Best Prepaid Phones

Prepaid wireless carriers can help you cut down your monthly bills, but not all prepaid phones are created equal. The best prepaid phones are solidly built and offer features such as texting, camera and even email.
Kyocera Hydro

Kyocera Hydro

Reviewed October 2012

The Kyocera Hydro is a fine prepaid phone that can survive a dunk in the water (mostly)

Pros: Good call quality, waterproof to 1 meter, eco-mode energy-saving app, android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, minimal bloatware, simple to operate

Cons: Not a 4G phone, weak camera, low screen resolution, slippery when wet, weak external speaker

Boost Mobile
*Est. $100, no contract
 
Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G

Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G

Reviewed October 2012

Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G offers decent mid-range Android features, but suffers from limited MetroPCS network

Pros: Decent photo quality, external microSD support, google Music media player, standard 3.5 mm jack

Cons: Internet connection drops from 4G to 2.5G outside MetroPCS LTE coverage, mixed call quality, bloatware, low-res display

MetroPCS
from $188.88 with new contract
 
Samsung Freeform III

Samsung Freeform III

Reviewed February 2012

Samsung's low-cost prepaid phone offers good call quality, but short battery life

Pros: Good call quality, responsive keyboard, clear display

Cons: Slow Internet, poor photo quality, short battery life

MetroPCS
from $48.88 with new contract
 
LG Thrive

LG Thrive

Reviewed December 2011

AT&T's first prepaid Android smartphone is simple to use and reliable

Pros: Easy user interface, world phone, long battery life, small and lightweight

Cons: Lack of a dedicated camera button, weak camera, unable to play Flash videos in browser, built-in AT&T apps are not removable

AT&TU.S. Cellular
*Est. $150, no contract
 
LG Optimus V

LG Optimus V

Reviewed August 2011

Virgin Mobile's Android smartphone delivers great performance for its price

Pros: Price, clear call quality, fast processor, responsive interface

Cons: Cramped screen, browser has no Flash support, can't use as mobile hotspot

Virgin Mobile
from $129.99 with new contract
 
LG Optimus M

LG Optimus M

Reviewed July 2011

LG Optimus M offers optimum features for its price point

Pros: No-contract Android phone, price, good call quality, fine photo quality, sharp and bright display

Cons: Slow data speeds, not Flash-capable, lacks tethering capability, cheap plastic build

MetroPCS
*Est $70, no contract
 
Motorola Rambler

Motorola Rambler

Reviewed July 2011

Motorola Rambler provides great call quality on a budget

Pros: Great call quality, affordable, full QWERTY keyboard

Cons: No music player, no Wi-Fi, slow data speeds, poor photo quality and no easy way to transfer pictures, low screen resolution

Boost Mobile
Discontinued
 
Sanyo Zio M6000

Sanyo Zio M6000

Reviewed May 2011

Cheap Android phone has fussy touch screen

Pros: Bright screen, good call quality, relatively inexpensive monthly bill

Cons: Virtual keyboard is unreliable, slow

Cricket Wireless
Discontinued
 
Huawei Ascend

Huawei Ascend

Reviewed April 2011

Cheap prepaid Android smartphone sports large touch screen

Pros: Affordable, prepaid Android phone, large touch screen

Cons: Mixed call quality, nonstandard 2.5 mm jack, poor camera, cheap plastic build

Cricket WirelessMetroPCS
Discontinued
 
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