Prepaid Phones

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


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




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 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


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

Moto E_Black

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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Why Android smartphones are perfect for prepaid

If you follow the blog often, you know that there is an increasing number of Android smartphones available for prepaid services. This is just another indicator of how much the industry has changed in the past few years. When we first started blogging about prepaid wireless services — all the way back in May of 2007 — there were no prepaid smartphones. In fact, smartphones weren’t very big at all. BlackBerry was by far the best option, and the iPhone hadn’t even hit the market. Now there are dozens of smartphones available from a number of prepaid carriers. But no matter where you look, Android provides the best value.

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The cost savings of a prepaid BlackBerry

Years ago prepaid wireless services gave people a way to own a cell phone without requiring a credit check or contract. While they still serve that purpose today, they’ve also expanded their reach. Now prepaid wireless services can present a viable alternative to postpaid cellular service. Many carriers have started offering smartphones and data plans, too. Yet there are some stigmas still attached to prepaid wireless services that keep people away. If we look a bit below the surface, we can see many instances where prepaid does save over postpaid, even for BlackBerry smartphone customers.

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The best prepaid cell phones for seniors

Everyone has different needs for a cell phone. A college student might want the benefits of an Android smartphone, a younger teenager might want a messaging-heavy device, and a parent might have need only for basic calling and texting. But cell phones aren’t just for the young. Seniors have their own needs for cell phones, too. There are a few carriers that cater to them — specifically Jitterbug and Consumer Cellular — but they needn’t be the be all, end all of senior cell phones. There options on many other carriers can can fit a senior well.
Before we dive in, though, a quick note on stereotypes. This list isn’t just going to be big-buttoned phones with huge displays. That would be pretty shallow of us. Instead, it will contain phones from carriers with straightforward plans. That’s the best solution for everyone, really, isn’t it?

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The best in prepaid smartphones

When this site opened its doors, the idea of a prepaid smartphone was laughable. Prepaid wireless carriers were more concerned with offering pay-as-you-go rates and cheap phones. That satisfied the bottom end of the cellular market, a portion that big contract carriers had ignored. Since then the environment has changed dramatically. Prepaid carriers now cater to more varied demographics and offer plans that mimic postpaid ones. This development has necessarily led to the introduction of smartphones on prepaid carriers.
Here’s a rundown of what you can find in terms of smartphone on current prepaid carriers.

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Prepaid cell phones under $50: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Boost, Virgin

The new trend in the prepaid world appears to be higher-end phones. We’re seeing many carriers introduce Android handsets and other smartphones to keep people interested. But when it comes to prepaid, that doesn’t always play. Oftentimes people are looking for a good deal on a handset, since they want to talk, and maybe text. Otherwise they’d be with a contract carrier. What follows is a list of prepaid phones, from our featured pay-as-you-go cell phone providers, that will cost you $50 or less. That’s not so common in prepaid land.

Today we’ll go with the major carriers and their prepaid arms. Next week we’ll look at MVNOs and regional carriers.

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Samsung Gem Android device headed for regional CDMA carrier

There certainly is a market for entry level Android smartphones. LG has one in the Optimus One, and that device is selling like mad — and it will soon be heading to Virgin Mobile.The above-pictured device is the Samsung Gem, and it will head to regional CDMA carriers sometime in the near future. The device features a 3.2 inch touchscreen, 800MHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera, and microSD expansion up to 16GB. Unfortunately, it will come with Android 2.1. Given how we’ve seen Android updates progress, I doubt this one ever gets 2.2 or higher. We’re not sure when, where, or for how much this device will launch, but it should be soon, regional carriers, and cheap.

Via Phone Scoop.

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The best prepaid cell phones for kids this holiday season

Are you thinking of getting your child a cell phone for Christmas? If so, you’re not alone. The question of when to get your child a cell phone has been asked more frequently, and been debated more hotly, in recent years. And why not? Cell phones are basically universal at this point. A kid might not need a cell phone, but as we proved from creation through 2000, none of us really needs one. If you do think your child is ready for the responsibility of having a cell phone, here are a few options that will suit him or her well.

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Motorola i706 passes through FCC

Whenever an low-level iDEN device passes through the FCC our attention immediately turns to Boost Mobile. Sure, it could be headed for Nextel, but Boost can better handle lower-end devices because it doesn’t offer as large a subsidy as its postpaid counterpart. The slider device features a 1.3 megapixel camera, 2.5mm headset jack, Bluetooth, and an FM radio. We know little else about the device, but because it’s hit the FCC expect an announcement in the not so distant future.


