Virgin Mobile Stories May 15, 2015

Virgin Mobile Android devices get new plans w/ more data through Walmart

Virgin Mobile, which offers a number of prepaid Android devices, is introducing a few new plans for its smartphones sold through Walmart.

Data Done Right Single Line and Multi-line Data Sharing plans are available exclusively at Walmart and are currently available on seven different 4G LTE2 smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S5. All phones come pre-loaded with the Virgin Mobile application, which provides data buy-ups and international add-ons with one touch, directly from the device. Every Multi-line plan also comes with a free mobile hotspot feature, making it even easier to share data across Wi-Fi enabled devices.

The new Data Done Right single line plans are reduced by $5 over previous offerings and include 500MB more high-speed data before throttling users. The plans start at $30/month for 300 minutes talk with unlimited text and data, and go up to $40 for unlimited everything.

There are also new multi-line plans that include an extra 2GB of high-speed data and range from $65/month for 2 lines to $115/month for 4 lines with 6GB of shared high-speed data on the low-end plan up to 14GB shared on the $115 plan.

The new plans will become available this Monday, May 18. You can check out the selection of devices here.

Virgin Mobile Stories January 16, 2015

LG G3

Sprint announced on Friday that it will be expanding its smartphone leasing program to cover the LG G3 and Galaxy Note 4. Beginning today, new and existing individual and business customers can purchase the LG G3 for $15 per month or the Galaxy Note 4 for $25 per month with zero down payments through the Sprint Lease program. expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories September 16, 2014

HTC-Desire-510-Blue

HTC’s entry-level Desire 510 is coming to Sprint on Friday, September 19th for $200 outright or $8.34 a month on the carrier’s Easy Pay program. Compatible with Sprint Spark, some of this budget-friendly smartphone’s highlights include a 4.7-inch display, a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter, Android 4.4 and support for HD voice.

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Virgin Mobile Stories September 17, 2013

Virgin Mobile YouTube channel using eye tracking to change ads as you blink

Virgin Mobile is testing out an interesting new technology on its YouTube page that will allow users to quickly skip over ads by simply blinking their eyes (via GigaOm). Virgin is calling the feature “BlinkWashing” and using your computer’s webcam in order to track eye movement and change ads as you blink.

If you head over to the Virgin YouTube page, you’ll see a blink washing tab where you can configure the feature by allowing access to your webcam and running through a short calibration process. Once you’ve set it up, the page will allow you to flip through a number of different videos just by blinking.

It’s not clear what Virgin plans on doing with the feature, or if it will just be a gimmicky marketing tool to bring people to its channel. Blinking doesn’t seem to be the ideal method of changing a video or skipping an ad, as you’ll often find yourself activating the blink washing accidentally or forcing yourself not to blink in order to make through an entire clip that you actually want to watch. Of course, we could see other implementations of similar eye and head tracking features in the future: Think scrolling and pausing video with head movements, much like Samsung and others have implemented on smartphones in recent years.

Virgin Mobile Stories July 18, 2013

LG Optimus F3

Virgin Mobile has announced that it is now carrying the LG Optimus F3 for $179.99 when purchased with its “Beyond Talk” plan, which runs $35 a month and includes unlimited data and messaging. 

The Optimus F3 is packing a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 4G LTE capabilities and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 4-inch IPS display that helps it keep a “user-friendly form factor.” The home button can also light up in various colors depending on any missed notifications you have, such as texts, calls, and more. Finally, LG is touting that the 2,460mAh battery will last for 16 hours of talk time. 

For $180, the LTE capable Optimus F3 seems like a solid choice for budget minded customers.  expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories August 24, 2012

Oh, and Virgin is having a sale on its selection of Androids: $35 a month is probably less than you are paying now. (and it offers the iPhone for an industry low $30/month unlimited data plan) expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories June 28, 2012

We heard rumors in March that the HTC One V, which unveiled at MWC in Barcelona, would land in the United States on Virgin Mobile in “late spring” for $200. As noted by Engadget, the company has since announced plans to bring the device to a number of carriers this summer. The One V was spotted today on Virgin Mobile for $199, contract-free. We did not get word of an announcement from Virgin, so we are nor sure exactly when the device went up for sale, but it is definitely an enticing option at $200 for Android 4.0 device packing Beats Audio, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.7-inch WVGA display.

