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Prepaid Phones

OnePlus Nixes Invites for One

farewell_Blog

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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OnePlus One Phones Available to Public

oneplus one holiday

OnePlus One is, arguably, one of the best low-cost phones on the market right now. However, it doesn’t really get all that much press because in order to even get one, you have to be invited by someone who already has one. You gotta know people, you know? Seems a little bit of an odd way to do business, but it certainly has pushed demand for what otherwise might be lost in the sea of midrange phones.

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Amazon Gold Box Deal: Unlocked Moto G

moto G

Every day Amazon has tons of deals going on various electronics and other merchandise and normally I don’t really keep track of it. I’m not all that big of a shopper. But today and today only, Amazon has a Gold Box deal that knocks $30 off one of the top smartphones of this year: the Motorola Moto G.

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No Contract Lumia 520 Available for $30

nokia lumia 520

If you’ve ever wanted to try out a Windows smartphone and you haven’t, then you officially have no reason. As of today, Windows has dropped the cost of their AT&T-powered Nokia Lumia 520 smartphone from $60 to $30 with no annual contract. You just can’t beat a smartphone at that price.

The Nokia Lumia 520 has some decent hardware specs:

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Microsoft Lumia 535 Announced

lumia 535

Microsoft has officially dropped the “Nokia” name from their smartphone brands starting with yesterday’s launch of the new Microsoft Lumia 535. This phone, if you hadn’t heard, is the first phone that will sport the “Microsoft Lumia” brand name since Microsoft purchased Nokia earlier this year. The phone itself looks to be a low to mid range device with nothing too impressive going on other than the name shift.

Here are the hardware specs I could find:

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Amazon Fire Phone Getting Cold Reception

amazon-firephone

Do you know anyone who owns an Amazon Fire Phone? Yeah, me neither. If I was talking about an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy product, then such a statement would probably be strange, but according to a study released by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), hardly anyone actually owns a Fire Phone. 

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Amazon’s Top 5 Bestselling Prepaid Phones

 

Amazon-Logo

 

One of the easiest ways to take a look and see what prepaid consumers like is to look through Amazon’s top phones. So, out of curiosity, I decided to take a peek and see what was the most popular phone. And I must say I was rather surprised to find that there are not one but two Windows phones listed. I guess the curiosity is growing around the smallest of the three main phone operating systems.

So, without any further ado, here are the Top five picks from Amazon.com as of today:

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Android Update For Prepaid Phones

Lollipop Forest

Google has announced an update to their popular Android operating system. Following the dessert-naming trend, this newest version has been dubbed Android Lollipop. Lollipop has been optimized for active lifestyles, switching back and forth between different screens and interacting with technology in different ways.

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Alcatel Launches Exclusive Phones

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Alcatel Onetouch has announced the launch of three new smartphones which will be available exclusively through Tracfone and StraightTalk. The Alcatel Onetouch Pop Star LTE, Onetouch Pop Icon and the Onetouch Pop Mega LTE will be available sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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Sprint Removes iPhone 5c, 5s from MVNO Blacklist

iphone 5s

When it comes to MVNO policies and such, Sprint tends to be a little dictator-ish and frequently limits exactly which phones you can have on their MVNOs. Newly released phones can’t be activated on any Sprint MVNO until they have been out for a year, undoubtedly an attempt to push consumers to the more lucrative postpaid offerings.

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5th Largest Smartphone Vendor Headed to US

The Xiaomi RedMi, one of the most popular phones in the world, according to Strategy Analytics’ Country Share Tracker in Q2 2014
The Xiaomi RedMi, one of the most popular phones in the world, according to Strategy Analytics’ Country Share Tracker in Q2 2014

With all the excitement over Apple and Samsung devices, it is easy to remember that they aren’t the only ones who make fantastic phones. The popular Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi is rumored to have plans to extend their products to the U.S. and it might just give pause to the other smartphone vendor giants.

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Preorder Galaxy Note 4 Today

galaxy note 4 pic

Today, the first day that you can get your hands on the new Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is also the first day for pre-ordering the new Galaxy Note 4 from Verizon and AT&T. Coincidence? Probably not. As two of the largest and most popular phone companies to sell phones in the U.S., Samsung and Apple have long had a rivalry. And, with all the hype over the iPhone 6, Samsung seems to be blowing a proverbial raspberry by launching their pre-orders on the same day. Could just be me, though.

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Republic Wireless Gets Moto E

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Republic Wireless, a Sprint MVNO that is known for cheap WiFi calling plans, has announced that it will offer the Motorola Moto E starting next month for $99. Generally priced at $130, this entry-level smartphone is a steal, and is Republic Wireless’ first $99 smartphone offering.

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ZTE Unveils Affordable Smartphone

ZTE unveiled a new ginormous smartphone yesterday that is aimed at budget-conscious consumers. Sold exclusively through T-Mobile (with MetroPCS slated to get the phone later this year), the new ZMax is set to be released on Sept. 24 and features a whopping 5.7 inch screen and pretty good specs and a huge battery that is said to last a couple of days on a charge. The ZTE ZMax is expected to retail for $250 without a contract.

