Best Prepaid Phones (April 2016)

There was a time that prepaid was a carrier status maintained almost exclusively by young people and often the ‘credit challenged’. After all, prepaid plans were generally less impressive than carrier plans with too many restrictions to make them appealing, and prepaid phones were just a small step better than utter garbage. Thankfully this situation has been flipped on its head in recent years.

Nowadays, prepaid plans actually tend to offer the best value for consumers and generally share many of the same perks you’d find with a traditional ‘postpaid’ plan. The selection of phones have equally improved, with prepaid networks offering at least a few flagship options and plenty of respectable mid-range and entry-range devices. There’s also the ability to bring your own unlocked phone to a number of prepaid carriers, unlocking even more possibilities.

So what are the very best prepaid phones available? A lot of it will come down to what network best catches your attention, though below we’ve gathered up 5 of the best smartphones available in the prepaid world right now.

Looking for full lists of the best prepaid phones for a specific network? We have those too! Check them out below:

For those that would rather go unlocked and bring your phone to a compatible GSM network, you’ll also want to take a look at the following lists:


Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32 GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4 GB of RAM, great 12 MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it. While the pricing varies, the standard Galaxy S7 runs around $650 – $700, while the S7 Edge is offered by T-Mobile Prepaid for $819.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, 152 g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, 157 g

Read more

Get the Galaxy S7 from T-MobileGet the Galaxy S7 Edge from T-MobileGet the Galaxy S7 from Boost MobileGet the Galaxy S7 Edge from Cricket


Samsung Galaxy S6

While the Samsung Galaxy S6 might not be the latest and greatest from Samsung in 2016, it’s still a great handset that will provide a flagship level experience at a discount thanks to the arrival of its successor, the Galaxy S7. The Galaxy S6 brought with it a major overhaul to design and build quality – something that was definitely needed for the Samsung Galaxy S6 to better compete with the arguably more premium high-end smartphones on offer from the competition. A metal and glass unibody design allowed for the more elegant look and feel that is expected from a Samsung flagship, and worthy of the high price tag that the device commands, even if the changed build did result in previously staple features like expandable storage and replaceable batteries going by the wayside.

Despite the lack of microSD and removable battery, the Galaxy S6 is certainly not lacking in extras, with it retaining hardware features like a heart rate monitor and a fingerprint scanner, as well as a camera package that allows for one of the best smartphone camera experiences available even a year later. While replaceable batteries may no longer be available, Samsung also attempted to alleviate any battery life concerns you may have with the inclusion of fast charging and wireless charging capabilities.

The current price for the Samsung Galaxy S6 ranges around $450 – $500, depending on the prepaid carrier you choose.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2550mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm, 138g

Read more

Get it from BoostGet it from CricketGet it from VerizonGet it from AT&T


Samsung Galaxy Note 5

It’s hard denying that Samsung has always been the king of large-screened smartphones, and that still holds true today. With its crystal clear 5.7-inch display, powerful Exynos 7420 CPU and killer 16 MP rear-facing camera, the Galaxy Note 5 is one of the best Android phones available on the market right now.

It’s an all-around solid device, boasting an all-glass chassis that’s similar to that of the Galaxy S6. It comes with an improved S Pen and some great multitasking features that will make it easy to get work done. The software is much more clean and simple than we’ve seen from the company in the past, too.

With all of that said, though, this device doesn’t come without its caveats. Samsung’s decision to omit the microSD card slot and removable battery has been a controversial one over the past few weeks, especially among Samsung die-hards. Even with these notable omissions, the Note 5 can still be considered one of the best out there.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 518 ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 16 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm, 171 g

Read more

 

Get it from Verizon


LG G4

The LG G4 enters the market promising pristine performance, a design that will have any crowd turning heads, insane battery life and customization like we no longer see in modern smartphones.

In an industry where most manufacturers sacrifice battery life for thinness, LG manages to stand out from the crowd by offering a massive 3000 mAh battery. It also happens to be removable, so you can easily swap batteries at will. Furthermore, it supports expandable memory, which also happens to be a feature under risk of extinction.

