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Oneplus 3 Unlocked Best Buy

The best unlocked phones let you get whatever device you want while remaining free from carrier payment plans. Although you have to buy them upfront, you can then bring that unlocked handset to the best phone carrier for your needs.

oneplus 3 unlocked best buy

Best unlocked phone overall: iPhone 14 (opens in new tab)Apple's flagship phone is the best device to buy unlocked (though you will pay an extra $30 at Apple to get an unlocked iPhone 14 instead of one tied to a specific carrier.) It's got great cameras, the best performing processor we've tested and a stylish design. Plus, the software experience is second-to-none, with plenty of apps to make your phone even more useful.

Best overall value: Pixel 7 (opens in new tab)The Google Pixel 7 offers the best value of any unlocked phone, with flagship features in a device that costs $200 less than comparable premium handsets. With the Pixel 7, you get powerful cameras that are backed up by Google's excellent computational photography for photos that stand up well against the images produced by any other phone. A Tensor G2 processor also delivers unique features like real-time dictation and call screening.

Best Android value: Google Pixel 6a (opens in new tab)If you don't want to spend more than $500 on a phone, turn to the Pixel 6a. For $449, you get a flagship class processor that has incredible AI smarts. The Pixel 6a features the best cameras at this price point. This is the best phone under $500 hands down.

With 5x optical zoom, the Pixel 6 Pro can pull off some fancy zoom tricks in combination with the enhanced Super Res Zoom. But we think the colors are a bit dull on the telephoto shots, certainly less vibrant than the iPhone 14 Pro in our testing. Regardless, the Pixel 7 Pro is the Android phone to get if you want the best cameras.

Though it's been out for a while, the Nord N20 is a newcomer to our best unlocked phone list, as the phone had been tied to T-Mobile. That's no longer the case, as you can buy the N20 5G unlocked, though you will need to take it to a wireless carrier that uses T-Mobile's coverage if you want to enjoy 5G speeds. Still, the low price of the Nord N20 5G makes this phone awfully hard to pass up, especially at a time of rising costs.

While no longer the best iPhone, it's still a compelling value and the fact that the iPhone 14 only includes modest improvements will make this the right choice for some shoppers. After all, the iPhone 13 still takes some amazing pictures and Apple's software support will keep it running for years to come.

One of the most important tests we run is the Tom's Guide battery test. We run a web surfing test over 5G (or 4G if the phone doesn't have 5G support) at 150 nits of screen brightness until the battery gives out. In general, a phone that lasts 10 hours or more is good, and anything above 11 hours makes our list of the best phone battery life.

Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.

Google's Pixel A-series phones have been our favorites for a few years now, and that hasn't changed with the Pixel 6A (8/10, WIRED Recommends), though its lead is narrowing. It's powered by Google's Tensor chip, which means you're getting some of the best performance for the money, and it supports all the same great (and helpful) software smarts as the flagship Pixel 6 series. My favorites include Assistant Voice Typing to type up accurate messages with just my voice and Hold for Me, so I never have to listen to hold music. I also love its size; at 6.1 inches, the screen is comfortable to manage with one hand. Speaking of, the OLED panel gets plenty bright, making it easy to see on sunny days. (Sadly, it's stuck at a 60-Hz screen refresh rate.)

If you want a no-compromises best-of-the-best kind of smartphone, then look no further than Samsung's latest Galaxy S23 range (9/10, WIRED Recommends). Whether you opt for the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23, the 6.6-inch S23+, or the massive 6.8-inch S23 Ultra, these phones are chock-full of high-end features, from the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that keeps even the most demanding games running beautifully to the wonderfully fluid and bright 120-Hz AMOLED displays. Battery life has improved across the board, with the S23 comfortably lasting more than a day and the S23 Ultra hitting nearly two full days with average use.

Google's Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are the most refined Pixels yet, and they remain the best values you can get in Android. For just $599, the Pixel 7 gives you practically everything you'd want, from wireless charging to a 90-Hz screen refresh rate. It's a bit smaller this year, with a 6.3-inch screen that's 25 percent brighter. The Pixel 7 Pro retains a 120-Hz refresh rate on its larger 6.7-inch AMOLED screen. Both feature Face Unlock, but this isn't as secure as a fingerprint, so you can only use it to unlock the phone. In typical fashion, there are several smart software features powered by the new Tensor G2 chip, like audio message transcriptions in Android Messages, and Photo Unblur, which deblurs old photos in Google Photos, even if they were captured on an old point-and-shoot.

