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Virgin Mobile testing handset financing

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.

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Virgin Mobile to offer Samsung Galaxy S II

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.

Via PC Magazine.

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Virgin Mobile adds daily plan to Broadband2Go

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.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Virgin Mobile could get the iPhone 5

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.

Via MacRumors.

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Is your Virgin Mobile account insecure?

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.

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Samsung Reverb now available for pre-order from Virgin Mobile

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.

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Virgin Mobile to get Samsung Galaxy Reverb

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.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Virgin Mobile will add Kyocera Rise QWERTY slider

Later this month Virgin Mobile will get an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich handset. It’s the Kyocera Rise, a device with an iPhone-sized 3.5-inch display and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Its 1GHz processor isn’t much, but the overall package looks like a decent bargain at $99.99. It will be available at Virgin Mobile’s wesbite on August 31st.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Virgin introduces Samsung Entro and Montage for payLo

Late last week Virgin Mobile added a pair of feature phones to its payLo lineup. The Samsung Entro and Montage might not compare to the smartphones we’re seeing other carriers add, but for Virgin’s payLo services that’s not the point. It’s made for feature phones, and the two Samsung handsets provide updated versions of classic form factors. The Entro is a flip phone is a basic phone with a color external display, though it does not have a camera. It costs just $15 and is available right now at Virgin Mobile’s website. The Montage is a candybar phone with a sideways-sliding QWERTY keyboard and a 2.4 inch color screen. It will cost a bit more at $50 and will be available in a few weeks.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Virgin Mobile introduces Chaser discount Android handset

Virgin Mobile just released a new low-cost Android handset, the Chaser. It’s quite the small handset, with the screen measuring just 3.2 inches (for comparison, the iPhone’s screen is 3.5 inches). It does, however, have an 800MHz processor. That’s not great, or even that good, by any stretch, but for a cheap handset it’s quite fine. It also has a 3.0 megapixel camera and, unsurprisingly, runs Android 2.3. The Chaser is available right now at Virgin Mobile’s website for $79.99.

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Are you more excited for Virgin’s One V or iPhone?

Here’s a quick question for those planning to buy a prepaid smartphone. Virgin Mobile launched two new smartphones in the last two days. Well, three, because they got both the iPhone and the iPhone 4S. yet they also got the HTC One V Android handset. While the iPhone is the envy of the smartphone world, it comes at great cost for Virgin customers: $549 for the two-year-old iPhone 4 and $649 for the iPhone 4S. The One V isn’t quite up to the iPhone standard, though it does have a processor equal to the iPhone 4 and it does run the newest version of Android, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Yet it costs far, far less than the iPhone, at just $199.99. So it asks the question, which are you more excited about? Which one makes more sense for you? You can check out both new smartphones at Virgin Mobile’s website.

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HTC One V coming to Virgin Mobile tomorrow

It has been a while since we learned that Virgin Mobile will get the HTC One VPhoneNews.com, Virgin will launch the handset tomorrow, Thursday, for $199.99. It’s a relatively high-end smartphone for prepaid carriers, especially since it runs the latest version of Android, version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. You’ll be able to snag the One V tomorrow at Virgin Mobile’s website.

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Virgin Mobile announces iPhone availability on June 29th

Well, that was quick. Earlier in the week we heard that Virgin Mobile would soon offer the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal nailed that one, as Virgin made the announcement this morning. It will be available on June 29th, just a week after Cricket makes its own offering. And yes, Virgin will offer both the iPhone 4, for $549, and the iPhone 4S, for $649. Those are the bare unsubsidized prices, and are $150 more than they’ll cost at Cricket. Yet the savings with Virgin will come with the monthly plan rates.

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Virgin Mobile now rumored to carry the iPhone

Well, that was quick. Less than a week ago we heard a rumor that Boost Mobile would offer the iPhone starting in September. Now word comes down — from a much more reliable outlet — that it is Sprint’s other prepaid arm, Virgin Mobile, that will get the vaunted iPhone. It could drop as soon as July 1, which certainly beats the previous Boost rumor. This doesn’t rule out Boost’s eventual offering, though; The Wall Street Journal speculates that this is merely Sprint trying to unload more units in fulfillment of its enormous obligation to Apple. Since we’ve heard strong rumors of a new iPhone coming this fall, it makes sense that Sprint would want to unload as many iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S units before that time.

