Android Phone Bargain

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With Smartphone manufacturers on a tight battle against market dominance, landing on the best mobile operating system is a key in winning.  Android mobile operating system, with its various free downloadable apps,  is so far the top choice among manufacturers. Consumers agree but have one general complain: Smartphones and tablets that runs the operating system are usually rather pricey.

At last week’s CTIA mobile technology conference and expo in San Francisco, California, mobile manufacturers offered a solution to this problem:  several merchants unveiled simpler and less expensive line up of Android-run smartphone — all under $150 and some even cheaper at $50.

Several mobile carriers have already announced their rates for these smartphone data plans, obviously at a significantly less cost than what smartphone users normally pay per month.

But some consumers are wary of the idea, thinking that the phones won’t be as good as the higher-end smartphones. This is where the line between feature phones and smartphones blurs.

LG Optimus

Sprint and T-Mobile are both launching a low-cost starter smartphone versions of the LG Optimus at a bargain. But it will not include all the possible bell and whistle in the device. Both phone operator’s version (Optimus T for T-mobile and Optimus S for Sprint) will carry the 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel camera with video capture capability,  microSD expandable storage and Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) OS. Sprint’s version comes with an extra “Sprint ID” service.

Sprint has offered it for $49.99 starting this October 31. T-mobile, on the other hand, has not yet divulge the price for its Optimus phone. The price is expected to be release near the holiday season.

Samsung Transform

This EPIC 4G lookalike, slider-style  QWERTY keyboard smartphone has been up around the market since October 10. According to Android Central website, Sprint has offered it for $149.99

The phone features a 3.5-inch HVGA with 480×320 pixel touchscreen display, 3.2 mp dual (front and back-facing) cameras for full video conferencing support, up to 32GB of microSD storage, 800 MHz processor, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and 3G. It’s running under Android 2.1 — not the latest version — but still compatible with most Android apps. Sprint ID pack is also a feature with this phone.

Sanyo Zio

Looks like Sprint is not stingy with its different phone lineups. Kyocera’s Sanyo Zio is also available via Sprint for only $99.99. The phone comes in a 3.5-inch WVGA touch-screen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, 3.2 MP camera/camcorder with auto-focus and 30-frame-per-second video, microSD card slot including a 2GB card, BlueTooth, WiFi, GPS, and 3G. Additional features of this phone includes Visual voicemail, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint Zone, and Intuitive trackball for easy navigation.

Motorola Flipout, Flipside and Bravo

Fellow mobile operator AT&T opted to join in the battle by tying up with Motorola. AT&T offers a trio of midrange Android phones.

Motorola Flipout, running under Android 2.1  is due out October 17 at $80. The phone features a unique keyboard that flips out when the device around the top corner is rotated. The phone is cute with it 2.8 inch QVGA touchscreen. Additional features are 3mp camera with fixed focus, 3G connectivity expanded microSD card storage.

The Flipside is also affordable at $100. This smartphone offers Wi-Fi B/G, GPS, Bluetooth capability, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps speed,  and 3.1-inch HVGA screen. It also comes with 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM and a 2GB microSD card. Flipside’s trackpad is on the front display

The Motorola Bravo, a full 3.7” WVGA touchsccreen operating on a800 MHz processor, is out for $130. The phone carries a 3MP camera with digital zoom and auto focus

(All prices are after rebates, and with a two-year contract.)