Virgin Mobile Drops Three New Android Phones - LG Optimus Elite, HTC Evo V 4G, and the Virgin Venture
Competition Brings Better Phones and Service
The no contract mobile phone world is a constantly changing animal. It is still fairly new to American consumers, and the mobile companies know that NOW is the time to hook them.
Consequently, we have a bit of a "who can offer the best phones at the lowest no contract prices and offer the fastest service" war on our hands.
Although probably fairly unconfortable for the mobile companies, this situation has brought about a fast revolution in the kinds of service and the kinds of phones available to anyone who does not want contracts.
Just a few months ago, for example, there were little to no companies that offered 4G no contract service. A year ago, there were few Android phones available for the no contract market as well.
Virgin Mobile breaks down more barriers this month by offering 4G service and three new phones
- The Virgin Venture
- The LG Optimus Elite
- The HTC Evo V 4G.
The Virgin Venture -$99
The Virgin Venture has been out for a month or so by now, and it is showing itself to be one of those "you get what you pay for" situations.
I suppose I can see some marketing strategy here - Virgin Mobile released a very low end phone (the Venture), a middle of the road phone - the LG Optimus Elite, and the best they ever have offered phone - The HTC EVO V 4G.
I wish that I had more to say about the Virgin Venture, but as far as Android phones go, this is not one to really look too hard at.
Maybe if I had kids, I'd consider it for them because it is cheap and has a physical keyboard that might make it a little easier for them to manage.
I could also see this phone as a natural transition from using a Blackberry due to its form and exposed lower keyboard.
- 4 hours talk time
- 2MP camera with an LED flash
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 2.8 inch screen
- 600MHz processor
LG Optimus Elite - $149.99
May 15th - LG Optimus Elite
Its only been a month since the LG Optimus Elite debuted on Sprint's contract network, and already, Sprint has pushed this LG Optimus V successor over to its sibling Virgin Mobile USA.
The basic specs on this new LG Elite:
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 3.5-inch HVGA screen
- 800MHz processor
- 5MP autofocus rear-facing camera and camcorder with flash
- Virtual QWERTY keyboard
- About 7 hours of talk time - long for an Android
- 512mb RAM and 1GB app storage space (pretty close to what we see in the Motorola Triumph)
Google Wallet Rockstar
What is particularly surprising about this phone is not so much its specs, as there is really nothing so AMAZING about them that gives it that "I must go buy that phone" quality, but rather, this is Virgin Mobile's first Near Field Communication (NFC) device - aka Google Wallet enabled.
Not only is this Virgin Mobile's first NFC device, but it is the THIRD ONE to exist in the Android world to date. Who would have thought that Virgin Mobile would get such an advantage in the NFC technology perk.
Find out where Google Wallet works and how to use it - Go Here!
Extra Cloud Storage Perk from Box.net via Virgin Mobile's Press Release
Customers can also download Box on LG Optimus Elite and receive 50GB of free cloud storage and sharing2 directly from LG, an estimated value of $240 per year, so they don’t have to stress about storing all of their favorite music, files, photos and other memories.
HTC Evo V 4G -$299.99
What's Your Fav?
If you had to choose one of these three phones, which would you prefer?
May 31st - HTC Evo V 4G
The HTC Evo V 4G has been around for a while on the Sprint network under the alias "HTC Evo 3D".
Yes, I did say 3D! It uses two cameras to produce 3D photographs and it has a 3D screen that does not require any glasses - only your two peepers - to make it work.
When Will We See It?
Its scheduled to show its face on Virgin Mobile USA's website the last day in May - Its retail store appearances will have to wait until the middle of June.
Why Is The HTC Evo V 4G So Killer?
There is ALOT to love about this phone.
Looking back on the launch of the Motorola Triumph and all of the hype and excitedment about its top of the line specs (at the time of course) fades way way in to the distance with the drop of the HTC Evo V 4G.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Comes with Android 4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense UI
- 4G Capable - runs on the Sprint's WiMAX network.
- 5MP camera with video and 3D HD imaging, and 1.3MP front-facing camera
- Mobile hotspot capability – Connect up to five Wi-Fi devices (yes, $15 extra bucks a month will get you a legit, legal, terms of service friendly, genuine hotspot on this phone)
- HDMI and Bluetooth-capable
- 1GB RAM/4GB ROM
- Comes with an 8GB microSD card - That is four times as large as the usual included card.
- 4.3 inch screen - Virgin's largest yet.
- Good size battery - 1730mAh battery (six hours talk time)
If you are grandfathered in to the $25 a month plan, would you be willing to trade it up for 4G speeds and a better phone?
Let's Talk Money
If you decide to trade up to either the LG Optimus Elite or the HTC Evo V 4G, you will be permanently switched to the $35 a month plan if you were previously grandfathered in to the $25 dollar plan.
I recommend trying to keep some perspective on this, as $35 a month for 300 minutes, 4G (speeds up to 2.5GB), and unlimited messaging is a very competative deal.
I also strongly believe that if you like what you have, do not feel like you must go and upgrade. The mobile companies have driven the idea that our phones must be new and have a "sell by date" or an "experation date".
If you are going to upgrade, however - Save your money and get the HTC Evo V 4G.
At least, that is what I plan to do!
P.S. To see a full spec comparison chart of all Virgin Mobile's current Android offerings - Go Here!