The 15 best unlocked SIM-free phones, prices and deals in the January sales 2019

best unlocked sim-free phones deals

It's very easy to get attached to your phone. You have it for two years and you love it despite the huge crack down the middle from when you dropped it and the bump marks all around the edges, so it can be hard to get rid of it. But we're here to make it as easy as possible by telling you the best smartphones - and, crucially, SIM-free mobile phone deals and prices - you can buy right now.

We'll give you the run down on not only the premium phones like the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9, but also the best prices for some of the budget favorites like the cheap Moto G6 and modern classic iPhone SE.

SIM-free phones have become increasingly popular in the last few years. When flagship phones go on sale, it's usually very expensive to get them on contract. It can be a lot cheaper to buy the phones SIM-free and unlocked and pair them with a bargain SIM only deal. But the RRPs of phones direct from the manufacturer are very rarely the cheapest way to get hold of your shiny new smartphone. And that's where TechRadar comes in...

So take a look through our top 15 SIM-free handsets, with an excerpt from our full reviews in case you're still umm-ing and ah-ing. And for a quickfire rundown, you can scroll to the bottom of this page and use our bespoke price comparison chart to find the perfect SIM-free deal for you. 

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus SIM-free deals

1. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

One of the best android phones to date

Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 8 Oreo | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Octa-core Mongoose M3 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: 3500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Better positioned fingerprint scanner
All-round brilliant cameras
Very powerful
Not hugely different to the S8 Plus 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a superb phone, in fact it's probably one of the best phones out right now. If you want it SIM-free you're going to have to pay around £500-600 which isn't too bad for a model this new. Don't worry though, if that's way too much there are some great cheaper options further down the page - and the Galaxy S9 is still brilliant if you want to save some money and don't mind something smaller.

iPhone XR SIM-free deals

2. iPhone XR

High end iPhone specs that won't break the bank

Screen size: 6.1-inches | Resolution: 828 x 1792 | Rear camera: 12MP | Front Camera: 7MP | Weight: 194g | OS: iOS 12 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | External storage: No | Battery: 2942mAh

Powerful Battery 
iOS 12 is looking good
A range of colour options 
Specs not as high as the other recent iPhones

The iPhone XR is the cheaper, younger brother to Apple's recent iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Where the iPhone XS Max and XS are pretty pricey, the iPhone XR is an ideal mix of power, design and a reasonable price point. Because of that indelible combo, this instantly became our favorite iPhone on its release to the world in October 2018.

Huawei P20 Pro SIM-free deals

3. Huawei P20 Pro

A serious Android competitor to Samsung's S9 Plus

Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo) | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2240 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 40MP | Front camera: 24MP

Good face unlock 
High performing camera
Great Battery life
No 3.55m headphone jack

Samsung seems to have had a hold on the Android world for a while now, but recently Huawei has been competing for the number 1 spot, especially with the Huawei P20 Pro. This powerhouse phone comes with a brilliant battery, high-end camera and a high powered processor. But with all that power comes a relatively high price tag.  

iPhone SE best SIM free deals

4. iPhone SE

The classic 'cheap iPhone' option

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 4-inch | Resolution: 640 x 1136 | CPU: Apple A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64GB | Battery: 1624mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Cheap for an iPhone
Simple to use
Just like the iPhone 5S but better
Lacks top features

If you want a cheap iPhone then the iPhone SE is the best SIM-free phone to go for at the moment. It is obviously not as powerful compared to the iPhone XR or iPhone 8 but it is a step up from the iPhone 5S and crucially retains the 5S' size and shape which is ideal for anyone who wants an iPhone but doesn't want a phone with a massive screen.

Moto G6 best SIM free deals

5. Moto G6

Brand new for 2018, this is the best cheap Android phone

Weight: 167g | Dimensions: 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 8 Oreo | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Splendidly designed
Beutiful vivid display
The price!
Camera is slow

Motorola has been making our very cheap smartphones for a few years now, and the 2018 Moto G6 doesn't disappoint. It improves on the G5 in droves, including a new full HD+ 5.7-inch LCD display. And it's not just the size of the screen that we like (the Moto G6 Plus is even bigger), it's also the colours and clarity. With its 12MP main camera, 1.8GHz Octa-Core processor and up to 4GB RAM, the Moto G6 is almost as good as phones that cost more than twice the price. If you're after a really good phone but don't want to spend too much money it's always a great option.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 best SIM free deals

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Massive in dimensions and quality

Screen size: 6.4-inches | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | Rear camera: 12MP dual lens | Weight: 201g | OS: Android 8.1 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB | External storage: microSD up to 256GB | Battery: 4000mAh

Incredible Infinity display
Best Samsung camera on a phone
So powerful
Can be quite expensive 

The Galaxy Note 9 has garnered a lot of hype for good reason. The huge 6.4-inch ‘Infinity Display,’ is gorgeous to look at, the 8GB RAM innards go like a train and there are two best-in-class rear cameras. It's expensive, but we think the Note 9 is well worth the money.

