Is a prepaid smartphone a good deal?

Samsung Intercept smartphone
Samsung Intercept smartphone

Buying a cell phone plan shouldn't be like doing calculus, no matter how simple my fellow WalletPop writer Josh Smith makes it in his handy charts comparing cell phone data plans. As his analysis points out, if you're looking for an Android-powered smartphone with unlimited data, Virgin Mobile has the best deals. I bought the Android-powered Samsung Intercept through Virgin a week ago, and now I can't imagine how I lived without it for so long.

The upfront cost of $250 is a lot, but once you do the math, it's apparent that it's a good deal. The phone essentially pays for itself in nine months when you factor in the minimum $30 monthly savings that other companies charge for unlimited data use.