Whether you're a globe-trotter or just don't like to be tied down, unlocked smartphones offer a sense of freedom we can all appreciate.
Because they aren't limited to working on any one specific carrier, you can simply buy a SIM card, stick it in your device, and be good to go. No need to wait for an activation, no need to get permission from your network provider.
For those of you who jet-set for business or for personal reasons, using an unlocked quad-band world phone is especially fluid and convenient because switching carriers from country to country will be a breeze.
Here in the U.S., you can get GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile to unlock your phone after your contract is up, but we've picked some of our favorite handsets (in no particular order) that you can purchase and use wherever you go.
LG Nexus 4
The wildly popular Nexus 4 gained massive global appeal because of its unlocked status. Selling out almost immediately, the Nexus 4 offered a skinless Jelly Bean experience, a quad-core CPU, and solid construction. Read the full review of the LG Nexus 4.
Nokia Lumia 620
The ultra-affordable Lumia 620 starts out as low as $249, and is available in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. We dig it because it brings a fully featured Windows Phone 8 handset to fledgling markets. Read the full review of the Nokia Lumia 620.
LG Optimus 4X HD
LG's first quad-core phone, the handset has the largest battery in its class, it sports a fantastic screen and camera, it's NFC-enabled, and it runs on Android 4.0. It's also a bit bigger than you may like. Read the full review of the LG Optimus 4X HD.
Samsung Galaxy Beam
A phone with a projector? That's just what the Galaxy Beam is, while packing in a dual-core processor, 720p video capture, and a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen. Read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Beam.
Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these phones head-to-head.