Ever wondered why some people prefer unlocked phones? Flexibility in switching networks, saving those precious pennies, and bypassing the shackles of a long-term contract are all compelling arguments. In this day and age, a decent smartphone doesn't need to break the bank. So, if you're frugally minded and in search of the best unlocked phones for under £250, you're about to strike gold with our collection.
The criteria for a device making it to this list is that it be available to buy unlocked from carriers or independent retailers in the USA, cost $250 or less, and offer great features for its price.
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Motorola Moto G53
First up we have the Moto G53, friendly on your wallet yet packing a punch. Holding it feels just right, with a 6.5″ display that has a pleasing clarity thanks to its 720×1600 resolution. The 50MP camera is competent, ideal for those spontaneous shutterbug moments. The phone sails smoothly with options of 4GB and 8GB RAM and is powered by a Snapdragon 480+ 5G chipset which simply means its brain is built for speed. And the sizable 5000mAh battery will keep you going for hours on end. Grab the 4/128GB model for just £140.
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
Samsung’s A14 5G is one of the best entry-level Android smartphones you can buy in 2023. It has a large 6.6″ 1080×2408 pixels display, a 50-MP camera, and is powered by a Dimensity 700 chipset. Outside the USA, the A14 5G has an Exynos chipset. Battery capacity is 5000mAh. The 4/128GB variant sells for $220 on Amazon US, other retailers, and at multiple carriers.
Motorola Moto G 2023
Next, we have another offering by Motorola – the Moto G 2023. Just like the G53, this one too sports a 6.5 inch display but with a 720×1600 pixel resolution. The slight dip in camera quality to 48MP is barely noticeable and still leaves room for some cracking photos and videos. As a direct upgrade to our previous contender, the Moto G 2023 also features a Snapdragon 480+ 5G processor for efficient performance and packs a mammoth 5000mAh battery. Get the 4/128GB memory model for just £189.
Nokia G400 5G
Nokia has a strong footing in the budget phone market and steps in here with the G400 sporting a 6.58-inch display with 1080×2408 pixels resolution. It has a 48MP main camera, is powered by a Snapdragon 480+ 5G chipset, and has a 5000mAh battery. For the 4/64GB memory variant, you have to shell out $237.
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)
If you want an unlocked phone under $250 that supports a stylus, this is the one the doctor ordered. You get a large 6.8-inch 1080×2460 pixels display, a 50MP main camera, a decent Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, and a 5000mAh Li-Polymer battery. The 8/256GB trim will set you back by a dollar shy of $250. It sells for $249 and you can find it at Amazon, other retailers, and some carriers.
TCL is known for budget Android phones. The 40XL has a 6.75″ display with 720×1600 pixels resolution, a 50MP camera, and a lowly Helio G37 4G chipset. the 5000mAh Li-Ion battery is solid. It is the only 4G smartphone on this list.
Where the TCL 40XL stands out and earns its place on our list of the best unlocked phones under $250 is that it offers the most generous memory specs for its price. You get a whopping 6GB RAM and 256GB built-in storage for just $180. That is something you should consider if you do not need or want 5G connectivity. Afterall, for most Internet tasks, 4G is sufficient.