Smartphones can be expensive. Having a family plan with smartphones – even individuals in some cases – and paying for the data plan can take its toll on the wallet. With hundreds of thousands of applications available, countless ways to communicate and faster wireless network speeds that we ever imagined, it's easy to get carried away. Postpaid carriers have started taking advantage of the fact that users now utilize their phones to handle more content than ever before. Placing data caps and bumping prices is only the beginning.

Over the past year, it has only gotten worse … and more expensive. Wireless providers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have traded truly unlimited (and unthrottled) data for tiered structures. These tiered data plans offer much less than their no-longer-offered, unlimited counterparts and cost much more, especially if you don't monitor your usage. Surpass your data allotment and you will be met with either overage fees or severe throttling. The problem is, while transitioning away from unlimited data, the network speeds have doubled and even tripled or more with the introduction of 4G. This can easily make dealing with a data cap much more difficult.

On the other side of the fence, several prepaid services like Boost and Virgin Mobile have remained affordable, unlimited and are growing in popularity. This would hardly be the first time someone has called it a "Prepaid Revolution," but with some serious changes on the horizon, we may see many postpaid defectors in due time.

Boost offers a completely unlimited plan for a mere $50 per month and, for those that will not use their phone every day, a $2 daily unlimited plan as well. Virgin Mobile's unlimited plans start at $25 per month and offer 300 talk minutes with unlimited text and data. If you need more minutes, they also offer a completely unlimited plan for $60 per month and a 1,200 minute plan for $45. Although you will not be able to access the blazing fast 4G networks for some time to come, the money you could save by making the prepaid plunge is mind-numbing.

Not only can you save money, but you will soon be able to enjoy high-end Android phones while you do it. Just within the past month, two remarkably high-end, Virgin Mobile-bound smartphones have surfaced: the Motorola Triumph and LG Optimus Black. The Triumph sports a 4.1-inch display, a 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear shooter (capable of 720p video recording) with a VGA front-facing camera, 512MB of RAM and 2GB of onboard storage. The Optimus Black features a 4-inch NOVA display, 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 512MB RAM and 1GB of storage. Of course, both of these will come in stock Android fashion.

The Triumph is believed to be selling for somewhere around $300, which is a remarkable price compared to its unsubsidized brethren (Droid X2 and Atrix 4G sell for $449 with no contract). If the Optimus Black can launch for a respectable price, too, these high-end Android prepaid phones could be a major success. Who knows, with enough attention and postpaid-to-prepaid converts, maybe they could get some postpaid carriers' heads out of the clouds and begin to bring prices back down. Hey, a man can dream, right?

Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the LG Optimus Black

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

42 Reactions to this post

"Will postpaid customers defect to prepaid carriers with high-end Android phones?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Kevin Diefenbach
Kevin Diefenbach too bad im the only one in my family not locked into a t-mobile contract, could save us over $100 a month if we got virgin mobile...
Jason King
Jason King Easy question, Yes ... Make an iPhone4/5 and forget about it .. jumping ship ...
Kip Count
Kip Count It remains to be seen if VM will lock down tethering somehow on the Triumph and OptiBlack. Keeping my OptiV for a while until the reviews and overviews are out.
Tony Manners
Tony Manners Are there any smartphones on virgn mobile? If so I would def migrate
Christopher R Corpuz
Christopher R Corpuz Triumph and Optimus Black FTW!! Does anybody know if cellswapper.com is legit? They claim to be a site where you can sell others your contract.. I don't wanna be on t-mobile any longer and possibly somebody out there can help me with this matter..i still have another year eh
Ben Conover
Ben Conover Some might, some might not. It depends on network coverage and speed as well as phone selection.
Michael Benjamin Jr.
Michael Benjamin Jr. I hear that triumph will have tethering included with no data caps...very appealing...we shall see, are they the new Tmobile?
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Virgin mobile is a joke. They wont be dominating anything .
Monty Montana
Monty Montana I think virgin mobile is going to start dominating once the motorola triumph arrives this july I'm switching from verizon so I will be able to save a bunch of money
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Edgar yeah they are. Take my mom for instance- She's had her Motorola rival for two.and a half years now and is eligible to upgrade but she's holding out until august so she can get her $50Motorola credit. Which means she can get the iphone 4 she's been wanting for $50 instead of paying $200. I would say that's a pretty good deal.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Nope. Prepaid is for people with horrible credit and those that are too cheap for a contract. And prepaid is more expensive in the long run.
Tonny Be
Tonny Be not if they want usable data speeds, coverage & functionality. #NoBrainer
Anthony Peña
Anthony Peña Charlie Sheen thinks people should which because prepaid carriers are "Duh Winning"!
Dominic Jessup Reid
Dominic Jessup Reid Very possible
Jimmy Pop
Jimmy Pop Maybe they will knock some sense into some people. Also it would be nice to get a g2x for $99 with no contract.
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. I would definitely go the prepaid route only if they start having some really highend phones. For now my Sprint plan is decent enough.
Cyndi Rose
Cyndi Rose I love the MiFi prepaid Virgin Mobile. It is awesome for my tablet, laptop, etc.
Sean Noyes
Sean Noyes Or you can get awesome phones and do the new prepaid plans with tmobile.. and/or the non contracted plans as well.
Ryan Michalowski
Ryan Michalowski If i wasn't in the middle of my contract I would hop over!!
Robert Mathias
Robert Mathias I'm going to vm when the motorola triumph comes out. Have a contact with the evo on sprint but its a very similar spec phone for like a quarter of the cost of the plan per month. Vm has plans starting at $25!!!!
Andrew Serna
Andrew Serna guaranteed VM is gonna make a killing with these new smart phones and I'm on board
Matthew Dyer
Matthew Dyer @ April Joy I'm so glad I'm not the only one to want to get out although I'm happy with their service I can't wait to switch to Verizon!!!!!!!!!! :)
Jahrod Allen
Jahrod Allen Once the huawei glory comes out for cricket that'll change everything
Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller I have the Lg Optimus through VM and Love not being tied to a contract!
Henry Lavender
Henry Lavender US mobile phone plans are evil :D I get truly unlimited internet and texts + 250 Minutes for only £10!
Ryan DeClue
Ryan DeClue I look at my contract not as a bill, but as an investment in my credit rating
Kip Count
Kip Count Prepaid rules. I've been with VM for close to 10 years. It was always a huge savings, but now that the phone selection has become respectable, the savings you get is ridiculous.
Edgar Llama
Edgar Llama @brandon contract phonea arnt cheaper up front virgin has them for a really low price
Craig Murphy
Craig Murphy When do these phones come out exactly? My family has been on prepaid for years now. Love Virgin Mobile, and Straightalk. Plans can be tailored to each individual members use as opposed to the "other guys" where you get what THEY want you to have!
Hans Jaramillo
Hans Jaramillo If they have great coverage and high end smartphones, then maybe.
Matthew Fleisher
Matthew Fleisher I haven't seen many good ones available yet but it will happen eventually.
Blair Hagen
Blair Hagen of course not, i love virgin and the motorola triumph will make it so that it no longer has "entry level" phones
Terry Knab
Terry Knab The subsidies are a freaking joke now days. For example, the Optimus S. It retailed for I believe $200 on Virgin, but the Sprint unsubsidized price was somewhere around $300. Why should I pay extra to go on a contract?
April Joy
April Joy Cannot wait to get out of my AT&T contract. No service half the time and the cost is killing me. Sure wish there was a way to get out faster!
Sean White
Sean White wow is all i have to say i think thats the most beautiful thing ever and its sad that boost mobile still hasnt picked up more then one android phone smh virgin mobile coming out with these two phones is an amazing thing most ppl will eventually migrate once they see this its jus the matter or having insurance for your phone
Michael Benjamin Jr.
Michael Benjamin Jr. I do think so...but just until they are paid off as well....ie tmo.
Kevin Wood
Kevin Wood Smart people are already there.
Roger Schubert DeOliveira
Roger Schubert DeOliveira Smart consumers will
? Brook Miller ?
? Brook Miller ? Yep thats what I did and it's much nicer to not have two years of my life signed away I have a samsung galaxy s 4g through t mobile pre paid and had a black berry through vm prior. Before that was all post paid I will never do that again.
Brandon Ethington
Brandon Ethington yep I know this
Bailey Yordnoff
Bailey Yordnoff Brandon, sadly, that's true. But they have to think about the cost in the long run, not up-front.
Brandon Ethington
Brandon Ethington nope, because contract phones always will be cheaper up front, and that is wall most people care about

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices