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Old 03-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
JD50
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Default Verizon vs. Virgin Mobile

Has anyone here switched from Verizon to Virgin Mobile. I was looking at their plans and it seems a lot cheaper than verizon. I'm specifically talking about their data+voice plans. Is there a catch?
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Of course there's a catch. You have to pay before you are able to use, you cannot get as good phones as you can on Verizon, and not able to get LTE.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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Maybe not a catch, but for travelling in the Western USA, VM 3G data coverage generally sucks.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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I've had Virgin Mobile on an LG Tumor Ouch since August. I have absolutely no problems with the service -- I've had infinity% fewer dropped calls (read: zero in about six months vs at least 1-2 a *DAY* with t-mobile), SMS gets to me quickly, the web and gps all function well.

The catch is terrible, terrible, bottom of the barrel phones. The best phone you can get with VM is the LG Optimus V, which is a low res small screen 600 mhz cpu phone with a Playschool-quality camera. We're talking blackberry level hardware here. Speaking of which, they have a low end BB offering for $10 more a month.

If it were possible to get a midrange or nicer phone activated on Virgin Mobile the stampede of users from all the postpaid suspects would implode their network.

Oh, and their call center is offshore. However, I'd rate their competence way higher than the on-shore guys T-mobile uses.

I've only used them and T-mobile in the last 10 years so can't compare to other providers. But overall I'm far more satisfied with Virgin than with T. Saving about a thousand bucks a year is icing on the cake. Even though my handset is a primitive dumbphone it does everything a modern phone does, just slower and with a terrible UI.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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Resellers are on the bottom of the priority pole when it comes to usage. If your on a busy tower, you go to the bottom of the list below actual verizon customers which can result in slow data or "network to busy" messages. Not saying it will happen often at all just something to keep in mind.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:46 PM   #6
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Virgin Mobile uses Sprints' network. Unlike Sprint, you cannot roam at all with VM. If your area had good Sprint coverage, you should be fine, but if Sprint coverage is spotty, or you travel frequently and you're not in large metro areas or around interstates, VM may not be the best choice.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
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One of the cool things about Virgin, is that you can go pick up a decent 3G Android phone at any Radio Shack or Best Buy for less than $150. Try out the service in your area, and if you don't like it -- return it within 30 days and get your money back.

There is no contract, all you risk is $25 for a month's worth of service.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by v8envy View Post
terrible, terrible, bottom of the barrel phones. The best phone you can get with VM is the LG Optimus V, which is a low res small screen 600 mhz cpu phone with a Playschool-quality camera.
Huh?

Since when is 3.2MP "playschool-quality"...?

The Optimus is arguably one of the best phones on any prepaid carrier in the US today. While it's certainly no iPhone4, it is more capable than almost any other phone at its price level.

Check out the bang for the buck:

- Android 2.2 Froyo
- 600MHz processor (with GPU)
- 3.2" HVGA display (320x480 resolution)
- 3.2MP camera
- 2GB of internal storage
- microSDHC memory card slot
- "Swype" keyboard software preloaded
- Bluetooth
- 3G (EVDO Rev. A)
- Wi-Fi
- GPS

All that for $149 (was on sale last week for $129) brand new and contract free.

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Old 03-13-2011, 07:32 AM   #9
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Virgin Mobile only gets to use Sprint's network. Sprint gets to roam on verizon, so even if you had good coverage with sprint, it doesn't mean you'll have good coverage with VM.

VM has crappy phones generally, but the Optimus is a good low end android phone, especially rooted.

VM doesn't even get full 3g data speeds, they limit you to the slowest 3g data speeds available.

Other than that, they're cheap and they do work.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:27 AM   #10
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My whole family was on VM for a couple of years, until I made the change last December... We never had much of a problem with voice, a dropped call was very rare. But yeah, I definitely noticed the lacking coverage. My work phone is on Sprint, and there was quite a few times that my VM phones didn't have a signal, but my work phone did. But our biggest problem was text messaging. All too often, text messages got lost in the atmosphere. Either the recipient would never receive it, or receive it hours later.

