3 of 9Image
T-Mobile LG Optimus L9
LG has been rolling out some excellent Android smartphones lately and a nice low cost device from T-Mobile is the Optimus L9. The full retail price, with no subsidy, is just $240. This can also be paid in $10/month payments for 24 months.
The LG Optimus L9 features a 4.5 inch display in a form factor just 0.36 inches thick. Android 4.2 is included with a dual-core processor, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi Calling, and more.
T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 521
The new Nokia Lumia 521 on T-Mobile is an amazing value at only $144 full retail price or $6/month for 24 months. The Windows Phone 8 OS is extremely responsive and since it is a Nokia device there are a ton of software and service options included.
I believe lower cost Windows Phones offer more than old iPhones and cheap Android smartphones and recommend this for T-Mobile customers.
AT&T HTC First
It is debatable whether or not the official Facebook phone, the HTC First is a desirable product or not, but at just 99 cents (with contract) it is tough to beat this device on AT&T. The HTC First is a solid Android smartphone and with a focus on the Facebook experience students and parents may appreciate the functionality.
You can always turn off the Facebook parts and end up with a near pure Google experience. The HTC First has a dual core 1.4 GHz processor, 16GB storage, 1GB RAM, 5 megapixel camera, and attractive, well-designed form factor.