the competition, but they will sell out and the price will jump back up.

Amazon guarantee: You can buy with confidence because Amazon offers A-to-z Guarantee Protection. The condition of the item you buy and its timely delivery are guaranteed.

Read the reviews: We are providing our picks for the best unlocked Android phone at every price point, but don’t take us as the final word. I encourage you to read the user reviews to see what people are saying about the product.

Best unlocked phone for $700-799: Sony Xperia Z

sony-xperia-z-630

Original Release Date: February 2013

The Good: Full 1080p HD on a large 5” display, 13 megapixel camera with Sony Exmor RS sensor and HDR video capture, fast quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, NFC, water-resistant, frame is made from glass fiber polyamide.

The Not-so-good: High price, some say the viewing angles on the display are not the best.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Last Amazon price$789, new to the list this month

Final Words: This is Sony’s best smartphone, but the price is hard to justify when you compare it with other devices.

Best unlocked phone for $600-699: Samsung Galaxy Note II

Original Release Date: September 2012

The Good: Large 5.5-inch HD display, S Pen stylus, fast 1.6 GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor, 2 GB RAM, Android 4.1, great camera experience, NFC, massive 3100 mAh battery, microSD slot.

The Not-so-good: Size might be too big for some.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Last Amazon price: $654, prices are same as December

Final Words: The Galaxy Note II is the best super-sized phone you can buy. It features the largest display, fastest processor, and it ships with the latest version of Android.

Best unlocked phone for $500-599: Samsung Galaxy S III

Original Release Date: May 2012

The Good: Large HD display, fast Exynos 4 Quad processor, 1 GB RAM, Android 4.1, great camera experience, NFC, hacker friendly, removable battery, microSD slot.

The Not-so-good: After extended use, I prefer the camera experience on the HTC One X.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Last Amazon price$500, prices are down $80 from December

Final Words: The Galaxy S III is one of the best unlocked phones that money can buy, in terms of hardware. However, we expect Samsung to unveil the Galaxy S IV on March 14th.

Best unlocked phone for $400-499: HTC One X

htc-one-x-white

Original Release Date: April 2012

The Good: Amazing camera experience, beautiful design, Beats audio, large vibrant display, quad-core Tegra 3 processor, best version of Sense UI yet, hacker friendly, NFC, Android 4.1.

The not-so-good: No microSD card, battery is non-removable.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Last Amazon Price$480, down $10 from December

Final Words: The HTC One X offers a premium Android experience  with a price that beats some the top competitors. Design stands out above the rest. HTC enables you to unlock the bootloader, and there is a growing development community that supports the device. The Tegra 3 chip gives you access to tons of exclusive games from Tegra Zone. Expect prices to be dropping soon with the newer HTC One expected to launch by Q2 2013.

 Best unlocked phone for $300-399: Sony Xperia SL

sony-xperia-sl-630

Original Release Date: September 2012

The Good: 4.3 inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine, 12 megapixel camera with Exmor R sensor, fast dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, NFC, 32 GB of internal storage, Android 4.1.

The not-so-good: No expandable storage.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Last Amazon Price: $389, new to the list this month

Final Words: The Sony Xperia SL is a great device, but it is kind of stuck in the middle. I would suggest getting the Nexus 4 or spending the extra cash and get the One X or Galaxy S III.

Best unlocked phone for $200-299: LG Nexus 4

Original Release Date: November 2012

The Good: Pure Android experience, updates straight from Google, NFC, wireless charging, beautiful display, fast Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.

The not-so-good: No expandable storage, no removable battery, camera is not as good as SGS3 or HTC One X, glass back can crack.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+

Last Google Price: $299 for 8 GB, $349 for 16 GB, prices are unchanged from December

Final Words: This is the best unlocked Android phone for the price. It doesn’t have expandable storage and a removable battery like the Galaxy S III, but this device is selling for almost half the price.

Best unlocked phone for $100-199: Sony Xperia U

Original Release Date: May 2012

The Good: 3.5 inch Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine, 5 megapixel camera, Android 4.0, dual-core 1 GHz processor.

