Virgin Mobile launches Android phone with data-friendly pricing

For the most part, getting a smart phone with a data plan is an expensive transaction which carries a hefty monthly fee for a set amount of data usage. Starting later this month however, cell phone shoppers can get an Android powered smart phone on Virgin Mobile with unlimited data starting at $25 a month.

The Beyond Talk plans from Virgin Mobile is the cheapest option we've seen for unlimited data with a voice plan, and when connected to a modern Android smart phone, it is a steal.

The Samsung Intercept was announced this week for Virgin Mobile, and will be available for $249, marking the first modern smart phone available for use with the company's Beyond Talk plan, an unlimited data plan that starts at $25 a month for 300 minutes and unlimited data. As far as service goes, Virgin Mobile operates on the Sprint network and you can check your coverage here.

The Beyond Talk plan isn't new, but with the addition of the Samsung Intercept it is an attractive option for users who want an Android phone with an affordable data plan.

  • $25/month – unlimited data, unlimited text and 300 Anytime minutes
  • $40/month – unlimited data, unlimited text and 1200 Anytime minutes
  • $60/month – unlimited data, unlimited text and unlimited minutes

Even the most expensive $60 a month unlimited minutes and unlimited data plan is $200 to $300 cheaper per year than purchasing the same phone from Sprint with unlimited service and a contract as shown in the table below. That includes the $249 retail cost of the Samsung Intercept from Virgin Mobile.

Virgin Mobile (pre-paid)Sprint (contract)
Samsung Intercept$249Samsung Intercept on Sprint$99.99 (after $150 instant savings and $100 mail-in rebate)
Service (with unlimited data, text and minutes)$60/monthService (based on Simply Everything plan with unlimited data and minutes and text)$99/month
X 12 months$720X 12 months$1,188
TOTAL$969.00TOTAL$1,287.99 (before taxes/fees)

Overall the past year has been a big one for cell phones, with AT&T offering a cheaper limited data plan, Walmart launching Family Mobile with unlimited talk and text, Sprint launching Common Cents Mobile with round down minutes and Virgin Mobile undercutting the cost of mobile broadband (for your notebook) from major carriers by $20. It's been slow going, but it is great to finally see carriers competing on price and offering a variety of options for users instead of lumping every smart phone user into the same expensive bucket.

So far you won't find the most powerful smart phones like the T-Mobile G2 or the recently-released Droid 2, but it is refreshing to see capable and relatively new Android-powered smart phones coming to carriers like Virgin Mobile that are able, and willing, to compete on price.

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