Virgin Mobile’s New Big Boy

We use affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Virgin Mobile recently announced  probably the most significant smartphone to hit prepaid carriers Ever. The Motorola Triumph. If you have been thinking of dumping one of the majors and going prepaid, this is probably the phone that would help you make that final decision. SPECS:

4.1 inch WVGA Screen

1GHZ processor

512MB of  RAM

5 megapixel camera that shoots HD Video and has a VGA front-facing camera.

HDMI output

2GB built in Storage

Android 2.2 Froyo (stock) with Flash support

Subscribe to The Gadgeteer Daily Digest newsletter

Never miss one of our posts again. Sent MON, WED, and FRI with the latest gadget reviews and news!

Not bad, at all.

Pricing and availability has yet been announced but the word is that it will be within the $200.00-$300.00 and it should be coming to Virgin Mobile right on time for this summer.

What do you think? Is there any other Prepaid Smartphone that can stack up against the Motorola Triumph?

53 thoughts on “Virgin Mobile’s New Big Boy”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. If only it had a hardware keyboard. I’ll keep my VM Intercept for now. I do like VM though, $25/mo for 300 min & unlimited data (incl. text).

    -From my VM Intercept

  3. If you really have to have a keyboard any Bluetooth keyboard would work. But their $25 Beyond Talk plan can’t be beat.

    1. I think it will be a hit without the keyboard. I can’t stand slide out horizontal keyboards anyway. LOL

  4. Boost Mobile (sister company to Virgin Mobile, both owned by Sprint) got the Samsung Galaxy Prevail earlier. It’s a somewhat cost reduced Galaxy S variant, so doesn’t quite stand up to this, but it is priced at $180. Boost’s plans are somewhat different than VMs, the unlimited plans are more expensive, the PAYG is cheaper.

  5. I’m pretty excited about the upcoming phone. Although I have and use Virgin’s Samsung Intercept, I’ve pretty much weened myself off the physical keyboard and am ready for something larger and faster. My grown up kids have now all switched from AT&T to VM. Lucky them, the Optimus V was available when they converted over. I hope the Triumph is as much of an improvement over the Optimus, as the Op V was over the Intercept.

  6. I just switched over to Virgin Mobile from T-Mobile and went for the Optimus V. It’s been nearly a month now and I absolutely LOVE it. I’m at the $40 level with 1200 minutes and it’s been nothing but fantastic. I am really excited about the Triumph as it is yet another incentive for me and other cell phone users to remain with (or switch to) Virgin Mobile. I mean, c’mon, an android phone with unlimited 3G data and text starting at $25 for 300 minutes of talk? Pretty hard to be that considering that the average bill with similar service from a major carrier runs you at least $75 or more total per month!

  7. The lg g2x, and every unlocked gsm phone, can be used on t-mobile prepaid, att prepaid, simple mobile (prepaid unlimited for $50), admittedley virgin has the best plans but better phones are everywherecricket just got samsung indulge, the indulge is also available on metropcs 4g prepaid network.

  8. I think it is hard to beat. Contracts are wack and I will never sign one again. Smartphones are great but they really expect you to pay a lot, and nothing out there is worth that much of my hard earn money.

    The closest to Virgin’s price is another MVNO of sprint called “i wireless” not to be confused with another iwireless thats only a local carrier for Iowa i think. They have a 25.00 a month plan but it only gives you 200 minutes and unlimited text and only 200mb of data. BUT they have more of a handset selection but none of them are better than the MOTO Triumph.

  9. Hello,

    Will the Triumph be better than BoostMobile Android phones (such as Motorola i1™ and Samsung

    Thank you. I am hesitating between switching to VM which is $25 a month for 300 minutes, but it may not be enough for me. However 1200 min is $40, which on the long run will be more than BoostMobile’s $35 unlimited (after 18 months).

    1. Like the Article says, it is the best Prepaid Smartphone Available. in my opinion. The i1 should have never been made. And the prevail is not in anyway better than the LG Optimus V, also available for Virgin. I can say from experience that Virgin has the best 2 prepaid Android Devices available. followed by the Samsung Indulge for Metro PCS and Cricket.

  10. Thanks Jeff!
    I am planning on switching to VM as soon as it comes out. Can’t to know when it will come out.

    How do updates work on Android? When GG release an update is there a user friendly way to upgrade or will I have to do some “hacking”?

    I currently have a jailbroken/unlocked iphone 3G and it has been a pain to upgrade.

  11. Most of the time it is OTA (Over the Air) updates. So you will get a notification on the phone saying that there is an update available and it will guide you along throw the process. Usually just a few taps and you let it do its thing. Other times, you may have to download it onto an SD Card and run the update manually but again its quite simple.

    Now if you want a special ROM developed by the community you would have to follow their instructions. But you have to make sure it is a ROM for your phone though because something could go very wrong.

  12. Thanks again Jeff.
    Who will push the updates? Google as soon as they are ready? Or Motorola, or VirginMobile?
    If not Google, do Motorolla/VirginMobile always push the update or is it possible that they won’t, and I will be stock with an older version of Android?

