5 Best Unlocked Android Phones for International Travel in 2021

Are you planning your perfect vacation? Do you have your GPS and language translators set? If all you need is an unlocked android phone for your international travels, well, you’re in the right place! We’ll see together if the phone you currently have can be unlocked and used overseas – and if yes, what you have to do to get there. But we’ll also show you a list of the best unlocked android phones for international travel if you’re looking to buy one! So let’s see what this is all about!

The Best Unlocked Smartphones for International Travel

Best OverallGoogle Pixel 3a
CheapestMotorola G7 Power
Best ValueSamsung Galaxy S10+
Highly RecommendedSamsung Galaxy A50
Runner UpsASUS Zenfone 6
Best Unlocked Android Smartphones for International Travel

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Unlocking Your Current Android Smartphone

Step 1: Check If Your Phone Will Work Outside the U.S

Most phones today use the GSM cellular technology – and they will most certainly be able to physically work overseas. However, there’s also the CDMA technology, less common but used by Verizon and Sprint in the US. If your phone uses CDMA, it’s highly unlikely to work outside the US.

Step 2: Unlock Your Android Phone

It’s fairly easy to get your phone unlocked. In the US, companies are legally bound to unlock prepaid phones after one ear and contract phones after they have been paid off.

If your company refuses to unlock your phone, then there are websites like Unlock Base where you can get unlock codes for a small price. They aren’t guaranteed to work every time, but you get a refund if they don’t.

Another option is to find a local store that is specialized in unlocking phones and give your phone to them. There should be stores like these all over the world, so it should be no problem to find one.

Alternatives to an Unlocked Phone During International Travel

If you can’t get your phone unlocked or if it cannot physically work overseas, you still have some option to communicate while abroad.

1. Use WiFi

Even if your phone doesn’t have any signal while you’re abroad, that doesn’t mean that you can’t connect to the available WiFi. You can replace voice and text with third-party apps – if you think about it, almost everything we do today on our smartphones is online, so, technically, what you need is WiFi.

2. Rent a phone

There are a number of companies and airports where you can rent a phone when you arrive at your destination. This is usually cheaper than buying a new phone. This is only a good choice for short stays, otherwise, it can get really expensive and you’d be better off just buying a new phone.

3. Use a Tablet with Cell Capabilities

If you already own a 3G or 4G tablet, it was most likely unlocked when you bought it. So chances are you can use it as a phone while you’re on vacation – all you have to do is buy a SIM card for a dime when you arrive at your destination.

Best Unlocked Android Phones for International Travel

best unlocked phones for international travel
Best unlocked phones for international travel (Travel vector created by pch.vector – www.freepik.com“>Image)

1. Google Pixel 3a

Google Pixel 3a

Even though this phone is available through Verizon and T-mobile, you can get it already unlocked through Google’s official store or Amazon. The phone comes with a great battery life – suitable for a whole day of sightseeing without any chargers around.

The Google Pixel 3a compromises a little bit when it comes to processor speed and OLED screen quality. However, at this price, this phone is a bargain – coming with a great camera to snap all those perfect shots on your vacation.

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2. Motorola G7 Power

Moto G7 Power

One thing about this phone is that it can work with any GSM-based carriers, like AT&T or T-Mobile, or CDMA-based carriers, like Verizon or Sprint. On top of that, G7 Power comes with tremendous battery perfect for long trips where you need your GPS to guide you and still need the energy to take gorgeous pictures.

At this price, the Motorola G7 Power comes with great software, awesome performance, a huge battery life, and great flexibility when it comes to networks. However, sacrifices had to be made, so the display isn’t the greatest, and neither the design. Also, if you’re planning to do some gaming on the road, this might not be the best device to do it on.

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3. Samsung Galaxy A50

Samsung Galaxy A50

This budget phone from Samsung comes with a great camera – to immortalize all those priceless memories from your travels, with ultrawide and shallow depth-of-field photos. Additionally, in this price range, it has one of the finest displays of 6.4 inches, Full HD, AMOLED, slim bezels and Infinity-U Notch.

When it comes to performance, the A50 has pretty high standards. With the Exynos 9610 silicon and 4GB of RAM  – it can handle any vacation-related task you throw at it. It also comes with a SD-Card slot, meaning that you will not run out of storage to keep all the photographs that you take during your trip.

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4. ASUS Zenfone 6

ASUS Zenfone 6

The ASUS Zenfone 6 is a great smartphone overall, not just for traveling.  With 2 rear cameras, a 48MP sensor and a 13MP ultrawide shooter, nothing will escape your photos this vacation. And because of the hinged design, the same rear cameras are used for selfies as well, so your face will look the best in your new selfies.

When it comes to performance, you could think this is a flagship phone, if you didn’t know better. However, to keep this price, some cuts had to be made – the overall design isn’t the greatest, the display is of medium quality and when you hold it in our hand, the phone feels rather heavy.

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5. Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+ might be on the pricier end of this list, but it had to be mentioned. Immersive display, ultrasonic fingerprint, excellent cameras and amazing performance – some of the things that define this smartphone. You can add on top of that a great battery life and you’ve got yourself the perfect package for a great vacation!

However, the hole punch in the display can be a little distracting and awkward at times. Also, there are some confusing gesture controls that will take some time to get used to. All that, and with the steep price, can be considered the cons of this phone.

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Suggested reads:

5 Best Phone Plan for International Travel — Travel Overseas Wisely

7 Best Car Phone Holder in 2021 – Universal Car Cell Phone Holder

5 Best Phone for International Travel – Seize Your Travels

FAQs

What does it mean when a phone is Unlocked?

When a phone is unlocked it means that it can work with any cell phone provider. Therefore, most unlocked phones will also work when traveling abroad.

Which is the best unlocked phone?

It really depends on what you plan to use the phone, but if we had to chose just one, we’d go with the Google Pixel 3a for the best overall unlocked Android phone.

Is it better to have an unlocked phone than use roaming?

Yes. Usually, fees from local carrier plans are different when going abroad – they’re usually much higher overseas and typically charged by the day, so it’s pretty easy to built-up a phone bill that will surprise you in the end.

Best Unlocked Android Phone for International Travel – Plan Your Vacation Ahead

Whether you decided to unlock the phone you already have, before going on vacation, or you want a new Android smartphone to accompany you in your trip overseas, we hope this article was helpful to you. If you travel frequently overseas, then you’d better consider having an unlocked phone rather than relying on roaming and US carriers.

So what unlocked phone did you chose? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments down below!

Related: Best US Cellular Carriers for International Travel

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