Best Unlocked Cell Phones in 2020



Google - Pixel 3a with 64GB Memory Cell Phone (Unlocked) - Just Black - G020G Review:


Want the best camera? Want a great looking screen? Want amazing battery life? Want great simple software? Yes exactly, that's why this phone is great for 99% of people. Now if all you care about is specs, just walk away, it's not a flagship, but you won't notice unless you're reading a specs sheet. If your just a regular phone user, takes some photos, watches some videos, strolls through social media pages, and does some emails and web browsing, this is the phone for you, save your money. Some more pros, Google photos back up is unlimited, 3 times the amount of cloud storage for free as apple, and they keep pictures completely separate. If you use any type of voice assistant, you'll love having a Google phone for the best assistant experience. Lots of Pixel only features, screen calling in the US is an amazing benifit. Also, if you want to switch from Apple, this is the phone to try it with.



Samsung Galaxy A20 32GB A205G/DS 6.4" HD+ 4,000mAh Battery LTE Factory Unlocked GSM Smartphone (International Version, No Warranty) (Deep Blue) Review:


This is the 2nd phone I've purchased in the same number of weeks. I bought one for my wife and I loved the feel and looks of it. The camera is great. Not exactly sure what a dual front camera does, but the pictures are very clear. It took a little work to adjust to the interface. The apps are hidden and have to be brought out, but once I found out how to add them to the main pages, it works good. The only issue I have is the fingerprint reader is not as good, but I believe it is my fingerprints that are the problem as I have the same problem with other readers that I have used. I like the dual SIM as my wife and I travel overseas often and this way we can just get a pay-and-go SIM and use it without removing our US SIM. I am AT&T and the network and data appears to be great.



Samsung Galaxy A20 32GB A205G/DS 6.4" HD+ 4,000mAh Battery LTE Factory Unlocked GSM Smartphone (International Version, No Warranty) (Black) Review:


I am switching from a long line of Iphones and have had it for a week. I just got tired of the media control. It is sleek and simple to use, like any of the Samsung tablets. I love that you can add memory and save my images. I have 45 movies and my entire music collection on the phone. The battery is clearly better than any Iphone battery. It lasts easily 3 times as long. I am able to make my own ringtones from my music using the software already on the phone.

It comes in Spanish, but easily changes over. I use AT&T and haven't had any issues. It seems to have better data download-abiliy than the prior Iphone. It has 2 sim card slots for the Europeans, that is also where the miniSD resides as well which hasn't given problems but the Engineer in me could see issues in the future. The pictures are easily comparable with the Iphone7 and the speeds at which it processes the images and prepares to take another. For the price it is simply foolish to purchase anything else.



BLU G9 Pro -6.3” Full HD Smartphone with Triple Main Camera, 128GB+4GB RAM -Nightfall Review:


Context -- I'm old, crotchety, cheap, and don't take selfies.

This is a fantastic phone and a fantastic value. Upon unboxing, I was struck at how nice it looks. It appears high end. Also, the extras in the box were a pleasant surprise. Now I always buy cheap, so maybe this is more standard than I know. First off, 3.5mm headphones. Hey, you have the jack, might as well. Then I noticed it came with a cheap, clear case. Yay! Free! I don't have to buy a case. Then I noticed it came with a screen protector! Hey! Don't have to buy one of those either! Too easy. $200 all-in for a phone, case, screen protector, and headphones.

Set-up and transferring apps/info was easy peasy. Phone is quick, responsive, and I like the particular feel of this phone's haptic feedback. I was switching over to T-Mobile (U.S. customer) and was concerned that this phone does not support all T-Mobile 4G bands. T-Mobile 4G is covered on bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 66, 71. This phone does not support 66 and 71. 4 out of 6 is apparently good enough. I'm in a city and have yet to be without 4G LTE coverage. Also took a trip up and down the east coast this weekend and those missing bands didn't seem to be an issue at all.

As for the phone's specs, it simply can't be beat at this price. I wanted a phone with lots of memory (128 gb, check), snappy performance (good chip and 4 gb ram, check), and decent battery life (4000 mAh battery when most phones in this price range have a 3000 mAh, so check). So far, it performs great. No issues, no hiccups, no slowdown.

The biggest con of this phone is the lack of NFC, but I don't care. I also don't care about the gimmicky three camera set up, nor do I buy the marketing ploy that the three cameras can form a Voltron-style 96 mb camera. Next time, Blu, one camera (or two cameras at most if you just can't help yourself) and add NFC. I'd also like it to be waterproof but I mean, it's $200. I'd love if it printed money and gave me back massages, but at this price I'm all good.

