Phones made or sold for Verizon Prepaid are also not allowed on any Verizon MVNO unless they have been used for at least six months on Verizon Prepaid
Customers who want to "bring their own phone" (BYOP) to one of the MVNOs with the no-LTE restriction are limited to postpaid Verizon feature phones and older postpaid Verizon non-LTE smartphones.
Verizon feature phones and BlackBerrys usually only work for voice and texts, but not data or MMS on MVNOs. However voice, text, data and MMS work "out of the box" on Verizon non-LTE smartphones including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and WebOS devices.
Here's a table listing some of the best and most popular 3G Verizon smartphones from the newest to oldest. Each phone's name is a link to its detailed specs on PhoneArena.com. The prices come from MicFlix.net's Used Phone Price Guide which tracks used phone prices on Ebay and other sites and is updated monthly and Swappa, a popular online marketplace for used phones.
|Name||Release month / year||Screen size||Screen px||CPU||RAM MB||Camera||Latest official OS||Ave used price||Notes|
|Apple iPhone 4S||10/2011||3.5||640 x 960||dual core 800 Mhz||512||8MP||iOS 7||$135|
|Motorola Droid 3||7/2011||4.0||540 x 960||dual core 1 Ghz||512||8MP||Android 2.3||$54||QWERTY slider|
|HTC Trophy||5/2011||3.8||480 x 800||single core 1 Ghz||576||5MP||Windows Phone 7.5||$51|
|Motorola Droid X2||5/2011||4.3||540 x 960||dual core 1 Ghz||512||8MP||Android 2.3||$54|
|Casio G'zOne Commando||4/2011||3.6||480 x 800||single core 800 Mhz||512||5MP||Android 2.3||$72||ruggedized water resistant|
|HTC Droid Incredible 2||4/2011||4||480 x 800||single core 1 Ghz||768||8MP||Android 2.3||$65|
|Motorola Droid Pro||11/2010||3.1||320 x 480||single core 1 Ghz||512||5MP||Android 2.3||$40||QWERTY bar|
|Palm Pre 2||10/2010||3.1||320 x 480||single core 1 Ghz||512||5MP||WebOS 2.1||$40||QWERTY slider|
|Samsung Fascinate||9/2010||4||480 x 800||single core 1 Ghz||512||5MP||Android 2.3||$59|
|Motorola Droid 2||8/2010||4.0||480 x 854||single core 1 Ghz||512||5MP||Android 2.3||$40||QWERTY slider|
|Apple iPhone 4||6/2010||3.5||640 x 960||single core 1 Ghz||512||5MP||iOS 7||$115|
|Motorola Droid X||5/2010||4.3||540 x 960||single core 1 Ghz||512||8MP||Android 2.3||$40|
|LG Ally||5/2010||3.2||480 x 800||single core 600 Mhz||256||3.2MP||Android 2.3||$29||QWERTY slider|
|HTC Droid Incredible||4/2010||3.7||480 x 800||single core 1 Ghz||512||8MP||Android 2.3||$48|
|Palm Pixi Plus||1/2010||2.6||320 x 480||single core 600 Mhz||256||2MP||WebOS 1.3.5||$30||QWERTY bar|
Some good sources of Verizon 3G phones include:
Friends and family. Postpaid Verizon customers who have upgraded their phones recently often have a good 3G smartphone gathering dust.
CowBoom is a commercial site that specializes in selling new, used and refurbished electronics. While they don't have the lowest prices, CowBoom phones come with a warranty and both sites have a good reputation for replacing phones that the buyer isn't satisfied with.
Deals sites like Woot, 1Sale and DailySteals often have new or refurbished Verizon phones at a good price. Most deals are one day only. Sign up for deal site's email alerts so you don't miss out.
Ebay has the greatest variety and prices can be good. Ebay and PayPal's buyer protection do a pretty good job of protecting you from fraud. You still need to be careful when buying from Ebay. I recommend only buying from sellers who have been active on Ebay for a year or more with at least a hundred sales and at least 98% or better positive feedback. Read some of the negative and neutral feedback to get an idea of the sort of problems that can arise. Some large comercial Ebay sellers that specialize in phones and have a good reputation include chubbiestech, Gazelle-Store and CellularStream
Local private sellers through Craigslist, etc. tend to have the best prices but are also the riskiest. For your personal safety I recommend meeting the seller in a public place. A Verizon store is ideal because in addition to being public you can check the phone's ESN there. ESN's can also be checked online at swappa.com or checkesnfree.com. Asking the seller for ID and a signed bill of sale is a good way to protect your self from buying stolen goods.
What's your favorite Verizon 3G phone and why? Do you have a favorite Ebay seller or other source for Verizon 3G phones? Share your knowledge in the comments.
Updated 2/2/15 with current information about BYOP restrictions and prices.