    1. Well it will come with 2.2 which is a very good version of Android and most Handsets are still on it. I would expect this to have a 2.3 update sometime in the future but I wouldn’t expect it this year. The updates are from the Carrier in most cases. However if it wont be, then Motorola will have it available for you to download whenever they decide to make the update available. However I would assume though in this case, the Update will come thru Virgin. Again I can not be super sure about this so don’t hold me to it. Either way the Triumph looks like its going to make a lot of people happy. also to me personally 2.3 isnt that drastic of an upgrade so i wouldnt really be concerned about it.

  13. Would this not work as an alternative to an iPod Touch, as a media player and a PDA? Certainly Android has the “apps for that” and it is a 4.1 inch screen over the iPod’s 3.5 inch. At the suggested price of between $200 and $300 it is in the same price range. It has a better camera to. Is there an SD slot?

  14. @Gazebo Guy……The upgrade for Virgin Mobile’s Samsung Intercept was done “over the air” and pushed by Virgin Mobile. It was really easy and took all of about 10 minutes. I would expect the same for the Motorola Triumph (if VM decides to do an upgrade). Truth is that VM only has 2 Android handsets to date, and the Intercept didn’t get its upgrade to Froyo until April of this year, six months after its release. There is not a lot of history to go on regarding upgrades at Virgin Mobile. My personal expectation is that we will probably only get one official upgrade by VM on our handsets. Still, at only $25 per month, I can live with a phone as nice as the Optimus V or Motorola Triumph for several years before feeling the need to upgrade the hardware and software.


  15. @Richard – yes, according to the published specs it has a microSD slot.

    This may seem strange coming from a core Gadgeteer, but I might actually consider one of these as an exit strategy once T-Mobile gets swallowed by the orange ball of death. My current plan is to switch to a Sprint contract, but for what I actually do with my phone this one would probably be fine and the cost savings would be rather significant…

    1. That’s what I did. I haven’t been on a contract in years but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a powerful device. Trust me there are over 20 MVNO’s for Sprint alone. T-Mo has quite a few too. You just have to do some research. You will find a deal and won’t have to lose any horsepower in doing it.

  16. I’m thinking of making the move, as soon as the Triumph is released. Any current VM users know if VM restricts the apps you can install from Android market? I’m a Google Voice user and I know there are apps that let you use VoIP over WiFi, saving the minutes. That would certainly keep me under the 300 minutes in the $25 plan.

    1. Any Smartphones from Virgin such as the Androids and the Blackberry have no app restrictions so anything from the app stores you can download no problem.

  17. @Jeff
    “Trust me there are over 20 MVNO’s for Sprint alone. T-Mo has quite a few too”
    A part from mysimplemobile? What other GSM MVNO offer unlimited data at a cheap price?

    I am going to France twice a year and although I am very attracted to VM, it would be nice to stick with a sim card phone.

  18. I haven’t found one yet that gives unlimited data apart from Simple Mobile and T-Mobile themselves. Other plans so far offer 100mb with the 50.00 plans. Airvoice and H2o Wireless.

  19. I think this phone going to sell out because of the smartphone its self. You see all this others contact plans and phones they not that attractive in also virgin mobile is the best service I ever had. WIth this company you pay what you need each month so you don’t have to worry about how they charge you for this and that you can now take some control in your cell phone bill. Trust me I think the internet service shall work on a high quality network.

  20. I have jumped over from Sprint to VM and it has been sublime. I have the Optimus V and as a guy, it is sometimes pretty challenging to text n the 3.2″ screen, so I am stoked about the Triumph…It will be a success I just hope it has a glass screen and the ability to retain Google Voice as I am on the $25 plan.


  22. so long optimus v… hello triumph! wat a gr8 deal on plans! u cant beat them with a stick… well maybe u can lol.

    1. Really? the 70 isn’t that bad once to get it to work the way it should and the Optimus is great. I would keep those.

    1. Others are guessing about the same thing. It most definitely won’t be over 300.00 I think it will be 250.00 They have even lowered the price of the Optimus V so that it doesn’t have too close of a price range to that and people opt to get the cheaper one instead. They are really going to push this device because like i said, its the most attractive smartphone on the prepaid market EVER.

  23. Really nice phone. If I was a student, it would be the best phone in the world, but the $25 unlimited data, limited talking sorta negates phone, and plan from being a business proposition. Still the tracfone’s straight talk unlimited everything plan, and the nokia e71 works best for me – if only especially because of the plan, the certainty, and the peace of mind – no running outa minutes when it counts.

  24. @RoyAlly: I just checked tracfone’s website and cannot find your unlimited everything plan. Could you please post a link?
    Is tracfone a GSM or CDMA network? It says it uses both on wikipedia’s list of US carriers.

  25. @Quality Gazebos Tracfone owns sister brand Straight talk ( It has access to both types of networks, but invariably, until a true world phone comes to the scene, any one phone in the US, can only make use of one type network – choose the phone according to your area specific, otherwise you’re in for a hair pulling experience.

