Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phone Review

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Why Buy a Prepaid Cell Phone?

Prepaid cell phones are a great option for you if you have little to no credit or if you only need a phone for a short time, but there are plenty of reasons to consider them even if your needs are more long-term. For example, these prepaid gadgets are ideal for senior citizens who may be intimidated by mobile phone technology, or for teenagers who must learn the responsibilities that come with owning a cell phone.

For the most part, these pay-as-you-go cell phones are easy to use. The simplicity comes not only from the phone itself, but also through the idea that you prepay for minutes, so when they expire, you can either choose to buy more minutes or quit the service altogether. You can also purchase plans on a monthly basis. No more surprise phone bills. However, if you seek the latest and greatest cell phones, have a tendency to talk on the phone for extended periods of time or just want the best value per minute, a traditional contract plan may suit you better.

In this site, you'll find articles about prepaid cell phones, comprehensive reviews and a side-by-side comparison that will help you make an informed decision about which cell phone is right for you. The best pay-as-you-go phones we reviewed are the Samsung Vitality, Motorola Citrus and HTC Freestyle GoPhone.

Prepaid Cell Phones: What to Look For

Not all carriers offer prepaid services, so we recommend researching local carriers' prices for prepaid plans. Keep in mind that phones supporting prepaid plans are also limited, so you will likely not have the opportunity to choose the latest and greatest hardware.

Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS used to evaluate prepaid cell phones:

Basic Features
Pay-as-you-go cell phones should provide basic cell phone functions such as 3-way calling, speakerphone, voicemail, call waiting and caller ID. The best phones are compatible with a variety of networks and are easy-to-use. Text messaging is another basic feature we considered.

These prepaid gadgets need to provide users with a long battery life. Standby time on these devices can usually last for days, even weeks. However, make sure to look at the talk time of the device. Talk time battery drains when any displays are active. If the talk time is low on a device, daily charging will be required if you frequently use text messaging, phone conversations, internet connectivity or the music player.

Entertainment
The more multimedia features a cell phone has, the better. Most phones will offer one or more of the following features in addition to voice services: text messaging, instant messaging, camera, recording capabilities, audio/video playback, games, polyphonic ringtones and/or radio. The best prepaid phones also include internet connectivity options, email and navigation tools and access to third-party apps such as games and customizable news services.

Design
Even though a pay-as-you-go cell phone is not as expensive as a cell phone offered with a monthly contract, its design still needs to be fun and functional. The best cell phones are small, durable and include a lasting battery. Almost all the phones we reviewed also have expandable memory slots to store additional photos, ringtones, or files, so we checked for the maximum storage capacity of each prepaid phone. Bluetooth capabilities are also available on many of the pay-as-you-go cell phones we reviewed.

Even the simplest application can help its owner become more productive, thus making the phone an investment. The best prepaid cell phones offer applications and tools such as calendars, phonebooks, task lists and memos/notes.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

 
 
Electronics » Cell Phones » Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phone
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Samsung Vitality Blackberry Curve 8520 LG Rumor Touch T-Mobile Comet Nokia X2 Nokia 5230 Nuron Samsung Solstice II Pantech Jest LG Neon II Samsung Intensity II
Samsung Vitality Blackberry Curve 8520 LG Rumor Touch T-Mobile Comet Nokia X2 Nokia 5230 Nuron Samsung Solstice II Pantech Jest LG Neon II Samsung Intensity II
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Lowest Price
Visit Samsung Vitality
Visit Blackberry Curve 8520
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Visit T-Mobile Comet
Visit Nokia X2
Visit Nokia 5230 Nuron
Visit Samsung Solstice II
Visit Pantech Jest
Visit LG Neon II
Visit Samsung Intensity II
Ratings
9.28
7.95
7.03
6.90
6.63
6.40
5.88
5.68
5.58
4.25
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
8.75
10.00
9.38
8.13
7.50
8.13
6.88
6.88
7.50
7.00
6.25
7.50
6.25
7.50
6.25
6.25
6.25
6.88
5.00
6.88
6.25
5.00
7.25
5.00
5.00
6.88
5.00
2.50
6.25
5.00
 
Basic Features
Operating System Android 2.3 Blackberry OS 5.0 Brew MP Android 2.0 Nokia Series 40 Symbian 9.4 TouchWiz 2.0 n/a n/a n/a
Standby Time 250 hrs. 408 hrs. 160 hrs. 288 hrs. 501 hrs. 438 hrs. 240 hrs. 358 hrs. 264 hrs. 300 hrs.
Talk Time 390 min. 270 min. 150 min. 540 min. 270 min. 420 min. 300 min. 276 min. 264 min. 300 min.
Speaker Phone
Text Messaging
Entertainment
Digital Camera 3.2MP 2MP 3.2MP 0.3.2MP 2MP 0.3MP 2MP 2MP 2MP 1.3MP
Camcorder
 
Music Player
Bluetooth
Internet Access
Email
Memory 32GB 16GB 32GB 32GB 16GB 16GB 16GB 16GB 16GB 32GB
Design
Phone Style Touchscreen Candy bar Touchscreen Touchscreen Candy bar Touchscreen Touchscreen Slider Slider Slider
Screen Size 3.5 in. 2.46 in. 3 in. 2.8 in. 3.2 in. 3.2 in. 1.54 in. 2.6 in. 1.54 in. 2.2 in.
Depth 0.6 in. 0.5 in. 0.63 in. 0.5 in 0.56 in. 0.6 in 0.47 in 0.6 in 0.6 in 0.61 in
Height 4.6 in. 4 in 4.24 in. 4.1 in 4.7 in. 4.4 in 4.29 in 3.7 in 4.06 in 4.29 in
Width 2.4 in. 2.46 in. 2.16 in. 2.2 in 2.35 in. 2.0 in 2.13 in 2.5 in 1.96 in 2.09 in
Weight 4.16 oz. 3.76 oz. 4.59 oz. 3.6 oz 3.8 oz. 4.0 oz 3.0 oz 4.1 oz 4.0 oz 4.1 oz