Ultimately it's a smart phone and it does what a smart phone is supposed to do without any issues. And I have never been able to say that about any other phone I've owned. You won't find a better phone at this price. You probably won't find a better phone for twice the price.



ZTE BLADE Z MAX Z982 (32GB, 2GB RAM) 6.0" Full HD Display, Dual Rear Camera, 4080 mAh Battery, 4G LTE GSM Unlocked Smartphone w/ US Warranty (Black) Review:


My ATT phone had a micro sim card. I took the sim and the phone to a local ATT store. The attendant used a handheld tool and trimmed the sim card so that it fits perfectly in the new phone. Put it in and the phone immediately connected to my phone account. Works perfectly. Also works quite well with Android Auto on my sync 3 Ford F-150. I can easily switch between Wase and Google Maps.

I noticed a reviewer who loudly complained that the screen timed out and went black in just a few seconds. That person may not be smart enough to own a smartphone as this is controlled in the android settings under screen I believe. It'll stay on up to several minutes.



Samsung Galaxy A10 32GB (A105M) 6.2" HD+ Infinity-V 4G LTE Factory Unlocked GSM Smartphone - Black Review:


I needed to replace a older Samsung grand prime which only had 8 gb memory which sucked. This phone was well packaged, and shipped promptly. For me the features on this phone are quite good. I have t=mobile service and all I did was put in the sim card from my old phone, and I was up and running receiving and making calls in 10 min. the 32 GB memory is nice, and I received a 32 GB mini sd card with the phone also. I refuse to spend 700 or more for a phone, or to pay 25.00 or more per month to rent one so this is a nice option. My wife also needs new phone but wanted me to check this out before she buys. so far I am pleased and I plan on buying one for her.

Update. bought one for my wife. Same as before, put in Sim card from old phone and she was up and running in 10 min. after going through all settings. As I stated we have T-Mobile and this phone works great. Has a large screen. I would buy from this seller again.



Samsung Galaxy A50 SM-A505G 64GB 4GB RAM 25 MP 6.4" Factory Unlocked International Version- Black Review:


I picked this phone up to replace an aging OnePlus 3T and have been very pleased with it so far. I’ll run through a bit of my personal experience with it and some of the specs below.

As a quick note, I use it in the east Tennessee region of the United States on T-Mobile, so I’ll cover band support for those interested as well.

What’s included and ease of setup:
The phone came in genuine packaging which is easy to open. The package included the phone, a 3.5mm audio cable and ear buds, a USB-C charging cable and power brick (two-prong compatible with US outlets), SIM tray tool, 64GB microSD card, and a basic clear TPU case. The phone itself has a screen protector pre-applied, though it’s fairly flimsy and I immediately replaced it with a tempered glass protector. Instructions for multiple languages are included, though the box itself is in Spanish and English.

The phone is unlocked, so I was able to pop my SIM card and the included 64GB microSD card in and use them immediately with no additional hurdles.

Band support:
It was a bit hard to do research on this due to conflicting info online and the presence of different models with varying band support. What I know for sure is that it’s GSM only, meaning that in the US it will only work on carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Based on the FCC certification test report for the model I purchased here (SM-A505G, FCC ID A3LSMA505G), it should support the following LTE bands: 2, 5, 12, 13, 26, 41, 66. On T-Mobile, that covers 4 of their 6 supported LTE bands (2, 5, 12, 66), assuming it’s accurate.

From my personal use, I haven't noticed any difference in signal quality or LTE support compared to my OnePlus 3T, which I know supports the proper bands. Internet speeds are just as fast as they were on the 3T (typically averaging about 60 Mbps down and 11 Mbps up) and I haven't had any trouble with call quality or drops.

Build quality:
The phone looks and feels like a premium offering. The body is an absolute fingerprint magnet, but it features a very attractive (and highly reflective) plastic shell that looks and feels like the glass shell you’d see on something from the Galaxy S series. Great to look at and feels good in the hand. It’s a bit on the larger side, so don’t buy it if you’re wanting something compact.

I’m not entirely sure what type of glass the screen of this phone uses. I’ve seen references to both Gorilla Glass 3 and 5 from different sources. Either way, I’ve already dropped it twice from about counter height onto a hard wood floor and haven’t broken it. To me, that’s a solid plus…though the case and tempered glass protector may have helped.

Wireless support:
This phone supports typical WiFi 802.11A/G/N/AC protocols. As a point of comparison, I’ve run speed tests on both my home PC (which is wired directly to the router) and the A50 on WiFi. On the PC, I typically see speeds in the 115 Mbps down/11 Mbps up range. This phone on WiFi averaged 112 Mbps down/11 Mbps up, so roughly the same speeds.

WiFi Calling is also supported, meaning you can make calls when connected to WiFi instead of using your mobile network. This is useful in areas where you have a WiFi connection but no mobile signal.

Performance and specifications:
The phone uses Samsung’s Exynos 9610 SoC and has 4GB of RAM. In practical terms, this translates to “it runs very smoothly for typical use”. The system UI is crisp and snappy with no notable input lag. The same can be said for web browsing and video streaming. I do notice a small bit of what seems to be input lag between the time I tap a number in my contacts to call and when the phone UI appears on screen, but that doesn’t affect the call itself.

The screen is vibrant and colorful. On full bright I have no trouble seeing clearly with the sun shining directly on it.

As for gaming, this is a mid-range chip, so you won’t be looking at flagship performance by any stretch of the imagination. However, the games and applications I've run on it have seemed to perform well. I don’t do a lot of gaming on my phone, so I’d recommend looking up some performance benchmarks if you want more information on that.

The version I bought has 64GB of storage, though I believe a variant with 128GB and 6GB of RAM also exists.

UI/Software:
The A505G comes with Android 9 Pie installed (running March 1 security patch level as of writing) and uses Samsung's "One UI" interface. This is a very clean and straight-forward interface, though it's a bit limited compared to stock Android. It does have some bloatware preinstalled (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) which cannot be fully removed without rooting the phone. Overall this seems to be fairly minimal, but it’s definitely a downside. It also includes multiple Samsung applications as well as their app and themes store which, again, can’t be removed.

Battery:
This phone is advertised as having a 4,000 mAh battery, though the actual rating is 3,900 mAh. According to AccuBattery averages I collected over a week, that 4,000 mAh figure has typically been accurate. I use the phone fairly heavily during the day at work (web browsing with adaptive brightness and mp3 playback primarily) and typically have anywhere from 50%-60% charge remaining when I get home in the evening. At full charge, AccuBattery estimates a little over 9 hours of charge with the screen on and over 20 hours with screen off. In standby, the battery can last around 3-4 days.

The fast charging feature with the included power brick can get it back up to full charge in about an hour if it’s very low. Due to lack of NFC support the phone doesn’t offer wireless charging, so keep that in mind. I haven’t tried running the screen on full bright for a day to see how that affects things, but I’d imagine it would significantly lower the battery life.

Camera:
To be honest, I don’t feel very qualified to really review this aspect. I don’t take a lot of pictures, so I can’t speak to how it compares to other phones on the market. Visually, the images appear crisper and more colorful than the camera in my 3T did. It has a little trouble focusing in low light, though. For my personal needs, the camera works well and looks good enough.

Security:
The phone offers the option to encrypt the contents of the SD card so that it can’t be read if removed. It also features multiple different methods of unlock: face recognition, an in-screen fingerprint reader, password and PIN.

The face recognition works well in light but is nearly useless in the dark. The in-screen fingerprint reader is a bit fiddly compared to the standard variety, requiring very precise thumb placement and is by no means a fast experience. It works well enough and I prefer it over having a dedicated reader on the rear of the phone, though your mileage may vary.

One absence I did note was the lack of individual app encryption. On the 3T I was able to set each app individually to use the fingerprint for unlocking from the phone settings. Some apps have this support natively and work the same on the A50, but I haven’t seen anything in the UI itself to suggest it supports this same functionality.

In conclusion:
To me, this is an excellent lower cost alternative to the skyrocketing prices of ‘flagship’ smartphones. It has enough horsepower to do the tasks that average users will want without any hiccups and a battery that will get you through the whole day. I was a bit iffy due to the question of 4G LTE band support, but I’ve ultimately been happy with my purchase.



BLU Vivo XL4 6.2" HD Display Smartphone 32Gb+3Gb RAM, Black Review:


So far, I have gone through four generations of Blu phones. Two of them being the studio and two of them being the Vivo.
Out of all the budget smartphones I have ever owned, this one surpasses my expectations by far. Although I have only had it for two weeks, the operating system is very stable. The 3gigs of onboard memory seem to have no problem switching between applications, I have no lag or freezing.
The operating system itself is robust.
The phone itself is made of quality materials, and the notch display - although a little bit gimmicky, is very effective after time.
In the world of cases, you will be disappointed that the aftermarket appears to have not one single case available for this phone as of the 1st of January 2019. (Edit, see below).however, the phone does come with one clear silicone case, and one that has abstract art on it.
So what I have done is left the phone in its silicone case and it looks wonderful. for only $150 this phone is absolutely fantastic and for the average to above-average user - they will find incredible value for this.
If you want to make an amazing gift to your parents or grandparents and bring them into the smartphone community, this is a wonderful way to begin at all.
The ease of the operating system, the speed of the processor, and the build quality of this phone are all very nice....
Now as for the the sound quality - coming from the twin rear speakers: it is above-average. Not fantastic, but totally acceptable. The speakers are rear firing, and facing out from the back they create pretty decent sound.

