No doubt, cheap unlocked smartphones are the real deal if you don’t want to be tied down some stupendous contracts offered by most selfish mobile network providers. You want the ability to switch mobile networks in a jiffy without having to go through that expensive and rigorous process of unlocking your smartphone in other to make it compatible with the mobile network you want to migrate to. Why go for a locked smartphone in the first place? If you are a frequent traveler, trust me, getting yourself an unlocked smartphone is the way to go any day, anytime as it offers you the freedom and flexibility to swap and get accustomed to local networks any time you travel overseas or to another state.
Best Cheap Smartphones Unlocked 2016
In compiling our Cheap Smartphones Unlocked 2016 list, we took into consideration pricing, features popularity and quality in ranking the cheap smartphones we featured. All Smartphones featured in this buying guide have been thoroughly tested by us, and we can vouch that they perform as describe. We also tried to rank them in the order of the prices which they command, from the most expensive at the top (not compulsorily the most expensive) to the least expensive. This arrangement gives you options to quickly sift through this buying list which is quite detailed. Having said that; These are the 14 best cheap Smartphones Unlocked 2016 to acquire if you hate your present contract and want to be free:
1. Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen
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The Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen comes with a 5.0-inch IPS LCD capacity Touchscreen display, with 720 X 1280 pixel resolution. It’s powered by 1.4GHz Quad-core Cortex –A53 CPU, which is extremely fast especially when compared to other smartphones in the same price range. Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen also features a 13MP camera, perfect for capturing digital photos of your best moments, and a long-lasting 2390mAh battery, capable of lasting a complete day on full charge. This Smartphone comes equipped with 4G Lite, which allows for super-fast connections to the internet, streaming online media contents and playing video games.
The Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen is a cool Smartphone, packing some of the best features and technologies rocking the Smartphone industry in recent times. Although it’s largely a budget Smartphone, it still comes packed with features rarely seen in most smartphones in the same price range.
However, most smartphones we saw on Amazon were a bit pricey, but we never gave up looking for top-notch budget smartphones for our Affordable smartphone category. After sifting through countless numbers of smartphones, taking into consideration our benchmark minimum rating of 4.5 stars, not exceeding $200 we came up with the Motorola Moto G (3rd Generation), which is designed to cater for the needs of everyone, irrespective of your budget. You can learn more about the Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen by visiting GSM Arena.
Basic Features – Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen
- 13 Mega Pixel Front Camera, equipped with color-balancing dual LED flash, 5MP Front camera
- 4G LTE – Allows users to Surf the internet at blazing speeds, stream media, and play video games
- Advanced water resistance Technology
- 2470mAh battery – Capable of lasting a full day on a single charge
- Expandable Memory Slot – Supports microSD cards up to 32GB
- 5’’ HD display – featuring Corning Gorilla Glass technology
2. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
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The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-i9195 is a miniaturized version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 but packs nearly as much punch as the original. Don’t be fooled by its portable size, it’s still almost the very same Samsung Galaxy S4 you know with the same squared-off top and rounded bottom edge.
Although its design is not completely mind-blowing, it’s still comfortable to hold and quite easy to carry about. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini comes with a 4.3-inch display, with resolutions put at 960 X 540 pixels, which is a slight departure from the 1280 X 720 resolution featured in the original. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini also comes with impressive viewing angles and color accuracy, so watching your favorite movies and videos should be fun and exciting.
The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is quite impressive, thanks to low-power AMOLED display which helps to conserve battery juice better than similar products not featuring the technology in the same price range. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini comes with 1.7GHz dual-core processor, which is half of what you’d find in the original but fast enough to handle most Smartphone tasks efficiently.
Basic Features of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
- Display: 3 Super AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen, 16M colors, 960 X 540 resolution
- Platform: 1.7 GHz Krait 300 CPU, Qualcomm MSM8930AB Snapdragon 400 chipset, Android 4.2.2(Jellybean)
- Memory: Internal – 8GB, 1.5 GB RAM, microSD up to 64 GB
- Camera: Primary-8MP, 3264 X 2448 pixels, with features such as touch focus, face detection, HDR, Secondary Cam: 1.9MP
- Battery: Li-ion 1900 mAh battery, talk time – 12h (3G), Standby time: 300h (3G)
3. Samsung Galaxy S3 I9300 Unlocked Smartphone
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The Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 remains one of Samsung Mobile’s best-selling smartphones of all time. This Smartphone is truly “smart” in its entirety, as it comes with lots of unique features, some of which respond to the human body movement. In fact, this Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 listens, sees, and responds to your gestures and requirements.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 comes with a Smart Stay feature, which enables the Smartphone to monitor your eye movement using its front-facing camera, which allows it stay bright even when you are looking at the screen, and then goes out when looking away for a few seconds. The smart stay feature helps the Smartphone conserve precious battery juice.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 also enables users to share their favorite media contents with friends and family by simply joining the backs of their Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphones together. This Smartphone is powered by Android 4.3 Jellybean OS. This is a Smartphone that understands what you want through your gestures and responds accordingly to satisfy your need.