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Virgin Mobile Stories May 30, 2012

Canada’s Rogers Wireless begins pre-orders for Samsung Galaxy S III

Canadians can now rejoice: Rogers Wireless is accepting pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S III.

MobileSyrup discovered prices for many of the Canadian carriers at BestBuy. However, it seems as though the prices are no longer live on the page. BestBuy previously indicated Rogers plans to charge $149.99, with Telus and Virgin Mobile aiming to grab $159.99 each. The page also displayed SaskTel as asking customers to fork over $169.99 for the latest Galaxy-branded smartphone. Of course, all these price tags would have come with a three-year contract.

Pricing details for Bell were not listed and are unknown, but the cost for a reserved unit is $50. The presumed no-contract price is $649.99.

It is worth mentioning that Rogers’ pre-order page does not list a quad-core Exynos processor under the Galaxy S III’s LTE capabilities. Therefore, the LTE version might début with a dual-core Snapdragon S4. The Rogers website also lacks a release date, but AndroidCommunity cited June 20 for the main launch across Canada based on earlier reports.

Existing customers can reserve their flagship device online (here), while those looking to switch carriers can sign up for more information.

Virgin Mobile Stories May 25, 2012

Virgin Mobile’s LG Optimus V, which usually retails for $150 and at some retailers such as Amazon for around $100, is currently being offered for just $28 through LetsTalk (at bottom). That is under $30—with no contract—to get a device that competes with most of the $150 Android competitors on the market. It is unclear whether this is for the retailer’s Memorial Day weekend sale currently taking place, but it is a great deal for a more than decent smartphone either way. You will of course have to grab at least a month of Virgin prepaid service starting at $35, which means you still walk away at $63— less than half the original suggested retail price.

There are tons of cheap Android devices on the market, but the Optimus V packs a 3.2megapixel camera, 2GB onboard memory, a 600 MHz TI OMAP 3610 processor, and 3.2-inch touchscreen. Even if does not replace your main device, this is a great deal for a backup phone, car GPS, media player, etc., at just $30. The deal is currently backordered, but the price will be honored when more stock becomes available.

Note: You will have to buy the first month of service with this phone, pushing the cost to $63 with one-month of service. Still, not bad!

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Virgin Mobile Stories May 18, 2012

Virgin Mobile, a wholly-own subsidiary of Sprint, announced this morning that it would begin rolling out Google Wallet on its Android phones beginning with the recently announced LG Optimus Elite.

The Elite is a small iPhone-ish sized Android device running Android 2.3. It hit Virgin last week and follows the Optimus V and Slider as popular low-cost Android devices on Virgin Mobile.

Google Wallet has had a rough time with United States carriers. Verizon, with the Galaxy Nexus, blocked it late last year, and AT&T and T-Mobile both have refused to subsidize the Galaxy Nexus GSM version that is available off-plan for $399 through Google’s new Play Store. All three carriers are members of the rival ISIS mobile payments platform, and it is obvious that there is some anti-competitive pressure.

Virgin parent Sprint is a Google Wallet Partner, so it would make sense to see Wallet passed to more Virgin phones and perhaps even Sprint’s other pre-paid subsidiary, Boost Mobile.

The press release follows:

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Virgin Mobile Stories May 10, 2012

Virgin Mobile just announced the LG Optimus Elite, a 3.5-inch Android 2.3 device featuring a 5-megapixel camera and 800 MHz processor, as its first device with NFC and Google Wallet. The device will officially go on sale on May 15 for $250 and is already available for pre-order (here).

Google confirmed Google Wallet was headed to Virgin late last month with the LG Optimus Elite, which is also available through Sprint alongside the Google Wallet-enabled Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper 4G.

The full press release from Virgin is below:

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Virgin Mobile Stories May 8, 2012

Coming out of CTIA 2012 today, Virgin Mobile announced it plans to launch the HTC EVO V 4G on May 31 as its first 4G device. Of course, Sprint’s no-contract subsidiary will offer the device without a commitment, which means you will have to hand over $299 and a minimum of $35 per month to get your hands on it.

Virgin also announced today the arrival of the no-contract $35 4G data plans that will go hand-in-hand with the EVO V as outlined in the press release below. Sprint confirmed its EVO V 4G WiMAX variant would come to Boost Mobile also for $300 with data plans as low as $40.

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Virgin Mobile Stories April 2, 2012

Virgin Mobile is getting ready to introduce the HTC EVO 3D rebranded as the “HTC EVO V 4G” later this year, according to a report from PocketNow citing a “reliable source.” The report noted the device originally launched almost a year ago with its plum color variant exclusive to Best Buy. Both shades including the plum and grey will apparently be available on Virgin sometime in 2012 and, like Sprint, the carrier will also offer 4G hotspot support. The glasses-free EVO 3D can capture 3D images and video with its two 5-megapixel cameras, and it packs a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and qHD resolution display. The EVO V 4G variant for Virgin will presumably have similar specs.

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Virgin Mobile Stories March 20, 2012

According to a report from PocketNow, HTC’s 3.7-inch One V that unveiled at MWC in Barcelona last month will launch on Virgin Mobile for $200 in “late Spring.” We already knew the device would more than likely come in under the $200 price tag, because it is the more budget friendly option in the line of three new devices displayed by HTC at MWC. The One V packs a 1GHz processor, Android 4.0 (with Sense 4.0), a 3.7-inch WVGA display, 512GMB of RAM, and 4 GB of onboard storage. It will also come with Beats Audio and a 5-megapixel camera when it launches later this year. expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories December 11, 2011

From 9to5Toys.com:

Best Buy today has the lowest price we’ve seen on the Virgin LG Optimus V since Black Friday$65 with free shipping.  That’s half price for this pre-paid Android 2.2 device.

I am a big fan of this phone because of the low, no contract pricing starting at $35/month for unlimited text/data and the relatively untouched Android 2.2 experience.  There are Android 2.3 ROMs floating around for the somewhat adventurous, though frankly Virgin should get their act together and update this phone themselves.  Even with 2.2, you get voice actions, a very capable GPS and free unlimited 3G tethering if you know what you are doing.

This is also one of the smallest Android devices you can find with a 3.2-inch 320×480 screen and nice physical buttons. expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories September 27, 2011

As noted on 9to5toys.com, Best Buy is selling the Virgin/Sprint LG Optimus V Android Smartphone for $100 without a plan. (Why?)  Yes, that means you can buy the Android 2.2 phone with 2GB of memory, GPS, Bluetooth and forgo the plan altogether.  Think of it as a cheap Galaxy Player for the kids.  But it is even better with Virgins simple, cheap all you can eat data plans.

I’ve used this phone and I like it a lot.  It doesn’t play Flash video, has a small 320×480 screen (Think iPhone 3GS), and doesn’t have a front side camera for video chatting, but it is very solid. It has a great GPS, makes calls well and Apps switch and open fast, in part because Virgin doesn’t do overlays.  I’ve recommended it to friends and family who have feature phones and want to step up to Smartphones without increasing their monthly costs.  In fact, many actually lower their costs by going on Virgin Mobile’s $25-$35/month all you can eat data/text and 300 minute plans.

But, at $99 without a plan, it is the first solid Android device in the US to break the $99 price point.  This trend may be more important than the next Galaxy or HTC 720P Androids or iPhones because it will get many more people on the mobile Internet.

