The Galaxy S5 has been making the rounds since its global launch a week ago. It's already available at the major US carriers, and now it's trickling down to the smaller options out there. Today the device has come to MetroPCS, a prepaid service owned by T-Mobile, where it's available for $649 without an annual contract. The site shows the phone as currently available in-stores, but the online inventory should appear at some point.
Out with the old, in with the new. Today Sprint has retired its no-contract As You Go service and replaced it with the more straightforwardly branded Sprint Prepaid. The new offering is something Sprint customers or no-contract shoppers should almost want to consider, but the monthly prices still aren't low enough for the limited number of phones supported.
Sprint Prepaid introduces two smartphone plans: Smart and Smart Plus. The former offers unlimited talk and text for $45 a month.
Finding competent Android smartphones at an affordable price just isn't as difficult as it used to be. There's the Nexus 5 for people who want a phone for $349.99 that remains competitive with largely anything out there. There's the HTC Desire 601 for $279.99 for anyone who wants Sense but doesn't want to fork over the money for one of the manufacturer's flagship devices. And for people who really don't want to spend over $200, there's the Moto G.
The LG Optimus F3 is available today for $179.99 off-contract with Virgin Mobile. The phone comes with Android 4.1.2, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and a commendable 2,460mAh battery. The 4G LTE-capable handset will reportedly last long enough to sustain a sixteen hour conversation, though such battery life might require more work on your end when throwing out the dead battery excuse to avoid people.
The LG Optimus F3 has a 4-inch screen shielded with Gorilla Glass 2, a 5MP camera in the back, and your typical inferior camera on the front.
If you're like me, you love smartphones, but you aren't willing to put up with an oppressive two-year contract just to have one. Unfortunately, unless you happen to have $600 lying around, that means you have to settle for hardware that leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, the times are a-changin'. The LG Optimus F7 is a pretty solid device, and while it's not quite the premium piece of high-performance hardware that Boost Mobile pitches it as, it's a great phone to pick up for carrier's launch price of $299.
Look, I know what you're thinking. You need Samsung to release another Galaxy product, because there's nothing yet in their device lineup that appeals to your particular set of needs. I get it. Sure, there are other brands by other manufacturers out there, but nothing feels quite so comfortable in the palm as yet another Galaxy device. So here it is, the Samsung Galaxy Ring for Virgin Mobile, a 3G-only budget-friendly handset with Android 4.1 and halfway decent specs.
T-Mobile is not playing around today at its "UNcarrier" event. In addition to formally announcing the new, simplified prices with optional equipment repayment plans, and a shiny new LTE network, the company also says that the Galaxy S 4 will be arriving on its airwaves on May 1st, packing the ability to hook into that lovely 4G.
The carrier did not, however, elect to mention the pricing of the device.
It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.
If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device.
It's not often we find ourselves excited about prepaid here in the US, but if any store can get people excited about saving money, it's Walmart. And what Walmart and T-Mobile just announced is actually pretty exciting if you're looking for a way to get on the smartphone bandwagon with low monthly overhead.
For $300, Walmart will sell you a contract-free T-Mobile Galaxy S II. That in and of itself probably isn't very exciting.
Let's get the tough stuff out of the way up front. The T-Mobile Concord is manufactured by ZTE, runs Gingerbread, and packs a pretty meager 2MP camera. Don't worry, though. This phone shall not have been mortally wounded in vain. With a price of $99 off contract (with certain plans*) from T-Mobile or Wal-Mart, it doesn't look like too bad of a deal for smartphone users on a tight budget.