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Best daily deals

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Virgin Mobile offers contract-free $99 Venture 3G, Cricket goes even lower with $30 Muve ZTE Score

How low can they go?
March 14, 2012

As much as we love to hear and read about Android smartphones sporting the latest and greatest technologies, there are many users who just want a simple phone that works for phone calls, texting, and the occasional web surfing. This is in line with the results of a recent survey by comScore, which tracks the habit of smartphone users in the US. Bottom line: there’s a huge market for simple, affordable smartphones.

If you don’t care about having S2, S3, or X in the name of your phone or if you know someone who’d like a cheap, simple smartphone, you might be interested in what two fine (albeit smaller) carriers in the US have to offer, starting with Virgin Mobile.

Virgin Mobile Venture 3G – $99, no contract

At Virgin Mobile, you can get an unlocked and contract-free Android smartphone that comes with a QWERTY keypad, for a mere $99. Dubbed Virgin Mobile Venture 3G, the phone is powered by a 600Mhz processor and boasts a 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 320 x 240 resolution, a 2MP front-camera with LED flash, 512MB RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, 3G connectivity, and a microSD card slot. The Venture 3G smartphone ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is exactly the same flavor of Android you will get if you pay $200 on a contract for a Sony Xperia S. Ironic, huh?

Cricket Muve ZTE Score 3G – $30, no contract

But is 99 bucks the best deal in town for a contract-free Android smartphone? Not according to Cricket Wireless. The carrier is offering the Muve ZTE Score for $30, which will get you a 3G Gingerbread-flavored phone with a 600MHz processor, 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 320 resolution, 3.2MP rear-camera, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Not bad for the price of two movie tickets.


Both the Venture 3G and the Muve are dirt-cheap phones, but that doesn’t necessarily make them cheap-looking or lacking in essential features. These phones are more than sufficient for entry-level users that want to get acquainted with Android OS. Their importance should not be underestimated — they might the vanguard that takes Android to omnipresence.