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Best Deal: New iPhone & Mint Mobile service from $17/mo

Best Unlocked GSM Phones in 2022

Compare the cheapest unlocked GSM phone prices

Best GSM phone deals in January

Looking for the best unlocked GSM phones doesn't have to give you a headache. At MoneySavingPro we've made it easy for you, whilst trying to save you money.

MVNOs offer the best overall value when it comes to unlocked cell phones, with reasonable monthly installments you can choose the best GSM phone for you. Whether you're looking for a GSM compatible iPhone or something more basic, there's something for everyone.

We've selected all the latest unlocked GSM phones to compare below to help you find the best deal.

Best unlocked GSM iPhones

Unlocked iPhone 13 deals

Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
128GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$729*
$30/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 13 mini has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.4" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 13 mini is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $729.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 13 mini (Unlocked)128GB$729$30/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 mini (AT&T)128GB$729$30/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 mini (Verizon)128GB$729
Apple iPhone 13 mini (T-Mobile)128GB$729$31/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB

Screen size

5.4"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2340 x 1080 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)17 hours pixels
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic pixels
5GApple A15 Bionic pixels
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K UHD, FHD, HD
Size131.5 x 64.2 x 7.65mm
Weight141g
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 15.x
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure Autdentication3D Face unlock
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • A15 Bionic chip

  • Improved battery life

  • Affordable price

  • 5G compatible

Cons

  • No design upgrade

Apple iPhone 13 128GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
128GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$829*
$35/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 13 has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 13 is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $829.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 13 (Refurbished)128GB$899
Apple iPhone 13 (Unlocked)128GB$829$35/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 (AT&T)128GB$829$35/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 (Verizon)128GB$904
Apple iPhone 13 (T-Mobile)128GB$904
Device Specs
Storage

128GB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2532 x 1170 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)19 hours pixels
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic pixels
5GApple A15 Bionic pixels
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K UHD, FHD,HD
Size146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm
Weight174g
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 15.x
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure Autdentication3D Face unlock
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Super Retina XDR OLED display

  • 4K video recording

  • 5G compatible

  • Improved battery

  • A15 Bionic chip

Cons

  • No design upgrade

Apple iPhone 13 Pro 128GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
128GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$999*
$42/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 13 Pro is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $999.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 13 Pro (Refurbished)128GB$990
Apple iPhone 13 Pro (Unlocked)128GB$999$42/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 Pro (AT&T)128GB$999$42/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 Pro (Verizon)128GB$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro (T-Mobile)128GB$999
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2532 x 1170 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)22 hours pixels
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic pixels
5GApple A15 Bionic pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K UHD, FHD, HD
Size146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm
Weight203g
Optical zoom6x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 15.x
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure Autdentication3D Face unlock
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Super Retina XDR display

  • ProMotion Technology

  • A15 Bionic chip

  • 5G compatible

  • 4K video recording

  • 1TB storage option

Cons

  • No major design upgrade

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
128GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$1,099*
$46/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.7" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 13 Pro Max is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $1,099.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (Unlocked)128GB$1,099$46/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (AT&T)128GB$1,099$46/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (Verizon)128GB$1,099
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (T-Mobile)128GB$1,099
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Screen size

6.7"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2778 x 1284 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)28 hours pixels
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic pixels
5GApple A15 Bionic pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K UHD, FHD, HD
Size160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65mm
Weight238g
Optical zoom6x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 15.x
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure Autdentication3D Face unlock
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • A15 Bionic chip

  • 5G compatible

  • ProMotion Technology

  • 4K video recording

  • Triple lens camera

  • 1TB storage option

Cons

  • No major design upgrade

Unlocked iPhone 12 deals

Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
64GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$629*
$26/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 12 mini has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 5.4" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 12 mini is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $629.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 12 mini (Refurbished)64GB$441
Apple iPhone 12 mini (Unlocked)64GB$629$26/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 12 mini (AT&T)64GB$629$26/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 12 mini (Verizon)64GB$729
Apple iPhone 12 mini (T-Mobile)64GB$629$27/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

5.4"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2340 x 1080 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)15 hours pixels
ProcessorA14 Bionic Chip pixels
5GA14 Bionic Chip pixels
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm
Weight135g
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 14
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Great compact size

  • Excellent camera

  • 5G compatible

  • Brilliant OLED display

Cons

  • Battery life

  • No tele lens

Apple iPhone 12 64GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
64GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$729*
$30/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 12 has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 12 is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $729.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 12 (Refurbished)64GB$540
Apple iPhone 12 (Unlocked)64GB$729$30/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 12 (AT&T)64GB$729$30/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 12 (Verizon)64GB$780
Apple iPhone 12 (T-Mobile)64GB$780
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2532 x 1170 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)17 hours pixels
ProcessorA14 Bionic Chip pixels
5GA14 Bionic Chip pixels
CamerasDual
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
Weight164g
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 14
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Attractive design