Google Pixel 6 for $399: You can now buy 2021's Pixel 6 series (9/10, WIRED Recommends) at a steep discount. Stock is starting to dwindle, so once they run out, you're out of luck. For $399, you're getting nearly everything you'd want in a flagship phone, plus some of the best cameras for the price.

We recommend unlocked phones in this guide. When a phone is sold as unlocked, that means it can be used on multiple wireless carriers and networks. When you buy a phone directly from your wireless carrier, usually on a payment plan, it often comes locked to that network. Carriers are legally required to unlock a phone upon request so you can switch networks, but it's a big hassle. Try to pay full price for your phone, or make sure it specifically says it's unlocked. If you feel it's too expensive to buy outright, that's a good sign you should find a cheaper model. Buy it from the manufacturer directly, or investigate your carrier's policies for unlocking phones if they're bought on a payment plan that requires you to use its network.

Verizon tips: Buying an unlocked phone is smart, but even if you do the smart thing, networks like Verizon will put up hoops for you to jump through. If you insert your SIM card but still have trouble receiving text messages or something else, contact customer service and have them enable "CDMA-Less roaming." This Motorola guide may help. The steps should be similar for other phones.

Choose a Wireless Charger: Our guide to the best wireless chargers includes dozens of models in varying colors, shapes, and materials, and even some designed for specific phones. Not every Android phone supports wireless charging, but it's a luxury you'll want to take advantage of. Take a gander at our guide for our favorites.

One of my favorite phones of the year (so far) can now be bought outside carrier stores. Although the company's announcement seems to have slightly preceded actual retail availability, OnePlus tells us that the Nord N20 5G can now be purchased unlocked at its own storefront, Amazon, and Best Buy for $300.

OnePlus says that the unlocked version of the phone is compatible with T-Mobile, Metro, Google Fi, Mint Mobile, Ultra Mobile, Simple Mobile, and Telus on 5G. You can use it on AT&T and related MVNOs like Cricket, but you'll only be able to connect to 4G. The phone will also be sold through Mint Mobile starting today.

OnePlus appears to have made this announcement slightly ahead of actual retail availability. Although we're told the unlocked version of the N20 5G will be available at OnePlus's storefront, Amazon, and Best Buy today, none of the three retailers actually seems to have it yet at the time of writing. OnePlus's site still says "Buy at T-Mobile," and a direct listing returns a 404. Presumably, listings should be live soon.

If you're on a budget or simply don't feel like spending a lot of money on your next smartphone, I highly recommend you give the N20 5G a look. Even as someone who is frequently critical of OnePlus, it's a great phone and a killer deal. It's definitely my top recommendation for a sub-$300 smartphone now that it's available outside T-Mobile. It should soon take its place as one of the best budget Android Phones of 2022.

It wasn't too long ago that 5G was a feature that could only be had in the best and brightest flagships from the leading smartphone manufacturers. Now, things have reached the point where the latest generation of connectivity is coming to devices that are almost as cheap as phones were back in the halcyon days of carrier-subsidized $200 flagships. These aren't from no-name makers, or from Chinese smartphone brands that may or may not lose access to Google Play at any moment from rising political tensions, either.

The Galaxy A13 is Samsung's best crack yet at retaining 5G functionality while reaching down into the bargain-basement pricing tier. It's part of the same line as the also-excellent, though quite a bit pricier, A51 on this list. Of course, that price difference shows itself in their respective spec lists, with the worst of the concessions found in the A13 likely being its mediocre CPU, display resolution, and last-gen front-facing camera. Still, if getting into the 5G game is your main goal, and your budget is tight, the A13 provides a shockingly low entry point from one of the most popular smartphone makers in the world.

Right now, the best cheap 5G phone is the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G based on our analysis of display, performance, battery life, and price. The device offers one of the best display experiences you can get from sub-$450 phones and offers 5G support with most major carriers. 041b061a72


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