After the jump: why this is interesting for Virgin.

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LG Optimus Elite on presale with Virgin Mobile

Update: Apparently the pre-order is sold out. That was quick. The handset will go on sale to the general public tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see if they have any units available, or if they really did sell through them all in the pre-sale.

The LG Optimus Elite Android smartphone is now available for preorder from Virgin Mobile. We first learned of the Optimus Elite in March, and then Virgin made the official announcement last month. The Elite is a mid-range Android handset, featuring an 800MHz processor, 3.2-inch screen, and Android 2.3. It’s expected to ship on Tuesday, so you can get in your last-minute preorder now, or you can just wait to pick it up at a later date. It’s available for $149.99 on Virgin Mobile’s website.

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Boost and Virgin make WiMax official, along with HTC Android smartphones

We’ve known for a while that Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, both subsidiaries of Sprint, would soon offer their customers 4G service via WiMax. Yesterday both companies made their respective announcements. The services will commence on May 31st — which is just a few days after Virgin will change its smartphone upgrade policy. As we learned previously, Boost will get the HTC EVO Design 4G, while Virgin will get the EVO V 4G — which is known on Sprint as the EVO 3D. We’ll make sure to post on the 31st to again note the availabilities of these handsets.

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Virgin and Boost offer insurance to existing customers

Handset insurance isn’t common for prepaid carriers, but Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, both subsidiaries of Sprint, do offer their customers insurance for $5 per month. The catch, as is typical for insurance, is that you have to purchase it within 15 days of buying your phone. For the month of May Boost and Virgin are offering insurance not only to new customers, but to their existing ones. Any customer can sign up and pick up device insurance for that same $5 per month. If you need to file a claim, you just pay the deductible and get a new phone. You can find more specific information on the insurance policies, including enrollment instructions, at Boost Mobile’s website and Virgin Mobile’s website.

Via CNET.

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Virgin Mobile changing smartphone upgrade policy

According to a number of Howard Forums users, changes are coming to Virgin Mobile‘s smartphone upgrade and grandfather policy. When Virgin first overhauled its plans and introduced Beyond Talk, they featured one of the best deals in the industry: 250 minutes, plus unlimited data and messaging, for just $25 per month. Many people flocked to that plan, but it was short lived. Last year Virgin raised the price of the 300-minute Beyond Talk plan to $35. Yet they offered their loyal customers a grandfather clause. That is, they could continue paying the original $25 per month, so long as they kept their accounts active and in good standing, even when they upgraded smartphones. But that’s about to change.

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Sprint announces LG Optimus Elite for Virgin Mobile

We first learned about the LG Optimus Elite back in May, when a rumor surfaced that Virgin Mobile would get the handset by the end of May. Yesterday Sprint announced that indeed is the case. The only catch is that Sprint will get the handset first, in the middle of May. Virgin will get it at an undisclosed later date. For a refresh, the Optimus Elite runs Android 2.3 and features an 800MHz processor and a 3.2-inch screen at 480×320 pixels. That is to say, it’s not the most powerful handset. But its an eco-friendly handset that is made of 50 percent recycled plastics. It’s also free of various unhealthy materials that plague typical smartphones. The Optimus Elite will hit Sprint for $29.99 on May 18th, so perhaps we’ll see Virgin’s come a bit later at around $130. But that’s still speculation.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Virgin Mobile to get EVO 3D this year

Just a few weeks back we heard that Virgin Mobile was getting a pretty nifty Android handset, the HTV One V. It now appears that they’ll add another HTC device to their lineup. The HTC EVO 3D has been around on Sprint for a little less than a year now, and it will hit Virgin later this year as the HTC EVO V 4G (the 4G being WiMax, presumably). It’s high powered at 1.2GHz (dual core), and features 3D video and picture capture. There aren’t many further details, other than it will drop later this year. I’d expect it to be among Virgin’s more expensive Android smartphones.

Via PocketNow.

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HTC One V heading to Virgin Mobile

It looks like Virgin Mobile is going to get another Android handset. We learned last week that they are getting the Alcatel Venture (though it was originally reported as the ZTE Venture). Now they’re getting a bit better of a handset with the HTC One V. We learned a while back that MetroPCS would get the One V. We’re looking at the same deal for Virgin: 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Best of all, it figures to be relatively cheap at $200. We should see it later this spring.

