Virgin Mobile Review

Affordable Smart Phones and New Unlimited Plans

Table of Contents

1 - Plan Description

2 - User Reviews & Questions

Virgin Mobile plans offer good deals on no-contract smartphone and good unlimited plans as long as you're within the coverage area.

You can purchase their phones and airtime cards from many major stores such as Walmart and Target, but the best deals are often found directly from them online.

Companies with the Virgin brand name are generally known for taking a basic service like air travel or train travel (in the UK) and giving you more than you expect. Sometimes you pay a small premium for that extra level of service, but it can be worth it. We tried and liked their plane service to London and train to Birmingham.There is also an element of fun associated with their brand (probably not a bad place to work if you're looking for a job).

So, can you get the best of all worlds – cheap phones, good coverage, great rates and all the latest features? Decide for yourself!

Coverage

Virgin relies on the Sprint network in the U.S. You can now check out street-level coverage here.

Service Plans

Their rates have dropped and gotten simpler since I last checked. You have a choice of monthly unlimited plans and pay as you go plans. There are also separate plans for their no-contract broadband service.

Unlimited Smartphone Plans

Formerly known as the "Beyond Talk", these plans now offer a mixture of limited and unlimited service in one or more of the talk, text and data usage buckets.

$20 Unlimited Text Plan (No Data)

The $20 plan is a WiFi only plan. You get 300 minutes voice, unlimited texts and NO data. This might work for students who spend most of the time in environments (home, campus, bar etc.) that have WiFi connectivity.

If this sounds appealing, you may also wish to investigate Republic Wireless which offers unlimited talk, text, and no data for $10 a month with the twist that you can also make calls over WiFi when available and over cellular when not.

$35, $45 and $55 Plans

For $35 per month you can get unlimited talk, unlimited text and 250 MB high-speed data (with unlimited low-speed data) or you can opt for just 300 minutes voice, unlimited text and 2.5 GB high-speed data.

For $45 per month you can unlimited voice plus 100 international minutes, unlimited text plus international text, and 1 GB high-speed data.

For $55 per month you get unlimited voice plus 100 minutes international minutes, unlimited text plus international text, and 3 GB high-speed data.

Depending on your habits, one of these plans should work for you.

Paylo Pay-By-Minute Talk Plans

You can choose from three PayLo plans that cost $20, $30 and $40 per month. There is also a Basic Rate plan that costs 20 cents per minute with a 90-day service period for refills that is similar to the Tracfone airtime features.

PayLo $20 Talk Plan

The $20 per month plan gives you 400 minutes of voice (5 cents per minute). It was previously called the Talk plan because text messages cost 15 cents extra, and web access costs $1.50 per megabyte.

PayLo $30 Talk n Text Plan

The PayLo $30 a month plan gives you 1500 minutes, 1500 texts and 30 MB of web data. This plan is a good deal and is actually better than the Straight Talk $30 plan.

PayLo $40 Unlimited Plan

The PayLo $40 per month unlimited plan give you unlimited talk and text but stops short at 50 MB of web access. This plan is a kind of mirror image of the Beyond Talk plans that offer unlimited data but limited voice minutes.

Basic Rate Plan 20 Cents Per Minute

This plan is not advertised on the website, but it is still offered as an option when you activate your phone online. As mentioned above, calls cost 20 cents per minutes. Text messages also cost 20 cents each. These rates are expensive, but on the plus side, if you are an infrequent user, the refills last 90 days instead of 30.

Top Up your Account

You can top up your minutes via online via Paypal, or with your debit or credit card. There is an automatic top up option that adds $20 when your account get to below $5. You can also buy airtime cards, called "top-up" cards in stores like Walmart and Target or online at Amazon.com.

Broadband Plans

Virgin Mobile has offered broadband plans for a couple of years now. The plans themselves are great, however you have to watch out for coverage.

$5 Per Day Plan - Mobile Hotspot Add-on as Well

The $5 per day plans offers 250 MB data that's good for "one day". One day is defined not at 24 hours, but as the day you order the service through the end of the next day - so this way you will get at least one full normal day of service and then some.

This $5 plan is the only option you can add to your smartphone plans if you have a phone that can act as a mobile hotspot.

$25 and $55 Monthly Data Plans

For $25 you get 1.5 GB and for $55 you get 6 GB of data per month. Depending on the mobile hotspot device you order, the data can be shared with 5 or ten devices at a time.

Devices available include the Netgear Mingle which allows ten devices to connect and the Overdrive Pro which allow five devices.

Phones

Where are the iPhones?

Update: Actually in Stock Now

Just checked (08/03/2015) and the Apple iPhone 6 is actually in stock! Also the 6 Plus and 5C.

After a big introduction, the iPhone was not available from Virgin for a long time. After Apple released the iPhone 6, Virgin Mobile discounted the 5S and previous models. Then they were gone! Other sites speculated about what happened, but the only official response is something along the lines that they have a great selection of Android phones.

I guess they worked out a deal because they're back.

Other Smartphones

There is a good choice of phones available. Many Android smart phones are priced at less than $100 and feature phones are available for under $30. Not bad when you consider that there is no long term contract.

If you're in a good coverage area you should take a look at the selection.

Basic Phones

There are also a few basic phones like the Kyocera Kona and QWERTY phones like the Samsung Montage that are eligible for the PayLo plan.

Customer Service

As I mentioned at the beginning, Virgin has a reputation for great customer service. I expect that to be same here or at least better than average.

My Virgin Online Account

virgin mobile online account

However, you can manage your virgin mobile account online by setting up how you want to refill your airtime, either manually or via auto-refill. You can also swap your phone online when you're ready to move on to a new handset.

All Set?

You can purchase their phones from retail stores like Walmart and Best Buy, or directly from Virgin online.

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Related Pages

Here are some more options from other plans you may want to consider.


Straight Talk has a good lineup of smart phones, some of which run on the same network that Virgin uses, namely Sprint.

What if you don't need a smart phone?


The triple minutes feature now makes Tracfone's more suited for people who don't need unlimited voice or texting. They now offer smart phones but not . . .

If you do need unlimited texting, you can seek out the major brands as well as plans from smaller  plans such as Red Pocket and PTel.


If you want entertainment options such as music you can consider the Cricket plans that offer free music and ringtones from popular artists.