Essential Features and Specs of the Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300
- Display: 8 inches Super AMOLED capacity Touchscreen, 16 Million colors, 720 X 1280 pixels
- Platform: Quad-core 1.4GHz Cortex A9 CPU, Exynos 4412 Quad Chipset, Mali- 400MP4 GPU
- Camera: Primary- 8MP, autofocus, 3264 X 2448, LED flash, Secondary Cam – 1.9MP
- Memory: Internal – 16/32/64 GB, 1 GB RAM
- Battery: Li-ion 2100 mAh, Talk time: up to 11h 40 min
4. Apple iPhone 4S Unlocked Smartphone
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The Apple iPhone 4s Unlocked Smartphone is one of the best selling Apple Smartphones in recent times. This amazing Smartphone boasts of intuitive features, designed to manage effectively your social and work life. It’s a follow-up to the popular iPhone 4, and it’s powered by an A5 dual-core processor, which is fast and highly efficient.
The Apple iPhone 4s unlocked smartphone also boasts of an 8-megapixel camera, which enables users to capture high-quality images, giving them the ability preserve fun memories and share them with family and friends via the social media. The Apple iPhone 4s unlocked Smartphone also comes with the popular voice assistant called Siri. Siri lets you control your Smartphone using your natural voice, and it also provides valuable answers and information upon request.
The Apple iPhone 4s unlocked Smartphone’s 3.5-inch high-resolution display may not be the biggest out there but delivers one of the sharpest images and videos you’d find on smartphones in the same price range. Also, The Apple iPhone 4s unlocked smartphone comes with an internal memory of 16GB, which is sufficient if you aren’t a media content lover or enthusiastic gamer. You would have to exercise some restraint when downloading massive media files and data so as not to use up your Smartphone’s valuable internal storage.
Basic Features and Specs of the Apple iPhone 4s Unlocked Smartphone
- Display: 5 inches LED-Backlit IPS capacity Touchscreen, Resolution- 640 X 690 pixels
- Platform: Dual-core 1 GHz Cortez-A9 CPU, Apple A5 chipset, iOS 5, PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU
- Camera: Primary – 8MP, LED flash, 3264 X 2448 pixels, with features such as geo- tagging, face detection, touch focus, Panorama; Secondary Cam: VGA, 480p@ 30fps
- Memory: Internal – 8/16/32/64 GB, 512 MB RAM
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 1432 mAh battery, up to 14hrs talk time (2G), up to 200hrs standby time (3G)
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5. LG G2 D800 Unlocked Smartphone
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The LG G2 D800 Smartphone is a sleek, well-designed Android Smartphone, packing some of the best features and functionalities you can find on smartphones in the same price range. This Smartphone shares similar specs and qualities with modern smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC one, and this comparison goes a long way in showing the class the LG G2 D800 Smartphone belongs. This Smartphone, as previously mentioned, comes with a good range of high-end functionalities, one of which is its impressive 13-megapixel camera. I mean, this camera churns out photos comparable to what you’d find on entry-level professional digital cameras, and it’s perfect for prints as well as social media.
The LG G2 D800 Smartphone boast of a 2.26GHz quad-core processor, one of the fastest you’d find among smartphones in the same price range. LG G2 D800 also boasts of an impressive 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display, perfectly optimized for watching HD videos, movies and playing HD games. This Smartphone also comes with a massive 3000 mAh battery, giving you hours upon hours of continuous operation and service. This Smartphone offers value for money with the impressive, posh features it’s got.
Basic Features and Specs of the LG G2 D800 Smartphone
- Display: 2 inches True HD-IPS display, 16M colors
- Platform: Android OS, V4.2.2 (Jellybean), upgradable to V5.0.2
- Camera: 13MP, with 4160 x 3120 resolution, LED Flash, optical image stabilization
- Memory: Internal 16/32 GB, 2GB RAM, External card support: Absent
- Battery: Li-Po 3000 mAh non-removable battery, Stand-by time: Up to 900h (3G), talk time- 17h: 30min (3G)
6. Moto G 2 2nd Generation – Unlocked
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The Moto G 2 2nd generation’s design isn’t too different from its original. The exterior material components are mainly made of plastics but with a glossy finish at the front, while a soft-touch matte mainly covers the back. We all know that most low to mid-range budget Android smartphones come in plastic build, but the Moto G 2 which is part of the low-budget family still holds its own in terms of design quality and build.