Via PocketNow.

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Virgin Mobile taking pre-orders for ZTE Venture

Pictured above is the ZTE Venture, an Android handset heading to Virgin Mobile on March 15th. It’s a hybrid candybar device, featuring both a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard. That gives it a BlackBerry-like feel. Another way it resembles the BlackBerry: it has a 600MHz processor, which is one of the slower ones in modern mobile usage. It’s still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and it’s unclear whether it will get a 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade; I’d consider the prospects unlikely, given the Venture’s underpowered nature. In any case, it will cost $99, and it’s available for pre-order on Virgin Mobile’s website. It will ship this Thursday, March 15th.

Via Android Central.

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Virgin Mobile to get LG Optimus Elite

It might not be the prettiest handset, and it might not pack the most power. But the LG Optimus Elite does carry NFC — Near Field Communications — that will eventually turn our smartphones into our wallets. The device, as the Optimus Elite, is already available overseas, and rumor has it that it’s coming stateside to Sprint. It will also hit Virgin Mobile in due time. It’s fairly low end, with an 800MHz processor, 3.2-inch screen with a mere 320×480 display, and just 512MB of RAM. But for a prepaid Android, that’s not all that bad. Look for it on Virgin around the end of May. I can’t imagine it costing more than $120.

Via PocketNow.

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Virgin Mobile will start throttling data speeds in March

We knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when. We learned last year that Virgin Mobile would throttle the speeds of its heaviest data users. It will begin this practice on March 23rd, with users who exceed 2.5GB per month getting their speeds throttled. To be clear, this applies to Virgin smartphone customers using Beyond Talk plans. Throttled speeds are 256Kbps, which is something of a relic for old dial-up users. If a user gets throttled, he has to either way for the beginning of the next billing cycle, or otherwise pay for a new monthly plan immediately. Neither seems like an attractive option, but those are the breaks.

Via Android Central.

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Virgin Mobile offers free month of mobile broadband

In an effort to attract new mobile broadband users, Virgin Mobile is offering new Broadband2Go customers a free month of data when they sign up. This requires the purchase of a MiFi or USB modem, but once customers activate they’ll get a free month of data, which covers 500MB. That normally costs $20. After that customers can continue paying $20 for 500MB, or can switch to the 100MB plan for $10 or the 2.5GB plan for $50. The promotion runs through Tuesday, November 15, so make sure to visit Virgin Mobile’s website to sign up before it expires. Lines must be activated by December 12th.
 
Via FierceWireless.

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Virgin Mobile adds Samsung M575 to payLo

 
That’s the Samsung M575, the latest phone to hit Virgin Mobile payLo. It’s a simple handset, featuring a QWERTY keyboard, a media player, and up to 32GB of external storage. Thankfully, it does support 3G data, though the uses are limited. It fits perfectly into payLo’s budget-minded theme. You can grab one for $79.99 at Virgin Mobile’s website.
 
Via Phone Scoop.

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Virgin Mobile announces LG Optimus Slider and HTC Wildfire S


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We’ve seen the above picture recently — last week, in fact. It’s the LG Optimus Slider, and it is now officially coming to Virgin Mobile. Last week we detailed the Optimus Slider, noting its reasonably fast processor, 3.2-inch screen, sliding keyboard, and Android 2.3. As expected, it will cost $199.99. Virgin will release the handset on four different dates: October 17th on Virgin Mobile’s website, October 31st at Best Buy and Radio Shack, November 6th at Target, and November 13th through Sprint retail outlets.
 
Virgin also made two more announcements, including an update on data throttling and another Android handset.

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LG Optimus Slider coming to Virgin Mobile


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Another Android handset will soon make its way to Virgin Mobile. The LG Optimus Slider, which Verizon just released as the LG Enlighten, is coming soon, according to a Best Buy listing. It runs the latest version of the Android operating system, 2.3, meaning it has all the newest features of the Android platform. It’s also reasonably fast at 800MHz and has a fairly standard 3.2-inch touchscreen with full sliding keyboard. Really, it provides a newer alternative to the Samsung Intercept, which was Virgin’s first Android handset. It should drop next month for $199.99.
 
