When we think of "budget" phones, a $500 Galaxy S III may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, MetroPCS' usual strategy of having customers buy phones off contract and save money on the service is in full swing here. The device comes with a hefty price tag up front, but pick up the carrier's $50/month plan for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data, and you're looking at around $1700 over the course of 2 years.
The Galaxy Camera, which Samsung initially unveiled in Berlin back in August, is now confirmed to be on its way to AT&T. Unfortunately, the carrier hasn't offered up any details on when it will arrive or how much it will cost. The camera is no slouch, with a 4.7" 308ppi display, a quad-core processor, 4G connectivity, and, of course, a giant camera. That kind of hardware doesn't come cheap.
There's also the issue of data plan connectivity.
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.
Sprint has finally announced what we'd heard almost a month ago. The Kyocera Rise, the budget smartphone best known for making my movie references easy, is heading to the Now Network on August 19th. The device will cost $19.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. So if you want the internal specs of the original Evo in a QWERTY slider from the company that you probably didn't know also makes cutlery, it will run you $70 out the door.
Today, MetroPCS announced yet another addition to its stable of prepaid Android smartphones. One of the pricier off-contract handsets, the device retails for $459. So, what do you get for a significant portion of your rent for the month? Well, for a Metro PCS phone, it's actually a pretty decent spec list:
- 4.3" Super AMOLED display
- 1Ghz processor
- 8MP rear-facing camera w/ flash
- 1.3MP front-facing camera
- 32GB of "external memory"*
*Note: It's a little unclear what they mean by "32GB of external memory." The device's spec page also lists a 16GB memory card, so it may be that the device has an SD card slot that supports up to 32GB, but only includes a 16GB card.
Not every smartphone is designed to blow us away. Every once in a while, we get a little reminder that the low-end handset line needs some love to. On that note, T-Mobile let us know today that it will be launching the T-Mobile Prism, a 3.5" device running Android 2.3. The phone will retail for $20 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a 2-year contract, or a near-impulse-buy price of $150 with no contract.
OK, so it might not be the Galaxy Nexus, but HTC's Wildfire S for Virgin Mobile is a fairly decent smartphone (the carrier's second best option), and it is available off-contract for a fraction of the price of a more high-end handset. Under regular circumstances, the device comes in at just $199.99 without any sort of contract, but from now until Saturday (November 26th), it's half off - $99.99.
Again, that's less than a Benjamin for a fully off-contract Wildfire S, complete with:
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
- WiFi/3G radios
- A 3.2-inch touch screen
- A microSD card slot
- A 5.0MP camera
- A battery good for 4 hours of talk time/12.5 days of standby
Admittedly, those specs don't quite make for a flagship handset, but then again, it costs under a seventh of the off-contract price of, say, the Galaxy Nexus.
Those (im)patiently awaiting the upcoming launch of the DROID 3 now have even more info on what to expect: thanks to Droid Life, we now know what the phone's pricing will look like, both on- and off-contract.
If you're cool with signing a new two-year agreement, you'll be paying the now-standard price of $199. Alternatively, if the shackles of a contract are enough to scare you away, you could purchase the phone off-contract for the fairly reasonable price of $459 (I say "fairly reasonable" since other carriers, such as Sprint, happily charge over $600 for an contract-free phone).
After months of anticipation and weeks of delays, we kind of lost faith and thought this day would never come. However, the HTC Thunderbolt just went live on VZW's own site, including free overnight shipping, which means you can get your hands on the first LTE phone by the 18th (unless you go to a local store, of course).
Just as @VerizonWireless tweeted yesterday, the 2-year contract price is $249.99 (which is not nearly as good as the $179.99 Amazon or the $199 Wirefly deals, but much better than the post-20th $299.99 Best Buy rip-off), 1-year is $319.99, but when I saw the month-to-month off-contract price, my eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
- As rumored, Motorola XOOM is indeed going to cost $799 and will require a 1-month data package to unlock WiFi. February 24th remains the go-live date. Anyone still up for picking it up?