The Cheapest Prepaid Cell Phones by Provider

By the team

August 2015 reviews

Over the past few years, basic mobile phones have been replaced by the new norm: smartphones.

From an operating system standpoint, Android and iOS (iPhone) have clearly squeezed the competition by gathering more than 96% of the market (Source IDC), and leaving Blackberry and Windows OS with nominal shares.

From a devices standpoint, the market seems to be way more diversified with a broad range of brands and mobile phones. From free phones (with cell phone plan), to cheap cell phones (e.g. prepaid phones, pay as you go), to high-tech and pricy ones, consumers can choose to spend from $0 to a $8 million (check out the Diamond Rose iPhone 4 32GB if you are interested in the world’s most expensive phone). A full market has even emerged around used cell phones and refurbished cell phones on sale.

Our team has reviewed a sample of the cheapest prepaid cell phones by provider. Don’t expect any super innovative features, but a good quality for a low price.

          Cheap cell phone providers


 Verizon phones

Verizon currently offers 23 different prepaid phones with their Prepaid smartphones plan, starting at $39.99 with the Moto G™ by Motorola. This basic smartphone received pretty positive feedback from consumers, with a hand-friendly design and a satisfactory battery life.



 T Mobile phones:

Under the “Unlimited Talk, Text* & Data on our network” Prepaid plan starting at $40 per month with 1GB of LTE data, you can choose from one of the 13 prepaid cell phones that T-Mobile offers.

For $104.99 including a $40 refill card and a $15 SIM starter kit, the ALCATEL ONETOUCH Evolve™ 2 is clearly one of cheapest Android 4.4 phones in the world. On the “pros” side we were wowed by the performance of the speakers, whereas the quality of the 5-megapixel camera is definitely one of the main “cons”.

A good phone overall for this price and probably the only one we would recommend under the Verizon Prepaid plan. The other Verizon cell phones around $100 like the ZTE Zinger™ or the LG Optimus F3 tested way less performant.



Straight Talk phones:

 As a “discount” phone provider, Straight Talk has more than 40 smart phone models.

When looking at the most affordable ones, the LG ULTIMATE 2™ is our preferred choice. It runs on Android™ 4.4, has a 4.5” Touch Screen Display and a decent camera and it comes at only $79.99 with a Straight Talk monthly data service plan



US Cellular phones:

The US Cellular Simple Connect Prepaid Plans starts at $45 per month with 1GB of data. With this plan, you can choose from one of their devices, from $ to $.

The LG Logos is not the cheapest one but it definitely is a great option for the price ($99.99). It runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and has a curved 4.7-inch screen. Good memory with 8GB of internal storage, very easy-to-use but a little bit heavy in hand.

Not a perfect phone but clearly a good price-quality ratio.



Walmart phones:

Yes indeed, Walmart is an option for anyone looking for a cheap cell phone without contract.

The Nokia Lumia 635 Prepaid Smartphone offers a nice 4.5" display, a 5-megapixel camera, and 8GB of internal memory. With a price of $47.42, this decent smartphone deserves your consideration if you're after 4G LTE on a budget. Based on a CNet Review, the battery life has shown some poor performance when streaming though.



Image courtesy of SOMMAI at


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  1. funny to see walmart in that list. I guess they are always a good option when it comes to cheap prices.
    Not sure this is the place where I want to buy my phone though…

  2. Who would buy an $8 million phone???
    I’m not a big fan of the Alcatel phones but I have an LG and this is definitely a good quality for a low price.
    Also curious about that Nokia from Walmart. Will try that when my current one dies.

  3. If the AT T or the Tracfones rolled over for a second year it would be great but T-Mobile in that area has them beat for the casual, lighter or senior user. Do you have any plan recommendations for the new I Phone 5?

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