Maybe it’s because I’m an Android fan, but it doesn’t seem like it could have been a year since the introduction of the larger sized iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In fact, I still remember writing lots of articles about different companies carrying these devices for the prepaid sector and comparing prices. However, since a full year has passed, it can really only mean one thing: details on the next iPhone are out, and companies are already announcing that they’ll be carrying it soon.
Virgin Mobile has been lagging behind in recent months with out-of-stock notices on many of its more popular phones, expensive and out of date plans and little to no deals of interest. Well, while today’s phone deals aren’t the most exciting phones ever made, they’re certainly cheap and when combined with Virgin’s recently revamped plan lineup, it could be some pretty nice savings.
Sprint prepaid company Virgin Mobile has been looking pretty sorry of late with outdated plans, old phones and failing inventory. However, it looks like Sprint has finally remembered that Boost isn’t its only prepaid and gave Virgin Mobile an update to its plans that puts it back in the running.
The main downside to monthly plans is that most of the larger companies don’t offer top-ups if you have a month of heavy use. You either have to renew early or just wait out the last week or so with no data. Well, Sprint-owned Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile both debuted some new data packs that can be purchased to help customers get through the last little bit of their mobile bill.
Sprint’s prepaid division and its prepaid MVNO Virgin Mobile both announced that they will be adding a new LG phone to the prepaid lineup. Sprint prepaid customers will be able to purchase the LG Tribute Duo while Virgin Mobile will be offering the LG Tribute 2. Boost Mobile added the Tribute 2 to its lineup last month.
Virgin Mobile has sort of looked like an unloved (or perhaps just forgotten) stepchild in recent months. Unlike Boost Mobile, Virgin hasn’t really seen many updates from its parent company Sprint. Not only are its plans a little out of date, but its phone lineup seemed a little shabby and in February, the company completely removed iPhones from its stock. Well, it looks like one of those issues, at least, has finally been fixed and iPhones are now available from Virgin’s website.
Virgin Mobile, a Sprint prepaid company, has one major downside: its phones are not cross-compatible. When you buy a Virgin Mobile phone, you can only use it with Virgin Mobile. As far as I’m aware, currently these devices cannot be unlocked and activated on another prepaid brand, even if it is a Sprint MVNO.
Fortunate, then, that Virgin Mobile has plenty of deals on smartphones so users can try their hand at Virgin Mobile’s service without investing too much money in what will become a paperweight if you decide to leave the company.
Despite the best attempts from several different companies and organizations to block the stronger Net Neutrality rules propositioned by the FCC, Net Neutrality went into effect two weeks ago. And, as of last Friday, we saw the first obvious shift in carrier policy since the new rules went into law. Effective immediately, Sprint has announced it will stop some of its throttling practices.
Unlike with postpaid contracts, there are far more prepaid companies than you could shake a stick at and all of them have both good and bad qualities. So, every once in a while we’re going to go through and do a Face-off of two groups, examining how they relate and which is better at what things.
Today, we’re going to look at Cricket Wireless and Virgin Mobile. Both companies are actually owned by one of the Big Four and share customer service with those companies. Let’s take a look at how they match up!
Verizon and Sprint and their assorted companies (including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sprint Prepaid and Assurance Wireless) have been ordered to provide a refund to customers who were charged for premium SMS messages without proper notice or consent. The FCC, state attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have charged the companies a total of $120 million.
Virgin Mobile’s plan options are a little confusing, but if you don’t mind dealing with Sprint’s slightly patchy network and you need data sharing, then Virgin Mobile’s Data Done Right plans are the way to go. Available exclusively at Walmart, these plans have replaced the unpopular and extremely confusing Virgin Mobile Custom plans.
You might remember we published some rumors a few weeks ago that that the second generation Moto E, which includes LTE capability, was coming to Sprint prepaid brands including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Well, I’m happy to report that those rumors were totally true. The Moto E is available immediately from Boost Mobile and other brands as of today.
Being able to use your smartphone as a hotspot device is incredibly useful, especially if you travel a lot. However, if you use Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile your only option of taking advantage of the hotspot capabilities built-in to your phone was to pay $5 for each day you wanted to use it. It’s not only outrageous but ridiculous. Well, as of earlier this year, both Boost and Virgin have finally begun to offer two new monthly hotspot add-ons, and the daily add-on has been reduced.
iPhone sales are a pretty big deal. I mean, just look at how much trouble T-Mobile had when it was the only Tier one carrier that didn’t have the iPhone. So why a company would voluntarily stop selling an iPhone is beyond me, but it looks like that’s exactly what Virgin Mobile is doing.
