The Virgin Mobile Samsung Intercept is a Good Buy! See Why! Mobile Networks Compared!

Well folks, I bit the bullet and bought the Samsung Intercept from Virgin Mobil (Sprint has one too).

The LG Rumor Touch was nice, but the Samsung Intercept leaves me speechless. The fact that I am writing this right now may argue against that, but hey, you get my point.

I've installed Pandora-tried it-It works!!!

I'm excited to see that it ships with so many apps pre-installed, such as the ThinkFree Office suite! Remember. this is the Virgin Mobile version- Sprint ships differently.

I'm also very excited to see voice directed search engine, and the Wi-Fi works well.

The Intercept has more RAM than my sister's old laptop. You know you are getting older when your phone has more memory than your old laptop and your flash drive has a larger hard drive! Ha!

So far, so good!

A Little Math

I was curious over whether Virgin Mobile is really as good a deal as I think it is over Sprint.

Both services share phones. You can buy the Samsung Intercept from Sprint for a mere $99 dollars [replacement cost is $349.00] with a 2 year contract (which means fees if something happens and you want out). Sprint says this is a really good deal, and compared to other Android phones, it is.

Virgin Mobile is selling the phone for $249.99 with no contracts.

If you look at the table below, you can clearly see the nearly $400 dollars in savings the first year (more if we figure in Sprint taxes) for one year.

By the end of Sprint's two year contract, the difference is even larger, saving you over $900. Sprint clearly costs more. 

Getting through to customer service with Virgin Mobile may be annoying, but I can deal for a savings of over $900.

By the way, the way out of this annoying dilemma is to EMAIL them. I've had immediate (within a day) responses and even replacement phones sent through email. Seriously!

No Contest- Virgin Mobile Saves You at Least $400 a Year

Samsung Intercept @Sprint
Samsung Intercept @Virgin Mobile
Regular Price
$349.99 ($99.00 w/2 year contract)
$249.99 (no contract)
Lowest Plan Price
$69.99 [+taxes]-450 minutes, unlimited data
$25 [no tax]-300 minutes, unlimited data
1st Year Cost
$839.88(Plan)+$99(Phone)= 938.88
$300 (Plan)+ $249.99 (Phone)=549.99
2nd Year Cost
$1778.76 [not including taxes]
$849.99 [Final]

Review the Specs

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Compare Compare Compare

Its a Clear Choice!


Sprint costs more.

Virgin Mobile runs on Sprint's network.

Sprint has better tech support,

Virgin Mobile has no contracts and no cancellation fees.

Sprint's unlimited plans offer the same as Virgin Mobile.

Sprint is clearly my second choice

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Comments 38 comments

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@lori, if its the LG Optimus V (the only one that can be a hotspot), you can download quicksettings or superbox and enable it from there.

Lori 5 years ago

What app will make my vm smart phone a mobile hotspot?

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@holligurl, either the LG Optimus V or the Motorola Triumph that is coming out on the 19th.

holligurl 5 years ago

Which phone would be better for texting and web, pictures and video? im looking into getting a new phone and have no clue what to get.

chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

It's good that you wrote your hub on this new Samsung product, as someone like me is fairly clueles about smart phones an I should get clued up, seeing that the cost effectiveness is an important factor. Thanks.

joshua 6 years ago

how long will it be on sale at best buy for 169

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@Kenny, "cool hacks", well, the temporary root of the phone is pretty fun, but the nice thing about an Android phone is that its not so locked down that you have to hack the hell out of it to make it actually worth something.

The worst parts of the phone:

1) the back is not flat, which means that I can't just put it on the table and use the screen because it will wobble. This might be my biggest pet peeve with this model.

2) It still has Android 2.1, which is not the end of the world.

3) Short battery life (but most Androids have this problem). Extra batteries are cheap though.

Kenny 6 years ago

Do you have any cool hacks like you did with lg rumor touch..and what are the wrost things about this phone

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@John, it was on sale, I bought another one for my spouse myself on that same sale.

john 6 years ago

how did you get it for $169 i was just there a few days ago and it was still$219

barb 6 years ago

Deal Alert! Got my Samsung Intercept on 12/31 at Best Buy for $169.00 on sale from $219.00.

I had the same old pre-3g dinosaur for the past 4 years, so my learning curve is a bit slow. I'm sure I'll be referring to these forums often, so thanks everyone!

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Jgk321 6 years ago

Ohh ok im going to give that one a try. You did mention it previously idk why i didnt check it out i think i forgot about everything else you mentioned because i was too concerned about getting the systempanetlite app u suggested. Thanks again!

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@Jgk321, My favorite home replacement is Zeam. I tried those other ones and I really like Zeam much better, its faster but looks as sleek.

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Jgk321 6 years ago

hey dana... have you tried adw.launcher or launcher pro at all? i use adw.launcher its pretty sweet. Here is a youtube link (im on my phone using sry). The guy has adw.launcher on his intercept just fast forward the video to see what it looks like.

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Jgk321 6 years ago

@dana- thanks for ya help. i downloaded the task manager u suggested and it seems to help me out just as i needed. and since i know i cant really hurt the phone ill keep using it... thanks for ur help.

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author


The most frustrating part of most android devices is the battery. The Intercept is not alone in this.

Task killers, I prefer one called "SystemPanelLite Task Manager"

I like it because it shows the CPU usage/Memory Usage-allows ending tasks, can exempt tasks, etc.

It has a good little convenient widget for one of your home screens.

You should not have to kill the apps tooo offften.

Amazon Mp3 and any other apps that it came pre-installed with do not allow you to uninstall them (and to mess with them is to mess with the restore function if needed-so I don't).

