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Virgin Mobile sells Android slider without contract

Oct 5, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Virgin Mobile USA has started selling the Samsung Intercept Android slider at Target stores nationwide for $250 without a contract, available with a prepaid plan. The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and an optical joystick, says the company.

The Samsung Intercept began shipping in July on Sprint for $100 after a $100 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement. While this is considerably cheaper than Virgin Mobile's $250 price tag, Virgin says its no contract Beyond Talk service options at $25, $40, and $60 a month will save customers money over time compared to a carrier contract deal. (Given that Sprint owns Virgin Mobile USA, the carrier obviously aims to Intercept customers one way or the other.)

Virgin Mobile's no-contract Samsung Intercept

Target stores will apparently get an exclusive on the contract-free Intercept for several weeks before it rolls out to other major retailers later this month. The phone will also be available directly from in mid-October, says the company.

The Samsung Intercept is equipped with the ARM11-based Samsung S3C6410 processor, which is typically clocked to up to 667MHz. The phone ships with a 2GB SD card, expandable to 32GB.

The Intercept is fitted with a modest 3.2-inch, 400 x 320 touchscreen, and accompanied with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard as well as an optical joystick. Featuring 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, and accelerometers, the Intercept supplies a 3.2-megapixel camera that is said to double as a video camcorder.

The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 1500mAH battery claimed to offer up to 6.4 hours talk time. Measuring 4.4 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches, the phone weighs 4.9 ounces. An audio jack and proximity sensor round out the list of features. (For more details, please see our earlier coverage, here.)

Like the Sprint version, Virgin Mobile's Intercept runs Android 2.1, and the software feature list looks similar except for the lack of Sprint-branded apps. The Intercept is said to offer full integration of social networking apps, Microsoft Outlook Exchange messaging, Google Navigation, and Android Market access.

Also available is a Virgin Mobile Live app used to access the company's "branded music stream."

The Samsung Intercept appears to be only the second Android phone offered by a prepaid provider with nationwide U.S. availability. In late August, prepaid mobile carrier Cricket Communications announced Kyocera's first Android phone, the 3.5-inch Sanyo Zio. The phone is sold for $250 without a contract, plus $55 a month for unlimited usage.

Stated Bob Stohrer, vice president-marketing, Virgin Mobile USA, "As smartphone users come up for contract renewal and examine their monthly costs, they will start to wonder why they are paying more each month when they can get similar services from Virgin Mobile at a fraction of the price."


Virgin Mobile USA's no-contract version of the Samsung Intercept is said to be available now at Target stores in the U.S. for $250, and will be available at the same price at and other vendors in mid-October. At presstime, Target had not yet posted any information on the phone.

The Intercept is said to be available with Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk pre-paid plans, which include email, data, and web access along with 300-, 1,200-, or unlimited voices minutes per month. Plans include monthly $25, $40, and $60 options.

More information may be found at Virgin Mobile, here.

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