Straight Talk, the $45 unlimited prepaid service, already has a small selection of low-end Android phones in its lineup. But if Android is your thing and a $45 a month smartphone bill is attractive, the service’s latest addition is worth a look.
The new Samsung Galaxy Proclaim is perhaps the best option available for Straight Talk. A rebranded Samsung Illusion, the Galaxy Proclaim works on the Verizon voice and data network and has a 1GHz single-core CPU, a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, a 3MP primary camera, and a microSDHC memory card slot (2GB card included, 32GB max). Android 2.3 comes pre-installed, and will likely be the only OS version the phone ever sees.
Priced at $179, the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim is now available for purchase online, but doesn’t seem to have hit Walmart stores or Walmart.com as of yet (Walmart is Straight Talk’s exclusive distributor). As with other Android phones from Straight Talk, the handset requires the $45 unlimited monthly plan and will not work with the 1000 minute $30 plan.
The phone will also soon be offered by Net10.
We’re constantly getting questions about prepaid Android phones. While the situation hasn’t changed all that much in recent months, there are new prepaid Android options dropping here and there, including the Samsung Galaxy Precedent.
The Galaxy Precedent is available on the Straight Talk service, which offers unlimited talk, text and data for a very attractive $45 per month with no commitment. Straight Talk is powered by different wireless carriers, but the phones and service cards are available only through Wal-Mart.
Right now, Wal-Mart.com is offering the Galaxy Precedent for less than $130, which is a pretty great deal for an Android phone without a contract subsidy.
Features include Android 2.2, a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 2MP camera, an 800MHz CPU, a 1500mAh battery for up to 6 hours of talk time, and a microSD memory card slot for additional storage over the pretty paltry 380MB of onboard memory (a 2GB card is included). The phone weighs in at 3.8-ounces.
The LG Thrive is one of the most affordable no-contract Android smartphones available, but finding a case for the handset can be a real challenge. I’m reviewing the Thrive at the moment and decided to try some of the few cases sold for the phone.
My favorite is the very affordable Black Silicone Skin Cover from LG. It’s only $5.45 at Amazon.com and has a very soft, sturdy feel that few inexpensive skin cases have. It also provides clean cut-outs for the data/charging port and audio jack, as well as pass-through controls for the power button and volume rocker buttons.
I think the LG Thrive is an excellent choice for users looking for a prepaid Android smartphone. But the accessories for the phone are, sadly, a bit lacking – at least at this point.
M. Nichols, Products Editor
Not that long ago, using a smartphone with a prepaid phone service required jumping through a number of expensive and confusing hoops, but today that is changing. Today, half way through 2011, there are several smartphones available from prepaid services, which makes it easier for some users to upgrade to smartphone devices and more affordable, too.
There are currently a handful of Android-powered prepaid phones like the LG Thrive (shown left), LG Optiumus and Samsung Intercept. None of these handsets is particular cutting edge, but you can get each for less than $200 without being married to contract requirements and can save some serious cash over monthly contract plans.
The Android 2.2 LG Thrive from AT&T, for example, has an MSRP of $179 but is available for $149, and will work with AT&T’s upcoming $50 unlimited talk and text prepaid plan (begins June 26th). You will have to select a data plan, though, which range in price from $5 to $25. But $55 (with the lowest data package) is a pretty unbeatable monthly price for a smartphone user.
Other prepaid Android phones include the LG Optimus and Samsung Intercept, both from Virgin Mobile (Sprint). The Optimus ships with Android 2.2, and an update to 2.2 is now available for the Intercept if you get a unit with 2.1 installed. Unlimited talk, text and web is $60/month from Virgin.