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FAQ: Can I Use Any Phone on a Prepaid Plan?


Prepaid plans are extremely cheap and a great way to get good service without having to pay a ton of money every single month. But, when most people think about prepaid plans, they think about all of the entry-level and inexpensive (and also very underpowered) phones that tend to go along with it. One question I get asked a lot when trying to convince people to switch is: can I use a nice phone?

The short answer? Yes. But, as with everything, there are some catches.

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Microsoft Promises Flagship Phone in October

windows phone microsoft

You might remember in July when the company did some major refocusing and we all wondered if it signaled the end of Lumia devices? Well, according to an article by FierceWireless, it looks like Windows isn’t quite ready to completely bow out of the smartphone market. In fact, Lumia fans might soon be getting the flagship that everyone has been asking for.

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GoPhone Offers Phone Rebate with Refill


AT&T doesn’t have any shortage of MVNOs and prepaid company options and while its Cricket brand is actually better than GoPhone, customers looking to stick with GoPhone can get a pretty good deal when they purchase a new phone and a refill at the same time.

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Verizon Stores May Refuse Moto X Pure Edition

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the flagship killer Moto announced earlier this year. The Moto X Pure Edition 2015 started shipping recently and this flagship phone comes with some pretty nice hardware and a near stock Android experience in the software department. Better yet, it was marketed as being compatible with all networks and sold directly to consumers. In a very Sprint-like move, Verizon, however, doesn’t seem to be quite with the program.

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Cricket Offers Phone Deals, Exclusive HTC Desire 520


Cricket Wireless has announced a handful of deals aimed at customers looking for a new handset to go with their prepaid wireless plan. Not only is this AT&T prepaid brand offering discounts on a variety of phones (some as low as $19.99) but it will also be exclusively offering the HTC Desire 520 to customers.

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Boost Offers Free Case with LG G Stylo Purchase


Phone cases are generally pretty expensive, especially if you want something that is both functional and looks nice. While I’m not a huge fan of the folio cases, which feature a flap that closes over the front of your smartphone, I have to say that the LG Quick Circle cases are pretty nice. And now, when you purchase a LG G Stylo from Boost Mobile, Boost will throw in a free case to go along with it!

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Apple Offering iPhone Upgrade Program

apple logo

If there is one thing that everyone–iPhone fan or not–can agree on, it’s that iPhones are pretty expensive. While I’ve got an Android phone sitting on my desk, I do have to admit that iPhones are pretty nice devices, and when purchased unlocked they can be used with quite a few prepaid carriers. The barrier there is mostly cost. However, Apple has introduced a new iPhone Upgrade Program that could solve that challenge.

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Alcatel Announces New Go Play Phone


If you’re on a prepaid plan, then an unlocked device is probably your best bet for getting the most bang for your buck. While finding unlocked handsets can sometimes be a bit of a hassle, more and more companies are starting to market phones unlocked directly to consumers. Motorola did it first with the 2015 Moto line and it looks like Alcatel is following suit with its new Go Play devices.

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Samsung Creates Clamshell Smartphone

flip smartphone phone

I am fairly convinced that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who like flip phones and those who like smartphones. Generally speaking, most people prefer one or the other. It’s the great divide among prepaid phone users, but Samsung might just have solved the age-old debate with the first ever flip Android smartphone. 

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Verizon Launches BYOD Program


One of the most expensive parts of most phone plans is the actually the phone. Whether the price of your device was bundled with your postpaid contract, set up as monthly installments, or one giant lump sum at the beginning, phones are expensive. Verizon customers in the past had little to no options with phones: it was a Verizon phone or it didn’t work. Well, it looks like Verizon is finally loosening up its requirements.

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5 Best Cricket Phones for Under $100


Smartphones are incredibly expensive nowadays, with some flagships running upwards of $700 new and off-contract. However, if you’re looking for a good smartphone that can do the basics and get you through the day, then you do still have some options.

