New Android Phones on (Really) Cheap Data Plans

I recently bought an Android LG optimus V on VirginMobile (one of Sprint's prepaid carriers) to see how good the phone and the experience were. The phone is pretty good, though vastly inferior to my HTC EVO. As an aside, the EVO is still better than the latest Android "flagship," the Samsung Nexus S.

The more important point is that users can get a $60 all you can eat plan with that phone on Virgin (no contract), compared to the more than $100 I pay monthly for essentially the same plan on Sprint. Sure I get access to 4G but the speed isn't that much better than Sprint's 3G network. 

Now Sprint's other prepaid carrier Boost is offering a lower-end Samsung Android phone, the Prevail. The phone costs $179; I got the Optimus V for $129 on sale (at Target). But the plan is incredible.

Screen shot 2011-04-05 at 10.47.55 AM

The unlimited Boost talk and data plan starts at $50 and declines to $35 after 18 months, as a loyalty incentive. That means that a consumer could have a very decent Android phone with an "everything plan" on the Sprint 3G network for $35. That would be a $70 per month savings over what I'm paying for comparable service.

The Virgin plan is good but the Boost plan is amazing. Accordingly, we should see people migrating toward these lower-cost deals -- to the extent that they're publicized by the carriers -- as more Android handsets become available with prepaid plans.