Home - , , , , , , , - Spring Brings the LG G Stylo, Lumia 640, Alcatel Idol 3 and Huawei SnapTo to Prepaid

Spring Brings the LG G Stylo, Lumia 640, Alcatel Idol 3 and Huawei SnapTo to Prepaid

Spring is here and that means new phone launches. Here's a round up of of recent phone releases from prepaid operators plus a a couple of unlocked phones that feature full support for AT&T and T-Mobile's 3G and LTE bands. 

Sprint's Boost Mobile brand launched the LG G Stylo phablet yesterday. Priced at $199.99, it features a 5.7 inch 720 x 1280 px screen, 8 MP rear and 5 MP front facing cameras, Android 5.0 Lolipop, a quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and tri-band LTE. There's 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage, a microSD slot and a removable 3000 mAh battery.

As it's name suggests, the Stylo also has a removable stylus for making quick hand written notes. The G Stylo will also be available from Sprint Prepaid starting June 7 at the same $199.99 price and from Sprint postpaid June 12 for $288. T-Mobile has a announced that will launch a GSM version of the G Stylo May 20 at an undisclosed price.

AT&T's Cricket is launching the $129.99 Microsoft Lumia 640 tomorrow May 15 at Cricket stores and cricketwireless.com. The 640 is one of the first Lumia phones to carry the Microsoft brand rather than Nokia's following Microsoft's purchase of the Finnish phone maker last year.

The Lumia 640 is a substantial upgrade over the Lumia 635 with a larger, higher resolution screen (5" 720 x 1280 px vs 4.5" 480 x 840 px), 8 MP vs 5 MP main camera and 1 GB vs 512 MB RAM. It also has a 0.9 MP front facing camera where the 635 had none. Like the 635, the Lumia 640 has a renovable battery and a microSD slot.

Cricket is running a promotion that gives customers who purchase a Lumia 635 between May 15 and June 30 a free one year Office 365 Personal subscription normally priced at $69.99 and 60 minutes/month of free Skype calls to phones in the US and over 60 countries (list).

T-Mobile has announced that the Lumia 640 is "coming soon" to T-Mobile and MetroPCS, possibly priced as low as $89.99 for the T-Mobile version.

Perhaps insprired by the success of Chinese start-up OnePlus with its $298 OnePlus One, two established Chinese phone makers, Huawei and Alcatel, are now selling unlocked phones direct to US customers.

Alcatel is taking preorders through Amazon.com for its ONETOUCH IDOL 3 Android phone. The preorder price is $249.99 with the phone due to ship May 21. Once the phone launches the price will go up to $279.99.

The IDOL 3 runs Android Lollipop and has a 5.5 inch 1080 x 1920 px screen, 1.5Ghz Snapdragon 615 CPU, 16 GB of internal memory and a generous 3GB of RAM along with 13 MP main and 5 MP front facing cameras and front facing JBL speakers. There's a microSD slot but the battery is non-removable.

A notable feature of the IDOL 3 is that it supports a large number of radio bands: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900; UMTS: 850/1700/1900/2100; and LTE Bands: 2/4/5/7/12/17 which means it support all the bands currently used by both AT&T and T-Mobile.

Huawei's SnapTo Android phone launched last month. Priced at $179.99 direct from Huawei, it runs Android 4.4 KitKat and sports a 5 inch 720 x 1280 px screen, 1.2 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1 GB RAM, a paltry 4 GB of internal memory, 5 MP rear and 2 MP front cameras. There's a microSD card slot and a non-removable 2200 mAh battery.

Like IDOL 3, the Snaptu is fully compatible with T-Mobile and AT&T bands. It supports GSM 850/900/1800/1900, UTMS 850/1900/1700/2100 and LTE bands 2/4/5/12/17.

The SnapTo's name comes from it's signature feature, the SnapTo camera which lets you take a picture without unlocking the phone by pressing the volume down button twice.

While I love that more manufacturers are sellimg unlocked, unbranded phones at affordable prices, reviews of the Idol 3 and especially the SnapTo are lukewarm at best. I'm hoping for better things from soon to be released of the US version of the 2015 Moto G LTE and the rumored OnePlus Two and next generation Nexus, all of which I expect to sold unlocked and unbranded and hopefully at relatively low prices.

28 comments:

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  1. Dennis -- How soon do you anticipate that the 2015 Moto G LTE will be released? It seems to me that the 2014 model was released end of May/beginning of June. Do you feel that the new model will be released during a similar time frame?

    Thanks.

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  2. Oh please please please keep us updated on "sale" pricing for the Stylo i must have it!!! Though i am willing to wait since i had purchased the LG Volt last year for full price of 180$ plus tax!! Its now advertised for 49.99 in some places. Ive learned my lesson of the "gotta have it now!" syndrome haha.

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  3. Speaking of Boost. I went into a Boost store today. It was a new store.

    I learned this:

    - Boost is on the full Sprint network,Virgin is not.
    Virgin tower's are all owned by British comedian Russell Brand. Brand lets Sprint pay a fee make some use of Brand's own towers.
    - Boost coverage really on a different network, and a lot better than Virgin (which is really an entirely different thing only partially associated with Sprint).
    - In light of the above, considering my bad experience on Virgin, I should try Boost now, because I will experience entirely different coverage (according to the Boost booster manning the strip-mall storefront place) than what I had with Virgin a few months ago.

    The things you learn....