  • Fantastic audio quality

  • 5G compatible

  • Amazing OLED display

Cons

  • No charger or headphones included

  • Battery life

  • Not much camera upgrade

Apple iPhone 12 Pro 128GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
128GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$899*
$37/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.1" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 12 Pro is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $899.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 12 Pro (Refurbished)128GB$740
Apple iPhone 12 Pro (Unlocked)128GB$899$37/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 12 Pro (AT&T)128GB$899$37/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Screen size

6.1"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2532 x 1170 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)17 hours pixels
ProcessorA14 Bionic Chip pixels
5GA14 Bionic Chip pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
Weight189g
Optical zoom2x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 14
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Bright and colorful OLED display

  • Good photo quality

  • 5G compatible

  • Good quality speakers

  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Shorter battery life than iPhone 11

  • No charger or headphones included

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
128GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$999*
$42/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.7" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone 12 Pro Max is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $999.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (Refurbished)128GB$863
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (Unlocked)128GB$999$42/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (AT&T)128GB$999$42/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Screen size

6.7"

Display

Super Retina XDR

Resolution2778 x 1284 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)20 hours pixels
ProcessorA14 Bionic Chip pixels
5GA14 Bionic Chip pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera12MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm
Weight228g
Optical zoom2.5x zoom
Night modeYes
OSiOS 14
Screen protectionCeramic Shield
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Durable and water resistant

  • Large OLED screen

  • 5G compatible

  • Great battery life and fast charging

  • Photo and video quality

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Heavy

  • No charger or headphones

Unlocked iPhone SE deals

Apple iPhone SE 64GB Unlocked
* 6 Months FREE Phone Service
Retailer
Red Pocket
Storage
64GB
Network
AT&T
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$399*
$17/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Apple iPhone SE has 64GB storage capacity. It includes a 4.7" screen and 12MP camera. This new iPhone SE is available from Red Pocket with AT&T network coverage and prices starting from $399.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone SE (Refurbished)64GB$230
Apple iPhone SE (Unlocked)64GB$399$17/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone SE (AT&T)64GB$399$17/mo for 24 mths
Apple iPhone SE (T-Mobile)64GB$399$25/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Screen size

4.7"

Display

Retina HD

Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)13 hours pixels
ProcessorA13 Bionic pixels
5GA13 Bionic pixels
CamerasSingle
Rear camera12MP
Camera type12MP
Front camera7MP
Video resolution4K, FHD, HD
Size138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
Weight148g
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSiOS 13
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP67
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationTouch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Water-resistant

  • Amazing A13 chip performance

  • Affordable price

  • Touch ID

Cons

  • Battery capacity

  • Night mode is missed

  • Only a 5W charger

Cheapest unlocked iPhone prices

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Apple iPhone SE64GBAT&TNew$399
Apple iPhone 1164GBAT&TNew$499
Apple iPhone 12 mini64GBAT&TNew$629
Apple iPhone 13 mini128GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 1264GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 13128GBAT&TNew$829
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max64GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 12 Pro128GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro128GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$1,099

Unlocked GSM Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Unlocked
* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Retailer
Ultra Mobile
Storage
128GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$799*
$34/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Samsung Galaxy S21 has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.2" screen and 64MP camera. This new Galaxy S21 is available from Ultra Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $799.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy S21 (Refurbished)128GB$455
Samsung Galaxy S21 (Unlocked)128GB$799$34/mo for 24 mths
Samsung Galaxy S21 (T-Mobile)128GB$799$34/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 256GB

Screen size

6.2"

Display

FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Resolution1080 x 2400
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)15 hours pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888 pixels
5GQualcomm Snapdragon 888 pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera64MP
Camera type64MP
Front camera10MP
Video resolution8K, 4K
Size151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight169g
Optical zoomhybrid 3x zoom
Night modeYes
OSAndroid 11, One UI 3.1
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFingerprint
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Great design

  • 120Hz refresh rate

  • Fast performance

  • Powerful camera

  • Comfortable size

Cons

  • Display is a downgrade; only HD

  • No charger included

  • No expandable storage

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G Unlocked
* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Retailer
Ultra Mobile
Storage
128GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$999*
$42/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Samsung Galaxy S21+ has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.7" screen and 64MP camera. This new Galaxy S21+ is available from Ultra Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $999.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy S21+ (Refurbished)128GB$570
Samsung Galaxy S21+ (Unlocked)128GB$999$42/mo for 24 mths
Samsung Galaxy S21+ (T-Mobile)128GB$999$42/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 256GB

Screen size

6.7"

Display

FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Resolution1080 x 2400
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)19 hours pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888 pixels
5GQualcomm Snapdragon 888 pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera64MP
Camera type64MP
Front camera10MP
Video resolution8K, 4K, 1080p
Size161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8 mm
Weight200g
Optical zoomhybrid 3x zoom
Night modeYes
OSAndroid 11, One UI 3.1
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFingerprint
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Supreme 120Hz AMOLED display

  • Blazing fast performance

  • Eye-catching design

  • Top tier zoom feature

  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Immensely bulky

  • Charger is not included

  • No microSD card slot

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Unlocked
* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Retailer
Ultra Mobile
Storage
128GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$1,299*
$55/mo for 24 mths
Powered by:

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra has 128GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.9" screen and 108MP camera. This new Galaxy Note20 Ultra is available from Ultra Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $1,299.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra (Refurbished)128GB$750
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra (Unlocked)128GB$1,299$55/mo for 24 mths
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra (T-Mobile)128GB$1,299$55/mo for 24 mths
Device Specs
Storage

128GB, 512GB

Screen size

6.9"

Display

QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED

Resolution3088 x 1440 pixels
HDR screenYes pixels
Battery life (video playback)11 hours pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus pixels
5GQualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus pixels
CamerasTriple
Rear camera108MP
Camera type108MP
Front camera10MP
Video resolutionHD, FHD, 4K UHD, 8K
Size164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
Weight208g
Optical zoom5x zoom
Night modeYes
OSAndroid 10
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantIP68
Wireless chargingYes
eSIMYes
Secure AutdenticationFace ID, Touch ID
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Reviews

Pros

  • Dynamic 120Hz display

  • Great S Pen performance

  • Powerful zoom camera

  • Long battery life

  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Heavy and uncomfortable to hold

  • Charging is a little slow

Samsung Galaxy A21 Unlocked
* $50 Off with 12 Month Plan
Retailer
Mint Mobile
Storage
32GB
Network
T-Mobile
Condition
New - Unlocked
Price
$219*
$13/mo for 18 mths
Powered by:

The Samsung Galaxy A21 has 32GB storage capacity. It includes a 6.5" screen and 48MP camera. This new Galaxy A21 is available from Mint Mobile with T-Mobile network coverage and prices starting from $219.

Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy A21 (Refurbished)32GB$146
Samsung Galaxy A21 (Unlocked)32GB$219$13/mo for 18 mths
Samsung Galaxy A21 (T-Mobile)32GB$219$13/mo for 18 mths
Device Specs
Storage

32GB

Screen size

6.5"

Display

HD+ TFT

Resolution720 x 1600 pixels
HDR screenNo pixels
Battery life (video playback)20 hours pixels
5G pixels
CamerasQuad
Rear camera48MP
Camera type48MP
Front camera13MP
Video resolutionFHD
Size163.7 x 75.3 x 8.9mm
Weight192g
Optical zoomNo
Night modeNo
OSAndroid 10
Screen protectionNo
Water resistantNo
Wireless chargingNo
eSIMNo
Secure AutdenticationFingerprint
VoLTEYes
WiFi callingYes
GPSYes
Model NumberSM-A215UZKATMB
Reviews

Pros

  • Large 6.5" screen

  • Amazing quad camera

  • Powerful battery

  • Excellent front camera

Cons

  • No Gorilla glass protection

  • No wireless charging

  • Plastic body

Cheapest unlocked Samsung Galaxy prices

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Samsung Galaxy A0232GBT-MobileNew$149
Samsung Galaxy A1232GBT-MobileNew$180
Samsung Galaxy A2132GBT-MobileNew$219
Samsung Galaxy A3264GBT-MobileNew$280
Samsung Galaxy A42128GBT-MobileNew$419
Samsung Galaxy S20128GBAT&TNew$529
Samsung Galaxy A52128GBT-MobileNew$549
Samsung Galaxy S20+128GBAT&TNew$629
Samsung Galaxy S21128GBT-MobileNew$799
Samsung Galaxy S21+128GBT-MobileNew$999
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip256GBVerizonNew$1,049
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra128GBT-MobileNew$1,299
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra128GBT-MobileNew$1,299

Unlocked GSM phones benefits

The unlocked smartphone market enjoyed a 20% year-over-year growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2017 (Strategy Analytics). Why such robust growth in such a short time?

