As suggested in the headline, it’s not what you would call a state of the art device — though it does run on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. In fact, it’s more along the lines of the prepaid devices you see from Cricket and MetroPCS. (Huawei has manufactured almost exclusively for those two carriers in the past.)
The good news for AT&T customers is that this sheds the normal trend of $150 to $200 postpaid Android handsets. This one checks in at just $30, making it just as affordable as many feature phones. You’ll have to pay the smartphone rate, of course, but this one could still be worth the money. Here’s a rundown of the two-year cost of ownership.
If you’re really budget conscious, you’ll take advantage of AT&T’s $15 data plan, which covers 200MB of monthly usage. That can be rough on an Android user, but it’s definitely do-able if you put your mind to it. (That is, use WiFi whenever possible and cut down on streaming media.)
Combine that with the $40 plan, which includes 450 anytime minutes plus unlimited nights and weekends, plus the $20 unlimited messaging plan, and you come to a two-year cost of $1,830, plus monthly taxes and fees. Compare that, then, to the Droid Bionic, which Verizon just announced. It will cost $300 up front, and that’s in addition to the other costs.
Verizon’s cheapest data package is $30, though they do have a $10 messaging plan that covers unlimited messaging to Verizon customers, plus 500 out of network messages. That brings up a two-year cost of $2,220. You’d save almost $400 by going with the budget friendly model. Think of all the things you can do with $200 per year.
Of course, money isn’t always the primary concern when choosing a smartphone. But AT&T and Huawei have at least given customers the option. The Impulse will be available on Friday, September 18th.