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Moto X Pre-Ordering Starts Today

Moto X

Motorola’s new flagship phone, the second generation Moto X goes on pre-order today, Sept. 16. The phone is available on-contract through AT&T or unlocked (called the Pure Edition) which is meant for any carrier and comes with no contract. The Pure Edition version will cost $499 and on contract, it will be around $100.

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Cricket Offers HTC Desire 510

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Cricket Wireless has announced that they will be among the first to launch the HTC Desire 510, a new 4G LTE smartphone that combines style with social networking technologies. The HTC Desire 510 is a mid-grade smartphone priced at $149.99. 

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Places To Donate Your Used Phones

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Everyone has at least a few old cell phones sitting around, and if you are a prepaid phone user, you might even have more than one that you just don’t need. So, instead of throwing them in the bin, check out these options for donating your old phones and giving them to a good cause:

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Moto G 2nd Gen Available Today

moto G second Gen

Following up one of their most popular models, the Moto G, Motorola has released a second-generation Moto G that has a larger screen, a better camera and a memory slot. It’s priced at under $200 unlocked off-contract, which is awesome, and it looks pretty snazzy too, which is never a bad thing. Here’s an overview of what’s under the plastic:

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InfoSonics Launches Its First LTE Smartphone

quantum phone

InfoSonics‘ brand VeryKool has released their first LTE smartphone, the SL5000 nicknamed “Quantum.” The phone is GSM and CDMA compatible and can be purchased unlocked from their site for $229.80. They also offer payment plans through PayPal credit.

The phone itself has some pretty decent specs for the price. I haven’t seen any official announcements about deals with any specific carrier for the moment, but that might be coming soon.

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Verizon Rebrands Droid Razr M as Motorola Luge

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Since Monday the smartphone community has been abuzz with leaks of Verizon’s new 4G LTE-ready prepaid phone, the Motorola Luge. Aside from the rather odd name, something that caught everyone’s attention is the familiar design. And it should look familiar–it’s pretty much exactly the same as the Droid Razr M released in 2012, but with a few updated specs.

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ZTE Warp Zync Debuts on Boost Mobile

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ZTE has debuted their newest phone on Boost Mobile today. The Warp Sync is the fourth in the popular ZTE Warp series and features some pretty good specs for the asking price–$179.99.

The device will be running Android 4.4 Kitkat and features a 5 inch touch-screen with Gorilla Glass to withstand life’s little scratches. The smartphone is 3G/4G LTE capable and has a pretty sizable battery, so you probably won’t find it dead in the middle of the day with normal use. It has HD voice, Doby Digital Plus Sound and an 8 MP back camera with a 1.6 MP front camera. The Warp Sync also has 2 GB RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-Core 1.2 GHz processor.

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5 Best Smartphones for $100 or Less

With so many different phones to choose from–many of them so expensive you could easily take a weekend trip out of town for the same price–it can be hard to figure out which phone to go with. Prepaid phones are usually not as good quality and don’t have the same features, but the nicer phones require a contract.

But there is a middle ground. Here are 5 of the best phones that you can generally find for $100 or less either with the carrier or online. All of them have with pretty decent specs for the price listed.

Here’s our top 5:

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Nokia Lumia 635 + FitBit Flex Sale

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Microsoft has a deal going where if you purchase a no contract Nokia Lumia 635 (for T-Mobile or AT&T) with a Fitbit Flex activity band, you can bundle them together and get a discount of $50. Depending on whether you go with AT&T or T-Mobile, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 – $180, with the T-mobile phone costing a bit more for some reason. The Fitbit flex is available in black and slate, but the slate is listed as out of stock currently.

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ZTE Releases Nubia 5S Mini LTE

Nubia 5S mini LTE

ZTE has released a phone in the U.S. aimed at smartphone lovers and selfie snappers. The Nubia 5S mini LTE boasts impressive camera and hardware specs and in a surprising move, ZTE is marketing the unlocked version of their phone directly to consumers who want to BYOD to any network. It is available for preorder now on Amazon for $280 and shipping is planned to start next week.

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Sprint MVNOs Launch AQUOS Smartphone

Aquos crystal

Cellular phone maker Sharp has selected Sprint to launch its first AQUOS Crystal phone  available in the U.S. in the coming months. An exact date hasn’t been released yet, but the specs for the phone compared to the price aren’t half bad and the phone looks pretty cool with a sharp, edgeless look and a large screen. The device will be available for Sprint postpaid customers via Easy Pay and for Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile customers for $149.99 plus tax.

