Best prepaid phone deals: Android, iPhone, flip phone

Buying some of the best phones on the market can be expensive, especially if you don’t really need anything that fancy. Of course, you could always take advantage of some great phone deals, but even those can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars, and that’s not even taking into account the cost of the plan you’re locked into. As such, prepaid phones are a great alternative since you can get cheap phones at a very budget-friendly price while not locking yourself in a particular plan.

There are, of course, some downsides, and we do go into that a bit at the end, but in the meantime, we’ve collected our favorite prepaid phone deals below. While these aren’t the best phones you can get, quite a few of them come from the best Android phone brands out there.

Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy A03s — $40, was $60

The Samsung Galaxy A03s smartphone with a colorful wallpaper, on a white background.
Samsung

Samsung makes some of the best phones on the market, and while the Galaxy A03s might not fall under that banner, it is a great budget phone. It has a 6.5-inch HD+ with a 60Hz refresh rate, which is pretty solid, and the 3GB of RAM is not too bad either. That said, it only has 32GB of internal storage, although that can be upgraded with a MicroSD card, so it’s not so bad. The phone comes paired with a Straight Talk plan, which you can get for as low as $15 a month.

Boost Mobile Moto G Play — $40, was $60

Renders of the Moto G Play (2024), showing the front and back of the phone.
Motorola

Another great budget option is the Moto G Play, and it even has a slightly better screen than the Galaxy A03s with a 90Hz refresh rate, although it’s the same 6.5-inch size. It also has a bigger internal storage of 64GBs, plus a very substantial 5,000 mAh battery which means it will last you well over a day, especially with light use. The Moto G Play also comes with a 50-megapixel rear-facing camera and a solid 4GB of RAM. It is, of course, paired with Boost, and while you can get it with no plan if you’re switching over or buying a new plan, you can get a 1-year plan for just $20

AT&T Motorola Moto G Stylus (2023) — $60, was $100

The Motorola Moto G Stylus 2022 in blue color against a white background.
Motorola

Most phones that can work with a stylus tend to be really expensive, which is why it’s so great to see the Moto G Stylus go for less than $100. While it’s not as powerful as the 5G version, it still has a lot of great perks, such as a 6.5-inch, 90Hz screen that will give you a smooth experience, plus a more substantial 128 GB of internal storage. The stylus is also a push-pen type, so you can store it inside the phone and not lose it, while the 5,000 mAh battery should last you quite a while. It is locked to AT&T, and you can find some great deals on its page if you’re a new AT&T subscriber.

Lively Jitterbug Flip2 Cell Phone — $75, was $100

A person holds a Jitterbug flip phone.
Jitterbug

If you’re taking care of an elder who has an issue interfacing with technology, the Jitterbug Flip2 is an excellent option and one of our favorite flip phones. It has big buttons that are easier to press, plus an emergency button at the bottom that can call for help quickly. There is also a Lively Link app where family members can get alerts with emergencies, while the Nurse On-Call feature lets them ask medical questions any time of the week, even during the weekend. It also comes with a solid camera and a reading magnifier, which are nice options, and you can even grab a Lively plan starting at $20/month

AT&T Samsung Galaxy A14 5G — $80, was $100

Samsung announces the Galaxy A14 5G at CES 2023.
Samsung / Samsung

If you like the Samsung ecosystem and want a budget-friendly option that is a bit more powerful, the Galaxy A14 5G is the way to go. It has a 6.6-inch screen that runs an FHD resolution that you don’t find on some other budget phones, while the 4GB is really good for the price bracket. That said, the internal storage is only 64GB, although it can be upgraded with a MicroSD, but it would have been nice if it was a bit more. Even so, you get three rear-facing cameras to work with while the 5,000 mAh battery should last you around two days.

Straight Talk Apple iPhone 11 — $199, was $249

iPhone 12 Mini camera module.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends / Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

While the iPhone 11 is several generations old now, it’s still a pretty solid option, given that most iPhones are flagships, and those tend to stay powerful for quite a while. It has a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display running an HD resolution, so it’s pretty gorgeous to look at, and for those who prefer smaller phones, this is probably one of the most powerful ones. It also runs the A13 Biochip, which is only a couple of generations old and is still quite relevant. You can grab the iPhone 11 with a straight talk plan for as low as $15 a month.

What is a prepaid phone?

The way that most phone plans tend to work is that you lock yourself into a contract, usually between six to 12 months, or potentially more, and that gives you a set bill every month. Sometimes that bill can increase if you use additional services, but for the most part, you’re going to be getting roughly the same bill every month. On the other hand, a prepaid plan means that you buy a set amount of credit in the form of minutes or data plans, and once you run out, the plan stops working.

A pre-paid plan can be very useful for those who are living on a budget and want to have tighter control of their plan, especially since you can usually change what “plan” you have from month to month, so you have more freedom. On the flip side, if you finish your plan’s credit and are stuck at work or in the middle of nowhere, then you’re left without a usable data/phone line until you recharge. Similarly, prepaid plans may pay more for the same features/calls/etc. as you would with a postpaid plan, so you are losing out a bit in the process.

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