Sunday, December 10, 2006

Virgin and Tracfone Shake Up Their Lineups

Over the past few days Tracfone and Virgin Mobile have changed their available online deals...Tracfone first...

The biggest news here is that not one but three phones are now $15, down from $20 or $30. These three phones are the Motorola c139, Motorola c155 and Nokia 2600. All are new. My choice, out of personal experience from all three of these phones? The 2600, by far. It's old, but it's good. The c155 seems to ahve reception issues, and its bulbous form factor isn't quite pretty. The c139 only has mono ringtones, though it has great battery life, and there have been many cases of people's units just disappearing on that phone. The Nokia 2600, the GSM, older, equivalent of the 2126, has neither problem. If you need a Tracfone on GSM and want a $15 phone, the Nokia would be it.

One gotcha: $15 doesn't include shipping. Unless you bring your order total above $19.99. But hey, the 2600 is an okay deal even at $20, with the Nokia 2126 at $30 new. Anyway, buying two phones would alleviate the shipping charge. But, in a nutshell, the Nokia 2600 just became a better deal than ever.

As an aside, the Motorola c261 is down to $50 plus tax on Tracfone's website, in black. The v176 is still $60. Interesting...the phone was $80 when it came out! Is Tracfone not getting enough sales on the phone? Or are they trying to push picture messaging and web access to the masses because it's very profitable for them? Not to mention ringtones...

Now to Virgin Mobile...

First, the bad news. The refurb Snapper, which was a mere $40, is now sold out. Maybe, however, they'll reinstate the deal when there are enough refurbs to start shipping again. Personally, I'll stick with my Slice, but then again I got the phone for $20 plus tax. Also, the $10 phone is temporarily no more, though it too might pop up again, in the form of the Kyocera K9 (the K7 was the last deal).

Second, the blah news, or maybe it's good news. But anyway the Audiovox "Vox" 8610 is now a mere $25 plus tax. People don't seem to like this phone, but they seem to dislike the Kyocera Oystr even more, citing batery life concerns (by the way, this phone is $20). Then agsin, the Vox doesn't have web's a toss-up.

Now to the pretty good news. Virgin Mobile now has two "free" phones: the Nokia "Shorty" (2116i) and the Kyocera K10. Okay, they're $20 with $20 in airtime added as a bonus, but it's airtime nonetheless so I'll still call the phones free.

My choice between these two phones? It depends. The Shorty, being made by Nokia, is a very solid phone, and it's very small. But it has only a black-and-white screen, and there's no web access...and the Kyocera K10 has both of these. Just depends on what you want.

By the way, this is the first post on the new Go4Prepaid blog. It should run faster for everyone, and should have more features and such. Hope everyone likes it!

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