Walmart’s website includes quite a few specials on unlocked phones, which should be good news for anyone looking to avoid the drawbacks of being tied down to a two-year carrier contract. While signing a two-year agreement with the carrier of your choice is a good way to save on upfront costs, there are several disadvantages to being on such an agreement, especially when it comes to the “fine print” subscribers often overlook on their contracts; this usually leads to bloated phone bills and customer dissatisfaction. That’s why some argue that owning an unlocked phone is a better alternative, despite the additional costs to pay upfront.
Here are some of Walmart’s best-selling unlocked handsets, a list that is led off by some “blasts from the past”, including Samsung’s first-generation Galaxy Note phablet.
The first Samsung Galaxy Note was released in late 2011 as the first “phablet” of its kind – a device that combines the features and specifications of a regular smartphone and a smaller tablet, even if it is, for all intents and purposes, an outsized handset. Despite its age, the first-gen Galaxy Note is one of the best-selling unlocked phones on Walmart, with a price tag of $329.99 for the Carbon Blue flavor and $349.99 for the white version. That represents discounts of $120 and $70 respectively off the regular prices of $469.99 and $399.99. Specifications include a 5.3-inch, 720p display, a dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box.
Two other popular Samsung phones without contract subsidies that are selling on Walmart include the Galaxy S Duos, an entry-level phone with dual-SIM functionality as a key feature. The device normally sells for $259.99, but is presently on sale by $40 on Walmart, making its price $219.99.
Also quite popular is the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is priced for as low as $469.99 for a white version with 16 GB storage; that’s almost $330 less than its original selling price of $799.96 off-contract.
The all-touch BlackBerry Z10 was the troubled Canadian company’s first flagship release running on the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, and while the Z10 did well enough in its first couple weeks in stores, its sales are generally regarded as tepid at best. Nonetheless, it comes with some solid specifications such as a 4.2-inch, 720p display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 2 GB RAM, and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Originally priced at $769.99, buyers can get it for less than half that original price tag, or at $369.99.
Last, but definitely not the least or the only other option on Walmart, the Sony Xperia Z is available for $599.99 without contract, or $80 less than the regular price of $679.99. The Xperia Z was introduced at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show with waterproofing and dustproofing as a selling point, and it also comes with some impressive fundamentals under the hood, such as a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and a 2 GB RAM, plus a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) display.