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Verizon Prepaid Supports LTE Phones

prepaid LTE

In case you missed it, Verizon has expanded their Allset prepaid plans to be compatible with 4G LTE phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and 5, LG Lucid 3, LG G2, Apple iPhone 5, Motorola Moto X, HTC One and more. All phones purchased through Verizon Wireless have overnight shipping for free. If you are looking for one of the high-quality phones, Verizon has a pretty good selection of refurbished phones for a lot less than the normal market price.

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Boost Adds LG Realm to Prepaid

LG Realm

Boost Mobile has added a new inexpensive Android smartphone to their prepaid lineup. The LG Realm is a lower-end smartphone with some decent specs and a very nice $80 price point. PhoneScoop reports the device was also sold under the name Optimus Exceed 2. You can purchase the phone at Walmart, select retailers and online. It doesn’t look super feature-packed, but has enough that light smartphone users will definitely get their money’s worth.

The specs for the phone include:

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Boost Mobile Offers Rugged Prepaid Phone

kyocera hydro icon

Every smartphone user is familiar with the moment of panic when you drop or splash water on your smartphone. For all the amazing things these devices can do, they tend to be rather fragile. And while many of the cheaper prepaid varieties can be a little less touchy, they also don’t have the same kind of features and feel as the big carrier phones. However, Boost Mobile is now happy to announce that their customers have a new option: the Kyocera Hydro Icon 4G LTE, the extremely rugged smartphone priced at $149.99 with no annual subscription contract.

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Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile Offer S5

S5

It seems like everyone is abuzz with news about Samsung’s latest phone in the Galaxy series, the Galaxy S5. And now, if you wanted to get in on the action, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA have announced that they now carry Samsung’s newest flagship for the prepaid market. The device, of course, does cost quite a pretty penny but if you have been wanting to get your hands on it, then this is still good news, as BYOD will also likely support the Galaxy S5.

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How to Unlock Your Postpaid Phone

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Last week, President Obama signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which makes unlocking your phone from your cell carrier legal. This is great news if you are getting out of a contract and wanting to go with a cheaper prepaid option, but the move has spawned quite a bit of confusion over exactly what it means to ‘unlock’ a phone. While I am not an expert, I can hopefully answer some of those questions.

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Cricket Rebate on Nokia, ZTE, More

If you like Cricket and you’re looking for a good phone deal, then today is your day. As part of a huge back-to-school promotion, Cricket Wireless is offering mail-in rebates on several popular models including the ZTE Grand X starting Friday. This Cricket rebate is going until Sept. 11 and includes phones from Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and ZTE. Of course, for some of the more expensive phones you’ll still have to pay, but the mail-in rebates and activation discounts are as much as $100 when paired together, so you could potentially get a pretty cool deal. They are even offering the 4G Nokia Lumia 630 for free with the rebate!

The promotions are as follows:

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Prepaid Galaxy S4 Straight Talk Features

The Galaxy S4 Smartphone is a prepaid phone and has been among the best-selling phones ever. It is also considered the best no contract and prepaid phone plan in the U.S. This smart phone is definitely some major competition for the iPhone and now you can enjoy it as it is offered as a prepaid option.

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LG 800g offers options

When it comes to pre paid cell phone plans it feels like something is always missing. Their is a limited selection of phones for sale by each carrier and they are usually not the latest and greatest models out. And when a phone does come out that we like, it always seems to be on the wrong carrier.

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US government probing handset makers ZTE, Huawei

The names ZTE and Huawei were essentially unknown a few years ago, but since about 2008 they’ve steadily grown their brands in the US. Prepaid Reviews readers in particular have become familiar with the brands, as they have provided handsets for carriers such as MetroPCS and Cricket. But because they’re both China-based companies, their rapid growth has raised eyebrows within the US government. Reps. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D., Md.) have headed an effort. Yesterday they sent requests to the companies that outline their concerns. The main issue: espionage.

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The Top Five HTC Prepaid Phones

HTC phones are quickly becoming user favorites in the cell phone marketplace. Offered by every major mobile carrier, each HTC phone is designed for a different type of user. So whether you prefer your phone for gaming, working, or playing, HTC has what you’re looking for. And if you want to do these things on an affordable prepaid plan, here are your best bets:

HTC Wildfire S

htc wildfire s

The HTC Wildfire S is unquestionably the best go-to phone for those preferring to keep track of their phone budget with a prepaid mobile plan. This sleek device runs on the latest Android platform, so you have instant access to thousands of apps on the Android Market.

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5 good reasons to get a prepaid Android smartphone

It seems that prepaid carriers are catching up to postpaid carriers in at least one way. They might not have as many smartphones as postpaid carriers, and the ones they do have might not be as high-tech. But it does seem that a high proportion of new handset releases from prepaid carriers are smartphones. That means each carrier has a growing collection of them. Yet some prepaid users might remain reluctant. After all, one of prepaid’s biggest draws is the pricing. Since smartphones cost more, both up front and per month, they might not make sense for many users.

Still, there are reasons to get a phone beyond cost. If you’re thinking about a prepaid Android smartphone but are still unsure, here are a few good reasons to get one.

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