The Galaxy S5 is a pricey phone, the cost of which the big four American carriers typically offset by pushing consumers towards two-year contracts. They generally also offer the choice to pay for the entire phone upfront, but people who want to own the phone outright and have the several hundred necessary to do so stand to benefit from shopping around for the lowest price, and lowest commitment, option available. Today both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have added their names to the list of providers willing to sell a Galaxy S5, doing so for $599.99 with no contract.
As one of Sprint's prepaid mobile offerings, Boost Mobile's big draw is that it's affordable. But competition has ramped up as of late, and now the carrier has rolled out three new "Monthly Unlimited Select" service plans to shake things up. The offerings range from $40 to $60, and all are technically unlimited, only not really.
Taking a closer look, the lowest plan offers 500MB of data. Users who exceed that amount then find themselves throttled down to 2G speeds for the remainder of the month.
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.
Verizon is shaking up its prepaid plan options today, starting with a new name: ALLSET (ALL CAPS). Unlike some competitors, the basic plans start at a flat fee and the only expansion options come from
Bridge data BRIDGE DATA add-on packs. The smartphone plan starts at $45 a month for unlimited voice calls and text messages, plus a somewhat paltry 500MB of data.
If 500MB seems a bit low for your prepaid data needs, you can top it up with BRIDGE DATA packs.
AT&T's prepaid brand, AIO Wireless is already a pretty cheap alternative to the big post-paid carriers, but now the carrier is reducing the cost of plans, and adding more data to some of them. It gets even better, assuming you're okay with setting up recurring payments.
Aio has three main plans that now clock in at $40, $50, and $60 per month. The cheap plan hasn't changed in price, but it now has 500MB of data per month instead of 250MB.
Update: Best Buy has reached out to us to confirm that the $99.99 no-contract Verizon Moto G will go on sale as shipments arrive at the retailer's stores, which will apparently be as soon as today for some locations. If you're looking to get in on this $99 deal, it may be worth giving your local Best Buy a call to see if they have any in stock. Online availability will follow at a later date.
Update: Brightspot is official.
Already confused by the myriad of prepaid carriers out there? Well, Target thinks there should be one more. After @evleaks outed the name and pricing last night, more details have emerged. Target's prepaid service will run on the T-Mobile network and is launching October 6th online and in Target stores.
Pricing starts at $35 per month for unlimited talk and text, but no mobile data. For $50 you get "unlimited" data, including 1GB of 4G.
Republic Wireless is trying to do something crazy with mobile phone plans. It offers cheap rates on its prepaid service by routing calls and texts through WiFi when it's available. Getting compelling phones that had been tweaked by Republic Wireless to support this handoff has been a challenge, though. After some teasing, it looks like there's a killer deal to be had. Republic Wireless has announced it will sell the Moto X off-contract for $299.
In spite of the color-based lawsuit, AT&T is planning to expand its Aio Wireless service nationwide in September. The prepaid service is only available in a few markets right now including Florida, Texas, Chicago, and Atlanta.
Aio Wireless offers only three different plans and an assortment of mostly mid-range phones. Customers of Aio get access to AT&T's 4G LTE network (with a cap), then additional data at lower speeds. Signing up before September 29th gets you a free month of service, provided you maintain an account for at least three months.