What is a Sim Free Mobile Phone?

Want to know what is a sim free mobile phone? check out this guide…

Most Sim free phones are sold in the UK with Sims but you also have a choice to buy phones without Sim. Most first choose the phone of their choice and then buy the SIM Free deals which suit their budget and needs. Sim free phones are unlocked thus give the advantage to the users over locked phones.

People buy a SIM-free mobile phone when they want to own the handset outright and take out a SIM-only deal. Which reduces the cost of a monthly plan as you are only paying the network for your minutes, texts and data allowance. SIM-only deals are not only less expensive but they could be more flexible, as 1-month rolling contracts and 12-month contracts at a commonplace. 

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While most of the sim-free phones are unlocked, some are locked too. A locked phone means that the buyer is limited to a specific network. And unlocking the phone is a whole other process. An unlocked phone means that the user can buy a Sim from any network provider..

SIM cards are removable, so you could bring your phone number and mobile service with you when you switch from one mobile phone to another, also you can get a new SIM card when you sign up for a new pay-as-you-go or monthly contract, letting you switch networks while keeping the same phone.

What is a Sim Free Mobile Phone

What does locked and unlocked really mean?

A phone is said to be locked if it could only be used with one mobile network (or group of mobile networks). For example, most of the phones sold by O2 on a monthly contract or pay-as-you-go will only work with O2 SIM cards.

Contrarily, an unlocked phone can be used without restriction on multiple mobile networks, only by switching the SIM card in the phone for a different one. These mobile phones might have had their network locks removed after purchase, or they might not have existed in the first place.

Advantages of Sim-free mobile phones

  • Greater choice of plans: Having your telephone permits you to pick any plan you like. Purchasing a particular telephone from an organization will give fewer alternatives, comparatively. A sim-free mobile phone allows you to buy a plan completely fit for your use, saving you expenses in the long-run. 
  • More freedom to change or cancel your plan: If you find that your network plan is excessively costly before the contract ends, you will most likely be unable to get out of paying it. Even if you try, paying to leave a contract will be just as costly. Shorter contracts allow the user to change their network or monthly plans whenever they like. They can even cancel without having to pay. 

Disadvantages of sim-free mobile phones

Like every other thing, sim-free phones also come with certain setbacks. Where they give the user a lot of freedom with network choice and save them money in the long run. Initially, it is a costly process. 

  • Expensive Handsets- The initial cost of the phone might be high. This means that buying the phone will be equivalent to buying a laptop or a TV. This can be difficult to pay if you are used to a monthly payment of twenty pounds. 
  • Locked Mobile Phones- As discussed before, some sim-free phones are locked when bought. This can lead to the user having to pay extra for getting the phone unlocked or having to settle with the same company as their network provider. 

What is a Sim Free Mobile Phone

Why are SIM-free phones more expensive?

SIM-free mobile phones have a higher price upfront than phones sold on contract, with flagship phones costing £500 or even more. Whereas, the same phone might cost nothing upfront on a monthly contract, which is because your network is spreading the cost of the phone across your monthly bill for the length of your contract. This reduces your up-front expenses but usually raises the price in the long run.

Difference between “sim free” and “unlocked” 

There is a lot of confusion over the years about the terms “SIM-free” and “unlocked.” These are phrases that we all hear, and they’re often used interchangeably, but what do they actually mean?

An Unlocked phone is a phone which has previously locked to a network but has since had any restrictions removed so that they can work with any network, whereas a ‘SIM Free’ phone has never been provided with a SIM card, therefore will not be tied to any network. 

Lower monthly contract payment means SIM Free contracts (from networks) are usually far cheaper than those that come with a phone, especially modern handsets or flagship models. Whereas Higher resale value means an unlocked phone which has a far greater resale value as its compatibility is open.

Pay As You GGo (PAYG) phones are usually locked to one network provider and generally you need to pay a small fee to get the device unlocked so that you can use it with the sim card from all networks. 


The examples of older models, for fans of the Apple iPhone, are the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, which still have astonishing performance and build quality. Definitely, those who are looking for the newest models will be after the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Max and the 2nd generation iPhone SE. Among the countless hardware and feature improvements are the advances in the camera department, with all three models recording 4K video up to 60 fps.


Regarding brands, users of Android phones have the luxury of choice. The devices of two noteworthy Asian companies, Samsung and Huawei, are hugely popular options. Amidst, Huawei phones are the Huawei P Smart, ideal for those after great value and, for top-end phone cognoscente, the Huawei P20 and P30 ranges. This range of Samsung phones is vast, with the Samsung S20 FE as their latest offering. Amongst many improvements, this has increased the battery life and has introduced PowerShare, allowing you to take charge from another device.

Some more SIM-free phones

There are several other brands of note, such as Nokia, Sony, Alcatel, Honor, Motorola and Google. The Sony Xperia is a well-liked option for those looking for a mid-range device. Whereas, Android and iOS are not the only operating systems around. Nokia phones include both modern smartphones and those in the older style, which have been likened to bricks but, these days, are powerful and easy to use, with modern features and excellent battery life timing. The Google Pixel is well-known for taking great quality photos and comes with Google Assistant and Chrome OS.

Noah Burns

I am Noah Burns- I love to experiment and test new products with an aim to create informative contents for readers like you. It is my aim to make this site a leading source of information and reviews to help consumers make more informed buying decisions.

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