Being Pushed to Upgrade to LTE? Don’t Sweat It--Here Are Some Cheap LTE Smartphones
Now that both Verizon and AT&T are making aggressive pushes to get their customers to upgrade their mobile data plans to LTE, you might be worried that you’ll have to pay an arm and a leg for a new smartphone. But fear not! There are actually lots of quality LTE-capable smartphones out there that won’t bankrupt you. In this slideshow we’ll guide you through the top LTE-based smartphones that you can buy for $150 or less with a two-year service agreement.
Samsung Galaxy S 2 Skyrocket
The lowdown: The Galaxy S 2 Skyrocket is the most expensive smartphone on our list but it’s also most likely the best. It comes with a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display, Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”), a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an 8MP camera. In all, this device offers high-quality technology for a relatively low price compared to other smartphones.
Motorola Droid Bionic
The lowdown: The Droid Bionic was one of the very first smartphones released on Verizon’s LTE network and it’s thus been discounted appropriately to reflect its age. At the same time, you could certainly do worse than the Bionic’s dual-core 1GHz processor and 16GB of internal memory.
Nokia Lumia 900
The lowdown: Well look here, it’s a non-Android phone! Yes, Nokia’s first major Windows Phone offering in the U.S. is also relatively cheap at just $100. It’s also got most of the features you expect from a modern smartphone including a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack screen, an 8MP camera and a 1.4GHz processor.
The lowdown: The Stratosphere is the first device on our list to feature a full slide-out keyboard so far, although you should also know that this makes the device heavier than others on the list, weighing in at 5.8 ounces. It’s also behind in the specs department, with a 5.0MP camera with 480p video capture, a 1GHz processor, a four-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 800x400 pixels and Android 2.3.
LG Viper 4G LTE
The lowdown: This is Sprint’s only entry on our list, and with good reason: Sprint still doesn’t have its LTE network up and running and so doesn’t have a wide selection of devices to choose from. The Viper weighs in at 5 ounces, features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, Android 2.3 and a four-inch display screen with a resolution of 800x480 pixels.
The lowdown: The Lucid is a nice little LTE phone that features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, Android 2.3 and a 5MP camera. That’s really all there is to say about it – it’s a standard by-the-numbers Android phone that won’t burn a hole in your wallet and will give you a fast wireless connection.
Samsung Focus 2
The lowdown: Another Windows Phone device: And this one’s even cheaper than the Nokia Lumia 900. There’s quite a lot to like about the Focus 2, not just its low price and LTE connectivity. For one, it’s remarkably light and thin, measuring at 0.43 inches thick and weighing at 4.3 ounces. It also packs solid punch for being a little device, with a 1.4GHz processor. This is definitely one to consider if you’re tired of being bombarded with Android devices.
The lowdown: The Vivid offers terrific value for just $50 as it comes packed with specs we normally see in high-end smartphones such as a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 540x960 pixels, an 8MP camera with 1080 video capture and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. There are only two downsides: First, it runs on Android 2.3 instead of the flashier, newer Android 4.0. Second, cramming all those killer specs into a cheap device means that it’s a heavy sucker, weighing in at 6.24 ounces. But all the same, it’s a bargain at $50.
The lowdown: Now we’re really getting into bargain-basement territory. $30 for an LTE phone! The Breakout is mostly a by-the-numbers Android phone that runs on Android 2.3, features a 1GHz processor and a 5MP camera with 720p video capture and weighs a lithe 4.87 ounces. No, it’s not the greatest smartphone you’ll ever use but how can you beat that price?
Price: 1 cent
The lowdown: OK, so maybe you can top the Pantech Breakout’s pricing. But don’t let its penny price fool you: The Nitro has some top-notch specs including an 8MP camera with 1080p video capture, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1280x720. And unlike the HTC Vivid, the Nitro managed to cram all of that quality hardware into a package that weighs in 4.5 ounces. All told, the Nitro is probably the best bargain in our entire slideshow. If you have a penny and are willing to sign a two-year service agreement with AT&T, it could be the device for you.
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