As surprising as it was to learn that Straight Talk was offering an Android phone when the Samsung Galaxy Precedent debuted in September, it’s even more shocking that Net10 has quickly followed suit. Net10 is now offering two Android handsets. (Note that you can order the phones now, but they won’t ship for a couple more weeks.)
The LG Optimus Q and the LG Optimus Net are similar in screen size and other specs. Both offer a touch screen, and the Q includes a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard. The Optimus Net appears to be exclusive to Net10, while the Optimus Q will also be headed to sister company Straight Talk as well as pay-as-you-go competitor Virgin Mobile.
Like the Galaxy Precedent, these new offerings will run on the Sprint network, which is something new for Net10.
The Net10 phones will work only with Net10′s $50 monthly unlimited plan. This begs the question, then, of why anyone would want the Net10 version when the same phone is available on Straight Talk, where you can get a month of unlimited service for $45. Perhaps the Net10 version will be less expensive, but other than that I can’t figure out the advantage of going with Net10 over Straight Talk for this phone.
On Virgin Mobile., the phone will be available possibly with an even lower monthly, depending on how many minutes you’ll need. They have a $35 plan that offers unlimited web, data, and messaging, with 300 anytime minutes. For another $10, you can get the same plan, but this time the minutes are bumped up to 1200. And at the top of the spectrum, for $55, is unlimited everything.
I haven’t previously spent much time covering Virgin since the Sprint network hasn’t met my needs, and Virgin uses only the Sprint network. Now that Straight Talk and Net10 are going head-to-head on this network, I thought it only makes sense to at least let you know the pricing. If you are considering using a Sprint-based phone from Net10 or Straight Talk, you should also review Virgin’s offerings.
For me personally, the Sprint network is still a major disadvantage, and I know many, if not most, prepaid users are in the same boat. But if you definitely want one of these prepaid Android devices, Virgin currently appears to have the edge in offering a variety of plans. You can check out their site here.
Also, by the way, I will plan to review both of these models, hopefully, but first I’ll need to sell off some of the other phones I’ve accumulated and use that cash to purchase the new Android devices. Stay tuned for more info on the LG Optimus Q review and the LG Optimus Net review.