Who says that you need a post-paid contract in order to get a decent smartphone
? A few years back, you did, but things have changed dramatically. Now, some smartphones are trickling down to pre-paid carriers, with yesterdays "greatest" on the post-paid side becoming today's "good enough" on the pre-paid side. LG's Optimus Slider is an Android-powered handset with a slide-out keyboard and a terrific price for someone looking to snag their first smartphone. It'll be available on October 17th for $199.99, and that's off-contract. Compare that to most Android handsets coming out today, which retail for upwards of $500 off-contract, and you can see the vast difference.
It'll be sold in Best Buy and RadioShack stores, and if you're still feeling that $199.99 is a bit too steep, the first-gen of this device (the Optimus V) is on sale now for $149.99, also off-contract. Virgin Mobile USA Beyond Talk plans start at just $35 a month for 300 minutes of voice and include unlimited messaging and data. For those looking for a bit more talk time the $45 plan offers 1,200 minutes of voice, and the $55 plan offers unlimited voice minutes each month. All plans include unlimited messaging and data.