Freedom. Freedom to choose the career you want to work with. Freedom to switch carriers whenever you are dissatisfied with your current provider, without penalties. Freedom to use your phone wherever you are whenever you travel internationally. Freedom to replace your locked device inexpensively. This is what you get when you buy clearance unlocked cell phones. What exactly is an unlocked phone? An unlocked phone is a phone that is not tied to any specific carrier and can be used on any carrier you choose.
Unlocked phones are the way to go if you don’t want to be tied down. And the good news is that in many cases, phones are unlocked as well as universal. This means that it is also not tied to any specific network and can be used on either CDMA or GSM networks. Unlocked phones can be bought in one of three ways: You can buy an unlocked phone directly from the phone manufacturer such as Apple or Samsung; through a phone carrier such as Verizon, who offer unlocked phones and from a third-party retailer such as Amazon.
With such a wide variety of phones available, unlocked is definitely the way to go. While the cost of an unlocked phone may seem large when buying, it can save you money in the long run since you are able to choose the plan and carrier that works for you and you can make changes to either of them without penalties.
New vs Refurbished
A refurbished phone generally refers to a cell phone that has been pre-owned and sent back for repair and resale. If a phone is described and you’re buying it from a carrier network such as the Verizon refurbished phones or sprint refurbished phones, you can be sure the phone has been tested, cleaned, wiped and is covered by a warranty.
While there’s nothing quite like the joy of opening up a new device and knowing that it belongs fully to you, a refurbished device may just be the way to go if you’re working on a tight budget and don’t mind having a pre-owned device.
How to choose the best clearance unlocked phones
Choosing an unlocked device to purchase can be a nerve-wracking experience, more so if you want to buy a refurbished or pre-owned phone. Here is a complete guide on how to choose a device that will work best for you.
Step 1: Research on which device you want to buy
Do ample research on the available devices before settling on one that will best suit your needs. Read the reviews of the consumers who have already bought the device and talk to friends before settling on a device.
Step 2: Choose a phone that is compatible with your carrier and network
The majority of unlocked phones work on GSM networks which means they are compatible with at least AT&T and T-Mobile. A universal phone, which is not tied to any network, can be used on all major U.S carriers i.e. Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Your best bet for a carrier compatible phone is, therefore, a universal phone.
Step 3: Activate your phone on your preferred carrier
After choosing a carrier that has sufficient coverage in your area, go to the carriers’ Bring Your Own Phone page where you’ll be prompted to choose a data plan. You will be charged a one-time activation fee on all major carriers except T-Mobile for new or other devices. Verizon and Sprint will charge you $30 while AT&T will charge $25. Now you can enjoy your unlocked cell phone!
The 7 best clearance unlocked phones
1) Samsung galaxy s10 e
The Samsung galaxy s10 e is a flagship device from Samsung with an unlocked but renewed version going for $369 dollars on Amazon. Don’t get nervous when you hear the word renewed. The device is backed by Amazon renewed guarantee and you are eligible for a refund or replacement if it does not work as expected.
Some of the features of this phone include the 128 GB internal memory, a 5.8” full HD AMOLED infinity display, facial recognition, a 12MP super speed, and 16 MP ultra-wide cameras and a 3100mAh battery.
- Rear triple camera and 32MP selfie camera
- Its powerful octa-core processor ensures great performance
- Sufficient 128GB memory which is expandable
- It does not come with headphones
- The battery capacity is not sufficient
2) Google pixel 3a 64gb memory phone
The google pixel 3a is Google’s least expensive smartphone and offers the best battery life from a google phone. The google pixel 3a also has some extra features such as 3 years of security and OS updates, a custom-made Titan M security chip that helps to secure your sensitive data and a Quick Switch Adapter that will ensure you don’t lose your messages, contacts, and photos when switching. At $269 dollars, this phone is definitely a steal.
