If you walked into a Verizon store and asked for a Droid Incredible, you’d pay $150 for it along with a new two year contract. At Best Buy, however, that same two year contact will get you the Incredible or any of a handful of other Android phones for absolutely nothing.
Best Buy can afford to do this because the carriers give them a cut of your contract, and they pass the savings on to you. A whole lot of good phones on all the different carriers are free, here’s a few of the best ones to pick from:
HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon)
Though it may have been released all the way back in April, the Droid Incredible still holds it own among the best of Android devices, especially on Verizon’s network. Engadget has called it one of the best Android devices out right now, and you really can’t go wrong with a thin-profile, fast device running the newest Android with HTC’s excellent skin.
The Droid Incredible is stylish, has a decent battery life and a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor. Rumors are the “Incredible HD” is coming out soon, but it definitely won’t be free.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (AT&T)
AT&T customers seem to get the short end of the stick with this deal, because the Xperia X10 isn’t nearly the phone that some of these other options are. The phone runs years-old Android 1.6, with no upgrade planned in the near future, and reviews have called the build “plasticy” and harped on its gimmicky UI. I don’t know if I’d even take this phone for free.
LG Optimus S/T (Sprint / T-Mobile)
LG has made a real winner with these devices, which are slightly different but fulfill the same purpose: a modern, sleek, yet budget-priced Android device. These phones run Android 2.2, are solidly built, and called by several different reviewers the “best budget Android phone on the market.”
Most reviews have praised the phone’s build quality, especially Engadget who said that the device shows that ” affordable” doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap.”
The phone comes in several colors (purple!), so they’re great “starter” smartphones for newbies to the platform, and, again, you really can’t beat free.
Other phones are also free, but there aren’t as many big names here:
- HTC Aria (AT&T)
- LG Ally (Verizon)
- LG Vortex (Verizon)
- Sanyo Zio (Sprint)