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what is the best prepaid android phone?

by hbac_goddess / May 25, 2011 4:34 AM PDT

i had the virgin mobilel optimus v for a month and liked it but it wasnt as good as an iphone so i returned it. now i will have to wait till august to get another iphone so i think i'll just buy a prepaid android instead. should i get another optimus, a hawai ascend, or the galaxy? its going to be with boost mobile, virgin mobil, or metro pcs

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by hbac_goddess

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Pre-Paid Android Phones
by BattleZone5 / May 25, 2011 7:28 AM PDT

Unfortunately, pre-paid carriers only select low-end phones because they want to sell a lot of them, and higher-end phones are too expensive (remember: no contract, no phone subsidy) to sell in high numbers.

Currently, the Optimus is the best Android phone available on any of the pre-paid carriers. And compared to the other current offerings, it is miles ahead of them. But it is definitely a mid-line phone at best, which is reflected in its low price (around $150-$200).

The good news is that, like everything in the mobile phone world, things change quickly. The Optimus has been a huge success for all of the carriers, proving that there is a great demand for *quality* Android phones even among the "low-end" (according to the wireless companies, who prefer the more lucrative post-paid customers) buyers who use pre-paid phones.

Rumors have Motorola releasing a large-screen, Droid-like Android phone on Virgin Mobile (arguably the best carrier for pre-paid smartphones currently) shortly, and it is inevitable that the other carriers are scurrying to find newer, better phones for their services too. And of course, prices continue to come down, and "base" features improving.

I'm sure in the next few months, you'll see new phones coming available that are much closer to the "superphones" of this past year. But don't expect the latest superphones to ever be available on the pre-paid carriers, because superphone buyers aren't their target market.

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Zio on PlatinumTel
by doctordawg / May 25, 2011 2:10 PM PDT

I bought a used Sanyo PLS-8600 Zio in a PlatinumTel box off eBay for a hundred bucks. I then called to activate it, and at first the call center girl insisted that it can only be used with their Android Unlimited starting at $55 a month. Not bad, But I kept insisting she just start me on the Real PayGo. She put me on hold for a few minutes, then came back, apologized, and activated my Zio Android phone on the ridiculously inexpensive PayGo plan.

Zio has a gorgeous 800 X 480 screen and wifi, so I barely use data at all. A bunch of YouTubers complain about the capacitive touch screen, but once I got the feel for it, it's fantastic. Has a track ball, too.

PlatinumTel PayGo is two cents per text, five cents per minute and ten cents per meg, with a minimum top up of ten bucks every THREE months. Unbelievably cheap. Using mostly WiFi for data, I'm averaging under ten bucks a month with a great Android phone. netTALK free app lets me make FREE VoIP calls to land lines, too. Beat that!

Quality has been as good as ATT that I had before, and I did port my old number to this new phone with no hassle.

I had to push for activation, but it does work.

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by hbac_goddess / May 26, 2011 3:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Zio on PlatinumTel

what is platinum tel?

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by doctordawg / May 26, 2011 8:56 AM PDT
In reply to: ??

PlatinumTel is a pre-paid service. You go to their website at and order a phone. I love the Zio, my son loves the LG Rumor 2 since he's a text-aholic. My wife has the M800 she got for free, and seems to really like it. Email them first if you want to transfer your existing number, and they'll send you a form to make that happen. It's pretty simple to do.

No contract required. You just pay per month, or with the Real PayGo plan, you just pay for what you use. Check out for more. They are by far the cheapest pay-per-text/minute I have found. They use the Sprint cell towers, so if Sprint is available in your area, PlatinumTel will work great.
I send about 200 texts a month and talk for about 100 minutes a month, so it's averaging me under ten bucks a month, more if I use more, less if I use less, but ALWAYS WAAAAY cheaper than a contract phone, and if I ever decide to leave, there's no $300 early termination fee like the brand names charge.

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Platinumtel problems
by gemma_one / June 7, 2011 12:50 PM PDT
In reply to:

After reading the information related to platinumtel. I went to their site and checked it out. Also, contacted them and asked a couple questions. They checked my area code for coverage. So I ordered the $100 plan with the free M800. They say the phones are refurbished, however, the one I received still had the prior customers phone number and all their contacts and phone numbers. If these are refurbished, I would think that one of their main priorities would be to remove this date. I using the instructions, but everything I did, I received a error code. I had to contact platinumtel to have the phone reset. (this was done two times.) I was lucky if I got one bar. I called and told them I wanted to return the phone and get my money back. They tried to talk me into them sending me another phone. After they approved my return and credit, I decided before doing that, I would try a different phone. Which they are sending to me. I do know there is equipment that does not function properly, so will try the new one. If the new one is as bad as the first one, I will send the two (BRICKS) back and get a refund. Wish me luck, but doubt it will have a better signal then the first.

