Best Budget (Sub $250) Unlocked T-Mobile Phone


Last Updated:

  1. j814wong

    j814wong Member

    I'm considering switching to T-Mobile to use their Pre-Paid Pay As You Go plan but I also want a Android phone.

    I'm looking for the phone to either be natively T-Mobile or unlocked (it does not need to run on T-Mo's data bands because I'm probably not going to use data anyway).

    Budget: $0-250 (Can go $10 higher if the device is really good for the price)
    Screen: At least 3.5 inch (3.3 if the device is particularly good or noteworthy)(Preferably AMOLED)
    No Physical Keyboard
    Preferably Brand New

    So far, my best options are the following.
    Samsung Exhibit II 4G - $198 Amazon, $329 T-mobile.com (As of 4/13/2012) - Best Option and Natively T-Mobile and I can root this one and run CM9 with ICS. Has AMOLED Screen and runs nicely if one removes the bloatware.

    Motorola Defy - $259 - Amazon(As of 4/13/2012) - Has CM9 and has a rugged design and quite waterproof (Nice to have).

    Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray - $251 - Amazon(As of 4/13/2012) - Great looking design and 8MP camera. If this device is the 2011 version, it's getting official ICS. 3.3 inch

    Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V - $270 (Pushing the envelope) - Amazon(As of 4/13/2012) - Great looking design and 5MP camera. It's getting official ICS. 3.7 inch with high pixel density.

    Samsung i897 Captivate Galaxy S - $250 Amazon(As of 4/13/2012) - ICS Roms, 4 inch AMOLED screen, 5 MP camera but no flash. Part of Galaxy S series. 1GHz Processor. Built in 16 GB storage with memory card slot =)

    Used Motorola Atrix - as low as $220 - I could always get a $10 replacement battery cover if there are scrathces there. Even so, I'm getting a case that'll hide non-screen scratches anyway.

    Used Samsung i897 Captivate Galaxy S - Used can go under $200 - ICS Roms, 4 inch screen, 5 MP camera but no flash

    Does anyone else have better options or anything that I may of missed out?
    I'm going to see if T-Mobile stores have any good deals with Pre-Paid Pay as you go plans.

    Advertisement
  2. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja VIP Member

    i would suggest you go to your local t-mobile store, and try these devices out before you committ to buy anything
  3. j814wong

    j814wong Member

    Yeah, its a must to get a actual feel of the phone. Right now, I'm jsut beginning the process of looking for the phones in various sources. I play on taking a trip to the T-Mobile store next week to see if they have any better deals.
  4. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

    Moved to the T-Mobile forum to get more T-Mobile eyes on this thread :)
    j814wong likes this.
  5. j814wong

    j814wong Member

    Ah thanks. I forgot their was a T-Mobile specific forum.
    IOWA likes this.
  6. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    The Exhibit II is a great budget phone, I'd definitely recommend it to anybody on a budget. Pretty much any phone that needs to be unlocked, you won't get T-Mobiles 4g, which may not be great, but it's much better than the alternative.
    IOWA likes this.
  7. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

    With so many forums on this board, that's extremely easy to do ;)

    Don't worry, you're not alone :)
  8. j814wong

    j814wong Member

    Yeah, its definitely one of the best phones and it supports T-Mobile 4G but this may not be a necessity because I may just go with the T-Mobile Pay as You Go plan which is only for calls. Also, I'm around Wifi very often to data connections may not be needed at all.
  9. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member


    Well, if that's the case, depending on whether or not you care about your phone having a front facing camera or flash, I'd probably go with the galaxy s, but that's what I personally like on your list.
  10. marc12868

    marc12868 Well-Known Member Contributor

    If you are willing to buy a phone used you can get better phones such as the HTC Mytouch 4g slide although it does have a hardware keyboard... But it has a 3.7 Super-LCD and the same chipset as the SGS2 just manufacture underclocked to 1.2Ghz instead of 1.5ghz.

    But if a physical keyboard is a deal breaker you could probably find a MT4G or if you are really lucky an Amaze 4g or SGS2 Hercules for fairly cheap used on Ebay or Craigslist in your area.

    But of the phones you have listed probably the Exhibit 2 or Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray are the best for the price.

    I personally would look around on ebay/ craigslist and see if you can find a good deal on a phone.

Share This Page