AT&T Gets LG Thrive and Phoenix, Pre- and Post-Paid Optimus Ones

After spotting what looked like the AT&T edition of the LG Optimus One last week, we were all set to see the carrier join the rest of the US networks with an Optimus One of its own. Today AT&T announced not one, but two such models: the LG Phoenix on a standard contract setup, and the LG Thrive, the first pre-paid smartphone for the carrier.

The two models are essentially the same inside, with differences in their feature sets determined in software. The pre-paid Thrive, for instance, will lack the ability to act as a mobile hotspot, or share its connection over a physical tether; for those options, you’ll need an on-contract Phoenix.

The Optimus One hardware design is getting a bit long in the tooth, with its 3.2-inch QVGA screen sounding downright archaic compared to the four-inch-plus qHD displays now becoming popular. Couple that with a 600MHz processor, and you’ve got the makings for a smartphone on a budget. That’s what makes the Optimus One such a good choice for AT&T’s first foray into pre-paid smartphones; it’s well-established hardware that’s at a point in its lifespan where it’s possible to offer the phone with no contract at a price comparable to current on-contract models. The Thrive will sell for about $180 as part of AT&T’s GoPhone program.

While the Thrive will appeal to users who don’t want to get tied down by a service commitment, the Phoenix will fill the niche of a low-end contract phone, good for maybe adding a line to a family plan or for a novice smartphone user. With a two-year agreement, the Phoenix will run you about $50.

AT&T will begin sales of both the LG Phoenix and LG Thrive on April 17.

Source: AT&T

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!