Think about it. Where is the growth in the market? The latest Nielsen Data says that only 50-60% of Americans have Smartphones.  The other 40% could probably afford to get this device instead of their current feature phone without taking much of a hit on their monthly costs.  In fact, with the economy uncertain, a lot of post paid customers might want to chop their monthly bill in half with this little guy. expand full story

Wondering why that Virgin Optimus V is being marked down to $99 at Best Buy? Having a little look at their inventory system shows the answer. The 4 oz. Virgin Optimus Slider, a physical keyboard-enabled version of the Optimus V phone is coming soon to Virgin Mobile.  The Slider is the roughly same phone as the Verizon LG Enlighten which went on sale for $79 with a two year plan.

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The specs (below fold) look largely the same as the Optimus V with the edition of Android 2.3 and obviously a physical Keyboard (shown above).

We’ve separately heard that Virgin has a Gingerbread update for the Optimus V in the works and at half the price, we could so without the sliding keyboard –but to each, their own.  Expect this to be formally announced in the coming weeks and in stores shortly (before or ) after. expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories August 8, 2011

Debating which carrier to sign up with for that new Android-powered handset you’re thinking about? Virgin Mobile is about to launch a new advertising campaign directly taking on T-Mobile and detailing exactly why it’s the better choice for Android smartphone users.

Virgin Mobile USA’s president of Marketing Bob Stohrer explains:

“T-Mobile has anointed itself as the value leader in wireless, yet they’ve conveniently left Virgin Mobile out of their comparison set, so we’re crashing their party. No matter how you dress their plans up, they’re no match for Virgin Mobile’s no-contract, Unlimited Data offering at $35/month coupled with Android-powered phones like the new Motorola Triumph.”

The commercials set to launch today and run through September feature a faux hollywood couple known as Sparah, a fake T-Mobile spokesperson, and portray a party-like atmosphere and lifestyle in contrast to their competitors’s run-of-the-mill offerings. In the spot, the fake T-Mobile spokesperson also takes a stab at AT&T by noting, “imagine us being taken over by AT&T, who’s last in customer satisfaction.” expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories July 21, 2011

(Triumph on the left, Virgin Optimous Center and Samsung right)

Let’s get this out of the way first: I like Virgin Mobile.  The Sprint prepaid subsidiary offers plans that work well for me because I don’t use a lot of voice minutes – specifically, their Unlimited Data/Text Minutes plan which just unfortunately went up from $25/month to $35/month for 300 minutes of talk.  Virgin also doesn’t put too much trash on top of Android and the phones they sell don’t have manufacturer overlays on them either.  You almost get a Google phone, though one here that is left back on Froyo.

If anything slows Virgin down, my major gripe has been their lack of diversity in phones and specifically at the high end in Virgin’s lineup.  Until now, they’ve offered a small anemic Samsung Slider and a very solid but economical LG Optimus V (which I reviewed at Fortune).

That all changed today with the release of the Motorola Triumph (manual- PDF), a slim 4.1-inch screen candy bar with a 1-GHz Processor and front and back cameras.  The device is handsome and coated with a soft rubber feel that certainly improves the grip.  How does it perform?

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Virgin Mobile Stories July 18, 2011

If you are a mid/high-end Android lover in the US, but want unlimited data and don’t want to pay high monthly fees, it is hard to beat the Motorola Triumph.  It hits a lot of sweetspots:

  • Front (5MP) and rear(.3MP) cameras which take 720P video, 4.1 inch 480×800 display and big 1400mA battery
  • Relatively untouched Android 2.2 (boo! bring on 2.3.4!)
  • Plans start at $35/month: 300 talk minutes, unlimited internet and SMS (gets throttled to 256k at 3.5GB in October)

The best news is that it is hitting Best Buy ahead of its supposed July 20th launch date.  Reddit users (via Phandroid) are reporting on walking into the stores right now and picking them up.

The Optimus V launch was the same with people picking them up before the launch at Radio Shack.

You can buy it online here. expand full story

Virgin Mobile Stories June 26, 2011

Best Buy just threw up their Motorola Triumph page complete with $299 retail price and anticipated delivery date between July 19 and July 26.

First of all, this is a solid, high end Android phone.  It has a 4.1″ screen, fast processor and runs an almost stock Android 2.2 with all of the trimmings… expand full story

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