Via PhoneNews.com.

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Virgin Mobile going after T-Mobile postpaid customers

Apparently Virgin Mobile smells blood in the water. This week it launches an ad campaign that directly pleas with T-Mobile customers to make the switch. It does seem odd, indeed, that Virgin is targeting customers from a postpaid brand, but the opportunity is clearly there. T-Mobile is already losing customers, and Virgin sees the opportunity to satisfy them with their monthly prepaid plans. It would help, though, if the ad didn’t make a specious claim or two.

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Virgin Mobile to throttle Beyond Talk data speeds

Just last week we got the bad news that Virgin Mobile would raise the rates in the lower tier of its Beyond Talk plans. The changes weren’t all bad, but the $10 monthly increase of what was the greatest smartphone deal on the planet certainly hurt. There’s some more hurting coming, too. Virgin announced yesterday that while they would continue to advertise unlimited data on the Beyond Talk plans, users would only get 2.5GB at 3G speeds. After that customers can still use data without an additional fee, but the speed is dropped to 256Kbps. Basically, it’s the same deal as their mobile broadband plans. This change will place in October, so customers still have a few months to run amok. Virgin published an FAQ page to help clear up confusion.

Via Phone Scoop.

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Changes coming to Virgin Mobile

Be on the lookout for some plan changes at Virgin Mobile. The site PhoneNews.com got their hands on a PDF sent to dealers, and it details the various plan changes they’re making in the near future. The most notable is what you see above, to the Beyond Talk plans. The super awesome $25 plan gets a $10 bump to $35 per month, while the $50 plan goes to $55. It’s not all that bad, considering how great the old plans were. Now they’re just good, rather than spectacular. The $30 payLo plan will also include 1,500 minutes, 1,500 messages, and 30MB of web access, but apparently that is a “limited time allowance increase.” There’s no word on when these will go into effect, but it doesn’t figure to be long. Also, two phone-related issues after the break.

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Look for the Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile July 19th

It wasn’t found in the likeliest of places, but it appears that we now have a release date for the Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile. From the ad, found in People magazine, it looks like July 19th is the date. I can imagine plenty of Virgin customers going for that, since it will be the most powerful Android they’ve released to date.

Via Phandroid.

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Virgin Mobile getting Android-powered Motorola Triumph

Yesterday Motorola and Virgin Mobile announced a new Android handset, the Triumph. It resembles many of Motorola’s other Android handsets — it’s kind of like the Droid without the slide-out keyboard. It’s a larger device at 4.1 inches, and it features a 5 megapixel rear and VGA front-facing cameras. It runs fast at 1GHz, and, for the multimedia fans, it has an HDMI output. It also runs Android 2.2 out of the box, though at some point you have to figure it will get 2.3. This looks like the highest end handset to date for Virgin Mobile, and I can see plenty of users upgrading. There’s no price or release date set for it, but I would figure somewhere between $200 and $300 with a summer release date.

Via Phone Scoop. Hands-on video from Phandroid after the jump.

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Virgin Mobile released LG200 for payLo

On the same day that it brought back a $20 mobile broadband plan, Virgin Mobile has also introduced a new handset. The LG200 is a simple messaging phone that fewatures a full QWERTY keyboard, VGA camera, and a 2.2-inch screen. It will cost $69.99 and is available with any of Virgin’s payLo plans — the best of which is 1,500 minutes, 500 messages, and 10MB of data for $30 per month. You can get the LG200 and a payLo plan at Virgin Mobile’s website.

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Virgin Mobile re-introduces $20 mobile broadband plan

There has been plenty of change lately with Virgin Mobile‘s Broadband2Go plans. The latest is that it put a 2.5GB cap on the $50 plan, with slower speeds to follow once that cap is breached. They also have a $10 plan that provides 100MB during a 10-day window. Apparently they also have a $20 plan, sold only with the purchase of a device at Walmart, that provides 1GB of service. Now they’re opening that $20 plan up to everyone, but with a catch. If you sign up for the service at, say, Virgin Mobile’s website, you’ll get only 500MB of data for your $20. Clearly, it’s better if you get your broadband modem at Walmart so that you can take advantage of double the data for the same price.

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Virgin getting another Android handset?

