If you’re not enrolled in a program that lets you get a new phone every year through your carrier, you may get sticker shock when it comes time to upgrade. New flagship phones come out every year, and they may offer faster processors and different features — but should you spend $1,000 on a phone if yours is still in use? That’s the advantage of unlocked phones: They’re not tied to a carrier, so they offer more freedom and less bloatware. They also get some serious price cuts during the year, which can save you money.
Best Unlocked Smartphone Deals for June 2023
*Deals are selected by our commerce team
Whether you’re an iPhone fanatic or an Android fanatic, there’s an unlocked smartphone out there for you. And there’s a good chance you can find a deal on something you’ll want to use. If you’re looking for your first unlocked phone, or if you’ve been carrier-agnostic for years, you still have some basic decisions to make regarding your next phone purchase.
The first big decision is iOS vs. Android. If you’re strictly Apple, your decision is somewhat easier, but there’s no shortage of excellent Android phones. The Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel are the two biggest players in that market, but phone makers like Motorola and OnePlus also make highly rated devices.
Once you’ve decided on your mobile OS, there are a few other factors to consider, including storage capacity, battery life, and camera quality. Most phones these days perform pretty well in all of these categories, but if you want a phone that can go for days without charging, it might not be the phone with the most powerful camera.
Ultimately, price is always a big consideration. It can be tempting to go into over-$1,000 territory for a phone, but many models on the market give you great performance for around $500 (or less). Saving a few bucks on any of these phones is even more satisfying, since you’ll likely carry it with you for years. Here are the best deals we found:
Google Pixel 7a Unlocked Phone
((Credit: Eric Zeman))
The Google Pixel 7a is the latest entry in Google’s smartphone line. It runs on the Android 13 operating system and uses the same powerful Google Tensor G2 processor as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, making it a great value. Measuring 6.0 by 2.8 by 0.4 inches and weighing 6.8 ounces, the compact device features a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a 2,400-by-1,080 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate, which improves on the Pixel 6a’s 60Hz refresh rate. Social-media influencers and amateur foodies will be happy to know that the Pixel line continues to be a leader in camera quality. As an added bonus, you get a $50 Amazon gift card with your purchase.
iPhone 13 Unlocked Phone
((Credit: Molly Flores))
Long battery life and fast performance make the iPhone 13 a clear winner. It uses Apple iOS 15 and Apple A15 Bionic CPU with next generation Neural Engine. Its gorgeous 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with 2,532-by-1,170 resolution looks great, whether you’re chatting via FaceTime or watching a Netflix show. Both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras are 12-megapixel; You’ll want to take lots of photos and selfies.
Recommended by our editors
oneplus 10t unlocked phone
((Credit: Sasha Segan))
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform, the OnePlus 10T delivers great performance whether you’re making calls, sending messages, surfing the web or playing games. The 50-megapixel triple camera system delivers stunning image clarity, and you can save your photos and videos in up to 256GB of storage. The 6.7-inch screen supports HDR10+ and has an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate to make the most of the Full HD resolution.
Google Pixel 6a Unlocked Phone
((Credit: Dave LeClair))
The Google Pixel 6a may not be brand new, but if you’re in the market for a midrange Android phone, it’s a strong value and a PCMag Editors’ Choice winner. Along with a vibrant OLED display and a good camera, this phone also has a Google Tensor CPU and runs the Android 12 operating system. Measuring 6.0 by 2.8 by 0.35 inches, the Pixel 6a’s distinctive appearance sets it apart from other phones. But the lack of microSD card slot may become a problem for some people.
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