Last Saturday, Virgin Mobile announced the debut of several new data sharing plans that featured 4G speeds and the ability to share data between up to four phones. As it turns out, Sprint’s MVNO has made several other changes along including the addition of two new individual plans and the retiring of their short-lived Virgin Mobile Custom plans.
Virgin Mobile, a Sprint-owned MVNO, has been a powerhouse of industry firsts in the past, and they continue that trend this week with the release of the first-ever prepaid data share plans. Available exclusively at Walmart starting last Saturday, these plans allow customers to share one bucket of data between two to four phone lines.
Sprint and Microsoft seem to have worked out their differences. Yesterday, Sprint announced that Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile will carry the Windows Lumia 635 starting December 23. This will be the first Windows Phone 8.1 available to Sprint customers and the first Lumia device available for Sprint prepaid brands Boost and Virgin Mobile. The phone will become available to postpaid plans on January 16.
Sprint’s MVNOs Boost and Virgin Mobile have released some of their prepaid phone deals for Black Friday and, while they aren’t quite as spectacular as the deals we found last year, you can still get some pretty nice phones for far cheaper than normal. Here’s what you can expect to find:
Virgin Mobile has reduced the price on their Netgear Mingle Mobile Hotspot device by 20% for a limited time. Normally priced for $99.99, right now it is on sale for $79.99 with free shipping. The device offers internet hotspots at up to 4G speeds and is able to password protect your signal so you can only share it with who you want, and protect your privacy.
Sprint has made some changes to the way the warranty program works for Sprint Prepaid and Virgin Mobile customers. Effective as of Nov. 9, consumers will be charged at $25 warranty service fee to replace phones, which Sprint claims is to “off-set the increasing costs of the warranty replacements.” The fee will be charged when the warranty claim is filed/processed and can be paid via account balance, debit/credit card or via PayPal.
There are two ways that consumers can avoid paying this fee:
With Christmas coming up, a lot of teens and preteens will likely be hoping for a new cell phone this year from Santa. In fact, according to Virgin Mobile, roughly 78% of teens own a phone, and nearly half of those are smartphones. So if you’re considering getting your kid a smartphone for Christmas this year, then you’re probably not alone. Aside from cost and simplicity, one of the major things that many parents are concerned about are parental controls on phones.
It has been a little while since we saw anything exciting come out for Virgin Mobile, so I thought I’d take a peek at their promotions to see if there was anything worthwhile, and lo and behold, there was! For a limited time, you can get the iPhone 5c 32 GB for $300 (instead of the usual $450) or take 20% off of the popular Samsung Galaxy S5. Both deals are for a limited time only and are exclusive to Virgin Mobile’s Website.
However, those aren’t the only two deals, in fact Virgin Mobile has an entire page of phones that are currently discounted. Here are some of the more notable discounts:
Virgin Mobile has added a new phone to their lineup. The LG Tribute is a mid-range phone with enough processing power and enough kick to handle most things you could throw at it. Priced at $79.99, this phone seems like a pretty good deal, although as with most mid-range devices you are going to sacrifice a few things to keep the price reasonable. Overall, though, if you’re looking for an affordable phone for most basic and some advanced tasks, then this would be a good choice.
Virgin Mobile has made some pretty major changes to their Beyond Unlimited plans today. Originally, there were three plan choices, all of which included 2.5 GB of high speed data and unlimited throttled, unlimited text messages and a set amount of voice minutes. With this new structure, the data amounts have been reduced on several plans, a new plan with no data has been introduced and the highest plan has international minutes added.
As expected, Sprint’s prepaid brands Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile have announced price cuts on the older iPhone models. This reduced price is labeled as ‘limited time’ on Virgin Mobile’s website, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the prices to drop permanently soon following the recent release of the popular (and maybe slightly bendable) iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus earlier this year.
When it comes to MVNO policies and such, Sprint tends to be a little dictator-ish and frequently limits exactly which phones you can have on their MVNOs. Newly released phones can’t be activated on any Sprint MVNO until they have been out for a year, undoubtedly an attempt to push consumers to the more lucrative postpaid offerings.
Sprint announced today that they are making leaving and receiving voice mails more fun. Available to both postpaid Sprint customers and prepaid Boost Mobile and Virgin mobile customers, the new avatars are free and can be shared with anyone, on any network or via SMS, email or Facebook.
