No-contract cellular carriers Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA are now offering the $80 LG K3 budget smartphone to their prepaid customers, giving them another choice in their always-expanding Android handset lineups.
Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA are the first U.S. carriers to launch LG K3, according to the companies. The new handset features a 4.5-inch Full Wide VGA In-Plane Switching touch-screen display (854 by 480 pixels), a Qualcomm 210 MSM8909 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of memory, a 1,940mAh rechargeable battery, 8GB of on-board storage (up to 3.10GB of usable storage) and a microSD slot that supports external storage cards up to 32GB.
Also included in the LG K3 is a five-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and HD video recording capabilities and a VGA front-facing camera with VGA video recording capabilities. The front-facing selfie camera includes an Auto Shot feature that lets users capture images using face detection, as well as a voice-control feature that lets users say "cheese" or another command to operate the shutter. Also included is Gesture Shot and Gesture Interval Shot, which lets users take selfies with a simple hand gesture in front of the lens or up to four images using the Interval feature. A built-in Selfie Light is also included to illuminate a soft light around the photo preview for well-lit selfies.
The smartphone, which runs the Android Marshmallow 6.0 operating system, is 5.27 inches long, 2.67 inches wide, 0.37 inches thick and weighs 4.48 ounces. The phone can be used as a mobile hotspot and can be used in Mexico with a Mexico calling plan, according to Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.
The handsets are available from both companies through their online stores or through Boost Mobile retail stores and select independent wireless retailers in the United States.
Boost Mobile's calling plans start at $35 a month and offer free included data upgrades of up to 3GB per account to its prepaid mobile customers who pay their bills on time for at least 18 months. Boost customers get 500MB of additional included data per month on their "Growing Data" plans after they pay each of three monthly bills on time. After six months of on-time payments, customers will earn 1GB of additional included data, and so on, up to 18 months, when they can earn a maximum bonus of 3GB of additional data.
The bonuses mean that a customer with a $35 plan, which includes 2GB of high-speed data, can bump that up to 5GB of included data after 18 months of on-time payments, while a customer with a $45 plan, which includes 5GB of high-speed data, can bump it up to 8GB after the 3GB bonuses. The data performance in all the plans drops to 2G when the monthly data limit is reached. Also offered is a $60 a month unlimited data plan. Each cellular plan is dropped in price by $5 month if a customer selects an automatic payment option.
Virgin Mobile calling plans are priced at $30 a month for 500MB of high-speed data and unlimited talk and texting, $40 a month for 4GB of high-speed data and unlimited talk and texting or $50 a month for 6GB of high-speed data and unlimited talk and texting. Customers can add more high-speed data at $5 for 1GB or $10 for an extra 2GB of data.
Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are divisions of the Sprint Prepaid Group and operate on Sprint's networks. Both companies also offer unlimited music streaming to customers through certain music-streaming networks.
Editor's Note: This story was updated to correct the amount of included high-speed data that Virgin Mobile customers receive in the company's $30 monthly cellular plans.