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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.


Get any of these handsets at AT&T’s website.

Samsung SGH-a107

This is one of the simpler phones you’ll find. It calls and messages, but doesn’t do much else. Except flip open and closed, of course. Cost: $19.99

Samsung SGH-a197

This is much like the a107, except it adds a VGA camera. Cost: $39.99

AT&T R225

Another simple, straight forward phone without a camera. This one is in bar style, for those who prefer that. Cost: $14.99

AT&T F160 (refurbished)

This bar-style phone features a 3-megapixel camera, which is one of the best you’ll find in a prepaid phone under $50. It is also refurbished, which means you’re getting a better handset for a lesser price. Cost: $14.99

Samsung Sunburst (refurbished)

The Sunburst is one of the few touchscreen phones you’ll find under $40. It has a music player, messaging capabilities, web browser, 2 megapixel camera, and more. Cost: $39.99


Get any of these handsets at Verizon’s website.

Samsung Gusto

This is Verizon’s most basic flip phone. It has a VGA camera and not much else. Cost: $19.99

Verizon Wireless CDM7076

This is a small step up from the Gusto, as it adds a web browser. Cost: $29.99

LG Accolade

The Accolade features a decent camera at 1.3-megapixels, and also has a media center. It’s still a basic phone. Cost: $39.99


Strangely enough, T-Mobile has no prepaid phones under $50. You can see the entire selection at T-Mobile’s website.

Boost Mobile

Get these handsets at Boost Mobile’s website.

Motorola i296

The Motorola i298 is a basic bar-style phone that doesn’t pack many features. It does have Boost’s walkie-talkie service, though. Cost: $49.99

Motorola Rambler

The Rambler is a flip phone that has a full QWERTY keyboard, which makes it suitable for messaging. Cost: $49.99

Samsung Factor

This is a thin, sleek flip phone that features a VGA camera and messaging capabilities. Cost: $49.99

Virgin Mobile

Get these handsets at Virgin Mobile’s website.

Kyocera Loft

A stubby phone that features a QWERTY keyboard, the Kyocera Loft is perfect for the messaging addict. It also features a 1.3-megapixel camera and access to social networking services. Cost: $49.99