The news that the multinational retail giant, Walmart, is selling Android phones for under $10 is all over the internet. Yes, you read it right, $10. The two phones they are selling are the Tracfone LG “Sunrise” L15G and LG “Lucky” LG16. The features of both are the same except that one is a GSM version and other is CDMA version.
Even though the devices don’t offer much compared to the latest smartphones and run on Android 4.4 KitKat which is pretty outdated (about two years old), at a price of $9.82 they are a pretty sweet deal.
They have a 3.8-inch 480×320 LCD, a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 200 SoC, a 3MP rear camera, a 1540 mAh battery, 4GB of storage up to 1.15 GB of usable space.
The devices have microSD slots and even come with a 4GB SD card. You get Wi-Fi B, G, and N, along with Bluetooth 4.0. There’s no NFC, 4G, or front-facing camera.
However, the LG phones which are indeed being sold for $9.82 on the Walmart website, there is a catch.Tracfone is a prepaid carrier, but its phones are all subsidized. They’re locked to Tracfone’s network, and Tracfone has a very punitive unlocking policy: you have to use this cheap, not so efficient Android phone for a year on Tracfone’s network before you can unlock it.
So, basically Tracfone sells you a cheap Android phone, and then makes its money back (there’s at least a $50 subsidy on this) by slightly overpricing its airtime for the next year.
With so many other affordable and latest Android devices available in the market one should reconsider their options before opting for this “apparently $9.82” phone.