If you want to buy contract free in Canada, we've got you covered.

Not everyone wants to be locked into a carrier contract, especially if you're the type of buyer who changes their phone more frequently than once every couple of years. There's a lot of positives to paying for a phone up front and leaving yourself much more flexibility when it comes to your cellular plan.

What you can buy unlocked, and what's worth buying unlocked, varies from market to market. Here we'll be rounding up some of your best options if you're up in Canada. This list will continually be updated as newer, more awesome phones become available.

So let's get to it.

Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Excellent camera
  • Pure Google software

Cons

  • It's pretty big
  • Lacks wireless charging
  • A little bit slippery to hold

One of the best unlocked Android phones is also one of the most expensive. But with a top-notch spec sheet and plenty of power, the Nexus 6P is well worth the money. The good news is that you can pick up the Nexus 6P from various carriers for a heavily reduced cost on a 2-year contract, and thanks to deals with the carriers, the phone still comes unlocked.

Upon opening, you'll find a sleek, if slightly oversized, metal frame, a great 5.7-inch display, lots of battery life, and an excellent fingerprint sensor. Huawei did the building, but it's Google, with its always-latest Android software, that really sells the experience here.

Check out our full Nexus 6P review

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Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

Pros

  • Strong camera
  • Great fingerprint sensor
  • Clean software experience
  • Quick updates

Cons

  • Occasionally sluggish performance
  • Weak speaker
  • Uninspired hardware

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While it hasn't aged particularly well, the Nexus 5X, like its popular predecessor, is a good choice for Canadians looking for a small handset with the best software experience on Android.

Hampered somewhat by a mediocre 1080p display and plenty of software slowdown, the Nexus 5X does benefit from the same 12.3MP rear camera sensor as the more expensive Nexus 6P, and its rear fingerprint reader is just as fast.

Read our Nexus 5X review

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OnePlus X

Pros

  • Looks fantastic
  • Simple, good looking software
  • Full HD 1080p display

Cons

  • Weak camera
  • Lacking some important radio bands
  • Below average battery life

It may not be at the top of many peoples' lists, but the OnePlus X (or OnePlux as I always write it) is stylish, affordable and oh-so-easy to hold in one hand. The metal-and-glass finish is attractive, if fingerprint-prone, and the Snapdragon 801 chip is not quite as spritely as it once was, but OnePlus has optimized the heck out of its Oxygen OS software, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the stock Android we tend to love.

At $329 CAD, the OnePlus X more than meets its value, especially if you're looking for a small handset with big potential.

See more in our OnePlus X review

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ZTE Axon

ZTE Axon

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Interesting dual-camera setup

Cons

  • Uninspired software additions
  • Aging hardware
  • Design may not appeal to everyone

A surprising addition to the list, the ZTE Axon is one of the nicer devices we've seen from the Chinese OEM. With an emphasis on style over substance, the hardware lacks punch around the edges — the Snapdragon 801 chip isn't as new as it used to be — but the all-metal body and excellent speakers make this $400 well worth the price.

See at Newegg

Moto E (2015)

Pros

  • Great price to performance ratio
  • Easily customizable with colourful bands
  • No-frills Android software

Cons

  • Low-resolution screen isn't particularly bright
  • Software updates not a sure thing
  • Weak camera

The second-generation Moto E is one of those inexpensive devices you can safely buy for a kid or accident-prone family member and not worry about its long-term outcome. With a one hand-friendly enclosure made from rugged plastic, it is a great starter phone, and is fast and fluid enough for anyone looking for a cheap no-frills Android experience.

See more in our Moto E review

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OnePlus 2

Pros

  • Great price to performance ratio
  • OxygenOS has great update track record
  • Nice build quality

Cons

  • Disappointing camera
  • Some software gimmicks
  • Poor speaker output

The OnePlus 2 is a known quantity at this point: great performance and a so-so design coupled with an intriguing, if flawed, take on Android with OxygenOS. But there is something encouraging about a small Chinese OEM providing meaningful features built atop stock Android, many of which are quite useful. Elsewhere, a whip-fast fingerprint sensor and interesting take on the iPhone's hardware mute button make the device more compelling.

At $449 CAD, the OnePlus 2 is about as cheap a device as you're going to get for its spec sheet, but the disappointing camera may push some people towards more expensive options like the Nexus 6P.

See more in our OnePlus 2 review

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HTC 10

Pros

  • Beautiful QHD display and excellent build quality
  • Nice effort to de-bloat Sense
  • Lovely sound and camera

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some software gimmicks
  • Battery issues

The HTC 10 is, at $999 CAD, expensive when purchased unlocked, but you get one of the best Android phones currently available. Featuring a stunning all-metal chassis, the device improves in every way over its predecessor, especially in the camera. Elsewhere, smaller changes, like a custom DAC that puts it heads and tails above its Android competitors in the sound output department, will appeal to audiophiles.

See more in our HTC 10 review

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