Apr 15, 2011
One of the big problems with smartphones is that they generally require expensive phone plans, armed with incredibly long contracts. The problem, of course, is that if you want to not be locked down to a carrier for a long time, you’ll have to pay a ton for a phone off of contract. If you don’t like to be locked down, but still want an Android-powered device, more options are becoming available.
The UK has one incredibly cheap option – the T-Mobile Pulse Mini. Available for £19.99, according to Cnet UK, the phone sounds relatively unimpressive – it’s a resistive touchscreen (meaning non-multitouch, and you’ll probably want to use a stylus with it), it only runs Android 2.1, it’s a small 2.8 inch screen, and it’s only available in pink, so its appeal to men may be limited. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if it does. The phone does come with a 3.2 megapixel camera, which is hardly cutting edge, but this is a phone available for 20 quid! As well, with buying a £10 top-up card with it, you get 100 free anytime minutes per month, a microSD card that holds 2GB, and 6 months of free internet access. And if you’re a customization freak, it does appear that you can find a custom ROM for the phone. If you want to text, tweet, and email on the cheap, UK users might want to consider this option.
The US isn’t out of options for pay-as-you-go Android service, either. Virgin Mobile offers the Samsung Intercept (with QWERTY keyboard) for $199.99 new, with unlimited text and data for as low as $25/month. As well, Boost Mobile offers the Samsung Galaxy Prevail for $180, which runs Android 2.2, with monthly unlimited talk/text/data plans available for $50/month. While the phones aren’t the latest and greatest in the Android world, if you’re looking to use an Android phone without the contracts the big 4 carriers would make you sign, you have options.