Posts Tagged ‘prepaid’
Soon the question will be: which prepaid carriers don’t offer an Android smartphone. We saw the bigger prepaid carriers, such as MetroPCS and Cricket, offer Android handsets in the second half of last year, and apparently it’s started a trend. Plenty of prepaid carriers have followed suit. Left in the dark, to this point, has been Tracfone and its two subsidiaries: Straight Talk and Net10. Straight Talk seemed the most primed for an Android, since it offers unlimited everything for $ 45 per month. Starting in September, that will become a reality. According to a report filed at BTIG Reserach, and reported by FierceWireless, Straight Talk will get the Samsung Galaxy Precedent next month.
The handset itself is much like the Galaxy Prevail, which hit Boost Mobile earlier this year. That handset runs Froyo and features a 3.2-inch screen and an 800MHz processor. This would make sense for Straight Talk, since it could offer the handset at a price lower than other Android handsets, despite not offering a subsidy. As BTIG tells it, they will indeed charge $ 150 for the device, which is as reasonable for an unsubsidized handset as it gets. Look for it at Straight Talk, which is sold at Wal Mart stores, in September.
For some users, monitoring minutes and messages is not an issue. Unlimited plans are in, and with prepaid they can save you a lot of money. But not every prepaid plan includes unlimited minutes and messages. Virgin Mobile, which we covered along with the Motorola Triumph, has limits on its most attractive service plan. Other carriers, too, offer Android handsets with metered plans. Many carriers — and soon it’s likely to be more of them — offer limited data, too. Thankfully for prepaid users, a new widget lets you keep close track of your usage habits.
Via the xda blog comes the Prepay Widget. It’s one of those useful apps that does exactly what the name implies. It takes advantage of certain commands to retrieve relevant information, and then puts that information front and center, so you always know how many minutes and messages, and how much data you have left in your billing cycle. Because it’s a widget, you can’t even forget to check the app. It’s always there, taking up just a row on your home screen.
How much do you pay per month for your Android? My bill is at around $ 90 including taxes, and I even have the bare minimum voice plan. That seems to be pretty standard for a voice/text/data plan in today’s market, and yet it still seems rather expensive. I remember the days of paying about a third of that with my crappy flip phone. We all long for the days where our cell phones cost less in the same way we yearn for the days when gas was a buck a gallon. Yet, somehow, Virgin Mobile has a deal that’s just about as cheap as my old flip phone, and it’s good enough to power an Android device. Combined with the Android pictured above, the Motorola Triumph, it’s probably the best value on the market.
Prepaid isn’t what it used to be. Back in the mid-2000s it was mainly a means for the credit-deprived to get cell phone service. Since then it has evolved into a low-cost alternative to postpaid cellular service. Many carriers are even starting to add smartphones, including Android handsets. There are many limitations on prepaid that you don’t have on postpaid. One of them involves voice minutes. If you go over your minutes on postpaid you might have to pay overages, but on prepaid you’re cut off. That’s why an app such as Limit Your Calls is so essential for any prepaid Android user.
The app can keep your call times in check in a number of ways. You can receive notifications at certain intervals, until you’ve reached your limit. Once you’ve reached that limit, you can keep going, with the knowledge that you need to end the call ASAP, or you can just have the app hang up. I kind of find this hilarious. Just mid-conversation, boom, the call ends. But hey, it will make sure that you have enough minutes to get you through the month, or however long it is before you have to add minutes again.