Looking at the back of the Smartphone reveals a curvy styling which was also featured in its predecessor. The Moto G 2 is clearly wider than the original as well as less comfortable to hold when compared. This Smartphone weighs 175g and measures 11mm in terms of thickness, making it slightly thicker and heavier than Motorola G.
- Good value for money
- Excellent battery life
- Well-built, solid design
- Amazing and well-improved camera
- Mediocre front facing speakers
- Absence of 4G LTE support
- Poor Low light photos
Features and specifications of the Moto G 2
- 5? 720p HD display
- Equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 2GHz quad-core CPU
- Comes with Android 4.4, KitKat with guaranteed upgrade
- Front-ported, high-quality stereo speakers
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3, All-day 2,070 mAh battery, water-resistant splash guard
- Designed to work efficiently with 3G (UMTS/HSPA+) networks when roaming outside the US
- US Compatibility: All GSM Networks including (2G) T-Mobile and AT&T
7. Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (Unlocked)
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The Amazon Fire phone is a budget Smartphone from the stables of Amazon, one of the world’s e-Commerce giants. The Amazon Fire phone comes with lots of high-end features but also possesses some features that aren’t standard with high-end smartphones. One of such amazing features is the “Fire Fly” technology.” The Firefly button allows you to identify quickly phone numbers, email addresses, TV episodes, songs, movies products QR and Bar codes, which enables you to take urgent action in seconds. All that you need to do to in other to engage the Firefly feature on the Amazon Fire phone is to hold the dedicated Firefly button, and It will provide you the necessary information in seconds.
The Amazon Fire phone is also compatible with Android Apps, which give users access to a variety of apps from one of the world’s leading mobile app developers. It comes with a 2GB RAM and runs on a 2.2GHz quad-core SnapDragon 800 processor which allows for super fast multitasking activities as well as quicker website load times.
Essential Features and Specs of the Amazon Fire Phone
- Display: 7 inches, IPS LCD capacity Touchscreen, 16M colors, 720 X 1280 pixels, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- Platform: Amazon Fire OS v 3.5, Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
- Camera: 13MP, Optical Image Stabilization, 4128 X 3096 pixels, Autofocus, LED flash. Secondary – 2.1MP, Video – 1080p@30fps, optical stabilization
- Battery: Nonremovable, Li-Ion 2400 mAh battery, up to 285h Standby time, Up to 65h Music play time
- Sensors: Proximity, Accelerometer, gyro, barometer, compass
8. Lenovo A350 3G Unlocked Smartphone
When you need an efficient, budget Smartphone to help you manage work and social life effectively, then the Lenovo A850 3G is the perfect choice for you. This Smartphone can also be described as a “Phablet,” due to the size and nature of its display. The Lenovo A850 Smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch display, which churns out crystal-clear, crisp graphics, perfect for watching videos and streaming online media contents. This Lenovo A850 Smartphone comes with a 1.3GHz MTK6582M quad-core processor, which may not be mind-blowing to many, especially when compared to current Smartphone standards, but then, it’s a budget Smartphone, and you can’t expect to squeeze out high-end performance from it.
The Lenovo A850 Smartphone also features a 1G RAM, which is sufficient enough to handle simple Smartphone functionalities. The Internal storage, which stands at 4GB, isn’t particularly impressive, but then, you can always expand your existing storage, using microSD card, up to 32GB. The Lenovo A850 ’s 5.5-inch display makes it perfect for students and eBook enthusiast in general. This Smartphone is ideal for those living on a tight budget but wants access to certain Smartphone functionalities that can help them effectively organize their work and social lives better.
