Android phones come in two flavors: high-end and low-end. High-end phones usually end up with a price tag between US$500 and US$600 off-contract. If you want them cheaper you can generally get them subsidized when you contract with your carrier for two years. Generally that brings your price down to the US$150 to US$250 range.
Low-end phones can be had for around half the price of their high-end siblings.
On the larger carriers, that two year contract generally includes signing up for a data plan, which is likely going to cost you around US$50 to US$70 per month, plus voice, plus text, plus some "privilege of being their customer" fees.
Cricket, on the other hand, is a different kind of carrier. They don't force you into a contract, and they have a flat monthly cost. The catch? The phones aren't subsidized and the coverage isn't as broad as the larger carriers.
Regarding the phones, generally Cricket phones have been regarded as "cheap". They get the job done, but that's it. Why? People don't generally want to fork out a big chunk of change when they sign up for a phone -- apparently they'd rather have much more than that squeezed out of them over time.
What does this have to do with Android? According to Market Watch, Cricket is changing the game with their newly announced phone, powered by Android.
The phone in question is the Huawei Ascend, which is being touted as "the first low-cost Android device to hit the Smartphone market in the United States".
The Ascend will be available in mid-October for around US$149.99. That doesn't sound all that great until you realize that it's off-contract. You don't have to commit two years of your life to a carrier that you may end up hating. You're free to leave at any time. Additionally, your monthly bill will be astoundingly low: US$55, which gives you unlimited talk, text, 411 information, navigation, and unlimited 3G data.
The Ascend sports a 3.5" HVGA touch-screen, WiFi, 3.2MP camera, and runs on Android 2.1.
I've got to admit, I'm impressed.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Cricket Changes the Game with Low-Cost High-End Android Phone