Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Low cost android phone service - Virgin Mobile

I know the amazingly low price service from Virgin Mobile has been covered by many, but I wanted to give you a users expeariance so far. I for one swiched over to Virgin Mobile back in Oct of 2010. When I called to get my number switched the customer support was friendly and easy to work with. They took down all my info and told me it could take up to 72hrs for my new Samsung Intercept to become active. To my plesent surprise I received a text about 2hrs later welcoming me to Virgin Mobile.

Is the phone reception perfect?
No. But so far I've only found one place that the service drops completely, which also happens to be surrounded by 2feet of concrete. Shortly after getting the phone activated I took a trip out to Los Angles California and found the reception to be great, and the GPS navigation on the Samsung Intercept to be a life saver.

What's the catch?
If you are looking for the hidden fee's you won't find them. The only thing on top of the $25 a month plan I picked up was sales tax. Which you will be paying on any other carrier as well. No incoming text fee's, no roaming fee's, no data fee's, nothing.

Do the phones suck?
The Android phones currently available from Virgin mobile are considered low end phones. So I will not lie, you won't be completely blown away by them. So far I've had the opportunity to use both the Samsung Intercept(My personal phone) and the LG Optimus V. Both phones are great entry level Android phones perfect for someone looking to move up to a smart phone without paying an arm and a leg. I hope to write reviews of them later on but I will give you a few pro's and con's of the two below.

  • Slide out Qwerty keyboard(for those that like to have a physical keyboard)
  • Great Low light photos (Thanks to the Intercepts "Night" shot mode)
  • Optical pad for navigation(Amazing how big a difference this makes over the Optimus)
  • 2GB microSD card
  • Good sound(The speaker on the Intercept looks larger in comparison, gives you more bass, and overall is louder than the Optimus)

  • Sometimes feels sluggish(sounds like the Android 2.2 update improves this a lot).
  • Poor Battery life like most of these phones.
  • Not the best for graphics as they can sometimes be a little choppy(again sounds like 2.2 will give this a slight improvement).

  • Dedicated graphics chip makes gaming a whole lot smoother
  • Higher resloution screen
  • Overall feels fairly fast
  • 2GB microSD card with adapter to make it a standard size SD card
  • Poor low light photos(Comparing the two phones several photos came out black on the Optimus in low light and only dark on the Intercept.)
  • Weak speaker (I found cranking it all the way up gave you a tinny sound and really wasn't that loud)
  • No optical pad(When editing text you must switch keyboards to the arrow keys which is a pain)

Which phone is right for me?
Well, that all depends. If you are an avid gamer, I recommend the Optimus as it has the dedicated graphics chip. For those looking to take photos and listen to music, I would tend to lean towards the Intercept.

Will Virgin Mobile get better phones?
Rumor has it they may be picking up a 4.1" 1ghz smart phone. Which I think could be a big seller for Virgin Mobile. I for one would consider upgrading.

Overall I am extremely satisfied with my service so far. I highly recommend checking out Virgin Mobile for your cell phone needs.

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