LG Thrive is AT&T’s First Pre-Paid Android Smartphone

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AT&T is finally giving prepaid subscribers a smartphone in the LG Thrill.

The Thrill isn’t the most powerful Android handset on the market. Running Android 2.2, the Thrill has a wimpy 600 MHz processor, and the display is on the small side at 3.2 inches. There’s a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back and a 2 GB microSD card inside.

But for $179, the Thrill doesn’t require a monthly contract and allows subscribers to pay 10 cents per minute for voice calls. A $2 per day voice and text plan is also available. Data, however, is much more restrictive on this plan compared to postpaid smartphones. For the same $25 per month that provides 2 GB of data on postpaid phones, you only get 500 MB to play with. Users can also pay $5 for 10 MB per month or $15 for 100 MB.

If you’d rather make a commitment, AT&T sells a postpaid Thrill clone, the LG Phoenix, for $50 with a two-year contract. Both phones go on sale April 17.

AT&T recently raised prices for no-commitment and one-year contract smartphones, and raised early upgrade prices for the iPhone. AT&T probably wants to steer smartphone users who want to avoid a contract toward the new prepaid option instead.