Having a cell phone doesn’t mean you have to empty out your wallet, and just because you have a small budget for buying your cell phone doesn’t mean you have to have an ugly, piece of junk phone. This list includes phones for people who are looking to start a new cell phone plan, and phones for people who need to buy a phone without a contract or upgrade. There are lots of budget friendly cell phones on the market today that are sleek, attractive phones. Many budget friendly cell phones can do much more than make phone calls; lots of them come with texting, internet, or e-mail capabilities as well. Check out this list of the top 10 budget friendly cell phones.
1) Sony Ericsson W518a (Free w/ contract or upgrade, AT&T) – This flip phone comes in a sleek black or red design. Use the 3.2 MP camera to snap pictures, and send them in a text message. Use the phone as a radio or store songs on it and use it as an MP3 player. It has Web access and Bluetooth capability. The battery lasts for 4 hours talk time, and almost 17 days standby time. (Pros: easy to use, good camera, good for texting; Cons: volume level, freezes)
2) Pantech Impact (Free w/ contract or upgrade, AT&T) – The Impact comes in a fun blue or pink color, and flips open on the side to reveal a keyboard. The outside has a very slick look to it, with a shiny screen covering the whole phone and blue numbers. It contains a 2 MP camera, MP3 player, and radio. You can use it to send basic texts, or picture and video texts. It has a lithium ion battery that lasts up to 5 hours of talk time, and 14 days of standby time. This phone is great for someone who loves to text, and the camera works great for people who often use their phone to take pictures. (Pros: easy to use, quality camera, battery life, great for texting; Cons: freezes, durability)
3) Samsung Reclaim (Free w/ contract or upgrade, Sprint) – The Samsung Reclaim is an eco-friendly cell phone (made of 80% recycled materials), that comes in green or blue. Equipped with a 2.0 MP, you can take great pictures anywhere. It also comes with a GPS so you never have to worry about getting lost. This phone slides up to reveal a keyboard for dialing, texting, checking email, Facebook, or YouTube and is on a 3G network. (Pros: GPS, eco-friendly, large screen, battery life; Cons: bulky, small buttons)
4) NET10 – Motorola W408 ($29.99 w/o contract, Best Buy) – This phone features a sleek design and comes in a nice silver color. This flip phone has a screen on the outside which displays the time and current battery life. The Motorola W408 comes with a 1.3 MP digital camera, MP3 player, FM radio, Bluetooth, color display, and stores up to 1,000 contacts. The battery will stay charged for up to 5 hours of straight talk time, and 15 days of power when untouched. (Pros: sleek design, battery life; Cons: camera)
5) Pantech Pursuit (Free w/ contract or upgrade, AT&T) – This cool little phone comes in a deep blue or a lime green color. The camera is 2 MP, but it includes a 7x zoom, which is very rare in a cell phone camera. It has a radio, MP3 player, video recording capability, texting, and picture and video texting. It allows you to surf the Web, and comes with fun games. It has up to 5 hours of talk time, and up to 15 days when untouched, of battery life. (Pros: camera, durable, great for texting; Cons: bulky, software bugs)
6) LG Accolade VX5600 (Free w/ contract or upgrade, Verizon) – The Accolade is a flip phone, that comes with a 1.3 MP camera and Bluetooth. The buttons are large enough to not have to worry about hitting the wrong one, but there is no keyboard. It is perfect for someone who wants a basic calling and texting phone, and someone who has trouble dealing with phones that have lots of gadgets. It can connect to the internet for those who want that feature. It has a battery life that will last for almost 8 hours of talk time. The phone book will store up to 1,000 contacts, and has a very easy-to-read screen. (Pros: battery life, lightweight, durable; Cons: slippery, easy to drop)
7) Kyocera Loft ($49.99 w/o contract, Virgin Mobile) – The Kyocera Loft is a great buy for the person who wants more than just calling and texting from their cell phone. It provides a full keyboard to allow easy typing for text messages and internet searching; it isn’t touch screen so you don’t have to worry about accidentally tapping a bunch of wrong letters. It comes with a camera, has a good size screen, and Bluetooth. The online access is a bit slow compared to what you are probably used to on your home computer and the camera doesn’t have a flash. You can get a plan with Virgin mobile starting at $25/month which includes unlimited text, e-mail, and web; and 300 anytime minutes. So if you are looking to start a cell phone plan you could get this phone and plan for only around $74.99. (Pros: large screen, keyboard; Cons: camera has no flash, slow internet connection)
8) Samsung Flight (Free w/contract or upgrade, AT&T) – This sliding keyboard phone comes with a 3G network and a 2 MP camera, that will also records videos. You can use it to listen to the radio, use it as an MP3 player, or search the Web. It allows you to send picture and video texts, as well as your basic text messages. The battery life is excellent and the camera produces quality pictures. The battery will last up to 5 hours of talk time, and 15 days when untouched. (Pros: battery life, easy to use, durable; Cons: small keys, difficult touch screen)
9) NET10 – LG 620G ($39.99 w/o contract, Best Buy) – This phone comes with lots of features, including a 1.3MP camera (takes pictures and records videos), MMS picture messaging, MP3 player, and FM radio. It has Bluetooth capability, internet accessibility, and can store up to 1,000 contacts. It has a lithium-ion battery which gives you up to 3.5 hours of straight talk time and 14 days of power when it’s untouched. It can be difficult to activate, but Best Buy is usually pretty good about helping customers out with problems. (Pros: battery life, camera; Cons: difficult to activate)
10) Samsung Stride ($9.99 w/o contract, US Cellular) – The Samsung Stride is perfect for someone who wants an easy to use, no frills phone. You won’t be wasting money on features you will never use. The phone is equipped with a camera and Bluetooth, plus your basic calling and texting features and a bright screen. The camera doesn’t have the best quality photos. With it being a flip phone you won’t have to worry about accidentally calling someone while the phone is in your pocket. If you are looking for anything other than a simple cell phone for making phone calls, this phone isn’t for you; but if you want something simple and cheap it will do the trick. (Pros: inexpensive, bright screen, easy to use; Cons: not many features, poor quality camera)
There are many cell phones on the market today, and it seems like new ones come out every day, but it isn’t hard to find a great budget cell phone if you know where to look. If all else fails, you are sure to be able to find a refurbished cell phone for a cheaper price on your cell phone providers web site, or a used one on Ebay.