Back to school smartphones under $100 (Gallery)

Back to school smartphones under $100 (Gallery)

Summary: While high end smartphones run $200 to $300, there are plenty of options from free to $100. This gallery shows you two smartphones from each of the four major carriers that your student might want to consider.


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  • Verizon Nokia Lumia 822

    You can find quality Nokia devices on nearly all US carriers today and the Lumia 822 is an excellent choice on Verizon. You can pick one up for just $19.99 with a 2-year contract.

    The Nokia Lumia 822 gives you free HERE maps, Nokia Music, camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and much more. It runs on Verizon's wide-ranging LTE network and even gives you full Office on the go.

  • Verizon Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II

    Some people still like having a physical QWERTY keyboard and the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II is one of those rare beasts. This Android smartphone is available for FREE with a 2-year contract.

    The Stratosphere II is a Samsung Galaxy variant with a 4 inch display, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 5-row QWERTY slide-out keyboard, 5 megapixel camera, and various Samsung software enhancements.

  • Sprint Vital from ZTE

    ZTE is a fast growing Android vendor and the Sprint Vital looks like a good quality smartphone with Android 4.2. You can pick one up for $99.99 with a 2-year contract.

    The Sprint Vital supports Sprint's LTE network and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. The Vital has a 5 inch display, 13 megapixel camera, and more.

Topics: Mobility, Android, HTC, Nokia, Samsung, Smartphones, AT&T, Verizon, Windows Phone

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  • T-Mobile Lumia 521

    FYI: WalMart has the Nokia 521 for $129, and occasionally runs it on sale for $99. Great basic smartphone, too.
  • What's the deal on price?

    Back in spring I got two Lumia 920s with two wireless chargers from AT&T for $100. Yes, they are on a shared contract for two years, but you're going to be paying for monthly access anyway. We recently added a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active to the contract for a teenager that just had to have the latest trendy Android thing. I don't remember if it cost $200 or $300, but it was way overpriced. And it's given the teenager in question nothing but trouble and the battery life is awful. My wife and I have had no trouble whatsoever with the Lumias.
    Sir Name
  • Lumia 928...

    ...just went to $0 on Verizon. It was down to $49, after initially being $99. I don't know why Verizon is selling the 822 for $19.99 when the 928 is free? I bought the 822 at Best Buy in December for $0 (with an Amazon price match). It is still available on Amazon for free on contract.
  • ATT GoPhone

    Lumia 520 is supposedly $99. Not sure if it is unlocked so it can be used on TMobile, too.
  • You forgot about BlackBerry.

    The BlackBerry Z10 is selling for $99.00.
  • Phone only price?

    I think it would be much better to compare phones when the plan is taken into account, for example $1200/yr. vs. $800/yr.
  • Saving $100 on a phone is saving 5% not 50%

    Don't look at this as $100 vs $200 - look at it as $2100 vs $2200. By the time your done paying for 2 years of monthly bills it's going to cost you over $2000 to own that phone.

    So if you can afford that much, then don't save a measly $100 to get an inferior phone - pony up the money. And if you can't afford the $100, you shouldn't get a smart phone at any price.
    • or switch to t-mobile and save $500

      2.5gb/mo plan - $1440 ($60x24)
      lumia 521 - $150
      • 500MB

        And the 500MB plan works well for many, as you can use WiFi at home for data. Save more $$$$. I got the Nexus 4 phone from Google for $299 then the card for T-Mobile and saved a lot of bucks. I may try AT&T or Consumer Cellular some day. T-Mob is not great everywhere, but for the most part, I have decent service for $50 per mo.
  • NOT under $100

    The contract is paying the difference, so those are NOT $100 phones. The Nokia 521 may be close to that, but not the others. I got an unlocked Nexus 4 with bumper for $299 from Google Play Store -- that is a bargain. T-Mobile has some good plan prices. Next up is AT&T, which is a little more each month and they have some phones you can buy at a pretty good price. Verizon is the best perhaps, and the price reflects it and then some.
  • Lumia 521 is the only bargain in those

    Buy the Lumia 521 if you want a good phone for a low price.

    The rest wil cost you a lot more when you add the cost of the plan.
  • Cost effective

    Cost effective for the kids!
  • LG F3 on T-mobile/MetroPCS for $99

    Got youngest kinder an unlocked, no contract, $150 with a $50 mail-in rebate F3. $40 MetroPCS plan - great basic phone, LTE, front/back cameras, NFC, $10 for a 16GB SD card. I was surprised how well the Snapdragon 400 handles Android 4.1.2.

    2-year price, $1060. (oh, $1070, forgot the SD card)