It appears that Virgin Mobile is ready to launch another Android device. They already have the Samsung Instinct, which just got a Froyo update, and the LG Optimus V. Accroding to a rumor on Pocket Now, they’ll add a Motorola offering to the mix. The details are scant on this one, as we just have this simple shot and Pocket Now’s source on this one. We’ll pass along more information as it becomes available.

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Samsung Restore coming to Virgin Mobile


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Pictured above is the Samsung Restore, a handset headed for Virgin Mobile sometime in the near future. It’s billed as an eco-friendly handset, since it is built from recycled plastics and can be, in part, recycled itself. It looks like a new twist on the Samsung Messenger, a popular handset that many prepaid carriers offer. When available, it will cost $79.99.

Via Mobile Burn.

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Samsung Intercept (Virgin Mobile) getting Android 2.2 update

One of the most frequent questions about any Android handset is, when will it get an update to OS 2.2 (Froyo)? Many handsets will not get it. There was a good chance that the Samsung Intercept on Virgin Mobile would be stuck with Android 2.1 for the rest of its life. This is not true. On their official Twitter account, though, Virgin says that the Intercept will, in fact, get Froyo 2.2. It will come on March 25, so we have about five weeks to go. Still, that’s incredible news for those who bought that and regret it, because the Optimus comes with Android 2.2.

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Update on Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go plan

When we learned last week that Virgin Mobile was discontinuing its $40 unlimited Broadband2Go plan, we were promised an update from the company this week. As you can see in the screenshot above, we now have answers. The plan is now $50 per month and will only work at maximum speed for the first 2.5GB. That’s quite a change from even last month, when Virgin was slowing down users who exceeded 5GB. Customers can pay $50 after they exceed their 2.5GB cap in order to restore speeds. That’s going to get expensive very quickly.

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Expect more Android smartphones from Virgin Mobile


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According to a recent Engadget post, Virgin Mobile is gauging customer interest in another Android smartphone. This one, however, appears a bit more high end than its current offerings the LG Optimus V and the Samsung Intercept. Both of those have their highlights, but this one jumps ahead of the pack with a 1GHz processor, a 4.1-inch screen, 5 megapixel camera, and more. It’s still a bit behind the current times, but that’s not a totally bad thing. Plenty of people are happy with their phones that have these features. There is nothing solid on this at all, mind you. It’s just Virgin asking customers if they’d be interested.

Would you?

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Virgin Mobile discontinuing $40 unlimited Broadband2Go

A reader sent in a tip this morning, and this appears to be a significant development. We learned last month that Virgin Mobile planned to throttle speeds of Broadband2Go users who go over 5GB per month. Now it appears that the unlimited broadband plan will be eliminated completely. From Virgin’s terms of service:

$40 Broadband2Go Plan Expiring on February 15, 2011

Until February 14, 2011, you may purchase or switch to the $40 Broadband2Go plan described below. If as of February 15, 2011 the last plan you purchased was the $40 Broadband2Go plan, you may continue to purchase the $40 Broadband2Go plan until further notice or until you switch to one of the other Broadband2Go plans. Once you switch to another Broadband2Go plan, you will not be able to switch back to the $40 Broadband2Go plan. If as of February 15, 2011 the last plan you purchased was a plan other than $40 Broadband2Go plan, you will not be able to purchase or switch to the $40 Broadband2Go plan.

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Virgin introduces Kyocera S2100

Yesterday Virgin Mobile released the LG Optimus V, a nifty Android smartphone. Today’s phone announcement isn’t nearly as big, but it still can bring value to payLo customers. The Kyocera S2100, pictured above, doesn’t do much beyond make and receive calls, send and receive texts, and take grainy photos. But it’s a cheap clamshell option for those who have no need for a smartphone. Again, it’s available for customers of Virgin’s payLo plans, and it costs $39.99. You can get the S2100, and a payLo plan, at Virgin Mobile’s website.

Via Phone Scoop.

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LG Optimus V Android smartphone available at Virgin Mobile

It has been at some retail stores since last week, but now it’s official. Virgin Mobile has officially announced the LG Optimus V. It’s an Android smartphone running OS version 2.2, so you have pretty much the latest software. It will cost $149.99, and it is available at Radio Shack stores. The press release also mentions availability at Virgin Mobile’s website, but at the time of this post it hasn’t shown up yet.

