4 reasons an unlocked phone is for you

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When you need a new phone, you probably do what most people do: you go to your carrier and choose a phone, signing up for a new contract at the same time. If you’re in an area where you have access to multiple carriers, you might compare offers to see where you’ll get the best monthly price. When you buy a phone this way, associated with a single carrier, you are buying a locked phone.

Most typical users don’t consider purchasing unlocked phones, phones not associated with a particular carrier at the time of purchase, phones, that is, not under contract. For some users, they’re unnecessary, but for many more, they’re a great deal, and may be exactly what you need. Here are four reasons why an unlocked phone, like something from the ASUS ZenFone line, might be just perfect for you.

Lower monthly costs

When you purchase an unlocked phone, you pay the sticker price of the phone on day one. That can come as a shock to your wallet if you’re used to the cost of your phone being wrapped into your monthly bill, but you’ll pay less over the lifetime of your phone this way.

Replacement phone between contracts

If you have a contract that allows you to get a new phone every two years, you probably get a hefty discount on a new phone — as long as you wait the full two years, and sign up for a new contract when you get your new phone.

This all works just fine, unless you need a new phone between contracts. The full sticker price of many of the high-powered smartphones we all take for granted can make you wince. With prices starting around $229, you can get a ZenFone 2 with a fantastic camera, excellent processor, plenty of memory, and impressive battery life. That’s a third of what you’ll pay for many of the top-tier phones on the market.

International travelers

If you’re a business traveler who is often out of the country, or a personal traveler with an around-the-world itinerary, choosing an unlocked phone can be a great benefit. Many American carrier companies offer worldwide data and phone plans, but they can be incredibly expensive. An unlocked phone allows you to purchase an international SIM card, letting your phone work on international networks, usually at greatly reduced costs.

Better use of memory

You may not have noticed, but when you buy your phone through your carrier, it comes loaded not just with the software that comes with the operating system, but also bloated with the carrier’s apps, which may not be your preferred way of using messages, contacts, calendar, and so on.

When you choose an unlocked phone, you eliminate the extra software, and gain more memory for your games, photos, videos, and documents.

Who should buy an unlocked phone?

Anyone who values flexibility and the ability to customize their phone to their needs, and not the needs of carriers, should consider an unlocked phone. There was a time when choosing an unlocked phone meant spending $600 or $800 for a top-shelf device, but ASUS has put an end to that with its fantastic line of ZenFone 3 options. From the Zenfone 3 Max, great for those who need super extended battery life, to the ZenFone 3 Zoom, ideal for those amateur photographers among us, there’s a phone for every need.