Oh, and this phone looks good! You can switch your back plates, but I am sure you won’t want to once you put that genuine leather back in there. Add in the fact that the phone comes with one of the best smartphone cameras in the market and you have a true winner. Of course, you can read our LG G4 review to see what this phone is all about before you fork out your hard-earned cash.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD Quantum Dot display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • 1.82 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 16 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 9.8 mm, 155 g

Read more

Get it from Verizon


Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 (5.5-inch variant) is one of the best budget-friendly smartphones on the market. It features a simple and elegant design, a solid 13MP rear-facing camera and a fantastic audio experience. For the price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Idol 3 – it has a beautiful 5.5-inch Full HD display, a capable Snapdragon 615 processor, and runs a slightly customized version of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The phone is now available from Cricket for just $129.99 with an activation. If you’d like to purchase the phone outright then bring it to the carrier, Amazon is selling it for around $200.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2910mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 152.7 x 75.1 x 7.4mm, 141g

Read more

Get it from Cricket


Motorola Moto E (2015)

The original Moto E was one of the best low-cost Android smartphones around, and its successor, the Moto E (2015) brings even more value to the table, with it now being capable of high-speed internet access via 4G LTE. The latest edition of the device brings a lot of small enhancements along the way as well, including a slightly larger display, updated processing package, more built-in storage, a front-facing camera, and a larger battery that allows for extremely impressive battery life.

The price for the Moto E (2015) is around $45 – $60, depending on the prepaid network you choose. While the specs here aren’t amazing, for the price, this is a great device for those with relatively modest needs.

Specs

  • 4.5-inch display with 960 x 540 resolution, 245 ppi
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 32 GB
  • 5 MP rear camera, VGA front camera
  • Non-removable 2390 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 129.8 x 66.8 x 12.2 mm, 145 g

Read more

Get it from BoostGet it from SprintGet it from VerizonGet it from AT&T

 


LG G Stylo

lg-g-stylo

If you are looking for a smartphone with a stylus experience on a budget, your best bet is the LG G Stylo. The device features modest specifications overall, though it’s still a great option. The key aspect of the LG G Stylo is the fact that the device comes with a stylus, which understandably doesn’t offer the robust feature set available with something like Samsung’s S Pen, though there are a few software features LG has baked in to take advantage of the stylus. It also comes with a big 5.7-inch display, a quad-core Snapdragon processor, an 8MP rear camera, microSD expansion and a removable battery. Not bad!

The LG G Stylo is available on Sprint, Virgin Mobile, and Boost Mobile’s prepaid network for $100.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with a 720p resolution, 258ppi
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB storage, microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 154.4 x 79.3 x 9.4mm, 166g

Read more

Get it from BoostGet it from SprintGet it from Virgin Mobile


Samsung Galaxy Express Prime

Samsung Galaxy Express Prime

Looking for a budget-friendly device that runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow? If so, you should definitely check out the Samsung Galaxy Express Prime.

While it doesn’t sport the highest end specs out there, it will certainly be able to perform most everyday tasks with ease. It has a 5.0-inch Super AMOLED 720p display, a 1.3 GHz Exynos processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and also has 16 GB of on-board storage with microSD expansion up to 128 GB.

For just $129.99, the Galaxy Express Prime can be yours on AT&T’s network.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 294 ppi
  • 1.3 GHz Samsung Exynos 3475 Quad processor
  • 1.5 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 5 MP rear camera, 2 MP front camera
  • Removable 2600 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 142.2 x 71.1 x 7.9 mm, 128.9 g

Get it from AT&T

 


Samsung Galaxy J7

Samsung Galaxy J7 2015 1
Samsung Galaxy J7 2015 2


The Galaxy J7 packs a 5.5-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 615 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board storage, a 13 megapixel rear camera, and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera (complete with LED flash). It ships a removable 3000 mAh battery and Android 6.0 Marshmallow already pre-installed. 

It should be noted, however, that this is not the Galaxy J7 2016 model that have been mentioned in recent months, but the original 2015 model.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 720 x 1280 resolution, 267 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 152.2 x 78.7 x 7.5 mm, 171 g

Read more

Get it from Boost


How do like our list? Is there any device you’d add or remove? Let us know your opinions in the comments!

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By | 2016-04-23T23:00:06+00:00 April 23rd, 2016|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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