Cheapest Prepaid Cell Phone Options: From $25 a Month for Unlimited Talk and Text

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You’re not going to see an iPhone or Google’s Nexus One on this list. But if you’re trying to trim monthly bills, a prepaid plan and a cheap handset is a smart way to go.

Kiplinger lists a handful of inexpensive prepaid phones, including the StraightTalk Tracfone, which offers prepaid packages from $30 ($45 for unlimited use), and the cheapest of the cheap (at least in terms of what it could cost you per month), the TXTM8:

Who says a cell phone must be long and lean? The Cricket TXTM8 (pronounced textmate; $110 online after a $50 rebate) goes wide with a squat, chubby design. The result is a text-friendly handset with a roomy, slide-out qwerty keyboard. The 2.2-inch color display is bright, but a bit small for Web use. Overall, the TXTM8 is a good choice for calling and texting, but not browsing.

Cricket’s unlimited talk and text plans start at $25 per month, with no contract. Roaming costs extra — a whopping 39 cents per minute, although cheaper packages are available. The $40 monthly plan, which includes long distance, voice mail, Internet service and caller ID, is a smart choice for heavy users.