Virgin Mobile USA has opened up pre-orders for their newest Android phone. It's the Alcatel Venture, a BlackBerry Style QWERTY candy bar priced at $99.99. The phone is expected to ship this Thursday March 15, 2012 and show up in stores around the same time.
The phone can be used on any of Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk plans which start at $35/month for unlimited messaging, data (throttled after 2.5/GB) and 300 voice minutes.
The Venture has specs that are for the most part comparable to other inexpensive Android phone including a 600 Mhz processor and 2 MP camera. Pluses for the Venture include an led flash for the camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is same OS that 99% of the latest high-end Android phones are running, and a respectable 512 MB of RAM.
I'm a big fan of the QWERTY candybar form factor which works best for me for texting, status updates, Tweeting, note taking and quick blog updates. I'm OK with all of the Venture's specs except for one, the low 240 x 320 px (QVGA) screen resolution. Not only do Android text and graphics, not look their best in QVGA, but quite a few Android apps require a minimum resolution of 320 x 480 px.
Alcatel Venture specs:
- Display - 2.8 inches QVGA, IPS full-angle viewing, TFT 262k colors Multitouch capacitive touch screen
- Camera - 2Mp Full Frame with LED flash
- Dimensions - 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.48 inch (119 x 58 x 12.55 mm)
- Weight - 4.3 oz (122 g)
- Memory - 512MB (ROM)/512MB (RAM)
- External memory - 2GB microSD card included (supports up to 32GB)
- Networks - CDMA 1900 - 1XEV-DO rA, Wi-Fi(802.11 b/g/n) (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
- Data speed - Up To HSDPA 7.2Mbps
- Operating System - Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread)
- Connectivity - BlueTooth 3.0 (HSP/HFP/A2DP/OPP), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Sensors - Accelerometer, E-compass, Proximity Sensor
- Location Based Service - A-GPS
- Power Management (Performance)
- Battery - 1300mAh Lithium-Ion(Li-ion), 270 hours Standby Time, 4.3 hours Talk Time