Today, I’ve put together of five of the best phones that AT&T’s prepaid brand Cricket has to offer for less than $100. They aren’t in any particular order, but are all pretty solid choices, depending on what you prefer in a smartphone.

Here are your choices:

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ZTE Warp Elite Comes to Boost


In the prepaid market, phones that retail for less than $200 tend to be pretty much the same. No matter how many I write about, at the end of the day they are all designed specifcally for consumers who want a decent smartphone that can do basic things but doesn’t cost in the $500 range that flagships run. However, if you’re looking for a smartphone that can do just a little bit more, then the ZTE Warp Elite definitely is worth a look.

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HTC Desire 526, 626 Headed to Verizon


HTC has announced that it will be bringing two new devices to Verizon in the next few weeks. The HTC Desire 626, which is also available via T-Mobile’s prepaid brand MetroPCS, is expected sometime in the coming weeks while the slightly toned-down 526 should be available at Verizon stores already.

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Alcatel Announces Miniaturized Idol 3

alcatel onetouch idol 3 4.7

Alcatel OneTouch has announced that it will soon be releasing a smaller version of its popular flagship, the OneTouch Idol 3. However, unlike many other companies that make smaller versions of popular handsets, the 4.7 inch model has pretty similar specs to its 5.5 inch predecessor.

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RingPlus Offers 3 Months Free Service Deal


I’ve been writing a lot about Sprint MVNO RingPlus here recently as it has gained a lot of traction. And, in the wake of all of the new plans, free options and company changes RingPlus debuted a fantastic deal today for anyone who has been considering jumping to RingPlus but still has reservations.

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T-Mobile Adds ZTE Obsidian to Lineup


In a world of phablets bigger than my head, small phones are becoming little hard to find. But, if you’re in the market for an entry-level, hand-sized smartphone then the new ZTE Obsidian from T-Mobile might be worth a look.

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How to Purchase an Unlocked Phone

Part of the benefit of prepaid plans is the lack of contract. Whenever you want, you can jump ship and find a new carrier on the same or even a different network. That kind of freedom isn’t available with contracts, and it’s one of the many reasons more and more people are switching to prepaid. But, if you plan on having that freedom, then you’ll need an unlocked phone.

But, when you go to many phone manufacturer websites, only locked carrier versions are available. Prepaid carriers sell phones, but these, too, are frequently locked to the particular carrier until you’ve been with the company for anywhere from six months to a year. But don’t worry, there are some places where you can get an unlocked phone for a reasonable price.

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Motorola Debuts New Moto Devices

Moto G 2015

Motorola has finally released information and specifications on the successors to its popular Moto G and Moto X devices released last year. Both devices are upgraded quite a bit from previous models and are priced affordably. To make things even better, Motorola is focusing on selling unlocked devices directly to consumers instead of working through pricey contracts with carriers.

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GoPhone Adds Lumia 640 to Lineup

lumia 640

AT&T’s GoPhone recently added a new phone to its lineup. The Lumia 640 is one of the more popular Lumia devices and has been available on AT&T’s other prepaid brand, Cricket, for a couple of months already. However, late is better than never, and the GoPhone makes up for it by offering the same device for $10 less than Cricket.

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Kyocera Hydro Wave Comes to MetroPCS, T-Mobile

kyocera hydro wave

MetroPCS and T-Mobile both added a new device to their respective lineups today: the Kyocera Hydro Wave. While I haven’t personally seen this device yet, the Wave looks like a good entry-level device meant for people who are a little harder on their devices.

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Asus ZenFone 2E Headed to GoPhone

asus zenphone 2e

AT&T’s GoPhone should be getting a new phone to its lineup soon. Asus’ new phone, the ZenFone 2E is an entry-level device which features a decent camera, an Android Lollipop OS and some other basic features that are sure to make this device a good choice for users looking for a functional phone without the high prices.

Here are the specs for the device:

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New HTC Desire Phone Headed to Prepaid Brands


Surprisingly, HTC’s most recent midrange phone, the HTC Desire 626s was announced and multiple prepaid companies all jumped on board at pretty much the same time. So, rather than spacing it out and announcing the device a million times, we’ll be able to cover it all in one post. Hallelujah!

