Cell phones are becoming increasingly popular today. In our fast-paced society, many times they almost seem like a necessity, not the privilege of times past. With the current economic situation, though, adding a cell phone bill to the others can seem cost-prohibitive. With that in mind, we we examine the top ten budget cell phones. Keep in mind that prices at your local store may be different.
1. The “Old” Net 10
I currently own one of the “old” Net 10 LG 320G cell phones. I say “old” because this model is not currently stocked in local stores. This phone cost $14.99 and came with 300 minutes. After the initial purchase, it has a pay-as-you-go plan, as low as $30 for 400 minutes. This basic phone provides text, phone, and an answering machine, all of which charge by the minute.
2. The “New” Net 10
The current model of Net 10 phones stocked in local stores is an LG model. It too costs $14.99, but does not come pre-packaged with minutes. A monthly plan has to be purchased, like many other cell phones currently available. This cell phone costs $50 a month, for unlimited voice and text.
This Nokia phone also costs $50 a month, with an initial purchase price of $20. In addition to unlimited talk and text, it comes with radio functionality and a simple web browser. My daughter currently uses this brand of cell phone, but is dissatisfied with the two-year contract and is looking to get out of it when the contract expires.
The Tracphone cell phone is another very basic phone. This phone is cheaper to buy, at $9.99, but costs more to use. It has a pay-as-you-go plan, with calls costing 25 cents a minute. Each text costs 0.3 minutes, as does Voice Mail. My wife, who used to own a Tracfone, discovered that the phone begins to charge after the second ring (Net 10 only charges for answered calls) and that cell service is not universal.
5. Walmart Family Mobile
Shopping in Walmart recently, I discovered the Walmart Family Mobile family of phones, powered by T-Mobile. They stock a variety of cell phone models, from Motorola to Nokia to Samsung. The cost of these cell phones cost between $34.96 and $249. One of the appealing things about the Walmart Family Mobile is that it does not come with an annual contract. Monthly fees range from $5 to $20. The cheaper models, in addition to text and phone, offer FM Radio and a flashlight. The pricier models include 3G, touch screen, camera, and a music player.
6. Blackberry Torch
The Blackberry Torch cell phone introduces a variety of budget cell phones with an unusual marketing strategy. These cell phones are offered for ridiculously low prices, but only if the two-year plan is purchased. The Blackberry Torch, for example, costs $48.88 with the two-year plan, but $700 without. This cell phone also has a slide-out keyboard, a camera, and a music player. Monthly fees start at $15 a month.
7. Samsung Solstice
The Samsung Solstice, offered by AT&T, is one among several cell phones offered by AT&T for 97 cents, when purchased with the two-year plan. This family of cell phones range in purchase price from $180 to $420. For the extra cost, these cell phones come with camera, video, a touch screen and a Qwerty keypad. Monthly fees range from $64.99 for 450 minutes, 1000 texts and web features to $114.99 unlimitedtalk, text and web.
8. Samsung Captivate
The Samsung Captivate, also offered by AT&T, costs $48.88, like the Blackberry Touch. If the two-year plan is not purchased, these phones are priced at $600. The thing that “captivated” me about this cell phone was the full-touch screen. Other nice features of this phone are the internet browser, messaging, and the latest Android operating system.
9. LG 8370
The LG 8370, offered by Verizon, is another 97-cent phone. Without the two-year contract, the price jumps to $220. This is a very basic flip phone, offering sereo, talk and text.
10. LG 5740 Ally
The LG 5740 Ally, also offered by Verizon, is a very attractive phone. It comes packed with a full Qwerty keyboard, the latest Android operating system, and a camera. It is also wi-fi capable.