Two years is a long time. In that amount of time you can finish a master's degree or, uh...raise a baby into a 2-year-old child. OK, that latter example wasn't the most illustrative, but what I'm trying to say is that for some mobile phone users out there, two years is too long to be locked down in a carrier agreement. That's why I've gathered a few top-notch, recently released phones on prepaid carriers that are ideal for those who want to be contract-free.
Samsung Galaxy Reverb (Virgin Mobile), September 2012
Though it doesn't have 4G and its plastic build isn't the most luxurious, the petite Galaxy Reverb boasts a long-lasting (and removable) battery, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a decent 4-inch screen. Read the full review.
Samsung Galaxy S II 4G (Boost Mobile), September 2012
With its dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 4G capabilities, the Galaxy S II is impressively zippy. It also has an excellent 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a vivid 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen. Keep in mind, however, that we weren't blown away by its call quality and large design. Read the full review.
LG Motion 4G (MetroPCS), August 2012
Aside from its ho-hum sound quality and being preloaded with a distracting amount of bloatware, MetroPCS' Motion 4G comes with a reasonable $150 price tag and 4G data speeds. It also runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and houses a dual-core CPU under its hood. Read the full review.
Kyocera Hydro (Boost Mobile), August 2012
Even though all the prepaid devices on this list are excellent in their own right, only the Hydro is certified waterproof -- so you can leave your worries behind the next time you're at the beach or the pool. But despite surviving a good dunking and having reliable call quality, it doesn't have 4G speeds. Read the full review.
HTC One V (Virgin Mobile), July 2012
The One V sports Android 4.0, a bright and attractive 3.7-inch screen, a decent 5-megapixel camera, and elegant physical aesthetics (we especially dig that chin). But a sluggish processor and 3G data speeds hold it back. Read the full review.
Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G (MetroPCS), February 2012
In addition to running on MetroPCS' 4G LTE network, the Galaxy Attain 4G takes admirable outdoor photos given its 3.2-megapixel camera lens; it's also reasonably priced. Unfortunately, it ships natively with Android 2.3, and call quality was mediocre. Read the full review.