Ina Fried

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Sprint’s Boost Mobile Enters Android Galaxy, Reveals Expanding Universe

Boost Mobile, one of Sprint’s sub-brands, launched the Galaxy Prevail–its first CDMA Android phone–on Tuesday.

At $179 and without any standout features, the phone doesn’t appear to be breaking any new ground. Though it bears the Galaxy brand, it lacks some of the higher-end features of the Galaxy S line such as the high-end screen and HD camcorder.

But the Galaxy Prevail, which will go on sale in late April, offers more than its spec sheet would indicate. Boost makes up for some of the hardware deficiencies by pairing the device with extremely inexpensive rate plans and selling the device without a contract.

Its unlimited text, talk and Web plan starts at $50 a month and actually goes down from there. For each six months that customers pays their bill on time, the monthly rate drops by $5 a month until it reaches $35 a month.

The move shows the price flexibility that Android is starting to afford to carriers. Android phones are widely predicted to enter significantly lower price points this year, with the potential to hit $100 without a subsidy.

In this case, the phone itself is not being sold that cheaply, but Samsung is clearly selling the device inexpensively enough to Sprint that it can afford to pair the device with such low prices.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus