Unlocked Used Phones

Compare cheap unlocked smartphone deals

Network:
Manufacturer:
Sort by:
Apple iPhone 5cApple iPhone 5cStarting at:MSRP: $549$56Compare PricesApple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4Starting at:$59.99Compare PricesApple iPhone 5Apple iPhone 5Starting at:MSRP: $649$70Compare PricesApple iPhone 5SApple iPhone 5SStarting at:MSRP: $649$75Compare PricesApple iPhone 6Apple iPhone 6Starting at:MSRP: $649$139Compare PricesApple iPhone SEApple iPhone SEStarting at:MSRP: $399$139Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S6Samsung Galaxy S6Starting at:MSRP: $684$154Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S6 EdgeSamsung Galaxy S6 EdgeStarting at:MSRP: $800$169Compare PricesApple iPhone 6SApple iPhone 6SStarting at:MSRP: $649$171Compare PricesGoogle PixelGoogle PixelStarting at:MSRP: $649$199Compare PricesGoogle Pixel XLGoogle Pixel XLStarting at:MSRP: $769$219Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S7Samsung Galaxy S7Starting at:MSRP: $670$226Compare PricesApple iPhone 6 PlusApple iPhone 6 PlusStarting at:MSRP: $749$229.99Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S7 EdgeSamsung Galaxy S7 EdgeStarting at:MSRP: $780$230Compare PricesApple iPhone 6S PlusApple iPhone 6S PlusStarting at:MSRP: $649$240Compare PricesApple iPhone 7Apple iPhone 7Starting at:MSRP: $649$349Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S8Samsung Galaxy S8Starting at:MSRP: $725$395.81Compare PricesGoogle Pixel 2Google Pixel 2Starting at:MSRP: $649$428Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S8+Samsung Galaxy S8+Starting at:MSRP: $725$430Compare PricesApple iPhone 7 PlusApple iPhone 7 PlusStarting at:MSRP: $769$439Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy Note8Samsung Galaxy Note8Starting at:MSRP: $930$500Compare PricesApple iPhone 8Apple iPhone 8Starting at:MSRP: $699$500Compare PricesGoogle Pixel 2 XLGoogle Pixel 2 XLStarting at:MSRP: $849$560Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S9+Samsung Galaxy S9+Starting at:MSRP: $839$595Compare PricesSamsung Galaxy S9Samsung Galaxy S9Starting at:MSRP: $719$600Compare PricesApple iPhone 8 PlusApple iPhone 8 PlusStarting at:MSRP: $799$640Compare PricesApple iPhone XApple iPhone XStarting at:MSRP: $999$829Compare Prices

Want a Cheap Unlocked Smartphone? Compare & Save

Last Updated:

Whether your buying or selling a used/refurbished phone it's best that you make sure the phone is unlocked first. Unlocked phones can work on any network as long as you have the carrier's specified SIM card.

What exactly does it mean to be unlocked?

Well, smartphones run on one of two networks:

  • GSM: AT&T and T-Mobile
  • CDMA: Sprint and Verizon

If your phone is "locked" it means it's locked to a carrier. So if you have a GSM phone it will only work with an AT&T or T-Mobile plan and if you have a CDMA phone it will only work on with Sprint or Verizon plans.

Buying a used/refurbished phone

We recommend buying unlocked so you can easily switch plans to whichever carrier you want and consequently, whichever one offers the best deal.

What does that mean for you? If you buy a used/refurbished phone (even an unlocked one) it's best to purchase one that previously ran on your network (or the network you're planning to switch to).

Why? Let me break it down for you.

A GSM unlocked phone can work on a CDMA network and vice versa. However, this is only because of the development of 4G.

If you have a GSM phone on a CDMA network (or vice versa) and your 4G drops down to 3G, your phone will basically become a paperweight until 4G is restored. That means no calls, texts, or data until 4G is fully running again.

For this reason, it's still best to get an unlocked phone that operates on the carrier you're currently with or the one you're planning on switching to.

Selling Your Phone

If you're looking to sell your old phone it's important to keep in mind that buyback sites will often pay you more for your used phone if it's unlocked. But how do you know if your phone is unlocked or not?

If you bought your phone outright through any of the four big companies (T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) then your phone is already unlocked.

However, if you're on a payment plan, meaning you pay a small amount towards the overall total of the phone each month, the phone will remain locked until it is paid off. Keep in mind you cannot sell your phone until it you deactivate it from your carrier.

Once you've paid for your phone in full, unlocking it is a fairly simple process. Check out our guide on how to unlock your phone to get a few extra bucks for your phone.

Save even more money by switching to an MVNO

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are smaller carriers that lease service and tower storage from the "big four" - AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint- in bulk and sell it to consumers at a lower monthly cost.

How are they doing this? They have lower overheads and spend much less on marketing which allows them to profit just as much as the big four while still making money. They also don't' have a lot of brick and mortars to fund which saves them loads of money. In fact, you can sign up for MVNOs completely online without ever setting foot in a store.

Check out our reviews on the best MVNOs for each network:

Recap

Whether you're buying or selling, make sure your phone is unlocked. This affords you more opportunities when it comes to choosing a carrier and will ultimately save you money in the long run.

Leave a Reply

Replying to Cancel

Your comment has been submitted and is awaiting approval from one of our administrators. Thank you for your readership!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading

Submitting your comment...

Advertiser Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. See our Advertiser Disclosure

Full Advertiser Disclosure:

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups. However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers, and the information presented is not affected by compensation.

Our ranking system is independent of compensation and reflects our understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

for more details.

3 Great Ways to Save

Find a Cheaper Phone PlanSIM CardSave over 50% by switchingCompare PlansBuy a Refurbished PhoneSmartphoneSave over 50% off MSRPCompare PricesSell Your Old PhoneSmartphone with dollar signGet 50% more than store trade-inCompare Prices
See AllTextNowT-Mobile NetworkUnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts2GBdata$20/moSee DealTello MobileSprint NetworkUnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts1GBdata$14/moSee DealTwigbyVerizon Network1000minsUnlimitedtexts2GBdata$17/moSee DealMint MobileT-Mobile NetworkUnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts2GBdata$15/moSee Deal