You hear a lot of talk about the benefits of buying an unlocked phone; you can use it on any network, you don't have a carrier deciding which apps are pre-installed or when you get updates, and you can usually save some cash. One important thing that often gets left out of said discussions is where to buy them. Like everything else, there are good choices here and not so good ones.

To make it a little easier if you're itching to get on the unlocked phone bandwagon, here's where you can get started!

Swappa

Swappa started when a software developer noticed how hard it was to find good, cheap phones to test his products with. Fast forward to today, and it's the place to buy anything electronic second-hand. From phones to MacBooks to game consoles, Swappa probably has whatever it is you're looking for.

Swappa isn't some dodgy marketplace, either. Fully protected sales through the company make user-to-user selling and buying as safe as it is easy, and the phones listed are guaranteed to be gently used and in great working condition. There's a separate section for "broken" products in case you're looking for parts and zero overflows between the two sections.

If you're in the market for an unlocked phone, Swappa should be your first stop. It's amazing how much money you can save when your "new" phone has been used for a month or two.

Visit Swappa for unlocked phones and more


Amazon

Amazon has revolutionized the way we shop for just about anything, and that includes smartphones. You'll find phones direct from the companies that make them as well as phones from specialized importers and bulk buyers, which equals savings for you.

Shopping at Amazon is easy (almost too easy) and safe; their buyer's protection and hassle-free policies are legendary. Shipping is fast and complete with tracking so you'll know where your stuff is during the trip, and you'll also find just about any accessory you might need for your new phone. There is a reason Amazon has grown to be the internet's most well-known and trusted online marketplace — all the happy customers.

Vist Amazon for unlocked phones and more

Newegg

Whenever you need anything electronic, you should check out what Newegg has before you pull out the credit card. And that includes smartphones!

You'll see listing for all the major brands, including brand new devices and popular sellers that may not be the latest thing. Plus, you'll see gear you didn't know existed as Newegg also imports unlocked phones from all over the world.

Maybe the best part of shopping at Newegg are open box, refurbished and clearance deals. You'll be able to find amazing prices on products with a full warranty, including all the accessories you might need for a new phone purchase.

Vist Newegg for unlocked phones and more

B&H Photo

Photographers know that B&H is the place to go for anything and everything when it comes to camera gear, but they also have a great selection of mobile products.

B&H has phones from most manufactuers, and they can be the place to go if you're looking for those devices that have had a limited release such as Sony's high-end devices or even products you never knew existed. One thing B&H has perfected that makes shopping easy and great is the search tools on the site. Narrowing things down by price or brand or even color makes shopping simple.

Vist B&H for unlocked phones and more

Updated June 2018: Updated with the best links to find great used Android phones.

Unlocked phones

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The latest unlocked phones deliver excellent performance and value. For the budget-conscious consumer, there is a lot to love in this space. Be sure to explore more and join the discussion in the forums!

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