Help me find an unlocked Android smartphone with a pre paid voice/data plan
September 26, 2011 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for suggestions on an Android phone and pre paid voice plan and a pre paid data plan for occasional use. I have looked at the past threads but they get outdated quickly.

I’m looking for suggestions on an Android phone and pre paid voice plan and a pre paid data plan for occasional use. I have looked at the past threads but they get outdated quickly.

Android phone
- Something which supports android 2.3 (support for cynogenmod will be an added advantage)
- Ability to root and unlock
- supports video chat (hence a front camera in addition to the back camera)
- GPS (prefers something that can work with downloadable maps that would work without a constant data connection)
- MicroSD card (or some kind of a expandable storage) support
- Wireless support with WPA2
- Preferably less than $300

Currently I’m looking at LG G2X, Motorola Atrix and HTC Sensation. Any other phone suggestions welcome. I’ve looked at Amazon, but most of the unlocked phones are been sold by 3’rd party vendors through amazon. How wise it is to trust them? or is it better to save the money and get it on ebay? I don’t mind used as long as it’s in good condition.

1) What phone should I be looking in to?
2) What would be a good place to purchase?

Voice/Data plan
- Currently T-Mobile offers 30mins per $10 (lasts 90 days) pre paid. That would work well for me since it’s only for emergencies.
- At home and work I have wireless Internet access, so don’t need a data plan. But when I’m travelling I would like to get some kind of a pre paid data plan (by day, week or only for that month) added.

3) Is my choice on voice plan is the best? any suggestions?
4) what pre paid data options are available?
posted by WizKid to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
FYI, the Nexus S is on sale for the next ~12 hours for $299 without contract, new, unlocked. It doesn't have a microSD slot but otherwise satisfies your requirements. It's a small step below the Atrix/Sensation/G2X spec-wise, but it will be effortless to put CM7 on there.
posted by ofthestrait at 8:26 AM on September 26, 2011

Make sure to check what HSDPA bands the phone can use. ofthestrait's link appears to be to an Indian market Nexus S I9023, which is only compatible with t-mobile's 3g network in the US. If you wanted an at&t pre-paid plan instead, you want the I9020A which covers 850 / 1900 / 2100 instead of 900 / 1700 / 2100
posted by NoRelationToLea at 10:04 AM on September 26, 2011

After looking at the rooting instructions for the three phones you mentioned at xda, the Sensation looks to be the most straightforward and least risky (specifically labelled 'noobproof') while the guides for the G2X and the Atrix come with caveats and warnings. If the ease and risk of rooting is a factor to you, that might tip the scales.
posted by K.P. at 10:37 AM on September 26, 2011

T-mobile has a no-contract "daily web pass" data plan where you can pay $1.49 for 24 hours of wireless data. With this plan, launching a browser when you're not connected to wifi will take you to a t-mobile portal with very limited connectivity.

I use a Huawei Ideos (aka T-Mobile Comet), which doesn't meet all of your criteria, but is an incredibly cheap (I paid $100 for one refurbished, no contract) basic Android phone.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:59 AM on September 26, 2011

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

Do they still offer "daily web pass"? I thought they discontinued it. By limited connectivity do you mean limited bandwidth speeds or do they restrict sites/apps?
posted by WizKid at 11:16 AM on September 26, 2011

Wizkid - it seems they still offer the daily web pass.

There is some discussion here where people worry that it might be gone, but the discussion seems to conclude that it is still around, as documented here.

Near as I can tell it is still around. (I hope it is - I use it whenever I visit the US from Canada. It's great for my needs...)
posted by ManInSuit at 6:38 AM on September 27, 2011

I'm a little late to reply, but yeah, daily web pass still exists. I used it last Tuesday.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:07 PM on September 30, 2011

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