Basic Features and Specs of the Lenovo A850 Smartphone
- Display: 5 inches IPS LCD capacity Touchscreen, 16M Colors, Resolution- 540 X 960 pixels
- Platform: Quad-core 1.3GHz Cortez A-7, Mediatek MT6582M chipset, Mali-400MP2
- Camera: Primary – 5MP, 2592 X 1944 pixels, LED flash, Autofocus
- Memory: Internal – 4GB, 1GB RAM, microSD up to 32GB
- Battery: Li-Po 2250 mAh, Standby: Up to 490h(3G), Talk time: up to 14h
9. Blu Studio 5.5 HD Unlocked Smartphone
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The Blu Studio 5.5S Smartphone comes with lots of exciting features designed to help you personalize your experience by making the Smartphone truly yours. With the Blue Studio 5.5, you’ll find all the Google Services you’d need to help manage your formal and informal life efficiently and effectively. The Blu Studio 5.5s comes with the Google play, which grants users access to their favorite movies, music, and apps. This Smartphone comes with a sleek, ergonomic build, with measurements put 8.9mm, making it easy to handle and carry about.
The Blu Studio 5.5s also comes with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, comparable to other budget smartphones in the same price range and allows for fast, smooth and efficient multitasking operation. You can also play your favorite HD games easily on the Blu Studio 5.5s because it comes with the ARM Mali-400 GPU, designed to help you boost graphic performance by providing good 2D and 3D acceleration.
Basic Features and Specs of the Blu Studio 5.5s
- Display: 5-inches IPS LCD capacity Touchscreen, 16 Million colors, Resolution – 540 X 960 pixels
- Platform: Quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6582 chipset, Android OS V.4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Camera: Primary – 8MP, autofocus, 3264 X 2448 pixels, LED flash, with features such as face detection, Geo-tagging, touch focus, panorama, HDR
- Memory: Internal – 4GB, 1GB RAM, microSD up to 64GB
- Battery: Li-Ion 2350 mAh, Standby: up to 820h (3G), Talk-time a: up to 28hrs
10. BLU Studio 5.0 C HD Unlocked
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The BLU Studio 5.0C is a low budget Smartphone but packs with it some amazing functionalities designed to keep you up to speed with the latest information. The design, styling, and functionality are quite impressive, especially when compared other smartphones within its price range. It runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat OS, which is currently one of the most advanced Android OS available.
It also packs a moderate 5.0-megapixel camera, which isn’t too bad especially when compared to cameras featured on low-end smartphones. Watching movies as well as playing video games is fun and exciting because the BLU Studio 5.0C features a 5.0 inches TFT capacity Touchscreen. The Dual-core OS ensures that the Smartphone isn’t slowed down in any way when multi-tasking or playing graphic demanding video games.
Essential Features and Specs of Blu Studio 5.0C
- Display: 5.0 inches TFT capacity Touchscreen, 16M colors, 480 X 854 pixels (196ppi pixel density)
- Platform: Android 4.4.2 Kitkat OS, Dual-Core 1.3 GHz cortex-A7, Mali-400 GPU
- Camera: Primary – 5MP, 2592 X 1944 pixels, LED flash, Secondary: VGA, Video 720p @ 30fps. Features – Geotagging, face detection, Geo-tagging
- Battery: Li-ion 1800 mAh battery, up to 9 hrs talk time, up to 720 h standby time
- Memory: Internal – 4G, 512MB RAM, Card Slot microSD up to 32 GB
11. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini GT-I8200 Factory Unlocked
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The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini is one of Samsung’s best-selling Smartphone of all time. This sleek, amazing Smartphone features a 1 GB RAM, 1.2GHz dual-core cortex-A9 processor and Mali-400 GPU. These amazing features help the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini to handle an enormous amount of applications simultaneously. Playing HD video games on the S3 is fun and exciting, as the Smartphone does a fantastic job managing resource demanding video games effectively.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini also features a 5MP camera, which outperforms those featured on other low-end smartphones because Samsung mobile is typically at the forefront of Smartphone technology. This Smartphone also comes with a 1500mAh Li-ion battery, which is strong enough to guarantee up to 57h music play and up to 18 hrs talk time.
Essential Features and Spec of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
- Display: 0 inches Super AMOLED capacity Touchscreen, 480 X 800-pixel resolution
- Platform: 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Android v4.2.2 (Jellybean) OS
- Camera: Primary- 5MP, autofocus, 2592 X 1944 pixels, LED flash. Features- face/smile detection, touch focus, Geo-tagging, Panorama, Secondary-VGA
- Battery: Li-ion 1500 mAh battery, up to 57h music playtime, up to 320h standby time
- Memory: internal – 8/16GB, RAM-1GB RAM
- Sensors: Gyro, Accelerometer, compass, proximity
- Network technology: GSM/HSDP
12. BLU Advanced 4.0 Unlocked
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The BLU Advance 4.0 is a Dual SIM, Low-end Smartphone designed for users who want access to the services of two mobile networks on a single Smartphone. Dual SIM phones give you the added flexibility separating social from work life as well as providing backups during network downtimes. The BLU Advance 4.0 comes with a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, which allows you run lots of applications simultaneously as well as improve the processing time.