OnePlus 6T best SIM free deals

7. OnePlus 6T

A cheaper alternative to the high prices of today's flagships

Weight: 185g | Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.41-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 3,700mAh | Rear camera: 20MP + 16MP | Front camera: 16MP

Premium design and feel
Powerful rear camera
Impressive performance
No 3.5mm headphone jack

There's no doubt about it, the OnePlus 6T is one of the very best Android phones on the market. If you choose your mobiles based on the quality of the camera, then the incredible dual-lens snapper will float your boat. The design and performance is in the same echelons as the Google Pixel 3 and Samsung Galaxy S9, and yet the price is so much better. 

iPhone XS best SIM free deals

8. iPhone XS

One of iPhone's best devices to date

Screen size: 5.8-inches | Resolution: 1125 x 2436 | Rear camera: 12MP | Weight: 177g | OS: iOS 12 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB | External storage: No | Battery: 2658mAh

Extremely fast
lovely design
Smart HDR helps support the camera
It's expensive
Battery life not very competitive 

The iPhone XS is by far one of Apple's greatest products to date. It has a very smart camera, is about as powerful an iPhone as you can get and has really impressive speakers. However, with all of these advancements and the bigger size of the handsets it carries a pretty hefty price tag which is why it has featured so far down this list. Apart from the price though it is an all round winner. 

Google Pixel 3 best SIM free deals

9. Google Pixel 3

The best camera phone yet

Weight: 148g | Dimensions: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm **Screen size:** 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 **RAM:** 4GB | Storage: 64/128MB | Battery: 2915mAh | Rear camera: 12MP

Incredible camera
Improved screen
easy to hold 
Underwhelming battery

By now the Google Pixel brand and camera quality have become synonymous with each other, Google manages to win on cameras every time and this is what they have done again with the Google Pixel 3. Along with the incredible camera, the phone also has a good feel and a nice screen to pull it all together. This is a definite choice for the photography fanatics out there. 

LG V30 best SIM free deals

10. LG V30

Best. LG. Ever

Screen size: 6-inches | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | Rear camera: 16MP | Weight: 158g | OS: Android 8 Oreo | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | External storage: microSD up to 512GB | Battery: 3300mAh

Sleek design
Feature heavy
Awesome screen
Cameras have their weaknesses

Usually we herald LG's flagship G series as the go to smartphone from the brand, but the LG V30 that it brought out in 2017 is so damn good that we have to point you in its direction instead. The dazzling 1440 x 2880 screen is a particular strength and you immediately feel on first use that your handling an Android device no less premium than something of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9's ilk. Its age means that the price is now beginning to slide, and we're confident you'll love it.

Honor 10 best SIM free deals

11. Honor 10

A great buy for buyers on a budget

Weight: 153g | Dimensions: 149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 5.84-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: HiSilicon Kirin 970 | RAM: 4-8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 24MP + 16MP dual lens | Front camera: 24MP

Good value price point
Delightful design
Great performance and camera
Battery life could be better

It didn't take us long playing with the Honor 10 to come to the conclusion that this is a well-built Android smartphone - and its stock is growing. The Honor 10 improves once again on what's gone before, with a great design and lots of nice touches to make it an impressive all-rounder. Ok, so it's never going to outperform the Samsung Galaxy S9 or LG G7 ThinQ, but the 24MP main camera and splendid design mean that it isn't far off and for a much lower price. 

Huawei P Smart SIM free deals

12. Huawei P Smart

A smartly designed phone that won't break the bank

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 150.1 x 72.1 x 7.5mm | OS: Android 8.0 | Screen size: 5.65-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 resolution | CPU: HiSilicon Kirin 659 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB (can add micro SD) | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

Smart look for a good price
Background blur on cameras
Large 18:9 screen
Camera is poor at night 

The Huawei P Smart is an ideal phone for you if you're looking for a budget phone. It won't break the bank but you'll still be getting a high-spec phone with some of the newest features. By far the stand out feature of this handset is its large screen so if you've been looking for a bigger mobile but don't like the price tags on others then look no further. 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge best SIM free deals

13. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

A five-star phone from 2016 - we still love the Edge

Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 resolution | CPU: Snapdragon 820 / Exynos 8890 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB (64GB with micro SD) | Battery: 3600mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Beautiful screen
Great feel
Super camera
Battery could be better 

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge went straight to the top of the class when it was released in 2016 - we gave it 5 stars out of 5! It somehow managed to better the accomplished Galaxy S6 Edge, by adding a brilliant camera and gorgeous design tweaks. And the price just keeps falling, making it a genuine bargain these days.

Nokia 3310 best SIM free deals

14. Nokia 3310

A throwback to phones of yore...when batteries lasted more than a day

Weight: 79.6g | Dimensions: 115.6 x 51 x 12.8 mm **Screen size:** 2.4-inch | Resolution: 320 x 240 **RAM:** 16MB | Storage: 16MB | Battery: 1200mAh | Rear camera: 2MP

Low price
Incredible battery
Poor camera
Only 2.5G coverage

Welcome back, old friend! Pure nostalgia may be the primary jet-fuel that makes this revamped classic fly off the shelves, but for such a low price the Nokia 3310 may genuinely suit you as a second device to take to festivals or keep in your bag for emergencies. It's some way off the capabilities of actual smartphones, but...well, did we mention Snake?

BlackBerry Key2 best SIM free deals

15. BlackBerry KEY2

Still yearning for a physical keyboard?

Weight: 168g | Dimensions: 151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 8.1 Oreo | Screen size: 4.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1620 | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Physical keyboard
Secure software
Not ideal for entertainment
Mediocre chipset

The BlackBerry KEY2 is a sophisticated smartphone made for business - sound familiar? Yep, this is classic BlackBerry territory and it hosts a physical keyboard for a modern Android audience. The QWERTY keyboard offers more than just nostalgia, while the smart and secure software will give businesses some peace of mind. Just know that the mid-range specs will only get you so far, as will the so-so entertainment capabilities.