Prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones
Only few months ago, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones were privilege of postpaid customers only. That changed after Sprint’s no-contract brands, Boost and Virgin Mobile, have released the first prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones at the end of May.
Boost Mobile has added three prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones to its lineup, Samsung Galaxy S II 4G, Kyocera Hydro and HTC EVO Design 4G. As seen from their names, Galaxy S II and EVO Design are 4G phones, running on Sprint’s WiMAX network, but they also use 3G network when 4G is not available. Hydro, on the other hand is only 3G-enabled.
The latest version of this highly popular phone, Samsung Galaxy S III, is out and it’s not reserved for only postpaid users, fortunately. Some prepaid carriers are already taking Galaxy S III pre-orders while some have announced it. However, even so, Samsung Galaxy S II 4G is still a very wanted phone. Boost Mobile offers it for $369.99 with its $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan that can shrink down to $40 per month. It features high specs as 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of internal memory, a 4.52-inch Super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080P HD video, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi and mobile hotspot feature for an extra $10 per month.
Kyocera Hydro, a water resistant ICS phone, is available for $129.99. It comes with a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, 2GB internal storage, a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, 3.2-megapixel camera with fixed focus, flash, video recording, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and Wi-Fi 802.11 b,g,n for connectivity.
HTC EVO Design 4G is the first Boost Mobile’s 4G phone. It is available for $299.99 and features a 4-inch 960×540 display, 1.2GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 2GB microSD card included, microSD card for up to 32GB of storage and mobile hotspot feature for an extra $10 per month.
All these phones are compatible with Boost’s $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan that shrinks down to $40 per month after 18 on-time payments; after every six on-time payments, monthly bill goes down $5.
These were current Boost Mobile Ice Cream Sandwich phones but there is also upcoming Samsung Galaxy Rush set for September 19 for $149.99 and one leaked, ZTE Warp Sequent that apparently will be available on September 17 for $199.99. Samsung Galaxy Rush comes with a 3.5-inch display, a 3-megapixel main camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing one while Warp Sequent reportedly features a 1.4GHz single-core processor, 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) display, 5-megapixels camera with LED flash and video capture, Wi-Fi, GPS and Visual Voicemail.
Virgin Mobile currently has four prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones in its lineup. The latest one is Samsung Galaxy Reverb, a 3G phone, right now available for pre-orders for $249.99. This phone features a 1.4GHz single-core processor, 768MB RAM, a 4-inch WVGA display, a main 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and video recording, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a 4GB internal storage, microSD card slot for up to 64GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and GPS. It will be available online on September 19.
Kyocera Rise is affordable messaging 3G Android 4.0 phone available for just $99.99. It comes with a four-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 3.5-inch HVGA LCD display (480 x 320), a 1GHz single-core processor, 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash and video capture, 2GB internal storage, microSD slot for up to 32GB of memory, Wi-Fi, Stereo Bluetooth and USB 2.0 port.
HTC One V is also ICS phone, currently discounted 20% so right now it costs $159.99. It comes with a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory, a 3.7-inch display (480×800), a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, ImageSense technology, improved sound with Beats Audio, 3G speeds and WiFi capability.
The same handset is available at Cricket as well but for $269.99. Specs wise, it’s the same handset with the only difference in Cricket’s version being preloaded with Muve Music service. Cricket’s HTC One V is compatible with carrier’s smartphone plans that start at $50 per month. Cricket’s new smartphone plans now all include Muve Music.
Virgin Mobile’s HTC EVO V 4G, as the name says, is a 4G phone that runs on a Sprint’s WiMAX network and it’s the only 4G phone currently for Virgin Mobile. Right now, it is available for $239.99 (regular price $299.99) after 20% discount. It features a 4.3-inch qHD display, dual 5-megapixel rear cameras with 3D capabilities, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and miscroSD card slot for up to 32GB of storage. It has Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, HDMI and hotspot ability for additional $15 per month. By adding hotspot feature, data allotment is raised from 2.5GB of high-speed data to 3.5GB.
All Virgin Mobile Ice Cream Sandwich phones are compatible with Beyond Talk unlimited text and data plans that start at just $35 per month.
MetroPCS’s first and only, for now, Ice Cream Sandwich phone is LG Motion 4G. It costs $149.00 and features LTE support, a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, a 5GB internal memory, Stereo Bluetooth, WiFi and mobile hotspot feature at additional cost. LG Motion 4G goes with a new promotional $55 unlimited LTE plan with unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data that will be available only for a limited period but those who sign up will be able to keep it as long as they keep the service active.
A Sprint’s MVNO, Ting, is yet another prepaid carrier that has some awesome prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones to offer to users who prefer off contract service. Besides having a unique way of billing their customers and offering Bring Your Own Device option to its users pretty soon (most Sprint phones allowed), they also have Samsung Galaxy S III, Motorola Photon Q and HTC EVO 4G LTE in their lineup, which are right now available for pre-orders. They are somewhat pricey but with no contract obligations and flexible monthly plans, Ting assures its potential users that monthly savings are a sure thing with them.
Samsung Galaxy S III is available in 16GB version for $529 and 32GB for $579 in both Pebble Blue and Marble White. It’s also carrier’s first LTE-capable device. It comes with a 4.8-inches Super AMOLED capacitive (1280 x 720) display, 8-megapixel camera, a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11 a, b, g, n.
Ting also announced two additional LTE-enabled prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones, Motorola Photon Q and HTC EVO 4G LTE. Motorola Photon Q is available for $520 and comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, an 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot for up to 32GB of memory, the 8-megapixel camera and 4.3-inch (540×960) LCD screen.
HTC EVO 4G LTE is available in black and white for $519. It comes with a 4.7-inch (1280×720) display, a main 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixels front-facing one, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, Beats audio, 16GB of internal storage and space for more.
Both LTE phones will ship in two weeks time at the most but if they are not your thing, Kyocera Rise, also an Ice Cream Sandwich phone but significantly more affordable will be available soon at Ting for around $200. It comes with a 3.5-inch screen, a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the same handset is released by Virgin Mobile for $99.99.
I hope that this information helps to choose between prepaid Ice Cream Sandwich phones, currently available and forthcoming ones.