Cellular phone maker Sharp has selected Sprint to launch its first AQUOS Crystal phone available in the U.S. in the coming months. An exact date hasn’t been released yet, but the specs for the phone compared to the price aren’t half bad and the phone looks pretty cool with a sharp, edgeless look and a large screen. The device will be available for Sprint postpaid customers via Easy Pay and for Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile customers for $149.99 plus tax.
Zact Mobile has officially shut down and, as of last week, is no longer offering any services or support. Former Zact Mobile customers can either choose to switch to Virgin Mobile or simply walk away, free and clear. Zact Mobile was powered by ItsOn, which is now powering Sprint’s Virgin Mobile Custom plan. If you’re not a Virgin Mobile fan, take a look at RingPlus or FreedomPop, both of which offer similar services and might work for you.
Of course, if you are wanting to make the switch, your Zact phone should have prompted you to download and change to Virgin Mobile’s Custom plan last Monday. Early adopters of Virgin Mobile Custom were rewarded with free minutes, texts and 1GB of data. But don’t fret. If your phone didn’t prompt you to make the switch and you would like to, here’s what to do:
It seems like everyone is abuzz with news about Samsung’s latest phone in the Galaxy series, the Galaxy S5. And now, if you wanted to get in on the action, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA have announced that they now carry Samsung’s newest flagship for the prepaid market. The device, of course, does cost quite a pretty penny but if you have been wanting to get your hands on it, then this is still good news, as BYOD will also likely support the Galaxy S5.
On Thursday, Virgin Mobile USA introduced Virgin Mobile Custom, their no-annual-contract deal with completely customizable and tailored rate plans and parental controls. When you purchase a Custom phone, you can activate the device for $6.98 per line per month (up to five lines) on the Base plan, which comes with a puny 20 texts and 20 voice minutes. From there, you can choose to have unlimited talk ($18), text ($10) or both ($35) as well as various ‘add-ons’ that provide unlimited access to Facebook, Pandora, etc. They have plans that allow for 30 minutes of international calling to specific countries as well. Specific prices for those add-ons aren’t listed at the present.
As charges for cell phone service continues to go up, there are many people that are trying to stray away from the major carriers. Virgin Mobile is a very popular choice for those that want to cancel their AT&T or Verizon subscription.
Many people find the rigid structure and bloated fee structure of typical cell phone contract plans to be less than ideal for their budgets and phone usage habits. Prepaid phone plans are generally more affordable, and it is easy to tailor them to specific usage needs. Prepaid plans have long been easy to use with basic cell phones, but luckily there are now great prepaid options available for iPhone users as well. Several major phone providers now offer prepaid plans for the iPhone, including T-Mobile, AT&T, Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, H2O, Net 10, Verizon, and Boost Mobile.
So, you’re curious about joining the many people currently foregoing traditional phone plans in favor of a cheaper, more flexible prepaid plan. Good decision. But before you jump into this new world, get the lowdown on some of the best phones and prepaid options out there.
Virgin Mobile is a small wireless service provider, yet with the no contracts or other fees associated with the larger service providers, it is an extremely desirable company to consider. If you are looking for a way to connect to the Internet through a mobile device such as your tablet or even your phone, you are able to do so through the help of a broadband connection. This broadband connection is then transformed into a wireless Internet signal, which your mobile devices are able to use. This way, you always have an Internet connection for your tablet or laptop computer, regardless of where you are. As long as there is a 3G or 4G Internet connection, you are good to go. In fact, you might be rather surprised as to exactly how fast a 4G Internet connection is on your laptop computer. You are likely to find that this connection is far faster than many of the wireless Internet connections you use at a local coffee shop, hotel or other facilities. With this being said, you need to know what the different prepaid data plans are with Virgin Mobile and how you can best utilize the services.
If you want a great phone that can fit your budget, Virgin Mobile has the perfect stocking stuffer for you this Christmas. Virgin Mobile’s prepaid phone offers will blow you away. While the other big companies are trying to rope you into expensive contract plans with mysterious taxes and hidden fees, Virgin Mobile is making a big push this holiday to offer prepaid phone plans that you can afford. Unlike the competition, that offers prepaid plans on just a few of their lower end “burner phones” Virgin Mobile prepaid plans can be applied to any phone that they sell. You can buy the newest iPhone 5 and activate it with a no contract plan with minimal hassle.
There are two categories of plans that Virgin is offering this holiday season: Unlimited and PayLo programs. The main difference is that the Unlimited plans are android compatible, best for heavy smart phone users, whereas the PayLo plans are more for users who use their phone more for talk and text with occasional data use. You can get a PayLo plan for as low as $20/mo, and it will come with 400 minutes of talk but there will be additional charges for data and text use. A much better alternative is the $30 per month option, which comes with 1500 minutes, 1500 messages, and 30mb of data use. It is one of the best prepaid plans on the market. If you are interested in the unlimted plans, all of them come with unlimited text and data. The 35 dollar plan comes with 300 minutes of talk, which may work for primary smart phone users, but for $45/mo they offer 1500 minutes and unlimited minutes for $50/mo.
