Oct 17 AT 5:11 PM Taylor Wimberly 128 Comments

Top 5 pre-paid wireless plans for Android phones

sim-card-swap

Six months ago I was a pre-paid virgin, but I finally decided to make the switch after getting fed up with carrier contracts, bloatware apps, and poor software support. Since I made the move I have been swapping devices, SIMs, and service plans with no long term commitments and it feels great. There are a lot of pre-paid choices out there, so read on for our top picks.

I have had the opportunity to try out service from Straight Talk, Simple Mobile, and Solavei, so it felt like this was a good time to share my experiences. If you have already made the decision to try out pre-paid service on your Android phone, then check out our list of Top 5 plans. Keep in mind that pre-paid service is not for everyone so read up on my previous ramblings for more information.

1. Straight Talk SIM

Networks: AT&T or T-Mobile

Plan: $45 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data.

SIM card fee: $14.99

The good: Choice of AT&T or T-Mobile’s network.

The not-so-good: Data policy is not clearly defined. You will get a warning if you go over an imaginary data limit, which can differ from market to market.

More info: Official site

2. T-Mobile Monthly 4G

Network: T-Mobile

Plans: $30 for 100 minutes, unlimited text, and data (throttled after 5 GB). $60 for unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 2 GB). $70 for unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 5 GB).

SIM card fee: $0.99

The good: Cheapest prices. Multiple plans to choose from. In-store support.

The not-so-good: Only T-Mobile compatible phones will see full 4G HSPA+ speeds, but this will improve as T-Mobile upgrades their network to support 1900 MHz in their top 50 markets by end of 2012.

More info: Official site

3. Solavei

Network: T-Mobile

Plans: $49 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 4 GB)

SIM card fee: $9

The good: Clearly defined data policy, after 4 GB you will be throttled. Pays you a monthly bonus for customers you refer.

The not-so-good: Only T-Mobile compatible phones will see full 4G HSPA+ speeds, but this will improve as T-Mobile upgrades their network to support 1900 MHz in their top 50 markets by end of 2012.

More info: Official site (referral link)

4. Simple Mobile

Networks: T-Mobile

Plans: $40 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data (3G speeds). $50 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data (4G speeds).

SIM card fee: $12.99

The good: Multiple plan options.

The not-so-good: Data policy is not clearly defined. Only T-Mobile compatible phones will see full 4G HSPA+ speeds, , but this will improve as T-Mobile upgrades their network to support 1900 MHz in their top 50 markets by end of 2012.

More info: Official site

5. NET10 SIM

Networks: AT&T or T-Mobile

Plans: $50 per month:  Unlimited talk, text, and data.

SIM card fee: $9.99

The good: Choice of AT&T or T-Mobile’s network.

The not-so-good: Owned by same parent company as Straight Talk and offers same service, yet $5 more per month.

More infoOfficial site

QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, SNIDE REMARKS?

This is our first attempt at a Top 5 list for pre-paid wireless plans for Android phone, so please share your feedback. Are there additional details that we need to cover? Find a better pre-paid option? Let us know in the comments below.

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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