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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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
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.