Virgin Mobile’s Christmas Offers for their prepaid phones are good for the rest of the holiday season, and can be the gift that keeps on giving for the entire year round.
Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint wireless network, and as such utilizes the CDMA technology that Sprint uses. This means that Virgin Mobile customers can expect North America and US coverage areas. Unfortunately, the CDMA technology isn’t found in all other international countries like the GSM technology. The GSM network technology can be found in most other countries.
CDMA technology and GSM technology is different in many technological ways, but one major difference is in the area of availability. While GSM technology can be found all over the world, CDMA isn’t always available in other countries. CDMA is found predominantly in the US and North America. Also, both GSM and CDMA differ when it comes to data speed, location and even hardware.
Since Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint network, a CDMA network, clients need to take that into consideration when purchasing a Virgin Mobile phone. If you need to have a phone that will work overseas, it is probably a good idea to choose a phone that uses the GSM technology. If coverage isn’t a big deal to you, then you can chose a CDMA phone.
So, it’s important to consider where you are going to mainly be using the phone before you decide which phone to purchase. If you are mainly going to be using your Virgin Mobile phone in the US or North America, then customers can expect to have the same type of coverage that is offered to Sprint wireless customers. However, if you want to use your phone while travelling, then you may have to utilize a service that utilizes the GSM network to insure coverage.
Both GSM and CDMA network technologies have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, which is why taking an assessment of your cellular and mobile phone needs before you purchase both your phone and/or service is important to making the decision that’s right for you.
Virgin Mobile continues to expand its lineup with quality smartphones, and the latest addition is no exception. It’s no Samsung Ring, but Virgin has managed to land the iPhone 5 for its Beyond Talk lineup. As expected you’ll pay sticker price for the iPhone 5, $549.99 for the 16GB model, which will be available on both the website and at retail outlets. The 32GB and 64GB models, $649.99 and $749.99, will be available online only. The wait will be over by the end of this week: the iPhone 5 will be available at Virgin Mobile’s website on June 28th.
Virgin Mobile customers looking for a decent smartphone at an affordable price point can now check out the Samsung Galaxy Ring. It’s smaller than the Galaxy S series phones, measuring just four inches. But it also features a 1.4GHz processor, plus Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Given its other decent features, such as a 5MP camera with 1080p video capture, and it’s a decent bargain. You can bring it home for $179.99 from Virgin Mobile’s website.
Virgin Mobile has released a new handset for the payLo brand that will prove affordable for almost all users. The Kyocera Kona, which Cricket launched back in April, is a basic flip phone with two color displays and, well, not much more. But at $19.99 it makes for a good temporary phone, or something you can use in a pinch. Virgin does offer payLo service from $20 per month, so you’re looking at laying out $260 for a year’s worth of service. Not bad, considering that you can’t get a decent smartphone, never mind service, for that much on prepaid. You can get the Kyocera Kona at Virgin Mobile’s website.
We know it’s been coming for a while, but this morning Sprint made it official: Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile will get 4G LTE coverage. In making the announcement both brands announced newly available handsets. Pictured above is the Samsung Galaxy Victory, a Sprint phone that is now available through Virgin. You can get it at Virgin Mobile’s website today for $300. Boost models after the jump.
Virgin Mobile has added another low-cost Android smartphone to its lineup. The Kyocera Event is a very basic Android phone — though it does run version 4.0, which makes up for many hardware deficiencies. It doesn’t try to be anything fancy, even sticking with the old-school 3.5-inch screen size. Most Virgin customers will care about little of that, though, and will go right to the price: $79.99 at Virgin Mobile’s website. It will hit retail stores on March 3, as a Radio Shack exclusive.
Here’s the rub: if you read through the user reviews for our featured prepaid cell phone providers, you might come away thinking that every cell phone company provides horrible customer service. There are some nasty and elaborate tales throughout there. But don’t think that those negative reviews represent the overall state of customer service. People who feel wronged are far more likely to leave reviews than those who have received good service. Believe it or not, there are some providers who are pretty good at customer service. According to the latest J.D. Power and Associates study of the wireless industry, MetroPCS and Virgin Mobile rank among the best.
