US Cellular introduces Android to its prepaid realm, offers LG's Optimus U and Apex sans-contract

US Cellular's love of all things green and robotic is spreading to its prepaid lineup, with LG's Optimus U and Apex marking Android's entry to the carrier's paygo segment. At $199, the Optimus is a respected entry-level Froyo touchscreen phone, and is our pick of the two. LG's Apex sells for $249, though its full QWERTY keyboard comes at a sacrifice -- the slider is saddled with Eclair. Data plans are required for both devices, though we think you'll smile at their very competitive rates. Full PR after the break.

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U.S. Cellular Prepaid Customers get Budget Flexibility, Android-Powered Smartphones on a Smarter Network

U.S. Cellular's prepaid customers can now keep their commitment-free flexibility and get the cutting-edge features and functionality of an Android™-powered smartphone on the carrier's nationwide network, which has the highest call quality and network satisfaction of any national carrier.

Starting April 15, customers who want a feature-packed LG Optimus U™ for just $199.99 or an LG Apex™ for $249.99 can choose from two affordable prepaid data options. Both phones put the power of a computer in the palm of customers' hands and give them access to more than 200,000 fun, convenient and time-saving applications in Google's AndroidMarket™. For just $60, prepaid customers get unlimited messaging, 2GB of data and 450 voice minutes. Customers have the option to pay $70 and get 2GB of data with unlimited voice minutes and messaging.

"Smartphones keep customers connected in more ways than ever-from talk and text to e-mail and their favorite social networks," said Dave Kimbell, vice president of marketing for U.S. Cellular. "Wireless customers can come to U.S. Cellular and get a powerful smartphone and affordable prepaid plan backed by our network, and experience firsthand why U.S. Cellular has the happiest customers in wireless."

The LG Optimus U sports a sleek 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and virtual QWERTY keyboard with Swype™ technology that allows users to input text quickly by sliding a finger over the keyboard in one continuous motion. It comes with a 2GB microSD™ card and can hold up to 32GB memory for customers who want to watch videos or listen to music while on-the-go.

The LG Apex is a cool productivity tool that features a 3.2-inch durable tempered glass touchscreen that responds to a feather touch with vibration feedback. Its stylish and functional design includes a QWERTY keyboard that slides out to make typing and texting easy. The LG Apex's 3 megapixel autofocus, flash-ready camera/camcorder comes with a panoramic mode that lets customers take up to six side-by-side shots to build a sweeping view.

Both smartphones are Wi-Fi® enabled and come with an MP3 player, and customers can easily organize their music library and repeat and shuffle their favorite songs. They can even multi-task, playing music in the background while simultaneously e-mailing, texting or downloading videos.

U.S. Cellular also has prepaid plans with unlimited messaging starting at $30 that are designed to give customers another budget-friendly way to stay connected with the ones who matter most. Prepaid customers who text more than they talk can get unlimited messaging and 200 voice minutes for $30 per month. For $50 per month, customers receive unlimited minutes and messaging.