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Is Microsoft Giving Up on Windows Phones?

windows phone microsoft

It’s absolutely no secret that the Windows phone has not been doing very well. In fact, it’s estimated that Windows devices make up roughly 3% of the entire smartphone market, with Apple and Android absolutely stomping the heck out of the Lumia devices. And it’s no wonder, between a flailing app store and the lack of a flagship device to draw anyone to Windows phones, most people are turning to Android or Apple instead.

With the announcement of Windows 10, it was starting to look like Windows phones might actually become relevant. From what I’ve read, Microsoft seems to be building an almost Apple-like ecosystem where users can flow work and tasks seamlessly from PC to tablet to phone and back again. Continuum, the functionality is called, and when I read about it I actually entertained the notion of getting a Windows Phone when my PC upgrades. But, now it’s looking like Windows is backpedaling on the whole smartphone business.

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Virgin Mobile Slashes Phone Prices


Virgin Mobile, a Sprint prepaid company, has one major downside: its phones are not cross-compatible. When you buy a Virgin Mobile phone, you can only use it with Virgin Mobile. As far as I’m aware, currently these devices cannot be unlocked and activated on another prepaid brand, even if it is a Sprint MVNO.

Fortunate, then, that Virgin Mobile has plenty of deals on smartphones so users can try their hand at Virgin Mobile’s service without investing too much money in what will become a paperweight if you decide to leave the company.

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Motorola Drops Price of Moto X 2014

moto x

Motorola is reportedly on the verge of releasing the 2015 version of its super popular Moto X. So, of course, the company has dropped the price of it’s unlocked Moto X device and is offering customers several promotions in an effort to drum out the last little bit of business before the next release.

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5 Best Verizon Prepaid Phones Under $100

Verizon logo

Verizon is one of those companies that I both love and hate. I deal with a lot of customer service reps from all different companies and with the exception of Tracfone, Verizon has some of the rudest and least helpful employees and media people I’ve ever encountered. It also has some of the highest prices. But, Verizon also has the best network. So what’s the solution? Well, prepaid, of course!

Prepaid plans are the cheapest way to go, and you can check our list of the Best Verizon prepaid MVNO plans to find one that’s right for you. But what about phones? Well, I went to Verizon’s website and found 5 of their most affordable phones that will give you all the functionality that you likely want without the sticker shock. Here are my top picks, in no particular order:

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Lumia Devices on Sale


Well, it looks like Microsoft is prepping to launch some 2015 devices as several of last year’s Lumia phones are going on sale at various different retailers. The two most noteworthy deals involve the Lumia 435 and the Lumia 635, both of which are discounted for a limited time. Windows fans rejoice!

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One Plus Scheduling Flash Sales for One

OnePlus One phone

Last year, the phone that was on every tech blog writer’s list was the One Plus One, an excellent smartphone with near-flagship specs, affordable prices and an unusual selling method which required invites in order to actually purchase the device. While the phone’s specs aren’t quite as impressive as this year’s newer phones and invites are no longer required, One Plus has announced that it will be hosting flash sales all this week with limited quantities of the device priced $50 lower than normal.

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Deal: Buy a Fitbit, Get a Free Lumia Phone


These days, it seems like everywhere you turn, there is another advertisement for some fitness tracker to strap to your wrist. Some of them work and some of them don’t, but most of them are outrageously expensive for something that you may or may not use. However, if you are a fan of Windows phones, then this might be your chance to try one out.

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Blu Offers $100 Midrange GSM Handset


For prepaid users, an unlocked phone is like a golden ticket. With a free and clear device you can jump ship as many times as you want until you find the perfect carrier with the best coverage and prices for wherever you’re currently located. But, unlocked devices tend to cost twice as much as others, and many prepaid carriers don’t sell devices off the shelf unlocked. So, If you’re in the market for a $100 unlocked Android handset, then Blu’s new Studio C smartphone is definitely worth a look.