To conserve battery on mine, I also turned the brightness down all the way, made the screen timeout short or made it a habit to always turn off the screen when I'm done with an app (I want to kill my phone less with the latter), and it seems to save battery if you connect to wireless networks to do heavy lifting because it taxes the data way less.

You may also want to download an app to set up your startup apps. Some will just come back after they are killed (mostly the pre-installed ones).

I do not know how much experience you have with Linux, but the lots of apps doing things dormantly is not too weird. In window's this would be a way different feeling.

Other apps to check out that are "lite" but awesome:

Steel browser


Zeam home replacement

As to the GPS deal, I've never turned that off myself.

App killers won't hurt your phone- Since we do not have administrative privileged, its pretty hard to actually "hurt" the phone. Yah Linux.

Lastly, you are just going to have to experiment experiment experiment.

oh oh oh, also check your background sync features and make sure that there are not any background syncing of accounts you don't mind doing manually.

I hope this gives you a few ideas. Let me know if it gets any better or any new revelations you have.

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Jgk321 6 years ago

@dana- i did it. i broke down and bought the intercept.. so far so good everything is great BUT i have to ask ur opinion on the subject of app killers. there is so much debate on the net about how they are bad and will ruin ur phone while others say they are great and double battery life. my first day with the phone(after overnight charge) wasnt good.. i checked up on my facebook app and did a little texting and my battery was ALREADY down when i really didnt do much of anything, on the FIRST DAY off of a full overnight charge.. idk what to do to conserve more battery. i turned the gps sattelites off. i turned down brightness. i turned off vibrate. but it still dies soooo fast. please help me out if u can. i try using app killers but somehow random apps just pop up in the app killer menu such as amazon mp3. i have no clue what to do. any help u offer is greatly appreciated. i dont wanna use app killers if they will hurt my phone but thats the only thing that seems to help, but not much. please help me. thank you

sergei 6 years ago

i love the phone it workes for me

yna 6 years ago

ughhh i so want this phone but too much for me right now! Maybe the price will go down by the time I can afford it :)

joe 6 years ago

whens the last day for the radio shack sale? & is it in every location because online they have it for regular price?

Sean 6 years ago

Can you tell me about ring tones? Can you upload songs to use as ringtones or use bitpim?

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@mike, I know, I know! Welcome to the light ;0

mike 6 years ago

Radio shack has the Intercept on sale for $199 this week. I picked one up on monday and have been blown away! Soooo much for just 25 bucks a month. :)

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

Target has it for the regular price but with a 20 dollar gift card.

ddddd 6 years ago

best buy currently has the samsung intercept for virgin mobile for $219.99

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@leftu, I charge it overnight everyday. If you want to keep the screen on with heavy data processing, then maybe more than that, but I usually get to listen to radio or whatever for a few hours a day, make some calls, get texts, take pictures, and still just charge at night.

leftu 6 years ago

How many times a day u got charge it

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@Jen, no no, The Wifi is just an option if you are near a network or have one at home so that you can get faster speeds if say, you wanted to download a large file without waiting forever.

Otherwise, it goes over the 3G network like usual.

Jen 6 years ago

Do you have to have WiFi in order to access the internet on the Intercept?

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@LaShaun, yes yes yes yes yes!!! RAdio, music, whatever. All can play in the background.

LaShaun 6 years ago

Does the mp3 player play in the background

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@Anthony, the battery life is much shorter, but the data usage is much higher. If the rumor touch used as much data, it would probably have a similar life. I have to charge this phone every night, but it is worth it. I get about three hours of streaming audio for my commute, something to do in down times, and phone calls/texts/etc all day. Sometimes depending on my data usage, I'll run the battery down, but it if is fully charged in the morning its good. There are also several free apps that help extend the battery life by limited running processes and energy emitted by light etc. See for examples.

Anthony 6 years ago

How is the battery life on this phone in comparison to the rumor touch?

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@ed smith, the phone from VM comes with a 2gb microSD card pre-installed. There is very little built in phone storage (in the mb)

Ed Smith 6 years ago

According to Samsung this phone comes with 8gb built-in storage.(Expandable up to to an additional 32gb)

danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@ben, no you cannot watch Hulu. First reason-the Samsung Intercept has the Lite Flash installed, and also HULU won't allow you to if you are running an Android system. They claim that they are working to bring HULU PLUS (aka subscription) service to android phones. Eh....I'd be much more happy if Netflix got on board.

WIFI means that like a PSP or a laptop, it can connect to the local internet network at home (if you use WIFI) or at say, McDonalds or a coffee house. When hooked to WIFI, it tends to be faster and better able to stream heavy data items.

Between Bluetooth and WIFI, you can hook it to your computer.

There are even a few free apps where you can set up your phone (using WIFI) as a server for xbox360 and ps3. I've had mixed results, but I have got it to work. It was really werid to be using my phone as a media server. Ha.

Let me know if you have any more questions. I'm learning new things about this phone everyday.

Good luck!

Ben 6 years ago

Are you able to watch Hulu? And if so, can you hook it up to the tv and watch through that? Also, with all the talk about wi-fi, does that mean you can hook it up to your computer and is it to get wifi?

A local business says they can flash a Sprint HTC Touch Pro for me on Virgin.

thebiz01 6 years ago

Thanks for breaking it down...I just got the RT about a month and half. The RT is nice but hey the intercept is an Android. The two biggest problems I see with the Intercept is $$$ & Flash. I want to see all websites not just some with Flashlite. If the posse over at SDX can get froyo 2.2 on there when it comes out the I will be on board! Until then I'll have to stick with the RT...but I'll also keep checking the prices...might catch a sale for the holidays... (Black Friday) anyone?

Again good job and thanks for the write ups on the RT!

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