The Motorola Triumph and Samsung Prevail might have new competition for the best no-contract Android deal. Walmart just revealed the Samsung Galaxy Precedent is coming to their pre-paid wireless brand Straight Talk for only $149. The low-priced device and its $45/month unlimited plan look attractive, but who really has the best offer on no-contract Android phones?
NO-CONTRACT WIRELESS PLANSStraight Talk: $45/month for unlimited everythingBoost Mobile: $50/month for unlimited everythingMetroPCS: $50/month for unlimited everything on 3G, $60/month for unlimited everything on 4G LTECricket Wireless: $55/month for unlimited everythingVirgin Mobile: $55/month for unlimited everythingSimple Mobile: $50/month for unlimited everything on 2G, $60/month for unlimited everything on 4G HSPA+
Virgin Mobile has one of the more expensive no-contract plans for unlimited everything, but they also have smartphone plans starting at only $35 per month. That $35 plan only comes with 300 minutes, so it’s a great deal for those that do not need much talk time.
Winner: Boost Mobile has the best no-contract plan if you are willing to stick with it. The starting price of $50/month is not the cheapest, but it has the ability to drop to $45, $40, and then $35 if your payments are on time.
NATIONWIDE NETWORKSStraight Talk: 3G nationwide coverage through AT&TBoost Mobile: 3G nationwide coverage through SprintCricket Wireless: 3G nationwide coverage through SprintVirgin Mobile: 3G nationwide coverage through SprintMetroPCS: 3G nationwide coverage, limited 4G LTE coverageSimple Mobile: 4G HSPA+ coverage through T-Mobile
Most of the pre-paid carriers operate as mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), but a few own their own network. When it comes to 4G speeds, MetroPCS has their own 4G LTE network and Simple Mobile offers 4G HSPA+ coverage through T-Mobile.
Winner: The best network always depends on the coverage area in your location. Simple Mobile (T-Mobile 4G HSPA+) offers the fastest speeds out of the group, but I would go with Straight Talk (AT&T 3G) for the best average 3G speeds in the largest coverage area.
PRE-PAID ANDROID PHONESVirgin Mobile: Motorola Triump – $299.99, Android 2.2, 1GHz processor, 4.1? touchscreen, 5MP camera, front-facing VGA cameraBoost Mobile: Samsung Prevail – $179.99, Android 2.2, 800MHz processor, 3.2? touchscreen, 2MP cameraStraight Talk: Samsung Precedent – $149.88, Android 2.2, 800MHz processor, 3.2? touchscreen, 2MP cameraCricket Wireless: Huawei Ascend II – $129.99, Android 2.3, 600MHz processor, 3.5? touchscreen, 5MP cameraMetroPCS 3G: Samsung Admire – $129.00, Android 2.3, 800 MHz processor, 3.5? touchscreen, 3.2MP cameraMetroPCS 4G: Samsung Galaxy Indulge – $299.99, Android 2.2, 1GZ processor, 3.5? touchscreen, 3.2MP camera, 4G LTESimple Mobile: Any T-Mobile smartphone, $124.99-499.99, specs vary
Winner: When it comes to the best Android phone from a traditional pre-paid carrier, I would go with the Motorola Triumph. It offers the largest display, fastest processor, and dual-cameras. Simple Mobile comes in second place since they support almost any T-Mobile phone, which offers the greatest number of choices.
BEST OVERALL DEAL?
Pre-paid Android phones might not appeal to the hardcore fan since they lack the latest hardware and software, but they are a great choice for the average consumer. In the span of a couple years, we went from no decent pre-paid smartphones to attractive options on every pre-paid carrier.
Whic pre-paid carrier do you think offers the best deal for Android fans?