Today T-Mobile announced a series of affordable Android phones and data plans that will “help families stay connected without busting their holiday budgets”. The offerings include four Android phones ranging in price from $9-$99, the new Web 200 MB for $10, and the tethering plan for $14.99 per month.
At the lowest price point is the Huawei Coment, which is a stock Android 2.2 phone for only $9.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate. I got to play with this phone a couple months ago and I was really impressed with the overall build quality, but the phone only features a QVGA (320 X 240) display and not all Android apps have been optimized to work with the smaller resolution.
Next we have the LG Optimus T for $29.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Of all the new entry-level Android phones, I would place this one at the top. This device also runs Android 2.2 and features a 3.2 inch HVGA (320×480) display. If you have a friend or relative looking for a beginners’ smartphone, this is the one I would recommend.
Next we have the Motorola Charm and Defy, both running the older Android 2.1. I would hesitate to suggest either of these phones right now because Motorola does not have the best track record with providing software updates for entry-level phones and you might be stuck on Android 2.1 which would cause you to miss out on the latest apps and features.
The Charm is a mixed bag and its QVGA is rotated sideways. This means that some apps will actually load sideways and that makes it difficult to operate. If you are looking for a mid-range Android phone with a physical keyboard on T-Mobile, I think the myTouch Slide is a better option.
The Defy is unique because it is scratch and water resistant as well as dust proof. Outdoors fans might enjoy the phone, but I’m turned off by the inclusion of Motoblur and Android 2.1. For a touch-only phone on T-Mobile, I would go with the new myTouch 4G.
Finally we have the new data plan offerings which are the same as what leaked last week. New smartphone users can get 200 MB of data for only $10 per month and those who wish to tether can do so for $14.99 per month (Unlimited $30 monthly plan required for tethering).
T-Mobile’s affordable smartphone offerings include:
- T-Mobile Comet will be available beginning Nov. 3 for $9.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement and qualifying data plan. It will also be available as a prepaid Android smartphone at Best Buy, Radio Shack and Target for less than $200 (plus taxes and fees).
- LG Optimus T with Google will be available starting Nov. 3 for $29.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement and qualifying data plan.
- Motorola CHARM with MOTOBLUR is available for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two year service agreement and qualifying data plan.
- Motorola DEFY with MOTOBLUR will be available for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement and qualifying data plan.
T-Mobile’s new data plans include:
- Mobile data plans. With T-Mobile data plans, customers will have two options for data: the Web – 200MB plan or the Web – Unlimited plan. The Web – 200 MB plan will be available for $10 per month with a new two-year service agreement for a limited time or for $15 per month, which will not require a contract. The Web – Unlimited plan will be available for $30 per month. Both data plans will be sold paired with a voice and text message plan.
- Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing service plan. T-Mobile is offering a new tethering service plan that enables select smartphones to function as wireless modems for connecting devices, such as laptops, tablets and netbooks, to the Internet through the T-Mobile network. Customers can add the Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing plan to their Web – Unlimited $30 monthly plan for an additional $14.99 per month.