The not-so-good: No expandable storage, no NFC.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Last Amazon Price: $193, down $10 from December

Final Words: The Xperia U has been flirting with the $199 barrier, and the price finally dropped. It’s a great buy at only $200, but we would suggest saving up some money and getting the Nexus 4.

Best unlocked phone for $0-99: Huawei Ideos

huawei-ideos-630

Original Release Date: September 2010

The Good: Low price point, stock Android UI.

The not-so-good: Stuck on Android 2.2, small 2.8 inch display, limited internal storage.

Networks supported: AT&T 4G HSPA+, T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ (in select cities)

Final Words: You get what you pay for, but the Huawei Ideos is a decent disposable phone for only $79.

Last Amazon Price: $79, new to the list this month

Wrapping Things Up

When it comes to unlocked phones, the Nexus 4 is still the king when you consider the bang for the buck. It provides one of the best overall experiences and Google is selling it for half the price of competing phones. This would explain why the device has been extremely hard to get.

Over the next couple of months, we should see new flagship phones from HTC, LG, and Samsung go on sale. We don’t know the retail unlocked pricing yet, but I would expect them to debut in the $500-700 range. These new devices should offer greatly improved performance and camera experiences, but they will come with a premium price.

The other thing to keep an eye on is the rumored Motorola X Phone, which could debut around Google IO in May. There is a good chance that this device might be sold through the Google Play Store, so it could be priced lower than the top high-end unlocked phones.

Looking down the list, it is pretty impressive that you can get an Android 4.0 device for under $200. Once you dip below $100 you start to see the choices drop off, but that should improve later this year. Amazon doesn’t sell too many phones from the Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE, but those companies are helping to drive down prices of the entry-level phones.

Let us know if you spot any unlocked devices that might be a better pick at any of the price points. We plan to regularly update this list as we search out the best deals for unlocked Android phones.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Michael Rogers

    I recently called T-Mobile to cancel my service to make the switch to Solavei. Between my wife and I, we’d be paying $100 instead of the $165 T-Mobile was stiffing me for. When I found out that we were both still under contract for another 12 months, I wasn’t too thrilled about a $200/line cancellation fee, but I’d still be making my money back within the year.

    Just to be sure, I got over to the retention department. They managed to get my bill down to ~$85/month with all the same services (1000 minutes, unlimted txt & data, handset insurance on one line). Granted, my contract now extends to 2015, but if I decide to jump ship it’s still the same $200/line. If I choose to do a handset upgrade, I’ll buy unlocked and bring it over.

    Don’t be afraid to shop around and don’t be afraid to TELL your carrier you’re ready to cancel. Give them a shot and they might just surprise you.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Got to love the retention departments. No telling what surprises they will offer you.

    • Jorge Eslava

      Man you were really getting ripped off before you called them, I’m glad that it worked out in the end. My T-mobile cancelation story went a little bit different, I ended up canceling =)

  • Michael

    For a Sony phone within the 400 dollar range I would have mentioned the Xperia TX LT29i which supports T-Mobile’s HSDPA+ network and works on AT&T 3G as well. Rocking this on T-Mobile and its a great current flagship device from Sony (until the Z and ZL arrive).

    • Toe-B

      LT30P for $403.99

      If you really want to keep it under $400, the LT28H.

      Both should work with AT&T or T-Mobile. Also theres the possibility of finding model specific accessories in the real world since they are the world versions of AT&T contract phones.

      The Xperia ZL is $699 as well, and hopefully will drop once Sony officially releases it in the U.S.

  • Nate B.

    I noticed Solavei has a 4GB before they slow you down. I know I would never reach that since I use wifi mostly and do nothing to heavy data related. Just a little social networking. But what is Straight Talks cap until they slow you down?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Straight Talk does not have a defined data cap, but people say it is 1.5 GB on AT&T and 2 GB on T-Mobile. I have heard stories of people being throttled before and after these limits, so you don’t really know what to expect.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      As Taylor said, Straight Talk’s limits are only rumors, but additional rumblings have pointed that Straight Talk will also throttle you if you exceed a *daily* download limit of 100 MB +/- 30 MB (depending on who you ask).

