Most carriers offer two main types of plans: postpaid, where a customer pays for at least some of their cellular use after the event, and prepaid, where customers pay for their use before hand. Many postpaid contracts offer customers the opportunity to pay for their device over the duration of a two-year contract, so for example, a $624 retail device is paid off in twenty-four monthly installments of $26. However, prepaid customers are often required to either bring their own device to a network or buy one up front for the full price. Relatively few customers wish to pay $600 or more up front at the start of using a carrier, so there is a ripe market for customers wishing to pay a lot less for devices – but who also want smartphones. This is where the entry-level, sometimes called budget, smartphones come into play.
Until 2013, most entry-level Android handsets were unpleasant devices offering sluggish processors, limited internal memory, poor quality cameras and limited onboard storage. Many came with an obsolete version of Android with little chance of receiving a software update. However, in 2013, Motorola released the original Moto G. The first generation Moto G came with 3G, a 4.5-inch, 720p resolution screen, a quad-core processor and a very nearly stock interface. In many respects, it behaved like a cut-down LG Nexus 4. Budget handsets would never be the same again and it's good to see that manufacturers and carriers have realized this.
Today, America's second-largest carrier, AT&T, have officially announced a new device for their prepaid GoPhone service. The handset is the LG Phoenix 2 but unfortunately, AT&T have only revealed the very basics of the Phoenix 2's specifications. It's described as coming with a 5.0-inch HD display with 720p resolution. There's an 8MP main camera and a 5MP front-facing unit, complete with a feature called "Gesture Shot," which AT&T describes as a way of getting a picture without touching the device through raising your hand in front of the screen. The device will be available in black and will have a 2,125 mAh battery, but an unknown processor, memory, and internal storage. AT&T have said that the handset comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow although we don't know if LG will support the handset and keep it up to date, as AT&T's record for keeping devices up to date is somewhat patchy. The LG Phoenix 2 will begin to hit various national retailers this Saturday, May 14th, and will then roll out to all AT&T stores on June 10th. The device is also available from AT&T's website starting from today and will cost subscribers just $99.99 to pick up.