  • Refurbished unlocked phones often cost half the retail price of a new flagship smartphone.
  • You're free to choose any carrier.
  • You have the flexibility to buy from the retailer of your choice.
  • No roaming fees when you travel internationally - just pop in a local SIM card at your destination.

You may have read that modern smartphone can work on any network. This is true, as long as you've got a 4G LTE signal.

What if your signal drops to 3G (say while traveling through a rural area)? If you're using a CDMA phone on a GSM network you'll lose service.

If you prefer one of the many GSM carriers that operate on the AT&T or T-Mobile networks you'll want to buy an unlocked GSM phone to get the best service quality.


Best places to buy GSM phones

  1. Backmarket
  2. Decluttr
  3. Gazelle
  4. Glyde
  5. Swappa

Rather than wander the internet trying to figure out which sellers are reputable and which aren't so great, check out our review of the best sites to buy a used phone.

We also make it super simple for you to compare prices on refurbished phones from these sellers, including late models like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8.


What is a GSM phone?

  • GSM: This stands for Global System for Mobile communications. It refers to the specific technology used by AT&T and T-Mobile. When you buy a phone from either of those two carriers you're getting a GSM device.
  • CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access, or CDMA, is the type of phone technology Verizon Wireless and Sprint use on their wireless networks.

Locked vs unlocked phones

What we mean when we talk about buying an unlocked phone is making sure you have a device that gives you the freedom to choose your own carrier.

  • Locked cell phones: A locked smartphone can only be used on the network that sold it. For instance, if you bought a Sprint phone with your Sprint plan, that device is locked to Sprint service, at least until it's paid off.
  • Unlocked cell phones: With an unlocked device you can pick the best cell phone plan for your budget and needs without worrying about switching carriers. Read our guide on how to unlock your phone.

Best GSM phone carriers

We already know you're into saving money. There's a simple way to save hundreds more each year, by switching your wireless service to an MVNO.

Best T-Mobile GSM phone carrier

Mint Mobile 4GB data plan* $45 for 3 Months Service

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo*

$3.75 per GB

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G4GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Best AT&T GSM phone carrier

Good2Go Mobile 3GB data plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G/5G data

$12.50/mo*

$25/mo

$8.33 per GB

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $637 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
Good2Go MobileAT&T 4G & 5G3GB$25/mo$263/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$637/yr

GSM phone carrier benefits

MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. It's a long name for a simple thing - a wireless carrier that rents space on the big guys' networks instead of owning its own infrastructure.

MVNOs can offer you much better rates on your wireless service because they don't have the high overhead associated with retail stores, nor do they have the major marketing costs.

There are several reasons that MVNOs are great for you, the consumer:

  • You get the same reliable 4G network as you do with the major carriers.
  • You save 50% or more off your cell phone bill.
  • No contracts or credit checks, and no overage or early termination fees.
  • You pick and choose a custom plan to fit your budget.
  • Alternative wireless carriers have high customer support ratings.
  • It's simple to switch - order a new SIM card online and pop it in.
  • Bring your own phone and keep your number.

Cheapest GSM phone plans

CarrierNetworkMinutesTextsDataPrice
TelloT-MobileUnltdUnltd1GB$7.50** 25% Off for 6 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd4GB$15** $45 for 3 Months Service
US MobileVerizon & T-MobileUnltdUnltd12GB$20Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
TingT-Mobile & VerizonUnltdUnltdUnltd$25** $20 Off for 3 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltdUnltd$30** $90 for 3 Months Service

Sell your old GSM phone for cash


GSM phones FAQs

What are GSM carriers?

The big GSM carriers are T-Mobile and AT&T. As Sprint and T-Mobile merge, Sprint customers will move over to the GSM network.

Where can I buy a GSM phone?

You can buy a GSM device from a network provider on the GSM network.However, if you are looking to switch from a CDMA network to a GSM network, you may need to get your device unlocked. Check with your carrier before making the switch.

How do I convert a CDMA slot to GSM?

There are ways to switch some phones between either network, for example you can dial *#*#4636#*#* from an Android device to switch between networks. If you need to switch, you can look at getting your phone unlocked. For more information you should contact your cell phone service provider.


Recap

There's no need to be stuck in restrictive cell phone contracts anymore. With an unlocked GSM cell phone you can take back control of your cell phone costs.

You can save even more by combining your new phone with a GSM SIM card plan from one of the low-cost carriers that operate on the AT&T or T-Mobile network.

If you're looking for a CDMA compatible phone you can find the best deals with unlocked CDMA phones.

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.