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Huawei Android phone could be headed for prepaid

Above is the Huawei IDEOS, an Android-driven device that will hit markets in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The GSM bands make it look like a fit for AT&T, though it could be a postpaid offering there. The tri-band CDMA radio, however, suggests a launch with an AWS carrier, meaning Cricket and MetroPCS. It looks like a pretty heavy duty handset, featuring Android 2.2 (a/k/a Froyo), GPS, Wi-Fi, microSD expansion, and more. In other words, it figures to top the Kyocera Rio. There is no word on availability, and even the pricing, said by Huawei to be between $127 and $179, doesn’t seem appropriate for prepaid.

Mobile Burn via Phone Scoop.

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Motorola announces the WX404, a/k/a Grasp

Among the new handsets we saw over the past few weeks, one of the more exciting ones was the Motorola WX404. It’s a full-QWERTY device that kind of looks like a BlackBerry, right down to the trackpad in the center. We knew that, because it has a tri-band CDMA radio, that it’s headed for MetroPCS, Cricket, or both. We still don’t have the answer to that question, but via we learn of the official announcement from Motorola. That green exterior is a BFR and PVC free casing, and the housing is completely recyclable. Other than that it’s what we expected, a 1.3 megapixel camera and media functions. The device can also support a microSD card of up to 8GB.

We still don’t know pricing, release, or carrier, but we’ll surely hear from Cricket or Metro soon enough.

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Pair of handsets hit the FCC

This week we saw two ZTE handsets pass through the FCC, and it looks like they’re headed for prepaid carriers. First, via Phone Scoop, is the ZTE A310 (left), which will hit Cricket as the MSGM8 II. It doesn’t look like too big an upgrade over the original MSGM8, but instead is probably just a refresh. There has been no announcement on either end, but it shouldn’t be long. These things tend to develop pretty quickly after FCC approval.

The other, via Wireless Goodness, is the Samsung SCH-R900 (right). We’ve heard about this one before. It figures to be the first LTE handset for MetroPCS. It is Wi-Fi enabled, but there aren’t many details beyond that. It is interesting, though, that it has passed through the FCC. It could signal that Metro is readying its LTE services.

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Motorola WX404 could be ready for prepaid carriers

Whenever we see a device at the FCC that carriers a tri-band CDMA radio, it’s a safe assumption that it’s headed for MetroPCS, Cricket, or both. The latest such device, via Phone Scoop, is the Motorola WX404. It’s a BlackBerry-style QWERTY device complete with trackpad. It also has other basic features, including SD card support and a media player. It sounds like a decent entry for either Metro or Cricket. There are no details of when this will arrive, but once it hits the FCC we’re usually within a month or so.

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Look for more Android prepaid handsets

Google’s Android operating system is really starting to hit its stride. It seems like a new device running the OS is released every week. These run from middling handsets to big-time ones, like the Droid Incredible, EVO 4G, and the Droid X. In our space we’re examining the lower end of the market, and to that end we’re starting to see some Android activity. The Motorola i1 is a slightly higher end model, but for the most part carriers are getting lower end handsets. Specifically, we should see the Kyocera Zio on a number of carriers later this summer. According to a recent Bloomberg News article, we could see more of that in the future, too.

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Will prepaid capture the feature phone market?

While we’ve seen a number of smartphones and smartphone plans hit prepaid carriers, their bread and butter remains with feature phones. These are often older models that carriers can provide cheaply without a subsidy. Customers can more easily afford them, which makes for easier access to prepaid services. Feature phone shipments, though, are down. Handset shipments grew just 21.7 percent year-over-year from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010, but the smartphone sector fueled that growth, increasing shipments by 56.7 percent year-over-year. It made me wonder if we’ll see people sign contracts only for high-end smartphones, with feature phones heading mostly to prepaid.

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Could AT&T offer the new Pantech touch slider for GoPhone?

In our hunt for new prepaid phones, the other day we came across a new Pantech touchscreen slider on Phone Scoop. There’s clear indication that the phone is headed for AT&T, but everything else looks up in the air. After glancing over the phone — a smallish model with a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard, touch screen, Bluetooth, and a music player — I thought, maybe this could hit GoPhone. After all, AT&T already has a number of better devices for its postpaid customers, and is even rumored to be getting an Android device early next year. It’s just my own speculation at this point, but I would not at all be surprised to see the phone hit GoPhone for around $120. We’ll stay on top of this one.

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