The BLU Advance 4.0 also comes with a Mediatec MT6572 chipset and runs on the Android 4.2 Jellybean OS. The 4.0 inches TFT display delivers incredible graphics because it comes with 400 X 800-pixel resolution and a pixel density of 233ppi. The 5.0MP camera helps you capture life best moments; however, the picture quality doesn’t rival those produced by high-end smartphones. Nevertheless, the BLU Advance 4.0 remains an affordable and efficient Smartphone.
Basic Features and Specs
- Display: 0 inches TFT capacity Touchscreen, 480 X 800-pixel resolution
- Platform: Android V4.2 OS (Jelly Bean), Mali-400 GPU, MediaTek MT6572
- Camera: Primary- 5MP, LED flash, 2592 X 1944 pixels, with features such as touch focus, Geo-tagging, face detection. Secondary-VGA
- Battery: Li-ion 1600 mAh battery, up to 600hrs of standby time, up to 9 hrs of talk time
- Comms: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, hotspot, GPS with A-GPS, Stereo with FM, Bluetooth 4.0
13. BLU Studio 5.0 II Unlocked
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The BLU Studio 5.0 II Smartphone is an upgraded version of the original BLU Studio 5.0. It’s a well designed, mid-budget Smartphone that runs on Android V4.2 jellybean. The BLU Studio 5.0 II premium design smacks of outstanding creativity and innovation that guarantees you value for every single penny spent. This amazing Smartphone also comes with an 8-megapixel camera, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, and a 5-inch display.
The 8-mega pixel camera allows you capture crisp photos that, to an extent, rivals those produced my high-end Smartphones. The fact that it runs on Android OS shows that it’s a user-friendly Smartphone optimized to help you transfer and share apps easily. Other features worth mentioning include – FM radio, MP4 player, MP3 player and 3.5 mm Audio jack.
Essential Features and Specs of the Blu Studio 5.0 II
- Platform: Android 4.2 Jellybean, 1.3 Ghz Quad core processor
- Camera: Primary – 8 megapixels with HD video recording (1080p) and LED flash, Secondary – 1.6MP camera
- Display: 5.0 inches iPS capacity touch
- Memory: internal storage – 4GB, supports microSD up to 32GB
- Network: 4G HSDPA + 21Mbps 850/1700/1900
14. BLU Dash C Music Global GSM Unlocked
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The BLU Dash C Music is a low-end Smartphone optimized for playing loud and crisp music. Unlike other smartphones that feature rear speakers, the BLU Dash C Music speakers are placed right at the bottom of your Smartphone, which means you can place your Smartphone right on your table and enjoy your music without anything obstructing the speakers. It also comes with an array of music apps such as Spotify, sound cloud and Google music, which are all included to enhance your music experience.
This Smartphone is powered by a 1GHz Dual-core processor, which is quite impressive especially when compared to other smartphone price range. The 512MB RAM of the BLU Dash C Music may not be sufficient enough to handle some high intensive gaming activities efficiently. Nevertheless, it’s perfect for simple multitasking activities and playing less resource demanding video games.
Essential Features and Specs of the BLU Dash C Music
- Display: 4.0 inches, TFT capacity Touchscreen, 16M Colors, Resolution 480 X 800pixels
- Platform: Android OS, Mali-400 GPU, and Dual-core 1 GHz
- Camera: Primary – 3.15MP, LED flash, 2048 X 1536 pixels with features such as Touchscreen, geo-tagging
- Memory: 4GB, 512MB RAM, MicroSD up to 64GB
- Battery: Li-Ion 1450 mAh battery, up to 500h standby time, Up to 14h talk time
- Comm: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
This buying guide is one of the best cheap smartphones unlocked 2016 list you can get on this topic. This buying guide gives you a broad idea of what to look out for when shopping for cheap unlocked smartphones. Apparently, the pricier smartphones featured in this shopping list were left at the top, while the most affordable were arranged from the bottom up. We also featured lot’s of BLU Studio Smartphones on this list since they are incredibly cheap (under $100 in most cases) and they pack reasonable quality to serve you when need an affordable and efficient smartphone. We hope that you find the smartphone that best fits your budget in our guide and that it inspires you to reject the Greek gifts offered to you on a platter by most greedy network providers.