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Cricket calls dibs on HTC Desire 520, offers limited-time deals

In addition to the new HTC smartphone, Cricket is also offering a handful of seasonal promotions.

The entry-level HTC Desire 520 is exclusive to Cricket Wireless HTC

Cricket Wireless is doing its best to attract new subscribers over the coming weeks. Today sees the AT&T-owned no-contract service provider announcing a new smartphone as well as some limited-time promotions.

Prepaid carriers have been especially bullish on courting customers lately, through offering new calling features and cost-cutting incentives aimed at signing on new subscribers. As AT&T's prepaid arm, Cricket is in a position to reach a customer base through different outreach programs at a time when traditional contract carrier structures are shifting to no-contract models.

Cricket, in particular, recently added unlimited calling from Canada and Mexico and has expanded international options. Today's move applies to both potential and current customers.

New smartphone

Starting tomorrow, the entry-level HTC Desire 520 joins the Cricket roster. Priced at $100, the phone has a relatively small 4.5-inch display and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with custom HTC software enhancements. The rear of the device houses an 8-megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video recording, while the front you have a 2-megapixel sensor for selfies and video chat.

For its processor, the Desire 520 uses a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor with 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is pegged at 8GB, but phone owners can add more room by inserting a microSD card.

Slashed prices

In addition to the new Desire phone, Cricket is also dropping the price for other handsets, too. The Samsung Galaxy S6 , for instance, sees its price slashed from $650 down to $500. These other phones are receiving price reductions as well: Samsung Galaxy S4 , Samsung Galaxy S5 , Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime , and ZTE Grand X Max+ LTE .

As an added bonus, customers who port their phone number from another wireless provider can save on a pair of LG smartphones. The LG Risio will be $20, while the LG G Stylo drops to $100 for carrier defectors.

Extra insurance

For a limited time, Cricket will let existing customers add insurance to a previously purchased Cricket phone -- typically, subscribers have to add the protection within seven days of buying the device. Those who initially opted out can now take advantage of a second chance period that Cricket calls "open enrollment" and buy insurance that will help cover the cost of possible damage, theft and loss.

Cricket Protect costs $7 to $10 per month, depending on you phone model, and is payed monthly through your usual cell phone bill. The open enrollment period runs from September 11 to October 30, 2015.