  • William Zipperer

    I have been looking to go this route after doing some research. Sprint is pitiful coverage wise near my business, luckily I have wifi here. I am due up in July and may go with the nexus or wait to see if there will be a new Nexus or Moto. Thanks for the info!

  • bigrob029

    I love seeing these posts, I never hear about whats’s new and available from sony. They get crazy expensive but they seem nice. I think i’ll just save my pennies for the Nexus4 and go with that.
    sounds like i should also take a whack at the retention department and see what tmo will do for me, lol.

  • Andy_jr

    Thanks for these monthly reports, Taylor. It’s really nice to have a quick up-to-date summary at any time!

  • Kaylee

    Why does no one ever mention Metro PCS? Not only do they offer some very nice Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 (as low $399) and several LG handsets (Motion 4g and Spirit), they also offer unlimited 4g data plans and Hotspots. The only downside is their coverage area as mostly large cities are covered, but that is expanding everyday. I switched to them from Sprint and only pay $50/ month for my Galaxy S3. They are an option to at least look into along with Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, though I have never used those before.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      We don’t mention MetroPCS because they run a CDMA network and do not support unlocked GSM phones.

      • Peter P

        They do now!

  • Thomas Biard

    I really wish I could just switch over to GSM because I love the unlocked phones, and the prepaid availability, but its a huge financial guess as to whether it would work well enough to not make a difference for me. Being that I’m used to the coverage and reliability of Verizon’s network, and friends and family don’t have the same consistency on GSM in our area, I don’t wanna try it out and blow a whole bunch of money on a new phone, new plan with ported number, etc…

    Although I really do like getting these run-downs of the current best, and current available for prepaid across the board. I like to stay in the loop. Thanks taylor!

    • LukeT32

      I am in the same boat. No way I could leave Verizon’s coverage any time soon. I also have unlimited data still and use 10 gb a month usually.

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        You could always try a one-month throwaway prepaid plan with whichever GSM carrier has the greatest strength in your area. Verizon’s coverage isn’t always the dominator their marketing team wants you to believe.

      • Toe-B

        For $45 a month on Straight Talk you get to choose between unlimited everything over T-Mobile, or AT&T.

        No reason either one of them shouldnt work great, but if one is bad, just switch to the other next month.

        For the past 2 months Ive been using T-Mobile, my wife is on AT&T, neither of us have had any problems with coverage.

  • Jon

    So is Solavei really unlimited 4G? Or do they have some hidden cap? It would be worth it for me if they gave 2 Gigs of unlimited before any throttling. But 5 Gigs would be amazing!

    It seems like many of these unlimited plans these days are technically unlimited, but they cut you off from 4G at some pre-determined limit which they don’t bother telling you about openly. T-Mobile is the only pre-paid provider that openly tells you about their 4G limits.

    • Jon

      Nevermind…my question was answered in the above comments. They cap at 4 Gigs. That’s a great deal! $50 for 4 Gig 4G and then unlimited 2G / Edge is a better deal than I’ve seen anywhere else.

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        Yep it’s a great deal when most others are 1-2 GB of data. Can’t wait to see what plans they offer for 4G LTE later this year.

  • Ichigo

    I love theses lists, thanks!

  • aranea

    Another reason to get an unlocked phone even though you’re staying on a monthly plan is the flexibility. I got Nexus 4. A great price for a great phone. Now I don’t have to worry about switching to anything if/when I want to but I’ll stay with ATT still bc it’s easier for me to do so.

  • Dan

    HTC Droid DNA

  • stenzor

    Even if I had $1000 to spend on any phone I want, I’d still get the Nexus 4 because the stock Android experience is unmatched. Also it’s much better looking than any other phone out there.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      Just get 4 Nexus 4s.

      … That looks weird to me.

  • Nathan D.

    Thanks for the update, might use this info soon.

  • herbivore83

    Glad to see the return of this column, Taylor!

    Please bring back your new apps, app updates, and most popular app columns. I did quite enjoy those and installed so many of them I lost count!

  • donger

    Almost the same every month.

