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ZTE's Prestige 2 smartphone is so cheap, it's almost disposable

Why it matters to you

Need a cheap phone on a great carrier? You might want to consider ZTE's Prestige 2.

Quality phones that don’t break the bank are hard to come by. Sure, you can shell out a couple of Benjamins for the Moto G5 Plus or ZTE Axon 7 mini, but if cheap, affordable smartphones that come in under the price a handful of movie tickets are a rare breed, indeed. Luckily, ZTE has a solution: The $80 Prestige 2.

“The original Prestige was immensely popular among consumers and we are excited about following up that device with the Prestige 2,” Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA, said in a statement. “We continue to provide affordable premium options across all pricing levels and this device is perfect for budget-conscious consumers who want value, but do not want to compromise on quality.”

The Prestige 2 won’t break any records, but what you get for the money isn’t too shabby. It packs a 5-inch screen with a FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) resolution, a 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB with a MicroSD card. There is a twin pair of 5-megapixel shooters that handle photo-taking duties (one on the front and one on the back), and a 2,035mAh removable battery that supplies a day’s worth of power.

Unfortunately, you won’t find the Prestige 2 everywhere — it’s only available on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. But don’t let that deter you — both carriers paired ZTE’s new handset with competitive plans.

Virgin Mobile’s offering two options: Data Love and Data Love Plus. Data Love starts at $35 a month for unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of 4G LTE data. The $45-a-month Data Love Plus, meanwhile, bumps data up to 10GB. Both plans include music streaming that doesn’t count against your plan, and both can be stretched further with optional data packs (1GB and 2GB for $5 and $10, respectively).

On Boost, you get the choice of two plans: Unlimited Gigs and a 2GB data. The Unlimited Gigs option starts at $50 a month ($30 for each subsequent line) for unlimited talk, text, and data. The 2GB plan is $30 a month (with autopay enabled) for unlimited talk and text, and includes the option add an extra 1GB or 2GB of data for $5 or $10 a month, respectively.

Regardless of which Boost plan you choose, Boost Mobile subscribers with the ZTE Prestige 2 can roam in Mexico. Todo Mexico Plus is available with a monthly plan for $5 additional per month, and includes unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada and international texting. While traveling in Mexico, you get up to 8GB of data, unlimited calls to the U.S. and in Mexico, and unlimited international text.

The Prestige is available online and in select Best Buy stores starting today for $80.