In the long run, prepaid is almost always cheaper. We’ve learned that repeatedly in the last year or so when prepaid carriers started adding higher end smartphones. Perhaps the most illustrative example came when Cricket and then Virgin Mobile started offering the iPhone. The handset itself was much more expensive, but when combined with the monthly service costs and extrapolated over a two-year span, the prepaid carriers come out significantly less expensive. Still, customers can have issues coming up with that much money in a lump sum. The answer, for at least some carriers, has been handset financing.
Last month we learned that Cricket and MetroPCS started handset financing programs. Unlike T-Mobile’s financing plan, which allowed customers to split up the charge over the course of the contract — making it nearly identical to a subsidy — Cricket and MetroPCS customers have nine months to pay the balance. They are charged no interest in the handset is paid in full after three months. While this makes sense from the consumer side, not all prepaid carriers have jumped on board.
Virgin is currently giving the financing idea a shot, according to FierceWirless. Using the company BillFloat they’re offering financing plans on a number of handsets, including boith iPhone models and the Samsung Galaxy S II. For buyers of the latter, the charge is $59 up front and $49 per month for a year, bringing the total cost to an unimaginable $647 for a smartphone that is nearly two years old. Another carrier trying something similar, C Spire, charges iPhone customers $170.50 up front and $150 per month for 6 months, for a total of more than $1,000.
If financing is going to work, it can’t simply ream customers who need to spread their payments over time. Cricket has something decent going with its three-month financing plan. That makes the cost of the phone a bit easier to bear without imposing enormous fees on the user. But $650 for a two-year-old smartphone and more than $1,000 for an iPhone, whether financed or not, is simply ludicrous. The ability to spread payments over time is valuable, but not at the cost of this much overall money.
It has been a popular handset for prepaid carriers, and now Virgin Mobile will get it. Following in the footsteps of fellow Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile, Virgin will offer the Samsung Galaxy S II. It’s the same handset we’ve seen many times, featuring a 4.5-inch screen and running Android 4.0. Like the Boost version, it will take advantage of the newly available WiMax network in available markets. Customers can get the Galaxy S II starting November 15, for $370, at Virgin Mobile’s website. At $35 per month for 2.5GB of 3G/4G data it’s tough to find a better deal on the market.
Yesterday Virgin Mobile added a new daily plan to its Broadband2Go services. It costs $5 per day, and provides up to 200MB of 3G data. For Virgin customers who own a 4G WiMax device, it provides unlimited 4G coverage. Of course, the user has to be in an area with 4G WiMax coverage; there are 70 such markets across the U.S. The plan is available now, and can be purchased, along with a 3G or 4G broadband modem, at Virgin Mobile’s website.
One question from many prepaid cell users upon learning that Cricket would sell the iPhone 5: What about Virgin Mobile? After all, they started selling the iPhones 4 and 4S this summer. For the VM crew, there is good news: it appears that Virgin will carry the handset eventually. There’s no word on when, is the only problem. Of course, it will be a CDMA-only model, but that should matter little for Virgin customers clamoring for the iPhone 5. Expect it to cost just about as much as the iPhone 4S, around $650.
Are you comfortable with the level of security your cellular carrier provides? Many, if not most, people don’t even think about it. They see big brand names and assume they’re protected to a reasonable degree. But sometimes companies get stuck behind the times, and end up with security policies that can prove harmful to their customers. This appears to be the case with Virgin Mobile. Kevin Burke, a programmer and web developer, recently ran a blog post detailing Virgin’s weak security. The worst part: there’s no real way around it until Virgin acts. More after the jump.
It’s a little late, but Virgin Mobile has started taking pre-orders for the Samsung Reverb. They first announced the Reverb last month, noting an August 29th pre-order date. But what’s a week between friends? As a refresher, the Reverb run Android 4.0 and has a 1.4GHz processor, so you’ll be browsing in style. It also has a 4-inch screen. At $250 it’s not the greatest bargain, but compared to the other Android handsets out there it’s not half bad. Not at all. You can pre-order yours at Virgin Mobile’s website.
It appears that Boost Mobile isn’t the only Sprint-based carrier to announce a Samsung handset. Sister company Virgin Mobile also announced the Samsung Galaxy Reverb. This is one to get excited about. It runs Android 4.0, which is pretty big for the prepaid space. A few current prepaid smartphones run it, but not many. It also runs a 1.4GHz processor, so it can handle most tasks. The 4-inch display is pretty standard these days: not too big and not too small. It will be available at some point in September, but Virgin is starting pre-orders on August 29th. If you’re willing to spend $250 on it, you might want to get in on that pre-order.