Aug 20 AT 6:01 PM Taylor Wimberly 86 Comments

WalMart reveals Samsung Galaxy Precedent, Who offers the best pre-paid Android?

Update: Walmart is not selling this device or taking reservations at this time and will not have it for some time. Straight Talk is exclusively selling it in early September and consumers can reserve the device today through the following link http://Reserve.StraightTalkAndroid.com

The Motorola Triumph and Samsung Prevail might have new competition for the best no-contract Android deal. Walmart just revealed the Samsung Galaxy Precedent is coming to their pre-paid wireless brand Straight Talk for only $149. The low-priced device and its $45/month unlimited plan look attractive, but who really has the best offer on no-contract Android phones?

NO-CONTRACT WIRELESS PLANS

  • Straight Talk: $45/month for unlimited everything
  • Boost Mobile: $50/month for unlimited everything
  • MetroPCS: $50/month for unlimited everything on 3G, $60/month for unlimited everything on 4G LTE
  • Cricket Wireless: $55/month for unlimited everything
  • Virgin Mobile: $55/month for unlimited everything
  • Simple Mobile: $50/month for unlimited everything on 2G, $60/month for unlimited everything on 4G HSPA+

Virgin Mobile has one of the more expensive no-contract plans for unlimited everything, but they also have smartphone plans starting at only $35 per month. That $35 plan only comes with 300 minutes, so it’s a great deal for those that do not need much talk time.

Boost Mobile also offers Shrinkage which lowers your monthly payment by $5 every 6 on-time payments. That means you could reach $35/month for unlimited everything after 18 on-time payments.

Winner: Boost Mobile has the best no-contract plan if you are willing to stick with it. The starting price of $50/month is not the cheapest, but it has the ability to drop to $45, $40, and then $35 if your payments are on time.

NATIONWIDE NETWORKS

  • Straight Talk: 3G nationwide coverage through AT&T
  • Boost Mobile: 3G nationwide coverage through Sprint
  • Cricket Wireless: 3G nationwide coverage through Sprint
  • Virgin Mobile: 3G nationwide coverage through Sprint
  • MetroPCS: 3G nationwide coverage, limited 4G LTE coverage
  • Simple Mobile: 4G HSPA+ coverage through T-Mobile

Most of the pre-paid carriers operate as mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), but a few own their own network. When it comes to 4G speeds, MetroPCS has their own 4G LTE network and Simple Mobile offers 4G HSPA+ coverage through T-Mobile.

Winner: The best network always depends on the coverage area in your location. Simple Mobile (T-Mobile 4G HSPA+) offers the fastest speeds out of the group, but I would go with Straight Talk (AT&T 3G) for the best average 3G speeds in the largest coverage area.

PRE-PAID ANDROID PHONES

  • Virgin Mobile: Motorola Triump – $299.99, Android 2.2, 1GHz processor, 4.1″ touchscreen, 5MP camera, front-facing VGA camera
  • Boost Mobile: Samsung Prevail – $179.99, Android 2.2, 800MHz processor, 3.2″ touchscreen, 2MP camera
  • Straight Talk: Samsung Precedent –  $149.88, Android 2.2, 800MHz processor, 3.2″ touchscreen, 2MP camera
  • Cricket Wireless: Huawei Ascend II – $129.99, Android 2.3, 600MHz processor, 3.5″ touchscreen, 5MP camera
  • MetroPCS 3G: Samsung Admire – $129.00, Android 2.3, 800 MHz processor, 3.5″ touchscreen, 3.2MP camera
  • MetroPCS 4G: Samsung Galaxy Indulge – $299.99, Android 2.2, 1GZ processor, 3.5″ touchscreen, 3.2MP camera, 4G LTE
  • Simple Mobile: Any T-Mobile smartphone, $124.99-499.99, specs vary

Winner: When it comes to the best Android phone from a traditional pre-paid carrier, I would go with the Motorola Triumph. It offers the largest display, fastest processor, and dual-cameras. Simple Mobile comes in second place since they support almost any T-Mobile phone, which offers the greatest number of choices.

BEST OVERALL DEAL?

Pre-paid Android phones might not appeal to the hardcore fan since they lack the latest hardware and software, but they are a great choice for the average consumer. In the span of a couple years, we went from no decent pre-paid smartphones to attractive options on every pre-paid carrier.

Whic pre-paid carrier do you think offers the best deal for Android fans?

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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