"OK phone and service"3.0 starson by acktroll
Pros: Android, size, prepaid/ econimy
Cons: a bit sluggish some times, bluetooth restrictions
Summary: I have had this phone for a short week now, coming from AT&T and a loyal and sturdy but aging Samsung Stupid-phone.
Got the phone at Target for $249 with a $20 gift card (for use at Target) and a 90 day return policy.
Porting my phone number over took surprisingly less than 2 hours although I was told and prepared for 24-72 hours. No problems setting it up and went for the 300minutes/ 5 hours (thinking that would be plenty as I never ever used more than 250 out of my 450 minutes/ month with AT&T), unlimited web and text/ $25 plan.
After 6 days I have used 267 of my 300 minutes, which reminded me that AT&T does allow free calling between all their customers, free nights and weekends, and also I don't think they count minutes for incoming calls ,which Virgin Mobile does.)
So... a couple of calls to various utility companies of which most of the time was spend on hold listening to elevator music for literally hours.... my minutes have been eaten up. No problem; I'll sign up again for the 1200 minutes/ 20 hours plan at $40. That's right: you upgrade your plan and you have to start over again, so no deduction for the $25 I have already paid for the initial plan. Fair enough, I get it, but just saying.
About the phone itself: I like the size and the weight of it but personally find the slide-out keyboard a bit redundant and can't help but think that the phone could have been super slim and light without it. You can set the phone to switch orientation when rotating the phone, and the horizontal touch-screen keyboard is larger and easier to use than the vertical one... so the slide-out is nice I guess, but not really necessary (for me anyway)
I am somewhat comparing this phone to the Samsung Captivate which I had for about a week last summer. The Captivate I guess is supposed to be a more superior Android phone... and yes it was awesome, but honestly the Intercept suits my needs better. Despite the fact that it can be a bit sluggish and hesitant at times. I find that turning it off regularly (perhaps daily) seems to take care of that. And yes it does take its sweet time powering up.
The Task Killer app may or may nor be helpful in preserving battery life but I find I need to check it at least twice per day as the items to be killed seem to get unchecked and checked randomly. Once Skype is activated it will will not disappear from the notification bar until the phone is shut off, and this I suspect drains battery life. Skype only works on WiFi in the US FYI (and naturally the screen will not be of use on this phone).
After trying unsuccessfully to transfer jpg files to and from the phone I downloaded the user manual and read the following: "...send pictures, Contacts information, or other items using a Bluetooth connection... then later "only a Contact?s information can be sent via Bluetooth. No other file type (video, image, or audio) can be sent using Bluetooth." This was confirmed via emails from customer support at both Virgin Mobile and Samsung... whatever that is supposed to mean I can not transfer photos.
I like the USB charger combo, but when I connect the phone to my laptop via USB it does not recognize it or the 2GB micro SD card (included with the phone). I downloaded Samsung New PC studio software and that seemed to do the trick.
Conclusion: I am so far relatively happy with both phone and service, despite the little quirks and oddities. I am willing to live with those issues when I get to save $30+ off of my phone bill per month, and the realization that I'm not so important that I MUST be reachable all the time, nor that I can't wait 3 extra seconds for the phone to react. Being a student the economical factor is huge for me, and I think this will work quite well for me.