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PreCentral: Best Buy offering prepaid Verizon Palm Pre 2 contract-free for $51.99

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Best Buy offering prepaid Verizon Palm Pre 2 contract-free for $51.99

If you're looking to cut costs on your cell phone contract and maybe upgrade from a beaten old Pre or Pre Plus, you might want to turn some attention to Best Buy and Verizon, as they have a Verizon Palm Pre 2 available contract-free for Verizon's prepaid system for the low low price of just $51.99. That sort of rock-bottom pricing doesn't come around often, even for two-year-old long-canceled smartphones like the Pre 2.

There's no immediate indication that this Pre 2 is locked into only Verizon's prepaid service. Verizon actually allows you to bring any Verizon device onto prepaid, and there's nothing about this phone that says it wouldn't work the other way around too. Considering that these Pre 2 smartphones are likely excess stock that Big Red has been trying to unload for the better part of a two years, there likely hasn't been any reprogramming to lock them onto prepaid either. Verizon just wants them out of the warehouse, and Best Buy is all too happy to oblige.

Prepaid service for a smartphone like the Pre 2 through Verizon will run you $60 a month for unlimited talk and text with 500MB of data, while another $10 will net you a 2GB data allotment. Not only is the $51.99 Pre 2 through Best Buy the cheapest smartphone offered for Verizon prepaid, it's a damn good price if you were looking to pick up a spare device or two should things go south with your current webOS smartphone.

We'd actually say, if not for the fact that it comes with minimal support from HP and app developers, it'd qualify by far as the best smartphone offered on Verizon prepaid, either directly from the carrier or Best Buy. The other smartphones? The Samsung Illusion, running Android 2.3 under curved glass (while the Pre 2 went away from curved surfaces); the HTC Rhyme, notable as HTC's edearingly foolish attempt to create a smartphone "for women" with a silly "Charm Call indicator" meant to hang out of your purse and flash purple when you've got alerts, and the not-that-old-but-still-old-school BlackBerry Curve 9310. Against this motley crew, the Verizon Palm Pre 2 almost stands out as a value superstar.

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