Virgin Mobile has begun informing dealers that they will offer the Samsung Intercept, their first Android phone, for the same price points as their feature phones.
The MVNO currently offers one smartphone, the BlackBerry Curve 8350, for $10 higher per month than their standard feature phone price points.
The Samsung Intercept has begun surfacing in stores, and is being offered for the feature phone price points, starting at $25/month for 300 voice minutes, unlimited 3G data, and unlimited messaging. However, Android opens the door to VoIP calling from the likes of Fring, and even the totally-free Google Voice. This allows you to make free, VoIP based calls, to anywhere in America. Thus, with the base Virgin Mobile plan, you can now get unlimited everything at $25 per month.
As with all other Virgin Mobile phones, no contract will be required. Samsung has confirmed to PhoneNews.com that both Sprint and Virgin Mobile variants of the Intercept will be updated to Android 2.2, later this year. It will be available at most Target stores shortly for $249.99.
Stay tuned for our review of both the Sprint and Virgin Mobile Samsung Intercepts… clearly however, the price point difference at Virgin Mobile makes Intercepts shortcoming seem distant and unimportant.
Our take on this is clear: Sprint is starting a price war. They are intent on upselling/overselling their network at the cost of every other operator.
Clarification: As we’ve already clarified in the comments, Google Voice requires additonal steps to leverage as a truly VoIP service (and thus, bypass voice minutes). While guides are out on the web already, fear not, we’ll be detailing that in a how-to in the very near future. Part of the great thing about Android is just how many VoIP and SIP services exist already, and we in no way implied Google Voice was the only option to free calling on Android.