Their customer service is pretty poor, but their automated billing system is even worse. We signed up for an recurring automatic "Top Up" plan, but at least once a month (across all four of our plans) the service on one of our phones would be interrupted. I'd have to go on their site, or (*shudder*) have to call, to get our service going again.

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Old 03-13-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsaldivar View Post
Huh?

Since when is 3.2MP "playschool-quality"...?

The Optimus is arguably one of the best phones on any prepaid carrier in the US today. While it's certainly no iPhone4, it is more capable than almost any other phone at its price level.

Check out the bang for the buck:

- Android 2.2 Froyo
- 600MHz processor (with GPU)
- 3.2" HVGA display (320x480 resolution)
- 3.2MP camera
- 2GB of internal storage
- microSDHC memory card slot
- "Swype" keyboard software preloaded
- Bluetooth
- 3G (EVDO Rev. A)
- Wi-Fi
- GPS

All that for $149 (was on sale last week for $129) brand new and contract free.

That's actually a faster CPU than my old Droid Eris came with. Other than that it looks and specs about the same too.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #12
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Virgin mobile has very spotty coverage around here. Have great reception, walk a foot, no reception.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:26 PM   #13
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I moved from Pageplus (Verizon network) to Virgin Mobile.

Paying $25 unlimited data/text plus 300 minutes. Works fine for me since I hate talking on the phone for too long. I do fully exploit the unlimited plan ... which is the best bang for the buck anywhere.

I don't care about roaming ... since that happens very very rarely in my case.

I don' care that the phones are inferior since the Total Cost of Ownership is significantly less than with the competition.

highly recommended //
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Huh?

Since when is 3.2MP "playschool-quality"...?
Since the picture quality out of that phone is comprable to 1MP point and shoot digicams. There's more to digicam picture quality than the number of pixels on the sensor. It's not limited to just that phone -- outside of Nokia pretty much every cell phone camera is not going to hold a candle to a similar resolution cheapie point and shoot digicam, never mind anything midrange or higher.

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The Optimus is arguably one of the best phones on any prepaid carrier in the US today. While it's certainly no iPhone4, it is more capable than almost any other phone at its price level.
Incorrect. There is at least one prepaid carrier (Simple Mobile) which lets you bring and activate your own device. However, as far as locked-down no device choice carriers you are absolutely correct -- this is no contest the best device available at any price point.

We are in violent agreement re: this being a fantastic phone FOR THE PRICE. Where we disagree is: I still claim VirMo doesn't have any midrange or high end devices. I'm very happy with the phone and service I get for $25/month, and I'd be even happier with an Optimus V. Happier yet if I could get a higher end phone -- even a low midrange one like my wife's Moto Defy which she uses with Simple Mobile. Which was a bit over $230 (zero upfront cost, termination fee, activation waived, 14 days of ~$66ish/month service prorated).
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:41 PM   #15
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We are in violent agreement re: this being a fantastic phone FOR THE PRICE. Where we disagree is: I still claim VirMo doesn't have any midrange or high end devices. I'm very happy with the phone and service I get for $25/month, and I'd be even happier with an Optimus V. Happier yet if I could get a higher end phone -- even a low midrange one like my wife's Moto Defy which she uses with Simple Mobile. Which was a bit over $230 (zero upfront cost, termination fee, activation waived, 14 days of ~$66ish/month service prorated).

I have a Virgin Interceptor, and overall, I like the service but hate the phone. (Except for the great play on it's name) In the metro NY area I have to put the service on par with ATT and T-mobile (not quite as good as verizon, but completely acceptable) I have the $25/300min plan, and one nice thing about it is that even if you go over your minutes, you can use overage minutes at just $0.10 per minute if there's a balance in your account.

