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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Android 2.2 Phone Available for Virgin Mobile February 1: Radio Shack (and Walmart?)


From Virgin Mobile customer service supervisor six days ago:
Virgin Mobile:

Optimus V
Android 2.2 (versus the $250 Samsung Intercept’s 2.1)
Touch screen no keyboard
Display screen a little bigger than previous Intercept [according to Virgin Mobile specs on Samsung Intercept versus LG Optimus One description from LaptopMag.com, they are the same 3.2” displays]

$150 (I’m rounding!)

Availability: according to him, around February 17, 2011 at:
Radio Shack
Walmart
Online

From Google search results:
Virgin mobile Optimus V (rebranded LG Optimus One); according to first article below, should be at Radio Shack 2/1/2011.

I rather sacrifice a little screen size (the nice big 4.3” display on Sprint’s HTC Evo) to retain my freedom!  2 year and 3 year contracts paying over $100 a month for unlimited service = SLAVERY!

Not to mention, I need to make international calls. Sprint charges $1.99 a minute.  Virgin Mobile?  Only 10 cents to 20 cents a minute! No extra fee per month for international discounts necessary!

But all my techie friends swear by Android and I am so far loving everything else from Google (Google Voice, Google Docs, Gmail, etc.) so I know I won’t be disappointed!

Let’s just hope I can find an app or something that will sync my work Outlook calendar with this phone but if not I’ll start inviting myself via my Gmail account to attend everything I put on my Outlook Calendar!
This is the power of the Internet.  I announced my need for either a netbook (tiny laptop) or smartphone on Facebook and put it up for vote. Got the votes overwhelmingly in favor of the smartphone (which, in the end, is also something I can easily post up on a cardio machine and watch while working out…not quite so easy to put a netbook up on the stand and leave it there).  Then got great advice on what type of system (Android vs whatever Blackberry uses) is better overall (unanimous for Android).  Then a Google search for top smartphones gave me reviews, pros, cons, and everything else plus things I didn’t even consider (such as the need for a backlight on the keyboard if it comes with slider keyboard) from cnet.com and a new tech site that I never heard of before but is proving QUITE useful: LaptopMag.com! 

But, it made me realize that most of these smartphones, to get them at a less than insane price, you have to chain yourself to a large carrier for at least 2 years and face up to $325 in early termination fees if you want to end the contract early. YIKES!  I don’t like guaranteeing them money that far into the future when with the economy and jobs being such unsure things these days my OWN money is not even coming in with such guarantees!

So I researched also the unlocked phones, and called Virgin Mobile (my provider, cause their customer service is relatively EASY to get to and actually good 99% of the time!) to find out which unlocked smartphones they will activate.  Turns out, none.  But, that did give me the scoop on a phone coming that is 1. more advanced than the only Android phone they have now (the Samsung Intercept) and 2. CHEAPER than the only Android phone they have now!


Only information left is to figure out whether the phone will work overseas, since they operate on Sprint’s network and Sprint has roaming agreements in the Caribbean! J

If you don’t like to dig in with the research, in this day and age you’ll be paying too much for too little!

And February 1 bright and early the phones were THERE! On Radio Shack's page!  (From what I see post on Virgin Mobile's  Facebook page by another customer, they've actually been at Radio shack since January 28.)
YAY!  For some reason neither the Virgin Mobile website nor the Facebook had this announced the morning of February 1...the Facebook announced it after 8pm last night!  They need to be a little quicker on the draw there but who cares the phone's out!


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