Best Unlocked Phones

ABC News/PC Magazine has a really fantastic story on the best unlocked phones, and we’re all ears.

The recent Copyright Office ruling on unlocking GSM phones puts some much-needed power back in the hands of you, the wireless consumer. This means you can now bring your Cingular phone over to T-Mobile, or vice-versa. You also have the right to switch between prepaid and postpaid service on the same phone. And when you travel abroad, you can pop an international SIM card into your phone for much lower rates.

This last bit is especially important, because international cell phone use is crazy expensive. So what are the best unlocked phones? ABC likes the Samsung X820 (pictured above) “a perfect example of a terrific product that the carriers tried to block out of the U.S. market for no perceptible reason. It’s less than .3 inches thick, with a 2-megapixel camera, gorgeous screen, and fun interface.” They also have high esteem for the Nokia N80, Palm Treo 680, Sony Ericsson W810i and the Nokia 7380.

They advocate buying directly from the manufacturer, suggesting that rebel phone purchasing is akin to making a political statement. We’ve all been under the thumb of wireless companies for too long! Break free with an unlocked phone. —MEGHANN MARCO

Best Unlocked Phones [ABC News/PC Magazine]