3 ‘unlocked’ phones that might make your carrier unhappy

You don’t have to worry about which carrier these phones work with.

BARCELONA — Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile tech convention, can often look like a bizarro-world version of the U.S. phone market. Major companies like AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) occupy small exhibit spaces, while phone vendors that don’t even get shelf space in the carriers’ stores take up massive, heavily trafficked booths.

That reflects not just the global scope of MWC, but the importance of phones sold directly by manufacturers and not locked to any specific telecom. Much of the rest of the world has been buying unlocked phones for some time. And with the demise of two-year contracts at U.S. carriers, buying such handsets is finally a viable option in the States, too.

So while the U.S.-market phone you’ll hear the most about at MWC will almost certainly be…

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