Recently, I decided to start “shopping” for a new cell provider. Mind you, my service is ok, but the pricing is outrageous for what I get for service with my current provider, and it is quite honestly not worth the money. At all. I pay more for a low level plan with no bells, no whistles, than most people pay for a smartphone with bells and whistles. We get a small discount due to my husband’s employer, too.
Let me start with the phone. Unlike contract plans, you don’t get a “free” phone with 2 year service agreements. But, then, you don’t have to stay with the plan for 2 years, either. I received the Samsung Intercept for this review. Buying this phone is $199.99- it is an Android smartphone, so you have all of the bells and whistles of a smartphone.
Sleek, isn’t it? Mine of course now has a rubbery hard case in a zebra print, but I can’t get any photos to show up clearer than the stock photos so here you go. I am used to my ipod touch so I really wanted to get a touch screen phone (as did my kids. Yep, they play with the apps. Sigh. Not a can of worms everyone will want to open…)
I love this phone. We’ve had a ton of fun with it for the past 4 weeks- trying out apps from the Droid Marketplace, doing Whrrls for blog related things, trying out Foursquare, and more. I found the calls to be pretty clear when we actually used this as a phone, which is obviously important!! We live in an area that doesn’t have the greatest coverage for Virgin Mobile, and I feel like we still had great call quality and service bars pretty much everywhere we went. I didn’t notice a difference from my current plan, which made me really happy!!
Touch screens can be super sensitive, so I did have a few more “pocket calls” than I’ve had with my other cell phones (but this phone is way more fun to bring places, so that can be a factor too!!). I did find myself on more than one occasion wondering how my chubby fingers got me to the screen that I was looking at, but honestly, that’s a user thing not a phone thing. I’ve been really happy with this phone and I think with the “plans” offered by Virgin Mobile, this can make someone who wants a smartphone (like me ) and doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on a smartphone (like me) a GREAT option to have all the bells and whistles without the hefty price tag!!
For $25 a month you get UNLIMITED text, email, data and web (this includes google ‘locator’ kind of like gps. Good for people, well, like me!!). This also includes 300 talk minutes. I don’t spend a ton of time talking on my cell phone unless I’m trying to use up the minutes that we pay for. The talk feature is more for in-case-of-emergency or for when my sister finds the cutest pair of shoes and I have to go see them RIGHT NOW, or other important events. (If you are chatty on your cell I’d definitely recommend looking into the $40/month plan…maybe you talk a TON and want unlimited talk. That’s a lot of time on the phone for $60!!)
Let’s look at what *I* pay for over a 2 year period. I’m going to say my phone is “Free” and just use the monthly bill. For 24 months, or the average time of a contract with my current provider, I’d pay 24 x $54.00 (rounding up for ease of math) which is $1296.00.
For Virgin Mobile, I’d pay the $200.00 for the phone (rounding up again) plus 24x $25 = $600 + the $200 for phone so $800.
I have a basic cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard that I got “free” and will pay $1296.00 for in the 24 months of my contract. I get the 10 somethings of data a month with this, and no fun or fancy features and 450 minutes (nights/weekends are free). (I have NEVER used all of my allotted minutes, and never more than 100 night/weekend minutes).
Now. With Virgin Mobile, I can BUY a fancy smartphone with lots of fun features, bells and whistles, PLUS pay the $25 a month for unlimited data/web/email/texting plus 300 talk minutes and SAVE myself $496.00 over 2 years. Plus, I have no contract. No early termination fees, no feeling stuck.
That’s not a small amount of money. Not for us. I’m honestly wondering WHY I haven’t looked into Virgin Mobile before this.
Kind of makes you look at what cell phones cost in a new light, doesn’t it? Check out other cell phone reviews
Thanks to Virgin Mobile for sending the phone for me to try. I’ve got a whole new mindset about my phone service! Opinions expressed within are my own.
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