Aug 18 AT 11:08 AM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

Cricket Zio now available for pre-order, ships August 21st

If you want to experience Android but can’t afford a high-end phone and their expensive data plans, then the Cricket Zio may be the device for you. This entry-level Android phone is selling for only $229 online and comes with a $55 per month unlimited everything plan.

The Zio is an mid-range Android phone and it features a 3.5-inch WVGA display, 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, 3.2 MP camera, and Android 1.6. Kyocera plans to offer an upgrade to the Android 2.x OS sometime in the future, but there is no guarantee the Cricket version will see this software update.

Cricket Wireless might not be available in your area yet, but they just signed a big network agreement with Sprint and offer coverage in all 50 states. They are best known for their no-contract plans which offer flat rate pricing.

Since Cricket does not require contracts, you are not forced to subsidize the cost of your phone with your monthly plan. For just $55 per month, users get unlimited talk, text, and web. This is the best deal I have seen for Android and it’s nice to have more no-contract options. At only $249 ($229 online), the Zio is also one of the cheapest Android phones to hit the United States.

It might not be the most exciting device, but the Zio opens the door to a whole new market of customers that want a smartphone without the typical smartphone costs.

Cricket Zio

The Cricket Zio.

Source: Cricket

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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  • http://Website andrew Diaz

    You first call it an entry level phone then the next paragraph you call it a mid-level phone, well which do you chose?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Hah it is a mix. Has the specs of some mid-range phones. CPU is same as the myTouch Slide or HTC Aria, but I said entry-level based on Android 1.6. Hopefully Cricket will upgrade the software on this phone.

    • http://Website Fahad

      I guess this would be an entry level device since the processor is clocked at 600mhz. I believe its not considered mid until it hits about 800mhz and I don’t believe any software update from 1.6 to 2.1 has really made a significant difference in speed…

  • http://Website Todd

    I’m sure Clark will have something to say about Cricket and its coverage but…

    This is a pretty sweet tur-key way for people to jump from some horrid feature phone to Android.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but Cricket will port people’s phone number AND there’s no contract.

    So for those frugal folks who face the daily ( hourly? ) shame of being seen using a RAZR, they can’t roll wif teh new on the cheap ( and if its not for them, bail without a nasty ETF ).

  • http://Website Bob

    This has better specs than the crap blackberry torch(except for the outdated android 1.6)

  • http://Website Brian Douglas Hayes

    Oh, America. The only place where–due to proprietary network technologies–you can buy no-contract phones which are still tied to a single network. Ugh.

    This would be cool as a GSM variant, though. $229 for a decent Android phone, no hidden fees and contracts? Sure, why not.

    Wait, Android 1.6? Seriously? Oh hell no, not this again…

  • http://Website Andrew

    Google needs to stand up and pull 1.6 and below

  • David Shellabarger

    I live in one of the city’s that Cricket started in. Chattanooga, TN. I might have to check this out when my T-mobile contract ends. They would have to start offering a higher end phone but this is very interesting.


    That is one ugly phone, word to Jehovah!

  • http://Website Josh

    I bought it. The plan cricket requires for Android phones is the same in both features and cost as my previous phone, so I figured “why not”. Well, it does everything like it should, except use the mobile network for applications. On wifi everything internet related works fine, but for some reason the mobile network state is either perpetually connecting or disconnected. Waiting for Monday to roll around when the IT guys are working to see if they can’t fix it.

  • Tyla

    i have this phone.
    the only downside is it takes about 1 minute to turn on.
    other than that. its superfast.
    super responsive.
    i guess since the phone on the utube videos where in the developing stages.
    cause mine is blazing fast.
    even on a cricket network, its just a tad bit slower than my laptops wireless internet.

    • http://Website Ben

      I’m sorry, this phone is not fast and super responsive. Put it next to the EVO or Droid and you will see what I mean. It’s ok for a low tier market. For roughly the same price, you can get the EVO or Droid, which has such a better user experience then this phone.

      • http://Website curtis

        except you can’t get evo or droid on a plan for $55/mo unlimited everything anywhere I know of. so for what is available at that rate the zio is a pretty quick response. just doesn’t start up very fast. but mine seems to be not too slow and its loaded down with lots of apps now. my only complaint like many others is the antiquated 1.6 OS.

  • http://Website Ben

    The specs indicate 432 hours of standby time. 18 days! There is no way this phone has 18 days of standby time. I call BS. If they can’t shot straight with the standby time, I wonder what else is wrong with this phone.

    • http://Website curtis

      hmmm. I dot know. I think I can get close to 18 days of standby. I just dony have 18 consecutive days to turn ofg every power using thing like even the sd slot, gps rcvr, background data, magnetrometer, accelerometer, all xcvrs and put the phone in airplane mode, let the screen backligt tme out and walk away. LOL. nope just don’t have 18 days to test that. :-)

      but short of all that, I doubt that is accurate it real world environment. on the other hand, EVERY SINGLE TECHNICAL SPEC IN THE WORLD is quoted from the ABSOLUTE BEST CASE test result in the highly cntrold lab environment. ie they’re all some what BS when tested in real world.

  • http://Website Dwight

    I bought this phone based on the press releases saying that there would be a 2.1 upgrade. Sprint is now relesing 2.1 with the Zio. When I called Cricket support 3 days ago to ask about the schedule for their 2.1 upgrade, they told me there is no schedule yet but it was going to happen. Alll Cricket Zio owners need to put pressure on Cricket to fix this.

  • http://Website Yovan

    I got this phone and I like it. It does lack some of the features that other droid phones have…like the big clock on the homescreen, but it serves me well. The only issue that I have with this phone is that the network continually shuts down on me. It doesn’t do it when I am using the network but if I decide to use it, it may be shut down and need a reboot. This happens often. The battery life sucks too. If I use the phone constantly, I might not make 5 hours of usage.

  • http://Website aaron

    still waiting for so called update to 2.1 common cricket sprint is doing 2.1 on the same phone