For prepaid wireless customers, getting a good smartphone usually means sticker shock. But the latest T-Mobile deal could change that. The carrier has unveiled its Score program to let all customers, even those with prepaid plans, qualify for discounted handsets.
Before Score (opens in new tab), those who didn't sign up for a two-year plan or installment-payment program had to pay the full price for the handset up front. Devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4 cost $610 and $750, respectively.
If you enroll in Score for $5 per month, you'll qualify for deal prices on entry-level phones such as the Alcatel Onetouch Evolve after 6 months. That means you can get that Alcatel handset for free instead of paying the $80 price for it.
After 12 months on Score, you'll qualify for discounted pricing on higher-end phones, such as the Galaxy S5 and Note 4, so you'll only have to fork out $510 and $599 for them, respectively. Factoring in the $60 Score subscription fee after 12 months, that means you'll save $40 on the S5 and $90 on the Note 4.
The official list of devices available on Score and how much they will actually cost has not been confirmed, and only a sample has been released. Depending on the final prices, this could mean prepaid customers don't have to limit themselves to a boring range of handsets anymore.