Virgin Mobile Prepaid Samsung Intercept Android 2.1



The Samsung Intercept is a compact and rather unique full QWERTY Entry Level Android. In addition to the full QWERTY and touchscreen, the Intercept offers an optical tracpad for additional user interface flexibility. It should be noted that this is the only full QWERTY Android offering in the Prepaid market under $200. As you would expect, the Intercept is loaded with cool features including the Android App market and more.

Release Date 2010.

Carrier Virgin Mobile

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Samsung Intercept Specifications

Manufacturer

Samsung

Dimensions

4.4" x 2.1" x .6"

Weight

4.9 ouces

Operating System
Android 2.1 upgradable to 2.2

Processor Speed
800 mhz

Form Factor

Capacitive Touchscreen/Slider QWERTY

Screen Size and Resolution:
3.2" - 240 x 400

Battery Life:
Up to 13 days (standby), Up to 6 hours (talk time)

Technology:
EV-DO (3g) CDMA

WiFi:
Yes

Signal:
Excellent

Call Quality:
Excellent

Camera resolution:
3.1 Megapixels

Bluetooth
v2.0 with A2DP

Data cable
Micro USB cable

Headphone Jack
3.5 mm

Micro SD card
Yes, up to 32 GB

Samsung Intercept Features

EV-DO (3g) data, Touchscreen with QWERTY and Track pad, Android App Market, Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace), YouTube, GPS via Google Maps, MS Office Document viewer, IM, Email, MP3 player, Camera/Video Recorder.

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First Impression

We were very impressed with the super compact design despite having the full QWERTY and Trackpad. One of the things that really struck us was the multi user interface design. With the Intercept, you can navigate with the touch screen, track pad and QWERTY arrows so you could say this phone has the best of all worlds.

As with most Samsungs and despite the fact this is somewhat of an entry level phone we found the build quality to be quite excellent. The full QWERTY sliding keyboard mechanism is solid and clicks right into place.

Looking around the phone, we find the typical Menu, Home, Back and Search capacitive buttons just below the screen. Below that, we find the Blackberry like Optical Trackpad and below that, we find physical Send and End/Screen lock/Power buttons. The QWERTY keyboard is 4 rows with hard plastic keys and offer a satisfying click when pressed. On the left, we find the volume buttons as well as the SD card port. On the right, you have the camera quick launch button and 3.5mm standard iPod type head phone jack. Finally, on top you your charge/data port. The back is home to the camera plus a self portrait mirror but no flash.

Features

Features is what the Android form factor is all about and as one would expect, the phone does not dissapoint. Unlike prepaid phones of the past, there are no crippled features on this device. In fact, this phone is pretty much the same as the Sprint contract version, minus the horrible contract of course and the Sprint bloatware.

As with most Androids, you get full access to the App Market so this is not crippled in any way. You also get access to Youtube which is commonly blocked on other prepaid devices. WiFi and 3g speeds are two more notable features on this phone so no shortage of data speeds here. You can really take full advantage of the affordable Virgin unlimited data rates with this phone.

Expect a full HTML browser with flash lite support and pinch zoom capabilities when browsing. Overall, the features are quite excellent on this phone and with the App Market, they are virtually limitless.

Usability

The Samsung Intercept is a very functional device. The capacitive screen is very responsive and smooth. Despite being concidered an entry level phone, we found the Intercept to be very responsive even when running multiple widgets at the same time. It should noted that the phone ships with the stock home screen launcher but you can easily upgrade to any one of your favorite home screen launchers without loosing performance.

We did find a slight power saving quirk in that the phone will shut down the capacitive Menu, Home, Back, Search buttons. A quick swipe at the optical key pad will quickly reactivate these. Not a big deal but it does happen from time to time.

Overall, we found this to be a highly usable device with no notable performance issues. The multiple ways to interface with the phone is a really plus and while you will probably use the touchscreen the most, it's nice to know you have other options for tedious little things like backspacing to replace a typoed character.

Conclusion

The Samsung Intercept is an excellent phone that will satisfy most users. The new Virgin price really makes this a good buy. With all Virgin plans featuring unlimited data, you can really enjoy this phone. We highly recommend this phone over the other Virgin Android offerings if you like the multi interface flexibility or if you are a big time texter. Definitely in the top 2 or 3 phones in the Prepaid market right now.

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