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Update on Platinumtel and M800
by gemma_one / June 12, 2011 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Platinumtel problems

I received the replacement M800 phone and it was a difference of night and day. No errors, receive 2 bars in the house and 3 to 4 bars outside. Only have one more set up to complete for photos in messages and all others worked as they should. Like I said, there is good and bad in everything. They need to go through the phone I'm returning and insure it works properly, before sending it out to someone else. As long as their service and phone performs as it is now, I will stick with Platinumet.

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Another update for the Platinumtel M800
by gemma_one / June 12, 2011 4:00 AM PDT

After sending them a message and contacting by phone relating to not being able to place some of my over $2000 dollars of mp3 music on my CD card and install in the phone and it not play. It will now work. Download the update for the player and you can place your music on your CD card and will show up in the player. It works.

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Private label Android phones
by doctordawg / May 26, 2011 9:05 AM PDT
In reply to: ??

I should mention that the Android Sanyo Zio I got from PlatinumTel is what they call a Private Label phone, hence the PLS-8600 model. It has no brand attached to it, and will work with other private label companies like Credo, so if I choose their plans, I can still keep the same phone.

I can't over-emphasize how great an 800 dots wide screen on the Zio is over the 320 or 480 dot screens. It's AMAZINGLY sharp. The Kindle app on this thing looks like ink on paper. Websites render like a laptop. Just amazing.

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Droid X, HTC Evo 4G, HTC My Touch
by lowndesw / August 8, 2011 12:55 PM PDT

I have the Droid X on Metro,PCS and the two HTC phones on Boost, all $50 per month unlimited everything. It cost me from $25 to $75 to have them flashed. Bought them all on Craig's List, the X was still in the wrapper new for $200. They all work as advertised, voice, text, web. Sure beats ATT at $130 per month!!

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Android prepaid phones
by russellw2011 / November 19, 2011 3:06 PM PST

oh come on, just go online to amazon or ebay or Craigslist and purchase a mid range or high range android phone either Att or tmobile, not Verizon, and you can activate that phone under any of the prepaid plans. try to find an unlock one if possible. I have a Motorola milestone 2 android, which is a great phone, on a prepaid plan. It is best to sign up with the carrier of the original phone if you want to 3 or 4g service with prepaid. Unlock phones can access other GSM carriers but if the phone is a tmobile phone on a att network you will not be able to access the 3g frequencies and vice versa, because att and tmobile are on different frequencies, but if you have wifi it does not matter that much anyway. Verizon only has certain phones compatible with their prepaid services and will not activate just any phone on their prepaid service. Verizon is very customer unfriendly. Tmobile and ATT will activate almost any phone on prepaid services. I also have a Motorola Bravo on att prepaid plan and the 3g is very fast. If you are traveling you want a GSM phone anyway so stay away from Verizon CDMA phones, if you are traveling out of the country because the CDMA networks are very limited, even on Verizon so called world phones.

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My kid has their Intercept.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2011 4:55 AM PDT

If you felt the Optimus didn't compare to the iPhone then it's clear to me you don't want an android phone.

This leaves us with the other smart phones so look again at Blackberry units and (ouch) Windows Phone 7.

Neither are the iPhone.

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by hbac_goddess / May 25, 2011 6:39 AM PDT

are you saying the optimus is the best android and since it doesnt compare to the iphone i shouldnt worry about getting a different android? i didnt like the camera on the optimus and some of the aps. i love the gtunes and notification bar. i might not have any option to get another iphone anyway so if i have to get a prepaid android which one should i get. i hate blackberry and windows phones

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Cannot get iPhone quality unless you pay iPhone price.
by keithbrown8105 / October 27, 2011 2:06 AM PDT
In reply to: androids

If you're expecting iphone quality and ease of use, then expect to spend money. Prepaid phones are unsubsidized (phone subsidies mean the company pays part of the cost of the phone, and you pay them back over time, as part of your monthly bill). iPhones cost $650 without subsidy (you can buy them unlocked). You're wanting to compare a $129 dollar phone to a $650 one. Is the Optimus the best android phone available? No. Is it the best one available from a prepaid phone carrier, arguably yes.

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Prepaid Android
by Smartphone1 / May 26, 2011 6:02 AM PDT

you should get the samsung galaxy indulge from metro pcs, it's pretty good.

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Low res screen
by doctordawg / May 26, 2011 6:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Prepaid Android

Galaxy Indulge has only a 480 by 320 screen. Don't settle for less than 800 dots by 480.

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by hbac_goddess / May 27, 2011 1:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Prepaid Android

i think the galaxy is-a-slider. i dont-like sliders anymore since iphone

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Go for the Galaxy sII
by SamDenial / August 26, 2011 4:34 PM PDT

Well I think you should go for the Galaxy sII. Its an amazing phone and got all the featured what a person need.

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andriod phone
by david1200 / August 27, 2011 12:28 AM PDT

htc is the best andriod phone for use

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