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.