After reviewing the best unlocked Android phones for every budget last week, we found that choices were slim when you dipped below $100. You can pretty much expect an outdated version of Android, slow processor, and tiny display when you are looking for a budget smartphone.
Today Sprint announced the Kyocera Rise, which is clearly targeted at first time smartphone buyers and tweens. Sprint will begin selling the device this Sunday for $19.99 on contract, and Virgin Mobile will offer the device starting August 31st for $99 without a contract.
Specs include Android 4.0, 3.5 inch display, 1 GHz Snapdragon S2 processor, sliding QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 MP camera, and a microSD slot. That might not sound too impressive to anyone with a high-end device, but we think it’s a great offering for the low price.
Virgin Mobile offers some pretty attractive pre-paid plans, with “unlimited data” starting at only $35 per month. Unfortunately, Virgin operates on Sprint’s CDMA network and they do not support unlocked devices.
If Kyocera offered an unlocked GSM version of the Rise, it would surely become our top pick for an Android phone under $100.