With the growing need to remain connected with family and friends, most people usually choose to invest in high-quality cell phones. Besides being connected, these handsets enable them to do business, market their businesses, and even browse the internet. This has made cell phones become indispensable devices in our lives. With the proliferation of these devices, the prices of these cell phones are also on the rise.
However, all is not lost. This is because you can now get your dream phone for just $50 and below and still get connected to your friends or family. Some of the devices that you will find with this price can be locked to one carrier only. However, there are a handful that is unlocked. If you choose unlocked cell phones, you will be at liberty to switch carriers the way you please. In this article, we shall take a closer look at some of the best cheap unlocked cell phones under $50 Dollars.
What is an Unlocked Phone?
An unlocked phone is basically a device that is not tied to any specified carrier. If you own such a handset, be sure that you will be able to switch carriers the way you please. All you need to do is to swap the SIM card inside and insert that of your preferred carrier. Once you insert a new SIM card, the device will be connected to a new network belonging to the SIM card’s carrier.
Benefits of Unlocked Cell Phones
There are many benefits of investing in an unlocked phone. Some of these benefits include:
1. Allows the user to enjoy carrier freedom
Like we mentioned above, unlocked phones usually have no restrictions. Also, these devices do not have contracts or ties that will restrict you to one company only. Therefore, if you want to switch carriers, you can readily do it.
For instance, if you have traveled and your current carrier is not supported in the host country, you can go ahead and switch carriers by buying a SIM card whose carrier works well in the host country. This makes unlocked phones ideal for travelers or people who live traveling from one region to another. As you purpose to switch carriers, your device has to be compatible with that network.
2. Gives you the freedom to use two networks at the same time
Nowadays, most cell phones can now support dual-SIM networks. This gives you the freedom to use two different networks at the same time. For instance, you can choose one network for making calls and the other one for browsing the internet. This flexibility enables you to enjoy more convenience as you will not experience any challenges even when you are in a foreign land.
For instance, you can retain the SIM card of your current carrier and insert a new one on your phone and still be able to make calls, text, or even browse the internet the way you please, even when you are in a foreign land. Generally, the convenience that comes with dual-SIM unlocked phones is unmatched.
3. Helps you to save more money
Sometimes, your current carrier might be charging high costs for all the services they offer. This can end up straining your budget. To minimize these costs, you can consider switching carriers so that you can save a few bucks. Unlocked cell phones allow you to do this seamlessly. All you need to do is to choose a carrier that charges reasonable prices for all their services, and you will be good to go.
4. No monthly payments
As we speak, there are some carriers that offer their devices on monthly payments. This might be convenient for the time being, but it can strain your budget in the long run. To be honest, device payments can make you remain in debt for a long. Sometimes, you might not be able to leave the network in case you want to switch carriers. To avert such inconveniences and costs, you should consider investing in an unlocked cell phone.
5. No carrier bloatware
Some of the apps that you find on your device might not be necessary to you. However, most manufacturers usually install these apps on your device by default, hoping that you will need them in the future. While this is the actual intention, sometimes, you hardly need these apps and might be consuming more space on your device.
If you try to uninstall these apps, it might be very difficult as they have been installed on your device by default. To prevent such scenarios and to enjoy more freedom, you should invest in an unlocked phone. This way, you will have more freedom when it comes to the apps that you choose to install on your device.
6. Enables you to get quicker updates
Any carrier you find out there usually updates their own devices. Sometimes, these updates can take time, and this makes your device to be a bit slow in some of its operations. However, the speed of getting these updates usually varies from one carrier to another. In fact, your carrier of choice might take time before it optimizes the software updates from the manufacturer. This means that your device might take longer before it gets the much-needed software updates.
However, if you have an unlocked device, you will get faster updates straight from Google and not solely rely on updates from the manufacturer. A good example of an unlocked device that gets faster updates is Google Pixel, which gets its updates straight from Google.
7. Availability of various models to choose from
Unlike other devices, unlocked devices come in a variety of models to choose from. All you need to do is to choose the one that suits your budget as well as needs. Thereafter, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits that come with these devices, such as the ones mentioned above.
6 Best Unlocked Cell Phones Under $50 Dollars
Although there are some unlocked cell phones that are quite expensive, it is important to note that there are some unlocked models under $50 dollars. Such models are ideal for those looking for an unlocked device but are operating on a budget. The good news is that they are equally good and come with a number of functionalities. Here are some of the best models to choose from.
1. Alcatel One Touch Evolve 2
If you are looking for an unlocked smartphone that will not strain your budget, Alcatel One Touch Evolve 2 is the ultimate solution for you. To start with, this device comes with a Dual-core 1.3 GHz processor and a RAM of 512 MB. Besides this, the phone comes with an internal storage of 4 GB. With this kind of storage, be sure that you will be able to store your favorite videos, photos, and even documents.
When it comes to the screen display section, this phone boasts of having a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen display. Although this screen might not be that big, it is ideal for watching videos and even playing games on your device. It also comes with a 5 MP primary camera.
With this camera, be sure that it will enable you to capture decent photos out there. There is also a VGA front camera that allows you to take fairly decent selfies any time you please. Finally, this device runs on the Android KitKat operating system.
- Reliable memory capacity
- Has a selfie camera
- Its unlocked
- Unreliable operating system
2. Nokia 3310 3G
To start with, Nokia is known to make affordable and quality devices. One of these devices is the one mentioned above. It comes with some incredible features that will mesmerize you. First and foremost, this model comes with different vibrant colors. Therefore, you will have the liberty to choose the color that pleases you.