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Get the LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile, if you can

On Tuesday night, Engadget reported that a number of outlets, including Target stores, were already selling the LG Optimus V, an Android handset from Virgin Mobile. This is certainly ahead of the official release, since Virgin has not made an announcement. Want to see if your local Target is carrying it? PhoneNews.com has some useful instructions. You’ll have to ask for the internal SKU 080-02-0724, and then follow their steps for activation (it requires a workaround, since it’s not in Virgin’s activation system). If you’re on the fence about this, check out this hands on review at Howard Forums. The handset costs $150.

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Virgin Mobile to get LG Optimus One Android handset

For a while I’ve seen various forum posts noting that Virgin Mobile will get the LG Optimus One. It is an extremely popular entry level Android handset, and it amkes perfect sense for a prepaid carrier. It turns out that we’ll see it hitting Virgin shelves soon. Android Central has a shot of the price tag, which puts it at $149.99. We still don’t know exactly when it will become available, but shouldn’t be too long. The Optimus V, as it will be dubbed, should provide a nice alternative to the Samsung Intercept, which is currently Virgin’s only Android handset.

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Virgin Mobile comes clean about broadband speed throttling

Things move quickly these days. Yesterday we ran a story about Virgin Mobile‘s practice of throttling mobile broadband speeds once customers reach 5GB per month. That doesn’t seem right for a service that was advertised as having no limits. I have nothing against data throttling, as long as the company is up front about it. Yesterday, Virgin Mobile did just that. The company announced a 5GB cap for its $40 Broadband2Go plan. After customers reach that cap their speeds are reduced to 256 Kbps until either they renew early or the new month starts. This goes into effect on February 15.

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Virgin’s unlimited Broaband2Go includes 5GB cap

Virgin Mobile made waves this past summer when it introduced a $40 unlimited mobile broadband plan. It was by far the cheapest in the industry, and best of all it didn’t include any caps. There were some functionality problems upon launch, but they seemed to go away — or, at least, people stopped complaining about them. Now we learn that there is actually a 5GB cap in place. Once you reach 5GB in a given month, Virgin can throttle your speeds to 256 Kbps. That’s better than overages, and you can renew your plan early in order to restore speed. The problem, of course, is that there is no way to know this unless you read the fine print in a Radio Shack flier. Virgin’s deal is still one of the best in the industry. I just wish they’d be more up front about its limitations.

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Virgin Mobile offers phone insurance

Earlier in the year Boost Mobile made something of a splash by offering handset insurance. Most prepaid carriers do not offer this, so it was novel at the time. Now it appears that Sprint’s other prepaid arm, Virgin Mobile, is prepared to do the same. It costs $5 per month, and you can see the deductible chart above. As expected, it’s $100 per claim for the higher end devices, and a bit lower as you move down the line. You have to register for insurance within 15 days of buying a new handset. More information is available at http://www.virginmobileusa.com/help-support/phoneinsurance.html.

Via PhoneNews.com.

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Virgin Mobile to offer $20 Broadband2Go plan

Earlier this year Virgin Mobile made a splash by offering unlimited mobile broadband for $40 per month. That not only undercut the competition in price, but also overshot them on usage. Most other providers capped consumption at 5GB or less. Today they’ll launch another attractive plan. This one will cost $20 per month and will provide 1GB of data. That’s a good balance between Virgin’s $40 unlimited and $10 100MB plans. You’ll need a Virgin Mobile USB dongle or MiFi device in order to use the service, but you won’t have to sign a contract. You can find a device and sign up for the service at Walmart stores and at Walmart.com.

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Virgin adds another payLo plan and phone

When Virgin Mobile introduced its payLo plans in July, I wondered what kind of advantage they offered. Customers basically had to pay $20 for the right to get minutes and messages at a certain rate — and the rate isn’t that much better than the industry standard, on the whole. Yesterday Virgin announced a new payLo plan, this one costing $30 per month. It includes 1,500 minutes, 500 messages (SMS, MMS, and IM), and 10MB of data. This makes it different than the other payLo plans, because it’s more like an actual monthly plan. You can sign up for the plan at Virgin Mobile’s website.

They also announced a new handset…

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