- Extra-ordinary camera with nigh sight, portrait mode and HDR+
- Unlimited extra storage
- Extra security features
- Affordable price
- No wireless charging
3) Apple iPhone x – Renewed
Since 2007 when the first iPhone was released, the iPhone has been the phone to have with a price tag to match. If you want an iPhone but don’t have enough finances to buy a new phone, a renewed iPhone may be the way to go.
Though the phone is not Apple certified, it is tested and inspected by Amazon-qualified suppliers and looks almost brand new with a minimum battery capacity of 80% though reviews from consumers pointed towards it being even better.
The 64GB internal memory may seem a bit small for a device such as this but is suitable enough for most people. It has a 5.8” all-screen OLED multi-touch display,4k video recording, 7MP camera and is water and dust resistant. You can get this phone from Amazon at $404. A large put off is that it comes with only a charger and no headphones.
- 4K video recording
- Water and dust resistance
- The renewed phone goes for a more affordable price
- 64GB memory may be considered quite average
4) Apple iphone 8 – Renewed
A refurbished iPhone 8 unlocked goes for $226 on Amazon, which leaves with a not-insignificant amount of change when compared to a similar new phone. It has the same 90 days return period if it doesn’t work as expected, and is Amazon renewed guaranteed.
There are 2 versions of the iPhone 8 with the A1863 which works on all carriers, GSM and CDMA, and the A1905 which only works on GSM carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile), so be careful and know which model you are ordering.
The iPhone 8 has a 4.7’’ Retina HD LCD-backlit widescreen, 64GB internal memory, a 326-pixel resolution per inch and an 1821 mAh battery which is quite low.
- The renewed phone has a 90-day return period
- Powerful IOS 11 ensures the phone works wonderfully for whatever you’re doing
- 4K recording at 60 and 240 fps
- The A1905 works only on GSM carriers
5) Samsung galaxy note 10+
The Samsung galaxy note 10+ is a beast of a phone with its main selling point being the laptop and tablet storage capability. With an internal storage of 256GB and expandable storage of up to 512GB, you will never need to delete anything on this phone. You may even find that tablet you have redundant.
Some of the greatest features of the Samsung galaxy note10+ are, a 6.8” nearly bezel-less infinity display, an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint ID, a 10 MP selfie camera with dual pixel, an s pen to remote control your phone and a 4300 mAh superfast charging, all-day battery with wireless power share.
All these features don’t come cheap though. For this experience, you’ll have to part with a cool $1,100 if you buy new and $680 if you buy a used one from Amazon.
- Extra-ordinary 256GB internal storage
- Great-battery life
- Wireless power share
- S pen offers remote access for the phone
- Quite expensive when new
6) LG G8s
This is an international model phone and therefore does not have a US warranty. It is factory unlocked though and is therefore compatible with most GSM carriers but is not compatible with CDMA carriers such as Verizon and Sprint which may be a turn-off for some buyers.
The major selling point for most of the consumers of this phone has been the 3550mAh battery which has amazing battery life. The specifications for this device include 128 GB of internal storage, triple rear camera and dual front camera, Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, and rear-mounted fingerprint recognition.
- 128 GB internal storage
- Triple rear camera
- Great battery life
- Cannot be used on CDMA networks
7) Motorola moto g8 plus
The Motorola moto G8 Pus is also an international model phone so it also does not have a US warranty and cannot be used on CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint which is a downside. Its specifications include a 48MP camera sensor with night vision capture in low- light situations.
This phone have 25 MP front camera, 40-hour battery and turbo power charging, its Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor hence Ultra-fast performance and water-repellent design to protect your phone from accidental splashes.
- Powerful processor ensures great performance
- 40- hour battery life (may vary depending on usage)
- Water-repellent design
- Cannot be used on CDMA networks
With a smartphone being a device that we rely on heavily to stay connected, handle our business affairs and basically get through our day, a device that you can use with no limitations is vital. With an unlocked phone, you get the phone you want, set up exactly how you want it.