  26. I am currently with VM and have the LG Optimus V which is a nice phone but I am so all over this Motorola like a fat kid on cake

  27. The Motorola Triumph has been available for Pre-Order on since June 24. I have a feeling that these phones will be hard to find! I had to go hunting for the LG Optimus V when it came out. I am selling my Optimus V and Blackberry to cover the cost of the Triumph. I pre-ordered my Triumph today for $327 after shipping and taxes. Pre-order release date is July 19th. I can’t wait to see it!

  28. Hello,
    I am planning on switching to Virgin Mobile, and would like to transfer my current cellphone number to VM.
    If I pre-order the Triumph on Best Buy,
    1- when will I be able to subscribe to VM?
    2- will I be able to transfer my current cellphone number?

    3- I would prefer to buy it directly in a store on the 19th, instead of waiting for the phone to be shipped to my home if I pre-order it. However, with the number of people excited about it, do you think that the stores might be out of stock right after it comes out?
    Note: that I am not ready to stay in a line for hours just to get a phone.

  29. @Gazebos:

    Virgin Mobile phones can be activated as soon as you take them from the store. The process is pretty easy, just fill out some forms on VM’s web site and it will be done in minutes.

    To transfer your number there is a place during the signup to enter the information to do that. In addition to the old phone number you’ll need your old carrier’s account number and PIN if you have one. (Hint: if you are coming from another prepaid, the account number is probably just the 10-digit phone number.) Porting will automatically cancel your old account, and it is possible that it won’t happen immediately, so be prepared for that (it’s not VM’s fault, it’s just how porting works).

    You might want to see if you can preorder at Best Buy for store pickup, so they’ll pull one out of stock and hold it for you. You can also buy it that way on the morning of release day if you’re worried about them selling out by the end of the day. But since this is not another iPhone or new game console, I wouldn’t expect problems with lines or stock levels.

  30. @Gazebo….If you will be porting an old number from a different cell phone company, you do NOT want to activate your phone over the web. You must call VM’s customer support number and give them the required information concerning your current account and your new phone. They will then coordinate the transfer of the old number to your new phone. An hour or so after you give them this information, your old phone will be disabled and the new Virgin Mobile phone will be activated with your old phone number.

    You can buy your new VM phone for weeks before doing this activation/porting process. Do NOT let Best Buy, or Radio Shack or whomever talk you into activating your phone at the store. They are unable to port your old number to your new Virgin Mobile phone. Just a word of warning!


  31. @Gazebos…..I’m not an authority, but I highly doubt you can use the VM phones on Boost. That would be nice as I think the Boost Unlimited plan with shrinkage is a better deal in the long run, but Virgin has a better choice of handsets.

    Still, we have two $25 VM plans and have never gotten close to our 300 minute limits. We are not big talkers and now typically text our adult kids when we want to ask them a question.

    It will be interesting to see how our usage changes since we dropped our landline service yesterday.


  32. @Gazebos: No, you can’t use VM phones on Boost, even though they are both part of Sprint and use the same technology. The MEID of the phone tells them exactly what brand and model it is, so they won’t activate it on a service it wasn’t designed for. (And that is independent of whether the VM-specific software on the phone would prevent it from working right with Boost.)

  33. one more thing to the person that was iffy about the phone because they have a prevail .seriously that phones is good but the triumph has a front facing camera 4 inch display adobe flash a better camera and has HDMI so that you can hocked up to your tv the prevail has 3.2 inch display 2.5 camera no flash ,no front camera or HDMI. your choice should be easy

  34. Question for those interested or still using boost with a smartphone has the company upgraded to 3g yet….? VM at least has 3g what’s the point in owning a android phone if u can’t even get full use out of it?

  35. Unfortunately I’ve been reading the user reviews on this phone and it’s almost universally negative. It gets poor reception due to only including the 1900 antenna and not an 800 or an 850. The camera takes poor pictures and the autofocus often fails. There also appears to be build quality issues after numerous folks reported light leaking from around the corner.

    It might have the best specifications in theory, but in practice it’s apparently VERY problematic.

  36. I have been reading reports about the problems and theres video and pictures showing the pretty serious issues a lot of people seem to be having. For the amount of money they are asking for this thing, you would think they would’ve made sure this thing was solid. I mean like I have said before, the LG Optimus line of phones have been the best prepaid smartphone available thus far and now it appears to remain number one with this unfortunate Moto Triumph having unacceptable build quality issues.

  37. oh oh …I am going to wait until this issues are resolve.
    i have been waiting for this motorola triumph for 3 month
    for nothing.

  38. @Jeff…..I too am disappointed to hear the reports of “issues” with the Triumph. My wife and I presently use the Samsung Intercept and an Optimus V for our communication needs, both on the $25 plans.

    I considered the Motorola as a replacement for the Intercept, but came to the conclusion that the Triumph is almost too large for carrying around comfortably. The Samsung just fits so well into my pocket and has such nice physical features. The Optimus V is nicely sized too and offers very snappy performance. We are not power users or gamers, and just want reliable phones and economical plans to talk, text, and data our way through the day.

    In my mind, people are throwing way too much money into handsets and plan charges to be any way near practical. Guess we will just stick with our current setup until fate dictates the need for a change.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.