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The 15 best SIM-free phones and deals 2017

The best prices for SIM-free phones available to buy today

By TechRadar deals | Apr 19, 2017, 01.30 PM IST
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If you’re looking to buy a SIM-free phone you’ve come to the right place! Our price comparison engine checks the prices for all these phones several times a day and lists them all cheapest-first so you can be sure we’re always linking you to the best prices!

SIM-free phones have become increasingly popular in the last few years. When big phones like the iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S8 go on sale, they’re usually very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that it's usually cheaper to buy the phones SIM-free and pair them with SIM only deals from one of the networks.

What’s more, mobile phones are a lot better than they used to be and that means people are hanging on to their phones beyond the traditional 24 month contract. Many people pair their existing phones with a SIM-only deal once their contract expires and that gets them out of that two-year cycle of perpetually signing new phone contracts. Once you’re out of the cycle, getting a SIM-free phone and not signing long contracts is, for many people, a more enticing option. 

On this page we’re listing the best SIM-free phone deals for all of the world’s best phones. We’ve also got the best prices for some of the budget favourites like the Moto G.

The Moto G series has been the leader in the budget Android smartphone market for years now. The latest phone is always a lot better than similarly priced phones and 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. The 2017 model we have here is a tad smaller than last year's G4 (5.0-inch versus 5.5-inch) but if you want a slightly bigger screen you could always go for the Moto G5 Plus.

If you like the look of the Moto G5 but fancy a slightly bigger screen then the Moto G5 Plus could be the phone for you. It's slightly more powerful too and looks and feels far more premium than the price would suggest. It charges super fast, and has convenient features such as fingerprint sensor and much more. If you want to go even bigger, check out last year's Moto G4 Plus which measures 5.5-inches and is included below.

If you want a cheap iPhone then the iPhone SE is the best SIM-free phone to go for at the moment. It is not as powerful compared to the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 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.

If you're after a high-end Android handset but don't quite want to pay high-end prices, the OnePlus 3T is the phone for you. It's got everything - stunning AMOLED 5.5-inch screen, fingerprint scanner, excellent battery life and lots more. And the best bit is that it costs a lot less than the equivalent phones from the bigger brands.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 phones sit at the pinnacle of the smartphone world right now - they're the best selling Android handsets out there. The S7 is very similar to the S7 Edge (below), containing most of the same components. The main difference is a slightly smaller screen that's flat rather than curved. It sat at number 2 in TechRadar's best phones ranking for a year so yeah, it's brilliant. In terms of outright value for money, the S7 is probably the better option.

LG phones have been very strong for the last couple of years. The LG G5 is only a year old but the SIM-free price has already dropped quite considerably which makes it a great option for a SIM-free phone purchase. It's got a great screen, a dual-camera and many other features that cheap phones don't usually have. A great option.

For less than £150 you can grab yourself the Motorola Moto G4 which is a brilliant budget Android SIM-free phone. In many ways it makes a mockery of the prices that the other phones go for. It lacks the stunning build quality of a Samsung or an iPhone but it gets most of the way there and for a price that will have many people doing a double-take. One thing to note - the Moto G5 is now out and our review will be here very soon so this phone might soon be replaced on this list!

The Moto G4 Plus is very very similar to the Moto G4. It's the same size, has the same internals and has the same screen. What sets it apart is it's superb camera that beats out any other cheap smartphone. It's a good step up from the Moto G4 and thus if you take a lot of photos with your phone, the G4 Plus is probably worth the extra cost - generally it only costs about £50 more which is worth it if you ask us.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a brilliant phone and one that should sit near the top of your wishlist if you're after a superb Android phone with all the trimmings. It has sat at the top of TechRadar's best phones ranking from the moment it hit our review benches. With a best-in-class screen, powerful components plus everything that Android offers it also has a layer of Samsung cleverness that puts it above all other Android smartphones.

Huawei is a Chinese brand that has taken the smartphone world by storm in the last few years. And the Honor 8 is an all-metal and glass phone that could easily go for more money. It looks and feels really premium but the asking price is a step below other leading smartphone which makes it a great SIM-free option.

The iPhone 6S is no longer the best iPhone out there but it could be the best iPhone to buy if you want something decent without paying the Earth. It's well over £100 cheaper than the iPhone 7, after all, and yet it's exactly the same size, has a very similar screen and has most of the same features.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a superb phone and it's currently available to pre-order from various places. If you want it SIM-free you're going to have to pay around £689 which is a lot of money. Don't worry though, if that's way too much there are some great cheaper options further down the page. We'll be publishing our full Samsung Galaxy S8 review soon so keep checking in for our full verdict.

The iPhone 7 is the most popular SIM-free phone out there. It's also the most popular contract phone out there. And so it was always going to make our list of the best SIM-free phone deals. Is it the best SIM-free iPhone to buy though? Only you can decide that - you'll probably see that the iPhone 6S offers most of the same features but is available for less.

The Google Pixel is a super high-end Android phone and consequently you're unlikely to find cheap prices for it just yet. If you're after a brilliant Android phone though it's a super option. It's got perhaps the best camera of any phone out there right now, and because it's made by Google it's got Android baked into it from the ground up so it's super slick and easy to use.

If you love the look of Samsung's new S8 phones and want to go supersize then the S8 Plus is the SIM-free phone for you. It's a brilliant handset, visually the most impressive out there right now. And it's got all the best features, for example you can pair with two pairs of Bluetooth headphones at once. It's expensive though so this one is only for those who want to spend a lot.

If you want the latest iPhone and you want it to be big, the iPhone 7 Plus is your phone. It's quite expensive though, so you may want to consider the iPhone 7 instead. If you absolutely must have that massive screen then it's a great option, and comes with a better camera than the main iPhone 7 which is an added plus.

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