The model also comes with a RAM of 128 GB and supports microSD expansion of 32GB. With this storage, you will have ample space to store at least a number of photos, videos, and even documents. When it comes to the camera section, this model has a 2 MP primary camera and a lasting battery that leaves the phone on standby for long without recharging. Besides, it boasts of other additional features like Bluetooth, radio, games and a headphone jack.
- Available in multiple colors to select
- Enough storage capacity
- Reliable battery
- Bluetooth enabled
- It has limited support of network
3. ZTE Zinger Z667T model
If you are looking for a model that you can easily hold with your hand, ZTE Zinger is the best handset to buy. You will note that it comes with a 3.5-inch display and a RAM of 512 MB. Besides this, it is powered by a Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor.
With this processor, you will be able to do basic phone operations with this device. Furthermore, this device runs on the Android KitKat operating system. When it comes to the camera section, this phone has a 2 MP rear camera that allows you to take fairly decent photos.
- Great memory capacity
- Room for memory expansion
- Inbuilt tracking GPS
- Bad quality camera
4. AT&T Avail 2
The phone mentioned above is ideal for texting and calling. As far as its technical features are concerned, you will note that it is powered by a Single-core 1 GHz Cortex-A5 processor. Besides this, it comes with a 512 MB RAM that allows you to undertake basic phone operations such as calling, texting, and even browsing the internet.
Apart from this, the phone comes with a 4 GB ROM that allows you to store your favorite photos, videos, and documents. When it comes to the screen section, this phone boasts of having a 3.5 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display.
Although its screen is not large like that of its peer models, it is still enough for viewing videos and even playing online games. The phone also comes with a 2 MP rear camera that allows you to take photos and videos the way you please. It is important to note that this device runs on the Android Jelly Bean operating system and is compatible with GSM network.
- Reliable RAM
- Relatively large screen display
- Cheap and affordable
- Quality for price
- Only compatible with GSM network
5. HTM H5W
If the above-mentioned 4 devices do not meet your needs, you can settle for HTM H5W. To start with, this device is powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor. Apart from this, it comes with a 512 MB RAM. The model also boasts of having a 4 GB ROM. Here, you will have enough space to save all your videos, photos, documents, and so forth.
Unlike other devices, this one comes with a 4-inch screen that is large enough for viewing photos, videos, and even playing games. The device also comes with a 5 MP rear camera with LED flash. Therefore, you will be able to capture high-quality photos even at night. On the front, this device has a 1.3 MP camera that allows you to take fairly decent selfies. Finally, the device runs on the Android Jelly Bean operating system.
- Has a back and front camera
- Reliable memory space
- Relatively big screen size
- It’s a dual SIM
- So light and convenient to carry around
- Poor quality front camera
6. Alcatel OneTouch Ideal 4G
To start with, this device is 4G enabled. Besides this, the device comes with a 4.5-inch screen display. This screen is large enough for viewing videos, playing games, browsing the internet, and so forth. Unlike other models, this one runs on Android 5.1 version.
When it comes to the processor properties, this device is powered by a 1.1 GHz Quad core processor. Apart from this, the phone comes with 1GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage. With this space, you will have ample space to store your favorite videos, documents, photos and so on.
Finally, the device comes with a 5 MP rear camera and 2 MP front camera. With these cameras, you will be able to capture high-quality photos and videos anytime you, please.
- Two reliable cameras
- It’s extremely easy to use
- It has a face recognition security feature
- Reliable battery
- Its back camera has no flash
- Not compatible with CDMA network
Are there any disadvantages associated with unlocked cellphones?
Yes. Although unlocked devices have proved to be beneficial, they too have a number of shortcomings. Some of these disadvantages include:
- Users might not get the much-needed support from their carriers: Anytime you experience a problem regarding the services offered by your preferred carrier, one of the first things that you usually do is to contact the customer care team. By contacting this team, you can expect that you will get the support you need.
However, with unlocked devices, you might not get the much-needed support. At some point, you might be on your own, and this can frustrate you. Therefore, you should brace yourself for such eventualities when using an unlocked device
- Unlocked devices need to be paid in full: If you want to purchase an unlocked phone, you should be ready to pay it in full. The only time you can pay in instalments is when you buy using your credit card. Therefore, you have to set a budget for this device so that you can be able to purchase it upfront.
How should you get the best unlocked cell phones under $50 dollars?
The first step of getting the best unlocked cell phone under $50 is doing thorough research. Before settling on any cell phone, research and narrow down the options that you have to get the best specs. You can also get the best device by asking for recommendations from friends and family.
Most important factor to consider when buying unlocked cell phones under $50 dollars
- Compatibility: although unlocked cell phones are open to use with any carrier, it’s possible that your phone of choice won’t work with your carrier’s network. Therefore, ensure your phone is compatible with your carrier before going ahead to buy.
- Phone specs: unlocked cell phones under $50 dollars might lack some important specs hence its cheap price. More often than not, cheap phones have unreliable features like low memory space, poor camera and weak battery. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your phone has reliable and quality specs before purchase.
- Area coverage: to avoid network inconveniences, you should ensure your preferred cellphone’s service provider has reliable network in your residential area.
Every cell phone user would like to have the freedom to choose the carrier that meets his or her needs. By investing in an unlocked phone, you will not only enjoy this freedom but also save a few dollars in the future. If you are a frequent traveler, you will have an easy time switching between different carriers you might find in your host country. To enjoy more conveniences, invest in any of the phones mentioned above.