  • slater

    What do you know about Blu phones? Their specs-prices combination are really incredible (check out the Dash 4.0, Tank 4.5, Vivo 4.3). All have Android 4.x, dual core, high res screens, etc. and prices at the very low end ($130-$250). Too good to be true??

  • Rockin Rita

    How does the Samsung Galaxy Relay 4G fair? I’m thinking about upgrading my G2/ HTC Vision but want the external storage and full qwerty keypad. I use T-Mobile monthly 4G.

  • Hilda

    My son has a Droid X that he wants to give me. He used it with Verizon. I do not want to use a plan. Is there a plan that can be used with the Verizon Droid? Most of the ones I have seen are for AT&T phones.

    I want to get rid of my outrageously priced cell phone plan that does not even include data … just talk and text (and mine is an OLD plan, Greater Freedom, I believe 750 min and not sure how much texting for $39.95. But, it costs me extra for additional texting and then all the extra charges that come with a contract plan (I am out of contract … have been for 2 years). I am having some problems with my current phone so will be needing something new in the near future.

    Thanks … looking forward to hearing from you.

  • sj

    Unless you’re on T-Mobile or one of their prep aids,your e not gonna save $$$ cuz youll pay the same on other carriers whether u sign a contract or not…plus lot of people have iPhone…and honestly, the average consumer isn’t educated on all this either

  • Matt

    Honestly after Nexus 4 any phone above that price range isnt worth the money,
    N4 Better CPU than GS3 and N2 and same as XZ- price 2x cheaper
    N4 feels better than GS3 ans N2 and NO AMOLED, XZ is amazing phone tho – still 2x cheaper
    N4 Instant updates from google, all the software on Sammy and Sony can be replicated from playstore so why would you spend that much ??
    Camera? does anyone print photos these days ? do you view it on anything bigger than your laptop or PC screen???

  • Justin

    What happened to the LG P500 Optimus One that was on your list from 2012? Has it been bumped off by the Huawei Ideos? I thought it looked pretty good for an inexpensive phone. I’m wondering if it’s worth the extra $150 to get a better phone … I’m not interested in playing games or watching videos on my phone.

  • Justin

    BTW – Thanks for these terrific write-ups! I’ve obviously read both the original and now your updated one.

  • nejiuya

    IMO the Best deal is the $30 T-mobile pre-paid plan provided you have access to wifi most of the time. Unlimited 3G (5gb before you get throttled), unlimited text (I don’t care for this as I use google voice) and 100mins of talk, which could be a bitch to most people. But for me its perfect, I just need the 5gb of data. I downloaded the app called talkatone (or GrooveIP works too) and they allow me to use Google’s free Gmail calling. So for $30 a month I get, free unlimited texting, free unlimited calling, and 5gb of data. So far so good.
    I cancelled my Verizon contract a year early, paid $240 dollars to get out of it, bought the Nexus 4 at $350 for a total of ~$600. But I’m saving 60 bucks a month by switching. So in roughly 10 months I would have recovered all the costs.

    • shayshayma

      Thank you. Do you use gb when you make calls over the3g

  • nilesh.wankhede

    hey thnx for information..
    i have few question for you..

    i m in india
    is this service available for me (in india here is no services like at&t, t mobile, vodafone ,orange)
    amazon van provide service of delivery all over the world..

    can i order it from india amazon can approve my order..????
    plz reply amazon can save my money a lot..

  • Shawn Clark

    Cant go wrong with Nexus

  • Istok

    Wow that was a good article. I gotta share this.

  • ecoastgal

    I am looking to buy an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S III. I currently use Straight Talk prepaid, but am also looking at T Mobile prepaid. Never had a problem with the Straight Talk service. Buying this phone through Amazon means perhaps getting the International version which I hear is not a good thing; also I want to get at least a 2 year warranty with the phone and most of the manufacturers do not offer it. I looked online for phone warranty companies and find that most of those companies may not cover the phone without detailed info re the manufacturer. Some of the companies that sell phones on Amazon seem to manufacturer their own phones. Is there a company that offers a good price on this phone, unlocked, the us version and also allows for extended warranty coverage?