    ------------------

    On another topic:

    "The SnapTo's name comes from it's signature feature, the SnapTo camera which lets you take a picture without unlocking the phone by pressing the volume down button twice."

    That's an improvement from the Samsung Galaxy line, at least through the S5 flagship... where the camera icon is in a different location every time you turn it on. Kind of kills the idea of taking quick pictures.

    The more buttons on the phones, the better (manufacturers don't need to blindly copy Apple design features and mistakes without any regard to merit). A camera button is very nice. The Stylo solution is close enough to that to count.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russell Brand? When did he acquire Virgin Mobile from billionaire businessman Richard Branson?

      Delete
    2. Whatever the store salespeople told you is not true. Virgin and Boost use the exact same network which is the Sprint native network.

      Delete
    3. I'm sure the OP knows that none of what the store rep is true and posted it so we could get a chuckle out of the things sales people say.

      Delete
    4. This is the same OP. Late last year I went to an independent phone reseller who insisted that none of the used AT&T/GSM phones he was selling would work on the new (now current) Cricket.

      He is out of business now.

      Delete
  4. On the Lg G Stylo is it 16GB an 2GB or 8GB an 1.5 GB ive seen in articles

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  5. Headline should refer to Lumia 640, not 635. -Ed

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  6. tmobile version of the lg g stylo is 16gb and a 13mp camera where boost version is 8gb and 8mp camera

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    Replies
    1. Tmobiles version will cost a lot more too. I tried today Boosts Stylo and I was really impressed with the quality that it has for under $200. The front 5 MP selfie camera take some really really nice pics with many options to custom those pics.

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  7. T-Mobile version has 2 gb ram, Boost version had 1gb ram.

    I like the Band support on the Idol 3 but wonder if the G2 is a better phone? I wish LG made a version of the G2 that supports all the GSM bands.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Any alternative suggestions to Moto E for $50 (walmart cricket)? Seems like camera may be a problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are looking for a cheap brand new phone that you can inexpensively unlock to use on other operators you won't find one for $50 that has a better camera than the Moto E, $50 phones all have basic cameras.

      Among entry level Android phones the LG's and Samsungs tend to have the best cameras. LG unlocks are cheap, Samsung's are more costly to unlock.

      If you are looking for a phone to use on Cricket and are a new customer the LG F60 is $50 on the Cricket site. I don't know what the the price is for current customers but you might want to call or visit a Cricket store.

      Delete
    2. I don't see the LG F60 on the Cricket site (only MetroPCS) . Cricket now has the LG LG L70 for new port-in from non ATT providers , otherwise $ 50.

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    3. You're right I mixed up Metro and Cricket. There's no Cricket F60.

      Delete
    4. The Cricket Moto E sold at Walmart is the Gen1 with crapping fixed focus camera and other mediocre specs. The Moto E sold by Cricket Wireless online ( $50 is port from non ATT, $79 for other new activations) is the GEn 2 version which has better camera other specs. However, the E pales in comparison to the Moto G .

      Delete
  9. What about an HTC One (used on ebay for $90)?

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  10. I think the Lumia 635 camera is a lot better than the Moto E one and you can pick up a 635 for less than $50 at WalMart and Amazon, and probably a lot less very soon now that the 640 is available. I own a 635 and people compliment me on my photos all the time. The camera is only 5mp but it has autofocus, is decent in low light, and the Lumia color profiles are great. I like and use the ProShot app with it, but the Lumia camera apps are also great and their editing apps are excellent. In general Lumia cameras tend to be the best in their price class.

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  11. Lumia excels for the camera, but the app market is rather deficient compare to Android.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, while my 635 is snappy and takes good pictures the app store is lacking on apps and even when you find them their performance is often buggy. I read somewhere Microsoft was throwing in the towel on Mobile and would allow android apps to run on windows phones. Hope this is true ...

      Delete
    2. Mobile is alive and well at Microsoft, and included in Windows 10.

      The headlines like "Huge news: Windows 10 can run reworked Android and iOS apps " are misleading. I, too, was taken in, until I looked beyond the senstationalist headlines.

      From the article: "OS and Android developers will be able to port their apps and games directly to Windows universal apps"

      It's simply about some sort of plan to make it easier to turn Android apps into Windows apps, which is a very different idea from making Windows run Android apps natively. If it does what they want, it will result in a LOT more Windows apps, and a stronger Windows mobile/etc platform.

      Delete
    3. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 phones will be able to run iOS and Android apps.

      Read more here:

      Can Microsoft's iOS/Android App Gamble Pay Off?
      http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2015/05/04/4229163.htm

      Delete
  12. Most of the reviews of the Alcatel Idol 3 so far have been glowing: http://www.androidcentral.com/alcatel-onetouch-idol-3-review
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2483028,00.asp
    http://mashable.com/2015/05/12/alcatel-idol-3-review/

    I think for $250 there's nothing else that compares for an off-contract phone on AT&T or T0Mobile, and their MVNO's.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Are Alcatel phones easy to root? Is it likely the Idol 3 will attract enough developer attention to have custom ROMS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ease of rooting and whether it's even possible varies between individual models of the same make of phone. Now one knows if or how easy the Idol 3 will be to root until people have the phones and try to root them.

      FWIW, the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce and OneTouch Pop have been rooted.

      Delete
  14. Walmart Exclusive - T-Mobile COMPLETE Sim Starter Kit -BYOP - "secret" $30 Unlimited data & text with 100 minutes talk. $29.82 (was $39.88).

    ReplyDelete
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