What’s the advantage of an unlocked phone?

When you have a phone that’s unlocked, it means you can use any carrier the phone is compatible with. Important note: Check the details of each phone (links are provided below) to see which carriers the phone will work on.

Ordinarily most people think phones of this kind are ridiculously expensive at $300 or more, but here are 5 that are well below that mark.

Palm Black 3G CDMA

If there’s one thing Palm almost always got right, it’s design. This phone has arguably one of the easiest, most comfortable QWERTY keys you’d ever use.

Sony Ericsson Cedar Silver

This might look like a plain bar phone, but it’s packed with features, including a 2MP camera, additional microSD storage and a whopping 420 to 475 hours (depending on network) of standby time. In other words, you won’t have to charge this phone very often.

Samsung Blackjack II

Ergonomically speaking, the Blackjack II has it where it counts. Easy buttons, proper keyboard, microSD additional storage and in-built Telenav GPS – and the camera even has zoom that works and doesn’t look awful when used.

Just 5

The Just 5 is what John’s Phones should have been. Big buttons, super-easy-read display, LOUDER volume, a battery that lasts a ridiculously long time before needing a charge, etc. When you want a back-to-basics phone, Just 5 is what you want.

You can learn at lot more about Just 5 at www.just5.com.

Motorola CHARM MB502

The biggest selling point of the CHARM is that yes, it can do wi-fi, meaning whenever you’re in a wi-fi hotspot you can use that instead of the cell phone’s network chewing up data usage. I know that a few of you are probably going to say, "CHARM sucks!", but bear in mind an under-$150 unlocked phone that can do as much as the CHARM can is a pretty good deal.