  • Roger

    Not sure of why the trend to moving to non-expandle memory, but it sucks!
    My Nexus 7 is almost full and I don’t even have any music or movies on it!

    In contrast, my phone does have expandable memory and currently sports a 32gb sd micro card that has 30 full length movies in mp4 format, along with 600 plus mp3 songs – and I still have 8gb available left on it.

    Wake me when phones come with 1TB of internal memory, then we’ll talk about getting rid of the card slot. Because there’s no way 64gb is going to cut it for apps, games (which can take a huge amount of space – some 1gb or better), music, movies, documents, etc.

  • Pinoy Android

    Nexus 4 is the best for value and feature. (PERIOD!)

  • Ed Nelson

    Thank you for the excellent review. It answered a lot of questions for me. Sadly, I had to sell my Galaxy Note I because, apparently, the phones antenna was not very good.

    I face the ocean with tons of concrete building between me and the phone towers. Was never a problem with other cellphones. When I complained to ATT, they kept giving me new ones. I kept telling them I needed a different phone, any phone that had a decent antenna.

    So I bought out my contract, sold the phone on eBay and bought a used iPhone. Long story because, in looking for another carrier, I discovered Consumer Cellular, a company that uses ATTs carrier but charges a fraction of the price on a month to month plan!

    The phone Ii bought from eBay had a hidden defect. The button only works some of the time, so I think I will try your reco for the Nexus. Thanks again for the advice

  • N Bravatto

    I don’t know why the HTC Droid DNA isn’t mentioned here in place of one of the multiple Sony devices. I saw someone mentioned it and got -4 rating on his comment. He’s right. Unless you all hate the phone that much. Not sure why as there is not much to hate. You guys realize that phone can be used on a GSM network right? It is a global phone. It has an unlocked sim slot. I bought one cheap at like 2 am on Ebay one morning brand new. I have it on Straight Talk for $45 a month. I have no issues with data throttle (yet). Solavei will be my next experiment. Looks like they have great coverage in my area and I am liking what I see in there looks for the 4G data. You can even buy a used one with a bad esn and save yourself more money. Although they tend to do almost just as much as a clean. I am buying my time right now to see what else comes out so this phone is still cutting edge with a lot of support over at xda and a lot of nice custom roms.

  • Luke

    Why no mention of Motorola’s Atrix 4g? That thing is the best performance per dollar of any android phone I’ve seen; 16GB expandable, fast response (GO or Launcher Pro), rounded form with faux-composite back, finger print scanner in the power button (can be disabled), 20 hrs charge with a couple calls, 30 texts, and 30 minutes browsing throughout the day. It’s a few years old so it’s on ebay, unlocked for $50-150, and it beats the pants off any Huawai device for sure.

  • Nadia

    How would you recommend dealing with the issue of warranty on unlocked phones? Most unlocked phones I have found on Amazon or other sites like JandR are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty in the US because they have been manufactured for another regional/national market. Is there any way of getting warranty coverage for an unlocked cell phone?

  • BlazeHN

    The best deal hands down is the $120 Motorolla Atrix 4G. That phone its incredible, I dont understand how a such powerful phone its soooo cheap, sounds like some kind of price mistake or something. I have bought like 5 of those already for gf and family and they are perfect.

    1GB Dual Core Processor (Most phones on this price have 600 mhz – 1Ghz single core processors)
    1 GB RAM (most phones on this price have 256MB or 512MB RAM)
    16 Storage + Expandable Micro SD Slot
    Superior to HD Resolution 4″ Screen (most phones on this price dont even have HD resolution)
    Nvidea Tegra 2 GPU (runs any Tegra Zone HD enhanced game)
    Mini HDMI dedicated slot (very rare)
    Digital Fingerprint sensor to unlock

    And have a especifically designed multimedia dock (sometimes bundled with the phone) and a laptop dock aswell. This phone beats easily most of other options under $300.

  • metro fan

    u need to list some BLU phones they bring a lot of bang per buck

  • james

    you talked about buying unlocked cell phones, but what about unlocking my HTC Inspire and using it with a no contract carrier?

  • sknigh

    Also, read reviews at UseMyReviews as well.