Not everyone needs the latest, greatest smartphone -- the big screen, the blazing processor, the uber-camera. Plenty of users can get by just fine with something simple, especially if they can save money while still experiencing the joy of apps.
Republic Wireless offers perhaps the best money-saving smartphone deal on the planet. For $249, you get a Motorola Defy XT Android phone, then pay just $19 per month for unlimited service (with an asterisk, but still). Nineteen bucks! And you're not stuck with a contract, either.
The whole thing just got a little better: For a limited time, you can get the Republic Wireless Motorola Defy XT for $199, plus $19 per month for service. And if you're looking to add a second line, you can get the Defy XT for $149 when you apply coupon code ADDALINE50 at checkout.
(It's worth noting that you can also score the phone for $79 if you're willing to pay $29 monthly. But that's a worse deal: After 12 months you'll have spent that $120 savings and be on the hook indefinitely for the extra $10.)
Let me blunt: The Defy XT is no Samsung Galaxy S4. Or Galaxy S3. It's not even an Alactel One Touch Idol. Indeed, it's about as entry-level as phones get these days, running Android 2.3 and offering only 3G service (via Sprint). Make sure to read my complete Republic Wireless Defy XT hands-on, which I wrote last August, to learn more about the phone and service.
All that being said, this is still a capable smartphone, one that might be ideal for a text-happy teen or anyone new to smartphones, for just $19 monthly. And now that you're saving $50 on the hardware, it's that much more attractive.
Indeed, I said it before and I'll say it again: not everyone needs all the bells and whistles. If you just want the basics and don't relish the thought of paying $60, $80, or even $100 per month for two years, this might be worth a look.
Bonus deal: Game time! Steam offers LEGO Lord of the Rings (PC) for $7.50, a savings of 75 percent. I had a blast playing this with my 10-year-old son; it's funny, challenging, and packed with the music, voices, and epic battles of the movies. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Bonus deal No. 2: Last year's flagship Roku box is this year's deal. Today only, and while supplies last, 1SaleADay has the refurbished Roku 2 XS for $49.99 shipped. That's exactly half the price it sold for new. This model features Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, microSD and USB slots, a motion-sensing remote, and a built-in Angry Birds game. Expect a 2-3-week wait for delivery.
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