What Are Prepaid Smartphones?


Quick Answer

A prepaid smartphone is a typical smartphone that provides the basic services of a mobile phone but is not bound by a long-term contract to a carrier, such as AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. The prepaid smartphone still needs to use a sim card from a carrier to receive mobile service.

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Full Answer

Unlike contract smartphones, for which the carrier subsidizes the phone's price upon purchase, a prepaid smartphone is sold at full price. The user then makes an upfront payment for a set service, such as the number of minutes per month. When the user has used up all the minutes, more minutes can be bought for another set time. Because there is no contract, the user does not pay an activation fee, receive billing or undergo credit checks before purchasing a prepaid phone.

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