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Verizon Adds LG Lancet to Windows Phone Collection

LG Lancet

It’s no secret that Verizon doesn’t really seem to care all that much for Windows phones. Regardless, the red giant has announced that it has added a new phone its prepaid and postpaid customers this week. One of only three Windows device Verizon offers, the LG Lancet is a budget phone that aims to make you feel like you’re using a much better device than you actually are. Similar to the HTC One M8 Windows version, the LG Lancet has a more professional look to it than most Lumia devices, despite being a cheery blue color.

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TextNow Offers Discounted Moto G, LG Optimus F3

textnow logo

TextNow, an MVNO that uses both Sprint’s network and wifi coverage to provide service to its users, has discounted two mid or entry-level phones and I wanted to share it with you! I’m not sure how long these discounts will continue, but since the devices are refurbished it is probably safe to assume that it will only be for as long as supplies last.

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Get a Phone and 1 Year of Service for $200


FreedomPop and 9to5toys have banded together to offer consumers a pretty sweet deal. I’m not sure when this promotion ends—presumably when supplies run out—but for a limited time, 9to5toys is selling a Nexus 5 and one year of subscription to FreedomPop services for $200.

Here’s what you get for that money:

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Windows Phone 10 Information Roundup


There has been a lot of information about the upcoming release of the new Windows 10 which will be pushed not only to computers but also to Windows smartphones. And let me tell you, Windows fans, it looks pretty freaking sweet! Unfortunately, Microsoft has been a little vague on when we can expect these fabled Windows 10 Phones, but the hints suggest later this fall.

Anyway, while you wait, check out this list with some of the cooler things that Microsoft has announced about the new Windows OS:

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T-Mobile Adds New Feature Phone to Lineup

kyocera rally

Smartphones are wonderful and they can do an incredible range of things. However, if you are one of the millions who really just want a phone to make calls, then a $200 smartphone probably isn’t a good fit. There is something elegant about a feature phone that only does a few things, but does them well, and Kyocera gets that. Earlier this week, Kyocera and T-Mobile came together to introduce the Kyocera Rally, a new feature phone that’s maybe a little more sleek than most other feature phones.

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OnePlus Nixes Invites for One


When OnePlus announced its first smartphone last year everyone raved about how fantastic the OnePlus One was. Priced at around $300, it had flagship specs for a budget price, and everyone wanted one. But, in order to even order the device, you first had to have an invite. This exclusive club opened a little bit several months ago with no-invite Tuesdays and now OnePlus has announced it’s getting rid of the invite system completely. Kind of.

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Alcaltel’s Flagship Available for Preorder Apr. 21


Alcatel, the maker of low-cost and generally entry-level devices has announced that its latest flagship device, the Idol 3, will be available for preorder starting April 21. More details about this device were also announced, and I have to say that as someone who owns an Alcatel device, I’m pretty impressed.

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Buy a Moto X, Get a Free Moto Hint


Motorola has a great promotion for anyone looking to get their hands on the 2014 Moto X this month. Now through April 14, if you purchase an off-contract Moto X (which will be unlocked and includes some customization options), you can also get a Moto Hint for absolutely free. And free really is the best price.

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Alcatel Promotes Flip Phone for Seniors

Alcatel OneTouch Closed PVLAAC left angle tilted vertical flip phone

Alcatel has released an old-fashioned flip phone aimed at seniors and those with hearing or vision problems. Called the Alcatel Onetouch Retro, this little flip phone has a range of cool features designed to make cell phones accessible to everyone.

Here are some of the features included:

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Cortana Plans Invasion of Android, iPhone


When I purchased my last phone, I almost bought a Windows phone. Not because I particularly liked those obnoxious little Windows 8.1 tiles or because I thought the Windows App Store was worth the time, but because of Cortana. While I ultimately didn’t go with a Windows phone, I still kind of regret the decision. But now it’s looking like I might not have to wait much longer.

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Microsoft Debuts Successor to Lumia 635

lumia 640

Microsoft has been building up its line of affordable prepaid phones for some time now. One of the more popular budget devices, the Lumia 635, finally has a successor: the Lumia 640 and 640XL. While I can’t say I’m a fan of Microsoft’s naming convention, these little budget phones are actually pretty sweet and are likely to make a bit of a splash in the market. Or so Microsoft hopes.

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Alcatel Introduces Affordable Flagship


Alcatel phones are generally not nice phones. Believe me, I have an Alcatel OneTouch, and while it was incredibly cheap and does the job just fine, it’s far from a high-end device. The camera is atrocious and the phone itself is more than a little laggy at times. Oh, and the screen occasionally decides to give up on life and temporarily goes black. Fortunately, it always eventually powers back on, but I’m pretty convinced it’s on the verge of suicide.

So, you can imagine my surprise when Alcatel introduced its first flagship phone at the Mobile World Congress yesterday. No, scratch that. I wasn’t surprised–I was shocked and skeptical. But, after reading up on the new Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, I’m actually a little bit impressed.

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Sprint Prepaid to get 2015 Moto E for $100


Motorola has continued its trend of releasing updated versions of popular handsets with the upcoming release of the slightly upgraded Moto E. This low-end device initially shipped last year with a price tag of $130 and was designed as the low-end options for the Moto G and Moto X lovers out there. The 2015 version is not only cheaper, but has slightly upgraded specs.

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OnePlus Offers Phone Sans Invitation

OnePlus One

Much like the kid who gets picked last for kickball, many would-be customers of the snazzy OnePlus One smartphone have been left out of the cold without an invite. But, as of yesterday, anyone can purchase and order one of these rather exclusive devices without an invitation on every Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Who knows. I guess it just gives you something to look forward to on Monday.

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Buy Low Priced Used Phones with Glyde

I love a love-hate relationship with most smartphones. I love the features and the flash and the cool technology, but I hate the ridiculous price tag that always goes along with it. If you buy a brand new device that isn’t intended for entry-level users, you almost have to expect to spend several hundred dollars. If you get something from Amazon or Ebay, then you run the risk that it won’t actually be compatible and there’s generally a lot more research concerned.

And then, there’s Glyde, a pre-owned gadget vendor that seems to have the best of both worlds. 

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Phablet Pros and Cons


The wireless industry has been trending towards larger and larger phones in recent years, and the iPhone 6 Plus has helped push phablets firmly into the public eye. Juniper Research published a report that suggests that phablet popularity is on the rise, and that in the next four years, more than 20% of all mobile devices will be phablets.

So, what is the draw of these gargantuan phones? We’ll take a look at a few of the pros and cons and you can decide for yourself.

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Samsung ATIV S Available Unlocked for $110


I just read that NewEgg is going to be selling the Samsung ATIV S for $110 unlocked, off-contract, and I had to shoot out a quick article in case you wanted to take advantage of it. This Windows phone is a former flagship that even today has some pretty good specs and is an excellent choice at this price range.

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Top 5 Prepaid Phones of 2014

Well, the year is almost over, which means that it’s a good time for reflection. There were a ton of phones released this year and a lot of last year’s flagships and excellent phones made their way to the prepaid market. Personally, I had a bit of trouble narrowing down this list, as there were a ton of excellent phones released for prepaid this year, but here’s my list:

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ZTE Debuts Two Prepaid Phones

zte phones

ZTE has two new low-end prepaid phones available through two different carriers this week, so I thought I’d cover it all in one post to save on some time and reading. The ZTE Speed can be purchased through Boost Mobile, and the ZTE Zinger is available through T-Mobile prepaid. They have pretty similar specs and, to be truthful, nothing too spectacular or noteworthy. Here’s a quick comparison:

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Interactive Smartphone Comparison Chart

smartphone chart

It seems like there are a million different smartphones on the market, all with pretty similar specs, and all of them shouting over each other that they’re the best. So how do you sort through it all to find something that works for you? Well, the Global Network of Discovery (Gnod) has a great solution that I wanted to tell you about.

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