I disagree about the phones however. I personally consider the Optimus V to be mid-range. It's got a 600mhz CPU, the same GPU as the Nexus One, and a 400mhz 'modem processor' to take some of the overhead off the CPU. The Samsung Intercept that I have, however, is definately low-end. It's still running 2.1, has an 800mhz cpu and NO gpu, along with horrible drivers, and awkward resolution, and is laggy as anything. The only things keeping me from upgrading to the Optimus right now are the fact that I'm a heavy texter and I like the real keyboard, and the hope that one of last year's high end phones, like an EVO minus the 4G will come to Virgin soon when all the dual core phones start to replace them on the major carriers. (Plus I'm hoping that 2.2 will make the Intercept useable when it comes out next week)
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:09 PM   #16
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480x320 display and 600 mhz CPU is NOT a midrange smartphone in 2011. Not even RIM fans would argue that. It is decidedly, squarely low end.

The Intercept was hardware typically found on touchscreen featurephones that had Android poorly glued on. Comparisons with it don't make the Optimus a midrange device, they simply make the Intercept the flaming pile of crap everyone knows it is.

Sorry to hear you get ATT-level service in NYC. It's been nothing short of stellar in the middle of nowhere Denver suburbs.

And like you I'm holding out for a higher end handset with a physical keyboard before upgrading. They have them in the UK. However, I think VM USA will keep pushing out low res, tiny screen phones to give people incentive to pay 3-4x as much monthly for Sprint (crap fees are about 20%, can't just compare true $25/month to '$55/month' postpaid). Here's to hoping I'm wrong and you're right.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:28 PM   #17
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I would consider the LG Optimus to be a midrange phone. Don't get too hung up on the clock speed of the processor... there are still many premium phones running at a similar speed - i.e. Blackberries, Droid Pro, iPhone 3, etc. And don't forget the Optimus also has a GPU to assist with some graphics tasks (albeit a weak one).

Some people have high standards and there is nothing wrong with that, but one shouldn't pan fully capable phones just because they don't meet their own personal high standards. I'll bet that 90% of new smartphone people out there would be totally thrilled with the LG Optimus, and would be tickled to soak up unlimited Youtube, Google GPS Nav/Maps, Gmail, Google Voice, Web, Text, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, etc... for $25.00/month.

That being said... don't hold your breath for any newer "high end" smartphones on a US prepaid MVNO like Virgin Mobile, Boost, MetroPCS, etc. It's not going to happen. These companies exist solely to sell surplus network capacity from the big providers. It makes good business sense for carriers to capitalize on what would otherwise be unused surplus by reselling it at a discount under a different brand name or via the MVNO channel. However, it makes no sense for them to sell premium equipment and bandwidth through discount channels when they are doing just fine selling it at a much higher price point under their own brandname.

The phones offered in the MVNO/discount channel are very carefully selected and marketed to bring in the most revenue from the limited amount of surplus network capability that those companies purchase from the main carriers. They aren't "entry level" or "low end" by accident...
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:33 PM   #18
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i just dumped my daughters phone to virgin. so far its been ok, signal where we are seems to be decent enough. she does get network errors on data often, im hoping thats user error tho instead of phone/ service crap.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsaldivar View Post
Huh?

Since when is 3.2MP "playschool-quality"...?

The Optimus is arguably one of the best phones on any prepaid carrier in the US today. While it's certainly no iPhone4, it is more capable than almost any other phone at its price level.

Check out the bang for the buck:

- Android 2.2 Froyo
- 600MHz processor (with GPU)
- 3.2" HVGA display (320x480 resolution)
- 3.2MP camera
- 2GB of internal storage
- microSDHC memory card slot
- "Swype" keyboard software preloaded
- Bluetooth
- 3G (EVDO Rev. A)
- Wi-Fi
- GPS

All that for $149 (was on sale last week for $129) brand new and contract free.

I agree and have one!!! Love it!!!
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