I cannot speak on the fingerprint reader as I find any security on my phone obtrusive.

The pictures that the camera produces are on par with any average smartphone. Totally usable and totally acceptable by sharing and showing standards.

It is almost unbelievable that you get this much phone for the money. I will update this at the 2-month mark, as that is when the phone really shows its bones.... But thus far I can only give it my highest ratings and congratulate Blu.

Micro USB.. no problem. The standard today is USB-c but transmission and data rates are still fine. And lucky you! you probably have a lot of micro USB cables laying around the house 🙂
I mean what the heck do you expect for a unlocked smartphone less than 150.00??

With specs close to an Iphone, it blows my mind people spend more.

And I read a review about the operating system. In my opinion, it is modern, fully functional and will be relevant for at least two years. If you make it to the two year mark with this phone, then truly you will know what quality and value can be, thanks to Blu.
In all my years as a tech guy even in the army, this device is worth every penny and I stand by my review 100%

I do not work for Blu , I do not get paid or compensated for anything. I write this as a thank you to them for saving me and my elderly mother money and allowing us to have nice phones we can enjoy and afford.
(I have now purchased 3 of these.)

For one new iPhone you could get 7 of these for your friends and family that would love to have them, if they weren't jaded children anticipating something 500+$

This phone is the KING of the budget smartphones oh, and if you are ever in a jam and needed an unlocked phone immediately, you could just keep this one on deck and be good to go for a very long time.

Oh did I mention that the battery lasts all day long and then some, and I'm a super user 😋😋😋.

again, I will edit the review at the 2-month Mark but so far I give this phone a solid A.

Edit : so it's been about 45 days with the phone. And I continue to only praise it.
I keep reading the highest rated comment about blu not upgrading their operating system. As I said in my review before, who really cares about that? This operating system will be totally usable for at least 3
2 years.
I've also read comments that say that the hardware messes up the experience. Okay whoever you are out there.. what in the heck are you expecting for $150.

I'm 40 years old, middle class, I use the phone more than a regular person.. and I say once again I recommend this phone absolutely.
If you don't like it, you can return it as well, what do you have to lose??

Also as of the last week you can buy an extremely nice case to fit this phone. It was just released about a week ago and I compare it to a Spigen... It has a nice internal bumper as well as a solid rubber shell . It is the case that you want and it's only 14 bucks.
Tudia case for vivo xl4, they sell it on Amazon right now.

So, get the phone, and get a black case.. you spent $180 and you have a fantastic piece of technology.

Don't believe the other headlines, especially the one about Wi-Fi. That is definitely not a phone issue. The phone cannot connect to your home internet because it's not on the same radio band. That is a very easy fix done through your Wi-Fi router settings.

Not everyone is going to have a great experience - but I would say for the most part these phones perform excellent.

After 45 days I still grade this phone A.



BLU Studio Mini -5.5HD Smartphone, 32GB+2GB Ram -Black Review:


I have always used budget phones and the last Blu phone I had was the HD R1 that lasted over 16 months as my Daily phone till I dropped it the wrong way, with a case, and shattered the screen. I got an email from Blu about this model and was intrigued by the features and spec. All of Blu’s other lower end phones suck because of their specs but this one would fit the bill. I got this phone for my 9 year old son. Unfortunately he’s still in the learning stages of how to be responsible for things and broke the last Older iPhone we gave him while roller skating outside. I call this type of phone a disposable phone cause of the cost. if it breaks, it was only $60, replace it with another. Build quality is pretty good, the 3000mah battery life is awesome and lasts for days. My son has Roblox and a few games on it, he doesn’t complain that it’s slow. We also added a parent link app to where we control his screen time which is cool. Remember the price people !! Don’t give a bad review trying to compare this to a flagship phone cause it’s not !! Some complain about not having a selection of cases, duh !! It’s Blu and even other small name brand companies do NOT offer a case but be lucky Blu gives you a free one in the box with the phone !! For now it’s working well. I may just buy a couple more and have them in inventory cause they are so cheap and if one breaks, replace it. Thanks Blu for making a great replacement for the HD R1. It’s a good design with good specs.